Visit Sea Life Centre Manchester – review

shoalA couple of weeks ago I wrote about out day filled with sun, sea and sand. We had a great day visiting the Chil Factore indoor snow centre and Sea Life Centre Mancheter. We had a great day but I really felt I hadn’t had chance to talk about how impressed we were with the Sea Life Centre now that it is fully up and running. We first visited the new Sea Life Centre back in May when they were preparing to open. We saw a giant turtle and lots of amazing displays as well as getting a photo with Alex Winters from cBeebies but as it was a preview many of the interactive sections were unfinished. We could tell the place was going to be amazing so we were delighted when we were invited back to do a full review now that it is fully up and running.

under_the_seaSea Life is part of the Merlin group and is found next to the Legoland Discovery Centre in Barton Square at the Trafford Centre. If you’re lucky enough to have Merlin Passes entry is included, alternatively the Merlin group is currently working with Kelloggs to offer 2 for 1 entry to their attractions with vouchers from promotional packs. The offer runs until 31/10/2013.

If you are planning your visit in advance I really recommend booking on-line, you will be able to use the fast track entry and skip the very long queue of people waiting to buy tickets. The first section of the experience is a beautifully done presentation on the life-cycle of turtles, you see (C.G) baby turtles heading for the sea. Once the show is done you move through into the first tank area with a shoal of stunning silver fish. 20130816-145046.jpgYou then move though the centre past many amazing displays including lion fish and an octopus. For older children there is a Dive log book to stamp at various stations through the centre and there are tunnels under some of the tanks so small people can look right inside and really see the fish.

There are lots 20130816-145131.jpgof interactive sections including some giant turtle eggs. Heat them with your hands and find out if they will contain a boy or a girl turtle.

Unlike Legoland next door the sea life centre isn’t a big open space, instead it’s a pathway past all the different fish and turtles ending with a soft play area and interactive rock pool. The soft play is a tower set up with several ball pools and a good way for over-active kids to burn off a bit of energy. The only downside is getting them to come back out 😉 if you’re struggling though the promise of crabs and starfish to touch might just do the trick. Staff are on hand to make sure the animals are handled gently and that no little fingers get nipped by enthusiastic pincers.

brave_girlJoint tickets are available for Legoland and Sealife and the Trafford Centre is just across a  bridge with it’s huge food court. There are behind the scenes tours available and SeaTrek Europe’s first underwater experience that allows you to walk on the bottom of the giant turtle’s tank without any diving experience.



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