Disclosure: As Sea Life ambassadors we have annual passes free of charge for the purpose of blogging about our visits.
At the weekend we headed into town to visit the National Sea Life Centre in Birmingham. We have been ambassadors for the Birmingham centre for several years now, and I’m delighted to report that we’ve been invited to continue for a further year! Georgie and Lydia were delighted by this news, as they really enjoy our visits.
As well as picking up our new passes, we wanted to check out the Octonauts Shark Mission event at the centre, which is on until 2nd September.
You can take part in a meet and greet with Shellington, and hunt for the code letters in the mystery tanks. The girls loved checking every tank until they spotted every last letter, and slowly discovering what species of shark they spelled out. We picked up the mission sheets at the ticket desk at the entrance, and they also have origami shark puppets you can pick up to take home.
Georgie isn’t a fan of people in costumes, but Lydia loves them, so she was thrilled to have her photo taken with Shellington! You can buy a copy of your photo from their little photo souvenir booth at the end of the walk around the centre, but the staff didn’t mind me taking a snap of my own, too.
There have been a few little changes around the centre since our last visit – one of my favourite things about the centre is that there is always something new to see, as there are always changes going on with the residents of the various tanks, and whole areas are always being revamped or replaced with new interesting things to see. This little octopus has now settled in, although it took us a moment or two to hunt it down hidden inside this little pot!
Georgie’s favourite creatures in the centre are the penguins and Zebedee the zebra shark, so she was disappointed when we couldn’t find Zebedee in his usual tank. We asked a member of staff, who never have a problem being asked random questions, and they told us he is currently behind the scenes somewhere as he will be moving to the ocean tunnel soon – Georgie is very impressed that he is ‘graduating’ to the biggest tank in the place!
The otters area is currently boarded up and under construction so we are all curious to see what changes are happening next.
We also got to see the new 4D short film for the first time at the cinema while we were there, and it was great fun. Jim Henson’s Splash and Bubbles go on a fun undersea adventure, and there are lots of special effects to go with the 3D film – including getting squirted with water a few times, which Lydia found hilarious! It was quite nice in this hot weather, to be honest. The 12 minute film sees the Reeftown Rangers on a quest to find Dunk’s special lucky pebble, and they explore different undersea areas and see different sea creatures while they’re on their mission. There are some catchy tunes, too.
Splash and Bubbles is on TinyPOP here in the UK so the girls are going to check it out now they’ve got a taste of the show.
The back of the Octonauts Shark Mission sheet doubles up as a certificate, and when they showed their complete sheets to the shop staff, they both got a special ‘Honourary Octonauts’ stamp and a Shark Mission pop badge as a reward for completing their mission.
We are off to visit my brother and his family for a day next month, and we’ll be heading to the Weymouth Sea Life Centre with them so I’m sure we’ll blog about that too. The girls really enjoy visiting the different Sea Life Centres around the country with their passes, but our Birmingham one is definitely their favourite.
There is a new Legoland Discovery Centre in Birmingham now, and it is just across the canal from the Sea Life Centre – the kids are dying to visit sometime this summer. You can buy joint tickets to both places which makes it great value, too.