Disclosure: As Sea Life ambassadors we have annual passes free of charge for the purpose of blogging about our visits.
As Sea Life ambassadors, we always try to fit in a trip to visit Santa Claus while he is at the Birmingham Sea Life Centre, and earlier this month we headed to the centre to check out their 2017 grotto.
First up when you enter the centre are the penguins. Sea Life Birmingham have a growing colony of Gentoo penguins in a gorgeous large enclosure where you can see them both above and below the water. The girls love to hold up something black & white against the glass to entice the penguins over to see them – it works almost every time! The penguins seem to really enjoy darting back and forth following it around.
We always make sure we stop at the shark tank to try and spot Zebedee, Georgie’s favourite zebra shark, and she was delighted to see the shark swimming about – and got me to take a photo of them ‘together’.
During the festive period, Sea Life are showing a shortened version of the Polar Express in their 4D cinema, where you can feel the water spray as the train skids across the ice, and smell the giant Christmas tree at the North Pole. The physical effects paired with the 3D film make it a really fun watch and the kids really enjoy it.
We were lucky enough to catch the otters at feeding time while we were queuing for the film too; we love watching the otters play or have their lunch, and the staff clearly know their stuff as they talk to the visitors about them.
This year, Santa’s grotto is just before the exit into the gift shop, opposite the photo sale booth & small soft play area. You can watch the penguins swim in their tank from the queue and then visit Santa in his icy world (as Georgie calls it), where he is snug in his sleigh waiting to chat to children and give out gifts. The girls were delighted with their little toy sea creatures, and you can take your own photos or buy one from the centre.
One thing I really like about visiting Santa at Sea Life is that it is an included extra – you don’t have to pay on top of your ticket price to visit the man in red, and the same goes for watching the Polar Express.
Santa will be at Sea Life until 23rd September. Annual Pass members can get a special festive pop badge if they visit on 21st & 22nd December from 4pm – you need to prebook slots for this on Eventbrite, and you can find out more info here.