We had already visited three parks on our whirlwind tour of the midlands, and this seemed like a good spot to stop off on the way home.
The National Sea Life Centre, Birmingham from what we could work out is right in the middle of the city. The signage from the motorway was good although it was a little tricky to find the parking, and then once parked finding the building.
We were fast tracked in as pass holders, and quickly found the route through. The boy was given a scratch card but no map. We were told we wouldn’t need one, we found out as we walked through that this was because there is a one way system.
The scratch card had question numbers and coloured answers and we quickly found the right question. You then scratch the panel to see if you are right. Now I will say, we had no instructions with the card, and not being quite sure of the answers gave it our best guess. Not realising that all the boxes have stars (right or wrong answers) we carried on looking at the amazing exhibits, and open rock pools. You wind your way up the purpose made building, through different continents, waterfalls and ponds. there are animal touch pools, and information boards everywhere.
we enjoyed the shark tanks, and the stingrays are a family favourite. there were otters, turtles and even a fun 3D cinema which was great fun. (apart from the staff member who kept opening and closing the door, all the way through) I love watching fish, and I loved this sea live the centre. You can tell that they have thought about how the visitors move through and it is nice and easy, but you can’t really go back to see something you may have missed!
At the end you pass through a shop, and there is a play area, which looked a bit dirty with some vending machines and some plastic tables and chairs. It’s a shame there isn’t a nice café, as I think that would do well here.
We handed in our scratch card, but had found out we had got answers wrong, as some stars have happy and some sad faces. The lady on the till however just handed us an explorer medal without even looking at the card. This all seemed a bit false, but the boy was happy as he had another medal.
We left to find the car, which in itself is interesting, as you come out of the opposite side of the building and this disoriented us all. The canal bridges as you leave are fun to explore and I would imagine on a sunny day it is nice to stop and watch the world go by. We were in the centre for about 2 hours, but I would imagine half a day would be as long as you would need to spend.
It would have cost us £15.00 each, and parking is extra here about £3 for 3hours but discounts can be found on their website
We gave this Sealife Centre 3/5 our favourite is still Brighton as it has a better atmosphere, and the staff were more helpful.