Tuesday 16 February 2016

Sea Life Birmingham #ancientoceans event PERFECT for half term !

What a busy weekend we have had this week and yesterday was my 27th Birthday so I didn't get a chance to blog. Today, I'm so tired we are going to have a super lazy day and then pop down the farm to watch the cows be milked - Oliver loves to watch it. Isabelle still scared of cows?! So she covers her eyes and shakes her little head. Anyway let's go back to the start of our weekend....
Saturday morning we left home super early to get to Birmingham Sea Life for 9am, we were invited to see the Ancient Oceans event that is currently on over half term (it's a perfect day out for the children this February half term). We love going to Sea Life so didn't even question the fact we are hours away in Hertfordshire - we knew it would be worth it and it was! Considering how early we had to wake these little people up, they were in a very good mood. As part of attending the event, our review will be our entry into being considered for Sea Life Ambassadors for 2016 - which would be AMAZING so please keep your fingers crossed for us! (Is it bad that myself and Michael have already agreed that if we get picked as ambassadors that we are leaving the children with grandparents and we are going on a date to sea life ?!)

My review is mainly based on children but honestly if you don't have children or you've got a day without them - go anyway! It's so lovely there and you can learn so much.

I guess that's because they knew we were off to SEA LIFE in Birmingham and they were very excited.

Did you know this year Sea Life Birmingham is celebrating it's 20th birthday! So it's even more special with lots of events planned throughout the year.

We are big fish fans - as you probably already know if you've seen my facebook/twitter or Instagram! Sea Life therefore has to be one of our favourite days out. The children love it too. Oliver, age 6 actually has his own reef tank in his bedroom with his very special clown fish. Saturday we arrived at just gone 9am and were greeted by smiley faces to which I told "I'm just desperate for a weee" haha, probably not the best way to introduce yourself but honestly I was... it had taken a little longer than I thought to get there (AND I FORGOT TO GO FOR A WEE BEFORE WE LEFT THE HOUSE!! if that was Oliver, I'd of told him off - so naughty me) 

This is a picture of our tank we have just downsized though so no longer have this.. we'll be using this tank for tropical fish soon.

Firstly I need to say that we love how easy Sea Life is to get to from the car park! It's so unusual to go somewhere in a city and be able to park so close to it which is in my opinion amazing - one of my big hates on days out is being the coat rack, when the children get to hot I'm left holding their coats and if Michael happens to need to hold Isabelle - there's me with his coat too, bare in mind I've got my own coat on and also a change bag with Isabelle's bits and lunch in too. Fun. So the fact that Sea Life is so easy to get to from the car park, we decided to power walk without our coats! (Of course we had some layers on and I took a back pack with me so I could just pop them in there) yay no coat rack work for me that day. It also meant I didn't need to carry lunch around as we could pop back to the car when we needed it.
The children were handed envelopes which inside had some very cool things - everything you need to be a dinosaur detective at sea life.
Ancient Oceans event encourages children to learn by being a dinosaur detective completing challenges around the centre. There's a bone hunt! When you find it, stick the sticker in the right place on the back of the envelope to create your dinosaur skeleton.

I will never forget the first time Oliver touched a starfish at sea life, it was about 4 years ago and thankfully he has learnt not to poke them now! He wasn't so gentle as a toddler. I even touched a starfish for the first time! They're softer than I had imagined, I always thought they would be erm... spikey I guess? Oliver learnt that the starfish has bent his leg so to keep it in the water! There's someone there to talk to the children and tell them lots of facts.

We saw the penguins first - Can't believe I didn't mention them sooner. They are SO cute. I love that there's several different places to view the penguins.
We love that there's facts everywhere about the sea creatures. It's lovely when the children ask you things and you can actually tell them the facts hehee. Oliver's now at an age where he will stand there and read some himself too.

And obviously learning how to waddle like a penguin was a really fun thing to do!

Aren't the Gentoo penguin colony adorable ?

Oliver loved learning things at the ancient oceans event about the evolution of the mesmerising sea creatures, some of which have been around for over 200 million years, such as sharks, jellyfish and turtles.

The lifecycle of a jellyfish! I absolutely love watching jelly fish and it's so interesting to be able to learn things about them.. it's these little things that make sea life even more amazing isn't it? They want to share their knowledge with you, encouraging children to not only learn about Sea Life but to also respect it and want to help towards looking after it for years to come.

There is fossil hunting in the dig station was a very popular thing to do with both children, there were lots of fossils to find hidden in the sand. For finding fossils, the children got a certificate with their name on and real sharks teeth!

Oliver actually gave a sharks tooth to his friend on valentines day - he told her 'it's a real sharks tooth!"

Sometimes it's difficult to think of days out that will appeal to the whole family - this day definitely did! Grandparents would love it just as much as toddlers or children of Oliver's age.

James Robson, Curator at The National Sea Life Centre Birmingham, said: “We are very much looking forward to the Ancient Oceans event this half term. We think it’s really important to also educate visitors, as well as ensure they have fun, and we try to implement that as much as we can.
At this event our visitors will learn about the history of the oceans and how its creatures have managed to outlive dinosaurs and survive ice ages. They will also learn the sad truth about how these fascinating creatures now face some of their worst threats ever, as a result of over-fishing and pollution of our waterways and oceans”.
 How cool is this? Found it's very own little spot to have a snooze away from others! If I was a fish, that would be me! see ya I'm going for a snooze...
 More of Sea Lifes 'Wow facts'
 Busy being a detective!
The staff at sea life all came across really friendly - they had no idea I was a blogger and would be writing about it afterwards because most of my meetings with staff happened after the Sea Life Centre was open to the public, they genuinely were really helpful and seemed very happy to be there! On days out, I often see atleast one or two grumpy members of staff but at Sea Life I didn't see any at all.
 Selfie with a shark! It's so lovely to be able to walk underneath them. And yes we were the family that spent at least 30 minutes just here!

It was great to be able to see Molokai, the Giant Green Sea Turtle. Did you know that Molokai was found in a lady’s handbag?
Molokai has found a quiet spot to have a little rest but whilst we were there, did venture out a few times which was lovely.
There's the shark maternity ward too! In there is a black tip shark who is actually pregnant at the moment, how exciting!

So as you can tell, there's a lot to see and I love that no matter how many times you go to Sea Life Birmingham you will always see something new, learn something new and of course have lots of fun!

There's a gift shop when you exit, they sell some lovely things including keyrings, cups, soft toys and clothes - basically there's something for everyone. A few times throughout your visit there's the chance to have your photo taken too which you can purchase near the exit.

There is also a soft play area - how cool is that? We didn't actually go on there as Oliver needed to get back home to go to a friends party but we will definitely let the children go in the next time. It's a lovely little extra, you can also go back in to sea life however many times you like throughout the day as long as you get your hand stamped so you can really make a whole day of it, pop out for some lunch and pop back to catch more of the talks that you may have missed.
If you're local this half term, ancient oceans event is definitely not one to be missed!

For further information or to pre-book tickets online before your visit please go to www.SEALIFE.co.uk/birmingham/. Reduced prices are available for tickets booked in advance.
For regular news, updates and competitions, The National Sea Life Centre Birmingham is also on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/sealifebirmingham and Twitter https://twitter.com/sealifebham. You can also keep up-to-date with what Ginny the Gentoo has to say by following her on twitter at https://twitter.com/ginnygentoo.
Have you been to Sea Life Birmingham before? What was your favourite thing?

please note that we were given free entry to sea life Birmingham for the purpose of this review, however all the opinions within are my own.

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  1. I love sea life - and the ancient oceans thing looks awesome! Once Marianna gets a bit bigger she's going to be my excuse for going to all the kids edu-fun stuff - my dad was exactly the same when we were kids mind! ;) #triedandtested

  2. Thanks for sharing your review on #TriedTested this week x


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