A couple of weeks ago we were invited to visit Sealife Centre at the Trafford Centre and say hello to the Octonauts. Whilst the children have occasionally watched the show, we are more Disney Jr fans so it was interesting to see what they would make of the characters.
We have visited the new Sealife Centre before it opened on a preview day, so a lot of things weren’t quite ready. I was looking forward to seeing the whole centre open and fully functioning, beginning with the introduction right at the start, featuring the baby turtles. The children were fascinated with the light display which followed the turtles hatching and their journey to the ocean. We then went through into the centre which is filled with over 5000 sea creatures including sting rays, turtles, starfish, seashores, sharks, jellyfish and eels, to name just a few. The centre has various interactive areas too, which were a bit old for my two but will no doubt entertain the older children who visit.
Little J was enthralled from the word go, to the point that I lost him completely at one point when he ran off ahead to see the baby turtles. We loved the underwater ocean tunnel, especially pointing out the sharks swimming above our heads, they were so fast! Ernie the turtle was also around to be spotted every now and again.
I think Little J’s favourite part had to be the interactive touchpool where the children got the chance to touch a crab. It took H a while to come around and have a try but J was straight in there having a go! In fact we went back to this area a couple of times for another turn!
Before the Octonauts arrived the children blew off some steam in the play area. I have to say this was my least favourite part as there wasn’t really much of an area for the under 5’s and all the big kids were running riot in the higher levels knocking the smaller ones over. There was also only a very small seating area for the adults so most of us had to stand at the edge. It made me a bit anxious letting the children in there so we didn’t stay too long.
Once it was time for the Octonauts we went to the stingray area, where both children enjoyed standing on the bench at the side of the tank looking over at the rays, of course Little J had to be held onto otherwise he may have dived right in!
We then queued to have their photo taken with Peso and Kwazii from the show, and I was glad to see they were quite happy to stand and pose, as sometimes these pre-schoolers can be a bit awkward!
We spent probably about ninety minutes in the centre, nipping out for lunch in the middle, so it’s not a huge trip out but we had a nice day and Grandma enjoyed spending some time with the children. It’s not a cheap day out, although children under 3 are free. For a family ticket it costs £60, although if you buy online it’s £34 which is a significant reduction and well worth doing.
Since our trip the children have now started watching Octonauts a lot more – they each chose a toy from the store and we now have episodes recorded which they often request. It’s nice to have a little more variation on the TV sometimes, so I’m happy with a bit of a change!
*We were provided entry FOC however all opinions are my own.