We’ve been to The Sealife Centre Birmingham quite a few times now – especially over the last year with our Merlin Annual Passes, and we love spending a couple of hours there, especially if the weather’s bad.
There’s so much to see and it’s really interesting for both kids and adults. After you enter and past some tanks of fish, you get to see the lovely penguins in their icy surroundings or gliding beautifully through the water. They have very recently welcomed nine new Gentoo penguins to Birmingham Sea Life Centre all the way from Billund, Denmark. The little fellows, four of which were as young as seven months, were accompanied by Aquarist Hayley Roberts, who looked after them and ensured their journey was a smooth process.
Six male and three female Gentoo penguins have been introduced to the existing colony as part of the Breed, Rescue, Protect programme and it’s hoped that they will breed successfully this Spring and continue to grow the penguin colony.
Chris Coventry, Marketing Manager at The National Sea Life Centre Birmingham said:
“It’s great to be a part of an international breeding programme and we couldn’t wait to welcome the new arrivals from Denmark. They are such fascinating sea creatures and we look forward to seeing their personalities come to light and watching the interactions between them all when they are introduced to their new mates.”
You can watch a little video of the Gentoo penguins arriving, here: https://youtu.be/D4K4nzf8yXw.
After you’ve watched the penguins for a bit you can wander around and see all of the different sea creatures that they have – of which there are loads of different types. There are loads of different types of beautiful (and some rather ugly – sorry fishies) fish, as well as tiny little brightly coloured frogs, starfish, Octopus and one of my favourites the Stingrays.
I love watching Stingrays gliding through the water; I find them really fascinating and they always look so friendly and interesting!
Often at the Sea Life Centre there is something extra on for the kiddies – things they can do or collect as they are walking around to keep them focused and excited to keep going even after their little legs are tired. When we went last year there were little Spongebob characters in some of the tanks that they could look out for, and Ava really enjoyed trying to spot them. The next time we visited they had a little booklet and children could collect stamps in it as they wandered round. They always seem to have something extra on, which is nice if you get the chance to go quite often, so it varies a bit each time.
There’s a 4D film to watch part of the way round, which is great for a little break from walking around, and the films change every so often.
One of the best bits in the aquarium is the great big underwater tunnel that you walk through, where you can spot sharks, giant turtles (amazing creatures) and huge rays passing by over your head.
With our Merlin Annual Pass we’ve never had to queue for more than a couple of minutes, but it does get quite busy at certain times, and I’d definitely recommend getting tickets online in advance if you can.
At the end you can buy the photos that you had taken on your way round with various sea creatures, and there is also a little soft play to wear them out a bit more. Ava always asks to go in there and we always have to almost drag her out of there once we’ve had enough standing around.
The photos and sets that you can buy are always reasonably expensive, but they’re lovely to splurge on as a keepsake occasionally. The first time we went we got a magnet, although I don’t think you can buy them individually anymore. I do wish that they did make some cheaper sets at the Merlin Worlds, because often we don’t buy anything because we don’t want to pay a lot for lots of photos we won’t have up anywhere, but we’d love to be able to purchase a little magnet to put on the fridge.
We are Merlin Annual Pass Ambassadors but all words and thoughts are my own.
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