Day Out at London Aquarium

This morning we had the chance to go to London SEALIFE with a group of Bloggers from Tots100. The last time I went was for my oldest boys 2nd birthday, which is almost 3 years ago now as he is turning 5 at the end of this month. (Times flies it does not seem that long ago!)

london aquarium
First time we went, for the 2nd birthday

This time, I took my younger two boys aged 3.5 and 22 months, and travelled together with Mary from Over40andamumtoone and her 3.5 little boy aged too.

Unfortunately for my older boy he was at school and had to miss out. He is a massive Nemo fan though so we will have to go again sometime on a weekend so that we can bring him.

london eye and london aquarium
View of the Aquarium from the bridge from Westminster

When we went in we were given some special cardboard diving goggles for the children to wear and a stamp book to stamp as they went around, and then we went on to see all the underwater creatures.

First we went over a shark walk way where we could see all the sharks swimming beneath us! My two boys weren’t scared at all, and they were quite fascinated by looking at the water and sharks beneath.

London Aquarium shark walk

The above is not my own pic. We can not use flash because it scares some of the animals, so my pics did not come out the best – luckily we have been provided with some better ones! This shows you clearly how close you are to the sharks and how well you can see them – It is pretty cool!

We then moved on to the Sting Rays, which my boys loved so much. They are in an open tank, so you can see them right there at the top of the water. They are quite sociable animals, so when we came to look at them, they came straight up to the surface. My boys waved at them and they have even waved back! They are such an usual looking creature, with their big flat face – I found them quite fascinating to look at.

london aquarium sting rays
Looking into the Sting Ray Tank. (The builders hat is not for any reason, my 3 year old just loves it and wears it everywhere at the moment!)

My youngest was not happy at all with being moved away from the Rays! But he did cheer up once he saw the starfish and had the opportunity to touch them. He loved dipping his finger in the water, and slowly built up his courage to touch. Both of them were given a sticker for being brave and touching the star fish and the guides who were in charge of the star fish were really helpful and encouraging to the children. The starfish felt quite spiky! Not exactly how I expected it to feel. They have no teeth at all so they are totally safe for even little toddlers to touch.

We then moved on to more of the fish displays.

london aquarium

    Clockwise from top left:

  1. Stingray
  2. Nemo’s World – Clownfish and Blue Tang (Like Dory)
  3. More Nemo’s World – in the Coral Reef
  4. Sharks

My boys loved all the different displays of fish, they would have happily spent hours looking at each tank if I did not keep moving them onto the next! I do love looking at fish myself too, its very relaxing. I would love to have a massive tank of all these tropical fish in my house if we had the space!

baby at london aquarium
My youngest really interested in all the fish!

There are plenty of Clownfish in the coral reef, which is pretty exciting for any Nemo fans. My 4 year old is the main Nemo fan in our house but the 3 year old was also pointing at the Clownfish to show he recognised them.

london aquarium

There are so many tanks, with sharks, turtles, seahorses, and also a crocodile at the end. When we were at the Shark tanks, the children had the opportunity to touch a piece of shark skin and some shark teeth which had been collected from the bottom of the tank! My 3 year old loved touching the shark skin, and like the star fish it did not really feel how I expected it to.

There is also an Antarctic Penguin Experience, which we actually didn’t see today but will make sure we look at that one next time we go as it does sound good!

london aquarium penguins

There is lots to see, and I would say this is one of the attractions that spans all age ranges, so is a great one for all the family and definitely something to keep in mind especially for a rainy day because it is all indoors! There are some offers at the moment on cereal for 2 for 1 for all merlin attractions, which does include the SEALIFE centres so it would be worth looking out for those if you are planning to go!

I have to say, all of the SEALIFE staff who were taking us round for our tour were so good. They engaged and chatted with the children and were really lovely and helpful.

Some lunch was provided for us all, and a chance for the children to play a bit and do some colouring in, and then it was off to the tube back home! I had to stop by the gift shop on the way out, because I felt sorry for my 4 year old missing out so I wanted to get him something small. They do have quite a few things with a reasonable price range, and I got him this “grow your own aquarium”

london aquarium gift shop

When you put water in it, the little fish are supposed to grow bigger! He has not done it yet, so we will see how it turns out!

On the tube, we went via Westminster. The centre is located in between Westminster and Waterloo, so you could use either. I’m not sure how Waterloo is but there are quite a few steps when you come out from Westminster to get onto the bridge, so just something to bear in mind if you are travelling with a buggy. There are lifts inside the station though, so it could be worse! And the reputation people give about Londoners on the tube being unfriendly is totally untrue in my experience cos I always get offers of help every time I take the buggy on the tube.

The boys fell fast asleep on the way back! They had a great time and were totally tired out!

For more details on the SEALIFE centre (London Aquarium) have a look through their website. There’s loads to see and really the pictures can’t do it justice so you will have to go yourselves and have a visit! 🙂

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