Monday 15 February 2016

The Ordinary Moments / Living Arrows #7/52 - family days out to Sea Life Centre Birmingham and the Dinosaur Zoo at Town Hall

We're all animal lovers in our house and it wouldn't surprise me if Ethan grew up to be a vet or a zoo keeper or a lion tamer when he's older.

He LOVES animals.

His favourites change, although dinosaurs are always on topic, so when we were told about Ancient Oceans at the Sea Life Centre, where Ethan could become a dinosaur detective for the day, we couldn't wait.

We're big fans of the Sea Life Centre in Birmingham and there's always more to explore or something new to see and learn. That's what's so great about it; they're continuously investing in new features or different themed challenges. Ethan's almost three and every time he has been, he has gained more and more from his visits so we'll continue to come back again and again to feed his natural curiosity of the natural world.

Ancient Oceans - on over half term, until 21st February - is all about teaching visitors about the connections between sharks and other sea creatures with prehistoric relatives. There's informative displays throughout the centre as you go around, and young adventurers get a challenge sheet where they have to look for dinosaur fossils, receiving a Dinosaur Detective certificate and medal at the end for finding them all.

Penguins at Sea Life Centre Birmingham - To Become Mum

The penguins, which you see up close when you first arrive and again before you exit, are my favourite feature. They're such beautiful animals, full of personality, and I felt like we got to see them up close more than ever before.

Penguins at Sea Life Centre Birmingham - To Become Mum

They were definitely up for having their photo taken, coming up to see us when we arrived, then swimming in formation for us when we got down to the lower viewing level.

Penguins at Sea Life Centre Birmingham - To Become Mum

I was fascinated by them - noticing that they now have coloured bands on their wings so you can see what their name is and how they old are on a chart nearby - and they seemed equally fascinated by us.

Penguins at Sea Life Centre Birmingham - To Become Mum

Ethan led the way around, squealing at the sharks, running through the Nemo (clown fish) tunnel, pointing out the starfish and excited to go through the sea tunnel (although Molokai, the giant turtle, was hiding from us!).

Penguins at Sea Life Centre Birmingham - To Become Mum

There's also a dinosaur dig at the activity point - which I think hubs, who fancies himself as an archaeologist or wannabe Indiana Jones, particularly enjoyed - and we stopped to watch the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea 4D adventure too.

Penguins at Sea Life Centre Birmingham - To Become Mum

This time, it really seemed like there was a lot more to see than ever before and all the animals were on top form too - especially the otters, who made us laugh as they were begging for food when we came by from the keeper!

The Ancient Oceans themed week is a great idea and a simple way of getting little ones to really take in everything they see and Ethan had great fun walking around with his cardboard sea life magnifying glass.

Highly recommended for half term, or any time as it's a great place to visit for a couple of hours (the soft play at the end is a good way to wear your children out as we discovered!).

On Sunday, after breakfast in bed, we then went to meet some real prehistoric creatures. The Town Hall had a Dinosaur Zoo Live event on for the weekend, where dinosaur puppets and models were brought to life by handlers / keepers on stage, with the chance with little ones to see them up close and even pet them too at the end.

It was a really fun show and all the children there seemed to be very excited. Our own dino explorer thought it was great and it was another lovely weekend (save for our head colds) to remember.

We spent Sunday afternoon, wrapped in blankets on the sofa, little man in need of regular cuddles and in the end, Calpol. We watched some of his favourite films and just enjoyed being snuggled at home.



  1. Fab photos, we really enjoyed the Sea Life Centre too :) xx

  2. It sounds like you had a great time. I absolutely love penguins they are definitely my favourite. Weirdly my eldest girl isn't that into animals, I have no idea why cause I love them. When we end up going to the zoo she always wants to find the park! She loves dinosaurs though! x

  3. I am not a big animal lover but I do love penguins, we are not far from Chester Zoo and I love going to see them. Sounds like you all had a lovely time x


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