Thursday, 20 June 2013

Sealife Centre at The Trafford Centre

We have just got home from a couple of fab hours at the new sealife centre that has opened in the Trafford Centre next to Legoland.
We have been to the sealife centre at Blackpool, and whenever we go to Alton Towers, we always pop into the aquarium there.

When you arrive there, you have your picture taken. We were all sat down with a green wall behind us, arms in the air, shouting "shark". You can then view the picture in the gift shop at the end and purchase it if you would like to.

After this you go into a small, dark room, where there is a short presentation about turtles, using a light show, lasers and a globe with a film of turtles in.

The mummy turtle.
Watching the turtle show.
That was amazing. It was just long enough to give you some important facts and information about turtles but not too long that little ones are restless and want to move on. The glowy lights are brilliant at mimicing baby turtles and the mummy turtle is very realistic, so much so the Megan enquired as to whether it was real!

Megan explaining to Ben.
After the show you are free to wander around and the first room we went to was a round room with lots of fish swimming around the outside.

The room of fish!
The centre follows a pathway, taking in lots of different fish displays, including, sea horses, turtles and the big turtle, 'Ernie', jelly fish to name a few.
Each display has an interactive information screen next to it, which tells you all about the fish, habitat, food, community etc. Megan really enjoyed reading these and kept providing us with titbits of information about the different sea creatures.

Happy faces.

Children are kept busy too as when they enter the centre they are provided with 'passports' and they have to find 9 information boards and stamp their passports as they go around to receive a badge on completion. There information boards have snippets of information about how you can help to protect sea life, such as not dropping litter as it can harm sea creatures to what transport helps to protect sea creatures the most (cycling).

Jelly fish!
There is an underwater tunnel where you can watch lots of different types of fish, including rays, sharks and of course, Ernie! We spent a lot of time in here and kept popping back to see Ernie.

Ernie!
The Underwater Tunnel.
In the tunnel
There is a viewing window too, where we can see these same fish from a different angle.

The viewing window.
Throughout the day there are talks at various different parts of the centre on a range of topics:

Shipwreck - about the life of the octopus and clown fish.
Turtle World - find out about Ernie, the resident Green Sea Turtle.
Ocean Talk - discover sharks, rays and tropical fish.
Sea Trek and Breed, Rescue and Protect - conservation work at Manchester Sealife Centre.
Ray Talk - find out about the 3 different types of ray.
Turtle Tea Time - watch Ernie having his tea!
Shark Talk/Feed - tea time for the sharks and tropical fish.

There is also a small children's soft play area, so the kids can let off steam. This is located next to the toilets so it provided a great opportunity to stop for a short break.

One of the sharks.

Towards the end of the centre there is a rock pool that gives you the chance to get hands on with some of the creatures. Today there were crabs in there and we had a chance to touch them and learnt how to see whether they are male or female!

The Hermit Crabs.
We saw hermit crabs and as there were small there was a camera in the water to project the pictures onto a tv screen for clearer viewing.
At the end, there was a seating area and screen that showed lots of clips of turtles and other sea creatures and information on where they live and breeding projects.

Finding out about turtles.
We had a look around the gift shop, which had a variety of stuffed toys, little trinkets and sweets.
It was a lovely visit for us all, which we all enjoyed.
The one thing that surprised me was that I had imagined it would be bigger, but it still had a huge amount to offer and would be a great place for you to visit with children for a day out.















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