My family and I recently visited SEA LIFE Manchester for a family day out. It was our first visit to the Manchester venue, although we have visited SEA LIFE in other UK towns throughout the years. As always, it did not disappoint. I was very pleased to find that SEA LIFE Manchester is supporting turtle conservation both in the wild and in captivity. Those little critters have always had a soft spot in my heart!
SEA LIFE Manchester has been improved and modernised so that they now boast some very cool interactive features. The first attraction we saw was a holographic, and very realistic, female sea turtle laying her eggs on a beach. The SEA LIFE ranger guide who introduced us gave some very interesting facts and information about turtles in the wild, and we loved the visual display. You have to see it for yourself, I could not do it justice with my camera.
Another fascinating feature for me was the assortment of glass bubbles and walk-through tanks. Now, I have seen the tanks where children can crawl through tunnels in other SEA LIFE centres, but one of the tanks near the beginning of the attraction was very interesting indeed. As you approached, it looked like the fish were sort of flying, or hovering, in the air. It was only as we got closer that we realised it was a special kind of tank that protruded out in a sphere. Again, you have to see it.
Essentially, there is a lot to see and do at SEA LIFE Manchester. We walked around in about two hours, although I could have happily stayed longer if the children had allowed me to stop and read the information boards. There are interactive games that children can play, activities to get involved with, and we even got to meet Nala the rescue snake, with her handler. We stroked her skin and learned a bit about her and her rescued companion. We saw interesting fossils and were fascinated by the Rock Pool room, all part of the interactive Ranger Day experience that families can enjoy at SEA LIFE Manchester.
On a more practical note, SEA LIFE Manchester is designed to be family friendly. You can walk round with pushchairs and wheelchairs very easily, and the toilet facilities are spacious and accessible. There is a very nice soft play area which is enclosed and secure, and we could sit in front of the huge feature fish tank to watch the animals while our children played for a while. There is no café inside the centre, but there are plenty of eateries within walking distance, since it is situated in the Trafford Centre complex, and there are vending machines next to the soft play. All in all, SEA LIFE Manchester makes for a nice, entertaining, educational family day out.
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