We have spent a lot of our weekends over the past few month finding Snowdogs around Brighton & Hove. It’s a sculpture trail to raise money and awareness for Martlets Hospice. And it’s been a lot of fun, taken us to new places across the city and to favourite haunts. One of the places that had a Snowdog outside was the Sea Life centre. And since ticking that dog off our list kid M has been asking if we could go there.
(Not the Snowdog outside the aquarium but one of the favourites we found on the trail)
We have had a couple of trips to the aquarium since living here. Mostly really good, although I think we all regret going on a very rainy Saturday at the end of August with a 2 week old baby and a toddler that didn’t really like crowded places… However, this time I chose to go on a Tuesday afternoon and take advantage of their Parent & Toddler ticket, which basically got my two kids and me in for less than a normal adult ticket (M is classed as a child so we’d have to pay for her usually, A is currently free as he is under 3). Plus we were pretty much the only people there, which is always a bonus!
Kid A was absolutely amazed by the whole thing. It’s probably the first time he has been when he could really take it all in properly. Kid M was in a bit of a difficult mood and basically wanted to whizz round the whole place (having been asking to go there for weeks!). We possibly could have been in and out in 20 minutes, however there were a few things that slowed us down.
There was a new Secrets of the Reef area that we hadn’t been to before, which had a lovely child sized walk through tunnel full of clown fish and other coral reef fish (lots of “it’s Nemo!” from M). The area had some lovely tanks of coral reef fish, the infamous octopus (which we couldn’t find) and lots of information dotted around about the conservation work they are doing in the Maldives. Sadly I didn’t get much of a chance to read this but it looked pretty interesting.
There was also the Seahorse Nursery, which had some curtains that were for pretending to hide among like baby seahorse in the reeds. My kids could have played in these for literally hours. So here I did get to check out the baby seahorses and pipe fish while they were doing that, which were pretty nice.
Kid M was also given a trail book and we had to find different stamping stations around the aquarium to complete it. The stations had facts and questions about the inhabitants of the nearby tanks, which were probably a bit advanced for M but she did enjoy getting the stamps and claiming a golden medal at the shop at the end (potentially saves you having to spend any money on additional shop purchases too, although of course we still bought a ridiculously overpriced tiny turtle that looks nothing like a real turtle!).
And finally there was a floor projection to highlight the dangers of rubbish in the ocean in the Conservation Cove area. The kids had to jump about on this stamping out the plastic bags and bottles that are in the sea. M loved doing this and A spent ages just trying to catch the fish on there. So basically the interactive areas, unsurprisingly, held their attention for longer than the fish. Although the fish were pretty cool too (well definitely for me anyway!). All in all it was a fun afternoon, didn’t cost too much and was a bit educational too. Win, win, win in my book. Plus when we came out Brighton Pier looked like this:
And it doesn’t get much better than that.