Thursday 30 May 2013

The New SEA LIFE Centre, Trafford Park, Manchester

We've been looking forward to the new SEA LIFE Centre in Manchester's Trafford Centre opening for a long while. We've followed their progress via their Facebook page with anticipation, and on our last two visits to Legoland Discovery Centre we've stopped and looked at the advertising boards excitedly.

SeaLife Trafford Centre Manchester Review

It was brilliant to find out that Blogs Up North had managed to secure a visit BEFORE it even opened to the general public, and during half term week too!

The Brick Castle On Tour
Six Children And Me - On Our Way
Legoland Sea Life Centre Barton Square Car Park
The impressive full wall of artwork that greets you in the Barton Square Car Park
When we arrived we were a little early, and it was lovely to get together four Izziwizzi Kids Toy Testers in one photo, including two who I have never met - Tami from Mummy Of Two and Zoe from My Mummy's World, plus Pippa from Red Rose Mummy

Manchester Bloggers

We were even joined by Alex Winters, the CBeebies presenter and his family, and if you ever get the chance to meet him then please do because he is an incredibly patient and lovely man, and he told me off for suggesting that boy no.3's curls need cutting!

Alex Winters Of CBeebies meet and greet

In the foyer, where you may have to wait for entry, are a map and a big tank to whet your appetite...

SEaLife Manchester foyer fish tank
A really impressive tank, and this is only the foyer!
Map showing the tanks and display areas in the SEA LIFE Centre, Trafford Park

After entering you immediately go through to a long room where a really accessible and fun talk is given about Turtles, their eggs and hatchlings. It's all done with fantastic lighting effects and was very impressive. The children are encouraged to join in and, when we asked him to tell Daddy about it tonight, even my 3 year old could explain how the city lights make the baby turtles go the wrong way looking for the sea!

After the show you enter an amazing round room with a tank running all the way around it. There is a huge shoal of fish which constantly swim through the water. It was stunning.

SEaLife Manchester huge circular fish tank aquarium
Collage of images SeaLife Manchester Trafford Centre
There are an array of different tanks, windows and tunnels

And even a talking turtle who will answer your questions

Unfortunately the soft play area wasn't quite ready for us but, if the Legoland Discovery Centre next door is anything to go by, it's certain to be a hit!

The walls are full of information and great artwork
Square Ray Tank aquarium SeaLife Manchester Trafford Centre
There is a huge square tank full of Rays....
Sea Horse SeaLife Manchester Trafford Centre

Touch Pool SeaLife Manchester Trafford Centre
And a fabulous Touch Pool where we looked at Hermit Crabs and Shore Crabs
Something to excite my youngest...
Conger Eel SeaLife Manchester Trafford Centre
....Conger Eels!
 The SEA LIFE Centre in Manchester have a special focus on rescued turtles and they have a collaboration with the Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece (Archelon)

 The SEA LIFE Centre was still in the final stages of preparation when we visited, but one of our children spotted something very exciting....

A Green Screen for special effects filming
The Sealife Centre, Manchester entry cost is £16.20 or £12 online per adult or child and combi tickets with the Legoland Discovery Centre are also available. It is open from 10am until 7pm daily, with last entry at 5pm.

Glass tunnel tank SeaLife Manchester Trafford Centre

Manchester SEA LIFE Centre will also be the first SEA LIFE Centre in Europe where you can experience SEATREK - with the use of a special dive suit with a waterproof helmet actually getting into the tank with all of the sea life!

"The SEA TREK experience will cost £60 per person (including admission to the attraction) and is available
to guests aged 8 and over.  The experience will last for approximately one hour with 10 minutes under the
water.  A maximum of five people can be in the tank at one time and they will be accompanied by support divers at all times.
All wet suit equipment is provided, guests just need their own swimming costume and towel.

I'm not certain it's for me, but I know a few people who'd jump at the chance - how about you?

Before we went back to the van we had to return to Cadwalladers 3 doors away for another ice cream. Today they were selling a child's cone in any flavour for only 50p! You can't ask for more really. The perfect end to a perfect afternoon.

We were given free preview entry to the Sealife Centre, Manchester in order to review.


  1. looks like a great day out! i love aquariums - so relaxing. didnt know alex from cbeebies was going to be there!!

    1. I didn't know who he was because I usually avoid CBeebies like the plague, but he was a lovely bloke. My teenage girls were in awe! :D

  2. wow your pictures come out really bright and colourful :)
    what a fab day it was!

    1. Thank you! I am delighted with the pictures, there are some real beauties - but then we had something gorgeous to photograph :)
      It was a great day!

  3. T'was a fab day hun and lovely to see you all again!! :) xx

  4. wow that looks amazing! I'm looking forward to that one later in the year!

    1. Oh definitely, you'll love it. My other half missed out because he was at work, so we'll be back fairly soon :)

  5. FAb post and so nice to meet you!

    1. Thank you hon! It was great to meet you too finally :D

  6. Looks like a fab place to visit. I'll need to go next time I'm visiting my family :)

    1. You probably should, you can get a reasonable joint ticket with the Legoland Discovery Centre too - something for everyone :D

  7. That looks wonderful - bigger than the local centre; next time we head up that way we'll have to visit.
    Winters is a doll too, glad he was nice to your curly one!

    1. It's actually not immense, but the layout means all the space is taken, so not much walking but loads to see :)

  8. Wow! It look amazing. Hope to visit them when we go manchester!

  9. Gorgeous pics Jen, I especially love the photos of the big tank. The big stone head really lends itself to some atmospheric photos, doesn't it? Lovely to see you all today, glad we got the chance to spend some time together.

    1. It was nice to actually see you at an event! :D
      I'm really delighted with the photo's, I couldn't have asked for more :)

  10. Looks like an amazing place to visit and like lots of fun was had too, really great photos!

    Oh and I want a 50p Ice cream :P

    1. I'll post you one! :P

      Thank you for the comments re. the photo's, I'm really proud of them and it means an awful lot coming from you :)


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