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27.9.14

Goodbye Summer | Sealife Centre Great Yarmouth

When I was little there was always one place we would go if we wanted a family day out but the weather was rubbish, and that was the Sea Life Centre in Great Yarmouth.
My brother and I would enjoy being able to touch the Rays (which you can't do now), exploring the touch pool and just watching the sharks and turtles swimming in the large tank, hoping the glass wouldn't smash and fall on us.

Taking my children there was exciting, reliving the memories I made when I was little.
In the Summer holidays, when my family were visiting from Somerset, we decided to go to the Sea Life Centre for the day. The weather was really windy so a walk along the seafront or a trip to the Pleasure Beach wasn't really on the cards but the Sea Life Centre was the perfect place to go.
It was really busy, and the queue was going out of the door. I suppose the thing about an undercover attraction is that on a day where the weather is quite poor everyone will have the same idea.
Still we didn't have to queue for too long and once my Aunty had paid we made our way to the entrance which lead to the tanks.
We were hit by another queue and did feel quite disappointed that we were held up due to a photography opportunity the Sea Life Centre had for families. You didn't have to do it but it was basically a green screen which you sit in front of and have your photo taken, at the end when you've seen all the tanks you go and view your photo and pay for it if you like it. This wasn't something we were interested in but there was no way to get passed because the photo shoot area completely blocked the entrance.
After 15 minutes of waiting around I was feeling quite frustrated and as the tape was moved across for the next family to sit down I ushered my family through, much to the annoyance of the photographer, and we were able to finally enjoy the attraction.

It was very busy, and it did feel quite closed in because of this. We just paired up and took our time going through. Because it's obviously not well lit it is easy to lose the other people you are with so it is a good idea to take your time and to pair up as we did.
The boys were really interested in the various tanks. We liked the variety of tanks, and how they are all decorated to suit each type of fish inside and to make each enclosure exciting. The tanks are well lit so you can see the fish clearly. We also liked the information boards next to each tank.

There are enough tanks and variety of Sealife that you can be in there for quite a while. There are various talks and feeds throughout the day. It was so busy that we weren't able to make any of the talks. We were hoping to get to the shark talk but despite sitting there for a while no one turned up and we didn't quite know if we were sitting in the wrong place or if the talk had been cancelled.

The touch pool was also incredibly busy, and it was an absolute free for all. I couldn't help but to feel frustrated at a lack of organisation here, especially as I watched Harry get pushed and squashed as other children were eager to touch the starfish. Once I could get to him after we were seperated, and stand my ground enough for him to get a chance to touch the starfish he then got upset as he wasn't given a medal, like all the other children (if you touch the starfish you are given a medal for being brave) I had to ask a couple of times if he could have one and eventually he was given one. Due to the madness of this we didn't make it round to the other touch pool.
It was a real shame as I felt this was one thing that I really enjoyed as a child and I'm sad that my boys didn't get the chance to make the same memories as me.

We did like that the boys were given an information sheet to take around with them to collect stamps. I think that sheets like this are great to get children involved and it makes them more aware of the varieties of species and the different tanks in the Centre.

I think when we visit again we would definitely go when it's likely to be less busy so we can stay longer and enjoy ourselves and the attraction a lot more.

We were given complimentary tickets for the Sealife Centre Great Yarmouth.