This weekend we headed into London to experience one of the wonderful prizes which can be won with Weetabix.
Weetabix are one of the official sponsors of Comic Relief and have released a special edition strawberry Weebabix. New packaging has been produced for the occasion and 5p from every one of these packets (not just the strawberry version, this extends to the whole Weetabix range) goes to Comic relief. These new packs also are the key to some wonderful prizes – special days out are up for grabs over 12 weeks by ‘picking your nose’
Each red nose relates to a separate prize. The prize we trailed was a day out at our local SeaLife Centre, with return travel paid and a behind the scenes tour.
With our local Sealife Centre being London we headed there on Saturday, we actually decided that with delays and planned engineering works on our local train line we would drive to Greenwich and park at the 02 and take the kids on the Greenwich ferry and head to the Sealife Centre on a boat.
This was the children’s first time on a boat and they were so well behaved and they loved it. This was such an amazing and easy way for us to get into London and we have now decided that it is far easy for us to do this in future than to manage the tubes with over tired children and a buggy.
Departing the ferry just outside the London Eye was perfect as the SeaLife Centre is a 2 minute walk away. The children were very excited. Tickets for the SeaLife Centre London are timed ones due to it being a very popular attraction. Our tickets were for 12-4pm with our behind the scenes tour being 1.30-2.30pm.
We arrived a little early to collect our tickets and we told where to head for the tour later on.
The layout of the SeaLife Centre London is a one-way system, you can move as quickly or as slowly through the areas but it’s best to keep with the flow of the traffic as it does get very busy, especially at weekends and in the holidays.
At the start you all have your pictures taken as a family, posing for the cameras – these photo’s are available to purchase at the end of your day in the gift shop, these pictures cause a delay getting in however we were left queuing on the glass walk way over the sharks tank which the children loved, although Emmy did find the glass flooring a little daunting at first.
Once inside we got Harry out of his buggy and let the children explore until their hearts were content. With tanks at all levels it was easy for even Harry to get up close with the fish and to enjoy the day, from a parental point of view this is great at it does give you a backache having to lift them up to see at other attractions.
I remember visiting as a child myself and being able to touch the Rays, this is no longer allowed however the kids were fascinated by them and spent ages just watching them swim about.
This was the area our tour was to start however it was also toward the start of the aquarium and we reached it well ahead of time so we carried on with the rest of the centre to return again at the start of the tour.
We got up close and personal with a starfish, with both Emmy and Harry being able to stroke one – they really loved this experience, one they have done before but they are always happy to repeat.
It was drawing close to our tour time so we whizzed through the rest of the Sealife Centre as to get back to the tour entrance it involved leaving the Centre and going back through the entrance again, it took a little while but we still make it in time.
There were 4 families booked into the behind the scenes tour so we were split into 2 groups to make it a very small and intimate tour. Each tour guide started from different ends so as not to disturb the other group. With only 2 families (8 people) it was very easy to hear what was being said and to ask questions whenever we wanted to.
We were taken into the quarantine area where the new arrivals are kept to ensure they are healthy before being put in with the existing fish, this is also where the Starfish resting area is – there are lots of tanks of starfish with a couple in each tank, these are rotated through out the day so each starfish only ‘works’ for up to 3 hours a day, then comes back into the resting area for a few days rest – it must be hard being touched by so many hands all day every day – they definitely need a good rest. It also is where there recovery tanks are – Starfish can regenerate, so if the loose a leg it will grow back again – we saw many here in different states of recovery, some with 3 legs, some with 4.
The behind the scenes tour was fascinating, you could ask any questions you wanted and it was a great chance to see things you would otherwise have missed – I was fascinated by seeing the Seahorse breeding tanks, with the new babies only around the size of an eyelash, and the Jellyfish from babies all the way up to fully grown.
Emmy and Harry got to hold a sharks tooth and touch the skin of a lobster and we learnt all about what the different fish and animals in the Sealife Centre ate, from the Penguins to the Sharks and all in between.
This tour is aimed for slightly older children and Harry tried to run amok however our guide was fantastic with the kids and help their attention very well by involving them and giving them some of the vegetables to hold while we were discussing foods etc.
We all had a wonderful day out, and the children are already asking when they will be able to go back again.
Thankfully this year we have our Merlin Passes so we will now be able to come back as often as we like.
This was just one of the days out that Weetabix are giving away, to find out about the others you can visit their website Pickyournose.weetabix.com/campaign
“This Prize Package is for 1 adult aged 18 or over and 1 child under 16 includes: Return travel within mainland UK to winner’s nearest aquarium. Aquarium entry. Exclusive experience at your aquarium such as a behind-the-scenes tour, treasure hunt, or feeding time experience! * Experiences will vary depending on aquarium.”
After our day out the kids were exhausted so it was great to just jump back on the boat again where they could sit and relax in the warm until we got back to the 02, we then headed inside for a Birthday meal for Emmy, who is 5 on Wednesday, she was adamant she wanted Macaroni cheese (her favourite), we settled down to enjoy our meal in Byron Burger, Harry had a snooze and fun was had by all!
|Pre-birthday treat – How can she be 5 next week?|