As we have Merlin cards, we decided to visit the Sealife Centre in Manchester last weekend, which is located at The Trafford Centre. We had visited it last year just after it had opened, and it was very busy. This visit was much quieter, and as such we were able to enjoy the different exhibits without getting herded along with the crowds.
We went on the Sunday morning and got there at 10.30am. The attraction opens at 10.00am and there was no queue to enter. When you first go in, there is the obligatory picture opportunity that you can purchase at the end in the shop. You then go into the first part of the attraction where a member of staff explains a little about the centre, and also talks about turtles. I found this was really good and even learnt something !! Who knew that the temperature of the sand determines what sex the turtles will be.
After the talk you are free to wander round at your own pace. There are further talks going on during the day, but we just enjoyed walking around by ourselves and looking at the fish. There is a small soft play area, which we stopped at for 10 minutes, but at 8 and 11 my two are getting too old for soft play now (gives a little cheer). At the end of the attraction, there was a craft area and a chance to make a badge which was free. You then of course exit into the shop.
Whilst this is quite a small Sealife centre, we enjoyed ourselves and the place was clean and the staff were friendly. We were probably in there for 90 minutes so it is not a full or even half day attraction. You can get a combined ticket to visit Legoland Discovery Centre which is next door but one, and this would make a great day out. We combined our visit with a look round the Trafford Centre and a meal.
If you planning on a visit, look out for bogof vouchers as these are readily available on the internet and through promotions in stores. As we have Merlin cards, we will definitely return. Oh and look out for Ernie the giant turtle !!