Activities Reviews Things to do

A visit to Sea Life: London Aquarium

The Young Londoner pays Sea Life: London Aquarium a visit at the end of August 2019.

Sea Life: London has over three thousand species of sea animals and plants on display at their central London location on the Southbank of the river. A lot of their creatures are on the endangered list and for many of us (unless you’re a Marine Biologist) it is the only opportunity to get close to these amazing animals. 

The layout of the aquarium is very well thought out with different zones representing different areas of the planet. The Rainforest Adventure had us braving the bugs and get close to the creepie crawlies (the toddler loves them but this writer quivers at the thought of a spider!) we learnt about crocodiles and saw the piranhas.

 The Polar Adventure took us to the North and South Poles, we met the penguins, took a dive into the icy water with Artie the animated Polar Bear, and spider crabs with their very long limbs. We also had a go on the hurricane machines ‘windy mummy’ was the toddler’s impression of this. They are pretty intense.

Coral Kingdom gives little people and their grown ups the chance to get close and personal with clown fish (hello Finding Nemo) and to have a go at weaving through the large coral playspace. As it was a very busy day we had to be mindful that other children may want a go, otherwise we could have spent quite a while playing here.

Our favourites were the Jellyfish. We could have spent hours watching their alien like forms move through the tanks and the colourful lights make them even more hypnotic. This was closely followed by the sharks where the toddler treated London visitors to his rendition of baby shark (do do doo doo do do). Lucky he is small and can squeeze through crowds of people as we would have had to wait quite a while here – the sharks seemed a favourite with everyone!

Sea Life often put on seasonal events for visitors, at the time of writing in early September 2019 they have their upcoming Ascarium where you can celebrate all things Halloween alongside the sharks and piranha. Perhaps cauldrons amongst the coral and carved pumpkins with Polar Bears – it’s bound to be great fun for little ones.

The toddler loved the day – but for this writer the whole experience seemed like a melancholic metaphor for where we are at in the world; overcrowded, overheated and needing pictures for our Instagram feed. Perhaps returning outside the Summer school holidays would be a good idea.

As well as an educationally fun day out, Sea life also does a lot for the environment like the SEA LIFE TRUST Beluga Whale Sanctuary created in partnership with Whale and Dolphin Conservation (WDC) will help to encourage the rehabilitation of more captive whales into natural environments in the future, and one day bring an end to whale and dolphin entertainment shows. Two female beluga whales, Little Grey and Little White became the first residents in June 2019 and you can nosey on them from Sea Life in London via some very clever technology and 3d imaging. Good for the planet and entertainment for the masses.

Sea Life: London Aquarium is located on the Southbank and tickets start at £34 per person. More info and bookings here.

Please follow us on Twitter or Instagram for other great ideas of things to do in London with children.