Our Octonauts Mission at Birmingham National Sea Life Centre

Octonauts and sea life centre logo

As Autumn finally took it’s hold the clan at Zena’s Suitcase headed of to Birmingham to meet up with Peso and Kwazii and find out what they were up to at the Sea Life Centre. We decided to drive as we had 2 kids and pushchairs in tow.  We were able to park in the NIA car park that was just a few minutes walk from the Centre.

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It’s fair to say that little Princess was very excited about her visit, and Daddy and I were interested to see how she’d react to being so close to firstly the sea life and secondly Peso and Kwazii.

We arrived early and the staff were friendly and very helpful, handing us our Mission Cards and sending us on our way.  The idea being that there were 9 questions dotted around the centre and you had to find the correct answers to complete your mission.

It wasn’t long before we bumped into Peso, rather aptly near the Penguin exhibit. Princess was overwhelmed, not knowing where to look first. She loved watching the penguins glide through the water AND enjoyed saying hello to Peso.  Her initial reaction was promising.

Hollybush Inn

She enjoyed going through the different exhibits, and I would recommend that you find out about the different talks being given at the centre to make the most of your visit.  We spent a lot of time looking at the different fish and sea creatures as this was the first time Princess had really seen anything like this.

jelly fish

My favourite exhibition by far was the jelly fish.  Lit with different colours to show you the definition of this sea creature and to create atmosphere was a great touch to the exhibit.  We all enjoyed watching them float around in their specially designed aquariums.


Of course, the other highlight was the sea tunnel, where the sharks and sea turtle live.  I was quite in orr at this point, so was little Princess.  Here she is in the lift on the way to the tunnel, not realising she is about to be eaten by a cunning shark 😉

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Soon after the sea tunnel, we arrived at the Octonauts meeting place for our photo opportunity.  Well, lets just say Princess was a little enthusiastic and went straight in for a big Octonaut hug.  It was priceless.  I think Peso was a little overwhelmed to say the least!

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Once we’d prized her away, we took a look at the photo’s we’d had taken on the way round (and yes we did buy some) and Princess had a quick play in the small soft play area whilst I headed off to change little Pudding.

What We Liked

A lovely way to introduce small children to sea life.

Varied exhibitions.

Meeting the Octonauts and getting a sticker to complete the mission.

Easy access from nearby car parks.

The penguins!

What We Didn’t Like

Take your time going round as the centre is quite small.

No cafe or designated rest area, but there are a few places to sit on the way round.  A cafe would be lovely with aquariums if space allowed.

There aren’t many toilet facilities and the baby change was shall we say compact and bijou!  I had to leave the pram outside so I could change the baby, and sadly there was no strap to secure her to the change table which needs to be fixed sooner rather than later.

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I would still recommend a visit if your little one, toddler or preschooler is an Octonauts fan and would like to see some really cool sea life.  It’s definitely worth considering if you’re looking for a day out or activity in Birmingham.

The centre does some amazing work for sea life conservation which you can find out about and support at the centre, but don’t expect your visit to last much more than a couple of hours tops.

We were provided with free entry to the Birmingham Sea Life Centre in exchange for this review.  All views are my own.

Zena Goldman

Zena Goldman is a UK based travel, family & lifestyle blogger who left her 9-5 job behind in the not-for-profit sector to follow her creative dreams and enjoy a more flexible family life. She began writing Zena’s Suitcase in 2011 and shares the holidays and adventures she goes on with (and without) her 2 young daughters. She wishes her son would join them more often but he’s carving out his own dreams now and enjoying university life. Since beginning Zena’s Suitcase she has worked with a number of brands and also has a regular monthly feature in the ASDA Good Living Magazine feature, ‘Ask The Expert’ where she shares helpful parenting tips. In 2018 she was also a finalist in the prestigious BIBs Awards for Social Media.

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6 Discussion to this post

  1. Looks like you all had a fab day. Love the photos. Not the toilet squeezing one though – id never get my double buggy in there!!
    Beth Twinderelmo recently posted…Sisterhood Q and AMy Profile

  2. Rachel says:

    She is so cute that shark’s about to bite her! hahaha!
    This place seems like a lot of fun! Too bad there weren’t enough place to rest though..

  3. That penguin piccy is amazing! I am glad you had fun. The toilet situation looks bad news. They did used to have a seating area but they got rid of it for the have your photo take area! Which is a bit silly. Sad I didn’t see you there x
    brummymummyof2 recently posted…My Life: The Insta-ShamMy Profile

  4. That picture in the toilet would have made me laugh if it wasn’t so ridiculous 🙂 Sounds like a good place for little ones who wouldn’t last much more than an hour or so somewhere. Your jellyfish photos are fab!
    Sara (@mumturnedmom) recently posted…Make: collage with autumn leavesMy Profile

  5. A S,Edinburgh says:

    This is so cute! What a lovely idea for helping kids get interested in the undersea world.

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