Exploring Bristol Aquarium
We were lucky to have been gifted tickets to Bristol Aquarium..
Last week we had the pleasure of visiting Bristol’s Aquarium. Nancy’s favourite television programme is The Octonauts on CBeebies so we knew she would love to see some of fish from the programme in real life.
The aquarium is based in the centre of Bristol and we parked in the nearby Millennium Car Park as it was only a two minute walk. This was ideal for us as Nancy is in the awkward phase of not wanting a pushchair but also not wanted to walk too far. The Harbourside is beautiful and there were lots of architectural delights to see before we went inside.
I haven’t visited the aquarium in 20 years but it was definitely how I remembered with a modernised touch. As you enter the reception is a large open space perfect for large families and those with pushchairs. There are lots of toilets, which if you have a three year old like me you know that’s essential. There was also ample seating throughout with a small soft play area. Before we went inside the Aquarium Nancy was happily occupied with the sea themed ride on toys, including the submarine. This is perfect if you have multiple children to sort out with toilet trips!
You are giving a family ticket upon arrival which you scan before entering the aquarium. You then walk through a number of doors, with some fascinating and wonderful behind each. What is great about the ticket is you can use it throughout the day. So if you wanted to have a look around and then have lunch before revisiting you are able to do so. Nancy adored being able to see a stingray right up close and even got a good view of his mouth. There were also lobsters, poisonous dart frogs and sea horses; all animals she had seen on Octonauts on and Blue Planet but finally she could see them up close. There was also a coral reef which was really quite large for an aquarium and fascinating to try and spot the hiding fish. Personally I love watching jellyfish, I find it so therapeutic. There were also some tropical planets, including a pineapple. Again although it sounds so simple for Nancy seeing how a pineapple grows is a great learning activity. One thing I really loved about the Aquarium is how it is catered for families. It is pushchair friendly and there are lots of seating areas with nearby bins just incase you encounter a hangry toddler.
Throughout the aquarium there were information cards for all of the fish, which is informative and a great learning tool for children especially those a bit older than Nancy. For me it was great because when Nancy said ‘mummy what’s that fish’ I was quickly able to look and tell her. We really enjoyed watching the piranhas and the aquarium even have a slot where you can feed the them! During the week there a number of interactive activities for children of all ages, that looks fascinating. In addition, you can find lots of baby species, such as baby sea horses. This again is a great interactive learning tool for youngsters and something which we all enjoyed.
The cafe was great with coffee and a menu that would suit all appetites. The major plus for me was the play area, it allows parents to enjoy a hot cup of coffee while their little ones are entertained. There was also a wonderful gift shop with a bundle of toys for children to remember their special trip to the aquarium.
We had the best time and we can’t wait to visit again!