A Birthday Day Out / Blue Reef Aquarium Review

Blue reef aquarium

At the weekend, our young Phoebe turned one! This brought with it a mix of emotions from excitement to sadness. That sounds a bit dramatic but that was honestly how I felt. How is it possible that a whole year ago she was born?! (A lot happens and can change in a year but at the same time it goes by far too quickly.) It is also worth mentioning, Steve’s Grandma also turned ninety last week. So we celebrated a first birthday as well as a ninetieth!

first birthday and ninetieth birthday

Instead of having a party, we decided to have a family day out to the Blue Reef Aquarium, Tynemouth. What else can you do (that doesn’t involve a soft play) in November? It ended up being an expensive day out as we came away with a parking ticket, do’h! Nevertheless, fun was had by all and it was nice doing something a bit more low key for a change.

It hadn’t long been Phoebe’s Christening   day so we felt like we’d already had a celebration for her. Not that you can ever have too many of those! A little family day out was all we wanted. There will be plenty of time when she is older for parties and lots of fuss. I’m preparing myself for the time she asks for an extravagant party with lots of friends!

Our nearest aquarium is Tynemouth. We’ve been a few times before but this was the first time where Charlie was really excited and told us about all the different fish. He loved the experience and really took it all in. Phoebe was of course just happy being with us all but did seem to enjoy looking at the strange creatures living in water. What must she have thought of them?

First birthday

Blue reef aquarium

I remember Charlie’s first trip to an aquarium was when we were on holiday in Loch Awe. We took him to the Oban Sealife Centre. He was five months old and hated that holiday. The idea of visiting the aquarium was to try to cheer us all up. It did a bit but of course Charlie being so young was none the wiser to our good intentions. We weren’t there for very long. This time was different. Days out like that become more enjoyable as the children get a bit older.

So what did we think of the Blue Reef Aquarium?

Very pricey, cold but the kids enjoyed it.

It cost us £29.00 for two adults and one junior. (Under 3’s are free). We were in and out in just over an hour and that included the boys watching a seal talk. I don’t mean to sound ungrateful as like I said, the children really enjoyed it. Just from an adults point of view, it was a little over priced. The biggest display is the Otter encounter but unfortunately, Otters like to nap a lot. (I learnt that when we were there!) This meant we just walked through without even a glimpse of a whisker.

The boys enjoyed the seal talk but unfortunately, with it being November, they did find it very cold. This is obviously no fault of the Aquarium.  The trouble was the whole Aquarium was freezing. Maybe this was because it needed to be for the fish? I’m not sure.

I just feel that nowadays, you do expect a bit more for your money. A few more interactive activities for children, for example. A touch pool or something similar would have been great for curious young minds. One thing we did appreciate was the staff’s knowledge of the animals and their dedication to their work.

Has anyone else been and thought the same? Or am I just being a bit critical?

Phoebe had a great first birthday and once I was over the emotion, it was a lovely day. We had family pop in that evening to share her birthday cake and sing Happy Birthday. Unfortunately my Dad couldn’t make it as he was in hospital recovering from an operation, but don’t worry, he still got cake.

Happy 1st Birthday Phoebe!

First birthday

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