Meeting Santa at The National Sea Life Centre

Over the weekend we took the kids to the National Sea Life Centre Birmingham to meet the man himself, Santa Claus!

It’s fair to say that they were really, really looking forward to it. We had a brilliant time at the Sea Life Centre last time that we visited, for their Finding Dory event over the summer, and then to top it off, they were getting to have a little chat with Santa.

Now going into Birmingham in December can be a little chaotic, but we had no problems. I’d suggest going early, if possible, to avoid too much traffic and to ensure parking’s easy. We parked in The Mailbox as we all like to stroll down by the canal and it’s an easy route to the Sea Life Centre. We got there around quarter to eleven and were staright in without having to queue and though it was busy in there, it didn’t feel overcrowded and we got to see everything.





Children are given a ‘Dive Log Book’ to complete as they go around, as we shared in our last blog post, and despite having done this last time, they loved doing it again. I think there’s something really exciting about using those stamping stations, isn’t there?! During the day there are plenty of educational talks on, from ‘Playful Penguins – Penguin Ice Adventure’ to ‘Out’ray’geous Rays – Bay of Rays’, and there are staff on hand in most areas to answer any questions. There are also facts and activities scattered around in every area that Boo loved reading and sharing with Little Man.

We really enjoyed the Bay of Rays, watching the penguins diving and swimming and the 360° Ocean Tunnel is truly spectacular. We had sharks swimming over and beneath us, and the giant turtle was wonderful to see. I find the jellyfish to be utterly fascinating and so calming, I hated leaving that section!

Having had a good look around, Little Man was asking and asking to find Santa. And so we did…


They were thrilled! They ensured that they each told him what they’d like, with Boo helping to explain exactly which toy Little Man wanted. They then received a little gift each, which they are now treasuring.

‘Meet Santa’ is included in your standard entry price, which I think is great as it’s often an extra charge to see him at other attractions. There’s a grotto set up at the end of the trail, just before the soft play section (also, a hit!), and it was simply a case of waiting in line to see him there. When we went, there was only one family ahead of us so it was a very short wait, which made a lovely change as we have been known to queue for Santa for an hour before. Granted, you don’t get long with him as it was quite a brief chat and gift-giving, but the kids were still delighted and I was so happy that it was all so slick! The other big plus for seeing him there is that it’s indoors, so you know you’ll have a good time whatever the weather. We certainly did!

What do you think? Have your children gone along to meet Santa yet this year?

Disclosure: We received entry FOC for the purposes of this post

Tried and Tested

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24 thoughts on “Meeting Santa at The National Sea Life Centre”

  1. Sounds like it was a great day out. I love that final photo of Boo and Little Man with Father Christmas and the photo of the jellyfish – I can imagine it’s very calming just to stand and watch them. Love the sound of the 360′ tunnel too. #TriedTested

  2. It looks like you had a lovely day out. It’s good that meeting Santa is included in the entry fee most places charge extra. We are off to meet the big man on Saturday morning, it’s a surprise for Daisy’s birthday.

  3. Oh wow what a fabulous and unusual place to see Father Christmas! We went to the Seal Life Centre in Norfolk in the summer and the girls loved it. We have seen him a couple of times at school / church fetes but have also booked to see him at a garden centre near us one night after school next week. Fingers crossed it’s a good experience especially as my 5 y/o is getting a bit suspicious about who is the real one or not!

  4. What a good idea to have a Santa inside the Sea Life Centre, and that it’s part of the entry fee. You’re right, sometimes that can be such a big added expense. We’ve been here once in the summer, and the Jelly Fish are always a big hit!
    I think it’s cute that your Boo helped explain what her brother wanted to Santa.

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