With a month to the start of the Christmas holidays are you looking for things to do in Yorkshire? Perhaps a trip to York's Chocolate Story or the Jorvik Centre? Maybe grab a MTB Bike or Go Ape adventure at Dalby Forest? Or you could consider an educational yet fun visit for kids at the impressive 'The Deep' aquarium in Hull.
We've been pretty fortunate to see some special places across Europe on our Roadschooling Adventures, but it's still the opportunity to further their love for animals and their welfare that really inspires our girls. Be it the chance to swim with the special sea lions who provide animal therapy in Rio Safari in Spain, or to see how an animal welfare charity works in the UK at Bransby Horses....
Or even to walk across a shark tank at the brilliant Den Blaa Planet Aquarium in Copenghagen in Denmark. Each have led to huge smiles across their faces, and 'The Deep' in Hull proved to be just as successful.... We'd heard before visiting Hull, the European City of Culture for 2017, that no visit would be complete without going to the Deep – one of the UK’s most spectacular aquariums, with more than 3,500 fish and stunning marine life.
And it's true, it's a truly innovative, modern and fully interactive aquarium that guides you through tropical waters to polar waters and to the very depths of the ocean's floor
The Deep overlooks the iconic Humber Bridge and features a family-friendly design inside, with dozens of nooks and viewpoints to keep families wandering endlessly without ever needing to see the same thing twice. In terms of sealife you’ll find plenty here. Including the turtles, penguins, stingrays, sawfish, and hundreds of fish (including sharks!)
But what perhaps set it's apart from our recent Sealife Centre visit to Scarborough, is the opportunity to enjoy the divers feeding sharks/stingrays by hand within their gigantic tanks (each Monday, Wednesday & Fridays)
The clever design around the Endless Oceans clearly takes children's need into consideration.... easy walkways are well laid out allowing easily viewable areas to see into the main tank
Much like most modern forward thinking aquariums, The Deep is keen to inform visitors about the world’s oceans and the challenges they face and has a charitable arm to to help sustain/preserve the oceans.
A visit to The Deep should suit almost all ages too, as we saw plenty of smaller toddlers running around in the large open spaces and pressing their faces against the glass to look at the fish, whereas our kids really enjoyed the interactive learning zones and reading up on the sea creatures.... especially the venomous ones!
Do your kids love to explore, touch and feel things like ours do? Then like Libby, they'll probably love the 'Heads Up' Bubble windows into the coral reef tank, or the chance to touch a starfish at 'Dylan's Discovery Corner'. Whilst it's easy to see why Lottie fell in love with the 'The Lagoon of Light' area with it's underwater reef at the tropical lagoon, teeming with hundreds of colourful fish.
The Deep is located close to Hull's City Centre and costs £41 (family of 4). Special offers are available online or just use your York Pass.
Plus we get the feeling that the impressive feeding displays and clever use of informative walkway pods across the aquarium will be a constant source of conversation over the next few days!
It's clearly had an impact, as we've been delighted in the hours after, to have already heard them discussing their favourite memories..... “Remember that sawfish gliding over the turtle?” or "Did you see the diver feed that shark and stingray?" or "When we can return again Mummy?"
In terms of those worried about accessibility or if you have a pushchair? No problem. They have a useful elevator that covers all three levels of the attraction (in fact it even has a bubble lift through the giant tank with the sharks!) Plus you'll love the quality of the food in the well priced cafe overlooking the Humber Estuary.... a family meal out for under £25 was a bargain not to miss!
What did we love the most? We love the fact that The Deep try to go further than simply showcasing sharks, clownfish and turtles.. Every wall seems to have clear, easy to follow information boards, interactive exhibits or info-screens that give a wealth of detail that our girls could happily digest and ask questions about afterwards.
Which parts would we particularly recommend? For us the Lagoon scatter feeds, Cool Seas and Slime were obvious highlights but we were equally impressed that The Deep have created initiatives like 'Tranquil Tuesday' to help those wanting a quieter experience.
It really does seem like an aquarium created with the customer in mind....... and as an entrance ticket is valid for a year of 'revisits', we'll certainly be back to see more later in the year....
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