A few weeks ago, we were invited on a ‘Big Day Out with Legoland Discovery Centre Manchester and Sea Life Manchester.
I have to tell you, Ben was absolutely thrilled to be invited. He absolutely loves Lego, and had been asking to visit Lego Discovery again this summer. But when he found out that Cartoon Network were getting involved with Legoland Discovery? Well, he was even more excited.
We headed over on my birthday, and, due to timings, headed straight for the cafe in Lego Discovery. I bought two kids lunches for my boys, and to be honest, one would have fed them: with a generous-sized roll, a tube of Pringles, yoghurt and limitless drinks, they were both very happy.
After that, we headed over to the Cartoon Network room. I have to say, the main centre – especially the soft play – was packed as it was the middle of the summer holidays. But the Cartoon Network room was a bit of an oasis of calm in the craziness, and we went back there several times over the afternoon.
Cartoon Network had set up a room full of iPads, backdrops and stop-motion animation, allowing the children to create their own stop-motion animation film.
Ben (who is just five), got to grips with the technology straight away, and there was always a member of staff ready to help him out. It was fantastic having everything set up for him – the iPad was at the perfect angle, the lighting was all set up and there was even a handy background and clacker board.
He spent a good 20 minutes working on his first film. The staff member made sure he watched every child’s film and was really encouraging.
He didn’t even mind Samuel helpfully emptying the handy pots of Lego that were dotted around.
We went back a few times over the course of the afternoon so Ben could experiment with different characters and combinations.
The whole set up – although fairly small in size – was really well thought-out, and Ben really loved it. It wasn’t very well signed to be honest, and was tucked away in the corner which was perhaps why people hadn’t found it, but those who did find it stayed – like us.
After that, we headed over to Sea Life Centre. This is just next door to Legoland Discovery Centre Manchester, so it makes sense to do both.
We signed up to the Octonauts challenge. The kids were challenged to become Octo-glow explorers, and to complete the five challenges on the sheet. I was given a set of stickers for them both, and after each challenge, I had to complete the stickers.
Sea Life Manchester is lovely, and – although I hadn’t been for a couple of years – much bigger than I remembered. There is a really wide range of attractions, and everything is done with an environmental slant. The company clearly take their responsibility towards marine life seriously.
All the Octo-glow challenges taught us about different aspects of glow in the dark sea creatures – from the shapes they take to how they camouflage themselves.
Perhaps the most challenging thing about the tasks was actually finding them! The Sea Life Centre is very dark, in order to highlight the fish tanks, and it was tricky spotting them sometimes. We had to double back at least once.
That said, the boys both really enjoyed collecting their stickers and their final badge prize at the end. If you’re in Manchester or the Trafford Centre, it’s definitely worth a visit – and you can easily spend a couple of hours there.
I have found that photographs don’t work out very well at Sea Life, but I did vlog our day, which you can find on my YouTube channel.
The Cartoon Network event at Legoland Discovery Centre Manchester was on from Friday 4th August to Sunday 13th August. The Octonauts Adventure at Sea Life Manchester is running from 22nd July – 3rd September 2017. We were invited to review both events.