Stepping into the Sea Life Centre be prepared for a dive. Do not worry we do not mean into the Irish Sea, rather into the fascinating world of deep oceans and far away seas.
An aquatic zoo in Bray has 30 displays that are home to over a 1,000 creatures including Black Tip Reef Sharks, Octopus, Seahorses, Stingrays and Red-Bellied Piranha. Here you will get a chance to find a real life Nemo (clown fish) and Dory (Royal Blue Tang fish) from the famous cartoon. The centre is also home to the rescued turtles from the UK, many have been abandoned by their owners once they reached adulthood. Nanny Village has learnt that even small to medium size turtles can live for 20 to 30 years! The Bray aquarium is a fantastic place to learn more about the oceans and their inhabitants.
The Sea Life Centre is one big educational experience, with multiple interactive screens and boards informing visitors about the specifics of a given specie, from their habits to their size and the food they like. A real treasure are the aquarium stuff, who can be found walking around the exhibition floor or next to one of the displays. Their passion and wealth of knowledge is really outstanding. The staff will happily answer your questions and will eagerly tell you about the aquatic zoo’s real characters. Nanny Village never realised a stingray, Ali in this case, could have so much personality. We won’t say any more, you will just have to visit the centre to find out more.
Nanny Village recommends coming here in the morning to beat the crowds and to witness the fish at their ‘best’. Most of the creatures get fed around mid-day so a good hour or so before they are eagerly swimming around anticipating to be fed. This makes them easy to spot! You may also like to join a feeding demonstration or may prefer to hold a crab or a starfish at the Interactive Rockpool. Once you are done exploring the aquarium head to the kid’s soft play area, where you will find wonderful rockers shaped like some of Sea Life’s most popular inhabitants. Here you have a relaxation space and a small Lego play area. In fact expect to see a lot of Lego pieces and advertising during your visit, our guess is they are one of the main sponsors.
Overall it seems like the Bray aquatic zoo could do with a few more sponsors. While the staff are very friendly, knowledgeable and eager to make your visit as enjoyable as possible, it is clear that the facilities are dated. The walls could use a fresh leak of paint and the carpet ought to be replaced. On a more positive note, on a given day you may leave and enter the Sea Life centre as many times as you like as long as you can show your stamp (everyone get’s a stamp once they’ve paid for entry). Prams and pushchairs are welcome and there are baby-changing facilities.
The Sea Life Centre in Bray may not be a world-class venue, however it is a lovely local aquarium with plenty to see and to learn.