One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish…

January 14, 2013

Germany

Over the holidays we had the challenge of entertaining #MuseumBaby for two weeks while the nursery was closed. With the weather being pretty miserable, we were on the look out for indoor pursuits suitable for a two year old, and museums were obviously high on our list. Okay, so the AquaDom & Sealife centre in Berlin is not technically a museum, but I feel aquariums, zoos and botanical gardens rank alongside museums, galleries and historic houses in preserving and teaching about our natural and cultural heritage. And they have a lot in common in terms of developing interpretation and producing exhibitions. In fact, we featured an aquarium in the Museum140 Advent Calendar this past December. In a way aquariums are a bit like a museum of fish (except with living exhibits instead of taxidermy ones!).

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#MuseumBaby was mostly keen on saying hello to the “fishies”, but other favourites on display include starfish, anemones, seahorses, jellyfish and octopus. Sealife has over 5,000 creatures in more than 35 displays including endangered species that have either been rescued and cannot be re-released in to the wild, or that have been bred as part of their conservation programme.

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At the interactive rock pool, visitors can get up close to some of the creatures. #MuseumBaby’s arms were too short to reach, but he got a thrill out of watching daddy stroke an anemone. There are actually three rock pools that get rotated, with only one ever in action, to give the rock pool creatures a rest in between.

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The scary looking shark below was just a model, but there was a pool with some catshark on display – and a catshark nursery, where you could see little catsharks developing in some of the more transparent egg cases!

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There is also an entire gallery dedicated to crabs, which #MuseumBaby wasn’t that interested in but I found terribly cute (see below). And I thought it was brilliant that all the display cases were in the shape of crabs themselves!

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A full morning of exploring Sealife can be very exhausting for a little person, but luckily there were plenty of places where you could sit (or lie!) down for a rest. In total we stayed around 90 minutes before heading over to the adjacent building for a ride in the AquaDom – which at 12 metres wide and 25 metres high is the world’s largest cylindrical tank, containing over 1 million litres of water – which is included in the entry price.

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A visit to Sealife doesn’t come cheap, with a full priced ticket costing 12.50 Euro for kids aged 3-14, and 17.50 Euro for adult aged 15 and up, BUT if you book online in advance you can get savings starting at 10% if you book on the day or the day before, and going up to 30% if you book at least 8 days in advance, so with a bit of forward planning you can safe as much as 6.15 Euro on an adult ticket.

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    […] visiting the Aquadom and Sealife aquarium in Berlin during the Christmas holidays, I was pointing out to #MuseumBaby that there was […]

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