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For those who love animals, the ocean, or simply learning new things, The Deep aquarium in Hull, East Yorkshire, is an experience you are unlikely to forget. One of our favourite things to do in Hull as a family, a visit to The Deep is certainly something to add to your bucket list. Opening in 2002 at the historic Sammy's Point, where the River Hull meets the Humber Estuary, The Deep is a one-of-a-kind aquarium due to the fact it is partially submerged in the water. This makes for a dramatic entrance, as the building itself looks like it is 'sinking'. Once inside, there is a whole underwater world to explore, with over 3,000 animals calling The Deep home. While you won't find many aquariums in Hull, The Deep certainly has a reputation for delivering an exciting day out and is considered by many to be one of, if not the best aquarium in the UK.
The Deep is committed to helping people learn about the different oceans of the world, with over 50 different displays to marvel at. From the common clownfish (or 'Nemo' fish, for Pixar fans) to Zebra sharks, there are thousands of animals waiting to meet you. Because The Deep is committed to showing all types of ocean and habitat, you'll experience both tropical fish, and those who live among the ice. The Ice Kingdom, for example, is home to Gentoo penguins who are more than happy to say hello to visitors. Or, thrill-seekers will want to check out the vast Endless Oceans exhibit, where you can find some of the more dangerous animals that call The Deep home. From the rare Honeycomb whiptail rays to the intimidating Grey Reef shark, getting up close to these beautiful and powerful creatures is often one of the highlights of the trip for kids and parents alike. Here, you can also spot some Loggerhead sea turtles, who were rescued and brought to The Deep for better care.
There are also tropical exhibits, such as the Amazon Flooded Forest, home to the predatory Redtailed catfish, or the Lagoon of Light, where you can meet a Regal Tang (think Dory fish), as well as snakes, rays and more sharks! Keep your eyes peeled as you wander the exhibits for divers scatter-feeding the fish by getting in the tanks themselves. There is also a daily dive show where you can see people interacting with the fish in real life.
There are plenty of hands-on things to do for kids who like to get involved. The touch pool is a firm favourite, a water tank with lots of little animals inside, such as anemones, crabs and starfish. Several times a day, visitors can come face to face with these underwater creatures, and can even touch them under the supervision of staff, who will also tell you all about the fascinating animals in question. You will also find interactive stations in the aquarium, where kids can use the touch screen to find out more about the different species that live here.
There are also lots of specialised days that are put on at The Deep just for kids. For children aged 8-11, the Junior Experience Day is a brilliant way to get kids involved in nature, while having a blast at the same time. Kids will get the chance to feed fish at the Lagoon, feel some slimy and prickly creatures at a slime workshop and touch pool session, and even try on a diving kit! For kids who love the ocean, this is a top choice to let them see behind the scenes at how aquariums like The Deep work. Organised groups can even organise a sleepover at The Deep, where kids can spend the night next to the shark tanks and take part in some sea-riously fun crafts.
While it depends how much time your family want to spend exploring each exhibit, you can easily look around The Deep in around two or three hours, making it the perfect morning or afternoon activity for your day out in Hull. If you're looking for something to eat on your visit, head to the Two Rivers Restaurant in The Deep, where you can eat as fish swim around you. There are also cafés located in the aquarium itself, the Halfway Café by the Cool Seas exhibit, and The Observatory Café on the third floor. Here you can enjoy a range of snacks, coffees and hot and cold meals. Otherwise, head to The Dock across the bridge, where you'll find a whole host of eateries varying from pizza at Bert's Pizza and Gelato to coffee and café food at Thieving Harry's.
If you had a fantastic time at this Hull aquarium and want to check out more brilliant sea creatures and how they live, check out SEA LIFE London Aquarium. Alternatively, if you fancy meeting some animals above ground in Yorkshire, head to Bridlington Animal Park to pet and feed some furry friends.
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