I drafted in my aunty and uncle to help with the logistics and was surprised to learn that they had not been to the aquarium before.
We journeyed to London by train, affectionately known as ‘Spencer’ by my terrible two and made our way to the aquarium.
From Waterloo East it really is not that far but with a double buggy I think we found the most awkward, step filled route.
But we made it and were almost on time.
We were met at the entrance by our wonderful guides Amy and Becky.
Becky was wearing a turtle on her head and so was obviously referred to by Esther and William as ‘The Turtle Lady’.
Turtle Lady was great at engaging and entertaining the children. I was very proud and more than a little surprised when William told her that his favourite animal that lives in the sea is a sea lion. Thank you Mr Tumble!
Esther was very shy but was whispering that she knew that dolphins and sharks lived in the sea.
And best answer to a question all day when asked what they might see in the aquarium went to William who replied, ‘Fish, lots of fish.’
As we embarked on our journey under the sea Esther and William were given deep sea diving masks to wear and a passport to collect stamps in along the route.
The masks were sadly soon broken and the stamps were just too hard for little hands to collect by themselves.
Thankfully Uncle Steven was on hand and we were able to collect some of the stamps on the way round. The stamps and stamping machines were not particularly toddler friendly and as this is a perfect place to bring small people on a rainy day I wonder if there could be some ink stampers put in place for them? Or perhaps a sticker book for tiny hands?
Before going down below to the deep you have to walk across the shark infested ocean. The glass floor is a great experience for little people. Esther and William would have liked to lie down on the floor and watch the sharks and other sea creatures pass below them. But it was busy and so on we went to the lift and the darkest depths below.
The lifts at the aquarium are a great size for family groups and double buggies. My only concern was that when we were trying to find our way out the lifts were not clearly signposted and so we had to be redirected back through the aquarium to find our way out.
Toddlers can safely roam and see into the tanks. Esther and William ooohed and aaahed at the different creatures of the deep. William liked kissing the fish through the glass. They seemed to like him too which made for some rather fabulous photographs.
There are some interactive displays at the aquarium where you can stroke a star fish if you are brave enough. I adore star fish they make me think of Baby Tilda, our very own star of the sea. Esther and William were very brave with the starfish and were rewarded with a sticker for their efforts.
One of the favourite things for all of our family group was the rays. These are wonderful sea creatures that I could honestly sit and watch for hours.
Rays are beautiful and sociable fish. Esther and William found them hilarious. They thought they looked like they were dancing along the edge of their tank. And they also look like they are smiling at you as they come up close. Some of the rays also broke the water with their fins and it did really look like they were waving at us.
The jelly fish were fascinating to watch too and it is often like they are putting on a light show. I love watching how they move in water. Esther and William seemed to like them too.
We loved walking through the shark tunnel. Esther and William were desperate to lie down as we have on previous visits to watch the sharks and the turtles swim by but it was just too busy. Instead we found one of the many large viewing windows and sat entranced.
There are lots of windows where you can push a double buggy up to the glass, which provides a perfect place to snack and watch the different sea creatures swimming. After a bit of a toddler tantrum this was actually a really calming thing to do.
Just before lunch we met a very cute Cuban crocodile. It was very active and seemed to enjoy our company as we admired it through the glass.
The London Aquarium is a wonderful day out. We have been before when the twins were much younger. It is somewhere that you can revisit at least once a year and find something new to look at. My favourite exhibit is the penguins and we were not able to see them today, toddler tempers and emotional mummy would not allow.
The team at the aquarium organised a lovely lunch for the group and put out some lovely soft toys for the children to play with. Esther and William unfortunately both took a shine to an inflatable crocodile and would not stop fighting over it so at this point their very emotional mummy decided that at this point we would take our leave.
But we will be back to the aquarium in the autumn and I am planning on bringing Esther and William one at a time for a quality day out. That is a whole other blog post!
A great day out for all the family. Full of baby and toddler friendly facilities to help you enjoy your day.
We visited the aquarium free of charge in return for our honest review.