Just look at that.
That's a giant octopus. And we were only a pane of glass away. Sometimes all the imagining of aliens seems just ridiculous, when you realise what strange, unimaginable creatures live in the depths of our oceans. I wonder why we so often ignore the watery mass surrounding us and instead aim up for the skies.
We took the two little boys to the aquarium for the first time. The Big One and I used to go at least once a year when he was little, but somehow in our countryside life it didn't seem a usual thing to do. The Big One was at a friend's, it was too cold to spend a long time outdoors, and we just rifled through the 'days out' leaflet collection and landed on this. I took a little persuading (tight wad) but I am so glad I agreed.
The entry price was made worth it the moment the two little ones entered the first room and galloped joyfully from one tank of large fish to the next, pointing and shouting "huuuuuge!" They really, really loved it. There was a lot of adventuring, gawping and skipping. While the lovely husband and I were mesmerised by the large creatures swimming over our heads in the tunnels, the boys just ran up and down laughing. They peered at all the fishes, frogs and crustaceans and repeated their names. They loved the sharks but they loved the divers even more.
We had lunch in the aquarium ampitheatre, watching shark after shark swim past the huge screen in front of us. It was the best 'tv dinner' ever. The next day the Little One drew a picture of a fish and octopus to take to his nursery. It's wonderful when you take your children somewhere and can keep talking about it and learning from it in the days afterwards. The Tiny One, at one-and-three-quarters, was definitely old enough to have a whale of a time (boom, boom). The Big One would have enjoyed it too, though I'm certain had a better time playing 'warhammer' at his friend's house.
We went to Chester's Blue Planet Aquarium and highly recommend it. It's a little pricey if you're on a budget but it's probably only a once-every-couple-of-years trip, and comparable to most other days out to zoos or attractions. And it's a great one to have up your sleeves for the anticlimatic, long, cold and quiet month of January.