You could say Sienna and I are aquariumaholics: I've been to the world's largest aquarium in Atlanta and we went to Europe's biggest aquarium in Valencia together. So we have pretty high standards when it comes to aquariums, at least! 😉
We visited The Deep - "the world's only submarium" - as part of our trip to Hull, the UK City of Culture 2017. True to its name, The Deep really does give you the sensation of diving into the depths of Earth's oceans. As you descend the ramps (push chair-friendly! 😄) at the beginning of the exhibit, you are not only taken on a journey through time but also through the dark (and cold!) unknown of our waters. From the pre-historic era complete with life-size fossils, transporting you through 4 billion years of history (look out for the Megalodon jaws - the teeth of a 20 metre-long shark!), to a walk-through tunnel of sharks and rays, and all of the other exhibits in between - The Deep offers a truly authentic experience.
The Deep is highly interactive with things to do and learn about for any age (Sienna is three) - it is far more than just an aquarium. At The Deep you can take part in workshops and watch the divers feeding the animals in various tanks (be sure to check the schedule on arrival so you don't miss out!). Sienna was very surprised to see the penguins eating fishes so it was a great opportunity to teach her about different animals' diets!
During term time there are also song and story time sessions: Little Nippers (for tiny ones up to two years of age) which take place in the soft play area of The Deep. The sessions are held every Tuesday and require a Day Plus Pass which you can ask for on your first visit to the aquarium for no extra cost and allows you entrance for up to 12 months! The soft play area is also another great feature of the aquarium, for little ones under a metre tall to have a play around for a whale; I mean while! Sienna even got to make her own paper turtle in the crafts section!
The Deep's ice wall is another feature which makes the attraction really unique. I had to pull Sienna away and it wasn't because her hand got stuck to the ice!! The Kingdom of Ice teaches you all there is to know about Antartica and its animals, and stimulates all of your senses so that it feels as though you are actually there!
The exhibit ends with a great final touch: the glass bubble lift which ascends through a The Deep's 10 metre tank! You can also take the stairs which have a view of the tank from three different view points. You arrive at the Observatory Café which overlooks the River Humber and the souvenir shop where you can purchase memorabilia for your little munchkin as well as Hull 2017 merchandise!
All in all we had a wonderful time at The Deep and would definitely return again and again - it's a must-see if you are visiting Hull for the UK City of Culture 2017 (don't miss Washed Up Car-go, co-commissioned artwork in partnership with Hull 2017 that you can find in the carpark!). The amazing architecture of the building itself makes The Deep a recognized landmark. There is also plenty going on this Easter including turtle egg hunts and activity days!