With just a few days left of the school holidays, it's a great time to revisit Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium while the Chinese Lunar New Year Celebrations are still ongoing for a few more days till 2 February 2020. It's an easy destination accessible via public transport as we all know how expensive it is to park in the city. Head to the Aquarium on King Street in the CBD during opening hours to celebrate the Year of the Rat, and SAVE by getting yourTICKETS ONLINE.
Be sure to catch the underwater dragon as it swims alongside the sharks, rays and fish in the 2.2 million litre Oceanariumeveryday at 1.40pm! Grab your seats on the step-seats for a good view as the divers swim the long-tailed dragon along much to the delight of the kids. He doesn't swim for a very long time, so be sure to get there on time for the viewing.
Over this Lunar celebration event you could win big with Lucky Money. Open up WeChat at the aquarium, shake your phone and see if you can win up to 888RMB ($188 AUD) in Alipay cash! If you spend $88 at the store during this event, you receive a free Sea Life Trust penguin valued at $17.
Head for the virtual reality experience and let Tilly the very talkative dragon take you on an enchanting flight around her magical home. Colourful gems and sparkling waterfalls cascade as you ride on her back. If you start feeling a little peckish after all that excitement, bite into a delicious fish and chips Lunar New Year kids meal and get a free mini penguin at the Cafe between 10.30am and 3.30pm everyday.
Photo opportunities abound at the aquarium for many selfies with swimming penguins and turtles, not to mention sharks, stingrays and more. There's activities for the kids to enjoy at Ocean Invaders everyday from 11am to 2pm where they can create their own jellyfish lantern or colour in jellyfish in the creative space of the Wonder Room. They might enjoy writing down their wishes for the new year, which is a Lunar New Year tradition, and pin them on the Penguin Wishing Wall with the others for good luck.
There are interactive activities where kids and adults can touch the starfish and more (but do not move them), and marvel at the shiny black swirly shark egg cases. Did you know they are made out of the same protein found in your hair and nails? The little 'discovery kids' signs posted are a great way to expand their knowledge of creatures we need to protect. Even the unwelcome Crown-of-Thorns Sea Star (2nd image above). They are a wonder to behold but this prickly creature is covered in venomous spines and is a fearsome predator of corals as it eats coral for breakfast, lunch and dinner! Did you know they could re-grow lost arms and that their tiny eyes are at the end of their arms?
The Aquarium is for everyone but let's face it, kids love it more. The kids I saw there were happy to spend endless time in front of the huge oceanarium watching the sharks and fishes swimming by, jumping and squealing in delight, playing pretend games the sea life was after them. A great place to let the imagination loose obviously; one of the most valuable assets we can have, growing up. There's entertainment, activities, food and rest rooms: everything a family needs to make it a wonderful experience to have together.