Half term:Octopus Hideout at Sealife Manchester

sealife manchester

The plural of Octopus is, I can confirm, Octopus’ (i.e. “Octopusses”). Not Octupi or Octopod (however this is the word for a group of Octopus’).  I’m glad I got this one sorted as it was very bothersome to me…more on this later!

On Saturday, we were invited to Sealife Manchester to see the new Octopus Hideout.

My girls, aged 5 and 3, love going to Sealife.  It’s very accessible for us, too, being based at intu Trafford Centre just off the M60.

There’s lots for them to see and do.  We arrived early in the morning and began with Turtle Beach, where we heard the story of a new born turtle, brought to life with some fab technology that the kids found magical!


sealife manchester
Littlest one next to the magic turtle

Onto the main event…you travel on a journey around Sealife, seeing thousands of sea creatures along the way, with lots of interactive learning activities and fun stuff like this ‘Nemo fish tunnel’ as my girls call it, below.

sealife manchester
‘Nemo fish tunnel’

…and this tank that you could crawl under and feel like you’re swimming with the fish.

There are 11 themed zones and what I love as a parent about Sealife is the chance to learn about the environment the sea creatures live in and our own responsibility to look after our planet.  Visitors have the chance to hear about protecting local habitats, breeding vulnerable species and rescuing sea turtles for example.

The best bit for us is still by far the ‘shark tunnel’: a long tunnel under a giant tank with sharks and giant turtles.


Sealife Manchester
A shark I tried to capture as he swum by…

Onto the Octopus Hideout.  Hank the Octopus was a little shy on Saturday, clinging to the side of the tank in a desperate attempt to hide from my 5 year old’s battery of questions: “does he like to have friends?”, “what does he eat?”, “where does he live?”.  Dan the Octopus expert on hand told us that they unfortunately don’t like to have friends (he put it quite nicely in front of my 5 year old, but in short, if you put another Octopus in there, there would soon be only 1 Octopus again).  They eat crabs and only feed 3 times a week.  And he is a Giant Pacific Octopus.

Dan helped clear up my concern about the plural of Octopus once and for all.  Hooray. It’s also classed as a cephalopod and is quite brainy, with the ability to blend in with its surroundings and hide in small places.

sealife manchester
Hank. An elusive yet intriguing character


The children get the chance to stroke Starfish and other creatures, too.  They also get their own ‘log book’ to stamp at various stations throughout the centre as they complete each section.

Sealife is a great holiday activity of you’re looking for something to do. It’s open from 10am each day and has a programme of daily activities, including feeding times and educational talks.

And a chance to meet Hank the mysterious cephalopod.

Disclaimer:  We were invited to Sealife free of charge in return for this review.  All opinions expressed are my own. 


Working Mum of two, living in Didsbury, Manchester, in a house which breeds washing, mushed up raisins and various toys in the brightest primary colours. Oh, and the odd empty wine glass.

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