Having a birthday slap bang in the middles of Christmas and New Year is not the best time of the year to have a birthday. Regular readers will know that I’ve got a bit of a thing about my birthday.
Stemming from my childhood I’ve never really loved the day. Rather than it being about ageing (although I am and will always be 29 years old forever) it is down to the reduction in thought and love shown to my festive birth date. Had I been born in another month there would birthday meals, birthday cake and celebrations. However, for one reason or another, my December birthday is never quite celebrated how I would anticipate it to be.
Alas, I am rambling… back to our trip to the London Southbank.
Escaping to London’s Southbank
With so much happening in real life and a somewhat different festive season to the one we would normally have. What The Dad Said insisted that we make it out and about on my birthday – despite me wishing to hide from the world. However, it’s always important to celebrate for the sake of the children if nothing else. With this in mind and our new Merlin Annual Passes in hand, we opted for a family day down on London’s Southbank.
Pre-booking our entry to Shrek’s Adventure! London online before our visit to ensure entrance. We managed to arrive on time and head into the attraction.
What to expect if you’ve not visited Shrek’s Adventure!
For those of you have never visited, I have to forewarn you about the queues. At several points throughout the attraction, you’ll end up in a queue. So if you have little ones with you ensure you have snacks/entertainment etc. Once you are passed the main queuing areas you follow the same group of people around the Shrek’s Adventure! story. With a self-guided area coming after this withing the Dreamworks section.
OUr visit to Shrek’s Adventure! London
We had a good time working our way around the attraction. With Tigger surprising us all by volunteering (and being picked) to participate in the start of Shrek’s Adventure storyline. A bonus of having a festive birthday visit is that Christmas Shrek was still available for photos (after missing the special Shrek’s Adventure! Grotto dates in the lead up to Christmas).
SEA LIFE London Aquarium
It wouldn’t be the school holidays for us without a trip to at least one SEA LIFE Centre. With the SEA LIFE London Aquarium busy we were thankful that our Premium Merlin Annual Passes allowed us to bypass the queues and head straight in.
What to expect from the SEA LIFE London Aquarium
With a range of different areas to explore the SEA LIFE is always a great place to explore and watch the array of sea creatures swim around their tanks. The SEA LIFE London Aquarium offers a Rainforest Adventure!, Coral Kingdom and Penguins. All alongside the huge shark tank and tunnel as well as a jellyfish area too. A self-guided tour across several levels (with stairs and lifts available) you are able to wander around at your own pace and explore each area.
Our visit to the SEA LIFE London Aquarium
Visiting a SEA LIFE Centre is always a big hit for us. Due to the nature of the underwater world, the tanks always look different with each visit, with something new always appearing. We had the added bonus of a Penguin Present trail for the children to complete. Especially lovely as the reward was a Cadbury Freddo Treasure box for each of the children – combing chocolate and a little toy treat.
The London Eye
This is where our plans for the day started to unravel. Although it is usually busy when we have visited the London Eye in the past. We can usually join the fast track queue with our Premium Merlin Annual Passes and get on relatively quickly. Plus as we were looking to get take a trip later in the day we thought that the queues would have died down and we would enter as usual. Sadly, we were informed that even with our passes we would need to pre-book a timed slot either via the website or within the main building.
So we opted to leave as we didn’t want to hang around for an hour or two waiting for a time slot – assuming that we could get one at all.
Our family trip to London’s Southbank
Despite not being able to get onto the London Eye we did have a good day. Although I think we were all a little exhausted from Christmas etc which started to show later in the day. The London Southbank offers a range of family-friendly activities, from the Merlin attractions, street performers and the Jubilee Park.