Trip to the Marine Life Park

During the December school holidays, I brought the kids to the S.E.A. Aquarium in Marine Life Park, Resorts World Sentosa. Opened recently on 22nd November 2012, it is touted as the world’s largest aquarium, so I decided that it was definitely worth to go take a look.

SEA_official

Getting there
We took public transport down to avoid hefty parking fees. Instead of taking the shuttle bus in after we got off at Harbourfront MRT, we opted to walk down the Sentosa boardwalk. It was a leisurely 20 minutes stroll, down a covered walkway, and travellators made it manageable even with 2 kids in tow (G was in a stroller).  G had a good sleep in the stroller on the way there.

Sentosa boardwalk (Photo credit: elmich.com)

Admission
After a quick lunch, we made our way to the aquarium. Admission fees were at S$29 for adults and S$20 for children (4-12 years old). Not cheap, but each ticket came with S$5 meal vouchers, and included the admission fees to the Maritime Experiential Museum.
Tip: Use the meal vouchers at the Malaysian Food street, a food court located near the Universal Studios. You will be able to get a decent meal there using the S$5, compared to the sky-high prices at the restaurants.

To get to the aquarium, we had to cut through the Maritime Musuem.  A separate review of the museum will been done.

In the aquarium
Aquarium tunnel
The entrance of the aquarium was an aquarium tunnel, with a travellator bringing visitors in. C was really excited to see the fishes swimming in the tunnel, and was going “oooh” and “aaah” at each passing fish. It was the next best thing to scuba diving, to be able to see fishes from a different perspective.

C trying to get a closer look at the fishes

C trying to get a closer look at the fishes

For me, this concept was not new, having seen it at the Underwater World (an older, smaller aquarium, also located in Sentosa). The variety of the fishes was not that fantastic, but it was good enough for 5 year old C.

Interactive stations
There were interactive stations with touch-screens at each section, giving an introduction of the different fishes in the various exhibits. C did not need much prompting, and insisted on reading through the descriptions of all the fishes, before going to the tank to identify each one. Needless to say, we spent quite a bit of time at each tank.

C trying out the interactive panels

C trying out the interactive panels

Where is the blue and gold fusilier?

Where is the blue and gold fusilier?

Touchpool
One of the highlights was the touchpool, where we got to touch some of the sea-creatures. C was too short to reach the pool, so pardon the poor angle… I had to hold her in one hand while I took a picture with the other!

Feeling the cushion sea star

Feeling the cushion sea star

By this time, G, who had been sleeping from the walkway all the way to the aquarium, had woken up. Initially he was rather apprehensive as the aquarium was not brightly lit, but was soon fascinated by the fishes swimming around. His favourite sea-creatures were the jellyfishes – he thought they were bubbles!

Bubbles!

Bubbles!

G's "bubbles"

G’s “bubbles”

Besides the usual varieties of sea fishes, some interesting sea creatures caught our attention.

An interesting fish we saw... but I forgot the name!

An interesting fish we saw… but I forgot the name!

C was fascinated to know that the nautilus was also known as a “living fossil”.

Nautilus - the living fossils

Nautilus – the living fossils

And the giant spider crab really lived up to its name!

Giant spider crab

Giant spider crab

Giant viewing tank
One of the main features of the aquarium is the huge viewing tank, but unfortunately, this forgetful mommy had neglected to charge the camera battery prior to the trip, so please pardon the poor quality of the pictures, which were taken using the phone.

It was actually quite mesmerizing watching the huge manta rays swimming round in the blue water. I think I could stay there for hours! Of course, for C, it was another “wow” moment 🙂

Huge tank!

Huge tank! See the heads at the bottom?

Graceful manta ray

Graceful manta rays

After the huge tank, we moved on to the swamp exhibit, where we saw sea stars, horseshoe crabs, sea cucumbers and rays. There was a really nice and patient staff who spent 20 minutes explaining to C, who was asking non-stop (“What’s this? why doesn’t the horseshoe crab look like the normal crab? Does the sea cucumber have eyes? What does it eat?… you get the idea) . This was also where we saw the chocolate chip sea stars (no, I’m not kidding… try googling it!), which was C’s favourite (guess why?)

Chocolate chip sea star (no kidding!)

Chocolate chip sea star (no kidding!)

As we walked towards the exit, I was struck by the beautiful multi-coloured corals. I didn’t realise that they came in so many colours!

Colourful corals and fishes

Colourful corals and fishes

Saying bye to the fishes

Saying bye to the fishes

Learning about pollution
Just before we left, there was a final stop at the learning corner, where C learnt about pollution, and how it impacts the sea-creatures. I could tell that it left a deep impression on her, as she kept saying that it was wrong to throw plastic bags into the sea.

Learning about pollution

Learning about pollution

At the exit, there was also another tunnel, this time with sharks. Unfortunately by this time my handphone battery had also died, so there are no pictures.

A good learning experience
Both C and G enjoyed themselves. It was definitely an educational experience for C, who was still talking about the chocolate chip sea star on the way back.

Overall, I would say that it was worth the money paid although not all the displays were ready. For those with young children, it was very family friendly, and we had no problems navigating the stroller inside the aquarium. I’m definitely going back for another visit 🙂

Do you like aquariums?

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12 thoughts on “Trip to the Marine Life Park

  1. Valerie

    It reminds me a LOT of the Georgia Aquarium here!! It’s very expensive too, so we’ve only been once. 🙄 We’d like to go again, though! I love that your little one was calling the jellyfish bubbles – too cute!
    So, can I ask you about your money? Does Singapore have its own currency (is that why there is an ‘S’ at the beginning?) and are they called dollars or something else? 😀 Thanks!

    Reply
    1. mummyshymz Post author

      Well, the jellies did look like big bubbles bobbing around 😉
      Yes, we use the Singapore dollar (SGD) here. We place an “S” in front to differentiate it from the other dollar denominated currencies like USD. Currently the exchange rate is around S$1.23 to 1 USD 🙂 so the entrance fee to the aquarium would be around 23 USD 😀

      Reply
      1. Valerie

        Thank you for the info! That’s cool! Is the SGD accepted in other countries nearby or do you have to exchange it upon entering? We *can* spend USD in Canada but it’s much wiser to exchange it because the value is not the same. 😉

      2. mummyshymz Post author

        Yes, in general, for the touristy places nearer to Singapore, SGD is accepted. But it’s usually better if we use their local currency (due to the exchange rate) 🙂

  2. Zee

    I’m heading there in march and I’m super excited about it! Bringing my parents there as well. (We got the groupon vouchers.) looking forward already! My favourite aquarium (so far) has got to be the one in Melbourne. But I have a feeling this new aquarium is going to beat it. :p

    Reply
    1. mummyshymz Post author

      I think Aly will love it there. There was a part where the tank was underfoot, it should be an interesting experience for her (I forgot to take pics) 🙂
      Do bring a jacket for her coz it was a little cold at some parts. Remember to save some time for the huge tank too! I hope more exhibits will be ready by March. Have fun!
      I’m thinking of making another trip down during the school holidays, this time with a fully charged camera :p

      Reply
  3. motherhoodisanart

    That looks so great! I love aquariums! I’ve been to quite a few in the U.S. We recently went as a family to the one in Chicago but it didn’t live up to my expectations. This one looks awesome!

    Reply
  4. Pingback: Project: Lapbook – Sea Creatures | mummyshymz

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