A Day out- The Deep- Hull
We first took Big to The Deep when he was only a year old, and have been coming back regularly ever since, thanks to their annual pass scheme. Paying once for your tickets and then returning unlimited times over the course of the following year has made visits very affordable and we enjoy eating in the café, too, which is very reasonably priced.
As you enter the Deep you go up to the top floor in a lift and then come out at a viewing window across the east of the city and down towards the docks. Even on a grey day you can see the ferries coming in and out of the terminal and it is a great view of the Humber estuary.
The exhibition takes you down by a sloping walkway, all the way to the walk-through tunnel at the end. This means that it is very accessible; by pushchair/pram and wheelchair. It is also a great way to get a sense of depth and reflects the exhibits; you start off in the shallow water, then go down to look at creatures which live deeper in the ocean.
The first part focusses on the origins of life in the oceans; with lots of models and interactive displays of prehistoric sea creatures. Big especially likes this part and has always been keen to learn the names of these, how long they are, what they eat, etc. The displays are very good; I especially like the way they include a size comparison with a human being, so you can get a feel of how big they were!
The first tank is of fish in shallow water; a tropical beach scene. This has recently been renovated and looks great, you can see into the tank from above, as well as through the side. There is also an interactive area here for children to touch and feel certain creatures, with the help of an explainer, at specified times of the day. More tanks with tropical fish lead down to the penguins. This is a major draw for Little. He spends most of each day, at the moment, as a penguin or a superhero, or sometimes a confusing hybrid of both, so he is in his element, here.
There are lots of other animals, too; ants march along ropes from their nest to get their food, and back again, snakes, spiders, insects and frogs are all there. Big and Little also like the ‘weird’ animals; garden eels pop up out of the sand, axolotls- known as the ‘walking fish’- have to be seen to be believed, and even the jellyfish have an ‘other world’ quality when you see them up close!
There is so much for children to discover at The Deep and as the boys are slightly older each time we have been, there is always something new they get from it; a fresh realisation or wonder, or piece of information which they are really taken by. It is really lovely to see them taking everything in and seeing the experience pop up time and again in their play afterwards!