Visit the Blue Reef Aquarium, Newquay
Set back from the beach in Newquay’s town centre, the blue reef aquarium makes a brilliantly educational family day out. The aquarium is home to 40 different habitats, which house all sort of species from black-tipped reef sharks through to giant octopuses. There’s also the chance to get up close and personal with a real caiman crocodile, and the walk-through aqua-tunnel is a real highlight. Spot turtles, rays, and hundreds of brightly coloured fish through the toughened glass. In smaller tanks you’ll find seahorses and crabs alongside other weird and wonderful creatures.
The whole experience is geared towards marine education, with handy downloadable guides available on the website. The Blue Reef team do a lot of pioneering conservation work, which is also on display in their nursery tanks. It’s a great way to get kids connected with their natural environment, and when you’re at the beach later on, you can help them match what they’ll have seen inside to what they can spot in a real-life habitat.
There’s also a few hidden surprises including animals that aren’t anything to do with the sea!
The aquarium is reasonably priced for such a great day out, and offers a cafe and shop too. It’s the perfect thing to do on a rainy day and will suit the whole family, including teenagers. There’s also a discounted rate for OAPs and students.