Review! Head To The Sea or The Swamp This Christmas With Merlin’s New Festive Experiences!


Good Morning Lovelies, 

Over the weekend, I had a festive filled time! As did my mini reporter Jon! Having been to many events now, the five-year-old is becoming a little pro at helping me to cover events, including exciting Christmas filled ones at the Sea Life! Centre in London and Shrek’s Adventure! London

Both based on the South Bank, a short chilly walk along the River Thames, alongside the beautiful Christmas market, takes you straight to the doors of each one. Literally, the pair are right next to each other. Having planned a more gentle start to the day, we were kindly invited by Merlin to meet the animals housed at the wonderful Sea Life! Centre first. 

Full to the brim with magical under water creatures, Jon was in awe of the wonders of the world we very rarely see. From tiny stingrays, which could be stroked, to giant sharks and nippy crabs, it was incredible from the moment we arrived. 

Having announced a special mission to help the penguins at the aquarium, during Christmas, Jon and his cousin were off around the building searching for the missing pieces of the festive presents. Seeking out the clues, the experience led to them learning so much, whilst also being placed into a competition to win a special prize. 

Every single staff member we met was lovely. Opening the children’s minds to so much knowledge that I knew they would go to school and talk about. Jon loves animals of all kinds, so this festive experience was one of true bonding and love. Roaming around each room, he couldn’t stop asking questions about what he was seeing, whilst pointing out the fish, sharks and starfish he saw. 

Even as an adult, I felt like I was back in school. All in a very good way! I adore turtles so to see them swimming around was amazing. Stroking a starfish nearly caused my heart to explode with joy. Watching the kids walking above the sharks and laughing with pure joy was incredibly heartwarming. When we came to the end, I truly didn’t know how we were going to top such an amazing festive experience. 

Yet, the Merlin team knew just what to do! After exploring the world of Dreamwork’s in the summer at Shrek’s Adventure!, I couldn’t help but wonder what it would be like in the winter. Especially when the attraction had announced that they would be hosting an exciting Shrek’s Grotto this Christmas

Inspired by the short film, Shrek The Halls, the North Pole wasn’t what you would expect it to look like anymore. No, it was now a swamp! With the chance to meet a Santa themed Shrek, we couldn’t help but get excited walking back into the story land we had fallen for before. 

Decked out in all its festive decorations, I have to admit that it was definitely more my kind of swamp this time around! The red Santa outfit Shrek was wearing caused our minds to jump for joy. I think us adults were more excited than the kids! 

Having announced that the experience was only on during December on select dates, it felt super special to experience the grotto on its first weekend of being open. You could feel the excitement in the air. Not just from those getting to meet Santa Shrek, but also the team at the attraction. Everyone seemed ready to embrace the season with open arms, leading to further hype being built. 

An element that everyone truly loves about the attraction is the way other characters are captured to. Making the whole afternoon become even more great, as the kids got to meet so many characters they had only see before on screen. 

After receiving a lovely Christmas card from Santa Shrek and his team of animated elves, including Donkey of course, we bid a fond farewell, as we headed out into the dark magic of London and onto the tube home. A journey that was spent talking about all the wonders we had seen that day. 

With a few worries that I may have to send a letter to Santa asking for a wild animal for Christmas, I can’t get over how perfect the day was. Bonding with Jon and seeing him interact with everything he saw was amazing. His eyes took everything in and his questions were endless. Plus, a new Shrek fan has been created! 

Both festive opportunities were fantastic and Merlin has truly captured what Christmas is all about! Fun for all the family, you will end up spending hours embracing the wonders of the enchanting worlds. Both under the sea and I. The swamp! 

With the chance to experience both starting at £50 per adult, it is a really good price and way to spend any day of the week! Merlin has made magic and it is time to explore it, especially this Christmas! With a website full of great deals and opportunities, you can’t go wrong with finding an alternative way to celebrate the season! 

I’m already packing a bag to move into the turtle section of the Sea Life! Centre, fancy coming with me? Let’s go! 

Joey X

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