News and Events

Spongebob 330*170 global

To coincide with the release of the hugely anticipated new SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water on March 27, the famous SquarePants-wearing sponge will be making a guest appearance in miniature at the SEA LIFE Manchester for three weeks only – bringing with him the inhabitants of Bikini Bottom.

Guests at the Manchester attraction will follow a fun trail with a free ‘Spongehunt’ map and stickers, helping SpongeBob by spotting miniature models of the underwater star’s friends as they go - from Sandy Squirrel to Squidward Tentacles, Mr Krabs and Patrick Star, they're all hiding somewhere!
There’s also an entire marine world to explore including turtles, sharks and the brand CLAWS Exhibition.

The event runs for three weeks and is sure to be a winner amongst SpongeBob’s legion of young fans.

Find Out More>>>


NEW Turtle Feeding Experience now available to purchase!

Ever fancied getting up-close with our resident giant green sea turtle, Ernie? Well now you can, with our all new Turtle Feeding Experience!

This incredible new experience includes:

  • Priority entry into SEA LIFE Manchester on the day of your feeding experience
  • A Turtle Feeding Experience
  • A Behind-the-Scenes Tour
  • A complimentary guidebook
  • A trained Aquarist to tell you about Ernie, our green sea turtle’s diet and habitat

Click here for more information and to book tickets >>


Half Term Alert

Remember the only way to guarantee your entry this half term is to pre-book your ticket - Ernie can't wait to see you!

Book online now to avoid disappointment, for a visit full of amazing discoveries that the weather can't spoil!


The Moshi Monsters splash down at SEA LIFE Manchester this summer!

The Moshi Marine Force wants YOU!

Join Katsuma, Poppet and Monstro City's number one Moshling conservationist, Buster Bumblechops, on a mission to save our amazing marine creatures! Moshi monsters will be at SEA LIFE Manchester from Saturday 19th July 2014 - Sunday 31st August 2014.

With character appearances, moshling figure swaps, missing moshlings to find and Buster Bumblechop's Conservation Hero Award to earn, all included in the price of admission, this is one SEA LIFE event you won't want to miss!

Click here to find out more!

Qualle mobile

Easter Opening Times

We are open from 9am every day this Easter until 23rd April, including Easter Sunday!

BOOK NOW to guarantee your entry!

We recommend visiting first thing in the morning (from 9am) or later in the afternoon (after 4pm) for a quieter visit.

Please remember that as it is a holiday period we will be busy so we strongly recommend to book in advance to avoid disappointment.

Ernie's looking forward to seeing you!

sea star


Get ready to be dazzled by starfish from across the world’s oceans in the brand new Sea Stars at SEA LIFE Manchester!

Housed in a range of eye-catching displays with giant windows ensuring maximum visibility for children, guests will be able to get up close to the largest sea star in the world, the Sunflower sea star, so named because it resembles its namesake, but larger!

It will be joined by its cousins, the Giant Pink starfish and the Pin Cushion star, which doesn’t look like a starfish at all, to name just a few.

Check out our Curator Lucy (right) as she helps transport one of our sea stars into it's brand new home!

Click here to find out more >>>

SEA LIFE Manchester on BBC Breakfast!

Our Curator Lucy Handel talks to BBC Breakfast about a tagged great white shark on the coast of the UK:


Christmas Opening Times

In the true festive spirit, we will only be closed for one day this Christmas - Christmas day itself!

Feel free to come and celebrate with us any time over the festive holiday period as we will be open daily from 10am - 7pm.

Christmas Eve closing time will be slightly earlier at 5pm (last entry at 4pm) as our creatures will be going to sleep ready for Santa to visit!


Strictly does SeaTREK®!

We were very pleased to welcome Ashley Taylor-Dawson and Ola Jordan into our Ocean Tank for a SeaTREK in November!

The dance partners were practicing being light on their feet in preparation for one of their dances for BBC Two's Strictly Come Dancing.

Ernie thought it looked so much fun he was trying to join in!

Check out more images here.

Don't forget you can do SeaTREK® too, or buy one as a gift experience for friends and family! Click here for more information.


We're Open 9am - 8pm for October Half Term!

We're open for even longer every day during October half term, from 9am to 8pm!

Extended opening times will run from Saturday 26th October until Sunday 3rd November.

Remember, if you are planning on visiting us this half term we strongly recommend booking your tickets online in advance for guarateed fast-track entry to the attraction and for the best value tickets.

With over 5000 creatures to see, keeping the kids occupied this half term just got even easier - why not book tickets now?

Preparing for a Dive!

Here's how we prepare for a dive at SEA LIFE Manchester:

Feeding Ernie

See how we feed Ernie

Preparing Ernie's Food

Our Curator Lucy demonstrates how we prepare the food for our giant green sea turtle Ernie:

Behind the Scenes at our Terrapin Turtle Tank

Watch as Curator Lucy Handel demonstrates how terrapin turtles are weighed and health checked:

Queens of the Sea

Three of Manchester's most infamous drag queens this week took the plunge as they put their make-up to the ultimate test underwater to celebrate Manchester Pride!

Check out their experiences here:

Our First SEA TREK Proposal!

After months of planning (and secret meetings & emails) something very special happened on the sea bed here at SEA LIFE Manchester. Our very first SEA TREK proposal!

Andy asked Kate to marry him (with the help of a large treasure chest and message in a bottle), and we are thrilled to report that Kate said yes. We wish the happy couple all the happiness in the world.

You can see how the special moment happened in our video here:

Europe's first SEATREK has landed - right here in Manchester!

You can now get closer than ever before to the sharks, rays and the giant Green turtle in our 11.5 feet deep ocean tank with a unique fascinating diving experience!

Sea trekkers are kitted out in a special dive suit, complete with a fully waterproof helmet (100% safe for a full face of make up!), before they are lowered into the ocean tank which is filled with 480,000 litres of water and is home to 1,092 creatures of 35 different species. Once underwater, sea adventurers are then walked through the tank, stopping to take closer looks at the incredible variety of creatures, such as the black tip reef sharks, the super inquisitive groupers and the king of the tank, giant sea turtle Ernie.

Are you brave enough to SEATREK? Don't hesitate to experience this incredible underwater adventure - bookings are now open!

Watch the experience in action with our curator Lucy in the video:


Christmas dinner every day for SEA LIFE Manchester's newest resident!

Ernie, our very own resident giant Green Sea Turtle, has an unusual obsession with Brussel sprouts and this years optimum growing conditions have meant that your flippered friend won’t be emptying local supermarkets of their stock - not just yet, anyway!

Our team who look after Ernie and his tank mates, including 9 Black Tip Reef Sharks, feed him three times a day and he consumes approximately 500g of vegetables, mainly sprouts, every day. That’s over 14,000 sprouts a year! It’s set to be a ‘bumper’ year for the sprout crop and it will have to be to keep up with his healthy appetite.

The giant turtle, who was rescued from the Cayman Islands by the SEA LIFE conservation team in 2006, is king of our 3.5 metre deep ocean tank, also home to 1,092 creatures of 35 different species in a huge 480,000 litres of water!

See if you can see Ernie eating his sprouts in our ocean tank next time you visit us here at SEA LIFE Manchester!

Making a Splash - SEA LIFE Manchester Grand Opening!

Sea Life Manchester opens in Barton Square at the intu Trafford Centre on Thursday 6th June, ready for a huge wave of visitors to marvel at an incredible over 5,000 creatures in more than one million litres of seawater.

A unique new Sea Trek experience even allows pluckier guests to actually stroll the seabed in the company of tropical sharks, rays, colourful shoaling fish and star resident Ernie, the giant green sea turtle.

Along with 30 spectacular displays and a breathtaking underwater ocean tunnel, guests can touch a crab or a starfish in the supervised touchpools. Seahorses, jellyfish, razor-toothed moray eels and a school of cow-nosed rays are just a few of the many amazing species to encounter.

Opening adjacent to the popular LEGOLAND Discovery Centre in Barton Square, a visit to our new SEA LIFE Manchester is not to be missed!

Check out all the action from our VIP Launch Event in the video below!

Behind The Scenes at SEA LIFE Manchester!

Check out this exclusive behind the scenes video with our Displays Curator Lucy Handel as she shows you what incredible things will be in store for you when our brand new SEA LIFE opens in June!

Creatures Arrive!

See what happened as we welcomed over 5000 sea creatures to our brand new attraction.

Animals you can see in our tanks include White Tip Reef Sharks, Black Tip Reef Sharks, Sailfin Tang, Queensland Grouper, Yellow Tang, Lipstick Tang, Blue Striped Snapper, Scrawled Filefisha and French Grunts.

Filling the tanks at SEA LIFE Manchester!

We've checked every nook in our tanks and they are now safe to be filled ready for our creatures to arrive!

Pupils from schools across Greater Manchester have been helping us out by delivering collected rainwater to fill our tanks in preparation for our new creature arrivals next month.

Filling the 3.5 metre deep ocean tank alone is a huge undertaking, using 480,000 litres of water to house an incredible 1,092 creatures of 35 different species. The whole procedure takes a while; it's a lot bigger than filling a bath, just check out our video below!

Work begins on building SEA LIFE Manchester at the Groundbreaking Ceremony!

Very exciting work begins on the SEA LIFE Manchester aquarium in Manchester's Trafford Centre on Wednesday 5 December 2012 at the groundbreaking ceremony.

Check out our video from the ceremony here:

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Opening Hours

10am - 7pm

Last admission 6pm

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