Days out with babies: The Deep, Yorkshire

So our bank holidays used to be about travelling as far away from Yorkshire as we could get in a weekend, but since the littlest Inspiration came along we've found a whole other universe. Where we used to be having a lie in recovering from those bank holiday drinks we consumed, we are now up at the crack of dawn, heading to the many local attractions we're lucky to have nearby....and so is every other parent.

Finding days out that we will all enjoy and that are baby friendly is where we are at these days and The Deep has been one of those attractions we couldn't wait to visit.

You may know by now that the Carnivore is obsessed *seriously* obsessed with sharks and all things under the sea. Not content with cage diving with great white sharks in South Africa on our honeymoon, he loves a good aquarium, museum or basically anything loosely related to the toothy critters.
The Deep is the world's only submarium, buried deep under the River Hull, although you'll be glad to know it's not the famous chocolaty brown water you'll see here. Instead there are huge tanks with Maldive clear water to peruse tropical fish to your hearts content.
I'm not much of a snorkeller but love to watch colourful sea creature so it's a cheats paradise. The littlest Inspiration absolutely adored the mystical light that emanates around The Deep and it offers a real sensory experience to babies who are too young to perhaps enjoy the multitude of interactive displays.
There are so many tactile touchy feely bits to play with that toddlers and bigger kids are spoilt for things to do but one of our favourite pit stops was the big open tank in the middle. In this area there are activities like rock pooling, which run several times a day, and provide the opportunity to see creatures up close. We loved holding the Milkivore up to the tank to see the fishes darting around with a swish of a tail.
 We'd then hold her up above the tank to get a view from above and of the tropical paradise they have created at The Deep. We'd watch the watery sea beasts from above and then quickly duck down to see them zoom fast as lightening towards the glass.

At 12 and 4pm the Aquarists (such a cool job description) go inside the tank to feed the fish which is lovely to watch.
We took a few moments to pause to have a feast with the fishes and let the littlest Inspiration have a snack. It was such a lovely experience and one of the nicest places for a pit stop. I felt very comfortable breastfeeding here and there were plenty of points to stop and sit down.
 It was very pram friendly all the way around, with lots of opportunity to pull our Oyster 2 pram up close to the tanks, but we also took the Baby Bjorn to offer her a better view and make her feel more involved.
 We were most excited about seeing the penguins in the newest part of the attraction. As it is an Artic zone they are kept in a climate controlled enclosure and you really feel that nip in the air as you walk through, adding to the experience, but you can get excellent panoramic views from different vantage points. The Milkivore giggled and clapped when she saw these funny little waddling creature.
The colours and interactivity everywhere was so great to see and babies of any age would find it a very stimulating place to go. We loved the big cinema screen tanks dotted around the place and spent ages pointing out exotic looking creatures.
 But the Milkivore decided she needed a closer look and insisted we get her out of the pram to get nearer to the action.
 Those beautiful blue and yellow fish were a real favourite....
We then set off again through the gross sounding, so, of course, kids will totally love it, slime corner, where other creatures such as snails, frogs and eels have their moment to shine. There were some weird and wonderful animals to look at here.
 We loved that in the Endless Ocean area you get an interactive talk from an expert about the world's oceans, all the while divers are in the tanks behind them feeding and caring for the many reef sharks they have in there. The Carnivore was most intrigued by this and was desperate to join them in the tank.
 I couldn't resist pressing my nose up to the glass on various occasions to get a better look at some alien like creature passing by....
This colourful tunnel captivated the littlest Inspiration and so we took our time moving through it....
 But as we came through the other side we realised we'd entered the Amazon without even having to take a flight.
 These beautiful blue and gold relatives of the Piranha were my favourite fish in here as they shimmered as they swam....
 The fish here are hand fed by the Aquarists on a Sunday afternoon, which may not include the Piranhas, but if it does I'm sure it's a real spectacle!
 The tunnel is a fantastic experience for any baby in a pram, as you can pull down the hood and just let them look around. We stayed in here for a good 15 minutes as she was enjoying it so much.

It's 10 metres below the surface and home to many Rays, who perhaps due to their funny faces, seem to have a real sense of humour. The Carnivore and I were taking a selfie and one swam right up behind us and photobombed us. If it wasn't a grainy iphone snap I'd have shared it here as it really made us chuckle.
What struck me was just how calming and cocooning it felt in The Deep, despite people milling about everywhere. It really gives you a sense of being underwater, with everything being slightly muted. They even have a Tranquil Tuesday for children who have sensory processing challenges and learning difficulties.
 Here's our photogenic friend just popping by the say hello again....
As you leave there is a large glass lift that takes you up through the magical watery world and makes you feel like you are in the tank with the fishes. This was a real treat and once again gave the Milkivore a great vantage point from her pram to see the magic around her.

 You ascend slowly through the core of the tank
Until you rise to the top and see the shimmering water around you....we really wanted to do this bit again and is reason enough for a repeat visit very soon.
Before we left, the littlest Inspiration wanted to get another look at these wondrous creatures and it was so amazing to see her looking deep into the water. We pondered what she might be thinking seeing something so different for the first time. Will it spark a lifelong obsession with the sea, like her daddy has, or spark her imagination seeing the many forms of life that inhabit out amazing planet?  We can't wait to find out.
As we came back up to the surface, we wandered over to the cafe for refreshments and found this fantastic view over the River Humber.
It couldn't be in a more fantastic setting and as we set off back to the car, walking along the river, we knew we'd definitely be back with our little adventurer.
Are your little ones captivated by the alien world of the oceans? Where are your favourite days out with babies?

*We were gifted out tickets but all views are honest and our own. A standard ticket is valid for 12 months, which means you can visit as often as you like for a whole year, which seems like great value to us.

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