A Birthday with a Difference

Imagine my excitement when Flora shared with me the news that Bridget and myself had been invited to the 4th birthday of Malta’s National Aquarium, Qawra. An attraction I had previously visited as a holiday maker pre-Bridget and thoroughly enjoyed it back then.

I couldn’t wait to take Bridget.

As is routine, Bridget packed a bag of all the essentials required for her trip…a banana and 15 different hairbands. After a slight disagreement over hair brushing (in other words a full-on tantrum) we set off on a short bus ride. We were soon hopping off the bus right outside the National Aquarium doors.

As this was a special occasion at the aquarium, we first headed straight for the main central attraction. ‘The Oceans of the World’ allowed us to walk in a tunnel surrounded by water to giving us a glimpse of the world’s oceans and reefs in the form of shipwrecks and submarines. Displaying a replica wreck of the Um El Faroud, a Libyan tanker which exploded in Malta in 1995.

Joining a group of children also celebrating the aquarium’s birthday, Bridget helped a diver locate different letters hidden by directing her through the glass as she swam overhead among a variety of sea life (including sharks).

All letters retrieved, the children had great fun in helping the diver then spell out ‘Happy Birthday’ underwater, ending with a rendition of the song before heading off to explore further.

Come to the Aquarium this morning Sunday 1st of OCtober from 11 till 4pm your kids can participate to the treasure hunting in the main tank and all the many activities proposed for this special occasion 🙂

While waiting for her face to be painted (in the form of a pink tiger), we looked around the other impressive tanks with themes such as Dingli Cliffs, Blue Grotto, Gozo and Comino, Maltese Wonders, The Red Sea and Living Reef to name a few.

Some of the strangest and impressive sea life I have ever had the opportunity to see and seeing as my swimming skills are appalling and I don’t venture out into the sea further than knee depth, this would also probably be the closest opportunity I would ever get.

Bridget was enthralled waving and wishing the sea life well at every opportunity.

Quite proud of myself I braved the Reptiles and Amphibians Zone with Bridget and Flora, smiling bravely as Bridget pointed out snakes, frogs, lizards and asking me to pick her up so she could take a closer look at the HUGE spiders.

Bridget loved popping her head into central glass domes of selected tanks and admittedly, I did too, even though I had to take her doll (Cece) in with me for a bit of support.

Malta National Aquarium also boasts a ‘Baby Station’ replicating a laboratory, this displays baby species of invertebrates, fish, amphibians or reptiles, all of which have been bred on site.

What I particularly like about this attraction is that the aquarium has teamed up with several NGOs and organisations, continually spreading awareness of the importance of marine conservation and helping throughout the year with other environment conservation initiatives.

Do not miss the #Ourocean Film Festival

The Malta National Aquarium will play host to a special ‘film festival’ during the evenings from 4th – 6th starting from 18:30pm and with some special guests in attendance.

Entrance is free.

Of course, our visit to the aquarium had to end with Mummy enjoying a cup of tea.

A spacious, airy, dining and drinking area in the form of La Nave Bistro was the perfect spot with glorious views from window seating, and what’s more, Bridget was given a selection of sea life based colouring pictures and a set of crayons to keep her amused. Fabulous idea!

So, after a quick play at the adjacent playground and a change of hairband (just as well Bridget brought them!) we hop back on the bus and head for home. Before the end of the road I had a sleeping, pink tiger wearing a silver glittery hairband fast asleep with a banana in her hand.

Happy 4th Birthday Malta National Aquarium and thank you for inviting us we had a ball!

Watch our video experience below 😉

Some Useful Information about the Aquarium

The Malta National Aquarium is open Monday – Sunday: 10:00 – 20:00 (Last Entry 19:30).

Ticket prices are: Adult €12.90, Child €6.00 (Ages 5-12, under 5 free), Senior €10.90 (Ages 60+). Tickets can also be bought online at http://www.aquarium.com.mt/visit/. A daily schedule can also be found on the website.

Follow Nicky and Bridget on their next family exploration 🙂