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The scariest summer holiday attraction we know

Blue Planet's Venom isn't for the faint-hearted...and kids get in free with our voucher

Published on July 20th 2010.

The scariest summer holiday attraction we know

An aquarium isn't the most obvious setting for a nail-biting, adrenalin-racing attraction. Aren't fish supposed to be calming, gentle creatures that instil a sense of peace as we watch them swim hither and thither?

In the 'Tarantula Tower' you stand in a bubble of glass as the furry-legged spiders crawl around just millimetres away from your face.

Although there's plenty at Blue Planet for kids who like to gaze in wonder, its newest attraction is definitely aimed at those who prefer to get giddy with nerves. 'Venom' is a just-opened area devoted to some of the scariest creatures in existence. Black widow spiders, venomous lionfish, stinging jellyfish, assassin bugs, and white lipped tree vipers are just some of the monsters waiting to make your skin crawl and your hair stand on end.

They're kept behind specially-reinforced displays that allow you to get up close and personal with the stuff of your nightmares. In the 'Tarantula Tower' you stand in a bubble of glass as the furry-legged spiders crawl around just millimetres away from your face. Sounds like fun? Not to us, but the more adventurous kids will likely disagree.

There are also scorpions, lion fish, plus a whole host of other venomous creatures...and that's before you get on to the rest of the aquarium. Here you'll find the largest collection of sharks in Europe, and one of the longest aquatunnels in the world. Wandering through this is an experience to remember. These sharks are massive – particularly when they're gliding, teeth bared, alongside you.

It's not all fearsome fiends though. There's some very cute otters, cuddly dwarf crocodiles, and a whole world of fish and other underwater creatures. As you explore the aquarium you'll see a mangrove swamp, a coral bay, an African lake, a rocky shoreline, and many more exotic environments.

It ends with a shop where you can buy the soft-toy version of your favourite fish, and outside there's a pirate playground complete with ship wreck and wobbling whales. A cafe will keep you fed on your visit, or there's a picnic area if you prefer to bring your own food.

A trip to Blue Planet Aquarium is a lot of fun but it's also educational – it's the ideal way for children to discover the natural world without even realising they're learning something.

For youngsters who have earned an extra special summer holiday treat, there's a range of activities that they can do: the Bubblemaker Dive Experience gives 8 to 14-year-olds the chance to try diving with the aquarium's Sand Tiger Sharks close by, and the Marine Team Experience gives 7 to 12-year-olds the opportunity to join the aquarium's team for the day.

You'll find Blue Planet Aquarium at junction 10 of the M53 (off the M56) – an easy drive from Manchester and Liverpool.

And for parents who want a day out that won't cost too much, we've got a voucher that lets children get in for free with a full paying adult. You can use as many vouchers as you like on your visit – so you can get a free child's place for every adult.

Blue Planet Aquarium is open from 10am to 6pm during school holidays and weekends (5pm on weekdays outside of school holidays).

Click here to download your voucher.

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