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Will you be coming to experience our new Vancouver Aquarium Up Close feature this spring break? Don’t fear the crowds because our front-line staff and volunteers have some helpful tips on ways to enjoy your visit on a busy day.

Making the most of your visit.

During spring break from Saturday, March 15 to Sunday, March 30, the Vancouver Aquarium will be open for extended hours from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. The quietest times to visit during these hours are before 11 a.m. and after 3 p.m.

“Make sure your visit isn’t rushed. Plan at least two to three hours to explore all the galleries; otherwise you will most likely not have enough time to watch most of the shows, experience the 4-D theatre, and to explore the exhibits on your own.”

Christine W., Volunteer

“Take advantage of the hand stamp as it is valid all day. Break up your visit to enjoy beautiful Stanley Park and come back to the Aquarium once the crowds have gone.”

Pat M., Visitor Experience

“Bike to the Aquarium! You’ll get VIP parking closer to the entrance, avoid traffic and enjoy some fresh air. Plus, Stanley Park is a great place to go for a bike ride.”

Megan R., Membership

Note: Busing is also a great option. Present your valid transit pass for a $2 discount on general admissions.

Avoid the line ups!

There are plenty of ways to avoid line ups. For example, you can purchase your admission tickets online prior to your visit, and members can renew or purchase their membership online as well to avoid the general admission line.

“If you have already seen Vancouver Aquarium Up Close: Belugas and Dolphins programs, it is the perfect time to explore the indoor galleries, catch the 4-D experience, or grab a bite to eat since the line-up for food is not as long. Check out the grab-and-go side of the café for a quicker snack.”

Ken J., Gift Shop

“When it is busy at the café and I don’t have time to stand in line during my break, I go down to the Subshop by the Frogs Forever? exhibit for a soup, salad or sandwich.  There’s usually no line and as a bonus, they serve specialty coffees.”

– Don M., Food Services

“That bathroom you spot in one of our high-traffic galleries is probably the same one everyone else sees too. Look for washrooms in quieter areas, like the Underwater Beluga exhibit, and avoid the crowd.”        

Megan R., Membership

Check out the daily programs.
Be sure to arrive 15 to 20 minutes early for all of our programs and feel free to ask the interpreter what they think is the best spot to watch it from. If you are accompanied by a little one, it can be hard to wait. Use that extra time to eat a snack, or purchase an educational book from the Subshop.

“Go see the beluga show from the underwater viewing area in the Arctic Exhibit exhibit. Although getting up close right next to the glass to see Qila and Aurora can be a wonderful experience, actually stepping back or sitting against the wall gives one an equally spectacular view of what’s going on.” 

– Rikki R., Admissions   

Note: Underwater Beluga and Underwater Dolphin Viewing are both perfect spots to watch the shows on a rainy day or avoid the crowds.

Take a map and write the show times on the exhibits area where the shows are. Helps for planning.”

– Pia D., Volunteer

Note: If you have a smart phone, you can also use our free Wi-Fi to access our show schedule online.

Phew! It is hard to include all of our tips but we hope these little tidbits help you make the most of your visit. If you have any questions prior to your visit, contact us at visitorexperience@vanaqua.org and we will be happy to help you!

Stay tuned for part two of this series on visitor tips!

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