The Vancouver Aquarium is home to 50,000 animals, so it can be hard to catch everything in one visit. In this second of two installments of this series, staff and volunteers have compiled their secrets for returning visitors and members who want to make the most of each visit.

Learn Something New

There is always something new happening at the Aquarium, whether it is our new feature Vancouver Aquarium Up Close (on until April 30), or the most recent addition to our Tropic Zone, the Cardinalfish babies. At the start of your visit, ask a staff or volunteer for up-to-date information about what is happening that specific day, or visit our daily program schedule here.

Below are more tips from our staff and volunteers for making the most of each visit – again and again:

“Ask the admissions staff or the volunteer at the info desk for the day’s feature programs – you’ll see cool shows that don’t happen every day.”

– Nicole C., Interpretive Delivery 

“Ask a question and share an experience with a volunteer or staff member. The interaction will be something you can take away with you and remember for years to come!”

– Barry R., Volunteer

And you never know whom you might end up meeting. It could be a marine mammal trainer, a research scientist or one of our incredible long-time volunteers.

Find the Secret Nooks and Crannies

The real Aquarium fun starts once the little nooks, secret sessions and smaller animals slowly reveal themselves to you. Have you ever looked into the Strait of Georgia exhibit from the little cave on the left hand side? Have you ever spotted a spontaneous exhibit feed? A lot of them tend to happen in the morning but it is all about being in the right spot at the right time.

“Look carefully for wolf eels at the back of the Quadra Island exhibit in the Treasures of B.C. Coast gallery. It may take a while to figure out what to look for, but they’re almost always visible in one cave or another.”

– Derek J., Interpretive Delivery

“Check out the marine mammal habitats in between shows. Training sessions happen unannounced throughout the day and can be just as much fun to watch.”

– Marcus W., Volunteer

“Do not pass a habitat if you cannot see the animal right away. You miss a great opportunity to get to know the animals up close.” 

– Christine W., Volunteer


Check out our Frogs Forever? gallery. Spotting the amphibians in each exhibit is half the fun!

“Find the Staff Pick of the Month. You will learn about one of our favourite animals right from the staff and volunteers each month!”
– Ninon D., Visitor Experience

“Come see the sharks being fed during Vancouver Aquarium Up Close: Sharks on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.”

– Nicole C., Interpretive Delivery

Note: show times and feed days are subject to change.

Revisiting with Children

Keeping children engaged at the Aquarium has never been a challenge, but we do have a few extra tips for your back pocket.

“Check out an extra fun Family Program. The 10:45 a.m. Family Program on the last Thursday of each month features songs and musical instruments!”

– Derek J., Interpretive Delivery                  

“If a visitor has an iPhone or an iPad, I usually tell them to download our Snappz app, the Aquarium’s treasure hunt game. It is a great way to learn something new about our animals while having fun. Don’t forget to claim your prize in our gift shop once you have enough points!”

– Manvir P., Visitor Experience

As you can see, you will never be bored at the Aquarium, no matter how much time you spend within our galleries or how often you come.

Planning on visiting more than twice this year? We recommend you purchase a membership. Enjoy the freedom to visit as many times as you want within a year and numerous other benefits.

If you have any questions prior to your visit, contact us at visitorexperience@vanaqua.org and we will be happy to help you!

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