With summer just around the corner, tourists and locals alike will be planning their summer family outings. Located in beautiful Stanley Park, and voted one of Vancouver’s top attractions, summertime is the peak season for visitors at the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre. With this in mind, we’ve compiled our top 10 tips to help you make the most of your next visit to the Vancouver Aquarium:
- Plan your route: Pay parking is in effect year round throughout all of Stanley Park and can fill up fast on busy weekends throughout the summer. Luckily the Aquarium is also easily reached by public transit, the number 19 bus from downtown Vancouver, and is also a lovely place to walk and bicycle to on the Stanley Park seawall.
- Go early: The early bird really does get the worm. During the summertime, the Aquarium is open from 9:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. daily with peak periods from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. If possible, arrive by 9:30 a.m. to enjoy a bit of quiet time before it gets busy.
- Check out the show listing: Our daily show schedule is available online and is also posted at the Aquarium entrance and on screens around the galleries. Be sure to note the different show times so you don’t miss a sea otter feeding or a caring for belugas session.
- Bring a re-fillable water bottle: Ocean conservation is one of the core pillars of the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre. You can help us with this mission by bringing your own reusable water bottle on your Aquarium visit and refilling it at one of our water stations – 24,000 water bottles saved and counting.
- Take a break and visit the 4D theatre: Give your feet a break and slip into our 4D theatre for an immersive movie experience, included in the price of admission. Currently showing Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure, be prepared for a few friendly splashes and some startling surprises.
- Fuel up: Recharge your batteries at our new Café, offering indoor and outdoor seating. Our specialty coffee bar serves local Salt Spring coffee, freshly baked treats and family friendly meal options.
- Go underwater – without getting wet: Get a different perspective on some of our marine mammals and see how they swim and move by viewing them underwater in the Canada’s Arctic exhibit and in the underwater dolphin viewing area.
- Share your memories: Don’t forget to snap a few photos of your visit. Have a question or comment or simply want to share your experience with us? Tag your photos or questions on Twitter or Instagram with @vanaqua.
- Go slow: The marine mammals often steal the show at the Aquarium, after all it’s hard to compete with rafting sea otters. However, some of the most intriguing exhibits can be found teeming with small sea life from pipefish to lumpsuckers to tiny crabs and molluscs. Informative signage on each exhibit will walk you through all of the Aquarium’s sea creatures from large to small.
- Convert your day pass to a yearly membership: With 50,000 aquatic animals, there is a lot to see at the Vancouver Aquarium. An annual membership pays for itself in just two visits and allows you to visit your favourite marine species as many times as you like. You also receive discounts at our food services, gift shop and have access to special member’s only special events. Visit the membership desk at any point during your visit to upgrade your day pass to a yearly membership for you and your family.
We hope that you’ll make the Vancouver Aquarium part of your summer plans this year. Just by visiting the Aquarium you’re helping to conserve our aquatic environment. Learn more about our conservation, research and education programs online or join us in person to see first hand.