This summer has seen some of the hottest days on record across B.C., and while temperatures have cooled slightly in recent days, there is no end (for now) to the sunshine in the forecast.
Whether you’re looking to soak up the rays or keep cool in the shade, the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre is a great place to visit when the sun is shining. Here are a few tips to make the most of this sunnier-than-usual summer:
- Start with a walk or bike ride around Stanley Park: There are a number of bike rental shops located just at the entrance to the park that will help you feel the breeze in your hair and allow you to take in more of the many sights Stanley Park has to offer. The Aquarium has ample free bike parking, allowing you to swing by easily on your bike ride loop around the seawall.
- Chill out with an ice cream cone or iced coffee at our new Waterfall Café located just outside the Aquarium admission in Stanley Park. Stay cool under one of the umbrella shades, or enjoy the sunshine at one of the picnic tables. What’s even cooler? Purchases at any of our café’s support the Aquarium’s mission to conserve aquatic life.
- Soak in the rays of the Wild Coast: The Wild Coast is home to sea lions, sea otters, Helen the Pacific white-sided dolphin, and now Chester, the rescued false killer whale calf. Grab your sunglasses and enjoy the ample outdoor space around these exhibits. Don’t miss the trainer talks with our interpreters and marine mammal staff, there is one almost every 30 minutes during our peak summer hours.
- Have a splash at a beluga show: There’s no quicker way to cool down than with a splash of Arctic cold water from a beluga tail slap. Watch the caring for beluga show on daily at 10:30 a.m., 12:45, 2:15, 3:30 or 5:15 p.m., to learn more about the life of a marine mammal trainer, and the ways they interact with the belugas, including an occasional beluga tail slap or squirt of water into the audience splash zone.
- If you’re not quite up for the full splash down, head to our 4D theatre to get out of the heat and enjoy the occasional spray of the ocean as you go back 82 million years on Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure in 4D. You’ll learn about the colossal marine reptiles of the dinosaur age and some of the most intriguing creatures that ever lived on Earth.
- Keep hydrated: During the hot summer months, keep calm and stay hydrated. You can refill your reusable water bottle at a number of places around the Aquarium – helping to keep cool and reduce plastic waste.
The Aquarium is open for extended hours all summer long from 9:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. daily. Think you’ll be visiting more than once? An Aquarium membership pays for itself in just two visits and includes a 20 per cent discount off café and gift shop purchases. We hope you’ll add the Vancouver Aquarium to your bucket list this summer!