No matter the weather, the month or the season, there is always something happening at the Vancouver Aquarium. It’s one of our favourite places to visit with the kids and if you haven’t been yet, then you definitely need to keep reading and start planning!
With over 50,000 animals from all over the world, the Vancouver Aquarium has over a dozen exhibits and galleries that will have your kidlets full of aquatic excitement! Our favourite exhibits include watching the lively sea lions and white-sided dolphins at Stellar’s Bay and the Wild Coast, heating things up with some exotic aquatic species in the Tropic Zone and Graham Amazon Gallery, and then cooling off at Penguin Point and learning more about our own backyard in the Treasures of the B.C. Coast.
The Vancouver Aquarium is always keepin’ it fresh and this summer is no different! Make sure to check out their newest exhibit, Research Outpost, to learn more about arctic mammals, while also meeting two of the cutest (and surprisingly gigantic) two-year-old walruses, Lakina and Balzak. Another first, Vortex, is their first and latest art installation, in collaboration with Douglas Coupland. It’s a great exhibit full of eye-opening pieces that will definitely open up some conversation with your family about plastic waste.
In addition to their awesome exhibits, there are really fun and entertaining shows that run every day (check their daily show schedule for detailed times)! From their 4-D Experience movies to observing feeding times for sharks and sea otters and even watching a dolphin training session, all of their shows are led by their aquarium interpreters to get you more immersed in the world of marine life!
Fun for Everyone
The Vancouver Aquarium is perfect for kids and adults alike; but for kids ages 8 and under specifically, Clownfish Cove is the perfect play spot for them and includes an animal rescue centre, a seaside dock with “underwater” tunnels to explore, a pretend boat and a touch table. The reading nook in Clownfish Cove is the meeting place for their daily Storytime which is a hit with smaller kids and their caregivers!
A trip to the Vancouver Aquarium can take a whole day, or a few hours – it’s really up to you! Here are some tips and tricks to make your visit easier to plan:
- The Aquarium is in the heart of Stanley Park, which boasts a waterpark, a handful of beaches, a few playgrounds, endless sights to see and some amazing people watching! If you end up visiting on a really nice day, make sure to check out Stanley Park before or after your visit!
- Parking is $13/day during the high-season (April-September) or $7 during low-season (October-March). FYI, you need to know your licence plate number when you pay at the machine
- Strollers are allowed, but we recommend leaving it at home; if your little one can walk, they will most likely prefer to wander around and take in the sights up close!
- We highly recommend bringing your reusable water bottles. Almost a year and a half ago the Aquarium eliminated single-use plastic bottles and installed additional water stations all in an effort to reduce single-use plastic consumption and encourage visitors to do the same. You also won’t find any plastic straws at the Aquarium either.
- The Vancouver Aquarium is a nursing-friendly zone, but if you prefer a private area, there are private nursing areas located near the Teck Engagement Gallery, the Courtyard Cafe and the BC Wild Coast exhibit (check out the map for the detailed location)
- If you think you’ll be visiting the Vancouver Aquarium more than once a year, we highly suggest purchasing an annual membership. Admission and membership rates directly support Ocean Wise initiatives like Vancouver Aquarium and it’s Marine Mammal Rescue Centre as well as other initiatives like the Ocean Wise Seafood program and The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup. Members also get special benefits including express entry, discounts at gift shops and cafes, and exclusive member-only events and hours!
The Vancouver Aquarium
845 Avison Way, Vancouver
Operating hours may vary; check the website for a detailed schedule
Seniors (65+) $30
Youth (13-18) $30
Children (4-12) $21
Child (3 & Under) Free