Since January 2011, I’ve been a member at the Vancouver Aquarium. I would have to say, that O and I certainly got our money’s worth. The adult membership is $58 for the year for one adult. Children 3 years and younger are free. Since Sleepymom was on maternity leave for the first year, she had the membership to the aquarium. In the second year, we decided to switch.
I would say that we went Aquarium at least 15 times over the year. For the first part of 2011, I was working four days a week; so my Monday off included a morning trip to the Aquarium. Our visits were generally 1 – 2 hours long, I would usually try to get there when the doors open at 9:30 am.
Top Vancouver Aquarium Highlights:
- Amazon Rainforest – beautiful butterflies. One of the volunteer let O release some of the butterflies during opening.
- Large tank with Turtle, sharks and sting ray. Perhaps being able to stand high off the floor was the highlight, seeing the small sharks and large turtle was secondary.
- Daisy the Porpoise! We’ll never forget Daisy the Porpoise. The friendly mammal is quite social as she likes to hangout by underwater window and pose for pictures. O refers to Daisy as a doliphin. I now know its a porpoise as I was corrected by a braty 5 year old girl!
- Buluga tank! Amazing to watch these buluga’s swim and listen to trainers commands. How can i train my kids this way? With fish? The best place for a snack are the cushy benches down there. Its also a quiet place where they can run around without causing too much damage
- Clownfish Cove – the play area is definitely worth a stop. For the first part of the year O was timid, but now loves to use the stretcher to carry the little seals to the hospital where they are given an medical examination. We then help these furry seals back onto the boat where we drive out to release them back in the wild!
I made it a point to at least introduce a new ocean creature to O everytime that we went, and everytime we went back, we would say hi to the previous ones that we learned about.
I really enjoyed the Super Saturdays (every second Saturday of the month) members only are able to visit the aquarium starting at 8:30 am; one hour before its open to the public. I loved coming during the Super Saturdays as it is less crowded and hectic. I can just let O run around freely, without worrying about other people that much. I was also too late to buy tickets for the members’s Christmas event. I didn’t think it would be that popular!
Parking for the Vancouver Aquarium i find was expensive. During the winter months, its more manageable. $2 per 2 hours – not bad. In the peak season months (Summer), price goes up to $4 per 2 hour. Unfortunately, I never managed to organize myself to cycle along the seawall with O strapped in the bike trailer for free parking.
I think we’ll take a break from the aquarium this year, however, we’ll be back. Its time to explore other venues around Vancouver. Any other suggestions?