My “Making A Life” philosophy to living includes creating a homemade life but it also embraces making memories. When my husband announced that he had a conference in Vancouver I took the opportunity to invite myself and the kids along for the week. I firmly believe that learning happens everywhere, so I have no qualms about pulling the kids out of school for a few days for educational field trips of my own design.
The first stop on the agenda was the Vancouver Aquarium. We took the opportunity to get a little exercise and walked from the hotel to the Aquarium through Stanley Park stopping to play along the way. We had been to the Vancouver Aquarium a few times in the past but always during peak times like March Break and during the summer.
We arrived on a Tuesday morning to no line up! We strolled through the front gate and headed straight back outside to see the outdoor exhibits. We found the Pacific white-sided dolphin playing with his food. This was a hit with the kids but thankfully they forgot by the time it was time for them to have lunch. Next we headed over to see where the noise was coming from. The Stellar sea lions were barking away and my youngest who was just getting over a cold sounded similar. My oldest son’s favourite are the Penguins, so he led us over to see them. We checked out the Otters who were swimming and playing, and my youngest wanted to snuggle with them because “they are so cute”.
We got the chance to see the Belugas as well. We were at the Aquarium the day before Beluga Qila died and got a chance to see both Belugas interacting together. It was a shock to learn that Qila had passed and we feel very fortunate that we got to see her when we did. We are sending our best wishes to mother Aurora who is ailing and the team caring for her.
After spending an hour outside we headed inside and gazed at the jelly fish. These are my personal favourite; they are so calming to watch. The kids were getting hungry so we made a break for the Aquarium Café for a quick bite. One of the kids overheard someone talking about an octopus, so finding the octopus became the challenge of the afternoon. We went to the Tropics, Treasures of BC (where the Octopus lives) and the Exploration Gallery before settling into Clownfish Cove for a play.
Have you ever been to a 4-D movie? I had not, and had no idea what to expect. I won’t ruin it for you if you have never been, but I highly recommend it. It takes movie watching to the next level! After the 4D Great Escapes movie, we checked out the Amazon Gallery and headed downstairs to see the sting rays. My older son pet a sting ray when we were at the MOAT in Florida, but I didn’t so I took my turn and touched a sting ray during our Aquarium visit. For the record, they feel slimy, YUCK. Next we hoped over to see the Frogs, and then we headed back to the hotel for a swim. All the water inspired my little fish to take a dip.
The Aquarium is a great place to take kids of any age, the content is presented in a way that appeals to any age group. Even though I have been before it’s never boring. They do an excellent job not only educating the public on marine life but also the environment. We are already looking forward to our next visit!
The fine print: I reached out to the Vancouver Aquarium to see if they would be interested in a blog post in exchange for admission, they obliged. The opinions in this post however are 100% mine. If you don't believe me ask my mother or my husband how opinionated I can be :).