Jason had to go downtown to his works office, instead of taking transit I decided very last minute to drive him in with Everly and take her to the Vancouver Aquarium. While on the drive we agreed that it would be smart to get an adult membership for myself. I would love to take her more often, and this is the best way to do it, you pay off the membership in 2 and a half visits basically. Be warned they do take your photo for the back of the member card.
It has been almost a year since our first visit with her so I was extremely excited to go again. I was wondering what she would think this time around, and if it would be a success or total disaster?
She was great about waiting in the short line to get a membership, we had to wait maybe 4 minutes to get to the counter and get everything done. I think she was keeping herself entertained by making funny faces the whole time though.
Currently being featured at the aquarium is Luminescence. Being shared is the world of fluorescent and bioluminescent light. So basically all the incredible ways that there is “light” in the depths of the ocean. This was great, because all the different displays really kept Everly’s attention. She loves seeing the glowing jelly fish go floating past her. She kept trying to reach out and touch them. She especially love the bright pink ones, called blubber jelly, that you will have to find if you go.
With it being Christmas break there were lots of volunteers around to ask questions to, and learn lots about the different creatures. One gentleman was very helpful in pointing out where the octopus was hiding when we where there. He was especially great with all of the children and kept them very entertained.
The giant window where you can see the sharks, sting ray, and sea turtle is always a bit crowded but worth the wait to be able to look in. There is just something about being able to press your face and hands up against this large viewing area that draws everyone’s attention. We even got to touch a sea turtle shell, this shell was much larger than Everly in length. The clown fish are fun to see, as you will often hear children exclaiming “NEMO! I found Nemo!” That movie sure has made clown fish popular.
I brought the stroller with us, and found myself switching back and forth from letting Everly walk to being in it. I am thankful I had it as it did make viewing some things much easier for her. It was also handy to have to know she was in a safe place to sit and have her bottle and eat her lunch. Next visit though, I might try just bringing the baby carrier.
One thing you will notice as soon as you get to the aquarium is that there is a lot of construction going on, both outside and inside. It did make finding a parking spot difficult, plus with Christmas break, I ended up looping around the parking area several times before getting a spot. I sure hope more parking will be in the works too? Right now the pay parking is very reasonable because of the winter rates. I am looking forward, but also a little apprehensive as to how the aquarium will look once all the renovations are done. I still have so many memories from growing up that it will take me a bit to adjust once it is all complete. I look forward to seeing it though!
Down in Clownfish cove, you can view the dolphins and your little one can play. There is even a stroller parking area to make it less chaotic. If you are a nursing Mom, or have a little one who needs a quiet place to nurse or drink there bottle there is also a nice little chair tucked behind a curtain for some privacy. Everly loved the tunnels and blocks area and played in there happily for a long time. I actually had to crawl in and take her out. I saw many kids enjoying the xray machine where you can put one of the stuffed and see what its skeletal system is like. There is lots for kids to explore in this area.
Other visitors to the aquarium were great about making room for little ones on their own two feet, or little ones in strollers to be able to go right up to the front and see the different animals. This made it a great experience for me, as I was worried with the crowds that she might not be able to see that much. I did decide to skip any of the show times and went around to the different areas either before or after these so that she could view to her hearts content. When she is older, and much more interested we will wait to watch those.
Our last stop was of course to see the belugas. They are possibly my favourite marine mammals currently at the aquarium. I also find there section of the aquarium very peaceful. Could be all of the blue colouring while down there, and the sounds. It is very relaxing. My tip for parents, this is also the area where I go to for a washroom pit stop. Its got a very easy access change table to use when a diaper change is needed, so if you are on the hunt for a change table go to this one if you can. I find the other ones much to crowded during busy aquarium visits. One of the volunteers in this area was doing face painting! She was so quick with all the young kids, and all of the pictures she did on their faces looked amazing! She had two cards with different animal pictures the kids could select from. It made me look forward to when Everly is older and can get her first face painting!
I am so glad we finally got a membership for me. With it I get unlimited admissions, because Everly is so young she is free to enter (3 & under are free). There is members express entry, so you don’t have to worry about standing in a line up to get in. Once I had my card, I just popped over and went right in. The only thing I’d like to see is for there to be a photo book entry for member guests too, or for them to be able to jump in and get a photo taken on the green screen too? This is the one thing we missed out on that I was hoping for, since there was a long line up I didn’t bother to ask. With the adult and family memberships you get 1(one) free guest pass for a single use, there is also 20% off guest general admission, and of course 20% off at the cafe and gift shop. I am definitely planning on visiting multiple times throughout the year of our membership so all of this will be very helpful.
We love the aquarium. It is a place I grew up visiting all the time, I want it to be a place Everly gets to visit with us all the time too. I hope she has some incredible memories from our adventures there as she gets older.