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Vancouver Aquarium at Stanley Park

Vancouver Aquarium at Stanley Park

The Vancouver Aquarium at Stanley Park is one of Vancouver’s top attractions with all its fish, sea otters, sea lions, 4D theatre and various exhibits.

The attraction is located at 845 Avison Way.


This article contains the following information about the Vancouver Aquarium:

Admission | Membership Prices | About the Aquarium | Things to See | Special EventsTips and Advice | Other Information


Vancouver’s Aquarium

Rain or shine, year-round the Vancouver Aquarium is one of Vancouver’s most popular tourist destinations (although do bring an umbrella if it’s raining as half the things to see are outside).

The Vancouver Aquarium isn’t cheap, but it’s an attraction worth visiting. Children under age 3 get into the Aquarium for free. Also, the place has a really cool 4D movie theatre, so be sure to check that out along with all their regular marine animal shows.

If it’s been a while since you last visited the Vancouver Aquarium, then do go again – a lot has changed.



Looking for ways to stretch your tourist attraction dollars? Then check out the 2-for-1 deals you can get with membership in the Entertainment Coupon Program! The coupons used to come in a book, but now they come in a mobile app that you can access on your phone.

There weren’t coupons for the Vancouver Aquarium on the app the last time we checked. There were, however, lots of great discounts at other Lower Mainland attractions including the Vancouver Police Museum, Stanley Park Horse Drawn Carriage Tours, H.R. MacMillan Space Centre, Forbidden Vancouver, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden, the Stanley Park Ecology Society, BC Sports Hall of Fame and a variety of other places. The coupon app is also full of deals at area restaurants too!

Access to Entertainment Coupons costs just $4.99 (US) a month or $34.99 for a year. To learn more, see our article about Vancouver Entertainment Coupons.


Entertainment Coupons


Admission to the Aquarium

Ticket prices to visit the venue vary by day. Some days tickets are more expensive and some days less. It depends on the date and expected levels of demand. As of early 2024, admission ranges from $39.95 to $53.95 for folks ages 13+. Seniors and students are about $5 less expensive and children are about $15 cheaper. Infants and toddlers are free.


Vancouver Maritime Museum 25% Discount Offer


Membership Prices

Membership at the Aquarium costs around the price of two visits, so it’s a pretty good deal. Annual membership rates as of early 2024 were the following:

  • Adults (ages 13 to 64) – $80
  • Students (ages 19+ with ID) – $70
  • Seniors (ages 65+) – $70

Annual membership for children (ages 3 to 12) used to be $42.00. As of early 2024, however, the Aquarium’s website didn’t provide details or membership purchasing options for children. To buy a membership for a child you have to buy one for an adult at the same time.

Family memberships are also available. As of early 2024, the prices were the following for families of different sizes (excluding taxes):

  • 1 Adult, Senior or Youth plus 2 Children (ages 3 to 12): $180
  • 2 Adults, Seniors or Youth plus 2 Children: $260
  • 2 Adults, Seniors or Youth plus 1 Child: $210
  • 1 Adult, Senior or Youth plus 3 Children: $225
  • 2 Adults, Seniors or Youth plus 3 Children: $310
  • 2 Adults, Seniors or Youth plus 4 Children: $360


Boy Looking at Aquarium Jelly Fish


About the Aquarium

A number of factors make the Vancouver Aquarium as popular as it is. For example, it is Canada’s largest aquarium, and one of the five largest in North America. It’s also the oldest aquarium in Canada.

Since opening in 1956 as Canada’s first public aquarium, the Vancouver Aquarium has grown dramatically, with over 100,000 square feet of area today. A few years ago it had 1,500 staff and volunteers, 50,000 animals, and hundreds of thousands of visitors per year. As many as 5,000 or 6,000 people visit the place on a busy day (or at least they did before the pandemic).

Due to the coronavirus, the Vancouver Aquarium closed its doors in mid-March of 2020. High operating costs resulted in the Aquarium facing possible bankruptcy. The attraction reopened in late June of 2020 with new safety measures in place. It closed again in September that year, but reopened in mid-August 2021. It has remained open ever since.

On April 15th, 2021, the Aquarium announced that it had been sold. The new owner is Herschend Enterprises which is a large US-based corporation that operates theme parks. The company also owns aquariums in New Jersey and Kentucky.

The Vancouver Aquarium has been a world leader in environmental education, research and conservation. Hopefully that continues under its new ownership!


Things to See at the Aquarium

There are lots of things to see and do at the Vancouver Aquarium. In addition to the 4D theatre and displays featuring tens of thousands of fish, there are daily sea otter programs, shark talks and more. The aquarium also has a few “experiences” available including their Wet Lab, Clownfish Cove and Touch Pools programs.


Vancouver Aquarium Fish


Special Events at the Aquarium

From time to time the Vancouver Aquarium hosts special events. Sometimes there are fancy fundraising dinners and other times adults-only evenings and even family sleepovers.

One of the most popular special events is during the Christmas season when the Aquarium gets decorated, holiday films are shown in the 4D theatre, and Santa (a.k.a. Scuba Claus) entertains people and swims with the fish.

Holiday Splash is the name of the Christmas-themed event at the Aquarium. It usually runs from mid-November until the first few days in January.

For details about the Aquarium during the Christmas season, click Holiday Traditions and Scuba Claus.


Scuba Claus at Christmas at Aquarium
Scuba Claus at the Vancouver Aquarium


Tips and Advice

Below are some suggestions and useful information to help you get the most out of your visit.

TIP #1: As it’s located in the middle of Stanley Park, consider spending part of the day touring the park and then part of the day at the Aquarium. If you still have hours remaining, the parking ticket you pay for at the aquarium is valid at other places throughout the park.

TIP #2: Arrive early so you can see more of the programs and feedings. Also, don’t miss the 4D show, and don’t wait until the last showing in case it fills up. For the 4D shows, arrive at least 15 minutes prior to a show time to get prime seating.

Tip #3: Do not bring straws or outside drinks into the Aquarium. They will be confiscated for the safety of the animals. Also be aware that all children’s bikes, scooters or skateboards will be kept at the entrance of the Aquarium. Visitors are not able to enter with them.

Tip #4: The Vancouver Aquarium is an environmentally-friendly facility with many different ways of disposing of waste. Read each waste bin carefully and put everything in the right bin to help the environment.

Tip #5: Be sure to spot the sloths in the Amazon before you leave the aquarium. They are one of our favourite animals at the aquarium.




Other Information

For more information about the attraction, check out the Vancouver Aquarium‘s website.

To learn about a seafood-related environmental initiative led by the aquarium, check out our article about the Ocean Wise Program.

Other articles that might be of interest include the following: