Pick of the Park

Vancouver Aquarium
Pick of the Park

Think your house looks like a hurricane hit? You should see Stanley Park.

Assuming the park is safe to travel, you can see first-hand the wake left by the 100 km-plus winds that roared across Vancouver in the past days and weeks. Sure, you can click onto photo galleries like this one, but your kids will never forget their real-life view of the havoc wrought by the “Great Storm of ’06”.

Want another good reason to visit the park? Check out the Vancouver Aqarium’s new gallery that’s custom-made for the under-eight set. “Clownfish Cove” is a welcome respite for tired moms and a perfect playground for their offspring. Located off the Treasures of B.C. wing, this learning space is a comfortable place to relax and regroup. There’s only one way in (makes it tough for toddlers to escape undetected!) and it has its own set of washrooms and baby change areas.

While you kick back in one of the comfy chairs, the kids can x-ray a sick ‘seal’ in the Animal Care Hospital, dress up as an aquatic creature, touch some real, live sealife with the help of aquarium staff, or enjoy the other hands-on displays and picture books. If you’re there at 10 am on weekdays (generally a less busy, therefore more savvy, time), you’ll catch the one-hour family program that includes puppet shows, songs, stories and other activities.

The Aquarium includes other family-friendly features such as rental lockers for parents weary of toting around excess outerwear and diaper bags, strollers that may be borrowed, and a whale-side café that offers kid-approved food like mac and cheese and great salads or paninis for moms. Savvy tip: watching the dolphin and beluga shows from the underwater viewing area is a wise choice for families with rambunctious toddlers, as it gives the kids lots of room to play while the show is on.

Stanley Park may look somewhat different, but one thing hasn’t changed. The Aquarium is still one of the few ‘family attractions’ that is truly that—a venue that’s of equal appeal to young and old alike.

And that’s a windfall we like.

Learn more about the Vancouver Park Board’s Tree Fund, established to aid in repairing and replanting our much-loved Stanley Park.

How to Find

Vancouver Aquarium
www.vanaqua.org
(604) 659-3474

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First published 2007.01.11

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