The Vancouver Aquarium

Aboriginal Art Sculpture

One of the highlights of our recent trip to Vancouver was a visit to the city's aquarium. With an emphasis on West Coast marine life and conservation, the Vancouver Aquarium offers both interesting and aesthetically pleasing displays of both flora and fauna. As we walked through, I could hear the cheerful and enthusiastic staff passing on their knowledge to visitors. The Aquarium also provided some very motivating paper and pencil activities that I saw a lot of young people working on.

Although we all go to aquariums to see the big fish, the belugas and dolphins, I found myself just as interested in the beautiful underwater plants, the laid-back starfish and, of course, the relaxing beauty and flow of the jellyfish (Don't believe me? Check out my video below). All the animals seemed happy and well-cared for, and the aquarium offered both under and above-water viewing.

An added bonus was the 4D Experience Theatre. We were given a pair of 3D glasses to view a short film on sea life in the shallows. Well, what is the fourth dimension? That would be the spray of water you get when a dolphin jumps out of the sea, the tickle of a wire on the back of your legs as a nest of snakes disperses or the jolt your seat receives when a predator pounces on its prey. The 4D surprises had most of us on the edge of our seats. There was a lot of laughing and screaming, most of which came from the adults, namely me.

Curious Otter
The only criticism I have of the Aquarium was that the paper and pencil activities were not available in French. Yes, after living in Quebec for 10 years, I have had two children whose first language is our other official language, and as every parent knows, my job is to advocate on their behalf and ensure that they have every opportunity to learn. I asked and was disappointed to learn that my daughter could not benefit from the well-developed and highly motivating activities the Aquarium staff had prepared. Although the Aquarium does offer some programming in French, there was no translation of these exercises available.

Apart from this, the Vancouver Aquarium is not to be missed if you are visiting the Lower Mainland.

Check out the 1-minute video of the Moon Jelly Fish.



geo | November 14, 2011 at 12:01 AM


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