After Hours at the Vancouver Aquarium

Tropical Fish Tank, Vancouver Aquarium

The following article was contributed by Tourism Vancouver staffer Andrew Budreski

Last week’s After Hours at the Vancouver Aquarium was the first of its kind.  This sold-out event allowed for 500 visitors to come to the aquarium between 6-10pm, and experience the exhibits at night, without the crowds.  Almost every exhibit was open for viewing, including the 4d theatre.  This 19+ licensed event also provided a unique opportunity for experiencing the aquarium in an adults-only atmosphere.  The event was such a success that another After Hours event is already planned for June 27th, 2012.

Sea Turtle and Black Tip Reef Shark, Vancouver Aquarium

Since it was a 19+ event, the food and beverage service for the evening included beer and wine.  Sitting outdoors with my girlfriend enjoying a burger and a beer with nobody around but a curious Beluga whale is an experience I’ll not soon forget!

Beluga Whale, Vancouver Aquarium

The Belugas weren’t the only curious ones.  I’ve been the Aquarium a number of times, and I’ve never experienced the same level of interaction with the animals as I did during After Hours.  Some of the animals are more active at night, while others simply seemed to enjoy the late-night visitors.  Helen, one of the Aquarium’s Pacific White-Sided Dolphins, was especially interested in her spectators, following us from window to window and mimicking the movements of some of the other guests.

Photo: Marli Anderson

In addition to the regular programming, After Hours also provided a few behind the scenes tours of the Aquarium’s exhibits.  We went “backstage” of the Our World exhibit to learn about the extensive care and attention to detail that goes into creating a healthy and livable environment for the species within.  Everything from the intake of seawater from nearby Burrard Inlet, the planting of real kelp and seaweed in the tanks, and the broad-spectrum lamps used to simulate sunlight.  Other activities included the Wet Lab, where you could roll up your sleeves and get up close and personal with marine wildlife; and the very popular  “Shark Penthouse”, an area normally closed to visitors.

Photo: Marli Anderson

Vancouver Aquarium
845 Avison Way, Stanley Park
Vancouver BC V6B 3X8
Phone: 604.659.3474
Fax: 604.659.3515
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