I love the Aquarium. It's perfect for those rainy days when we want a quick outing. And it's great for those days when we want to go out for the entire day - there are so many things to do at Stanley Park that you could easily spend the whole day exploring the SeaWall, riding the Trolley bus, cycling the 10-ish kilometre trail along the Seawall, watching the float planes taking off, seeing cruise ships float by, playing at one (or all) of the playgrounds and the water park, riding the miniature train, checking out the Totem Poles and beautiful gardens or just lounging and playing in the sand. There is something for everyone at the park!
Right now, the Aquarium has a deal where you can visit any day in April and come back any day in May for FREE. That works out to be about $15 per visit.
Personally, I have always just gotten a membership as it's worth it if you plan on going three or more times. The adult membership is $70, on the nose. No tax or fees. It includes a one-time pass for you to bring a guest. So, basically, for you to go twice and bring a friend once, it is cheaper than paying regular admission each time (by about $20!) Well worth it, in my opinion!
Dean and I have gone twice this past week and he loved it today just as much as on Monday. Today was a bit more busy but he still loved exploring - especially because this time we brought Daddy and left the stroller behind (I don't drive so when it's just us, I take the stroller for our stuff) It was nice to be able to not worry about the stroller while darting around after him! He is a very active toddler and moves fast!
A few weeks ago, during Spring Break, I went with a friend to the Aquarium with her 13 month old daughter. Dean was watching the Sea Lions get fed and swim around. He was really interested in them and curious... Then they burped. Well, it wasn't a burp, but that's what kind of sound they make when they are talking. It scared him the first time. And the second time. And even the third time they made the noise. He is not one to startle or be cautious about something, so it was quite funny to see (I know, I'm an awful parent for enjoying him being frightened! Haha) He eventually got braver about them and went up to the fence and then was fine. But both times we've gone there since then, he still has a bit of reservations about them when they make their noise the first couple times. Then he's fine and will smile and laugh and get excited.
Dean enjoyed watching the dolphins jump out of the water during the Dolphin show. He was a bit impatient for it to start but that's the nice thing about having two of us - I watched him while he ran around in the area behind where Jason was holding out spot at the fence to watch. Once the show got started, he was pretty into it for a little while before wanting to "go go go" and run and explore more.
Now that Jason has a membership (we didn't get him one at first as he used the guest pass I got from mine when we went before and I figured with our Science World memberships, we would use that one as a family and this would be good for Dean and I during the weeks) I think we will be going much more often! At least until baby arrives. I won't be packing up a newborn and a very active toddler to take the hour and twenty minute commute on transit by myself! No, thanks. (Once baby is a bit older, it will be fair game though!)
I recommend taking advantage of the 2-for-1 deal while you can! It's well worth it - and with the great weather ahead (I hope..) it will make for some wonderful family adventure days with your little ones!