Come face to fin with over 70,000 captivating creatures at the amazing Vancouver Aquarium in Stanley Park. Enjoy dolphin & beluga whale shows, sea otter feeds, shark dives & the free-roaming animals found in the popular Amazon Gallery. For an unforgettable extra, try a hands-on animal encounter. Immerse yourself in the 4D Experience Theatre, which combines the high-definition excitement of a 3D film with thrilling sensory effects! And don't miss the newest exhibit, Canada's Arctic, which highlights the impacts of climate change in Canada's majestic Arctic. Open 365 days a year with extended hours in July and August. Wheelchair access.
Interested in Aboriginal art and culture? Do not miss the MOA, home to one of the world’s premiere collections of Northwest Coast First Nations art. The building, designed by world-renowned architect Arthur Erickson, houses towering totem poles, a cedar canoe and large carvings. Huge, 40ft/12m high windows provide a spectacular ocean and mountain backdrop.
Curious about what Vancouver used to look like? Visit the Museum of Vancouver in Vanier Park. Interactive displays highlight Vancouver’s past and showcase some of the museum’s 10,000 items, which include a trunk from “Gassy Jack” Deighton (one of Vancouver’s best known pioneers), 1950s neon signs, 1960s protest buttons, as well as photographs, toys and clothing from eras gone by.
At the Vancouver Maritime Museum, watch model ships being built and learn about lighthouses, shipwrecks, Vancouver's harbour, and deep ocean exploration. Warning: the St. Roch, the first vessel to travel the Northwest Passage in one season, is not currently visible (under repair). But the view from the seashore near the museum is worth a visit, as well as the small marina with a few old boats.
Want an interesting photo to send to your friends and family? Get a picture taken behind bars at the Vancouver Police Museum. Housed on the top floor of a 1934 heritage building (which eerily used to be the Coroner’s Courtroom, morgue and autopsy facilities), the museum explores the history of policing in the city. Compare real and counterfeit money, and take a look at confiscated weapons and unusual firearms.
Experience what life was like 90 years ago at the Burnaby Village Museum. Costumed staff and heritage/replica buildings recreate a traditional community from the 1920s. Walk through a restored electric tram car, visit the general store, watch a blacksmith make horseshoes, or learn how a newspaper was printed. The 1912 CW Parker Carousel has delighted riders for almost 100 years.
Learn about coastal BC's fisheries industry at the Gulf of Georgia Cannery in nearby Richmond. The old wooden waterfront building, known as the “Monster Cannery,” was once the leading producer of canned salmon in British Columbia. See artifacts such as Big Bertha (the revolutionary machine from the 1960s that stuffed 100 cans of salmon per minute) or take a tour through interactive exhibits.
For more on museums and things to do in Vancouver, visit one of the Vancouver Visitor Centres