Welcome to Self Directed Visits

Self Directed visits are an excellent way to get your students engaged in marine life, with the flexibility to customize your day in a way that works best for you. The Vancouver Aquarium is home to over 5,000 animals of over 750 different species. There are endless ways to imagine your day.

This page is a asset for you to use throughout your Self Directed Visit. Here you will find resources for planning your visit, activities for your students, as well as follow up activities for your class. Students can apply what they learned during their visit by contributing to the Blogs, Discussion Boards, or Gallery.

As a non-profit conservation association, Ocean Wise has a mission to inspire the global community to become Ocean Wise by increasing understanding, wonder and appreciation for our oceans. Through self directed visits you can create a one of a kind experience for your students, be it in topics about biology, ecology, community, business, visual arts, social studies, geography, english... the list goes on.

Come and explore with your students. Who know what you might find!

To book a Self Directed Visit to the Aquarium please email [email protected]

Latest Announcement

Spring at the Vancouver Aquarium: Water Babies!

Posted by Danika on March 5th, 2020


Water Babies celebrates all things babies at the Vancouver Aquarium,

while providing some (rather cheeky) aquatic animal inspired Parenting 101 tips

Vancouver, Canada (March 04, 2020): Kicking off in time for Spring Break, the new exhibit Water Babies: Parenting 101 at the Vancouver Aquarium is bound to be a memorable one. This new feature, launching March 13, 2020, will highlight all things babies at the aquarium, while offering tongue-in-cheek Parenting 101 tips inspired by aquatic life. Tired of hearing parenting tips thrown your way? This exhibit will provide a fresh new approach with these amusing words of advice!

“Secure your baby while you look for food”; “Piggyback babies to the pool”; and “Grow babies in your limbs” are just a taste of the playful tips for raising water babies that will greet visitors at the Vancouver Aquarium this Spring. Each tip correlates to the parenting tactics of an ocean creature. Let’s take a note from the natural world, shall we?

· Learn why securing your baby while looking for food is a tip from the Sea Otter family at the Vancouver Aquarium. Fun fact: Sea Otters wrap their babies in seaweed or kelp to prevent them from floating away, while the adults hunt for food.

· Discover the co-parenting approach of the phantasmal poison frog. The eggs are laid by the female, then picked up by the male, put on his back and taken to a pool where they can safely grow.

· Find out how the parenting tip “grow babies in your limbs” applies to a certain species of jellyfish that grow their babies on their tentacles, until they hatch and swim away.

Water Babies adds humour to your visit, while also highlighting the conservation work going on behind-the-scenes at the Vancouver Aquarium, an initiative of the Ocean Wise Conservation Association. The Propagation Programs at the Vancouver Aquarium work to fulfill education, research and conservation goals of Ocean Wise. Researchers and biologists document the best conditions for raising species, they outline the physical development of animals that have never previously been detailed by scientists and help endangered species by raising and releasing animals into their natural habitat.

Understanding how water babies develop can better equip humans to protect these species and their natural environments. Maybe don’t take these tips too seriously, and avoid wrapping your baby in kelp just yet…

Water Babies: Parenting 101 will be launching on March 13, 2020. Find more details on the exhibit here.

About the Vancouver Aquarium

Since opening in 1956, the Vancouver Aquarium has connected more than 40 million people from around the world to our oceans and inspired them to take action to address key threats. Located in Stanley Park, the Vancouver Aquarium is home to thousands of incredible ocean species. It’s also Ocean Wise headquarters, where our scientists, educators and conservation experts do much of their work. Nearby, our Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, the only one of its kind in Canada, rescues, rehabilitates and releases more than 150 animals each year.

About Ocean Wise® Conservation Association

Ocean Wise Conservation Association is a not-for-profit global conservation organization on a mission to protect and restore the world’s oceans. Born out of the Vancouver Aquarium’s 60-year commitment to marine ecosystems, Ocean Wise is focused on empowering action through conservation, education and research. Ocean Wise’s many initiatives include the Vancouver Aquarium, Marine Mammal Rescue Program, The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, Ocean Wise Seafood Program, Ocean Wise Education, Marine Mammal Research Program, and The Plastics Lab. Ocean Wise is headquartered at the Vancouver Aquarium in Vancouver’s Stanley Park. Our vision is a world in which oceans are healthy and flourishing. Learn more at ocean.org.

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