During these times of social distancing parents/guardians may find it difficult to keep things interesting for children at home. Our team of therapists here at Youth Home, Inc. have compiled an extensive list of virtual tours that children of all ages can enjoy. We are incorporating these tours into our daily school routine on campus and hope that it will be useful for you (especially on those rainy days)!
San Diego Zoo
The San Diego Zoo has an entire site for kids with live cams, animal facts, activities and games. Check out favorites like the polar bear cam and the baboon cam for an experience that almost feels like being there.
Every weekday at 11 a.m. Central time, tune into the Houston Zoo’s Facebook page for behind-the-scenes livestreams of daily zoo life, including zookeepers bathing elephants, taking a cheetah on a walk or feeding giraffes.
The Cincinnati Zoo has begun hosting Home Safari Facebook Live events daily at 3 p.m. EST. The zoo highlights one animal a day and includes a related activity that you can do at home. Viewers can even ask questions about each animal in the comments during the live event.
Atlanta Zoo Panda Cam
The Georgia zoo keeps a "Panda Cam" livestream on its website. There’s nothing more cheerful than a couple of pandas noshing on bamboo or soaking up some sun in real-time. Below the livestream, guests can learn more about giant pandas and even see what it’s like to be a keeper for a day.
You can soak up some culture while wearing your pajamas and take an online tour of several exhibits at this iconic Paris museum. The tour even takes you to the Louvre’s basement, where you can explore the ancient remains of the Louvre’s original moat. Be sure to check out the Egyptian Antiquities virtual tour and get up close and personal with the Great Sphinx of Tanis.
Boston Children’s Museum
Powered by Google Maps, this virtual field trip is pretty close to the real deal. Virtual visitors can “step” through the museum’s three levels and even walk through the queue, but you won’t find any lines here. They have also provided resources to play and learn at home while you can’t venture out to the museum.
The British Museum
This engaging and interactive tour is super cool. Check out hundreds of artifacts that can be searched by era, category or region of the world. Round clay tablets from schoolchildren in ancient Mesopotamia, a crocodile-skin suit of armor from ancient Egypt or even the Rosetta Stone are just a few of the treasures you can check out from home.
This virtual tour is perfect for those interested in European history or for those who just want to pretend they’re strolling around Florence for a bit. This world-famous gallery is known for its stunning Renaissance pieces like “The Birth of Venus” by Botticelli and “Medusa” by Caravaggio. Besides the fascinating step-by-step Google Arts & Culture gallery tour, there are four online exhibits you can choose from, and you can zoom in on high-quality photos of the art for optimal detail viewing.
The Vatican Museum: The Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's Basilica, and Raphael's Room, are just some of the sites you can see on the Vatican's virtual tour.
Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum: Madrid's must-see art museum has the works of some of the continent's most celebrated artists like Rembrandt and Dali available online.
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum: Six virtual exhibits are available online from this museum named for the "Mother of American modernism."
National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City: Dive into the pre-Hispanic history of Mexico with 23 exhibit rooms full of Mayan artifacts.
NASA: Both Virginia's Langley Research Center and Ohio's Glenn Research Center offer online tours for free. Also, you can try some "augmented reality experiences" via The Space Center Houston's app.
National Women's History Museum: Have a late International Women's Day celebration with online exhibits and oral histories from the Virginia museum.
Metropolitan Museum of Art: Though the Met Gala was cancelled this year, you can still have a peak at the The Costume Institute Conversation Lab, which is one of the institution's 26 online exhibits.
High Museum of Art, Atlanta: This museum's popular online exhibits include "Civil Rights Photography" — photos that capture moments of social protest like the Freedom Rides and Rosa Park's arrest.
Detroit Institute of Arts: Mexican art icon Frida Kahlo is the focal point of two of the four available online exhibits.
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam: The Golden Age of Dutch art is highlighted in this museum which includes the work of Vermeer and Rembrandt.
National Museum of the United States Air Force: You can't take a ride in Franklin D. Roosevelt's presidential airplane, but you can check it out, in addition to other military weapons and aircraft, online in the Air Force's official museum.
MoMA (The Museum of Modern Art): New York's extensive collection is available for view online.
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston: The 16 virtual exhibits include a special section on 21st Century Designer Fashion.
Walt Disney World: Set aside some time, because there's plenty to see here. Virtual tours you can take include Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, and Epcot, just to name a few. There are also unofficial YouTube videos that feel just like you're on famous rides like the Frozen Ever After ride, It's a Small World, Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue!, and Pirates of the Caribbean.
LEGOLAND Florida Resort: The Great Lego Race and Miniland USA are just two of the attractions you can check out in a virtual tour of the park.
SeaWorld Orlando: The virtual tour of Seaworld includes a tour of Discovery Cove and the option to"ride" the steel roller coaster Mako.
Great Wall of China
Explore famous sections of the Great Wall of China. Trek across 3,000 miles of the Great Wall of China without even having to stop to catch your breath with this virtual tour. You can explore some of the more famous sections of the wall, such as Badaling and Jiankou in Beijing, but you don’t have to push past huge tourist groups for the best views!
Virtually venture to Easter Island, one of the most remote islands in the world and check out the moai — the mysterious giant statues that the island is known for. It’s easy to get lost in researching all about the approximately 900 moai and 300 ahu (or the ceremonial platforms) that can be found along the island’s coast.
Surface of Mars
Explore the surface of Mars in the ultimate form of social distancing. While the team at NASA is currently updating the site, you can still take a peek at 360-mode and get a feel for what the Curiosity rover sees every day.
Astronaut Christina Koch on the International Space Station.
NASA Expedition 33
Commander Suni Williams floats through the International Space Station and gives those of us stuck on Earth a tour of the laboratories, observation deck, the crew’s sleep quarters and more. It’s fascinating to see our planet down below from the observation deck and to find out what life is really like on the station.
Monterey Bay Aquarium
You can watch the jellyfish on the aquarium’s webcam—it’s very relaxing. Choose from 10 live cams ranging from hypnotic jellyfish to playful penguins at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. There’s even a cam set up to view Monterey Bay itself and home viewers can spot various birds and sea mammals that call the bay home.
Piranhas, puffins and beluga whales are among some of the animals that can be seen via the aquarium’s live cams. Explore the Indo-Pacific Barrier Reef exhibit and try to spot each fish and coral listed below the live cam.
National Aquarium in Baltimore
Not only does the National Aquarium in Baltimore have live animal cams (the blacktip shark cam is extra cool), but you can do a walk-through tour of the aquarium as well to really feel like you’re there. The National Aquarium even provides at-home activities to add extra learning and interactivity to your tour.
The Shedd Aquarium: This Chicago aquarium shares some pretty adorable behind-the-scenes footage of their residents on Facebook.
National Aquarium: Walk through tropical waters to the icy tundra in this floor-by-floor tour of the famous, Baltimore-based aquarium.
VIRTUAL FARM TOUR:
FarmFood360: Explore 11 different Canadian farms and food processing facilities. Learn how to milk a cow, go behind the scenes at a sheep farm and meet some of the livestock guardian dogs, or visit an apple orchard.
Google Arts & Culture National Parks
Thanks to Google Arts & Culture, homebound explorers can visit hidden worlds in national parks — Hawaii Volcanoes, Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico, the Kenai Fjords in Alaska and more. Put on a pair of headphones and be prepared to be seriously wowed by the world around you.
Yellowstone National Park
Experience the main attractions of Yellowstone National Park from the comfort of your favorite chair. Feast your eyes on famous sights such as the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, Mammoth Hot Springs and Mud Volcano. Scientists have also created 3-D models of some of the landscapes and geysers that are not to be missed.