Virtual Tours for Kids When School is Out Due to COVID-19
When school is out due to the COVID-19 outbreak, kids spend more time at home and are bound to get bored. There are so many virtual tours for kids that you can turn to during this uncertain period of social distancing, self-isolation, and community quarantine.
As schools remain closed for the coming weeks or so in Sacramento because of the COVID-19 outbreak, children’s regular daily routines are disrupted. Planned kids activities, educational tours, and Sacramento events are canceled due to concerns about the continued spread of coronavirus impacting children in unexpected ways. In this rapidly changing situation, virtual tours for kids is the best alternative that can provide indoor, accessible entertainment, and remote learning to keep kids calm and entertained during this time of the pandemic crisis.
“While we are all trying to practice social distancing because of the COVID-19 outbreak, going outside is not an option. Parents need to loosen strict limits on screen time, hoping virtual tours for kids will spare them from the disappointments when school is out, and almost everything is canceled.”
To help relieve the stress and boredom that come with self-isolation, we’ve pulled together a list of easy-to-use resources for kids to get you started. From museums, zoos, aquariums, cultural sites, to historical spots – there are plenty more fun ways to engage your children even if all of our activities have to be virtual for a little while. Here are some virtual tours for kids you and your little ones can do for entertainment and fun learning in the next couple of weeks.
Museums and Galleries
There is a way to get a little culture and education while school is out during this time of the COVID-19 outbreak. Google has teamed up with some of the most famous museums in the world to bring virtual tours for kids and online exhibits from the comfort of your home.
Now, you can go to these museums and never have to leave your couch. Gain knowledge about art, history, and science, and visit these museums online. Stroll and take as much time as you need to look at all the paintings, sculptures, and artifacts. This collection is especially ideal for students who are looking for ways to stay on top of their studies when school is out.
Sacramento History Museum
The Sacramento History Museum is bringing Old Sacramento to you! Sit back while you explore and experience a new side of what life was like in 19th century Sacramento with gripping true stories that follow in the footsteps of murderers, ne’er-do-wells, and ordinary citizens alike.
With Anytime Tours, you can delve into the rich and exciting history of the Golden State’s capital city any time, from any place while school is out due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Take a stroll through the Old Sacramento Waterfront or the Historic City Cemetery with tour guides Pete and Ruby, or explore places and sites on your own with their self-guided tours. The choice is yours!
Boston Children’s Museum
Boston Children’s Museum is the second oldest and one of the most influential children’s museums in the world. It was founded in 1913 by the Science Teachers’ Bureau, a group of visionary educators dedicated to providing new resources for both teachers and students, as a center for the exchange of materials and ideas to advance the teaching of science.
The Museum allows virtual tours for kids when school is out during the COVID-19 outbreak, with its collections, including Americana, Natural History, Global Culture, Native American, Dolls and Dollhouses, and Japanese artifacts encompass more than 50,000 items. Specially designed for children and families, museum exhibits focus on science, culture, environmental awareness, health & fitness, and the arts.
British Museum, London
Discover over two million years of human history and culture. The collections from Africa, Asia, Europe, the Americas, and the ancient world include world-famous objects like the Parthenon sculptures. The world’s oldest national public museum is another space that has partnered with Google Arts & Culture to showcase a virtual, interactive gallery when school is out during the COVID-19 outbreak. This iconic museum located at the heart of London allows virtual visitors while school is out to tour the Great Court and discover the ancient Rosetta Stone and Egyptian mummies. You’ll also find hundreds of artifacts.
Children’s Museum of Indianapolis
Being the world’s largest children’s museum, it is 472,900 square feet (43,933.85 m2) with five floors of exhibit halls and receives more than one million visitors annually. It has a collection of over 120,000 artifacts and exhibits items into three domains: the American Collection, the Cultural World Collection, and the Natural World Collection children and families to actively participate.
And as you saw the museum is closed temporarily due to the COVID-19 outbreak and school is out, they know you’ll miss your favorite tours for kids like the end of the day parade with Rex. So they’re bringing the museum to your home. Stay tuned over the coming weeks for Museum at Home. They will continue to add to these playlists, so keep checking back for more fun videos, blogs, and live chats!
Guggenheim Museum, New York
Since its founding, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum has maintained a belief in the transformative powers of art. In uncertain times such as these, art can provide both solace and inspiration. Although their catalytic Frank Lloyd Wright-designed building shut down, they remain a virtual community committed to igniting ideas, discussion, and creativity.
See the Guggenheim’s famous spiral staircase without ever leaving home. Then, discover incredible works of art from the Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, Modern, and Contemporary eras.
National Museum Of Anthropology, Mexico City
The National Museum of Anthropology (Museo Nacional de Antropologia) in Mexico City contains the world’s most extensive collection of ancient Mexican art. Also, it has ethnographic exhibits about Mexico’s present-day indigenous groups. This fascinating museum is dedicated to the pre-Hispanic heritage of Mexico and is home to various exciting artifacts of archaeology and history. Take a virtual tour in all 23 exhibit rooms which display an array of ancient objects, some from the ancient Maya civilization.
Pergamon Museum, Berlin
Alfred Messel designed the Pergamonmuseum. Its construction was overseen by Ludwig Hoffmann and lasted twenty years, from 1910 to 1930. A smaller building initially stood on the same site for just a few years before being torn down. The new, larger Pergamonmuseum was built as a three-wing complex. The museum now houses three of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin’s collections: the Antikensammlung, Vorderasiatisches Museum, and the Museum für Islamische Kunst.
As one of Germany’s largest museums, Pergamon has a lot to offer – even if you can’t physically be there. This historical museum is home to plenty of ancient artifacts, including the Ishtar Gate of Babylon and, of course, the Pergamon Altar.
The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center features works of art dating from the eighth through the twenty-first century, showcased against a backdrop of dramatic architecture, tranquil gardens, and breathtaking views of Los Angeles. The collection includes European paintings, drawings, sculpture, illuminated manuscripts, decorative arts, and European, Asian, and American photographs.
Take a Street View tour to discover a massive collection of paintings, drawings, sculptures, manuscripts, and photographs.
Visit the museum’s exhibition rooms and galleries, and contemplate the facades of the Louvre. Enjoy the incredible views on this virtual tour including, Louvre’s Petite Galerie, Egyptian Antiquities, Remains of the Louvre’s Moat, and Galerie d’Apollon.
Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
Are you looking for ways to entertain your children with an educational twist, would you like to know more about the story behind the famous works of art or would you instead take a look inside the museum? The most extensive Van Gogh collection in the world — 700 artworks and 750 personal letters — is housed in this Amsterdam museum and can be viewed virtually. See the works of this ingenious painter up close by stepping into this virtual museum.
Zoos and Aquariums
Among the favorite places for kids to visit are zoos and aquariums. Many of these animal spots offer virtual tours for kids to enjoy from the comfort of their homes. Some of them have live webcams where you can peek sharks, sea otters, penguins, lions, monkeys, and more! Although animals may not always be visible on the screen, as volunteers and staff may be on limited work schedules, which means they may not be around to change the camera’s angle.
While the Cincinnati Zoo is closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak and kids are home while school is out, they will make your children’s hiatus from school fun and educational. Join them for a Home Safari Facebook Live each day at 3 pm EDT where they will highlight one of their amazing animals and include an activity you can do from home.
Don’t have access to social media? No worries! All videos will be posted to this webpage and their YouTube channel shortly after the Facebook Live ends.
The Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta has 24-hour live steams on its jellyfish, penguins, piranhas, sea lion, sea otter, and more. Their Our Ocean Voyager gallery, built by The Home Depot, is home to four whale sharks, four manta rays, and thousands of other fascinating fish.
As one of the largest single aquatic exhibits in the world, Ocean Voyager features an acrylic tunnel for guests to view thousands of marine creatures on all sides, as well as a giant acrylic viewing window to explore the oceans like never before.
Tune in to the Houston Zoo Webcams and enjoy a live look at animals that call the Houston Zoo home! See the herd of Asian elephants wander through their enormous habitat. Watch as giraffes nibble lettuce fed to them by guests at the feeding platform. You could join them on your next visit. See the rhinos roll in their mud puddle, or the flamingos float next to a waterfall. See the chimpanzees interact with guests at their window or snooze in a hammock.
Monterey Bay Aquarium
The Monterey Bay Aquarium in California is featuring regular live streams of jellyfish, penguins, and sharks, set to music. Be delighted by the antics of our sea otters or mellow out to the hypnotic drifting of the jellies. With ten live cams to choose from, you can experience the wonder of the ocean no matter where you are.
Philadelphia Zoo is home to nearly 1,300 animals, many rare and endangered. Each year, Philadelphia Zoo educates more than 1.2 million visitors about animal and environmental conservation via a first-in-the-world animal travel trail system, Zoo360, and KidZooU — a children’s zoo and education center that serves as a model for children’s zoos nationwide.
Watch their Humboldt penguin colony anytime, anywhere with their Penguin Point Cam presented by Xfinity.
The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium strives to foster positive, lifelong connections between animals and people. They offer a variety of unique educational programs with a strong emphasis on conservation.
While the zoo had its closure due to the COVID-19 outbreak, they’re bringing the zoo to you! Check out the Zoo’s webcams, podcasts, and some additional fun and educational programming we are creating for you and your family at home.
San Diego Zoo
The most visited zoo in the country is known for its open-air, cageless natural habitats. It is famous for being one of the few zoos in the country that spearheaded the conservation efforts of giant pandas. San Diego showcases the stories of some of the more than 3,700 animals that call The San Diego Zoo and Safari Park home. Bring your little ones to this fun and interactive virtual tours for kids as they bring the animals out to you at the comfort of your home.
San Diego Zoo is live-streaming several animals on its website, including baboons, apes, elephants, koalas, pandas, giraffes, polar bears, and more!
The National Aquarium
The National Aquarium in Baltimore is offering three live streams daily, including Blacktip Reef, Pacific Coral Reef, and Jellies Invasion, and enjoy a piece of the Aquarium from home. There’s nothing like experiencing the National Aquarium firsthand — but their live cams are the next best thing!
The Smithsonian National Zoo
The Smithsonian National Zoo is hosting a 24-hour live view of giant pandas Tian Tian and Mei Xiang. While you are watching them chomp on bamboo, play in trees and tumble in the grass, specially trained volunteers with Friends of the National Zoo are hard at work using these cameras to collect behavioral data on the giant pandas.
Please note that while the cameras stream lives 24 hours a day, FONZ volunteer operators will only be following the pandas during regular business hours. Be sure to toggle back and forth between Panda Cam 1 and Panda Cam 2, using the tabs at the top of the video player to get the full Panda Cam experience.
We know the pandas bring you joy, and in these extraordinary times, we’re glad Zoo Atlanta has a panda page with a live camera. There’s information on a panda keeper’s job and regular panda news updates — like behaviors, the differences between red pandas and giant pandas, and how keepers tell individual pandas apart.
Cultural Heritage and Historical Sites
Has your child always wanted to see the Oval Office? A palace or a tourist spot? How many of your kids would love to visit the Great Pyramids of Giza in Egypt, the Taj Mahal of India, or the Vatican, but can’t? Well, now they can! If your kids are a fan of exploration, then you are going to love this!
Here are some of the cultural or historical sites you can virtually tour from the couch while school is out due to the COVID-19 outbreak. These virtual tours for kids may not be as delightful as firsthand experience, but they are probably the closest thing to especially during this difficult time of COVID-19 and when school is out.
Great Pyramids of Giza, Egypt
Ancient Egypt is a great topic to explore with kids because it captures their imaginations. A virtual trip to the pyramids, with their color and mystery, is a fantastic way to open young minds to the idea that history can be fun.
The capital of the Old Kingdom of Egypt has some extraordinary funerary monuments, including rock tombs, ornate mastabas, temples, and pyramids. In ancient times, the site was considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
Machu Pichu, Peru
From west to east and then to the far south-west, let’s pay a visit to the grand Inca Empire. Machu Pichu is an Incan castle, assumed to have been built in the 15th century. It is located on a ridge of a mountain in Peru, 2,340 meters above sea level. The remains showcase the classical architectural style of the Incas and feature two temples and the Intihuatana—a ritual stone related to the Incan calendar.
The Peru Machu Pichu website lists a number of the attractions on the historical site which you can tour virtually via Destination 360. Select a location from the map and virtually travel to Machu Picchu. Experience panorama 360° views from the majestic Incan village high up in the Andean Mountain Range.
Palace of Versailles, France
Listed for the past 30 years as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Palace of Versailles constitutes one of the most exceptional achievements of the French art of the 17th century. The former hunting lodge of Louis XIII was transformed and extended by his son Louis XIV who installed here the Court and the government of France in 1682. Up until the French Revolution, a line of kings succeeded each other, each taking his turn to embellish the Palace.
The Palace of Versailles offers virtual exhibitions developed, especially for the web that allows tackling new themes. Thanks to the alliance of Google technologies and works chosen by the curators, the visitor plunges into interactive frescoes and discovers the paintings, sculptures, and engravings in a new light.
Stonehenge is a unique prehistoric monument lying at the center of an outstandingly rich archaeological landscape. It is an excellent source for the study of prehistory. It was built in several stages: the first monument was an early henge monument, built about 5,000 years ago, and the unique stone circle was erected in the late Neolithic period about 2500 BC.
While Stonehenge is closed while school is out, why not take a look at the live view from within the stones via Skyscape? Learn about the movements of the sun, moon, and planets or simply escape and relax. The website also offers its visitors a 360 virtual tour with a bonus. If you click on any of those flickering circles (hotspots) all over the site, a video will play, featuring a historian who tells you more about the place. So, it is like having a guided tour!
Taj Mahal, India
If you are more into Asian culture and architecture, then this one will be your cup of tea. Taj Mahal was built in the Indian city of Agra, in the mid-17th century, to be a mausoleum for Mumtaz Mahal—the wife of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. The 42-acre site holds the tomb, a mosque, a guest house, and formal gardens.
The Taj Mahal online website, as well, offers you virtual tours while school is out due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Visitors may tour 22 different areas of the monument and gardens through 360° panoramas, maps, narrated mini-movies, music, and text. A preview 360° panorama below a clickable map allows a quick view of any area. Having spotted something of interest, visitors can then click to open a window with a much larger and higher quality 360° panorama, and then zoom in and pan around for a detailed inspection.
The Great Wall of China
As China’s most famous attraction, the Great Wall of China is an essential stop on all tours in China. Commonly considered a wonder of the world, the Great Wall boasts a history of over 2,000 years and stretches more than 3,000 miles across several provinces of northern China. With many countries under quarantine measures, the virtual tours for kids offer a reprieve from the crowds who typically come from all over the world. Visitors come to see one of the most impressive ancient structures on the planet.
The Vatican, Rome
The national lockdown in Italy has forced the country to a near-standstill, shuttering public events, soccer stadiums, and even the Vatican. Filled with spectacular architecture and historical monuments, The Vatican is within your virtual reach, with a host of museums providing online tours. Step into the Sistine Chapel and Raphael’s Rooms, which are adorned with simply sensational artwork.
The tour is compatible with WebVR, so you can pop on a VR headset to get an even closer look at some of humankind’s most memorable creations. It’s genuinely breathtaking, also when viewed through a screen.
The White House, Washington, D.C.
Come and explore the inside residence halls of The United States President and even walk around The Oval office. While a trip to the White House is undoubtedly a unique experience in person, a virtual tour can be just as incredible because you can enjoy a walk through the most famous residence in the U.S. online.
The White House is a particularly unique tour because it is the only “ private residence of a head of state that is open to the public, free of charge. The Executive office building tour, which is accessible via Street View, shows you many rooms in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building beyond the Oval Office, including the Vice President’s Ceremonial Office, the Secretary of War suite, and the library.
Take a virtual trip to our nation’s capital without tearing your kids away from your couch!
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
National parks are known for their dazzling views and historical landmarks, and Yellowstone holds some of the nation’s most iconic ones. Yellowstone is as wondrous as it is complicated. The park is at the heart of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, where nature and culture abound. Yellowstone is a seasonal park, so plan your visit by learning about the current conditions, operating seasons and hours, road conditions, lodging and eating options, and available activities.
Though the park is closed at present because of the COVID-19 outbreak, an amazing virtual experience awaits you here. The virtual tour takes visitors through the first national park, showing Wyoming’s most treasured sites, including its canyons, hot springs, and geysers, the most famous being Old Faithful.
Yosemite National Park, California
While Yosemite National Park is closed to all park visitors due to the COVID-19 outbreak, kids and the whole family can still tour the park — complete with sound — and visit some of Yosemite’s iconic landmarks, including the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, the top of the Half Dome and the eponymous Yosemite Falls.
Virtual Yosemite allows online visitors to experience over 200 different locations within Yosemite and its surrounding areas, in all seasons. Over 95 percent of the sites covered are accessible to Yosemite visitors via roads or trails. The 360° interactive panoramas are all presented in high resolution, so viewers can zoom in and out to see details, and can pan entirely around, including looking upward and downward.
With the rise of closures due to the COVID-19 outbreak, children are home-bound and are going to be online more than ever. And just because you can’t take them out to various venues and entertainment spots, it doesn’t mean they’re restricted from doing this. Luckily, online learning resources have stepped forward to help parents reach children in virtual ways while school is out due to COVID-19. Take this as an opportunity for your kids to make the most out of the learning experiences that lie within your walls. It will also help alleviate the wails of boredom and anxiety.
Almost anything kids used to do offline before COVID-19 can now be done online with a few clicks or taps and a little resourcefulness. There is always a way for kids to get cultural, educational, creative, and entertaining while they are confined at home. Virtual tours for kids are a fun way for them to fight cabin fever when school is out due to the COVID-19 outbreak. This list can bring anyone and everyone virtual tours and online exhibits to some of the most famous museums, zoos, aquariums, cultural sites, and historical spots around the world while keeping your kids at a safe physical distance.
Sacramento offers a wide variety of opportunities for kids to enjoy and have fun all-year-round! Check out our list of kids resources. Are you looking for more things to do with kids around the greater Sacramento area? Browse through our places to go section. If you’re even more curious and seeking to learn more information about kids’ topics, tips, and guides, check out our things to do blog posts.
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