Stuck at home with the kids? We help you come up with some ideas on how to take virtual field trips so you can still travel virtually.
Planes are grounded, borders are closed, and millions of children are suddenly being homeschooled. But just because we are stuck at home, doesn’t mean we have to forget about travel altogether and lose our curiosity about the world.
Here we have put together a list of resources to help keep the excitement of travel alive and show your kids there is more to the world than sitting at home!
We have found virtual tours of museums, visits to the US national parks, the world’s best zoos, ways to virtually ride rollercoasters and how to take a virtual safari.
We believe strongly that travel adds to our children’s overall education. It broadens our mental horizons, increases cultural understanding and acceptance, and encourages curiosity and a thirst for learning.
But we can still continue to work on this from the confines of our home.
Just because we can’t travel, doesn’t mean we can’t continue to dream about travelling!
Because planes won’t be grounded forever, the borders will open again and one day soon we can all get back to travelling the world.
Use these resources to spark the imagination, ignite curiosity and perhaps create a new bucket list of places to visit once we can all become jet setters again.
Take Virtual Tours of Museums around the World
You may not be able to travel to all the top museums around the world, but you can still visit them online. Google Arts & Culture have teamed up with over 2,500 museums and art galleries around the world to offer virtual tours.
How cool is that?
Here are some of our favourites, and you can see the full list here.
The Guggenheim, New York
Use the Street View feature to walk down the famous spiral staircase, then click on artwork along the way to read further information. There are also several online exhibitions to admire.
The Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
You can visit every floor of this famous Amsterdam art museum in their virtual tour to admire the world’s largest collection of Van Gogh art – over 200 painting and 500 drawings.
British Museum, London
This interactive experience allows you to travel through time, exploring some of the most fascinating objects in human history across the continents and cultures. Clicking on artefacts brings up further information and audio explanations from the museums curators.
Take Virtual Tours of Landmarks around the World
It’s not just museums you can visit on the Google Arts & Culture website. It also offers virtual tours of some of the world’s most famous landmarks with its Street View feature.
Check out some of our favourites below:
- Tikal in Guatemala
- Colosseum in Rome
- Taj Mahal in India
- Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt
- Sydney Opera House in Australia
- Machu Picchu in Peru
- Stonehenge in England
You can also take a virtual tour of the Great Wall of China thanks to the China Guide.
Take Virtual Tours of the World’s Best Zoos
Visiting a zoo is often on the agenda for families when we travel. Just because we can’t hop on a plane, doesn’t mean we have to miss out! Here we share how to virtually visit some of the world’s most famous zoos.
Our very own Taronga Zoo has an awesome online program called Taronga TV that allows families to access behind the scenes footage of the running of the zoo.
Highlights include live animal cams, animal feeding videos, zookeeper talks, and behind the scenes footage from the animal hospital.
There’s also a full section of educational material perfect for homeschooling parents.
San Diego Zoo
It’s one of the most famous zoos in the world and the most visited zoo in the United States. Now, even if you can’t travel to San Diego, you can still get to know their residents.
Nine live animal cams allow you to watch the apes, baboons, condors, elephants, koalas, pandas, penguins, polar bears and tigers.
It’s one of our favourite places to visit in Edinburgh with kids. The Edinburgh Zoo also has live animal cams to be able to catch up on what’s going on with their pandas, penguins, tigers and koalas.
Smithsonian’s National Zoo
You can keep up with the goings on of the lions, elephants, pandas and even naked mole rats at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo!
Enjoy Virtual Tours of the US National Parks
So many parks to explore, and we just can’t do it! Don’t worry about it, you can still explore them online. Here’s how.
Again the Google Arts & Culture website has excellent virtual tours of some of the most exciting US National Parks, including the Kenai Fjords in Alaska, the Hawaii Volcanoes, Bryce Canyon in Utah, Dry Tortugas in Florida and Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico. Expect 360 degree video, interactive tours and voice over from the rangers.
Yosemite National Park
The Yosemite National Park website has an awesome virtual tour on offer, where you can enjoy immersive 360-degree photography of waterfalls, canyons and summits.
Yellowstone National Park
Renowned for its beautiful landscapes, wildlife and geysers, the scientists at Yellowstone have put together a series of interactive 3D models so that you can explore and learn about the national park like never before. Pretty cool.
Take a Virtual Safari
Now this is cool. I don’t know about you, but my kids are desperate to go on a safari. Well that’s not going to happen any time soon but they can take a virtual safari.
The Explore webcams are super cool and my kids are a little obsessed.
65 live cams allow you to see a variety of live wildlife from around the world. Our favourites are the ones from the Mpala Research Centre in Kenya, where you can see hippos in a watering hole in Kenya, gorillas in the forest of the Democratic of Congo, and a whole host of other animals across various game reserves.
Other webcams are as varied as kittens in a rescue sanctuary in Los Angeles, honey bee hives in Germany and birds at a feeding table in Panama.
Djuma Waterhole, South Africa
I wanted to include this one as it’s where I spent my honeymoon! Djuma is a private game reserve within Sabi Sands, bordering Kruger National Park. Even if you can’t always spot animals, the sounds of the jungle are amazing to hear.
Ride Virtual Rides at Disney
The Disney Parks are closed across the world, but you can still enjoy the thrill of the rides and prepare yourself for what to expect when we can all go there again.
Here’s a little taster of what to expect when you ride Space Mountain at Walt Disney World:
Want more? Check out this cool collection of rides available on Youtube.
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