With the use of technology, families can now explore beyond your imaginations! Go on these virtual tours rom National Parks to Museums worldwide, and even to Mars!
*Updated (8 Sep 2021): New virtual tours added
With the COVID-19 pandemic, many families are forced to stay home and may not have the option to travel. However, with the use of technology, you can now explore National Parks, visit Museums worldwide and even head to Mars from the comfort of your home!
So sit back, relax and let us bring you and your children to explore the best virtual tours to explore beyond your home!
The Hidden Worlds of National Parks
A new Google Arts & Culture exhibit and interactive documentary, The Hidden Worlds of National Parks, allows you to take 360-degree tours of some of the most remote and beautiful U.S. National Parks.
Head over to the interactive documentary, to go on an adventure to the Kenai Fjords in Alaska, Hawaiian volcanoes, New Mexico’s Carlsbad Caverns, Utah’s Bryce Canyon, and Florida’s Dry Tortugas!
In the video experience, a local ranger will guide you through each park, allowing you to do things like fly over the active volcanoes in Hawaii, snorkel the coral reefs in the Dry Tortugas, or kayak through Alaska’s fjords, among other things.
It is amazing to be able to "visit" these National Parks just from the comfort of our own home, and the commentary by the local ranger adds an educational angle to the experience!
Explore the Canadian Food and Farming 360º on your mobile (through the YouTube App) or on your desktop and you will get to visit 11 types of farms, including a Dairy Cow Farm, Eggs Farm, Pig Farm, Apple Orchard and more!
A total of 11 360º videos are available for you to "look" around the farm while learning about the operations of each farm. There are also other videos where farmers will share more about caring for, and running the farm.
We are totally blown away by the amount of knowledge to be picked up from the website.
This is a trip that you will not be able to take, even if you could leave the house! Access Mars allows you to explore a 3D replica of Mar's surface as recorded by the Curiosity Rover! You will get to see pictures taken by the rover as it makes its journey across the Martian surface.
Apart from the photos, the website also provides information on the mission that Curiosity is on since 2011, and shares more about what is known about the Red planet.
When we visited in Mar 2020, the website seems to be moving from a WebVR to WebXR (actually we don't know the difference but Goggled it). So in the meantime, you can still take a peek in 360 mode while waiting for the more immersive experience!
Still, it is pretty exciting to think that we can "visit" Mars while not even leaving the house!
San Diego Zoo Kids
Explore the San Diego Zoo via Live Cams of the different animal exhibits, including the Elephants, Giraffe, Polar Bear, Panda and more! The zoo provides an extensive library of videos of various activities done at the zoo.
Not just videos, the website offers an array of stories, activities, games and knowledge about animals that is sure to interest the little ones! This is a great resource for parents planning activities to do with the kids at home!
Explore / Livecams
While it is not exactly the same as being there, it is pretty cool to spot an Elephant in Africa on a Livecam from thousand of kilometers away! You just have to note the time difference and seasonality of what you are interested to see!
Dale Chihuly: Glass in Bloom - Virtual Experience
Dale Chihuly, Blue and Purple Boat, 2006. Gardens by the Bay, Singapore, installed 2021 © Chihuly Studio. All Rights Reserved
The Dale Chihuly: Glass in Bloom exhibition took place amidst the verdant tropical setting of Singapore’s iconic Gardens by the Bay and presented visitors with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience an extensive collection of the celebrated artist’s works.
The exhibition concluded on 3rd October 2021, and to extend the experience, the exhibition is now available for free virtually. Virtual Experience of Dale Chihuly: Glass in Bloom can be viewed till 31 December 2021, and whether you are an art enthusiast, or someone who did not manage to catch the exhibition in person, this Virtual Experience will provide you with an opportunity to appreciate Chihuly’s magnificent artworks.
Google's Arts & Culture has worked with over 2,500 museums and galleries around the world to bring anyone to virtual tours and online exhibits of some of the most famous museums around the world!
Using Street View within the museums allows you to "walk" through the museums and the digital collection allows you to go into details of the works. There are even VR tours for certain museums too!
You may view these museums via the website or download the App that is available on Android and iOS. Below we highlight a couple of Museums you should "bring" your kids to!
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
Photo Credit: TripAdvisor
Oklahoma City, United States
The National Cowboy Western & Heritage Museum is America’s premier institution of Western history, art and culture. Founded in 1955, the museum in Oklahoma City collects, preserves and exhibits an internationally renowned collection of Western art and artifacts while sponsoring dynamic educational programs to stimulate interest in the enduring legacy of our American West.
Photo Credit: Londonist
Tower Bridge is a combined bascule and suspension bridge in London, built between 1886 and 1894. The bridge crosses the River Thames close to the Tower of London and has become an iconic symbol of London. As a result, it is sometimes confused with London Bridge, about half a mile upstream.
National Museum of Nature and Science
Photo Credit: Ueno Station
Taito City, Japan
Established in 1877, the National Museum of Nature and Science boasts one of the richest histories of any museum in Japan. It is Japan's only nationally administered comprehensive science museum, and is a central institute for research in natural history and history of science and technology.
The International Museum of Children's Art
Photo Credit: Visit Norway
The International Museum of Children´s Art in Oslo, Norway is a pioneer institution, being the world´s first full scale Museum of Child Art. Today, the museum´s art collection contains art works by children and young from more than 180 countries.
Gyeonggi Children's Museum
Yongin-si, South Korea
The Gyeonggi Children's Museum is Korea’s first independent, experience-based museum for children designed for self-directed learning and interactive exhibitions. Dubbed an “exciting learning space,” it is customized for children, covering a wide range of subjects and concepts to boost imagination and creativity. The Gyeonggi Children's Museum will keep on providing fresh new exhibitions and learning experiences for families.
While nothing beats being there, technology has brought us far by allowing us to "be there" when we cannot. Which of these will you be spending your time on today?