Are you looking for something to do this weekend? While you can’t just jump in the car and drive somewhere, there are opportunities to travel the world online and soak up some museums, zoos, aquariums, and other fun activities. Just think of the money you’ll save on gas, admissions, and snacks! Gather your family and click through some of these sites for fun and educational virtual tours:
A night at the museum:
- We can’t take a train to NYC these days, but this Streets view of the Guggenheim lets you view some of the great pieces hanging in their galleries.
- Always wanted to go to Paris? You can tour the Musee d’Orsay here on Google Arts & Culture.
- Google Arts & Culture also brings you to Amsterdam to view the Van Gogh Museum.
- The Louvre, Paris has its own virtual tours listed on the website.
- The Boston Museum of Science has daily live streams and other remote programs you can enjoy without the traffic.
- The Field Museum also has a great selection of online features and many educational projects for kids of all ages.
- It’s right in our backyard, but the doors are closed, so Rutgers Geology Museum is sponsoring a virtual “Ask a Geologist” series.
We’re going to the zoo, zoo, zoo:
- The Cincinnati Zoo has daily safaris, and if you miss one, they are all on YouTube! I love the hippos. What’s your favorite?
- The San Diego Zoo has animal cams. Watch the penguins, pandas or koalas and more.
- The Houston Zoo has animal cams as well. Watch the elephants, giraffes, gorillas and more.
Something’s fishy here:
- Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium has some adorable footage of their critters on Facebook.
- The Jellyfish cam at the Monterey Bay Aquarium is oddly soothing to watch.
- Baltimore’s National Aquarium features an interactive floor-by-floor video tour. You decide what you would like to see.
Take a thrill ride:
Please keep in mind that most of these are taken by amateur videographers and the quality is not guaranteed. However, they are still fun and you get a chance to focus on the fantastic construction of the scenery that you might not notice if you were on the ride in real life!
Universal Studios Orlando
- Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon there are notes that the actual ride begins at 5:35 of this video. The beginning is a walk-through of the staging area for riders waiting to get on.
- The Amazing Adventures of SpiderMan Some of the graphics are in 3-d and don’t translate very well to this platform, but it’s still fun to watch!
Walt Disney World Orlando
- Star Wars Rise of the Resistance This is a mild ride, suitable for all ages and the video quality is rather good.
- Soarin’ at Epcot This is another great ride, suitable for all ages.
If you want more virtual rides, House Beautiful put together a list of Disney rides you can board right in your living room. Strap in!
This is my no means an exhaustive list of the places you can visit from the comfort of your home. Please comment if you know of something we should include on this list!