It’s officially Spring! Warmer weather is right around the corner. In the meantime, we have compiled a list of some amazing places that you and your family can visit virtually while you are quarantined at home.
Several zoos are doing daily Facebook live and have a large archive of videos to entertain and educate at the same time. Check out Monterey Bay Aquarium, Oregon Zoo, Dallas Zoo,Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute, San Diego Zoo, and San Diego Zoo Safari Park. And you can’t miss the penguins checking out the visitor areas at the Shedd Aquarium. You also don’t want to miss our own Ohio zoos, Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, Akron Zoo, Toledo Zoo, and last but not least The Wilds and Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.
While zoo animals are a lot of fun, don’t forget about virtual tours of museums. Google Arts & Culture has virtual tours of some of the most famous locations including, Van Gogh Museum, London’s National Gallery and NYC’s Guggenheim. They also have this great Travel Through Time section, where you can scroll through artifacts going from “Far Past” 8000 BC all the way through present). You can also find works by artists.
If you need to see more of the outdoors during this time, check out some of these National Park virtual tours, also provided by Google Arts & Culture, Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska, Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii, Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico, Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah, and Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida. You can also check out videos by the National Park Service Facebook page, while not updated daily, they still have a great archive of videos to watch.
If you want to see more of Ohio, check out Ohio Department of Natural Resources Youtube page. They have a large selection of Ohio related outdoor videos. Ohio State Parks public spaces are still open, as of March 19, 2020, you could go out for a drive or even a walk, but remember to keep that social distance in place (some have closed since this was posted, please check with the individual state park before attempting a visit).
Scholastic has put together great resources for kids to learn and read. There is also StorylineOnline with online story time. Ohio’s own Nina West did a storytime yesterday on Instagram and you can still see it. She might even do more in the future.
There are many, many more options out there. If there is something you’re interested in, there is probably a YouTube or Facebook page to watch videos. It is inspiring to see everyone come together and to keep people safe at home and find new ways to work and entertain each other.
Updates: Here’s a few new things that we’ve been made aware of since this first posted.
Videos and Activities from Association of Zoos & Aquariums
Free Printable Activities for Kids
Crayola Free Coloring Pages
A family has done Youtube videos while riding rides at Disney
Audible is offering free kids stories on audiobook for a time.
Peanuts Home Based Learning
Focus on the Family
Instagram SaveWithStories – Celebrities reading children’s books