With stay-at-home orders in place, many of us have lots of extra time on our hands. When cleaning out your closets or going for a long walk doesn’t sound tempting, there are other ways you can pass the time. And if you love learning about history, art, and seeing animals in action, then virtual tours might be an exciting option to help you pass the time in a fun way. Best of all, you can learn something new while you’re doing it, too.
From zoos and museums to theme parks, you can take an interactive virtual tour of many places from the comfort and safety of your own home. If you’ve got kiddos at home who you’re trying to keep entertained, doing a virtual tour of any of the suggested places below can help to pass the time in a way that’s also good for their minds.
Here are some of our top suggestions for virtual tours:
History, Culture, and Arts
The Louvre – Paris, France
Want to see the Mona Lisa without traveling to France to do it? Now you can with this exciting tour of three famous exhibits in the museum, which also includes ancient Egyptian artifacts.
Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History – Washington, D.C.
If you’d love to tour this incredible museum in the nation’s capital, now you can see every exhibit courtesy of this 360-degree virtual tour. Don’t forget to see the dinosaurs, too, when you do it.
The J. Paul Getty Museum – Los Angeles, CA
Want to take a closer look at the Middle Ages and the Renaissance? You can do so by taking part in a virtual tour of the Getty Museum. This premier gallery in L.A. offers two virtual tours of its facility.
The Vatican – Vatican City, Italy
Most of us haven’t had the opportunity to see this pristine ancient religious city in Rome, Italy. But with the virtual tour, you now have the opportunity to view its stunningly preserved architecture. Check out the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica, and Raphael’s Room with this beautiful virtual tour.
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum – Santa Fe, NM
Want to explore the “the wideness and wonder of the world as I live in it?” You can, through Georgia’s eyes, with this museum, which is filled entirely with the late artist’s work. Check out her legendary artwork through six virtual exhibits.
Each of the NASA centers across the United States offer a unique experience for users at home to partake in. The Houston Space Center offers you a chance to virtually experience Apollo 13, or feel like you’re on the moon when you do a virtual tour of the Langley Research Center.
High Museum of Art – Atlanta, GA
Experience culture and history at this gem in the southeastern United States. The museum’s virtual tours allow you to see and feel the unforgettable history of the civil rights movement with many powerful photographs proudly displayed.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art – New York, NY
Home to the famous Met Gala each year, you now have a chance to view one of the world’s most famous art museums straight from your home. You might need a few days to view this extensive 26-exhibit gallery.
British Museum – London, England
Want to experience the history of the human world? Now you can at this famous museum located in London. Take part in one—or all—of the five prestigious exhibits to fully immerse yourself in centuries of cultures from around the world.
Museum of Modern Art – Manhattan, NY
Fuel your mind with endless creativity by taking a virtual tour of the most extensive collection of modern art in the entire country.
Museum of Fine Arts – Boston, MA
This grand museum is home to 450,000 famous works of art, and is one of the best museums in the country. View its comprehensive collections through the several virtual tours offered for those wanting to experience the artwork online.
For Animal Lovers
Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
Want to have a daily safari right in your living room? Take part in this zoo’s daily Home Safari series at 3PM EST on its Facebook Live feed to give at-home guests a chance to experience the zoo like never before.
Want to see pandas anytime? If you need a cute pick-me-up during these hard times, tune into the zoo’s live stream “PandaCam” for a chance to see one of several giant pandas in action.
Monterey Bay Aquarium
Want to feel like every week is Shark Week? Now you can with Monterey Bay Aquarium’s live underwater cams!
National Park Services – Channel Islands, CA
If you’re a lover of bald eagles, then these live cam feeds from the Channel Islands courtesy of the National Park Services are perfect for you. Check out the many breathtaking eagles in action right from the comfort of your living room.
If you simply love animals and can’t get enough of these live cam feeds, check out this list, which features a roundup of some of the best ones available to you online. It’s a great way to enjoy science while practicing social distancing!