If you’re stuck indoors with your family, it doesn’t mean the kids can’t explore new places – hop on a virtual tour of a world-famous museum or attraction! Many museums around the globe offer tours, which means you can discover the treasures of these places without ever leaving the comfort of your home. Explore the marine life of the world’s seven seas, or take a virtual walk through a world-famous landmark. Taking a virtual tour or watching a live webcam is a brilliant alternative to the real thing, if for financial, health or mobility reasons you can’t visit in person.
As well as visiting websites and You Tube videos, you may like to download the “Expeditions” app (Apple app store or in Google play store) to your smartphone for a true virtual reality (VR) experience. You may need a “cardboard” to convert your smartphone to a virtual reality headset. These are available to buy online from just $5.70.
Virtual Tours of Zoos, Aquariums and Animal Parks
Taronga Zoo, Australia
Both Taronga Zoo in Sydney and Taronga Western Plains Zoo Dubbo can be explored on a virtual field trip through Google Street View, as well as video tours on You Tube. A new doco “Taronga: Who’s Who in the Zoo”, can be watched on 9Now. Toronga Zoo even has its own series of Taronga Talks podcasts and is on the Expeditions App.
San Diego Zoo, USA
Go on a virtual field trip of California’s famous San Diego Zoo. Kids can discover the zoo’s resident monkeys, giraffes, polar bears, big cats, koalas pandas and much more, through live cameras (best viewed in the late afternoon/evening due to the time difference). San Diego Zoo takes online learning to the next level with a fun-tastic website especially designed for children. Little animal lovers have access to animal facts, stories, online games, and free printable activities. San Diego Zoo is also found on the Expeditions App.
Monterey Bay Aquarium, US
Found right on the edge of the ocean in California, the Monterey Bay Aquarium offers e-visitors a glimpse into the fascinating world of sharks, fish, penguins, sea otters, and more through online facts, videos, stories and web cam. Whether their home is a coral reef, kelp forest or the open ocean, the webcams cover many sea loving creatures (the jelly-cam is our favourite!).
Kruger Park Safari, South Africa
See how many different species of wild animal you can spot on a virtual trip around Kruger Park Safari, South Africa.
Historic Buildings, Places and Landmarks of the World
Go on a virtual day out with your family – discover Disneyland without having to jump on a plane, or walk the Great Wall of China, without ever leaving home.
Kids Disneyland and Disney World, USA
Take a wander through Main St USA, Adventureland, Tomorrowland, Frontierland and more with a walk-through video of Disneyland California or Disney World in Florida – just google it!
Machu Picchu, Peru
Perched high up in the Andes mountains, Machu Picchu is a mysterious and ancient ruin of tombs and temples. If you can’t travel to Peru, a virtual tour on the Expeditions App is the next best thing.
The Great Wall of China
This ancient man-made wonder of the world is over 21000 kms long! The UNESCO World Heritage site offers a virtual tour on the Expeditions App which allows you to walk the wall, and explore watchtowers without ever getting a blister!
Visit the Queen at Buckingham Palace! Take a tour around the grand rooms of the London palace here.
Great Pyramids of Giza, Egypt
See the 5000+ year Pyramids from a different view and learn all about these Egyptian structures that were built as tombs for pharaohs and queens.
Other Ancient Monuments and Interesting Attractions to Explore Online
• Angkor Wat, Cambodia
• Blarney Castle, Ireland
• Edinburgh Castle, Scotland – Expeditions App
• London Eye
• Petra, Jordan
• Stonehenge, UK
• Sistine Chapel, Vatican City
• Taj Mahal, India
• Windsor Castle, UK
Natural Wonders of the World
This way you can get amazing perspectives of some pretty dangerous places – like the mouth of an active volcano, or the edge of a glacier, without having to worry about falling off the edge!
Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
This volcanic area of the Pacific Ocean is famous for its diverse species of animal life and plants. Get the kids to jump into this virtual scuba dive, which will give them a glimpse of below the surface of the ocean and playful sealions.
This incredible natural formation seen in this virtual tour comes along with old stories and legends of giants that will ignite kid’s imaginations. They can watch the legend of giant Finn McCool here. The rugged scenery of the Northern Irish coastline is just amazing.
The Great Barrier Reef, Australia
The world’s largest coral reef system, off the coast of Queensland, can be explored through virtual scuba dives. There are many dive sites for you to explore a colourful underwater world and swim amongst vibrant fish, huge turtles and even stingrays! Also found on Expeditions App.
Yellowstone National Park, USA
This is a unique national park in the USA, where beautiful natural scenery and wildlife are found at a volcanic hot spot. There’s stunning canyons, rivers and forests, as well as hot springs and geysers. You can experience all the features of Yellowstone, through webcams, though you may not spot Yogi Bear!
Mount Everest, Nepal
At 8,848 meters tall, Mount Everest is the highest mountain on the planet. There are many ways to explore the mountain virtually – climb to Base Camp with Google Street View, or even check out incredible 360° views of the Himalayas using AirPano.
Other Natural Wonders of the World to Explore Online
• Cliffs of Moher, Ireland
• Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, USA
• Kenai Fjords National Park, USA
• Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK
• Yosemite National Park, USA
Virtual Tours of Museums & Art Galleries
The Louvre, France
This iconic Parisian museum (you know, the one with the glass pyramid) offers four virtual tours online, including fascinating Egyptian Antiquities.
NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton
Most of NASA’s famous Langley Research Centre is not open to the public. Visiting virtually is the only way kids can take a peek at what goes on behind the scenes. See everything from laboratories /and wind tunnels to learning about aeronautics, space exploration, and technology.
British Museum, London
Tis world renowned museum in the heart of London specializes in history, art and culture – with ancient mummies, Roman artefacts, and much more. The British Museum has one of the most comprehensive collections in the world. It’s so large, it would take days to cover by foot. The museum also offers a virtual reality tour.
Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Washington DC
The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History is the most visited natural history museum in the world. With over 45 million specimens of animals, rocks, human remains, cultural artefacts and more, the virtual self-guided tours take you through the museum’s exhibits, collections and research areas.
Other Museums to Explore Online
• 9/11 Memorial & Museum, NYC – Expeditions App
• Guggenheim Museum, NYC – Expeditions App
• Museo Galileo, Florence
• Natural History Museum, London
• The Acropolis Museum, Athens
• The German Oceanographic Museum, Stralsund
• The National Museum of the United States Air Force, Ohio
Have you found a fascinating and fun virtual tour? Let us know in the comments below!
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