Are you looking for a family-friendly activity to help you pass the time? From museums to amusement parks, there are a variety of free virtual tours you can experience from the comfort of your Inspirada home. Instead of binge-watching another Netflix series, try one of these virtual experiences during your downtime. Read on to explore our guide to help you decide what to stream right now.
Free Virtual Adventures
Are you ready to ‘walk’ through some of the nation’s well-known national parks or go for a ‘ride’ on Disney’s new “Frozen” rollercoaster with your little ones? It’s time to find a quiet spot, turn off your phone, and enjoy one of these virtual experiences:
The leader in space exploration offers a wide variety of intergalactic virtual adventures that you can enjoy from the comfort of your couch. Transport yourself to where the action is and take a tour of the International Space Station led by NASA astronaut Suni Williams. Are you looking to get lost among the stars? NASA’s Exoplanet Excursions is a guided journey through the TRAPPIST-1 star system, which is home to seven Earth-sized exoplanets orbiting a star the size of Jupiter. Additionally, this virtual tour includes tours of the Hubble Space Telescope, where viewers can control it for themselves.
While Disney may be temporarily closed, it doesn’t mean you can’t still experience one of the most magical places on Earth. Though these aren’t officially-sanctioned virtual tours, previous guests have uploaded their experience on various rides — like Space Mountain, Frozen Ever After, and It’s A Small World — so that everyone can still experience the Disney magic. And are you craving Disney’s famous Dole Whip? The recipe for its soft-serve snack can be found on the My Disney Experience app!
The National Parks Service partnered with Google to follow a handful of park rangers through some of the most stunning landscapes, ranging from Alaska’s Denali National Park to Utah’s Bryce Canyon. These virtual tours are ideal for those who want to surround themselves with nature without going outside. Some favorites include Yellowstone National Park, Kenai Fjords National Park, and Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park.
24-Hour Live Feeds
Do you want to know what is going on in Times Square right this second? Or wouldn’t it be nice to stream a panoramic view of Paris during the day? While this isn’t exactly a tour, live feeds are common for highly-trafficked areas. You can watch ships pass through the Panama Canal, observe Times Square any time, or watch the Eiffel Tower sparkle in real-time.
Google Arts & Culture is perfect for any art fan and offers comprehensive tours of popular destinations like London’s Tate Modern and the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. If it’s a specific artist you seek, start with a visit to the Van Gogh Museum, or stop through the Frida Khalo Museum. If you enjoy fashion, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City offers visitors plenty of online-only exhibits on designers like Coco Chanel and Rei Kawakubo. Other popular destinations include The Louvre and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.
Zoos and Aquariums
While some people count on the company of a four-legged furry friend at home, others rely on zoos and aquariums to view them. Organizations like the San Diego Zoo, the Georgia Aquarium, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium are offering live webcam viewings of penguins, pandas, elephants, and beluga whales. Additionally, many institutions, such as the Cincinnati Zoo, host Facebook Lives that showcase one of their animals each week and offer educational activities you can do at home.
With the National Marine Sanctuaries, you can explore the underwater world of the American Samoas, the Florida Keys, Monterey Bay, and many others. You can even “swim” through Australia’s Great Barrier Reef with several David Attenborough-narrated videos and an interactive map.
Many artists are taking this period of social distancing to provide free, live shows so that all of us can pretend we are right there with them. Billboard, for example, livestreams performances from musicians’ homes throughout the week. If you’re looking to enjoy some country music, Garth Brooks streams “Inside Studio G” from his home on Mondays to perform his music. Or if you’re looking to sing along to your favorite show tunes, Katharine McPhee and David Foster put on daily concerts on Instagram and take song suggestions from fans. Whatever you’re in the mood for, the possibilities are endless!