Travel is usual part of our family summers. Every year since our children were young we’ve spent at least 2 – 4 weeks of their summer vacations traveling the world. These days we do it with our grandkids as well. Our travel generally includes something fun like a theme park, something about nature like a National Park, and something educational like a museum or two.
This year our summer travel is cancelled due to COVID19, the virus which has pretty much changed daily life worldwide. Travel restrictions as well as social distance and personal hygiene guidelines have made travel that much more complicated. These days added to the stress of dealing with airports, hotels, and car rentals are the need to wear masks or facial coverings, hand washing, social distancing, and sanitizing surfaces on planes, hotels, restaurants, and all forms of public transportation. So we like I’m sure many other families have chosen to spend summer at home.
But staying home this summer doesn’t mean we can’t go to museums or other places we normally visit during our vacations. We just have to do it virtually from the safety and comfort of our home. Of course virtual tours aren’t the same as actually being there, but it’s a good way to discover new places that we may want to visit as soon as we feel comfortable traveling again.
Here are some virtual museum tours that kids will enjoy. My grandkids and I have done quite a few of them and have found them enjoyable. They’ve opened the way to further explorations and discussions!
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Located in Naperville, Illinois the Dupage Children’s Museum offers an interactive journey thru their exhibits.
The Houston Children’s Museum has been rated the #1 Children’s Museum in the US by Parents magazine. I can definitely say it’s an incredible place for kids to explore and learn about many interesting things. My grandson’s loved it when we visited 5 years ago when they were 1, 7, and 12 years old. Read about our visit here!
While they don’t have a virtual tour they do have a schedule of virtual events such as workshops, story time, and at home activities. Check their event schedule and find something you can plan to attend. Click here for their event schedule!
NASA – Johnson Space Center Houston
The Johnson Space Center in Houston isn’t exactly a museum although they do have several areas that showcase rockets, spacesuits, and other interesting items from their long history of space exploration.
An actual visit to the Space Center includes a tour of the facilities including Mission Control, the area where many space launches from the Saturn rockets, Apollo Missions, and Shuttle missions were monitored.
The Johnson Space Center offers several virtual tours and activities. This should keep you and the kids busy for days! My kids and grandkids have visited the Space Center several times and have had a great time. We’ve also done the virtual tours recently and found them very educational. Click here for the NASA – Space Center’s virtual tours!
Boeing and Discovery Education have teamed up to present this exclusive virtual field trip of the Johnson Space Center. It’s a great way to spend the day! Click here for this virtual field trip!
Natural History Museums have always been a favorite with my kids and grandkids; I assume it is for most kids. What kid can resist the draw of dinosaur bones, animals, and rocks?
The Smithsonian Natural History Museum was the first museum we hit when were were in Washington DC one summer.
You can explore the Smithsonian Natural History Museum’s fossil and gem stone exhibits and more on this virtual tour.
Fans of the Ben Stiller movie “Night at the Museum” will recognize the American Museum of Natural History located in New York City. The movie takes place inside this wonderful museum although movie only used exterior shots of this museum and wasn’t actually filmed there.
It’s also a family favorite. It’s a museum we visit whenever we’re in the Big Apple.
This museum offers online ways to explore the museum with virtual field trips, videos, and games. Click here to see what online activities are offered at the American Museum of Natural History.
Located on Fifth Avenue in New York City The Metropolitan Museum of Art is one of my favorite museums. How can it not be? I went to school across the street, my friends and I spent many afternoons exploring the exhibits. We were huge fans of E. L. Konigsburg’s novel “From the Mixed Up Fils of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler” which tells the tale of two siblings who runaway to NYC and “live” at this museum.
The MET as it’s lovingly called has many online offerings for both kids and adults to explore it’s many exhibits and spaces. My grandkids love #MetKids an online plaltform made for, with, and by kids. It takes kids on a fun filled journey thru time to explore over 5000 years of art from around the world. Click here to start your journey!