Camp Corona KC: 12 great virtual tours for quarantined kids
We’ve been social distancing for a few weeks now, and entertainment is running low. You’ve got a lot on your plate—schools are closed, playgrounds are taped off and keeping kids focused on their education is becoming increasingly difficult.
Sure, you’ve probably set your sights on some Netflix documentaries, read a few books and maybe even started a puzzle that has been collecting dust on your shelf. If you’re itching to avoid cabin fever, a number of local and national tourist hotspots are offering free virtual tours and educational activities.
While watching through a screen doesn’t have quite the same appeal as exploring on foot, it’s one more thing to keep kids entertained through a time of isolation. And who knows—you may end up with a few more items to put on your travel bucket list.
Here are a few virtual tours you can enjoy from the comfort of your couch.
Nelson-Atkins, American Jazz Museum, Kansas City Museum and Kemper Museum
Google Arts and Culture offers hundreds of tours of internationally-renowned museums, landmarks and collections from across the globe, like the Taj Mahal and Milan Cathedral. Users can also virtually walk through museum exhibits in our own backyard, such as ones at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art or the American Jazz Museum. The site also has digital images of the collections at Kansas City Museum and Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art and 360-degree videos from celestial spaces, including a look inside a space shuttle, a tour of the Hubble Control Center and a virtual journey of the Orion Nebula.
Negro Leagues Baseball Museum
Johnson County Museum
The Johnson County Museum has an online database of historical photograph collections from the archives of libraries across the area. Collections include the old Strang Line railroad, the livestock industry and parades through the town.
Museum at Prairiefire
The Museum at Prairiefire in Overland Park is adapting to the closures by adding educational resources for kids at home. Through Steam At Home, the museum will be posting weekly interactive STEM activities for parents and kids to do from home, including topics like shadows, kites and dinosaurs.
Kansas City Zoo
Several zoos across the U.S. are turning to online streaming of their animals, including the Kansas City Zoo, which is hosting a live stream of the penguin exhibit. The San Diego Zoo is streaming live feeds of koalas, penguins and polar bears. Zoo Atlanta is offering a live stream of their panda cam and the Georgia Aquarium, Houston Zoo and Monterey Bay Aquarium are also posting live streams of their animal exhibits. The Cincinnati Zoo is hosting a daily Home Safari Facebook live series, where they feature animals such as their ever-popular and giant hippo, Fiona.
Yellowstone National Park
Our nation’s parks are closed for now, but they’re producing online tours. The National Park Service offers visual and 3D tours of Yellowstone National Park, where you can explore the Mammoth Hot Springs, Norris Geyser Basin and Fort Yellowstone. Each tour includes tidbits of facts about each part of the park.
You don’t have to travel to France to visit The Louvre in Paris. Closed for the time being amid the coronavirus pandemic, the museum will offer virtual tours of some of its popular exhibits, including the Galerie d’Apollon ceiling and the remains of the Louvre Moat.
Explore the surface of Mars… virtually, of course. This 360 tour takes you on a real trail across Mars from the point of view of the Curiosity Rover, the NASA vehicle that explores craters on the planet.
The British Museum out of London created the coolest interactive timeline of works from their collection. Jump back and forth in time to explore artifacts from different continents and cultures.