Discovery Point Blog
6 Virtual Field Trips for Cold Winter Days
Winter can be a time of magic and wonder, as well as gray and gloom. If you and your children are starting to get cabin fever, you may be looking for a bit of an escape. The good news is that in this day and age, you don’t have to be stuck looking out the window waiting for the weather to change. Instead, you can help your children explore the vast wonders of the world with some fun and educational virtual field trips.
There are a ton of child-friendly virtual field trips available. You can tailor your choices according to your child’s interests and the subjects they’re studying in school.
However, don’t be afraid to take a leap into the great unknown and go somewhere neither of you have ever considered. You just might uncover some new and exciting passions in science, history, art, or travel!
We’ve listed some of our favorite options for virtual field trips below to inspire both you and your children to discover what’s going on outside of your neighborhood.
Yellowstone National Park
A family trip to Yellowstone may be a dream you hope to accomplish someday. While a virtual field trip to the national park is nowhere near the real thing, it can pique your children’s interests and help them learn something new.
The National Park Service offers a long list of virtual tours, video walks, and planning resources, as well as educational materials.
Zoos & Aquariums
A trip to the zoo might sound like just the right thing to relieve boredom and add some excitement to your day, but if the weather isn’t right, an in-person trip won’t be much fun. Fortunately, you can always take a virtual trip to the second most visited zoo in the United States – the Houston Zoo.
The zoo has webcams in many of the animal habitats, including the gorilla habitat, elephant yard, and flamingo pool, as well as a special up-close cam for leafcutter ants. Just be sure to check in ahead of time, as the zoo lists the animals’ routines and explains when you’re most likely to see them in action.
If the animals are resting or their habitats are being cleaned, pop on over to the Monterey Bay Aquarium to check out what’s going on there through their underwater webcams.
Some of the most famous art museums in the world offer virtual exhibits. Our favorite to check out include:
- The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam
- The Frida Kahlo Museum in Mexico City
- The Louvre in Paris
- The Musée d’Orsay in Paris
These virtual field trips offer more than just an up-close look at some of the world’s greatest works of art — it can also help you and your children satiate your wanderlust for the time being.
If art doesn’t capture your kids’ imagination as much as the wonders of science, there are still plenty of virtual exhibits to check out. The National Children’s Museum incorporates STEAM activities and provides lots of accompanying resources. Boston’s Museum of Science also offers virtual exhibits as well as related kid-friendly activities on exciting scientific themes.
A bit less educational but still a ton of fun, this virtual field trip will give your children a real thrill. Canada’s Wonderland is Canada’s leading amusement park and is even home to a record-breaking coaster called the Yukon Striker. They have virtual point-of-view rides available for 30 of the theme park’s most popular attractions, including the Yukon Striker!
That’s right – even outer space isn’t off limits for a virtual field trip! If there are any space junkies in your family, they will love getting a 360-degree view of the actual surface of Mars thanks to NASA’s Curiosity rover and the Access Mars project.
Don’t let this short list limit your imagination when it comes to virtual field trips! A simple Google search for “virtual field trips” will reveal exceptional resources online. It will be easy to help your child explore their interests beyond what a textbook can offer. Plus, these virtual adventures can help ward off those winter blues until springtime.