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Just because you are at home doesn’t mean field trips aren’t in the cards. Loads of educational and exciting establishments have gone fully virtual for the time being, and have gotten creative in ways to keep people engaged. Setting up an online field trip day can be an extravaganza of snacks, hands on activities and learning, all while staying in pajamas. So make a day of it, and change up those online learning sessions. These places are perfect for hosting your virtual field trip, and we are sure numerous other parks, museums, zoos and so on have some cool opportunities as well.
Teton Raptor Center
Teton Raptor Center is fairly close to Jackson Hole, and normally they do live demonstrations with rescued birds like owls, to educate the community. For now, kids can hop on their Facebook to watch live videos on Thursdays, which include different raptors from the center. During the week, the crew posts regularly with fun facts, while also encouraging input on what their next video should discuss.
While the doors of Chattanooga’s riverside Tennessee Aquarium are currently closed, the Aquarium at Home page has been launched on the website. In addition to webcams that closely follow favorite animals like penguins and otters, education experts have come up with games and printouts that can be incorporated into a virtual visit. IMAX has generously opened the aquarium’s high def library so the films can be temporarily seen at home until the theatre reopens. Pay special attention to all the great resources on this page. You can also find videos with updates from the aquarium on Facebook.
Smithsonian National Zoological Park
Smithsonian National Zoological Park is in Washington D.C. and promotes the conservation of wildlife habitats. There are three different ways to “bring the zoo to you”. Hop on Facebook and explore videos of residents like elephants, kangaroos and sloths, while reading updates and viewing pictures. On the website, there’s a webcam page, but the animals will have to come to the lense because volunteers are currently not manning the cameras. To delve deeper, visit the zoo’s official website.
Woodstock Farm Sanctuary
Woodstock Farm Sanctuary in High Falls, New York, is currently closed during the crisis. But that doesn’t mean all of their rescued farm animals don’t want to say hello. You can jump online to learn more about the goats, turkeys and pigs on the property on one of their live sessions. Check their official Facebook page for regular updates.
Never had the chance to get the kids to The Alamo? Now is the time, since they’re providing updates and historical education posts on their Facebook page. Truly learn about the depth of this landmark, and its significant past. Posts also feature some of the beautiful foliage blooming this time of year, and specific flower types are mentioned as well.
Museum of Fine Arts
The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston houses ages of treasured relics and pieces of art—it’s more than a building full of paintings to be interpreted. And the same is reflected on Facebook, with initiatives to continue the #MuseumFromHome efforts. Posts include facts and pictures of ancient artifacts, trivia to promote interacting, and videos displaying some of the more unique items on site. And yes, of course, there are some incredible paintings to be discovered.
Craters of the Moon
Craters of the Moon is a National Monument and Preserve in the great state of Idaho. Explorable volcanic terrain emulates the surface of some other planet, and ice caves reside underground. It’s truly a unique place that should be visited in person, one day. But for now, kiddos can get an up-close look at various geologic features, from the comfort of their computer. Crater Rocks is an app that provides a virtual tour of the super awesome terrain, and you’ll learn a lot along the way.
Grand Canyon National Park
Grand Canyon National Park’s grandeur is hard to appreciate when not in person—the rushing river, multihued rock and overall massiveness. But one can try to at least learn a bit about the iconic site, while gazing over the canyon via webcams provided by NPS.gov. Take in the beauty and have some facts ready to read aloud.
The National Museum of American History
The National Museum of American History is here to help you survive long-distance education. The museum has developed incredible resources for those who like incorporating the computer, and for those who don’t. The lesson plans are pretty detailed and you can sign up for a newsletter with teaching tips. Kids will get a broad education of the vital American history the museum would normally be introducing on a daily basis.
Exploratorium sits on the waters of San Francisco, focusing on art, science and intriguing thought—kids love it. Their Facebook offers interesting updates, facts and information on mystifying topics, but the resources on their official website dive deeper. Online experiences can range from reading about solar eclipses to watching experiments go down. The kids may not know it, but there’s a lot of education wound into the awesome content. Just like any truly great field trip.