Bored at Home? Here’s a Massive List of Museums, Zoos, and Theme Parks Offering Virtual Tours
You can see Frida Kahlo at MoMA or visit the Shedd Aquarium without leaving the couch.
By Katie BourqueMar 20, 2020
The effects of social distancing have left many feeling, well, a little stir-crazy. Though we all try to stay busy by keeping active and working from home during the COVID-19 outbreak, it’s easy to fall into a rut. Luckily, there’s more than one way to stave off boredom while staying indoors. Instead of binging the best of what Netflix has to offer for the second time, it’s time to broaden your horizons with some virtual tours.
“Walk” through some of the world’s most prestigious cultural institutions, like The Met and The American Museum of Natural History, then go for a “ride” on Disney’s new Frozen rollercoaster with the kids. And regardless of your age, we think everyone will enjoy some live footage of pandas playing at the zoo!
- The Louvre: You don’t have to book a ticket to Paris to check out some of the famous pieces in the world’s largest art museum. The Louvre has free online tours of three famous exhibits, including Egyptian Antiquities.
- Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum: The works of Pablo Picasso, Piet Mondrian, Jeff Koons, and Franz Marc are just some of the 625 artists whose work are a part of the Guggenheim’s Collection Online.
- Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History: Move at your own pace through the 360-degree room-by-room tour of every exhibit in the museum.
- Van Gogh Museum: You can get up close and personal with the impressionist painter’s most famous work thanks to Google Arts & Culture.
- Getty Museum: Los Angeles’s premiere gallery has two virtual tours, including “Eat, Drink, and Be Merry,” which is a closer look at food in the Middle Ages and Renaissance.
- The Vatican Museum: The Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica, and Raphael’s Room, are just some of the sites you can see on the Vatican’s virtual tour.
- Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum: Madrid’s must-see art museum has the works of some of the continent’s most celebrated artists like Rembrandt and Dali available online.
- Georgia O’Keeffe Museum: Six virtual exhibits are available online from this museum named for the “Mother of American modernism.”
- National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City: Dive into the pre-Hispanic history of Mexico with 23 exhibit rooms full of Mayan artifacts.
- British Museum, London: The Rosetta Stone and Egyptian mummies are just a couple of things that you’re able to see on a virtual tour of the museum.
- NASA: Both Virginia’s Langley Research Center and Ohio’s Glenn Research Center offer online tours for free. Also, you can try some “augmented reality experiences” via The Space Center Houston’s app.
- National Women’s History Museum: Have a late International Women’s Day celebration with online exhibits and oral histories from the Virginia museum.
- Metropolitan Museum of Art: Though the Met Gala was cancelled this year, you can still have a peak at the The Costume Institute Conversation Lab, which is one of the institution’s 26 online exhibits.
- High Museum of Art, Atlanta: This museum’s popular online exhibits include “Civil Rights Photography” — photos that capture moments of social protest like the Freedom Rides and Rosa Park’s arrest.
- Detroit Institute of Arts: Mexican art icon Frida Kahlo is the focal point of two of the four available online exhibits.
- Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam: The Golden Age of Dutch art is highlighted in this museum which includes the work of Vermeer and Rembrandt.
- National Museum of the United States Air Force: You can’t take a ride in Franklin D. Roosevelt’s presidential airplane, but you can check it out, in addition to other military weapons and aircraft, online in the Air Force’s official museum.
- MoMA (The Museum of Modern Art): New York’s extensive collection is available for view online.
- Museum of Fine Arts, Boston: The 16 virtual exhibits include a special section on 21st Century Designer Fashion.
Zoos and Aquariums
- The Cincinnati Zoo: Check in around 3 p.m., because that’s the time the Zoo holds a daily Home Safari on its Facebook Live Feed.
- Atlanta Zoo: The Georgia zoo keeps a “Panda Cam” livestream on its website.
- Georgia Aquarium: Sea-dwellers like African penguins and Beluga Whales are the stars of this aquarium’s live cam.
- Houston Zoo: There are plenty of different animals you can check in on with this zoo’s live cam, but we highly recommend watching the playful elephants.
- The Shedd Aquarium: This Chicago aquarium shares some pretty adorable behind-the-scenes footage of their residents on Facebook.
- San Diego Zoo: With what may be the most live cam options, this zoo lets you switch between koalas, polar bears, and tigers in one sitting.
- Monterey Bay Aquarium: It can be Shark Week every week thanks to live online footage of Monterey Bay’s Habitat exhibit.
- National Aquarium: Walk through tropical waters to the icy tundra in this floor-by-floor tour of the famous, Baltimore-based aquarium.
- Walt Disney World: Set aside some time, because there’s plenty to see here. Virtual tours you can take include Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, and Epcot, just to name a few. There are also unofficial YouTube videos that feel just like you’re on famous rides like the Frozen Ever After ride, It’s a Small World, Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue!, and Pirates of the Caribbean.
- LEGOLAND Florida Resort: The Great Lego Race and Miniland USA are just two of the attractions you can check out in a virtual tour of the park.
- SeaWorld Orlando: The virtual tour of Seaworld includes a tour of Discovery Cove and the option to”ride” the steel roller coaster Mako.
Katie Bourque As an Editorial Fellow for Good Housekeeping, Katie covers health, beauty, home, and pop culture.