Vacationing is customary for our family during summers. For as long as our kids were little, we’ve devoted a minimum of 2 to 4 weeks of their summer break to explore the world. Now, we’ve extended this tradition to our grandkids. Typically, our travel itinerary involves a combination of exciting activities such as a theme park, a brush with nature like a national park, and some enlightening museum visits.
The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically altered daily life around the world, including our annual summer travel plans. Travel restrictions, social distancing requirements, and personal hygiene guidelines have made the already-stressful process of navigating airports, hotels, and car rentals even more complicated. In addition to these challenges, we must now wear masks, frequently wash our hands, maintain social distance, and sanitize all surfaces on public transportation, in restaurants, and at hotels. As a result, our family, like many others, has opted to spend the summer at home.
Staying put this summer doesn’t have to dash our hopes of visiting museums or other typical vacation destinations. Instead, we can experience them virtually from the safety and serenity of our own homes. While it’s not the same as being there in person, it’s an excellent means of uncovering new places we may want to visit once traveling feels comfortable again.
If you’re looking for ways to engage your kids in virtual museum tours, I’ve got you covered. I’ve personally tested quite a few of these tours with my own grandkids, and we found them to be incredibly enjoyable. Not only did they satisfy our thirst for knowledge, but they also sparked further exploration and lively discussions.
The Dupage Children’s Museum, situated in Naperville, Illinois, invites visitors on an interactive journey through its exhibits.
Parents Magazine has bestowed the top honor of Best Children’s Museum in the US to the Houston Children’s Museum. As someone who has personally visited the museum, I can attest to its wonder and educational value for kids. During my trip five years back, my grandsons of ages 1, 7, and 12 were thoroughly enamored with the exhibits.
Although a virtual tour is not available, their online event calendar is ripe with virtual workshops, story time, and at-home activities. Glance through their schedule and select an event that you can add to your schedule.
While not quite a museum, the Johnson Space Center in Houston offers visitors glimpses of rocketry, spacesuits, and other fascinating memorabilia from their extensive experience with space exploration.
Embarking on a trip to the Space Center involves an immersive tour of the premises, featuring Mission Control. Visitors gain insight into the area where numerous space expeditions, from the Saturn rockets and Apollo Missions to Shuttle missions, were closely watched.
The Johnson Space Center boasts a plethora of virtual tours and activities, guaranteed to keep both you and your children entertained for days. As a testament to their quality, my kids and grandkids have visited the Center multiple times and never failed to have a blast. Recently, we indulged in the virtual tours and were pleased to discover their educational value.
Experience a thrilling virtual field trip of the Johnson Space Center, courtesy of a partnership between Boeing and Discovery Education. This unique experience promises to be an incredible way to spend your day!
My children and grandchildren share a fondness for Natural History Museums, as do many kids. What child can resist the allure of dinosaur fossils, displays of animals, and geological wonders? During our summer visit to Washington DC, the Smithsonian Natural History Museum was our first stop.
The illustrious American Museum of Natural History, situated in New York City, will be a familiar sight to fans of Ben Stiller’s “Night at the Museum.” Despite using only exterior shots of the museum, the movie’s plot unfolds within this awe-inspiring institution. A beloved family destination, we make it a point to visit every time we’re in the Big Apple. Furthermore, the museum has established a virtual platform in order to grant visitors access to various features, such as virtual field trips, videos, and games from the comfort of their own homes.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, situated on the renowned Fifth Avenue in New York City, holds a special place in my heart as one of my top museums. It holds such a significant place due to the fact that I went to school right opposite the museum. During my school days, my close friends and I would often spend afternoons discovering and learning more about the exhibits. We were ardent followers of E.L. Konigsburg’s literary masterpiece, “From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler,” which tells the fascinating story of two siblings who secretly lived in the museum.
Affectionately known as the MET, this renowned institution offers a plethora of online experiences for both children and adults to enjoy. Among them is #MetKids, a digital platform designed specifically for kids, by kids, and with kids in mind. Embark on an exciting voyage through history and discover over 5000 years of art from diverse corners of the globe – a favorite among my grandkids.