The unprecedented affect of the Corona Virus, is having a tremendous impact on families all over the world. Schools worldwide have closed in response to COVID-19, leaving caregivers and parents struggling to adjust and find daily activities for their children that are educational, creative, enriching and entertaining. After a week stuck in the house, you may be looking for a few activities to get through this! There are many online resources that you can turn to during this uncertain period of self-isolation, social distancing and quarantines. Here is a compiled list of activities to help keep you and your family occupied with plenty of room for learning! As a whole, I am in awe of how the community is coming together and sharing the love and support for one another. I hope that you and your families stay sane, occupied, and most importantly healthy during this time! Enjoy!
You can watch Broadway musicals and plays free online for a limited time. BroadwayHD is offering a 7 day free trial, which means you can watch performances from Broadway, the West End, and other elite venues around the world all from the comfort of your living room. Shows include classics like "Cats," "Peter Pan," "42nd Street," "Bye Bye Birdie," "Kinky Boots," "The Phantom of the Opera," and "The Sound of Music."There are ballets, plays, and other performances available as well.
Dubbed the “Netflix of the Arts,” Marquee TV is a newly-launched streaming service that provides access to the world’s best performances in opera, dance, theatre and more. Marquee is offering a free 30-day trial, with monthly subscriptions priced at $8.99. Watch here.
Broadway World has partnered with some incredible singers to launch a series of daily Living Room Concerts — performances direct to you from the living rooms of Broadway performers! The concerts have already included Carolee Carmello from “Hello, Dolly!” and Andrew Barth Feldman from “Dear Evan Hansen.” Watch here.
The Metropolitan Opera is hosting nightly live opera streams while they are closed. The renowned opera house is closed to the public through March 31 as of now, but will stream a performance starting at 7:30 p.m. EST every night they're closed. For now, the schedule is published through March 22, but updates will be listed on the Met Opera's website. Recordings of prior evenings are available to view as well.
National Park Tours
Take a guided virtual walking tour through one of five national parks, including the picturesque rainforest of Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. Google's online Arts & Culture activation includes a program called "The Hidden Worlds of the National Parks" in partnership with the National Parks Services, and it quite literally brings the outdoors inside.
The digital exhibit features five national parks, including Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park, Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico, Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah, Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska, and Dry Tortugas National Park in Florida. Head out west for a virtual tour of the Yellowstone National Park.
Royal Botanic Gardens
Take a deep breath and take a virtual stroll through the Royal Botanic Gardens, a UNESCO-recognized site in Kew, London. Some very kind visitors to the Royal Botanic Gardens captured panoramic shots of the stunning landscape, and they're available to view on Google's Street View feature.
United States Botanic Garden
Take our virtual tour of the United State Botanic Garden. You'll get a peek at the Conservatory, National Garden and Bartholdi Park. You can also take a look at their Orchid Tour.
The Guggenheim Museum in New York City is offering a free virtual tours. Google Arts & Culture is offering a free digital tour of the Guggenheim Museum through its Street View feature. The Guggenheim is known for its collection of contemporary art, as well as for its unique architecture, and the experience of roaming the signature curved building is still captured by the Google Street View digital tour.
The Picasso Museum
The Picasso Museum has a virtual tour of its historic courtyard, plus an interactive map of Barcelona. The Picasso Museum offers virtual tours of its courtyards, discussing the architecture in relation to the history of Barcelona. The museum also has an interactive map depicting Picasso's Barcelona, showing a timeline of his upbringing, his first studios, and bars and galleries frequented by the famed artist.
Nations Museum of Natural History
Several exhibits in the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC, can be toured virtually. From dinosaurs to ocean creatures, the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History offers in-depth 360-degree views of its exhibits.
British Museum in London
The British Museum in London has a free interactive timeline that lets users explore artifacts from ancient civilizations around the world. The virtual exhibit lets people focus on different topics and themes, like "living and dying," "power and identity," and "trade and conflict," all from different continents and eras.
There are a couple of ways to virtually tour the Louvre. The Louvre's official website offers a few virtual exhibits of its own, and a separate site, YouVisit, has a realistic 360-degree tour of several parts of the Paris museum.
The Acropolis Museum
The Acropolis Museum lets users take in stunning views of Athens, Greece, from their couch. In partnership with Google Arts & Culture, the Acropolis Museum has digitized many of its ancient artifacts, from statues to marble murals. Virtual visitors can also take in panoramic views of Athens via the Street View feature.
The Museum of the American Revolution
The Museum of the American Revolution invites folks to explore its collection with a host of free digital resources—a great opportunity for students stuck at home. You can take a digital museum tour featuring cool 360-degree panoramic footage, go on a virtual field trip or delve into excerpts from recent books about the Revolutionary War via the museum’s carefully curated Read the Revolution archives.
LUNCH DOODLES with Mo Willems!
Grab some paper and pencils, pens, or crayons and join an artist for some fun and interactive lunch doodles.
Jarret J. Krosoczka, author of the "Lunch Lady" graphic novel series and the National Book Award finalist "Hey, Kiddo," is hosting daily drawing webcasts on YouTube at 2 p.m. EDT for all ages.
Google Art Project
A new tool that gives you access to more than 1,000 works of art appearing in 17 great museums across the world. Using Google’s Street View technology, you can now tour collections at 184 museums world wide, including the MoMA and Met in New York City, the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, the Van Gogh Museum, and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art has a series of videos set to calming music showing stunning views of its buildings. Anyone who appreciates architecture will likely enjoy The Met's series of YouTube videos that show its most famous buildings and exhibit spaces in a 360-degree format. As a bonus, the videos also feature relaxing instrumental music soundtracks.
Sistine Chapel, The Vatican
The Vatican museum offers an online view of Michelangelo’s paintings in the Sistine Chapel. You can take an amazing panoramic, virtual tour of the Sistine Chapel using buttons in the lower left screen, you can move around the room and zoom in on the paintings, including those on the ceiling. Visitors can also get a 360 degree tour of the Vatican’s collection of classical sculptures in its Pio Clementino and Chiaramonti museums.
The San Diego Zoo
The San Diego Zoo has live and archived videos of pandas, polar bears, giraffes, and other zoo animals. The California zoo has pre-recorded and live video streams showing koalas, apes, pandas, penguins, and other creatures that offer endless hours of entertainment and fascination.
The city’s zoo may be closed but Zoo Atlanta’s famed Panda Cam is still on and operating. While you won’t be able to see the Giant Pandas in person at least through March, you can see them in their Zoo Atlanta habitat on the web.
The Philadelphia Zoo
The Philadelphia Zoo launched a new educational Facebook Live series called Philly Zoo at 2. Every weekday at 2pm, Director of Educational Programs Dani Hogan will take viewers behind the scenes to meet some of the animals living in America’s oldest zoo. Upcoming episodes will feature lions, tigers, giraffes, hedgehogs, rhinos, red pandas, red tail hawks and more.
The Cape May County Park and Zoo
The Cape May County Park and Zoo, which is normally open 364 days a year, since Wednesday has been posting live daily lessons for its Facebook followers, and will do so on weekdays as long as the zoo is closed, officials said. The first lesson featuring two singing siamang apes was a smash hit with viewers. The lessons are also posted on the Cape May County Government’s zoo website.
Elmwood Park Zoo
The Elmwood Park Zoo has been broadcasting “Zoo School Live!” through Facebook. The program, which begins at 11 a.m. and runs about 20 minutes each weekday, features the zoo’s education team presenting a lesson along with an animal from the zoo’s ambassador program. Viewers can post questions to be answered live during the stream. Virtual tours and live streams of exhibit animals will soon be added to zoo websites, officials said.
Explore.org Live Nature Cams
Explore.org, the world's largest live nature cam network, provides a large array of live streams to choose from, including a penguin beach in California, a sea lion beach in British Columbia, an elephant park in South Africa and dozens more. They even offer live streams of newborn puppies and rescued kittens, providing hours of adorable entertainment.
The Smithsonian National Zoo
The Smithsonian National Zoo hosts a 24-hour live view of giant pandas Tian Tian and Mei Xiang. It also has live cams for lions, naked mole rats, giant pandas and elephants online. However, volunteers won’t operate the cameras so viewers may not always be able to see the animals.
The zoo, located in Ohio, gained more acclaim ever since Fiona the hippo went viral soon after her premature birth in 2017. During the coronavirus-related closure, the zoo is hosting Home Safari Facebook Live streams each weekday at 3 p.m. View the event page here.
Wolf Conservation Center
The Wolf Conservation Center in South Salem, NY has enclosure and den cameras set up to give the public a special look at what the wolves in the center are up to.
Wild Earth hosts twice-daily safari live streams from South Africa during sunrise and sunset. During the steam, experts guide viewers through the experience and answer questions from the comments section. The show follows a reality TV show format, using safari vehicles, guides on foot, drones, balloons, rovers and remote webcams to search for its stars.
The Georgia Aquarium
The Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta also has a number of 24-hour live steams on its jellyfish, beluga whales, piranhas and more.
Monterey Bay Aquarium
Monterey Bay Aquarium in California is livestreaming penguins, sea otters, jellyfish, and other creatures. The Monterey, California, aquarium is giving visitors a virtual look at its colorful sea creatures via free live camera streaming. Animal lovers can zen out to jellyfish or watch penguins waddling in their habitat; birdwatch by viewing the Aviary Cam or view turtles and sharks in the Open Sea Cam.
The National Aquarium in Baltimore
Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium features a live cam dedicated to underwater beauty. The spot recently went viral after sharing footage of a bonded penguin pair freely roaming the floor while the aquarium is closed to the public.
NASA's free mobile app lets space-enthusiasts virtually step into mission control. NASA's free Space Center Houston app lets people explore virtual reality experiences, take astronaut selfies, and follow along through an audio tour of its educational space center.
Explore the Surface of Mars
Take a quick trip to outer space to explore the surface of Mars on the Curiosity Rover.
Peloton offers a 30 day free trial of their app. The app offers guidance for cycling, running, yoga, outdoor and strength. The app is available on phones, tablets, televisions and web browsers and offers "a live studio experience." The Peloton gym instructors provide guidance and motivation to get you through the workout. After the free trial, Peloton's service is $20 per month.
Visit Planet Fitness’s Facebook page at 4pm for their daily free online class!
Famous People Reading Children's Books
Take a break while your kids listen to famous actors/actresses read children's books? There is an amazing array of celebs like Opera Winfrey, David Harbour, Betty White, Sean Astin, Chris Pine, and Kevin Costner to name a few.
Gad Book Club
@joshgad, who voices Olaf in "Frozen," has started the "Gad Book Club" and will read books on a Twitter live-stream every evening around 8pm.