Virtual Field Trips for Kids
While zoos, aquariums, museums and other cultural institutions have obviously been impacted by COVID-19 and can no longer physically welcome guests, there are still options for entertaining field trips to take your family on right through your computer screen. Many places that you might typically take the family for a day out are now offering virtual experiences. You and your family can stay safe at home and follow state guidelines while embarking on virtual field trips for kids to some awesome and educational sights. This way, you can bring the joy of these experiences into your own home, and the kids can go exploring without even changing out of their pajamas!
Psst…For more virtual field trip ideas, check out our article Virtual Museum Tours in New York Families Will Love
Outdoors & Recreation
The Bronx Zoo is offering live webcam access to some of their beloved exhibits through its website from 10 am to 4 pm daily. You can check in on some of the animals, including the sea lions on Astor Court, the lemurs at Madagascar!, and the little penguin exhibit inside the Aquatic Bird House. Make sure you turn your volume up as you watch the lemurs in the morning starting at 10 am, or watch the sea lions being fed daily at 11 am and again at 3 pm. You can also check in on some of your favorite underwater friends from the New York Aquarium, including the sharks at Ocean Wonders and the new octopus at the Spineless exhibit!
On this super fun virtual field trip to Coney Island and Luna Park, you can now take a ride on the famous and always-enjoyable Coney Island Cyclone! It doesn’t stop there — you can ride many of Luna Park’s thrilling attractions in 360-VR. The park’s website offers fully-interactive videos through which you can explore and decide which rides you’d like to try, and the program is even compatible with VR headsets for those who may own them. Keep your volume up and enlarge your screen so you can get the very best virtual coaster experience! If you’re not a rollercoaster-lover, you can just check in to see what’s happening in the park’s live stream.
You can experience the Central Park Zoo in virtual reality! At youvisit.com, you’ll find yourself at the 72nd street entrance to the zoo. From there, you can move through the zoo, fully immersed in a 360-degree viewing experience. Enjoy being right in the middle of the action as you check out the many exhibits accompanied by your own virtual tour guide. Make sure to turn your volume up so you can hear as your guide teaches you about the many aspects of the beloved conservancy.
The historic site which opened back in 1697 is made up of 47 acres, making it the longest continuously farmed site in all of New York state. It is home to an herb garden, live animals, fun farm vehicles, historic farm buildings, planting fields, and a greenhouse. You can venture on a virtual field trip to this beautiful, cool and calm environment and see it all on their #BARNCAM at 4 pm each day right from their website.
With Snug Harbor at Home, you can take the kids to live events, interactive and hands-on educational activities and on virtual tours. You can see what they have growing in their gardens and at the Heritage Farm, and check out the awesome art in the Newhouse Center!
The Alley Pond Environmental Center is now bringing its activities and programs right to your screen. Especially for any kids who love science and nature, these programs make for a perfect virtual field trip. They range from the Sunny Bunnies StoryTime Series, to environmental exploration with Zach’s Wild World, to fun little arts and crafts tutorials.
Parks@Home Jr. is bringing you virtual education and interaction through their live tours and even exploration led by park rangers each Tuesday at 12 pm. Kids can learn about the wildlife and nature that the park is home to, and can even ask these experts some questions! Then, on Wednesdays at the same time, they take the kids on a walk through a new park each week where they can enjoy waterfronts, hiking trails and beautiful scenery. On Thursdays, let your kids get artsy with DIY craft classes and a learn-to-draw class! The tours take place live on Periscope, Facebook and Twitter. On Facebook, you can also watch past tours, and be sure to turn on your notifications to receive updates regarding live events. All information can be found at nycgovparks.org.
Join the public garden for their Family Art Project, where you and your kids can experience virtual storytelling and at-home art projects. Each Saturday morning, the Wave Hill will post videos that follow the same schedule that was in place before COVID-19 hit. The videos are interactive and are accompanied by a list of necessary materials for each project!
One of New York’s most famous field trip spots, the museum has added online exhibits that contain photos and videos in partnership with Google Arts & Culture. For example, you can visit Windows on Nature, and scroll through to see a variety of dioramas that are accompanied by historical facts as well as information on how the dioramas are made. This is not a live stream, so you can visit the website at any time, choose from the plethora of exhibits, and explore at your leisure!
CMOM at Home is a virtual field trip experience that brings the resources from the museum into your home to keep the kids engaged and learning in a fun manner. You can visit athome.cmom.org to learn more about the activities being offered, and sign up to receive direct email updates when more events are announced. Every day of the week the activities are centered around a different theme, and the events are all interactive, so your kids will surely be kept busy with games, sing-alongs, videos and much more!
You can now take a virtual trip through Toy Museum TV in lieu of physically wandering this museum and its toys and games! The website contains fun interviews with inventors, education toy videos, and puppets galore!
Right on the homepage of their website, the museum offers a link to information on their many educational family-friendly programs. Once you reach the list, you can decide on an event and register your family for a fun immersion into history, science and technology. The website is always being updated as new events are added, as well as information regarding event times and age ranges that the respective events are geared toward.
The famous art museum is introducing their new Virtual Views program, where you and your kids can browse through their YouTube channel for an art-immersive virtual field trip! You can find hundreds of videos of the museum’s incredible exhibits, art, and even videos of filmmakers, artists and creators!
This is arguably the next-best-thing when you can’t sit in an audience and experience the magic of live theatre. This is a paid streaming service where you can browse and choose from over 300 renowned Broadway plays and musicals ranging from classic to modern, and watch high-definition, full-length videos. While you can’t take your kids on a field trip to the Great White Way, this allows you to take your kids on a high-quality virtual theatre endeavor. You can try the service for free for seven days, and then subscribe if you enjoy it for $8.99 a month! You can watch through your smartphone, tablet, computer, and even on Apple and Roku TV.
Watch interactive family-friendly performances geared toward kids of all ages both live and from the archives right from Trusty Sidekick’s website! On June 14th at 5 pm, bring your kids to an original digital performance created by families and featuring over 20 families from the United States, where interstellar experts will conduct a survey of unique planets! Tickets are free, as is streaming of any available “play date” shows.