Are your kids spending more time inside these days? Thanks to the miracles of technology, kids can be educated at home by doing a few academic activities and going on a virtual field trip or two.
What is a Virtual Field Trip?
“What is a virtual field trip”, you ask? Good question! On a virtual field trip students can visit museums, zoos, aquariums, historical sites, national monuments and other places of importance around the world from the comfort of their own home or regular classroom. A virtual field trip can also involve attending an artistic performance or connecting with a leader in a certain field of study.
Virtual field trips bring text books to life! Instead of reading about The Leaning Tower of Pisa, take a 360 degree panoramic tour of it! Climb Mount Everest – virtually! Watch adorable sea lions play at the aquarium on a webcam! The opportunities for virtual learning are endless!
101 Virtual Field Trips For Kids
Virtual fields trips are also great for all ages. Students can choose from a number of topics including zoology, sports, science, STEM, tech and manufacturing, agriculture, literacy and more. Even though families may be stuck at home for an extended period of time, with this list of 101 virtual field trips for kids you still can travel the world and learn together!
Aquarium Virtual Tours
Check in on sea life with live webcams placed inside Aquarium’s exhibits. The public can watch otters, sharks and jelly fish happily play all day long!
- Aquarium of the Pacific – They offer a variety of webcams and online programming so that the public can engage with their exhibits and animals and learn about the ocean.
- Monterey Bay Aquarium – Learn about the ocean from anywhere. Choose a live cam and be mesmerized by moon jellies or see how many seven gill sharks you can spot. You can also watch their daily live feedings.
- Georgia Aquarium – They have 8 webcams for visitors to watch Jellyfish, Beluga Whales, California Sea Lions and more.
- National Aquarium – Watch their live 365 degree webcam of various animals including seas turtles, alligators, and fish.
- Waikiki Aquarium – Watch Hōʻailona, the monk seal, live his best life on the Island.
- California Academy of Sciences – Watch stingrays, coral reef, and penguin colony in HD, or take a trip to the Farallon Islands via webcam.
Zoo WebCams & More
Zoo webcams allow visitors to drop in on the habitats of some of the zoo’s favorite animal exhibits. Catch a lion taking a nap, watch penguins slip and slide on the ice or gaze at the beauty of an American Bald Eagle.
- Explore – The world’s largest live nature cam network and is nicknamed “Pearls of the Planet”. They have hundreds of live webcams of animals and prey from all over the world.
- Ouwehand Park Polar Bear Cubs – Watch the zoo’s tundra exhibit in the Netherlands, where two polar bear cubs play under the watchful eye of their mother and grandmother.
- Simithsonian’s National Zoo – They have multiple webcams available streaming live from various exhibits.
- The National Parks Service – Their live cams allow you to get up close to wildlife without disturbing them. Watch the famous brown bears of Brooks River, go on a live dive in Channel Islands, or take a peek in a Bald Eagle’s Nest. They have an library of videos on YouTube.
- Cincinnati Zoo – While the Cincinnati Zoo is currently closed, they’ll be live-streaming from the zoo each weekday at 3 pm EDT. Each stream will highlight one of the zoo’s amazing animals, and include an activity that can be done from home.
- San Diego Zoo Webcam – Live webcams of various animals including penguins, pandas, polar bears, elephants, koalas and more.
- Zoo Atlanta Panda Cam – Take peek inside what’s it like to be a panda!
- Houston Zoo AnimalCam – See a heard of Asian elephants roam around, watch as giraffes nibble lettuce fed to them by guests at the feeding platform, see the rhinos roll in a mud puddle and more.
- Reid Park Zoo – Enjoy watching a life webcast of the elephants, giraffes, bears, lemurs and lions.
- National Geographic Safari Live – Watch an impala face a crocodile, a hyena clan resists a lion pride, baby elephants play and more.
- WildlifeEarth.TV – Take a virtual safari! Experience one of the most beautiful places on earth and interact with animal experts in real time.
- Sharks 4 Kids – Watch a variety of videos about sharks.
- The Science of Sled Dogs – Denali National Park and Preserve hosts the US government’s only dog-sled team. The education staff at Denali can visit your classroom for free via the internet. Using Zoom videoconferencing connections, their staff will spend an hour teaching your class about Denali’s amazing natural resources using interactive lessons and activities
- FarmFood 360 – Offers 11 virtual tours of farm animals of minks, sheep, pigs, cows and more.
- Minnesota Zoo – Offers three live virtual field trips with Zoo staff that you book for your students including Engineering for Animals: Exhibit Design & Beyond, Engineering by Animals: Inventive Nature and Zoo Food for Thought.
- The Turtle Hospital – They offer virtual field trips for students to learn about a variety of turtle topics, including basic sea turtle anatomy, conservation, rehab, surgery and more.
National Parks Virtual Field Trips
Need to get outside? These National Parks offer virtual tours you can take from the comfort of home. Just don’t forget water!
- Yellowstone National Park – Learn about Mud Volcano, Mammoth Hot Springs and more.
- Yosemite National Park – Take a 360 degree of this national treasure.
- Haleakalā Crater – Get the latest viewing conditions of Haleakalā Crater at Haleakalā National Park
- Nahuku Lave Tube – Learn about lava tubes in Hawaii with this educational field trip.
- Agate Fossil Beds National Monument – Rangers will remotely (using Zoom technology) introduce students to Agate Fossil Beds National Monument. Students will learn about fossilization and the geology of the area.
- Denali National Park – Denali National Park and Preserve hosts the tallest mountain in North America. It can be hard to get there, but you can bring Denali into your classroom instead! Learn about this tall peak and why exactly Denali is so tall in this program specifically designed for 4th-6th grade. The education staff at Denali can visit your classroom for free via the internet.
- Chat With A Ranger – In this program, students learn about Zion National Park, the park service, and the ranger themselves as they interact in live time with a uniformed ranger.
- Channel Islands Live Dive – Students explore the kelp forest with a park ranger-diver through an interactive distance learning program. The role of kelp as a producer and, therefore, its ability to produce oxygen through photosynthesis are emphasized. Affects of human activities on kelp forests are also explored.
Art Museums Online Tours
When a class field trip is out of the question, journey to a virtual museum! From Paris to New York to Amsterdam, kids can see priceless works of art from the world’s most famous artists.
- Google Arts and Culture – Take a virtual field trip to one of 500 museums and galleries around the world. You can take a look at internationally-renowned sites like the British Museum in London, England, or the Ufizzi Gallery in Florence, Italy.
- National Archaeological Museum of Naples – Take a virtual tour of the art and artifacts from Pompeii, Herculaneum, and more
- Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam – Take an online tour of The Van Gogh Museum which houses the largest collection of artworks by Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890) in the world.
- The Louvre in Paris – Travel to Paris to see amazing works of art on this virtual field trip.
- National Museum of Nature and Science in Japan – Take a virtual tour of each floor of the National Museum of Nature and Science. Learn about dinosaurs, the ecosystem, mining in the Edo period and more.
- National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. – Enjoy a tour of National Gallery of Art preserves, collects, exhibits, and fosters an understanding of works of art.
- Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy – Take a tour of The Uffizi which was designed by Giorgio Vasari in 1560 for Cosimo I de’Medici to house the Granducal Magistratures of Tuscany.
Space Virtual Field Trips
See what the universe looks like from the far reaches of space! Take a walk on Mars, join the first man on the Moon or ride shuttle into space. Just don’t forget your suit!
- Mars – With virtual tours, even the sky isn’t your limit. Thanks to NASA’s Curiosity rover, you and your students can explore the surface of Mars in a 360-degree view while learning about space exploration.
- NASA Space Cam – The NASA Space cam comes to us from the International Space Station as it careens around the Earth at an average of 17,000 mph, experiencing sunrises and sunsets about every 45 minutes. Catch stunning views of vast blue oceans, clouds, and the city lights below during “nights”. Get an inside look at the global crew of astronauts as they perform scientific experiments in weightless conditions and communicate with Mission Control.
- Aerospace Virtual Tour With Boeing – Join Boeing on a virtual field trip to historic Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas.
- U.S. Space and Rocket Museum – See the Saturn 5 Rocket and more on this tour with a cute father/son duo.
Historical Virtual Field Trips
Virtual field trips can awaken a love for history and provide a way to explore places that may normally be inaccessible.
- Great Wall of China – This virtual tour of the Great Wall of China is beautiful and makes history come to life.
- Ellis Island – Take a virtual field trip to Ellis Island with Scholastic.com
- Tour England – Enjoy a beautiful tour of England in this 360 degree video.
- Machu Picchu, CuzcoUnesco National Heritage Site 360 World Tour
- The White House – Get an up close tour of this magnificent building with a 360-degree view of more than a dozen rooms.
- MetKids – This site from New York City’s Museum of Metropolitan Art lets kids explore the famous museum with an interactive map.
- The Liberty Bell – Look at photos and learn facts about the Liberty Bell from all angles.
- Museum of American Revolution – You can experience the Museum of the American Revolution from everywhere! They have placed all of their digital resources right on the landing page of their website for the time-being.
- The Leaning Tower of Pisa – This magnificent work of art took around 200 years to build. Access to the Leaning Tower of Pisa normally only holds 45 people at a time, but not any more with this virtual tour!
- The Egyptian Pyramids – Take a tour of one of the top wonders of the world with PBS.
- Buckingham Palace – From the grand staircase to the art room, this virtual tour of Buckingham Place in England will give you a great perspective of the grandeur of the majestic residence.
- The Grand Canyon – View one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World and tour 277 miles around the rim.
- Mount Rushmore – Take a panoramic tour of Mount Rushmore and discovers the wonder of this National Monument.
- Empire State Building – Climb this enormous New York skyscraper — virtually!
- Mount Everest – Climb Mount Everest from home! View the Mount Everest webcam to learn about the world’s highest mountain.
- The Durham Museum – The Durham Museum’s digital learning program offers unique opportunities for learners of all ages. Taught by educators, these engaging and interactive classes follow National and State Social Studies Standards and are filled with primary sources featuring artifacts, videos and photographs.
- American Signs & Symbols – Artists use familiar icons such as the Statue of Liberty, the bald eagle, and the American flag to communicate their ideas about American culture and encourage examination of our society.
- A House Divided: Civil War – The Civil War tested and consumed the country for more than four years. Explore how this great conflict and subsequent Reconstruction period are depicted through the traditional mediums of painting and sculpture, as well as the then new medium of photography.
- George Washington and The French and Indian War – Talk with one of Fort Necessity National Battlefield’s park rangers via video conferencing equipment about young George Washington and the French and Indian War. Using George Washington’s actions and writings students will see how his ambition, hard work and experiences helped him mature into the famous man we all know today.
- Plimoth Plantation – Plimoth Plantation’s Education Department can visit your classroom on a virtual field trip! During the visit the Museum teacher will provide a one-hour program per classroom with either a Colonial or Wampanoag (Native) focus.
- Chumash Indians on the Channel Islands – Students participate in a live, interactive visit with a park ranger on Anacapa Island will learn about the American Indian culture and how humans use the natural resources around them to provide their basic needs.
- National Archives – Visit the National Archives without leaving your classroom! Their free, interactive programs for K-12th graders feature primary sources from their holdings.
- A School Day in 1872 – In this virtual lesson a Park Ranger will talk about how the Homestead Act of 1862 populated the west and the needs of those settling. This included the need for schools. This programs discusses the differences between school today and in 1872.
- A Day in the Life of a Homesteader – In this virtual lesson a Park Ranger will examine what types of homes homesteaders built on the prairie, what the inside of their homes looked like and what their daily chores would have been.
- Follow The Buffalo – In this virtual visit a Park Ranger utilizes real parts of a buffalo to discover American Indian uses. They will also discuss the importance of the Homestead Act of 1862 and its role in the American Indians life.
- The Homestead Act of 1862 – In this virtual lesson a Park Ranger will talk about how the Homestead Act of 1862 populated the west and the needs of those settling. Discussion includes how the United States acquired the land given away and the specific requirements to claim one’s free land.
- Country Music Hall of Fame – Experience the unique educational programs of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum without leaving your classroom. All programs include interaction with a Museum educator and a member of Nashville’s vibrant musical community.
Science Virtual Field Trips
Your child may not find studying rocks very exciting, but a virtual field trip takes earth science to an entirely new level!
- Skype A Scientist – This gives students the opportunity to get to know a “real scientist”. Parents can choose the type of scientist that fits their child’s needs and interest.
- Field Museum – Their on demand learning resources bring the Field’s collections, cutting-edge science, and world cultures knowledge to you. Discover how ecosystems change over time, watch as an archaeologist explores history through objects, learn how to investigate specimens like a scientist and more.
- How 3D Printers Work – Learn how a 3D printer works with this video from Energy.gov.
- Technology in Agriculture – Go on a “bark to bite” journey to explore the careers that bring a new dog food from idea to dog bowl. Meet the team at Tractor Supply Company to learn how product development, marketing, distribution and merchandising are important careers to delivering the products you use everyday.
- Where in the World is Petrified Forest – Students learn the basic concepts of plate tectonics and how scientists determined that land masses on earth have changed position over time by correlating the existence of identical fossils and geology on different land masses.
- “The Secrets of Easter Island” Tour – What were the people who made the moai head megaliths like, why did they create them, and where did this lost civilization go? Uncover the answer to these and many more exciting questions through the virtual tour of Easter Island.
- Farm Academy TV – A safe place for students, teachers, and parents to find videos about science and agriculture.
- Scientists in Action – Grant your students direct access to real scientists in the field at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, virtually! Tap into Museum field sites or research labs during live, interactive 45-minute broadcasts, where you can engage in a real-time Q&A with scientists and researchers.
- Glacier Detectives – A park ranger via video conferencing will share the incredible beauty and impressive glacial features of Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska with the students, and inspire a sense of wonder and stewardship for the ice that continues to shape our planet.
- Listening to the Ice – A National Park Ranger using video conferencing will use Kenai Fjords National Park as a looking glass through which to observe our planet’s health. The ranger will engage students with questioning, video content and other techniques in order to broaden their local and global understanding of climate change and leave them with a hopeful attitude about the future of our natural environment.
- Ask an Alaskan – Living and Working in Denali – Educators have a wealth of knowledge about Denali National Park and Preserve and great stories about living in Alaska. Tap into this engaging information through an informal question and answer session that is available to K-12th grades and university level students. Topics can cover the flora, fauna, glaciers, geology, biology, and cultural history of Denali, as well as life in rural Alaska, careers in the National Park Service, and more.
- A Plant’s Life – Explore the life cycle of a plant from seed to flower with Longwood Gardens. Tour behind-the-scenes at Longwood and discover how our horticulturalists prepare our spectacular displays. Interact with an Educator and explore a plant’s life through video, images, and hands-on activities during this curriculum-based lesson.
- Archeological Sites – Students will discuss and explore the archeological research that occurs after archeologists have left the field through a live virtual field trip. Participants will discover the importance of lab work, artifact analysis, and curation. Presented by Midwest Archeological Center Distance Learning Program.
- Excavation and Tools – Students will review a working excavation, and see some of the methods that archeologists employ at active dig sites. The discussions are built around the ethics of stewardship and can expand to topics on the environment, sustainability, and responsibility. Presented by Midwest Archeological Center Distance Learning Program.
- Denali’s Dinosaurs – Ever wonder what Denali looked like 70 million years ago? Learn about our Cretaceous past during this distance learning program specifically design for K -3rd grade. Using Zoom videoconferencing connections, the staff will spend an hour teaching your class about Denali’s prehistoric past using interactive lessons and activities.
Sports Virtual Field Trips
Love sports? If you can’t make the trip to visit a sports museum, take a virtual tour instead.
- Pro Football Hall of Fame – 11 different virtual field trips about the history of football.
- National Baseball Hall of Fame – Learn about the history of baseball.
Multiple Subjects Virtual Field trips
- Discovery Education – No permission slips required! These virtual events let you go to amazing places without ever leaving your home!
- Boston Children’s Museum – Walk through the Boston Children’s Museum thanks to Google Maps! This virtual tour allows kids to explore 3 floors of fun!
- Farm Academy TV – Interactive videoconference programs that connect students with scientists, doctors, and educators for a live interactive two-way experience.
- Skype An Author Network – Provides K-12 teachers and librarians with a way to connect authors, books, and young readers through virtual visits.
- Nepris – Nepris connects educators and learners with a network of industry professionals, virtually, bringing real-world relevance and career exposure to all students.
- Learn Around The World – They provide virtual field trips, guest speakers, and collaborations to supplement your curriculum. They strive to make our programs interactive, unique, and an experience that will get your students excited about global education.
- Exploring By The Seat – They offer guest speakers and virtual field trips with leading experts from around the world.
- Field Trip Zoom – They facilitate unique live and interactive educational experiences between educational content providers and K-12 educators, students and homeschoolers.
If you know of any virtual field trips that should be added to this list, please let me know by leaving a comment in the comment section below. Collaboration is greatly appreciated!
Happy Virtual Field Tripping!