Virtual Travel & Tour Options
Looking for something different to do during all the travel warnings and bans put in place because of the worldwide Coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency? We'll keep updating this page as we find more things to do from the safety and comfort of your own home.
Many museums, zoos, aquariums, and other popular world landmarks and destinations offer virtual tours and videos. And some, like the Metropolitan Opera, is offering live and recorded performances.
Why not do a little "couch travel" by checking out these great boredom busters?
LONE STAR STATE PLACES (Added November 2020)
- The Texas travel office website offers a wealth of great ideas for places to see in the state. For those of you not ready or able to travel to or within Texas, TravelTexas.com has a great list of seven virtual tours to take in the Lone Star State!
- Travel Texas's website also provides a page of ideas for ways to enjoy all things Texas from wherever you are in the world!
READER SUGGESTIONS (Added October 2020)
- Want to see Da Vinci's work in the Sistine Chapel, visit the Egyptian pyramids, scale Mount Everest, visit a rainforest, or even watch an astronaut play ping pong with slime? You can do all of this and much more on this awesome site!
(Note: A big thank you to the family who shared this cool page with us! They found our page here on VisitMcKinney.com helpful during their COVID shut-in time and now that school is back in session virtually and wanted to share the above site with us. We love all the intriguing tours and plan to do some exploring ourselves on this site. Thank you so much, Stephanie and Joanna. We're glad you, your mom, and nana found our page helpful and wanted to share with us and our website users this cool page you found!)
- Check out this great link for STEM-based activities for kids of all ages, submitted by Mark Coster, a PhD-trained chemist who is behind the website, STEM Toy Expert. These boredom busters for kids are not only fun but will help them get some hands-on learning with STEM concepts.
(Thank you, Mark, for submitting this link for our readers! Great activities for homeschoolers, kids doing split school/home schedules, and just for fun learning on the weekends!)
ESPECIALLY FOR KIDS
- Access four dozen virtual learning opportunities and other experiences that parents and kids can do together.
- Involve your kids in some hands-on educational activities at sources like the California Science Center that is offering fun science project how-tos. Find a huge list of science activities HERE.
- If you have a curious older elementary school student, you’ll find 35 fun and creative 5th-grade science projects on the WeAreTeachers website.
- Remember when schools taught Civics class? Check out this website that provides games to teach kids Civics lessons!
- Cinemark Theaters has a fun page designed for kids - animated movie coloring sheets.
- Celebrities like Betty White, Oprah Winfrey, Rami Malak, Haley Duff, Viola Davis, and many others read a large selection of children’s books on video. All viewing is free!
- Texas State Parks virtual tours
- Texas State Aquarium
- National Parks
- The San Diego Zoo’s "live cams"
- The Northern Soltice Alpaca Farm in Maine virtual tours via their YouTube channel
- Monterey Bay Aquarium on the California coast is offering live-streaming webcams of all kinds of creatures, including sea otters, jellyfish, penguins, and more!
MUSEUMS & OTHER WORLD ATTRACTIONS
- World Famous Destinations - Many locations have new Google Street View tours offering experiences like the view from the top of Paris, France’s Eiffel Tower or a walk around the Taj Mahal in New Dehli, India. This site offers a wide range of other Google Street View Tours, too.
- The Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum current exhibits
- The Guggenheim Museum in New York City offers three different views - interior, aerial and tripod imagery.
- Disney has closed its parks temporarily, but you can visit them via 360-degree panorama views!
- You can live-stream the view of the North Lights from your couch!
FOR CAR ENTHUSIASTS
- Take a behind-the-scenes tour to see an incredible pristine antique car collection in the vault of The Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, California. The Vault includes 150 vehicles including a Mercedes-Benz that belonged to Saddam Hussein, President Clinton’s golf cart, an imposing 1925 Round Door Rolls-Royce that was once doomed to a New Jersey junkyard, and much more.
- Check out the incredible Nethercutt Collection in Sylmar in the Los Angeles area. The Nethercutt Collection was founded in 1972 by J.B. Nethercutt (1913–2004), who was the co-founder of Merle Norman Cosmetics with his aunt, Merle Nethercutt Norman.
- Virtually-visit favorite, historic, and beautiful performing art centers all around the world.
- Speaking of performing arts center, The Metropolitan Opera in New York City’s Lincoln Plaza is live-streaming its performances. These then remain viewable for 20 hours after the performance has taken place.
- Playbill offers webpage of links to 15 filmed Broadway plays and musicals you can watch at home!
- NPR has released a list of concerts you can enjoy from the comfort of your home.
ROCK & TOP 40 VIRTUAL CONCERTS
- Billboard is keeping a list of current rock and pop artists who are doing virtual concerts!
For a list of even more free virtual tours, visit this website for a comprehensive list of more than 300 virtual tours you can take from the comfort of your home!