Skip The Lines And Take Your Kids On These Virtual Field Trips

In the current digital age it has never been easier to visit tons of places around the world in the comfort of your own home. Virtual field trips allow people of all ages to get an immersive experience at places such as amusement parks, zoos, aquariums, national parks, and museums.

Taking a virtual field trip is a great option for those who either can’t afford a real one, are risking their safety and health by traveling, those who don’t like large crowds and noise, or people who prefer to not leave their home. These virtual experiences won’t necessarily be the same as seeing it in person, but they’re pretty darn close.

Get Up Close And Personal With The Animals At The San Diego Zoo

a man feeding a giraffe at the san diego zoo
Jonathan Moore/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images
Jonathan Moore/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images

The San Diego Zoo is known around the world for its diverse selection of animals, beautiful location, and many triumphs with conservation. While it may seem best to visit the park in person, there are still other ways to get a taste for the action.

They have live cameras scattered at various sections around the zoo that focus on particular animals including giraffes, koalas, tigers, and penguins. The San Diego Zoo also features numerous educational materials that include stories, games, activities, and other videos that include accurate facts about the animals.

Bring The Ocean To You At The Monterey Bay Aquarium

people looking a the jellyfish at the monterey bay aquarium
Eva Hambach/AFP via Getty Images
Eva Hambach/AFP via Getty Images

California’s Monterey Bay Aquarium is right on the oceanfront and offers visitors the chance to see some unique sea animals. They are one of the top conservation driven businesses for ocean life and do everything possible to show the true wonders of the deep.

Their official website has live footage called Open Sea Cam that features hundreds of sea creatures that range from sharks, stingrays, jellyfish, and penguins. Each species available at the aquarium has an about page that includes interesting facts and high definition photos for people to enjoy as well.

Live Life On The Farm Without Going Outside

two baby pigs nuzzling in some hay
Julian Stratenschulte/picture alliance via Getty Images
Julian Stratenschulte/picture alliance via Getty Images

Farms make up for a huge percent of the world’s economic growth because it’s where we get most of our food. Websites such as YouTube and Farm Food 360 feature numerous interactive videos to educate people on the various moving parts of a contemporary farm.

This includes learning about animals such as cows, pigs, and sheep, what happens to the chickens after they lay their eggs, and how fruit gets picked at orchards. Viewers will be able to see animals roam around outside and get the chance to see what it takes to keep a farm running each day.

Take A Trip To Mars

the surface of mars
NASA/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
NASA/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Life on Mars is now available to see at the comfort of your screen. NASA’s Curiosity rover was able to record footage from the surface of Mars. Those who visit the Access Mars site will see an introduction from the team at NASA and then get to experience a 360-degree experience.

Users can guide the rover throughout Mars’ surface and hear educational facts as they go. It’s important to note that some of the website is being updated and once it’s done there will be better quality videos of Mars.

See Thousands Of Art Pieces At The Metropolitan Museum Of Art

people looking at a giant painting at the metropolitan museum of art
Wang Ying/Xinhua/Getty Images
Wang Ying/Xinhua/Getty Images

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City is one of the most visited art museums in the world. They feature some exclusive exhibits that people travel many miles to see in person, but Google Arts & Culture is now offering people the chance to see virtual representations of their most popular exhibits and collections.

Those who go to the website can look through historic Renaissance paintings, fashion from Coco Chanel, ancient glassware, and more. Google Maps provides a 360-degree walking tour of all their buildings where virtual guests can explore every room of the museum.

You’ll Never Get Tired Of The View Of The Grand Canyon

a panoramic view of the grand canyon
George Rose/Getty Images
George Rose/Getty Images

Although it probably doesn’t compare to seeing it in person, the Grand Canyon is still available to view online. Not only can users view the panoramic landscape of the national park, but they can take virtual hikes, a virtual raft trip, and a virtual archaeology tour.

The National Park Service website also offers alerts about the park’s current safety conditions for those who want a daily update. Although the website only features photos, there are plenty of YouTube videos that allow people to experience the Grand Canyon with 360-degree technology.

Walk Across The Great Wall Of China From The Couch

an aerial view of people walking up the great wall of china
Chen Zhonghao/Xinhua/Getty Images
Chen Zhonghao/Xinhua/Getty Images

One of the oldest landmarks across the globe is the Great Wall of China. It was designed to protect the northern borders of China starting in the 7th century and was completed at 239,000 miles long, making it visible from outer space.

The China Guide website features a 360-degree virtual tour of the wall where people can choose which sections they want to view and what time of the year they want to see them. Below the virtual tour is some background information about the Great Wall of China and what activities are offered if visiting in person.

Take A Virtual Tour Of Mount Rushmore

the mount rushmore monument during the day
Visions of America/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Visions of America/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Mount Rushmore is one of the top tourist attractions in the United States featuring the stone carvings of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. In 2010 the national monument was scanned with a 3-D laser, so people can digitally interact with all sides of it.

Throughout the 3-D scan, there are a few vintage photos that people can click to read about Mount Rushmore’s history and the story of its construction. Those who want a more updated 360-degree experience can go to the You Visit website and see the park’s numerous viewpoints.

American History At A Glance: Ellis Island

close up of the statue of liberty at ellis island
Jemal Countess/Getty Images
Jemal Countess/Getty Images

One of the main symbols that represents the United States of America is the Statue of Liberty. It’s located at Ellis Island in New York and visitors flock to it every year. Past immigrants traveled to Ellis Island to get a new start when they realized there could be more opportunities for them in America.

Taking a virtual trip to Ellis Island is especially important for school-aged children because it contains rich amounts of history that might be better learned online, rather than through a textbook. The Scholastic website features a video with experts on Ellis Island who give commentary, show old photos, and reveal puzzling facts all within the span of a half-hour.

Your House Just Became A New Disney Parks Location

lady and the tramp dogs in front of the sleeping beauty castle at disneyland
Joshua Sudock/Disneyland Resort via Getty Images
Joshua Sudock/Disneyland Resort via Getty Images

Visiting a Disney Park in person is an experience unlike any other, but not everyone has the luxury of doing so. Many Disney Parks fans have created videos where they take viewers around the parks to attractions such as the rides, shows, restaurants, shops, and more.

The must-see videos are the virtual reality rides. People will need a virtual reality headset to view them and can go on rides such as Big Thunder Mountain, Haunted Mansion, and Pirates of the Caribbean. The headset allows people to look at the rides from all angles to make it feel like they’re really there.

Experience The Majestic Rainforest From Your Screen

a waterfall in the rainforest
Florent Rols/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
Florent Rols/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

There are several benefits to doing a virtual tour of the rainforest. People can experience the natural and majestic landscape and view the native plants, animals, and more just by looking at a screen. Learning about the rainforest also lets the public know about the imminent threats the rainforest faces everyday.

These virtual field trips aren’t just slideshows of photos from the rainforest, but they also feature activities where people can walk the world’s largest rainforest canopy or climb the tallest trees and get treetop views. These virtual trips are perfect for all ages and are both educational and fun.

3-2-1 Blast Off To The Moon

the surface of the moon with a backwards american flag
NASA/Newsmakers/Getty Images
NASA/Newsmakers/Getty Images

While a real trip to the moon may be possible in the future, a virtual trip is available for everyone right now. The NASA Science website has a five-minute video that animates a trip to the moon done by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter in 4K resolution.

Those who own virtual reality headsets can also be part of their own space launch where they can experience a 360-degree interactive video of breaking through the earth’s atmosphere. The camera couldn’t go all the way to outer space because the temperature drastically changes as it leaves the outer core.

Explore Every Room In The Smithsonian

aerial view inside the smithsonian museum
Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images
Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History wants the public to be able to experience both past and present exhibits. They realize anything they’ve included in their museum is worth seeing both in person and online. Each of the virtual tours gives people the opportunity to take a self-guided tour of every room of the museum on both desktop and mobile devices.

Some of the exhibits include the main floor with fossils that are rebuilt to scale (pictured), a butterfly pavilion, Eternal Life in Ancient Egypt, and the David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins.

View The Historic Statues At Easter Island

a side profile of a statue on easter island
John Milner/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
John Milner/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Easter Island is located on a remote volcanic island in Polynesia and features almost 1,000 statues that were created by the Moai people who inhabited the island from the 13th to 16th centuries. These ancient monuments are now available to see online.

At Air Pano people can view various parts of the island where the different statues are placed. People have the option to move the screen 360-degrees and can choose how close or how far away to look. The tribal music in the background is another way to immerse users in the virtual experience.

You Don’t Need To Know How To Swim To Go Virtual Diving

a diver underwater near coral
Stephen Frink/Getty Images
Stephen Frink/Getty Images

The ocean has so much for everyone to explore. Thousands of species of sea creatures are able to call this one place their home and it’s now possible to go deep into the depths of the ocean at home. The National Marine Sanctuaries website has about eight different diving points to virtually join.

These include Thunder Bay, Stellwagen Bank, Olympic Coast, Monterey Bay, Gray’s Reef, Flower Garden Banks, American Samoa, and Florida Keys (pictured). This experience is best enjoyed with a virtual reality headset where users can get a 360-degree look at the habitats, animals, and more.

Travel Back In Time To Colonial Williamsburg

a costumed man shouting at tourists in colonial williamsburg
Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images
Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The colonial period of American history was essential in how the United States became what it is today. Those who want a first-hand look at what living during that era was actually like usually head to Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia. Luckily, there’s a way to see the area virtually.

The official website for Colonial Williamsburg has live webcams going across all sections of the fictional town such as the Raleigh Tavern, Capitol, Courthouse, Armoury, Market House, Merchants Square, and where they’re doing construction. Visitors can either view it live or look back as far as 24 hours prior.

See The Top Of The Empire State Building At Ground Level

a view of the new york skyline featuring the empire state building in the middle
Gary Hershorn/Corbis via Getty Images
Gary Hershorn/Corbis via Getty Images

There are 102 stories in the historic Empire State Building in New York City and standing at the very top is something that should be done in person at least once. Even though everyone doesn’t have the chance to do that they can still visit it virtually.

The Empire State Building’s official website has a live 24/7 stream of the building at various views such as the top, across the street, and the main floor. Also, the website saves every live stream, so users can go back as far as they want to see what the Empire State Building looked like on a particular day.

Drive Across The Country Without A License

a red car driving near autumn leaves
John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images
John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images

Discovery Education has multiple virtual field trips designed for children to learn at the comfort of their screen. One of the programs is called TeenDrive 365 where teenagers who are practicing for their driving test can take a road trip and educate themselves on how to do it as safely as possible.

Students can also learn about the science behind how cars are manufactured and new advancements in automotive artificial intelligence. Their other programs are focused on topics including dairy production, engineering, human rights, sustainability, and math. Users can filter what they want to watch by subject matter to find what interests them even faster.

Travel To Yellowstone National Park In Seconds

tourists by a geyser at yellowstone national park
Daniel Slim/AFP via Getty Images
Daniel Slim/AFP via Getty Images

Yellowstone National Park was the first established national park in the United States and has become quite a popular tourist attraction. People come from all over the world to see the famous geysers, hot springs, and overall breathtaking scenery. The National Park Service offers some interactive maps of Yellowstone, so people can see hundreds of miles of the park at once.

Some spots available to explore virtually include Fort Yellowstone, Fountain Paint Pot, Mammoth Hot Springs, Mud Volcano, Norris Geyser Basin, and an overall 3-D look at the park. The Old Faithful Geyser is also live-streamed at all hours of the day.

The World Is Your Oyster

an old globe of the world pointed toward india
Robert Alexander/Getty Images
Robert Alexander/Getty Images

With the help of 360-degree images and videos, people can travel the world without a passport. This works best with a virtual reality headset, but people can also do this on their computers, tablets, and smartphones. On 360 Cities users can search for almost any city in the world and find an interactive video that correlates.

They have the world’s largest collection of 360-degree images and videos, so whether someone wants to visit Italy, China, India, or their hometown it should be available to view. Some of their top virtual experiences include the Statue of Liberty, waterfalls in Oregon, and a close-up video of ants walking along the dirt.