12 Virtual Field Trips Your Kids Can Take

Landmark and field trip location images on a computer

Verywell / Caitlin Rogers

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Though nothing can ever match the experience of going on a field trip to explore something in the real world, a virtual field trip can come close. Popularized at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual field trips for kids are likely here to stay. They offer families and schools a chance to allow kids to explore a world-class museum or monument without having to schedule travel or spend a mint. In fact, these virtual field trips are free!

So, if you have a free morning or afternoon and want to keep curious kids busy, head to one of these virtual field trip sites. A virtual tour can be a learning experience in itself or help families decide where they want to travel to next.

Art and Culture 

If your child has always had an interest in the arts or you find that they are looking to draw or color something new, then these options below may be a great choice for your kid.

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Whether you’re obsessed with fashion, sculpture, music, or poetry, The Metropolitan Museum of Art has a virtual tour for you. With online and in-person exhibits made viewable thanks to Google’s street view cameras, you can make your way through museum rooms or photo galleries full of art to admire. 

This tour is presented in partnership with Google's Arts & Culture program, which features tours from museums large and small, all around the world. Visit cool collections and classic artworks without leaving your home.

The Blue House Frida Kahlo Museum

We can’t decide what’s more fun to look at in this virtual tour of The Blue House, a museum dedicated to Frida Kahlo: the art itself or the architecture housing it, which ranges from brightly painted houses and walls to lush greenery and fascinating trees.

Of course, the museum is also the place where she lived, died, and created much of her work—so you get up close and personal with Frida Kahlo the artist and Frida Kahlo the woman. 

The National Gallery of Art 

Scrolling through photos of art in a museum online isn’t that different from looking at them in a book—unless you're taking a virtual field trip to The National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC!

This museum has found a way to make viewing art interactive. With its children’s video tours, it brings 50 different historic pieces of art to life in just a few minutes, including audio effects, narration, and close-up shots of the details featured in each work.

There are also conversation starters about art, a guided video tour of Stuart Davis’ work hosted by John Lithgow, and an interactive educational app for kids

Science

Got a future paleontologist, zoologist, or "Bill Nye the Science Guy" on your hands? For kids obsessed with animals, outer space, dinosaurs, chemical reactions, or how the world works, these science field trips are engaging and educational.

Smithsonian Museum of Natural History

If your child is interested in learning about the natural environment and the organisms that inhabit it, the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History is a great option. Current, past, and permanent exhibits are included in this virtual tour, which allows you to navigate through the museum using your device or to click on different areas to visit on an interactive map.

There is even a series of narrated tours on video for kids who want to dive deep into a topic (like megalodons). The 360 degree images on this tour are crystal clear, making it feel like you are really there!

San Diego Zoo

Not only does the web site for the San Diego Zoo feature exhibit cams and zookeeper-hosted videos of many of its animal residents, but it’s also a great resource for animal crafts, online games, and fact-based infographics about different species. It’s more than just tuning into a live cam; it’s a virtual visit that gets close to being as fun as the real deal.

Seattle Aquarium

The Seattle Aquarium is a mecca for marine biologists-in-training. Check out what kinds of exhibits the aquarium houses on location through live cams, activities, and fact sheets, then head over to YouTube, where staff host a virtual field trip by walking-and-talking you through several of the species native to the Puget Sound that spend their days inside the aquarium.

Farm Food 360

Is your kid curious about how chickens, cows, or pigs are raised? No problem! At Farm Food 360, you can read about how more than a dozen Canadian farms are run and watch a series of videos about each one, explaining everything from how a farmer spends their day to environmental sustainability of modern-day farms. 

Johnson Space Center

Mini Neil Armstrongs should check out the Johnson Space Center online for aerospace education opportunities. Boeing and Discovery Education host two virtual field trips on space exploration: Innovating the Future and ecoAction.

Both trips consist of a video series and companion educator guides, so you can apply your newfound knowledge over the course of a few days’ worth of lesson plans and activities

Museum of Science

The Museum of Science, a Boston-based science hub, is worth a trip at some point in your life. Until you can get to Boston, the museum is hosting virtual content, including live animal demonstrations to chats about current science events to planetarium tours.

History and Social Studies

If your kid's life goals include becoming President of the United States, these field trips focused on American history, civics, and notable landmarks will be right up their educational alley.

Ellis Island

Whatever country your family tree can be traced back to, it's likely that you have some kind of connection to Ellis Island. Through Scholastic’s website, you can take a 30-minute virtual tour of Ellis Island and follow it up with an interactive story and photo tour, diaries of real young immigrants, and colorful charts and bar graphs depicting important statistics about immigration through the decades.

Yellowstone National Park

You can go on virtual “walks” through Yellowstone National Park in a series of videos on the National Park Service’s website. When you’re done, dig deeper into fascinating areas of the park—like Mammoth Hot Springs and Norris Geyser Basin—by reading about their histories, taking guided photo tours, and exploring their landmarks on an interactive map.

Mount Rushmore

You've seen Mount Rushmore in history books, but that didn't get you as close to Teddy Roosevelt’s left nostril as you hoped! Never fear: you can go on a "deep dive" (pun intended) on this virtual tour of the famous American landmark.

Featuring a 3D explorer, a 360 degree virtual tour, and a video about how the landmark has been digitally preserved over the years, you can get a good look at the true size and scale of this impressive monument—and learn a little about history, too.

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