Are you feeling nostalgic for the days when you could stroll through museums and art galleries? Do you miss going on adventures and learning new things about the world around you? Well, we have just the solution for you. While we’re all confined to the four walls of our homes during the lockdown, finding new and fun ways to stave off boredom has turned up some pretty unusual activities.
You can explore the International Space Station or take in the breathtaking views of the horizon from the Great Wall of China all through the magic of virtual tours. Yes, you heard that right! We’ve picked 7 of our favourite virtual tours for you to take a little trip from the comfort of your couch… or bed… or wherever you’re spending your lockdown days.
Before we get started, try the 3DVista App which gives you access to all your virtual tours on the go. It has your tours right in the palm of your hand, even without an Internet connection.
Buckle in everyone, it’s adventure time.
1. The British Museum, London
To all the history buffs, The British Museum is a must-see! It is located in the heart of London and happens to be one of the world’s most iconic museums. One of The British Museum’s virtual tours – The Museum of the World – unlocks two million years of human history and culture – dated by century – and houses some of the world’s most famous objects.
Take this interactive tour and unlock some of the most fascinating objects in human history. You can jump back in time and explore items from diverse cultures and even listen to British Museum curators as they share their insights.
But that’s not all. They have 10 other interactive activities for you to explore. If you’re looking for something to listen to and pass the time, then try the British Museum Podcast. Join presenters Sushma Jansari and Hugo Chapman as they take you on a journey behind the scenes at the museum.
If you’re also tired of crafting and colouring in with your children, the museum offers extensive learning resources to keep your little ones entertained and learning at the same time!
If it’s an exploration beyond the stars that you’re looking for, then the virtual tours offered by NASA are perfect for you. You can explore the Goddard Space Flight Center. The tour begins with an explanation of how the orbiting spacecraft works and moves on to the control centre where you can walk the exhibit and see hardware that once flew into space aboard Hubble.
The fun doesn’t stop there. You can also visit the International Space Station and take guided tours with Expedition 33 Commander Suni Williams. She answers popular questions and gives insight on what the typical day of an astronaut is like.
3. The New England Aquarium, Boston
The New England Aquarium is one of the world’s best aquariums, with more than 1,3 million visitors a year. Knowing that many countries have come to a halt during the lockdown, the aquarium is offering some real-time entertainment by means of a one-of-a-kind virtual tour experience, broadcasting live presentations of sea life on Facebook every day. Not only will this be fun for you, but will make for educational learning for the children as well.
Speaking of the kids, the New England Aquarium also offers educational resources to keep your young ones entertained while learning about marine life. They can get up and get active with their Tidepool Aerobics, which helps the little ones learn new vocabulary about their favourite ocean creatures, all while stimulating them with a little exercise.
4. Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
The Smithsonian in the US is one of the world’s most famous museums and offers amazing virtual tours of their exhibits for you to enjoy from the comfort of your home.
The 360° tour of their Museum of Natural History begins in the rotunda and includes highlights like the Hall of Mammals, the Insect Zoo, and the Dinosaurs and Hall of Palaeobiology. You can even visit some of the Smithsonian’s past exhibitions that are no longer on display – from the Former Fossil Hall to the National Geographic: Into Africa exhibit, you can dive right in for hours of virtual fun.
While nothing compares to taking in these wonders in real life, these interactive tours are all we need to make sure to put a visit to the Smithsonian on our bucket list.
5. The Great Wall of China
If it’s a trip to one of the great wonders of the world you’re after, look no further than a virtual visit to the Great Wall of China. The Great Wall is China’s most historically valued site, steeped in over 2 000 years of history that stretches over 4 800km, making it one of the most impressive ancient structures on the planet. This virtual tour will take you on a journey that winds up and down across mountains, allowing you to see the view from one of the many watchtowers and even showing you a bit of the Wall in winter.
6. MASP, São Paulo
The Museum of Art of São Paulo is Brazil’s first modern art museum. The art on display is unique in style as it is placed on clear Perspex frames, making it look as though it is hanging in mid-air. The virtual tour alone could convert you into an instant lover of art. The museum also holds one of the largest art collections of Brazilian art and other Latin American art in South America.
7. Buckingham Palace
In this virtual tour, you have all access to the official residence of the Queen of The United Kingdom-Queen Elizabeth II. Buckingham Palace has been the administrative office of the British royal family since the 19th century. Located in London, the palace is often at the centre of state occasions and royal hospitality, including royal weddings, VE Day celebrations and Trooping of the Colour, which marks the Queen’s official birthday.
On the tour, you will be ‘taken’ to the Grand Staircase and then move along to the White Drawing Room, the Throne Room and the Blue Drawing Room.