Tried and tested selection of the best virtual tours for kids and the best family virtual field trips for children: virtual tours in museums, world landmarks, virtual zoo visits, animal cams and more!
Virtual field trips are all the rage now.
As we find ourselves unable to travel, we seem to all find solace in remembering that our beautiful world is still out there and thankfully, technology is here to help.
In the last few days, my Facebook and Whatsapp feed has been filled with images, videos and news of virtual yours that would allow me to visit faraway places without leaving my house.
Through them, I have visited museums, seen panoramas from the top of towers I have never climbed and cough myself smiling at the antiques of penguins and koalas in aquariums and zoos around the world.
Most of these virtual tours are aimed at adults or at least, are more enjoyable for adults. However, I have also found many that my kids loved, and these are the ones I am sharing with you today
I find them invaluable for this time at home but also as a trip planning tool.
How to use virtual field trips for kids
Virtual field trips are a wonderful form of entertainment and education for kids of all ages and they can also come in handy for planning a family trip.
Virtual tours can help: the tours are a wonderful way to get a sense of what a museum is like and can help you make an educated judgment about whether your specific child will be able to enjoy them or not.
They can also help your child get excited about a place.
My daughter got excited about seeing Zion National Park months before we went thanks to a google earth tour and spent the time there squealing in delight for recognizing the places!
Also, you can use the tours as an aid to your homeschooling efforts, making places and concepts come to life and adding extra sensorial stimulation, a great way to make learning easier and the knowledge longer lasting.
These are our favorite virtual tours for kids.
Kids Virtual Field Trips of US National Parks
Yosemite NP, California, USA
Yosemite is the first National Park we visited with the kids and while nothing can compare with the majestic presence of its mountains, the virtual tour offered by the park itself is so good and the scenery so stunning, it is definitely worth watching.
You can find it here: just click on this link , select a location from the list (one at a time) and start your adventure!
Keep the volume up to hear the gentle noise of the Yosemite Falls.
Kenai Fjords, Alaska
We have never been to Alaska but all it took was a glance at the Kenai Fjords virtual tour to persuade me that this wonderful State needs to climb to the top of our travel list!
The virtual tour starts with a wonderful video to introduce the park and then follows a ranger who explains the most wonderful and interesting characteristics of the park and leads you on adventures.
Would you climb down a crevasse? With this tour, you can!
It is wonderful and the landscape is so beautiful and inspiring your kids will quickly forget they are home! It simply transports you there!
Hawaii Volcanoes, HI
I am sure my children are not the only ones intrigued by volcanoes and there is no better way to get acquainted with them than to go to the volcanos in Hawaii!
The Hawaii Volcanos virtual tour is beautiful to watch but also full of information about volcanos that you can use not just to get excited about future travels but also on your earth science homeschooling lessons.
Carlsbad Caverns, NM
Adventurous kids will LOVE the virtual yous of the Carlsbad caverns.
Here you can not only see the caverns themselves, which are impressive (and scary, I am glad this is a virtual your only!) but you can also loo nat the world from a very special viewpoint: that of a bat!
Bryce Canyon virtual tour, UT
The virtual tour of Bryce Canyon got me emotional.
We were in Bryce last summer and it was such a wondrous, beautiful, inspiring place, I would have no hesitation hopping back on a 14-hour plane + car journey just to see t again!
The Bryce virtual tour for kids gives justice to the park incredible scenery and also allows you to go stargazing, something special in this place of dark sky!
Dry Tortugas, Fl
We haven’t been to Florida but if there is one thing that can persuade us to plan a trip, is this National Park!
It is very different from the others on this list as most of it is underwater!
You can follow rangers as they dive into the crystal clear Florida waters and learn and marvel at the corals underneath the surface.
This is a wonderful virtual field trip to kids who are fascinated by the sea especially.
Other US National Parks offering virtual tours for kids
The virtual field trips for kids above are actual virtual tours for children, created for them to explore the parks from home.
As such I have not found them for other parks however, google earth offers a good alternative.
While not as educational or guided, you can visit 31 US national parks via google street view.
Click on this link and then on the yellow figurine on the bottom right corner to start your trip!
Some we loved were Arches, Zion, Yellowstone, and Joshua Tree!
Some of them we have visited so if you fancy planning a future trip, don’t forget to check out our guides
Virtual tours for kids: world famous buildings and landmarks
Landmarks and famous buildings are often one of the first things to catch the attention of kids about a new city.
Tall, distinctive, record-breaking, unique.
These are some that need no introduction and offer excellent virtual tours for kids or 360-degree panoramic photo[graphy to feel like you are there, without having to leave your house!
Tour Eiffel virtual tour, Paris
Take a virtual tour to the top of the Eiffel Tower and see Paris from above with this incredible interactive panoramic view finder.
Burj Khalifa virtual tour, Dubai
There is something otherwordly about the view from the Burj Khalifa in Dubai: desert, water and man-made architecture make it one of the most unique and distinctive views in the world.
Plus, this way you can say you ‘climbed’ to the top of the tallest building in the world. Quite a field trip, no?
The Great Wall of China virtual tour
What child has not dreamed, at least one time, to walk along the Great Wall of China?
The Statue of Liberty, New York
A famous landmark and a National Park, the Statue of Liberty is always a hit with kids.
I find the best virtual tour for kids is this one, which allows you to snoop around the island at your own leisure.
You can also watch images, videos and learn incredible facts about the Statue on the National Park website here
Top of the Rock & Empire State Building, New York
More impressive views can be seen from the Top of the Rock, New York: just click here to access to the tour.
More intrigued by the Empire State? You can go there too, just click here
Travel tip! When we went to New York, we didn’t know whether to prioritize the Top of the Rock or the Empire State. You can use this tour to make up your mind for your next trip and see the one you prefer!
Nasa Virtual Tours, USA
have a child who loves space? Me too! No need for presentation or to drum up the excitement about the several virtual yours Nasa has on offer on their official website.
Casa Battlo’, Barcelona, Spain
Architecture can be interesting for kids as this outstanding virtual your of Casa Battlo in Barcelona prooves!
Click here to wander among the incredible shapes and colors if this Barcelona landmark: it’s a dream!
Virtual Tour of the White House, USA
Ever wondered what the Whilte House looks like inside? Or maybe dreaming of one day sitting there and make important decisions?
Museums virtual tours for kids
Ann Frank House virtual tour, Amsterdam
I am going to be honest, this is the one tour on this list I haven’t taken myself, part because it requires downloading an app (free) and part because I find the topic too harrowing right now.
However, the tour is award-winning and I believe will be of interest to older children, so I decided to include a link to it here
Smithsonian Museums, Washington
The fabulous Smithsonians have several free virtual tours kids will love. Check out the Smithsonian Natural History Museum virtual tour, the Museum of African American History and Culture and also have a peek a their Air and Space museum here
British Museum, London
The Brutish Museum is incredible in real life and so is its virtual tour!
Thanks to this tour, you can travel not only in space withing the museum but also in time!
This is one of the best museum virtual yours for kids of all!
The Louvre, Paris
The Louvre in Paris offers quite a selection of virtual tours, some interesting for kids, such as the one of their Egyptian room!
Find them all here
Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, St Peter’s Basilica, Rome
One of the questions I receive most often, about my home city of Rome, is: can we go to the Vatican Museum with kids or are they just too big and too boring?
You can find the full answer about the Vatican with children here but I also highly recommend you get your kids to take the virtual yours below and make up your own mind!
Trajan’s markets, Rome
I haven’t found a virtual tour of the main part of the Roman forum nor of the Colosseum, however, I have found one about a place that is at least as interesting: the underrates Trajan’s Markets in Rome!
The virtual tour is very well made and brings you right at the heart of this well-preserved part of the Imperial forum, right in the center of Rome. Access it here
Boston Childrem Museum virtual Tour
The Boston children musum also can be visited via google but it more a planning tool than an actual visit as the museum is meant for kids to touch and play!
Their website however has lovely educational resources, you can access it here (go to menu > resources)
Zoo virtual field trips and animal webcams from aquariums and wildlife parks
For little kids, you cannot beat a virtual field tri to the zoo or an acquarium!
San Diego Zoo Virtual Field Trip, CA, USA
World-famous San Diego Zoo gives you a wonderful animal fix from the comfort of your own home thanks to its animal live cams!
Panda cam, Baboon cam, Penguin cam, koala cam and more make this the perfect virtual field trip for animal-loving kids. Click here for the full list!
Monterey Bay aquarium, CA, USA
The Monterey Aquarium is one of your favorite kid-friendly places in California and we were delighted to discover we are not able to peek inside it from home!
Atlanta Zoo, GA, USA
Kids who love pandas will adore the live panda cam from Atlanta Zoo!
Just make sure you take into account the time difference if you are far away: being a live cam, how much activity you see varies, especially if your day/night doesn’t coincide with that of the pandas!
Find it here
Houston Zoo, TX, USA
Houston Zoo also has amazing live cams for gorillas, giraffes, elephants and super busy ants! Find them all here
Tembe Elephant Park, South Africa: a virtual tour for kids to see elephants in the wild!
With the love cam from Tempe Park, your kids can see elephants in their own habitat! Make sure you have the volume on to immerse youself in the lovely sounds of this incredible place. Find the webcam here
Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, Australia
If your kids binged on Netflix’s cute Koala series, then they are likely to love having a peek at them via the webcams of Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary – you can find them here
I hope you enjoyed this selection of virtual field trips for kids and kid-friendly virtual tours.
This list is a work in progress and I will add kids’ virtual tours as we test them. Safe (virtual) travels!