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10 Virtual Vacations For Your Family To Have Epic Living Room Adventures

By the way, they’re all educational and free!

Stacy Tornio · 2 months ago

  • travel

Thanks to the power of technology, you can travel to some pretty incredible places from the comfort of your own home. From the majestic castles of Europe to the rapid waters in the Grand Canyon, these virtual vacations will help your family discover some amazing places.

You can also count on these journeys to provide solid educational opportunities along the way. Most are packed with fun facts, engaging lessons, and even curricula to deepen the experience. Your kids will learn about art, science, history, and more as they travel near and far. Ready to explore? Let’s hit the virtual road.

Have adventures in national parks like the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone

Francesco Riccardo Iacomino / Getty Images

You can find dozens of videos on YouTube, taking you through many of the national parks in the United States. (So if you have a favorite, just do a search.) Two of the best virtual park experiences are available directly from the National Park Service. You can explore all the great places in Yellowstone and feel what it’s like to look out into the Grand Canyon. What a wonderful way to teach your kids about public lands and how they’re a resource for us all.

Watch wild animals in their natural habitats

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Get ready to see some incredible birds up close — binoculars not required. Explore.org is a fantastic resource that a lot of people don’t know about. There are dozens of nature cams available, and most show the animals in their natural habitats. The bird cams are some of the most popular, featuring owls, hawks, hummingbirds, and more. You can also find cams for polar bears, elephants, gorillas, and manatees.

Get lost in a fairytale as you explore the castles of Europe

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If castles are high on the interest list for your family, then you’ll definitely have plenty to choose from. A quick search will give you dozens of results for historic castles all over the world. A few of the top virtual experiences include the Edinburgh Castle in Scotland, Windsor Castle in England, and Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany. Each one gives you a 360-degree view where you can move, zoom, and go where you like. You really will feel like you’re caught in a fairytale.

Immerse yourself in the Amazon rainforest

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Virtual Field Trips is another online company that has several options for taking kids out of the classroom and into getaways around the world. They have several free options, including their Amazon rainforest trip, available on YouTube. Your family will have the opportunity to see so many cool animals and living things.

Get up close and personal with animals on the farm

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Kids can learn what a real working farm is like as they visit the animals and learn how things like milk and cheese are made. You’ll find several virtual trip options on this Farm Food 360 site, including a virtual visit to an egg farm, apple orchard, feed mill, dairy, and more. Each experience has multiple videos so you get a real feel of what it’s like behind the scenes. All are available on desktop, through the app, or virtual reality (you’ll need a viewer).

Watch what happens when astronauts put slime in space

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Nickelodeon teamed up with astronauts at the International Space Station for this hands-on experience. They wanted to see what would happen if you took slime into space. The results are pretty entertaining to watch, which you can do through this interactive field trip. The event includes educational extras like a teacher’s guide, worksheets, and printable games. All are perfect for the classroom or at-home learning.

View great works of art from all over the world

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Museums have been upping their game in recent years, and many now have interactive and virtual elements you can try out for free online. For instance, you can check out the Louvre in France, the Met in New York City, and the National Gallery in London. If you want to encourage a love of art in your family, then take turns each week picking a new museum to visit. By letting your kids have a say, they’ll enjoy the experience much more.

See what’s going on in the world’s most popular zoos

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It’s amazing how many zoos you can visit through the power of the internet. Some of the best and most popular virtual zoo visits include the San Diego Zoo, which has several animal cams you can watch live. The panda cam at the Atlanta Zoo is another big hit. And the Oregon Zoo does a superb job of tying their animal videos into learning, with suggested activities and hands-on ideas. Finally, you can’t miss the Australia Zoo, which features Robert Irwin and dozens of interactive videos on their YouTube channel.

Explore the Titanic in its original glory

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You’ll feel like you’re being transported back in time as your family goes on this virtual tour of the Titanic. Use this as an opportunity to talk about this historical ship and how travel has changed over time. Check out the tour here, and then have your kids do some research or reading on their own to learn more.

Learn about nature and how your family can help protect it

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The Nature Conservancy has been offering virtual field trips for several years through their Nature Lab programming, where they take viewers to oceans, rainforests, and other natural habitats and discuss the importance of protecting those areas. They recently released a trip about climate change, breaking it down in ways kids can easily understand. All the programs include educational materials and teacher’s guides.

You don’t always have to get in a car or on a plane to have an amazing vacation. These destinations will give your family a place to go even when you have to stay in place. Happy travels!

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