(CBS Local) — If you’re trying to balance working from home and keeping your children entertained, there’s plenty of fun — and often times educational — ways to stay busy.
While the kids have assignments from school, they will need some breaks and other activities while the world grapples with the coronavirus pandemic.
Luckily, many museums and cultural institutions around the world are inspiring people to stay curious and occupied by offering free virtual tours, exhibits, videos and performances for people to enjoy from their homes.
An excellent place to start is Google Arts & Culture, they teamed up with over 2500 museums and galleries around the world to provide virtual tours and online exhibits of some of the most famous museums around the world, including Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum, London’s National Gallery and the Guggenheim in New York City.
You can also envision yourself in the Golden Age of cinema or at an architecturally stunning opera house in Europe with digital tours of performing arts centers around the world.
Be sure to check out museums in your local area to see if they are also providing virtual tours. In Philadelphia, for example, guests can scroll through all 16,000 square feet of the core exhibits at the Museum of the American Revolution and even zoom in to look at objects and read the labels in the galleries.
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If you’re looking to get out into the great outdoors, check out Google’s online Arts & Culture program called “The Hidden Worlds of the National Parks” in partnership with the National Parks Services.
The digital exhibit features stunning tours of five national parks, including Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico, Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah, Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska, and Dry Tortugas National Park in Florida.
If you want to connect with creatures, big and small, several aquariums and zoos that are temporarily closed still offer virtual visits.
The Monterey Bay Aquarium features several 10 live cams of creatures ranging from jellyfish to penguins.
HEY PARENTS: Need a distraction from the constant barrage of coronavirus-related news? The National Aquarium has you covered. https://t.co/XBhlbFwAdK
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Back on land, many zoos feature live and archived videos of pandas, polar bears, giraffes, and other animals on their websites.
The San Diego Zoo has pre-recorded and live video streams showing koalas, apes, giraffes, elephants, tigers and other creatures that offer endless hours of entertainment and fascination.