One of the upsides of social distancing and home learning has been the ability to access content and resources from our beloved museums and cultural institutions. During this time, they have created ways for users to access their exhibitions, videos, and films as well as offered games, activities and resources for virtual learning. Virtual tours are a great way to connect and support local museums and cultural institutions as well as a way to visit new places–all from the comfort of your home—and supplement learning or add in new subject material to your kids’ day. Plus, they’re fun, educational, and engaging for the whole family! Below, check out a list of Westchester-based and museums and cultural institutions as well as those beyond Westchester that you can enjoy with your kids.
Bedford Playhouse: The beloved movie house recently launched a virtual movie trivia for kids. Designed for kids ages 5-9, this free week-long trivia takes place every Monday at 2 pm where participants can respond to a series of trivia questions that will be posted on Facebook and Instagram. Winners will be chosen at random and win a free popcorn voucher that can be used once Bedford Playhouse re-opens.
Jacob Burns Film Center: The Pleasantville-based movie house recently launched JBFC at Home, a one-stop online resource where visitors can enjoy new movie releases, curated film lists, and activities. This includes great picks for the whole family, including Scavenger Hunt for Early Learners, Hand-Drawn Animation Activity and the JBFC Mixtapes, to name a few favorites.
Westchester Children’s Museum: Enjoy activities curated by the beloved Westchester Children’s Museum via their online program, WCM at Home. Through this initiative, they are offering featured activities every week and websites to check out every week. Some featured projects on the site including how to build a fairy house and blow up balloons. WCM at Home also includes drop-in virtual classes (they currently have some great Earth Day projects for sensory play and discovery) and resources on how to explain COVID-19 to your kids.
Hudson River Arts Museum: While they are closed, you can still enjoy content and news about their exhibitions, permanent collections, and art and science activities. This includes learning how to balance an egg, a tour of Glenview or viewing the current Derrick Adams Exhibit.
Katonah Museum of Art: Enjoy virtual exhibits from the Katonah Museum of Art at home. This currently includes a virtual tour of Bisa Butler: Portraits, including activity sheets for kids such as the Bisa Butler Drawing Portraits Activity, Bisa Butler Transform a Photo Activity and the Bisa Butler Pantoum Portrait Poem.
Musee D’Orsay: Take a virtual trip to Paris to learn about the fascinating history of the former train station, now known as the Musee D’Orsay. The tour follows the timeline and visual history of the opening of the train station to how it became a museum that now houses art from 1848 to 1914.
Metropolitan Museum of Art: The MET recently launched its #MetAnywhere initiative, offering users access to content, web-based highlights, interviews, behind-the-scenes videos, short videos, and exhibitions. Families can also check out #MetKids where they can find videos, maps, lesson plans that integrate works of art and family guides featuring activities to enjoy at home.
American Museum of Natural History: The museum has tons of ways for kids to engage remotely, including the OLogy science website where you can discover hands-on activities, videos, stories and games to learn more about science. They also have their Curriculum Collection for teachers and educators, the museum’s YouTube Channel where you can see collections and take courses from the museum on Coursera, Khan Academy, and Kahoot. The museum will also be showing recorded tours of their collections as Facebook Lives every day at 2 pm EST.
Museo Frida Kahlo: Learn more about this prolific artist by touring her former home, La Casa Azul. The tour includes a history of Kahlo, the chance to see some of her clothing and art.
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum: The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum offers a way to see some of the artists’ paintings.
Adler Planetarium: Learn more about space by visiting Chicago’s Adler Planetarium. Kids can enjoy their Let’s Do Science video series featuring science experiments that families can do at home using household materials. Some experiments include how to make cool crystals, how to make your own barometer, and how to make a lava lamp, to name a few.
Rijksmuseum: This Amsterdam-based museum tour offers a way to see artistic masterpieces from the Dutch Golden Age. The comprehensive online gallery features access to 80 galleries and 8,000 objects and pieces of art.