Need to cancel that dream trip with the kids to America due to the coronavirus travel ban? Here are some creative ways to bring the US to our kids with a virtual trip to the USA without leaving your home.
Are your kids a little under-stimulated at home without your usual ‘outings’ – park, libraries, beach, astronomy centres, art galleries, zoo, fairs, shows, kids parties and weekend attractions, to head out to? USA travel experts Brand USA are taking us on a virtual trip to the USA and has provided some educational and fun virtual excursions to some of the best places in the US.
America is the home of…. Outer Space Exploration!
- Space exploration is the use of astronomy and space technology to explore outer space.
- The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is an independent agency of the United States Federal Government responsible for the civilian space program, as well as aeronautics and aerospace research. Read about the history of NASA here.
- The early era of space exploration was driven by a “Space Race” between the Soviet Union and the United States. The launch of the first human-made object to orbit Earth, the Soviet Union’s Sputnik 1, on 4 October 1957, and the first Moon landing by the American Apollo 11 mission on 20 July 1969 are the big landmarks in space exploration.
- You can explore NASA’s Space Center in Houston with this Spacecenter App.
- Space Center Houston now offers a new free app for an interactive mobile experience. It’s available now and features self-guided virtual tours, augmented reality, videos and audio stories about the future and historic feats in human space exploration. To download the app, go to the App Store or Google Play.
- Want a lesson from a real astronaut in outer space? NASA’s STEMonstrations are STEM demonstrations on the space station. Click on these videos to get demonstrations from astronauts from their space stations! https://www.nasa.gov/stemonstrations
- You can download ‘Fun Activities to Do at Home’ from NASA’s media centre!
- Formal education: Grades 1 – 12 resources: https://www.nasa.gov/stem/foreducators/k-12/index.html
- Informal education: https://www.nasa.gov/stem/foreducators/informal/index.html
America is the home of… Amazing Animals and Sealife!
Zoos & Aquariums – it will be like you’re there, with all these up close and personal webcams
- The San Diego Zoo| ape cam, an elephant cam, a koala cam, a panda cam, and more
- Houston Zoo| giraffe cam, a gorilla habitat cam, rhino yard, and more
- Monterey Aquarium | coral reef cam, a jelly cam, a shark cam, and an ultra-adorable penguin cam
- Georgia Aquarium’s beluga whales: Webcam or maybe watch a jellyfish!
- Georgia Aquarium’s Tropical Diver is a relaxing end to a journey through all the regions of the world at Georgia Aquarium, USA. In this colourful gallery, children finally “find Nemo,” as well as seahorses, fairy basslets, yellow-head jawfish and other jewels of the sea. Three impressive jelly exhibits will mesmerise you, while at the center of this gallery, one of the largest living reef exhibits of any aquarium in the world will take your breath away.
America is the home of….Awesome, Giant Museums full of interesting things!
- According to a government statement, there are more than 35,000 museums in the USA! There are approximately 850 million visits each year to American museums. There are more American museums than Starbucks Coffee spots.
- Tour famous Smithsonian museums – A famous Museum chain in America is the ‘Smithsonian’ museums. The Smithsonian museums are part of the Smithsonian Institution which belongs to the United States government. The Smithsonian Institution was created after the death of Englishman James Smithson in 1829 – he left his entire estate to the United States government for the “increase and diffusion of knowledge”. Today it’s the world’s largest museum and research complex. In 2018, the most visited Smithsonian museums were the National Museum of Natural Historyand the National Air and Space Museum.
- Nothing quite compares with the feeling of standing in front of an artistic masterpiece or a towering Tyrannosaurus rex fossil, but virtual exhibitionsand museum tours are about as close as you can get to recreating the experience. Science lovers can survey the National Museum of Natural History’s permanent, current and past exhibitions, including the Butterfly Pavilion, the Deep Time Hall of Fossils and the Hall of Human Origins.
- Other options great for kids range from founder James Smithson’s Smithsonian Castle cryptto the the Smithsonian Marine Station Wet Laboratory and explore vivid art in the Smithsonian Latino Center’s “C. Latino Street Murals,” and the J. Paul Getty Museum.
- Thanks to Smithsonian Open Access, anyone with an internet connection can not only browse, but “use, transform and distribute” some 8 million high-resolution images from the collections without restrictions. Among the artifacts highlighted on the Open Access portal are Amelia Earhart’s Lockheed Vega 5B plane, a portrait of Pocahontas, a chunk of Smithsonite and the Apollo 11 command module.
America is the home of…. National Parks
Google Arts & Culture has teamed up with five national parks in the U.S. so people can enjoy the beauty of the natural world while sitting safely on their couch. These parks feature different climates and environments from across the country, including famous desert vistas and snowy terrains. Check out these famous parks in America to get you started:
- Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska
- Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii
- Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico
- Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
Check out Brand USA’s awesome Trip Planner – this can help you create the perfect itinerary for your next holiday; ready for when the time comes to book!
For further USA inspiration, download the free Go USA TV app to access a wide range of video content across food, culture, and the great outdoors.
What would be your favourite place to visit on a virtual trip to the USA? Tell us in the comments below.