School is back in session, though it’s very different this year. For many students, field trips are one of their favorite parts of school. Check out these destinations, located throughout the state of California, yet accessible to us all through virtual field trips.
Many of these museums, national parks, and historic locations offer webcams, virtual tours, videos, and much more that can serve as great supplements to your child’s school instruction.
Click over to our Education Guide for a comprehensive overview of Education in Los Angeles.
15+ Museums Throughout California for Virtual Field Trips + Special Digital Offerings
California Academy of Sciences
Golden Gate Park
55 Music Concourse Dr., San Francisco, CA 94118
The incredible California Academy of Sciences offers a range of digital resources for families. You can explore “deep sea, deep space, and everything in between” from the comfort of home. You’ll find live-streaming lectures, exhibits, and even penguins using the Penguin Webcam.
Monterey Bay Aquarium
886 Cannery Row, Monterey, CA 93940
While there’s nothing quite like being at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, a virtual visit is a pretty fine substitute for the time-being. You’ll find lots of fun online activities, free online classes, science activities, as well as live daily animal-cams.
The Tech Interactive
201 S. Market St., San Jose, CA 95113
If you can’t arrange a trip to San Jose right now, it doesn’t mean you can’t still explore The Tech Interactive. Check out their 25-minute virtual field trip which “focuses on how The Tech Interactive connects to super cool tech careers.”
San Diego Zoo
2920 Zoo Dr., San Diego, CA 92101
The San Diego Zoo, often considered the #1 Zoo in the world, offers animal cams so families can enjoy the amazing animals. Watch the hippos, the polar bears, tigers, koalas, condors, and more. And, if you’re missing the pandas, you can also access the pre-recorded panda cam archives.
Oakland Museum of CA
1000 Oak St., Oakland, CA 94607
The Oakland Museum of CA has a special program called “OMCA at Home” with a variety of digital resources available. “Explore art, history, natural sciences, and more from home.” In addition, families can take virtual tours of the museum.
Check out these Virtual Field Trips in all 50 States
Channel Islands National Park – Live Ocean Webcam
Ventura, CA 93001
Families can “experience one of the richest marine environments in the world with a virtual visit to the Ocean Webcam.” Families will marvel at the kelp forest and marine creatures. The Ocean Webcam is “located within the landing cove on Anacapa Island.”
USS Midway Museum
910 N. Harbor Dr., San Diego, CA 92101
Families can virtually explore the USS Midway Museum. The virtual tour provides an opportunity to “explore America’s favorite aircraft carrier museum’s most popular spaces and exhibits. Listen to the award-winning audio tour, view a naval aircraft gallery and read amazing historical accounts of the USS Midway.”
Yosemite National Park
Yosemite Valley, CA
Maybe your family usually takes a summer trip to Yosemite National Park and that didn’t happen this summer. However, through the marvel of technology families can virtually visit Yosemite and explore its wonders.
California State Capitol Museum
State Capitol Room B-27
1315 10th St., Sacramento, CA 95814
Families can view “the Capitol’s blended architectural styles from Neo-classical and Renaissance Revival to California’s own architectural elements.” The virtual tour will make you feel as if you’re walking down the Capitol’s halls, observing the works of art, marveling at the artifacts, and more.
500 Sea World Dr., San Diego, CA 92109
[email protected] is a variety of “fun family activities and entertainment to enjoy at home.” You’ll find coloring pages, crafts, educational resources, games, and the chance to virtually ride one of SeaWorld’s roller coasters!
San Francisco, CA
Are your kids intrigued by Alcatraz Island? You can virtually explore this landmark, view objects made by infamous inmates, read historic documents, and more.
La Purisima Mission
2295 Purisima Rd., Lompoc, CA 93436
La Purisima Mission was the 11th of the 21st Missions established in California in 1787. “Today, La Purisima Mission State Historic Park is considered the most completely restored mission in California, with then of the original buildings fully restored and furnished.” Virtual tour opportunities include the Church, the Weaving Room, the Visitors Center, and more.
Read about the Importance of Field Trips
Chumash Painted Cave State Historic Park
CA-154, Santa Barbara, CA
While the Chumash Painted Cave State Historic Park is one of the smallest State Parks in the state (a little more than 7 acres), it’s really something quite special to explore. This cave is “one of the best preserved rock art sites in California and of the Chumash people.” Additional background information as well as a virtual tour are available for families to explore.
San Diego Zoo Safari Park
15500 San Pasqual Valley Rd., Escondido, CA
Visiting the animals at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park has always felt like going on a mini-safari. Now families can marvel at many of the Safari Park’s animals by watching one of the many live streams. Observe elephants, giraffes, tigers, platypuses (the only ones in the United States), and more.
The Walt Disney Family Museum
104 Montgomery St. in the Presidio, San Francisco, CA 94129
Fans of Walt Disney will be happy to know they can virtually visit The Walt Disney Family Museum. Enjoy a rather-thorough virtual tour of the facility, explore different exhibitions, and more. Additionally, the Museum hosts a variety of different virtual events on different days and at different times including workshops, story times, and discussions.
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks
Three Rivers, CA 93271
Explore Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks from the comfort of home. You’ll find video tours showing guided walks along the trails of Redwood Canyon as well as a guided walk around the General Grant Tree Trail. You’ll be in awe as you see these majestic trees and you’ll be eagerly planning your next family trip to see them in person.
Wendy Kennar is a mother, writer, and former teacher who has lived her entire life in the same Los Angeles zip code. You can read more from Wendy at http://www.wendykennar.com where she writes about books, boys, and bodies (living with an invisible disability).