The great part about digital field trips is they’re accessible to everyone. No need to take a long road trip or deal with the stress of an airport to marvel at the wonders spread across our nation’s 50 States.
Every state has thousands of wonderful places to visit, of course, but in the interest of time and space, we’ve chosen just one iconic and magical spot per state – and anyone can “visit” anytime since they’re all virtual.
Virtual Field Trips Across all 50 United States
Birmingham Botanical Gardens
You may not be able to view the beautiful blooms in-person at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, but you can still appreciate the Garden’s beauty. Check out the Garden’s virtual tour that allows you to virtually explore the Garden’s grounds.
Explore the wonders of Denali National Park and Preserve through a virtual tour offered through the National Park Service. “Explore some of the research happening in Denali, paired with striking images of plants and landscapes in the park.”
Check out these Virtual Field Trips in Los Angeles.
Odysea Aquarium wants families to explore and enjoy the wonders of aquatic life through their Oceanic Adventure…At Home page. View live animal cams, check out the virtual classroom offerings, videos, and much more.
The Art and Science Center for Southeast Arkansas brings the museum to your family. The ASC’s virtual programming features virtual art tours, arts and crafts videos, story times, and much more.
Joshua Tree National Park
If you’re concerned about the weather, but still want to visit Joshua Tree National Park, you can from the air conditioned comfort of home. You’ll find videos and short films including a Keys Ranch Video Tour, you can learn to tell the difference between a tortoise and a turtle, and much more.
Check out more Virtual Field Trips around California
The Denver Zoo has a special Virtual Safari program called “Zoo to You.” The Zoo’s animal staff cares for almost 3,000 animal residents. With this special program families will be “entertained and engaged with videos, wildlife-themed activity ideas and much more.” Additionally, on the Zoo’s Virtual Classroom page you’ll find more resources including animal demonstrations.
The Mark Twain House and Museum
The Mark Twain House and Museum is described as a “house with a heart and a soul.” The famous author and his family lived here from 1874 to 1891, and it is the location where he wrote some of his most famous work including Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Virtual tours are available on the museum’s website.
Biggs Museum of American Art
Families can “explore videos created about pieces and galleries from the Biggs Museum.” The Museum’s collection includes “the finest Delaware-made furniture and silver collection as well as the only painting and sculpture collection in the region able to track the history of American representational art.”
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Art enthusiasts who enjoy the work of Salvador Dalí can explore The Dalí Museum’s collection online. View objects, photos, prints, paintings, and book illustrations. You’ll also find videos, downloadable activities, videos, and more. And you can virtually walk around the museum so you’ll feel like you’re really there!
The Georgia Sports Hall of Fame and Museum is the “country’s largest state sports museum” with over 3,000 artifacts. Families can virtually explore the Museum. Online exhibits include “Georgia’s Olympic Champions,” the “College Sports Corridor,” the “Hall of Fame Corridor,” and more.
No need to get on a plane to Hawaii to explore the Iolani Palace, built in 1882. Iolani Palace is “recognized as the spiritual and physical multicultural epicenter of Hawaii” and is recognized as the “only official royal residence in the United States.” You can take a 3-D tour, explore portraits of Hawaiian monarchs, listen to a lecture series, and more.
A total of seven videos combine to provide families a virtual tour of the Idaho Capitol. You’ll explore the Capitol, floor-by-floor. And, if you’re looking for more resources, check the website for the Idaho Capitol where you’ll find activities such as word searches and scavenger hunts.
Art Institute of Chicago
The Art Institute of Chicago is known as one of the oldest and largest art museums in the United States. Explore the digital offerings and you’ll find videos, online exhibitions, art-making activities, and more.
Enjoy a virtual visit with the animals at the Indianapolis Zoo through the Zoo’s webcams. You’ll observe penguins, tigers, walruses, macaws, and more.
The Iowa Children’s Museum is a fun and interactive place to visit. From the comfort of home, families can explore the 28,000-square foot museum through a virtual tour. The Museum’s exhibits and activities allow children to “learn more about arts and culture, financial literacy, health, school readiness and STEM.”
How much do you know about our nation’s 34th President? (Did you know “Ike” was the only 5-Star General to become President of the United States?) Expand your knowledge by watching and listening to the virtual tours offered of the Eisenhower Presidential Library, Museum, and Boyhood Home.
Kentucky Derby Museum
Families can take a virtual field trip to the Kentucky Derby Museum where you’ll learn about “one of Kentucky’s great cultural, sporting and economic events, a horse race that has been held every year since 1875.” You’ll find a video tour of Museum exhibits, family-friendly activities, and more.
Louisiana’s Old State Capitol
A virtual tour is available of Louisiana’s Old State Capitol. Louisiana’s Old State Capitol “educates the public on Louisiana’s rich history and the democratic process through exhibits, programming and the arts.” Additionally, families can take advantage of at-home activities including online puzzles, games, story times, and more.
The Scarborough Marsh is the “largest salt marsh in the state, comprising tidal marsh, salt creeks, freshwater marsh, and uplands.” Now, families can access a virtual field trip featuring the marsh and exploring the “wonders of this unique habitat and creatures you can find there.”
Families can take a “360-degree, virtual tour of the Hubble Space Telescope’s home for mission operations, the Space Telescope Operations Control Center (STOCC) at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.” You can view where the flight operators command and monitor the Hubble and explore the hallway to “view hardware that once flew in space aboard Hubble as well as tools that astronauts used to repair and upgrade the observatory.”
New Bedford Whaling Museum
The New Bedford Whaling Museum “shares the story of human interaction with whales in the world’s oceans, the science of whales today, and the history and culture of SouthCoast Massachusetts.”
Detroit Institute of Arts
The Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) has “more than 65,000 artworks that date from the earliest civilizations to the present” in more than 100 galleries. You can explore DIA through their many online resources. You’ll find art-making activities, online exhibitions, a virtual field trip, and much more.
Learn the Importance of Field Trips
Minnesota Governor’s Residence
Ever wonder what it’s like inside a Governor’s Residence? Now’s your chance to explore. Families can watch a virtual tour of the Minnesota Governor’s Residence, exploring room-by-room. You’ll also find a photo gallery and videos online.
Mississippi Children’s Museum
With the Mississippi Children’s Museum’s At Home page, your family won’t run out of things to do. You’ll find a variety of activities and resources focused on health and nutrition, STEAM, and literacy.
The Titanic Museum, the World’s Largest Museum Attraction, features one of the largest permanent collections of Titanic artifacts and memorabilia. Now you don’t have to wait to visit Missouri, to explore this special museum. The virtual tour is offered in four parts.
Glacier National Park
Perhaps one of the most well-known attractions in Montana is Glacier National Park. Families can view the splendor and wonder by taking a look at the images provided by webcams located throughout the park. These webcams “provide views of the vast diversity of landscapes found in Glacier.”
Willa Cather Center
Students who have read Willa Cather’s books may enjoy a virtual tour of Nebraska’s Willa Cather Center. This is the “largest collection of historic sites dedicated to her,” and includes a tour of Willa Cather’s home as well as the Red Cloud Opera House.
Great Basin National Park is located in the eastern part of Nevada. Families can “head underground” to virtually explore Lehman Caves within Great Basin National Park. This virtual tour begins in the human-made entrance tunnel, shows some of the largest rooms in the Lehman Caves, and concludes through the exit tunnel.
Children’s Museum of New Hampshire
The Children’s Museum of New Hampshire strives to serve as your family’s “one stop shop for activities and resources to support at-home learning, and encourage hands-on discovery.” You’ll find a variety of activities divided into categories – Art, Nature, STEAM, and Early Learning. Additionally, you can sit back and relax and enjoy a virtual tour of the Museum itself.
Princeton Battlefield State Park
“On January 3, 1777, the peaceful winter fields and woods of Princeton Battlefield were transformed into the site of what is considered to be the fiercest fight of its size during the American Revolution.” Families can view a video tour as well as a photo gallery of this historic site.
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum
From the comfort of home, families can be inspired by the life and work of Georgia O’Keeffe through the Museum’s special program “O’Keeffe From Anywhere.” Families can “explore the artist’s paintings, read through some of her letters, browse photographs revealing her independent style, or get creative with hands-on activities.”
The virtual tour of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum allows families to “experience exhibits about the lives of the Roosevelts, the Great Depression, the New Deal, and World War II.”
North Carolina Museum of History
Families can experience the North Carolina Museum of History digitally. Take a look at some of the museum’s exhibits, enjoy “videos on demand” bringing history to life “through conversations with historians across North Carolina,”and more.
World’s Largest Buffalo, Dakota Thunder
North Dakota is a “combination of wide-open spaces, dramatic scenery, and unique entertainment and attractions spread out over 70,000 square miles of the North Plains.” And did you know that within the state of North Dakota you’ll find the “world’s largest buffalo”? The buffalo stands 26 feet tall and is made of 60 tons of concrete. And before your next road trip to see “Dakota Thunder” (the buffalo’s name), you can view it through this virtual tour.
The Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden offers “Home Safari Resources” for families. The Zoo comes to you through their Home Safari program. Learn about different animals including Fiona the Hippo, as well as Arctic Foxes, African Painted Dogs, Gorillas, and more.
99’s Museum of Women Pilots
A trip to Oklahoma may not be in your immediate plans, but you can still virtually explore the 99’s Museum of Women Pilots. This special museum showcases the “history of women in aviation from the earliest flights to the present day.” Learn about women you may be familiar with (Amelia Earhart) as well as other women you may have never learned about (Marion P. Jayne – who raced her airplane twice around the world in 1992 and 1994 earning silver and gold medals).
Do you have a rock collector in your family? Be sure to check out the virtual tour of the Rice Museum of Rocks and Minerals. The Museum is “home to over 20k,000 rock and mineral specimens.”
Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania
For kids who love trains, you’ll definitely want to learn more about the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania. “More than 100 locomotives and railroad cars on display!” But while an in-person visit isn’t possible right now, you can virtually take a look at the library, archives, and equipment. You’ll also find downloadable coloring pages, mazes, and more.
International Tennis Hall of Fame
Who plays tennis? Or is a fan of the game? While you may not be in Rhode Island, you can still enjoy a virtual visit to the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Look at the special exhibit, “French Open: A Tribute,” browse a collection of tennis-themed toys and games, view inspiring artifacts, and look at the history of tennis fashion through the years.
South Carolina State Museum
The South Carolina State Museum invites families to view its virtual exhibit Apollo 50: Journey to the Moon. This special exhibition charts “the history of NASA’s Apollo program and South Carolina’s role in lunar exploration.”The exhibition includes a moon rock, a replica Apollo Lunar Rover, and artifacts from astronaut Charles Duke’s Apollo 16 mission (Mr. Duke grew up near Lancaster, South Carolina).
Mount Rushmore National Memorial
Mount Rushmore is world famous and a must-see on many family’s lists of places to visit. Now, your family can enjoy a virtual tour of this famous monument featuring four of America’s leaders – George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and Thomas Jefferson.
The Tennessee Aquarium offers “Aquarium at Home,” a special program of “fun activities and resources for an at-home Aquarium experience, anytime.” Take a look at some Aquarium creatures, including penguins, otters, and moon jellies through the live animal cams. You’ll also find downloadable activities, such as coloring sheets and word searches.
With the presidential election just a few months away, your kids may be curious about past presidents. Now’s a great time to explore the digital offerings of the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum. You’ll find videos, photographs, and 360-degree views of certain artifacts all online.
The Natural History Museum of Utah is an “active research institution” and a popular attraction for those visiting Utah. Families can enjoy a virtual field trip providing a glimpse of the Museum’s permanent exhibits including “Native Voices,” “First People,” and ”Past Worlds” to name a few.
Hartshorn Organic Farm
Ever wonder what it’s really like on a farm? Now’s your chance to learn. Hartshorn Organic Farm produces vegetables, fruits, and flowers. Additionally, they have a maple sugar house, and families can enjoy a virtual maple tour!
2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment guaranteeing women the right to vote. The National Women’s History Museum offers a number of resources available to families. Explore online exhibitions, virtual story times, virtual field trips, and much more.
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My future pilots are loving the #MuseumofFlight. The Flight Zone play area was super cool, of course. But the real hit was walking through the famous airplanes (like Air Force One) outside. Did you know the presidential plane had (has?) a doggy door for the presidential pet?
The Museum of Flight
You don’t have to travel to Seattle, Washington to check out some of the museum’s “most iconic aircraft.” You can access the cockpits and interior of the aircraft through special 3D self-guided virtual tours. Get a close look at a NASA Space Shuttle Trainer, a Concorde Supersonic Airliner, and more.
Huntington Museum of Art
The Huntington Museum of Art offers “HMoA at Home” for families. You’ll find virtual tours, printable activities (such as word searches and BINGO), online collections, and more.
EAA Aviation Museum
Get ready to “climb into the airplane in our museum virtually to see what it is like to be in the pilot’s seat” with EAA Aviation Museum’s virtual cockpit tours. The Museum is home to more than 200 historic airplanes as well as The Borman Collection, a collection belonging to former astronaut Frank Borman (Gemini 7 and Apollo 8).
Grand Teton National Park
Families can explore Grand Teton National Park without leaving home. “Experience a hike around the String Lake, travel the Moose-Wilson corridor, or scramble to the summit of the Grand Teton on your computer.” Imagine feeling like you’ve climbed up the Grand’s 13,770-foot summit without breaking a sweat.
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 her website WendyKennar.com where she writes about books, boys, and bodies (living with an invisible disability).