While students are settling in to learning in the confines of their new at-home classrooms, they might be missing an important out-of-class activity: field trips.

Field trips provide students with the opportunity to visit and explore a brand new space in their communities, which can:

  • Strengthen observation skills,
  • offer opportunities for hands-on activities,
  • and provide new perspectives on their world.

Now, the opportunity to get out of the house to feel, see, touch, and taste might not be an option, but many museums, cultural institutions, and zoos are offering online events, virtual tours, webcams, and livestreams.

The Buffalo Zoo, located here in sunny Western New York, is bringing the zoo into your homes with a social media experience they’re calling #TheZooToYou. The series features different members of the zoo’s education department exploring a new animal or exhibit, and each video is accompanied by a fact sheet and an activity sheet.

In one video, Zoo Program Specialist Lisa Thibault explores signs of spring. Another video features School Program Specialist Jackie Levinson exploring the Donna M. Fernandes Amphibian and Reptile Center to identify the differences between frogs and toads.

The Buffalo Zoo isn’t the only place you can take your students on a virtual field trip. Check out this list from ILoveNY.com that features over 70 online experiences for everything from art to adventure to cooking to dance. Plus, the list is updated regularly to include new events and attractions to keep you inspired while coronavirus restrictions are in place.

Of course, New York likely isn’t the only state offering access to these free activities. Be sure to check your state’s official tourism website to find online events, virtual tours, webcams, and livestreams.

Stay home. Stay safe. And get online for a virtual field trip.

Into art? Here’s another terrific resource: You Can Virtually Tour These 500+ Museums and Galleries From Your Couch

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