As a classroom teacher, I loved taking students on field trips. These were fantastic experiences for students. Just this month I was recounting the story of taking my fifth-grade students to the Museum of Modern Art – a trip that feels like yesterday but was almost a decade ago. There are lots of reasons to take students to visit different places, but it’s not possible to take them everywhere. That’s where summer virtual field trips come into play.
Although you can use the resources I’ve compiled on this list at any time of year, I’ve taken a summer spin with these. They include spaces you might explore during the summertime to extend a lesson or activity from earlier in the school year. Or you might use these to help students prepare for the upcoming school year by helping them build background knowledge and vocabulary through a summer virtual field trip.
Here’s a list of websites for summer virtual field trips you can share with students and families. These websites offer engaging and educational experiences that can transport students to various locations around the world. And, of course, these might inspire you to take students to a faraway or nearby place for a field trip this school year.
12 Websites for Summer Virtual Field Trips
From exploring breathtaking national parks to exploring the habitats of different animals, these virtual journeys provide endless opportunities for students, teachers, and families to discover new worlds and expand their horizons. So let’s jump into the list!
Google Arts & Culture
If you’ve attended a workshop with me this year, we might have taken a virtual field trip together. I love sharing Google Arts & Culture, which has a vast collection of art, historical landmarks, and cultural experiences worldwide.
Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
Is stepping into a museum tough with your summer schedule? You can take a virtual tour of the renowned Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and discover permanent, current, and past exhibits.
Yellowstone National Park Virtual Tours
It’s been a few years since I’ve smelled the sulfur at the geysers throughout the park, but you can explore Yellowstone National Park through interactive maps, panoramic images, and guided tours. In addition, their website (and many other national parks) have oodles of virtual resources to explore.
The Hidden Worlds of the National Parks
I love visiting national parks, and there are so many spots that don’t get much attention. However, you can visit some lesser-known U.S. National Parks through interactive multimedia tours hosted by Google Arts & Culture, including this special experience.
Tour the World’s Largest Cave
National Geographic is a fantastic resource for students who want to explore different places. For example, you can tour the world’s largest cave and journey inside Vietnam’s Son Doong cave with this immersive virtual tour by National Geographic.
The Louvre Virtual Tours
You can take it back inside with The Louvre Virtual Tours. The iconic Louvre Museum in Paris has a vast collection of art and artifacts to explore from home in both English and French.
The British Museum Virtual Tour
The British Museum is another one to add to the list. They have an extensive collection covering human history, art, and cultures from around the world.
Street Art Cities
To see art outside of a traditional museum, you might want to explore Street Art Cities. If you follow along on Instagram, you might already know I’ve lived in Jersey City for almost seven years. In Jersey City there are murals everywhere! This interactive map featuring beautiful murals and graffiti lets you discover street art worldwide.
San Diego Zoo Kids
Although I took a group of students to the Central Park Zoo – which was amazing – there are lots of virtual tours for students interested in animals. In addition, they can learn about wildlife and conservation efforts through live animal cams, videos, and interactive activities hosted by the San Diego Zoo.
Monterey Bay Aquarium Live Cams
Another California spot with animal cams is the Monterey Bay Aquarium. You and your students can explore underwater creatures with live cameras showcasing various ocean habitats.
Explore.org Live Nature Cams
If you are looking for a particular animal or habitat to share with students, Explore.org has live nature cams. You can watch live cameras showcasing wildlife in their natural habitats, from African wildlife to bird sanctuaries and ocean life.
Want to help students understand what it takes to run a farm? You can take a virtual tour of Canadian farms and learn about agriculture, food production, and farming practices.
With so many unique destinations at your fingertips, there’s never been a better time to dive into a summer virtual field trip. Whether you’re a teacher seeking new ways to engage your students or a family looking for entertaining and educational activities, these websites offer a wealth of unique experiences. They are sure to spark curiosity and maybe inspire a future trip to check out a spot in person!