Houstonians have been quarantining for quite some time now due to the coronavirus pandemic. Social distancing has many of us going stir crazy, running out of ways to entertain ourselves and the people we live with--Netflix only has so much to offer!

Good news is several of our favorite places are offering virtual experiences right in the comfort of our own homes! Most museums and aquariums all over the world have adapted to this new at-home lifestyle and are participating in virtual visits of their institutions. Houstonians get ready to go back to the zoo in your pajamas!


Art Museums and Galleries

  • Museum of Fine Arts Houston: The MFAH has created a virtual museum experience with Google Arts & Culture to share with its community. The museum is updating their Facebook and Instagram pages weekly, with curator talks, discussions on artworks, and other educational posts.
  • Houston Center for Contemporary Craft: The HCCC is offering virtual exhibition tours and hands-on activities on their website. Some activities include creating land artmaking marbled paper, and cloning a plant. You can also check out their Facebook and Instagram pages every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 1PM for creative art projects and artist studio tours.
  • Glasstire: Glasstire is an online-only art magazine that supports the visual arts in Texas. They are offering a multitude of virtual 5-minute tours of art exhibits all over the state. This online magazine is a great resource to see what is going on in the art world locally and regionally, while we are under a stay-at-home order and when the order is lifted.
  • Other Museums around the World: Famous places, such as the Louvre and the Vatican, are offering virtual museum experiences as well. Many art museums and galleries are featured on Google Arts & Culture and offer virtual tours, educational tools, and fun experiences to indulge in. You can search the name of the institution, like the Museum of Modern Art, on the home page or browse through it all.

Science and Space

  • Houston Museum of Natural Science: The Houston Museum of Natural Science brings you "HMNS at Home" with educational videos, how-to tutorials, and a virtual dinosaur adventure and safari.
  • Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History: The Smithsonian, National Museum of Natural History lets audiences take virtual tours of some of their permanent, current and past exhibits.
  • Space Center Houston: The Space Center Houston offers an interactive mobile app that allows you to tour with location-aware audio. The app even has Space Center Houston selfie filters!
  • Explore Mars: Explore Mars by NASA’s Curiosity rover is a 360 degree virtual tour of the red planet in our solar system. It offers facts about the Curiosity rover and its mission and a high-tech look into images the rover has taken.

Learn More

Zoos and Aquariums

  • Houston Zoo: The Houston Zoo is hosting "Bringing the Zoo to You" live on Facebook every day at 11AM. They also have live webcams to enjoy a peek in the daily activities of some of the animals, like the elephants and gorillas.
  • The Cincinnati Zoo: The Cincinnati Zoo is featuring live home safari shows at 3PM every day on their Facebook page. You can also check out the Fiona Show on Facebook or the zoo's YouTube channel! According to the zoo’s social page, Fiona is a baby hippopotamus born 6 weeks premature at the Cincinnati Zoo three years ago and since her birth, she has been a fan favorite at the zoo and an Internet sensation!
  • Georgia Aquarium: The Georgia Aquarium offers at-home learning with daily and weekly live streaming events, Animal Guides, and Field Trip Fridays. Check out their live streams of the different animals, like the Beluga whales!
  • Monterey Bay Aquarium: The Monterey Bay Aquarium has ten live cams you can watch on your desktop or mobile phone. Some of the most popular ones to tune into are the jellyfish, sharks, and otters.

While staying at home isn’t ideal to everyone, especially for this long, there are ways to combat boredom and learn new things along the way. It can be frustrating doing the same activities, watching the same shows, and browsing social media over and over again. So, why not let these places take you on a virtual journey and help scratch that restless itch.

Photo Source: Houston Museum of Natural Science

About The Author

Charrie earned a Bachelor's in Studio Arts with a minor in Advertising from the University of Houston. She found her niche for office administration before graduating and enjoys helping people become successful. One of her favorite things to do in the office is to coordinate events and parties. When she is not at work, you can find Charrie playing roller derby with Yellow Rose Derby Girls, loving on her cats, painting, or creating ceramic vases.

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