These are the Best free online virtual museum tours for kids education. Students can explore natural history, modern art, exhibition of art works, events, and field trip with virtual museum tour using google arts and culture walk through 360 photos and 3D VR maker software and app.
During the lockdown time, many great museums are closed. We cannot visit them physically. However, the good news is that the Museums have developed virtual museum that they prepare independently, or they work together with google arts and culture to create virtual museum exploration using Google’s technology of google walk where all significant locations in the museum are photographed and integrated in Virtual Reality exploration that can be accessed online and for free.
Our kids and students can enjoy exploring and visiting the best museums virtually from their home, from their bed room, from afar. Kids can witness dinosaur bones from their laptop or desktop computer.
I have invested time to look for the best free online virtual museum tours, and here they are:
During the pandemic time, many public places are closed, including the Louvre. However, Louvre offers online museum exploration through 3D photo. All important parts of this French museum have been taken photos and assembled in the virtual tour. You will see Egyptian antiquities in which pharaonic period artefacts are displayed. Kids can explore this museum from home. Make sure you have good internet connection because the virtual tour uses lots of 360 degree HD resolution photos.
Teachers can assign their students to write report about their experience exploring the Louvre virtual museum. This virtual museum is suitable for kids, especially for educational purposes. Another example of task or assignment for the students is to ask them to capture (screenshot) some specific images in this museum. Prepare a table with each name of the image to seek (in the left column), and the blank space (right column) for the students to fill in (paste the image).
Here is a glimpse of The Louvre:
at the bottom left corner, you see a small map with red bullets. Click on the map to enlarge it, and click on the red spot button to go to the selected position/location in the building.
With photo 360, the Virtual Museum Tour feels real.
In addition to the main virtual museum tour, The Louvre also offers a section specifically provided for kids. It has some educational history videos. I really love it, and hopefully your kids too. Here a brief picture of the stories:
What to preview one of the videos? Here, I embed the video that I like “The Egyptian Expedition”:
British Museum, in cooperation with Google Cultural Institute, provides us with a virtual museum tour presented in an interactive digital exploration.
You can select historical events based on the locations. There are Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe, and Oceania.
The dates/years are presented in form of road like path with horizontal lines representing the years, such as AD 900, AD 800, and so forth.
Each historical event is marked with dots in different colors. The colors represent the location, for example; events happening in Europe is presented in blue dots. You can click on the dot to see the detail.
Filtering information is easy. On the right side panel is a filter in which you can select event based on categories: Art and design, living and dying, power and identity, religion and belief, and trade and conflict.
When you click on the “FIND OUT MORE” button within the info box, like that of The Atomic Apocalypse – Day of the Dead, as seen in the image above, a more detailed information will appear like below:
In the detail box, you can see the image representing the historical event, a passage explaining about the event, the google map of where the event took place, photos of some related objects, and a short audio explaining the event. When listening to the audio, it felt like I were in the museum, listening to the guide explaining about specific object in the museum. It’s wonderful. Here is the sample audio taken form the detail photo above:
Teachers can assign a specific task for students to explore a specific historical event using this virtual museum tour application. Invite them to write their experience in exploring the past using this app. I believe you teachers will find more creative ideas for historical tasks using this interactive app.
Parents can guide his/her kids to explore this virtual museum. Parents can help explain how to use and navigate the app, provide specific instruction, and even add more explanation and how it relates to real life in the present time or even in the future.
MetKids from MetMuseum.org
Metmuseum.org established an awesome website or interactive virtual museum for kids. It is presented in a cartoon illustration with dots of Red and Yellow that are clickable. When clicked, the Red or Yellow dots shows a pop up showing image and title of the spot.
You can spend time exploring the map, it is very HUGE!
Another great feature by MetKids is the Time Machine Page. Here is the preview:
To use the time machine, you need to select specific destination by filtering it using some selections. You can specify what period it is; like during the ancient world (8000 – 2000 BC), Medieval Art, Early Modern, and Modern Times.
You can also use more filter by Geography. Specify based on locations: Africa, Asia, Australia and Oceania, latin America and The Carribean, Middle east, and North America.
Besides that, you can also put more filter by the category of Big Ideas in which you can select based on Inventions, creatures, mythology, battles, sports and games, secrets, city and country, magic and mystery, fashion, and spaces and places.
After choosing the filter, you can click on the push button image. It will take you to the target based on your filter.
VAN GOGH Virtual Museum
VAN GOGH’s great art works:
Van Gogh Museum is physically located in Amsterdam, Netherlands. During the pandemic time, this museum is closed for visitors. However, you can still see around inside this museum through virtual museum tour. Van Gogh Museum, in cooperation with Google Arts & Culture, offers Virtual Museum Tours. This virtual museum can be explored by adults or kids, all ages.
This art museum has the artworks collection, if I may say, the largest. All art works are by Vincent Van Gogh. He was born in 1853 and passed away in 1890. There are about 200 paintings by Vincent Van Gogh. More than 500 drawings, and then 750 letters.
This museum also displays exhibitions about different subjects of art history from 19th-century.
If you want to know more about Van Gogh Museum, please visit the website: https://www.vangoghmuseum.nl/en
In the virtual museum, you will be presented with 4 online exhibits: Which books did vincent van gogh read? Vincent Van Gogh’s love life.
The collection displayed includes paintings in: Post-impressionism (113 items), Modern Art (107 items), Oil Paint (106 items), Neo-Impressionism (100 items), Canvas (99 items), and more.
The virtual museum tour covers specific areas in the museum: Ground Floor, First Floor, Second Floor, and Third Floor.
Well, want to explore the virtual museum now? here is the link:
BOSTON CHILDREN’S MUSEUM
Boston Children Museum is another great museum for kids that offers Virtual Museum Tour. This museum also works together with google arts and culture. The second oldest museum in the world, Boston Children’s Museum, is the most influential museum. If offers realia of ancient artefacts, including Americana, Ancient World, California Baskets, Clothing, Dolls, material culture from africa, native american collection, Natural history, and many more.
Here is a brief exploration in the Boston Children’s Museum. Use your mouse to scroll.
Want to know other virtual museum tour in the Boston Children’s Museum? visit the official website. Here is the link:
NATIONAL MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY
The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History virtual tours offers 6 tours: Permanent Exhibits, Current Exhibits, Past Exhibits, Museum Support Center & Research Stations, A few other smithsonian tours, and narrated tours.
In this virtual museum tour you guide yourself in exploring the rooms. You can select specific exhibits and areas in the museum using your own device, desktop computer, laptop, mobile device, and the likes.
In the current Exhibits we can see African Bush Elephant and Rotunda, African Voices (various musical instruments), Bone Hall (Bones of humans and animals), Butterfly Pavilion (numerous kinds of beautiful butterflies), Fossils Deep Time (Exploring Fossils through different times), ancient egypt, minerals, mammals, insects zoo, and many more.
National Gallery of Art, Washington DC
The National Gallery of Art, located in Washington DC – USA, offers collection of artworks by various american artists.
This Art museum has preserved huge collections of artworks in order to exhibit and foster the works of arts to society.
If you cannot visit this museum physically, you can explore it from your bed room virtually. In the virtual museum tour of the National Art Gallery, you will see two online exhibitions: the Fashioning a Nation, and the Vermeer and the masters of Genre Paintings.
The collection of Artworks is categorised into: Paper, Graphite, Watercolor paintings, Etching, Cardboard, and Ink.
They are all wonderful artworks. I really love the paintings. They are very inspirational.
If you are interested in more educational resources provided by the National Art Gallery, you can visit the official website. https://www.nga.gov/
UFFIZI GALLERIE, ITALY
Giorgio Vasari designed the Uffizi in 1560 in dedication to Cosimo I de’Medici for the house of the Grandcual Magistratures of Tuscany. This museum exhibits collection of artworks in Italy.
In this Virtual Museum version of the Uffiz, you will see artworks in several categories: Renaissance, Drawings, Federico Barocci, Oil paint, Italian Renaissance, and paper. There are about 156 items of artwork that you can witness in the virtual version.
THE MOAI IN EASTER ISLAND
Have you ever watched movies in which big stone statues buried on a remote island suddenly came out? Yes, here is the real place, the MOAI of Easter Island.
As a matter of fact, Rapa Nui, the indigenous name of Easter Island, is one of the most remote inhabited islands in the world, separated form the coast of Chile far away.
There, you can also see the Ahu Nau Nau. One of the most recognisable sites in Rapa Nui, Ahu Nau Nau is a restored ceremonial platform site with 7 giant MOAI statues. The google arts and culture remade it in 3D format so that you can explore it from different angles.
The statues are believed to have a source of spiritual power.
MONTEREY BAY AQUARIUM – EXOTIC UNDERWATER MUSEUM
This aquarium based museum offers exotic way in exploring the museum virtually. It uses LIVE CAM.
Here, you can see Aviary Cam, in which you explore and peek into Aviary for an adventure in bird watching. In the Jelly Cam, you see the breathtaking sea nettles drift and pulse. In the Kelp Forest Cam, you see sardines swirl and leopard sharks glide through gently swaying kelp canopies. In the Monetary Bay Cam, you look at otters, birds and sailboats. In the Moon Jelly Cam, you will witness and be hypnotised by gorgeous glowing moon jellies. In the Open Sea Cam, you view open-ocean animals, like tuna, turtles, sharks, and sardines. In the Penguin Cam, you check the African penguins waddling and nesting. The Sea Otter Cam offers sightseeing of sea otters frolicking and swimming. In the shark cam, you will be amazed by the sharks and other habitats in the bay.
In the official website you can learn further about animals. You can check the Animals A to Z section, Habitats, Animal stories, Animal Care, live cams, and wall papers.
This website is specifically established for charity and educational purposes.
Here is the live Cams of Shark Cam, as broadcasted in youtube:
Want to see more?
ROALD DAHL Visit Museum from Home
Road Dahl Museum offers you with visit from home. The concept is rather different from other virtual museum’s. Here, you are presented with photos of some sections in the museum along with the description that you can read.
Although it does not provide virtual tour using 3D or VR technologies, this museum does offer good service, especially for educational purpose.
They come with a view “As you can’t come to us, we thought we’d come to you!”
In this Roald Dahl museum, you can find many things amazing. You can explore the Writing Hut, Roald Dahl Story Ideas book.
There are even great activities that kids can come along from home, like Make a chocolate wrapper ball, and make a wonka factory machine.
NASA GLENN RESEARCH CENTER
Nasa Glenn Research Center offers amazing technology minded views. It’s very futuristics. It is movie like sightseeing. NASA Glenn Virtual Tours invite you to get an inside look at NASA Glenn Research Center’s facilities. You can select a tour and tap the icons to view videos, images and see testing in action.
There are supersonic wind tunnel, low speed wind tunnel, The electric propulsion and power laboratory, icing research tunnel, ballistic impact lab, flight research building, and many more.
See it in action. This is just one of them:
Want to explore more about Nasa Glenn Research Center and be amazed?
National Museums Scotland
National Museums Scotland has been working with Google in exhibiting the museum’s key objects. With the help of Google’s advanced technology Google StreetView, a lot of scenes at the National Museum of Scotland can be explored virtually. The main parts are: Grand Gallery, Roof Terrace, Exploring East Asia, and Ancient Egypt Rediscovered.
In the online Exhibit section, you can explore:
- Scottish inventions that rocked the world
- Tele-visionary genius: John Logie Baird
- How Alexander Graham Bell Invented the Telephone
- Scotland’s Early Silver
- Next of Kin
The Benaki Museum offers various museums with 360 virtual tours. You can check:
- Museum of Greek Culture
- PIREOS 138
- Museum of Islamic Art
- The Ghia Gallery
- The Yannis Pappas Studio
- Toy Museum
- Delta House
- The Leigh Fermor House
- The Valadoros Collection
In addition, the museum provides Video series under the Multimedia category. Some other categories are:
- Multimedia: close up video series
- Exhibitions: Mr. Robinson Crusoe stayed home (adventures of design in times of crisis),
- 1821 Digital archive.
- Education: Activities for Children, and other educational programmes.
- Publications: Discover Benaki Museum Publicatons.
The Frick Collection Virtual Museum Tour
The frick collection virtual museum tour offers unique museum presentation in which the virtual museum tour is arranged into a building map that you can explore by selecting specific room. Once selected, the 360 virtual tour page will load. Wait until it is 100% loaded and you are ready to explore the virtual museum.
Here is a quick view of the map:
You can also check the art gallery that displays photos of Paintings, Sculpture, furniture, ceramics, paper paintings, textiles, clocks, medals, enamels, and many other collections.
The J. Paul Getty Museum – Los Angeles, United States
The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center displays art works from the eighth through the twenty-first century, displayed amongst a background of lofty buildings, tranquil gardens, and marvellous sight of Los Angeles. Furthermore, The collection covers European paintings, drawings, sculpture, illuminated manuscripts, decorative arts, and European, Asian, and American photographs.
The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Villa in Malibu shows Greek, Roman, and Etruscan antiquities exhibited in a setting like after a first-century Roman country house, the Villa dei Papiri in Herculaneum, Italy
The online exhibit includes:
- A historic Black Rights Protest
- Muses in the Lab: Conserving a Roman Sarcophagus
- Ishiuchi Miyako: Postwar Shadows
- Faces of Roman Egypt
- Lauder of Sant’Agnese
- Japanese-American Photographs
- Pastels in Pieces
- Fantastic Beasts of the Middle Ages
- The Destruction of Pharaoh’s Host
- Pride at the Getty
- The Artist’s Methods: Dega “waiting”
- An Enduring Icon: NotreDame Cathedral
- The Getty Book of the Dead
- Balthazar: A Black African King in Medieval
- and many more
Musee D’Orsay, Paris
The history of the Musee D’orsay – Paris, of its building is very unique. In the middle of Paris on near the Seine, opposite the Tuileries Gardens, the museum was established in the front of Orsay railway station, accomplished for the Universal Exhibition of 1900. Hence, the building of Musee D’orsay could be viewed as the former “work of art” in the Musee d’Orsay, that exhibits collections of art from the period between 1848 to 1914.
MUSEO FRIDA KAHLO – MEXICO – Virtual Museum Tour
Frida Kahlo is a famous Latin American artist in the world. The museum displays little house of Frida Kahlo. The museum displays art works of Frida Kahlo, and many of old photographs.
In the virtual museum tour, you can explore the Garden, Temporary exhibition about “appearances can be deceiving”, Frida Kahlo’s studio, and the kitchen.
THE NATIONAL GALLERY – LONDON – VIRTUAL MUSEUM TOUR
The National Gallery’s virtual tours allow us to enter the Gallery and explore one of the greatest collections of paintings virtually. We can experience the Gallery in virtual reality through desktop, phone or VR headset.
The Google virtual tour of The National Gallery let us explore some of the Gallery’s Renaissance masterpieces with Google.
THE SAN DIEGO MUSEUM OF ART
THE VATICAN MUSEUM VIRTUAL TOUR
There are so many wonderful museums in the world, but not all of them has an opportunity and resources to appear in the digital or virtual version while many others have cooperated with Google Arts and Culture to provide virtual museum tour.
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