By Stacey Leasca on March 20, 2020
As the global population sits at a standstill to try and stem the spread of coronavirus, cultural centers including museums, theaters, and even national parks, are stepping up to provide us a glimpse of all our favorite places right from our couch.
Via live streams, interactive videos, and endless (but wildly appreciated) social media updates, we can all still experience a bit of art, music, and mother nature. Here are seven virtual experiences to help you pass the time with loved ones while at home. Who knows, they may even inspire your wanderlust for future travels after we all get through this together.
Take in a Classic Opera
Due to the coronavirus, the Metropolitan Opera had to shutter its doors. But, for them, the show must go on(line).
“A day after canceling upcoming performances due to concerns around the coronavirus, the Metropolitan Opera announced that it would stream encore presentations from the award-winning Live in HD series of cinema transmissions on the company website for the duration of the closure,” the opera shared in a statement.
Performances include Bizet’s Carmen, Puccini’s La Bohème, Verdi’s Il Trovatore, and more. Check the opera’s website for the full schedule. By the way, they aren’t the only opera going digital. The Vienna State Opera is also sharing its various performances, along with Italy’s Teatro Regio too.
British Museum, London
The British Museum, a true London icon, is still inviting curious visitors to enter the museum via virtual tours.
“We’ll be updating and adding to digital content during the period we’re closed to allow visitors to stay in touch with the Museum,” Hartwig Fischer, director of the British Museum, shared in a statement. “We’ll share our collections, research, and programs in new ways that will not require a trip to the Museum.”
Check out the museum’s virtual tours via Google Street View here.
Live Stream Broadway Shows
Broadway had to close down too, but don’t worry, BroadwayHD is here to fill the void. The streaming service, started in 2015, has long brought the world all of its favorite shows right on their computers and televisions.
The service is currently streaming hits like Cats, The King and I, Sound of Music, Kinky Boots, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill, A Night with Janis Joplin, Ann, Driving Ms. Daisy, and many more. Best of all, BroadwayHD offers a seven-day free trial, but its regular $8.99 monthly plan isn’t too shabby either.
Hop on a Virtual Flight to Paris to Visit the Louvre
Like the British Museum, the Louvre in Paris had to sadly close to in-person visitors too for the foreseeable future. However, it’s making up for it by offering virtual tours of the Egyptian antiquities collection, remains of the Louvre’s moat, along with a gorgeous view of Galerie d’Apollon. See the tour options and get lost in history here.
Take a Walk in the (National) Park
Though it’s still OK to go outside and take a walk at a social distance (that’s six feet apart in case you didn’t know), many of us can’t quite get to an outdoor space. But, don’t worry, America’s National Parks Service has your back. The parks partnered with Google to follow a few park rangers through some of the most stunning hikes in the nation and are inviting you all to come along for the journey. Check out all the virtual hiking options here.
Stare at the Ceiling of the Sistine Chapel
Feeling like you need to just sit and stare at the ceiling right now? Rather than looking at your own, you can now sit back and look at the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Virtual visitors are invited to tour the interior artworks and explore every inch of the ceiling, known as “The Last Judgment,” painted by Michelangelo. View the chapel in all its glory here.
Walk Along the Great Wall of China
History and travel collide at the Great Wall of China. The China Guide is offering home-bound travelers the chance to explore portions of the Great Wall without all the crowds.
“As China’s most famous attraction, the Great Wall of China is an essential stop on any trip to China,” The China Guide shared on its website. “Commonly considered a wonder of the world, the Great Wall boasts a history of over 2,000 years and stretches more than 3,000 miles across several provinces of northern China, making it one of the most impressive ancient structures on the planet.”
Take a virtual walk along the 6.5-mile stretch from Jinshanling to Simatai here.