Virtual Tours & Activities

FOR READERS

For those of you who prefer a good book and you’re unable to visit your local library due to current health restrictions, we’ve compiled a list below of websites offering¬†FREE¬†books to read. Most are kindle compatible!

If you’re looking for classics online, the Library of Congress has got you covered. With more than 60 classic books available on an easy-to-use interface, this is the perfect website if you have a specific classic you’re looking to read. This archive also includes children’s classics like Alice in Wonderland and Cinderella.

Open Library‚Äės¬†goal is to create a web page for every book ever published. This easy-to-navigate website archive has more than 1 million books on it, which makes it the perfect place to read books for free online. If you‚Äôre searching for a specific book to read, use the search bar. When you get your results, make sure the ‚ÄúEbooks‚ÄĚ box is checked so that the results only show you free books to read.

Founded in 1971, Project Gutenberg is the oldest eBook collection online. While the website asks for donations, no fees are required for reading the free online books they offer. There are currently more than 56,000 eBooks to choose from, and they are Kindle-compatible and easy to download.

 

 

VIRTUAL TOURS & WEBCAMS

The effects of social distancing¬†have left many feeling, well, a little stir-crazy.¬†Though we all try to stay busy and active at home¬†during the¬†COVID-19 outbreak, it’s easy to fall into a rut. Luckily, there’s more than one way to¬†stave off boredom¬†while staying indoors.

Instead of binging¬†the best of what Netflix has to offer¬†for the second time, it’s time to broaden your horizons with some virtual tours.

“Walk” through some of the world’s most prestigious cultural institutions, like The Met and The American Museum of Natural History, then go for a “ride” on Disney’s new¬†Frozen¬†roller coaster with the kids. And regardless of your age, we think everyone will enjoy some live footage of pandas playing at the zoo!

MUSEUMS

  • The Louvre:¬†You don’t have to book a ticket to Paris to check out some of the famous pieces in the world’s largest art museum. The Louvre has¬†free online tours¬†of three famous exhibits, including Egyptian Antiquities.

  • Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum:¬†The works of Pablo Picasso, Piet Mondrian,¬†Jeff Koons, and Franz Marc are just some of the 625 artists whose work are a part of the Guggenheim’s¬†Collection Online.

  • Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History:¬†Move at your own pace through the 360-degree room-by-room tour of¬†every¬†exhibit in the museum.

  • Van Gogh Museum:¬†You can get up close and personal with the impressionist painter’s most famous work thanks to¬†Google Arts & Culture.

  • Getty Museum:¬†Los Angeles’s premiere gallery has¬†two virtual tours, including “Eat, Drink, and Be Merry,” which is a closer look at food in the Middle Ages and Renaissance.

  • The Vatican Museum:¬†The Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica, and Raphael’s Room, are just some of the sites you can see on the¬†Vatican’s virtual tour.

  • Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum:¬†Madrid’s must-see art museum has the works of some of the continent’s most celebrated artists like Rembrandt and Dali¬†available online.

  • Georgia O‚ÄôKeeffe Museum:¬†Six virtual exhibits¬†are available online from this museum named for the “Mother of American modernism.”

  • National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City:¬†Dive into the pre-Hispanic history of Mexico with¬†23 exhibit rooms¬†full of Mayan artifacts.

  • British Museum, London:¬†The Rosetta Stone and Egyptian mummies are just a couple of things that you’re able to see on a¬†virtual tour¬†of the museum.

  • NASA:¬†Both Virginia’s¬†Langley Research Center¬†and Ohio’s¬†Glenn Research Center¬†offer online tours for free. Also, you can try some “augmented reality experiences” via¬†The Space Center¬†Houston’s app.

  • National Women’s History Museum:¬†Have a late International Women’s Day celebration with¬†online exhibits¬†and¬†oral histories¬†from the Virginia museum.

  • Metropolitan Museum of Art:¬†Though the Met Gala was cancelled this year, you can still have a peak at the The Costume Institute Conversation Lab, which is one of the institution’s¬†26 online exhibits.

  • High Museum of Art, Atlanta:¬†This museum’s popular online exhibits include¬†“Civil Rights Photography”¬†‚ÄĒ photos that capture moments of social protest like the Freedom Rides and Rosa Park’s arrest.

  • Detroit Institute of Arts:¬†Mexican art icon Frida Kahlo is the focal point of two of the four available¬†online exhibits.

  • Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam:¬†The Golden Age of Dutch art is highlighted in this museum which includes the work of¬†Vermeer and Rembrandt.

  • National Museum of the United States Air Force:¬†You can’t take a ride in Franklin D. Roosevelt’s presidential airplane, but you can check it out, in addition to other military weapons and aircraft, online in the Air Force’s¬†official museum.

  • MoMA¬†(The Museum of Modern Art):¬†New York’s extensive collection is available for¬†view online.

  • Museum of Fine Arts, Boston:¬†The¬†16 virtual exhibits¬†include a special section on 21st Century Designer Fashion.

ZOOS & AQUARIUMS

  • The Cincinnati Zoo:¬†Check in around 3 p.m., because that’s the time the Zoo holds a daily Home Safari on its¬†Facebook Live Feed.

  • Atlanta Zoo:¬†The Georgia zoo keeps a “Panda Cam”¬†livestream on its website.

  • Georgia Aquarium:¬†Sea-dwellers like African penguins and Beluga Whales are the stars of this aquarium’s¬†live cam.

  • Houston Zoo:¬†There are plenty of different animals you can check in on with this¬†zoo’s live cam,¬†but we highly recommend watching the playful elephants.

  • The Shedd Aquarium:¬†This Chicago aquarium shares some pretty adorable behind-the-scenes footage of their residents on¬†Facebook.

  • San Diego Zoo:¬†With what may be the most¬†live cam options,¬†this zoo lets you switch between koalas, polar bears, and tigers in one sitting.

  • Monterey Bay Aquarium:¬†It can be Shark Week every week thanks to live online footage of¬†Monterey Bay’s Habitat exhibit.

  • National Aquarium:¬†Walk through tropical waters to the icy tundra in this¬†floor-by-floor tour¬†of the famous, Baltimore-based aquarium.

THEME PARKS

THEATER

Head to BroadwayHD, which has a library of about 300 productions on hand. It’ll give you a seven-day free trial, so you can stream as many shows, plays, and ballets as your musically deprived heart desires.

If that’s not enough, you can check out Digital Theatre (which has a lot of British productions specifically).

Because even if the show can’t go on, there’s no harm in pretending otherwise for a couple of hours. At least until we’re safe and the theaters open up again.

 

GAMES

Are you missing your weekly bridge games with friends? We found an option that may keep you busy while you are staying home.

AARP has various games including Bridge, Solitaire, Mahjonng, Poker, Chess, crossword puzzles and many others you can play online for free!

To view the full list of available games, click HERE

To go directly to the bridge game page, click HERE

LOCAL WEBCAMS

Many of you have already headed back north and those of you still here on our beautiful island may not have the ability to venture outside and take a look at our lovely views & sunsets.

Well, we’re bringing it to you! Click the images below to view live webcam feeds from our area!

Bird Key Yacht Club Live Stream
Bird Key Yacht Club – view of Sarasota Bay
Siesta Key Beach
Harrington House Bed & Breakfast – Holmes Beach
St. Petersburg Beach – Tradewinds Beach Resort