Trying to plan the next great quarantine activity? We’ve got a long list. From books to read to closets to organize to best shows to binge and exercise classes going online. All great options but here’s one that’s a little different. For starters, it’s got a bit of travel. Then a bit of sophistication. And finally, a whole lot of culture. Check out our list of virtual museum tours. They will transport you and your family to some of the most amazing museums, galleries and exhibits in the world. You will feel so fabulous, you might want to upgrade your lounge wear for this one.
An idea to get younger kids involved? Grab some white paper and colored pencils. Have them draw along with their favorite pieces—or use as inspiration for their next great masterpiece.
First stop, Paris! This historic museum is open for online business—and virtual tours. There are four exhibits to view online. Exhibition: The Advent of the Artist, Egyptian Antiquities, Remains of the Louvre’s Moat and Galerie d’Apollon.
Housed in the former Orsay railway station near the banks of the Seine, the ornate architectural building is considered a work of art itself. The collection can be viewed virtually through a walking tour called “From Station to the Renovated Musée d’Orsay.” In this 278 piece collection are works of art from Impressionism to post-Impressionism, modern, canvas and more.
The mission of the Vatican museums is meaningful. “To present, preserve and share that extraordinary legacy of culture, history, and beauty that the Roman Pontiffs have collected and preserved for centuries.” And they share much of this in seven virtual tours. These include collections, rooms and chapels, like the famed Sistine Chapel.
This gallery—the most extensive collection of portraits in the world—is a stop on any London itinerary. And you can view its famed galleries virtually. There are seven tours in all. Each takes you through a bygone era with art still relevant today. Search tours by time period, from Tudors and Elizabethans to Victorian, 20th Century and contemporary. Or search by theme or by recent aquisitions.
The National Gallery
In collaboration with Google Street View, you can virtually tour this renowned institution. You can “walk” through Renaissance paintings in the Gallery and the Sainsbury Wing as well as tour 18 other rooms of the museum, viewing more than 300 paintings in the collection.
Vincent Van Gogh may have lived in the 19th century. But the eponymous museum that houses the largest collection of his works is all 21st century. The museum has it’s own YouTube channel with virtual tours that take you into his portrait gallery and more.
The Met, as it is so fondly known, is the largest museum in the United States. It’s architecture and grounds are as stunning as some of its most notable collections. To bring the Metropolitan Museum of Art experience to people around the world, the museum created the Met 360° project. This is an award-winning series of six short videos. The immersive experience the Met’s art and architecture also boasts behind-the-scenes footage. Viewers stand in an empty gallery after-hours. Are exposed to a bustling space in time-lapse. May hover above The Met Cloisters for a bird’s-eye view. Then there is also the tour of the distinguished Arms and Armor Galleries.
Take a virtual tour of the Guggenheim, view images online or take part in their personalized at-home programming. Sketch with a Guggenheim teaching artist. At-home art classes centered around the Guggenheim architecture and collections. Guggenheim Family Tours with creative, hands-on gallery activities. Some online programming are for a fee.
The National Museum of Natural History is part of the Smithsonian Institution. The NMNH created virtual room-by-room tours for many of its exhibits and areas.
The most-visited museum in the country currently has 49 online exhibits, 1,971 items to view in its online collection, and virtual tours of the first and second floors, and its companion facility, the Udvar-Hazy Center’s first and second floor at the Washington Dulles International Airport.