The 10 Best Free Virtual Field Trips of 2020

Stuck at home? Travel virtually all over the world instead

Just because your kids are learning at home doesn't mean you have time to take them on field trips. When you can't get away, your kids still can by taking a virtual field trip to a museum, farm, zoo or another fun location. We've compiled our list of favorites to help you keep your kids engaged and entertained.

01
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Best Tours of the World: AirPano

The Zhangjiaje Glass Bridge virtual tour
What We Like
  • Bright, well-produced videos and images.

  • Offers tours of numerous countries

  • Includes both video and still frame images.

What We Don't Like
  • What's not to like?

AirPano has a variety of tours in China, Portugal, Switzerland, and many more countries. Children can visit the Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge in China, an underwater cave in Indonesia, ski resorts in France, and more destinations around the globe. What makes this site so good is that it offers narrations of several tours, provides closeups through interactive actions, and includes short chunks of written information that's pretty easy for kids of most ages to read. The tours are also fairly short, which makes them great for younger kids but older kids will still enjoy them.

02
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Best Virtual Dairy Farm Tour: Will-O-Crest Farm

Will-O-Crest Dairy Farm virtual tour
What We Like
  • Covers all aspects of dairy farming.

  • Useful, easy-to-understand explanations of various farm activities and how milk is made.

  • Includes student questions.

What We Don't Like
  • You don't get the smell of an actual dairy farm.

  • Doesn't show other students so it can feel a little like a lecture.

Designed for 4th through 6 graders, this 45 minute tour of Will-O-Crest dairy in New York state walks learners through every step of working on a dairy farm. Students will see how calves are housed, how cows are milked and everything in between. The video is hosted by a narrator with a live instructor (employee) from the farm onsite as well.

03
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Best Aquarium Virtual Tour: National Aquarium

National Aquarium virtual tour page
What We Like
  • Very easy to find exhibits

  • Fun to explore using the 360 degree options.

What We Don't Like
  • Some scenes spin awfully quickly, which can frustrate young learners.

Baltimore's National Aquarium features more than 20000 aquatic animals. Kids can click and drag on images to navigate their way around and use arrows, the map, or a scene list to explore various exhibits. Explore 8 different areas, such as the Amazon River, a tropical rain forest, and jellyfish.

04
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Best Natural History Tour: Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Smithsonian Museum of Natural History online tours
What We Like
  • So many exhibits to see!

  • Easy, clickable maps.

  • Quick and easy to navigate around.

What We Don't Like
  • It's not always easy to read the signs in the exhibits.

This iconic museum is dedicated to understanding the natural world and the human place in it. There is so much to see that it can't possibly be listed here; thankfully, the museum offers an online tour of nearly all of its exhibits. Split this tour up into multiple lessons so kids don't get overwhelmed. Skip the ground floor and go straight to the first or second floors.

05
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Best Tour of Space: NASA

NASA Galleries page
What We Like
  • The sheer volume of space videos.

  • The approachable aspect of the videos.

  • So much more to see on the site.

What We Don't Like
  • It's not easily searchable unless you know what you're looking for.

This might be cheating a little bit because it's really a collection of videos but oh, boy. What a collection to tour! The Galleries open up a massive array of videos covering space topics from testing a parachute for Mars to moving water in space. Each video is a mini virtual tour in and of itself that will awe kids and encourage interest in science and space.

06
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Best Virtual Tour for Car Lovers: Lane Motor Museum

Lane Motor Museum virtual tour
What We Like
  • Totally unique tour.

  • An inside look that allows for deep diving into collections.

What We Don't Like
  • There's no way to tell what a specific vehicle is unless you really know cars.

Scroll to the bottom of the link to watch a fun virtual tour of one of the most unique car museums in the world. Lane Motor Museum is home to an oddball collection of vehicles dating from the 1920s up to modern day. Your child will love seeing amphibious vehicles, microcars, prototypes, and more. The tour is easy to click through and offers six different views to entertain viewers.

07
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Best National Park Virtual Tour: Yellowstone

Fort Yellowstone virtual tour page
What We Like
  • Multiple tours are offered.

  • Lots of historical information.

  • Amazing images.

What We Don't Like
  • No video tours.

  • Lots of written information that can turn off some kids.

Yellowstone offers 7 virtual tours that are appropriate for older elementary and middle school ages. There's a lot of written information along with the images, and the tours aren't in video but the information is fascinating and the photos are stunning. From learning about old Fort Yellowstone to discovering park anomalies like Mud Volcano, these tours are a great way for kids to discover unique facts about America.

08
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Best Tour of the White House: Google Arts & Culture's The White House

Google Arts & Culture's White House tour page
What We Like
  • Stunning 360 degree images.

  • You can see inside and outside the White House.

  • Offers views of 140 paintings, too.

What We Don't Like
  • Once inside a tour, it's hard to know exactly what you're looking at.

  • No search functions.

Every President since John Adams has occupied the White House and now your children can visit it, too. Google Arts & Culture offers four museum views (three tours of The White House, and one of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building) plus a look at more than 140 paintings that grace (or have graced) the walls of our country's most famous abode. 360 degree images allow kids to explore to their heart's desire.

09
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Best Tours of Nature: Nature Works Everywhere

Nature Works Everywhere virtual rainforest tour
What We Like
  • Tours are narrated and easy to follow.

  • Student handouts, vocabulary and discussion questions are provided.

What We Don't Like
  • We wish there was a larger library of tours!

Explore nature around the world with Nature Works Everywhere's virtual tours. You can visit the coral reefs of Palau, the deserts and grasslands of Africa, a rainforest (from a canoe's viewpoint), a renewable energy plant, and more. The tours are narrated and give great, quick facts to help kids learn in simple, straightforward ways. All tours are appropriate for grades 3-12 but are marked with notes about the grades most likely to enjoy them.

10
of 10

Best Historical Tour: Ellis Island

Ellis Island virtual tour
What We Like
  • Clear explanation of Ellis Island, how it worked and why it was needed.

  • Includes children asking questions of tour guides.

What We Don't Like
  • The images in much of the tour are small in order to focus on the tour guides.

Ellis Island is a key piece of American history. This virtual tour offers lots of anecdotes and features actual guides from Ellis Island telling stories, plus includes lots of pictures and views of the island. It's more appropriate for fourth grade and up, mainly due to the litany of facts and complexity of the information provided.