These days our homes are serving as work places, schools, playgrounds and even vacation destinations. You can’t hit the road, but you can hit the information highway for an afternoon at some of our favorite local travel spots. Go on a virtual field trip to the National Air and Space museum, travel back in time for a romp through 18th century Colonial Williamsburg or spend the day sipping chocolate milkshakes and riding Hershey Park’s virtual coasters. Read on for five trips you can take from the comfort of your couch happy travels!
Soak Up the Sweet Stuff
Grab a mug or a Mason jar and get ready to design your own King Size Shake as you sip your way through the Sweetest Place on Earth. (Don’t forget to share your creation on Facebook!). Take a spin on a virtual roller coaster (mug in hand, natch) and then print and color scenes from Hershey Park. Still want more? You can check in on Hershey’s ZooAmerica through live streams every weekday at 11 a.m.
photo: National Aquarium
Dive In To Adventure
Go on an aquatic adventure with Baltimore’s National Aquarium. Print and cut-out an octopus mask for an authentic trip under-the-sea. Looking for some 8-legged companions? You can make your own socktopus with this tutorial. Every fish knows that the best place to be is in school (pun intended), so practice your alphabet with these ABC print outs, Anemone to Zebra Mussel. Turn on the live cams for the Blacktip Reef, Jellies Invasion or Pacific Coral Reef for the perfect backdrop to this at-home fun.
photo: Colonial Williamsburg
Time Travel Back to the 18th Century
Take a trip back in time with downloadable activity pages, 18th century recipes and DIY videos on colonial crafts. Color a famous painting from the historic collection, bake gooey Chelsea buns (the 18th version of a sticky bun), cook up some carrot puffs, and try your hand at creating an authentic colonial spring wreath. And if you have any questions on how to live the 18th century life (virually), you can ask 18th celebs, like Martha Washington or Thomas Jefferson, during their live chat sessions every weekday at 2 p.m.
All Aboard! for Train Time Fun
Add some train-themed story times to your train play, courtesy of the B&O Railroad Museum. Every Tues. and Thurs. a new Junior Junction story goes live with an activity to complete after the book. You’ll also find coloring sheets, word search puzzles and history lessons on their at-home activity page.
photo: Wikilmages via Pixabay
Blast Off into Air & Space
You can virtually stroll the National Air and Space Mueum’s Udvar Hazy Center or National Mall building, but the real fun comes in hoping into the cockpits of some of the museum’s historic collection. Get panoramic views of iconic crafts like the Space Shuttle Discovery or the Spirit of St. Louis. When you’re done touring the museum, be sure to check out the space-themed games, like Pilot Pals (geared towards kids K-1).
—Meghan Yudes Meyers
featured photo: Hershey Park