San Diegans are currently homebound due to social distancing and widespread business closures. Your kids may not understand why trips to the museum, zoo, Safari Park or Birch Aquarium have to be put on hold. We’ve found plenty of ways for your family to enjoy some of your favorite places from home! See what the rhinos, elephants, giraffes, koalas and cute creatures are doing at the zoo and Safari Park (including Butterfly Jungle!) via live cameras, watch the fish swim through Birch Aquarium’s kelp forest in real time, spy some adorable, adoptable cats lounging at The Cat Cafe, take advantage of the San Diego Natural History Museum’s online learning experiences and videos, take an online yoga class hosted by a local yoga studio. Read on for how to explore the city without leaving the house.

Butterfly Jungle via Live Cam

San Diego Zoo Safari Park is bringing Butterfly Jungle to your home, via a new live video cam! Now you can view livestreaming video from Butterfly Jungle at sdzsafaripark.org/butterfly-cam and take a visual “walk” through the rain forest habitat. Here, you'll see some of the thousands of colorful, eye-catching butterflies as they flutter lightly through the warm air to find nectar-filled flowers, or catch of glimpse of up to 22 exotic bird species—including the critically endangered Bali myna and blue-crowned laughingthrush that reside inside the aviary, among the lush greenery.

Online: sdzsafaripark.org/butterfly-cam

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San Diego Zoo Live Cams

The San Diego Zoo is closed through March 31, but you can still see many of the Zoo's animals via their live cams. Watch the African penguins snooze, swim and waddle. See the Hamadryas baboon troop or the Gelada monkeys hang out. Spy sweet koalas climbing through the trees. Giggle watching the orangutans and siamangs swing to and fro. It's quite fun popping in to see what all of these amazing creatures are up to!

Bonus: Visit the San Diego Zoo Kids website for additional videos, stories, activities and games that will keep kiddos entertained and learning.

Online: sandiegozoo.org/live-cams

kids.sandiegozoo.org

Birch Aquarium's Live Kelp Cam

Birch Aquarium is temporarily closed to the public but their live Kelp Cam is open 24/7. (But be advised it goes dark at night since it's naturally lit by sunlight during the day). 

At time of publication, the Birch Aquarium's husbandry team is planning to keep the same feeding schedule, so you can watch divers via the Kelp Cam as they feed the animals and also as they clean the tank on Tues. and Thurs. at 12:30 p.m., on Sat. at 2 p.m. and Sun. at 10:30 a.m. (Subject to change).

This is a peaceful view into the underwater world of swimming fish and swaying kelp.

Online: aquarium.ucsd.edu/kelpcam

San Diego Safari Park Live Cams

The San Diego Zoo Safari Park is closed through March 31st but kids can enjoy watching their favorite animals in action right from home. Click on the giraffe cam to see giraffes and rhinos roaming the African Plains habitat. Then encourage your kids to join the citizen science program Wildwatch Kenya to help save giraffes. Your fam can also delight in seeing the beautiful tigers sleeping and prowling via the tiger cam. Don't miss tuning in to the elephant cam to see these gentle giants eating, playing and looking regal. There are also condor cams and burrowing owl cams of feathered friends.

Online: sandiegozoo.org/live-cams

The Nat at Home

The San Diego Natural History Museum is closed but they have plenty of ways to keep young minds enlightened and entertained. Visit their new webpage: The Nat at Home for an array of activities from exploring nature in your backyard to exploring their specimens online. They're also offering Nature & Me Storytime every Thursday at 10:15 a.m. on their Facebook and Instagram pages.

Additionally, check out their online video collection which features videos on topics including A Deep Look at a Mammoth's Skull, gray whale watching and administering medicine to a sick rattlesnake.

Additionally the Museum offers the following to keep kids engaged while home:

  • Their science blog goes back through years of research and discovery. It will continue to be updated during the Museum's closure.
  • Their educational resources are available here and include plenty of activities you can do at home.
  • Scroll through hundreds of historic texts, images, and art with their digital library resources.
  • NEW! For the paleontologist in your life, 3D models of the museum's paleontology collection are online (just check the box at top and click “submit”).

Online: sdnhm.org/education/education-resources/nat-produced-videos

The Cat Cafe's Live Stream

Here kitty, kitty! Peer in to The Cat Cafe's live stream footage to see all of the adorable kitties! They're cleaning their cute little faces by licking their paws, snoozing in cat condos, clawing rope posts and more. See how many cats you can spy. The best part: these frolicking felines are up for adoption! So if you see a cute cat that's purrfect for your family, give The Cat Cafe a call.

Online: catcafesd.com/live-stream/

Video Tour of Old Town San Diego

Take a fun video tour of Old Town San Diego. You'll learn about the restaurants, entertainment, shops and more in this exciting locale. Then your family can plan a future trip to Old Town after reading our guide to Old Town to make sure you make the most of your visit and don't miss a thing!

Online: oldtownsandiego.org/videotour

Hotel Del Coronado Live Beach Cam

Surf's up! Hotel Del Coronado's live beach cam will help you channel the soothing vibes of the ocean. Log on to see the sun rise or set over the ocean and to watch the waves crashing on the shore. It's the good for the soul vitamin 'sea' we all need.

Online: hoteldel.com/live-webcam

San Diego Museum of Art

The San Diego Museum of Art mobile app is a great resource with various languages, audio from curators, maps and additional information about works of art from the Museum’s collection. The app offers a virtual tour of the Museum, from the lower rotunda to the galleries and the Museum’s facade. Visitors can also view works from various exhibitions on the app, including Bouguereau & AmericaArt for All and more. The app is also free easily downloadable on iOS and Android devices.

Online: sdmart.org/innovation-technology

Yoga Videos from Mello Yoga

Mello Yoga is currently closed to abide by COVID-19 regulations. In the meantime, the wonderful studio is serving the community by uploading yoga videos for adults and kids to their YouTube channel. They'll be adding new videos for online classes daily––and doing yoga together is a perfect way to bond and get some exercise during your homeschool routine.

Check out Mello Yoga's YouTube channel and videos here.

When business resumes, support Mello Yoga by attending their amazing yoga classes.

Online: melloyoga.org

Explore Seattle Virtually

Check out our guide to exploring Seattle virtually as well––including cool spots like the Pacific Science Center and the Space Needle.

Online: redtri.com/seattle/museums-and-attractions-with-virtual-programs-in-seattle

Explore San Francisco Virtually

See what's happening in the Bay Area from home. Explore activities like live animal feedings at Monterey Bay Aquarium and see what the sea lions at Pier 39 are up to!

Online: redtri.com/san-francisco/virtual-tours-online-classes-for-kids-san-francisco/

Be sure to check our events calendar for additional virtual experiences like live storytimes from your kid’s favorite authors!

––Beth Shea

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