6 Virtual Attractions to Enjoy in Northern Virginia Right Now
Are you looking for virtual attractions to enjoy in Northern Virginia right now? We are heading into August in Northern Virginia and that means hot weather. With continued uncertainty about COVID-19 and triple digit heat, you are probably going stir crazy looking for things to do. If you are not in the mood to tackle yet another DIY project and had enough home maintenance tasks to hold you over until fall, then consider enjoying a virtual attraction from the comfort of your living room. We know, it is not quite the same as visiting live but if you have exhausted Netflix and are done renting movies, give it a try! You may be surprised at what you find and impressed with how much you can learn—and how much fun you have together as a family (laughing because dad got you lost down the hall at the Air & Space Museum). And the best part, they are all free!
Mount Vernon has a pretty good online program going! They have setup virtual tours of the mansion, streaming events from the estate, and have a pretty robust YouTube channel filled with informational stories on topics like “Did George Washington Have Wooden Teeth?” The virtual tour allows users 360 degree views of the rooms as well as recorded video and audio passages through each phase of the tour.
National Air and Space Museum
National Air and Space Museum has pretty cool virtual tours. In collaboration with Google Arts and Culture, you can tour both the National Mall Building and the Udvar-Hazy Center. While there is not any audio, the 360 views are very high quality. Additionally, there are lots of online kid-friendly quizzes and games, cockpit panoramas, artifact stories, objects in 3D and much more.
Smithsonian Museum of Natural History
The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History did a really nice job with their virtual tour and a lot of people are saying it is one of the best virtual tours for kids out there. Their virtual tours really give nice close up 360-degree- views of exhibits. The Sant Ocean Hall in particular allows you to get really up close and personal with a blue whale in ways that you really cannot inside the museum. The tours also provide lots of photo icons inside each tour allowing you to click on and view information or zoom in on images.
Both the National Museum of the United States Army and the National Museum of the Marine Corps have setup virtual tours online. The National Museum of the United States Army’s physical opening was delayed but they have setup a featured exhibits section that lets your explore a number of new exhibits and get a good interactive look at the layout of the museum. Additionally, the National Museum of the Marine Corps features a virtual tour with guided audio that starts at the entrance to the Leatherneck Gallery and later has you face-to-face with the Making Marines Gallery and much more.
The White House
Touring the White House is one of those things that are really cool but can a bit hard to do because it requires planning and an application process. Now you can take a virtual tour, and truthfully, get a pretty good look at the White House. Another Google Arts & Culture collaboration, the White House tour features 360-degree panoramic views of the Eisenhower Building include the Oval Office, the State Floor décor, and the Ground Floor plus a portrait gallery and more!
National Aquarium in Baltimore
National Aquarium in Baltimore has put together a pretty decent virtual tour that can be fun for kids to explore. The 360-degree panoramic views take you deep into the aquarium allowing viewers to explore different exhibits. And each exhibits features interactive popups fun facts to explore and learn.
So, if you are looking for something fun for the family this weekend, explore the plethora of online virtual tours available spanning the iconic Washington D.C. metro area (and beyond)!
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