Across the world, museums, zoos, theaters, parks, and other organizations are participating in notable live streams and making their digital content free to access to help us through these quarantined times. If you're longing for a change of environment and a solo walk around your neighborhood just isn't cutting it, we've compiled some excellent online resources available to expand your mind and soothe your anxiety, from a tour of the Louvre to nightly rebroadcasts of Metropolitan Opera performances to live videos of San Diego Zoo animals.
J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles)
Famous for its Medieval illuminated manuscripts—and once valued as the richest museum in the world—the Getty is available for tours via Google Street View. That means you can enjoy the grounds' hypnotizing circular gardens in addition to its collection of artwork and sculptures.
Save yourself the trouble of capturing a photo that makes your index finger appear to be touching the tip of this pointy museum and take a virtual tour instead. The famous Parisian tourist site offers interactive panoramas of its Galerie d'Apollon and Egyptian antiques exhibit, among others.
Musée D'Orsay (Paris)
Even if you could travel to Paris's Left Bank to visit the former railway station that is the Musée D'Orsay, you'd find that it, like many museums in Seattle, is closed. Luckily, you can take a cyber stroll through its galleries to see van Gogh's famous self-portrait and other impressionist and post-impressionist masterpieces.
National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (Seoul)
There's a lot to see at the Seoul outpost of this Korean museum complex, but definitely check out the retrospective of works by Korean modern and abstract pioneer Yoo Youngkuk. This Google Maps tour offers both an interactive video feature and slides focusing on select exhibits.
Palace of Versailles (France)
One benefit of virtually touring the mirror-lined hallways and manicured gardens of Versailles, the principal royal residence of France between the reigns of Louis XIV and Louis XVI, is that you won't get lost.
Smithsonian Museum of Natural History (New York, Washington D.C.)
Starting at the front desk where Ben Stiller himself sat in Night at the Museum, take yourself on a digital walk through the Museum of Natural History's permanent, current, and past exhibits, and come away with new knowledge of prehistoric life.
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York)
New York's Guggenheim Museum, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and considered a landmark work of 20th-century architecture, houses works by the likes of Paul Cézanne, Amedeo Modigliani, Helen Frankenthaler, and Vincent van Gogh, along with rotating contemporary exhibits. Explore the collection via Google Street View, which has a feature that tells you details about some (but not all) pieces.
Uffizi Gallery (Florence)
Home to the art collection of the de' Medici family, this museum features Botticelli's Birth of Venus, Caravaggio's Medusa, and lots of beautiful granite hallways that you'll have to imagine are populated with people while you explore via your computer screen.
Great Wall of China Digital Hike
Stretching more than 3,000 miles across several provinces of northern China, the Great Wall is an ancient structure worth exploring digitally until traveling abroad is safe again. This virtual hike will take you from Jinshanling to Simatai, a seven-ish-mile stretch that boasts some very cool views.
Kennedy Space Center Virtual Tours
The Kennedy Space Center (FKA the NASA Launch Operations Center) in Merritt Island, Florida, is NASA's primary launch center of human spaceflight. Astro-loving kids and adults alike can tour their Visitor Complex via livestreams, which take place every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday on their Facebook page. If you miss one, don't worry—they'll post the playbacks. You can also check out a number of educational videos (and even a reading of Dr. Suess's There's No Place Like Space) on Facebook, as well.
National Parks Virtual Tours
Five US national parks (Hawaiʻi Volcanoes, Alaska's Kenai Fjords, New Mexico's Carlsbad Caverns, Utah's Bryce Canyon, and Florida's Dry Tortugas) have teamed up with Google Arts & Culture so you can enjoy desert vistas and snowy terrains from home.
Northern Lights Livestream
Visible when the earth's magnetic fields interact with charged particles from the sun, the beautiful Northern Lights are streaming on a webcam set up in Churchill, Manitoba, Canada.
Virtual Disneyland Rides
Virtually experience Space Mountain and other classic Disneyland rides in 4K, courtesy of people who have ridden them in real life.
ANIMALS & NATURE
Atlanta Zoo Panda Cam
The Atlanta Zoo houses more than just pandas, but the fluffy black and white cuties get all the attention on their website.
Audubon Puffin Burrow
These Atlantic puffins love to be cozy. Watch them lounge and occasionally mingle off the coast of Maine in a burrow where they raise their young.
Baby Goat Livestream
Watch kids (as in baby goats, not small humans) hop around a pen with their adorable clip-clop feet.
Bald Eagle Nest
If you've only ever spotted a member of the endangered species flying through the air, here's your chance to see them sleeping in a nest and watching the sky on big branches.
Georgia Aquarium’s Beluga Whales Live Cam
Great big Beluga whales wave their graceful tails in an aqua-blue expanse at the Georgia Aquarium.
Go on Safari
Getting out of the house is not a thing we're supposed to be doing unless absolutely necessary, but there's a lot of outdoorsy folks that might be reading and wishing there was some way to slake their wanderlust. That's where Twitch.tv comes in! Normally Twitch is where sub-cable-access-level "talents" earn millions for playing other people's video games as loudly as possible, but it's also home to WildEarth, a channel that livestreams walks through a game reserve in South Africa. The stream isn't consistently on at all times, but that's okay because you can check out their video clips for on-demand wildlife just chilling out.
Houston Zoo Livestream
Wach Texan giraffes, gorillas, elephants, rhinos, and even leafcutter ants on the Houston Zoo's live webcams.
Get a close look at a hummingbird nest. Sometimes you'll be looking at eggs and sometimes you'll be looking at a very pretty long-beaked creature sitting on those eggs.
Monterey Bay Aquarium
Sea otters, jellyfish, and sharks alike are recorded live at the famous Monterey Bay Aquarium.
National Parks Wildlife Cams
Peek inside the everyday lives of Brooks River brown bears, Channel Islands sea creatures, and bald eagles on the National Parks Service's wildlife webcams.
San Diego Zoo Live Cam
A handful of the well-known zoo's 3,500 animals are going about business as usual. See the whereabouts of baboons, penguins, pandas, polar bears, apes, koalas, giraffes, and other residents on their live cam page.
Fishies of many shapes and sizes swim around in this tropical reef exhibit modeled after the coast of Palau.
Wolong Grove Panda
Watch big fluffy bears mostly take naps in the yards of the Shenshuping Gengda Panda Center in China's Wolong Valley via Explore Bears & Bison's live cam.
MUSIC SHOWS & SPECIAL EVENTS
Aaron Bruno from Awolnation
Aaron Bruno from Awolnation (you know their song "Sail") will perform live on his Instagram.
Wednesday, March 25
Brightminded with Miley Cyrus
The March 25 #WomensWednesday edition of Miley Cyrus's incredibly fun Instagram talk series Bright Minded will welcome special guests Bebe Rexha, Reese Witherspoon, Hillary Duff, and Dua Lipa. Watch new episodes every weekday.
Christine and the Queens
French pop singer-songwriter Christine and the Queens (aka Héloïse Adelaïde Letissier) livestreams performances and discussions every morning (or every evening, if you're in France) on her Instagram.
Couch Party: A Voter Registration Live Set
Remember that election we have coming up in a few months? DJ D-Nice will be teaming up with Michelle Obama for a "couch party" encouraging you to register to vote. Mrs. Obama will surely be answering your questions as they roll in via Instagram Live.
Wednesday, March 25
Elton John - Music’s Most Dazzling and Enduring Superstar
Happy birthday, Elton John! In honor of this special occasion, the Morrison Hotel Gallery will show the Elton John portion of the special online photography exhibition SIR: A Retrospective of Rock Royalty, which officially premieres online on April 2.
Wednesday, March 25
Start your mornings with a live digital performance from the great jazz pianist Fred Hersch on Facebook Live.
Through April 11
Country music legend Garth Brooks will stream "Live From Studio G" (aka his home) on Mondays.
Global Citizen's #TogetherAtHome Concerts
Catch artists Anne-Marie (11 a.m.), JoJo (12 p.m.), Jennifer Hudson (1 p.m.), Sofi Tukker (1 p.m.), H.E.R. (2 p.m.), Bush (2:30 p.m.), Kirk Franklin (3:30 p.m.) and Guy Sebastian (6 p.m.) performing live #TogetherAtHome concerts on their respective Instagram pages.
Wednesday, March 25
Guitar Lessons with James Bay
English singer-songwriter and guitarist James Bay will return to his music-teaching days by showing you how to play a few of his songs on Instagram Live. This one's for the night owls—it's at 5 p.m. UK time, which is 1 a.m. PST (so, early on March 26).
Wednesday, March 25
The Honey Badgers
Delaware-based folk duo and Homey Award winners the Honey Badgers will come to you live from their living room.
Wednesday, March 25
In My Room
Rolling Stone is launching a new IGTV series called "In My Room," which kicked off with a performance by Beach Boys legend Brian Wilson in his California home. See new episodes every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at noon. They reveal the artists on their Instagram page soon before each episode.
Want to be personally serenaded by Swedish singer-songwriter Jens Lekman? The musician will play requested songs one Skype call at a time for an hour a day.
Johnny Gandelsman Plays Bach: Cello Suite No. 1 (arr. violin)
You have several chances to hear classical Russian violinist Johnny Gandelsman play Bach's Cello Suite No. 1 on Facebook Live.
Through March 30
Junction Trio: Conrad Tao, Stefan Jackiw, Jay Campbell
The eclectic ensemble Junction Trio—composed of Stefan Jackiw on violin, Jay Campbell on cello, and Conrad Tao on piano—will perform two masterworks of the piano trio repertoire: Charles Ives' "American Piano Trio" and Beethoven’s epic "Archduke," via livestream.
Tuesday, March 24
American Idol vet Katherine Foster (née McPhee) and her husband David Foster will play the piano and sing on her Instagram, joined by special guests.
English singer-songwriter L Devine will supplant her in-person tour with a "URL tour" on various social media platforms.
Through March 30
Lockdown Livestream with Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn
Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn's Lockdown Livestream will take place every Friday on Facebook Live for all your end-of-the-week banjo needs.
Through April 10
Opening Act Virtual Gathering
Opening Act will host a virtual gathering with Aja Naomi King, Anthony Ramos, Billy Porter, James Monroe Iglehart, Jared Gertner, Kenny Leon, and more Broadway stars. Tune in at 3 p.m. for a red carpet pre-show with Broadway's Jared Gertner.
Wednesday, March 25
Pay It Forward Live: Dave Matthews
Verizon's new charitable online concert series will benefit small businesses taking a loss from COVID-19 closure requirements. It'll kick off with a 30-minute at-home performance with country-rock legend Dave Matthews on Thursday, March 26. Tune in on Yahoo! or Verizon's Twitter page.
Rick Maguire from Pile
The lead singer of Nashville-based indie-punk band Pile will hark back to his solo days with a live set on his social media pages.
Friday, April 3
Virtual Exstatic Dance Party: 20 DJs in 24 hours
Yes, this DJ dance party starts at 4 in the morning, but it lasts for 24 hours. Twenty DJs will take turns manning the decks, so you can tune in whenever you need a little pep in your step.
In response to venue closures across the US, this online music festival started by Allen Thompson and Rodney McCarthy will bring you a series of livestreamed concerts with Sierra Ferrell (March 25), Horseshoes & Hand Grenades (March 28), and other artists.
Wigmore Hall Re-Broadcasts
London's Wigmore Hall's past livestreamed events are now available to view on demand. Get your Beethoven fix here.
Broadway HD Livestream
Broadway HD is offering a seven-day free trial for new viewers to experience classic and new musicals on their website.
Hampstead Theatre Livestream
London's Hampstead Theatre will stream performances on-demand for a whole week on Instagram.
The Kennedy Center Digital Stage
Washington, D.C.'s John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts will show original works, new clips, and picks from their archives that you can peruse at your will. Plus, resident artist Mo Willems invites you to join him every weekday for virtual lunchtime doodling (which on the West Coast is late-morning doodling, at 10 a.m.).
Live Readings with Tommy Pico
In anticipation of the April audiobook release of his book Nature Poem, Kumeyaay Brooklyn-based poet/editor Tommy Pico will read excerpts live on Instagram every Sunday.
Nightly Metropolitan Opera Streams
NYC's legendary Metropolitan Opera will stream free encore performances from their Live in HD series, including Wagner’s Siegfried (March 26), Götterdämmerung (March 27), and Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (March 28),
Through March 29
Opéra de Paris: 'Manon'
Enjoy a livestream of Jules Massenet's five-act comedic opera Manon, fittingly performed by the Opéra national de Paris, on medici.tv.
Wednesday, March 25
Readings By Writers
Every Monday and Thursday, Readings By Writers will host a writer on Zoom, including Pam Houston (March 26), Paul Lisicky (April 2), Rebecca Solnit (April 16), and Garth Greenwell (June 4).
March 26-June 4
Royal Opera House Livestreams
The iconic Covent Garden opera house will stream opera and ballet performances, as well as behind-the-scenes looks at its beautiful interiors, on Facebook and YouTube.
Wiener Staatsoper Daily Livestreams
The Vienna State Opera is opening its livestream archives for free. Tune in for rebroadcasts of Gioachino Rossini's La Cenerentola (Wednesday, March 25), Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro (Friday, March 27), and other great works.
Through April 2
Handmade Pasta with Grandma
Can you imagine anything more comforting than learning to make pasta with the guidance of a sweet Italian grandmother? Normally, Nonna Nerina hosts in-person classes in her home in Rome, but in light of social distancing, Nerina and her sisters are going live on the interwebs for two-hour sessions. A week before your class, you'll receive a shopping list of ingredients and utensils to buy to make things like ravioli with butter, gnocchi with pesto, cannelloni, and other wholesome dishes.
Scholastic Learn At Home
From PreK to ninth grade, Scholastic has several online programs to help educate kids during school closures.
CorePower Yoga on Demand
The studio chain that offers flow, sweat, and savasana classes is helping people keep up their practice with online classes.
SoulCycle Off the Bike
You don't need a fancy stationary exercise bike to participate in SoulCycle's infamously intense spin classes.
The Y offers online health and fitness classes for all ages.
OTHER COOL RESOURCES
Interactive Internet Apps
Platforms like Zoom, Google, and Netflix are serving as tools for "our reconfigured socialization," as Vox puts it. Give these virtual hangouts a go to connect with loved ones who are quarantined in faraway places.
JSTOR Open Access
Libraries are closed, but here's some good news: Your favorite research database, which has over 6,000 accessible ebooks and over 150 journals, has expanded much of its material to be free and available to the public.
NASA Digital Resources
NASA has made its entire media library (which includes over 140,000 images, sounds, and videos) available to the public. Not a bad deal if you feel the need to escape this planet for a while.