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Taking the Kids: 16 virtual travel adventures to inspire your future trips (once it's safe)

Eileen Ogintz, Tribune Content Agency on

Are you cruise fans? Explore Carnival Cruise Line’s newest ship, Mardi Gras. Take more virtual cruise ship tours here.

Tour great European sites with Viking.TV, a free platform that features livestreams, audience Q&A and on-demand programming with new content added every week with guides you wouldn’t otherwise meet — like the Earl of Carnarvon, whose home, Highclere Castle, was the setting for “Downton Abbey.”

Disney fans? Let it Go with a virtual viewing of Disney Cruise Line’s “Frozen: A Musical Spectacular’’ or “Tangled: The Musical.” If you’re looking for the happiest place online, it may just be @DisneyParks on TikTok. This very popular new channel features the magic of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products!

Got young artists in the house? You will find virtual exhibit tours and special activities for kids at large and small museums these days. San Diego's iconic art museum, The San Diego Museum of Art, is offering a number of virtual experiences for art lovers of all ages via its Virtual SDMA online offerings. For families and young artists, SDMA At Play features weekly at-home art activities, drawing exercises, printouts, how-tos and more from the SDMA education team

Young scientists? The interactive Exploratorium, always a hit for families, has a vast collection of online activities and resources that feed your curiosity and help you explore science, art and human perception, including the Learning Toolbox to help learners of all ages explore how viruses impact us.

Check out the full list of virtual encounters (both free and ticketed) at Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium, which include a Virtual Sea Lion Encounter (All ages, Cost $49.95.)

Enjoy far-flung sites and help out-of-work local guides with Tours by Locals virtual tours, whether you want to explore the Tower of London, Machu Picchu or Lisbon’s famous Seven Hills — there are 159 different live tours in 30 countries. The cost of the virtual tour can be redeemed against the cost of a future in-person tour with the same guide.

Try yoga. (Omflow Yoga offers live classes online 24/7 starting at $5 per class.)


Go birding (Meet bald eagles, Jackie (female) and Shadow (male), who’ve become local celebrities over the past few years in Big Bear Lake (where they nest in a 120-foot-tall Jeffrey Pine tree). Viewers all over the world watch them lay/hatch eggs every winter.

Have a virtual birthday party by visiting a farm — Leaping Lamb Farm in Oregon offers Virtual Field Trips and birthday parties so you can explore the farm, see the animals and learn about farming.

Happy travels — virtually — for now, anyway.


(For more Taking the Kids, visit and also follow TakingTheKids on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram where Eileen Ogintz welcomes your questions and comments. The Kid’s Guide to Philadelphia, the 13th in the kid’s guide series, was published in 2020, with The Kid’s Guide to Camping coming in 2021.)

©2021 Eileen Ogintz. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.




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