Online Cabin Fever Activities for Everyone in the Family
The Critter Barn in Zeeland is about kids, families, and community, and works to connect visitors with nature, animals, and where our food comes from. Critter Barn is taking this mission online, and will be doing a Facebook Live on the Critter Barn Facebook Page each day at 11am to take you on a tour through different parts of the farm. Tune in each day to see what’s new, or check out the videos which have already been posted.
Kalamazoo Valley Museum
The Kalamazoo Valley Museum features exhibits on science, technology, and the history of Southwest Michigan, and they’re making it easy to learn from their collection online. Each day around noon, they’ll be featuring a different artifact from their collection on the Kalamazoo Valley Museum Facebook Page. Check out the Fly Fishing Kit below, made by a Kalamazoo local around 1955! You can browse through everything in the Kalamazoo Valley’s Museums’ collection here, or check out past issues of their magazine museON (great educational pieces for kids who need reading materials!)
Silver Beach Carousel
Take a first-person-perspective virtual ride on the Silver Beach Carousel. When you’re able to stop by in person, they have enough options that you could ride a different carousel figure or chariot every week for a year! Their sea serpent chariot is wheelchair accessible so everyone can ride.
Muskegon Winter Sports Complex
In light of what’s happening in the world right now, the Muskegon Winter Sports Complex is offering a way to keep your family active in the outdoors: they have begun offering some of their DUNEiversity educational programming in an online format for you to follow along with on a daily basis.
Each day they will post a new project on their Facebook page. Every activity will be designed around the three pillars of DUNEiversity: environmental education, health and wellness, and adventure. The best part… we’re going to have a lot of FUN! These activities can be done at the Sports Complex at the State Park (while still maintaining social distance) or in your own backyard. So far they’ve provided a ¼ mile fitness trail and a live-streamed yoga class, with upcoming days to include tree and plant identification, night time hiking and stargazing, scavenger hunts and more. You can find more information and resources on the Winter Sports Complex’s website.
Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park
Even though you aren’t able to visit the butterflies at the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park right now, you can check in with them on a regular basis! The gardens are providing virtual visits while they are closed to help contain the spread of COVID-19. Join them on the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park Facebook Page every day at 10am for Cozy Tales storytime, and at 2pm for a virtual visit related to their mission of horticulture and the arts. If you miss a video, you can watch them at your leisure after each live airing has ended. Their online channels can be found at @MeijerGardens on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.
Tour Manistee County from home by exploring their Historic Sites Video Series. Their videos in this series showcase more than 100 historic sites which have been documented through eight themed tours. They are showcased through HD video featuring historic photos and videos, all beautifully narrated by Manistee native, Toni Trucks.
Click through their other self-guided tours available on their website, including tours of the area’s Natural Wondersand Historic Bridges & Dams. The Manistee County Visitors Bureau has also put together an information page to list what area restaurants, attractions and lodgings may be doing differently in light of the outbreak.
Greater Lansing Area
Virtually visit more than 60 locations in the Greater Lansing area with online walk-through tours. They’ve got a great variety of places to check out, from museums to MSU locations to the Michigan State Capitol building!
Sault Ste. Marie
Explore landmarks and attractions in and around Sault Ste. Marie in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula with their 360°online tours. The videos will work on your smartphone or computer, and let you control the point-of-view to explore at your own pace. They have fourteen videos to check out, including virtual visits to a Soo Locks Boat Tour, the Tower of History, Tahquamenon Falls, Point Iroquois Light Station, the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum, and more.
The next best thing to being there: LowellArts will be sharing pieces from the West Michigan Art Competition on the LowellArts Facebook Page! These are all outstanding pieces of artwork by artists from the 25 Lower West Michigan counties. Head over to their Facebook Page to take a virtual walkthrough of the gallery, as well as to check out a new featured piece of art each day.
Grass River Natural Area
Throughout the next few weeks, the Grass River Natural Area will be providing daily resources to encourage families to get outside during these stressful times and to keep the kiddos’ minds engaged during school closures. These fun and educational activities are designed to be completed at your local natural area, a nearby park, or even in your own backyard. You can find these activities posted on the Grass River Natural Area’s Facebook Page each day, or find the archive of all the printable activities and other Fun in the Field activities on their website.
Lakeshore Museum Center
Attention all beer lovers! You may not be able to stop by the Lakeshore Museum Center’s current exhibit on the history of brewing in Muskegon, but they’ve got the next best thing: a virtual tour through the exhibit on their Facebook Page.
Michigan Maritime Museum
Join the Michigan Maritime Museum for their online Scavenger Hunt! Each day they’ll be posting a photo of an object from the museum: see if you can guess what the object is, or where at the museum it’s located. It’s a great way to gain some historical and nautical knowledge.
Thornapple Arts Council
The Thornapple Arts Council has put together a great resource to help you find ways to explore the arts online! They have both local and national opportunities, including virtual dance classes, online performing arts, and more.
Blandford Nature Center
Learn about some of our local wildlife from home, with resources from Blandford Nature Center. Learn about the nature center’s Wildlife Ambassadors, including their names, species type, habitat, diet, conservation management and other fun facts. Then once the nature center re-opens, plan a visit to meet the Wildlife Ambassadors in real life!
Oliver Art Center
The Oliver Art Center has a new exhibit scheduled to open this week: “Make Mine Abstract!” They have plans to reveal it virtually, so check the Oliver Art Center Facebook Page for updates.
Grand Rapids African American Museum & Archives
GRAAMA has a wealth of educational resources available on their website for you or your student to dig through. You’ll find podcasts, downloadable articles, and even a virtual library.
Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum
Dive into the shipwrecks of Lake Superior with the underwater research of the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum. Read the stories and explore images from dives to eight different shipwrecks discovered in Lake Superior.
Grand Rapids Children’s Museum
Feeling crafty? Check out this list of fun craft ideas from the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum. Don’t have all the materials you need on hand? Use this as a time to challenge your kids to get creative and see what other materials you have around the house that they could swap in!
If you’ve ever wondered what you’ll find in the collections of the Holland Museum, you can check out their entire collection online! Different items are pulled from the collection to be on display in the museum throughout the year, so this is a great way to get a peek behind the scenes and delve into all of the great artifacts they own. Want to browse their newest acquisitions? Here’s a link to all of the donations they’re received in 2019/2020.
Tri-Cities Historical Museum
If you or your kids are interested in history and are looking for things to do, make sure to check out the Tri-Cities Historical Museum online! They’ve got lots going on, from looking for virtual guest-curators, to wacky photo caption contests, to transcribing historical documents.
While you are unable to visit the historic facility in person, Kingman Museum of Battle Creek, MI plans to help bring the museum to you. Join the natural history museum on Facebook as they soon introduce a new series “ABC’s of Kingman” each day highlighting a different piece from their 20,000 artifact collection. Starting with A and working through the alphabet, Kingman will touch on topics from natural history, Earth science, and world culture. You’ll also find lots of great links to resources from the Kingman Museum Facebook Page, particularly links with educational & science content aimed towards kids.
Dreaming of summer and Mackinac Island? Get closer to the island with their newly-launched Mackinac Island podcast series. Each episode gives you a behind-the-scenes experience of one of Mackinac Island’s many distinctive features. Learn more about the Grand Hotel, the ferry trip to the island, and, of course, the fudge!
Inland Seas Education Association
Looking for a project for your kids to do while school is closed? Help your kids learn about water with Audit Your Water Use: Water Conservation in Everyday Life. This project from the ISEA was originally designed for classroom use, but can easily be adapted for home use.
Muskegon Museum of Art
Explore some of the pieces and exhibits at the Muskegon Museum of Art from home! They posted a virtual tour of their current exhibit “20 for 20: Celebrating Michigan Illustrators,” and are sharing different pieces from their collection on their Facebook Page (along with a great sense of humor!).
Van Andel Area
Bored while stuck at home social distancing? Van Andel Area has got you covered! Here’s a list they shared of 30 rock/metal documentaries, movies, and shows to binge while you’re staying in.
USS LST 393
The LST 393 is a “landing ship tank” which has been converted into a veterans museum, and is bursting with history on every deck. Take a virtual tour of this nationally renowned veterans museum, featuring artifacts and displays honoring those who served America and fought for the freedoms we enjoy today.
Art of Cookery
Art of Cookery is currently working on a series of online instruction and interaction to replace in person cooking classes. We are starting with comfort food, because who doesn’t need a little comforting right now? Watch for updates on these new online classes on the Art of Cookery Facebook Page.
Tibbits Opera House
Since Tibbits can’t bring you to the theatre, they’re bringing theatre to you! Tibbits is now taking an educational as well as an entertainment approach to their social media content. Visit Tibbits’ Facebook page daily, where you can watch video clips from live performances being streamed from professional artists all over the world, and maybe highlights from Tibbits’ own vault. You can also get activities to keep your kids’ creative juices flowing, or see and learn about different vocations within the theatre.
Bell’s is planning to release a series of virtual activities, including tours of the brewery, how to homebrew, recipes to make beer cocktails, and all kinds of other things. Watch for their first video release on Friday, March 27th.
The Air Zoo may be closed, but that doesn’t mean there’s not a lot happening! Check out their YouTube daily for amazing new content to ignite your imagination over the next few weeks. Learn more about what’s coming by watching their first video.
Grand Rapids Public Museum
The Museum has shifted their live stream camera to showcase the two 10-month-old Lake Sturgeon featured in the Grand Fish, Grand River exhibition. You may visit the fish anytime during the day (the tank lights are off at night so the fish can sleep).
The GRPM’s Collection of more than 250,000 artifacts and specimens can be explored online for free, anywhere, anytime. The Collections database is intended as a resource for all. In addition to exploring the Collection online, visitors may also create a login for the website, and begin to curate their own collections and digital exhibits. If they choose to make their saved collection public in the website’s Community Galleries, they may see themselves featured on the Museum’s social media channels. Learn more about curating your own collection of Museum artifacts here.
The Museum is curating additional digital content specific for families navigating schooling from home. This includes activities, lessons and curriculum to engage with the Museum’s Collections in deep and meaningful ways. Check out the digital resources and content available online, or visit the Museum’s Facebook, Instagram or Twitter pages.
West Michigan Live Camera Gallery
Explore somewhere new without leaving your home with the West Michigan Live Camera Gallery. Use it as an educational tool to explore how weather and temperatures can change drastically as you travel the state, or just click through for relaxing views from around West Michigan, including from the USS Silversides Museum, Crystal Mountain, and more.