Get your thinking caps on!
All 19 of the Smithsonian museums, along with its galleries, gardens, and the National Zoo are temporarily closed as part of a push to slow the spread of COVID-19. While you may not be able to explore these museums in person for a while, you can still experience some fascinating virtual tours from the comfort of your own couch.
There's no shortage of informative exhibits to check out. Tons of exhibits—both past and present—have been uploaded to the Smithsonian's online portal. Virtual museum guests can tour exhibits on a variety of informative subjects. Whether you're looking to research early western civilizations, study the migratory patterns of butterflies, or just geek out over replica dinosaur bones, this virtual program has something for you.
Take some time out of your day to experience an exhibit about Life in the Neogene Ocean! Or, why not brush up on Early Human Crafting Tools? If you're the kind of person who just wants to stare at animals while ignoring everything else, the Smithsonian has you covered there, too.
Visitors to the Smithsonian's virtual exhibits can explore the museum with a helpful digital interface. By clicking arrows mounted along the floor of these virtual exhibits, guests can move along the exhibit's route like they would in real life. Supplementary digital exhibitions are available for people who wish to learn more about the things they see. If people really want to, they can even digitally loiter in the Smithsonian's Ocean Terrace Cafe.
In addition to virtual tours, the Smithsonian also boasts Smithsonian Open Access which allows anyone to browse over 2.8 high-resolution images from its collections. It's difficult to overstate just how expansive and diverse the content in this program is. If you feel like studying the COVID blues away with a deep dive into 18th-century firefighter hats, Amelia Earhart's plane, or Smithsonite, this is the place. Additionally, every one of these images is available to "use, transform, and distribute." This means that you can incorporate these images into any projects that you might be using to kill time indoors.
What are your favorite Smithsonian exhibits? Let us know in the comments!