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As restrictions are reimposed in Sacramento amid the coronavirus pandemic, parents are beginning to think about pushing back or canceling their summer vacation plans. But relax! There are ways to have a virtual trip to many popular zoos and theme parks from the comfort of your own home. Having a virtual summer vacation for kids is the new way for your child to bounce back into action!
Self-isolation has, unfortunately, become the new normal. Parents are not considering the thought of bringing the whole family on a summer vacation and taking a flight like they usually do each year. But perhaps a virtual summer vacation to zoos and theme parks would spark some interest in your child. Advancements in technology have allowed many sought-after family destinations to create virtual tours and interactive experiences that everyone in the family can enjoy.
Our youngsters are often glued firmly to an electronic device, and now is the time to use this to your advantage. Children tend to seek adventure, but now that so many places are closed to the public, it can be hard to give them the adventure they crave. But if you can’t go find an adventure, why not bring the adventure to your home? In place of a summer vacation trip, you can take your kids on a virtual summer vacation to zoos and theme parks around the world.
Whether it’s a virtual trip to the San Diego Zoo, or checking off your bucket list destinations like Universal Studios Japan, you can go anywhere. These virtual attractions to the zoos and theme parks are done through webcams, while others are immersive videos. They’re all designed to provide kids and the whole family with an immersive experience so that you feel like you’re actually there. Our list of virtual summer vacations for kids offers a variety of virtual tours your family can do together at home. No social distancing required!
Zoo Atlanta is one of only three zoos in the US housing giant pandas and is home to one of North America’s largest zoological populations of great apes. Their online offering is solely-focused on pandas. The Georgia zoo keeps a “Panda Cam” Livestream on its website. Head over and check out these rolly polly guys in action and get in a little laugh at their antics.
Take a virtual summer vacation for kids to the Atlanta Zoo and experience a step on the wild side. They are giving a virtual lesson about different animals you will encounter at the zoo. It will help develop a presentation on one of the two animals encountered.
It is home to the world-famous and world’s cutest baby hippo, Fiona! There are a whole series of videos of Fiona and other beautiful animals here, including lion cubs, a Galapagos tortoise, tigers, giraffes, and more. And you can learn about all the animals in the zoo.
Visit their Facebook page for plenty of educational videos featuring the zookeepers, explaining all about the animals. These home safaris feature videos also include craft ideas that can be completed indoors or in the garden. Check the virtual trip to these fantastic animals around 3 PM EST, because that’s when the zoo holds a daily Home Safari on its Facebook Live Feed. If you don’t have social media or would prefer to watch them differently, they post the video to the Cincinnati Zoo website the next day.
It is home to over 700 different species and homes thousands of animals. There are plenty of different animals you can check in on with this zoo’s live cam, but we highly recommend watching the playful elephants. Tune in to the Houston Zoo Webcams and enjoy a live look at animals that call this zoo their home!
See the herd of Asian elephants wander through their enormous habitat. Watch as giraffes nibble lettuce fed to them by guests at the feeding platform. See the rhinos roll in their mud puddle, or the flamingos float next to a waterfall. You can see chimpanzees interact with guests at their window or snooze in a hammock. Viewers are even encouraged to ask the zookeepers questions in real-time.
San Diego, California
Zoos and theme parks are one of the kids’ favorite summer destinations. And this 100-acre zoo shouldn’t be missed out on your go-to virtual trip. It is home to more than 3,500 rare and endangered animals representing more than 650 species and subspecies, and a prominent botanical collection with more than 700,000 exotic plants. They have several live streams going on throughout the day, focusing on various animals.
With what may be the most live cam options, this zoo lets you switch between koalas, polar bears, apes, elephants, giraffes, and tigers in one setting. They also have a special website for kids, filled with videos and games, and interactive activities. Get an up-close look at the scaly, furry & feathered friends that call the San Diego Zoo home.
Smithsonian’s National Zoo is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Washington DC. You can find out all about their animals, their care, and conservation here. They also offer live webcams here, featuring lions, giant pandas, elephants, and even naked mole rats!
Take a virtual summer vacation tour to the zoos and theme parks, home to 2,000 animals of nearly 400 different species. This virtual trip allows visitors to see many of the inhabitants of the zoo live, in real-time. See what pandas, elephants, naked mole-rats, lions, cheetahs, and black-footed ferrets are up to!
Chester, United Kingdom
This is UK’s most visited zoo with over 27,000 animals and more than 500 different species, including some of the most exotic and endangered species. Let the zoo come to you as they have been hosting a full day of live tours featuring some of their coolest animals.
As it is taking place all day, guests will be treated to a virtual tour of some of the zoo’s most interesting animals, allowing you to experience the joys of a day out right from your couch’s comfort. From amazing aardvarks, an elephant pool party, and fantastic fossa! Don’t miss out on red pandas, giraffes, butterflies, tigers, fish, and more!
Steeped in legend and history, the iconic Kruger National Park in South Africa is waiting to explore its vast landscapes and spectacular African wildlife. Take a journey of exploration to find Africa’s Big Five: Elephant, Lion, Rhino, Leopard, and Buffalo. You will discover unique wildlife on a real safari in Africa.
South Africa has taken the virtual tour experience to the next level bringing you to live-streamed twice-daily safaris straight from the Kruger Park! Luxury safari company &Beyond, based in Timbavati Private Game Reserve and Sabi Sand Game Reserve in the Greater Kruger area, has joined forces with wildlife broadcasting experts WildEarth TV. They host morning and afternoon game drives that they are streaming live on Youtube Kruger National Park also stream live footage of popular sites and keep a highlight reel of the big cats and other animal sightings on Africam and Explore.org.
One of the most visited zoos and theme parks around the globe, you can truly admire the giant pandas’ Xing Ya and Wu Wen in Ouwehands Zoo! You can learn more about the unique giant panda and the other Asian animal species, such as the couscous, little panda, and mint yak. Interact face-to-face with the polar bears, walk under the swinging orangutans, and spy on the bears in Expeditie Berenbos. Go on an adventure in Gorilla Adventure or hang out in RavotAapia, Europe’s most massive indoor play jungle.
For unbelievably cute webcam footage, you can’t miss this live stream of the twin polar bear cubs at Ouwehans Dierenpark in the Netherlands! This live stream is overflowing with adorable because seriously, what is cuter than two twin polar bear cubs. They also have a live Pandacam where you can keep a close eye on the beautiful giant pandas.
Paignton, United Kingdom
With over 2,500 animals across 80 acres – you’re in for a really wild time. When you can’t get there in person, the next best thing is to take part in their amazing Virtual Tour. It is a great way to check out all the exhibits, enclosures, and zoo animals from anywhere in the world!
You can take a virtual trip through their live webcams that show you an up-close look at some unique species. There is the flamingo cam, Sulawesi crested macaque cam, and the incredible meerkat cam.
Taronga cares for over 5,000 animals from over 350 species on 21 hectares, making it one of the world’s largest. They are bringing its two beautiful zoos directly into your living room! They’ve set up 24/7 live-streaming cameras at Taronga Zoo Sydney to enjoy your favorite animals at any time of day.
Tune in daily at Taronga TV to see your favorite animals, meet the friendly keepers, and learn what goes on behind Taronga’s scenes. Get a sneak-peek into how the keepers care for and form close bonds with their animals, and find out more about the vital conservation work done at the zoo that helps safeguard some of our most precious native wildlife. You can also explore the famous zoos and theme parks on a virtual field trip through Google Street View on the shores of Sydney Harbour.
Disneyland Paris is one of the best destinations for a virtual summer vacation for kids because of its classical attractions. It is known to be among the well-known and most prominent amusement parks in the world. The incredible themes like Big Thunder Mountain and Pirates of the Caribbean are just a few of the numerous surprises that you cannot miss when you enter into the most sought theme parks in all of Europe.
Other than this, Disneyland also offers entertainment complexes, musical tour of world attractions, roller coaster rides, shopping, and much more. No doubt, it is considered one of the world’s best amusement parks and is among the popular places to visit in Paris for kids and adults. Explore the park through a virtual tour on Google Earth and get your daily dose of Disney magic.
Gardaland is the most famous and visited theme park in Italy, located in Castelnuovo del Garda. There is no age limit to enjoy Gardaland’s playground, a pure delight for children and adults. In the enchanting setting of the hills around Lake Garda, it offers a wealth of attractions suitable for all ages and types of visitor.
The park’s approximately 40 attractions, divided by type – Adrenaline, Adventure, and Fantasy – offer visitors an unforgettable experience. Sporting both traditional attractions and entertainment shows, it attracts nearly 3 million visitors every year. Take a peek at the fantastic adventure of Gardaland Resort through Google Earth virtual tour. An incredible amusement park’s emotions await you, an entirely themed aquarium, three excellent hotels, two of which are wholly themed for extraordinary adventures and magical stays!
Legoland California is a theme park, miniature park, and aquarium based on the Lego toy brand. It was the third Legoland park to open and the first outside Europe. Awesome awaits at LEGOLAND® California Resort, where families with children ages 2-12 can enjoy more than 60 rides, shows, and attractions!
Visit the Legoland Castle Hill from the comfort of your couch with a virtual tour. For a more heart-pounding experience, navigate the indoor-outdoor steel Dragon Coaster, get a Driver’s License in Fun Town and marvel at cities built entirely out of millions of LEGO® bricks in Miniland.
Check their website here.
Bay Lake, Florida
The world’s most-visited theme park, with more than 20 million annual guests — Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom is such a fun place to visit. The first of the four Disney theme parks to be built in Florida also has the most to see and do. It’s almost impossible to see it all in one day.
Take a virtual tour of Disney World’s Magic Kingdom theme park. Learn about the park’s layout, what attractions you’ll find here, and tips for dining, shopping, and touring in the Magic Kingdom. Explore lands of endless enchantment, where your fantasy becomes a reality!
Ocean Park Hong Kong is a sea-themed park that features animal exhibits, thrill rides, a playland for young kids, and a wide range of shows. Explore Ocean Park like never before – right from your couch on Google Earth and see a birds-eye-view of Hong Kong’s longest-running family-friendly theme park.
With fun activities and thrill rides, dining spots, and even educational options all packed into one convenient setting, Ocean Park makes for a perfect day trip for both families in the city and travelers who wish to experience a real, authentic Hong Kong with their younglings.
PortAventura is one of the most visited amusement parks where one can experience spellbinding adventure amidst exploring an entire world of fun, relaxation, and cuisine. This iconic theme park of Europe is based on historic civilization (Mediterranean, Far West, Mexico, China, and Polynesia) and Sesame street and amazements that include incredible King Khajuna, the highest fall slide in Europe.
Have a virtual summer vacation with the whole family via Google Earth. Each moment becomes the best of your adventures because PortAventura World is full of those kinds of emotions that last forever.
Six Flags Great America boasts having some of the widest variety of coasters globally with the first inverted and first hypercoaster. They have 16-thrilling coasters that you have to ride (that is unless you’re under the height limit). Experience the incredibly immersive virtual reality world – new to Six Flags Great Adventure on a roller coaster at 37 mph.
Take a virtual tour of the park and see high-definition imagery to create a one-of-a-kind close encounter experience even when you’re at home.
Tivoli Gardens is one of the oldest amusement parks in the world that has welcomed thrill-seekers since 1843. The park’s original coaster, Rutschebanen, remains the best coaster in the park with a track that weaves in and around the mountainside.
Make your visit to Tivoli even more fantastic via Google Earth. Discover the magical gardens! Colorful flower beds, warm summer nights, and plenty of fun activities for the whole family. See the exotic buildings of imaginary orient, theater, bandstands, restaurants, cafes, flower gardens, and amusement rides. Summer in Tivoli is always something special. Look forward to a season filled with memories, a great atmosphere, and entertainment for everyone.
Take a virtual journey to the Jurassic Park or the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Enjoy thrilling rides, eye-popping special effects, and high-octane blockbuster entertainment at Universal Studios Japan. International crowd-pleasers from Spider-Man to Sesame Street plus popular Japanese manga-themed attractions in eight fantasy worlds covering 140 acres will captivate visitors of all ages in the Japanese incarnation of the top US theme park.
If you love zoos and theme parks or have kids that do, you should definitely visit Osaka’s Universal Studios Japan (USJ). The combination of Universal Studios magic and Japanese efficiency makes it one of the most enjoyable amusement parks.
Abu Dhabi, UAE
Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi is the world’s largest, fully air-conditioned indoor amusement park that features Warner Bros.’s franchises’ characters. From Superman to Batman and Wonder Woman to beloved cartoon stars like Bugs Bunny, Scooby-Doo, and Fred Flintstone, all and more with 29 state-of-the-art rides, interactive family-friendly attractions, unique live entertainment, multiple dining options, and exclusive shopping outlets.
Step into the Warner Bros. shield through a virtual tour, and you will journey to different worlds of action, adventure, and eccentricity through the park’s six immersive lands. With its scenic backdrops and authentically themed restaurants, each portal is precisely how you imagined these enchanting Warner Bros. Worlds would be.
Zoos and theme parks are kids’ favorite summer destinations. Traveling from your own home across the globe has never been easier because many places have gone virtual in order to capture the immersive summer vacation experience. You can get a birds-eye view of park attractions, or get up close and personal with animals. Planning your vacation and doing it online might be alien at first, but it’s a great start to a happy and healthy summer. It’s a digital escape — a virtual summer vacation for kids.
Sacramento offers a wide variety of opportunities for kids to enjoy and have fun all-year-round! Check out our list of kids resources. Are you looking for more things to do with kids around the greater Sacramento area? Browse through our places to go and camps section. If you’re even more curious and seek to learn more about kids’ topics, tips, and guides, check out our blog posts.
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