Virtual Wanderlist: Museums 1

Museums are always a great go-to over Spring Break when volatile spring weather brings seasonal storms and cold fronts.  As it turns out, museums can be a great go-to when working and learning from home. You and your family can practice social distancing and visit many of the same Texas museums online that you would have visited in person.

Don't let the name fool you. The LBJ Presidential Library isn't all about politics!

Take a tour of the Oval Office, or at least AN Oval Office, at the LBJ Presidential Library. This 7/8ths scale replica of what the office looked like during LBJ’s presidency comes complete with audio of the phone conversation that led to the creation of this exhibit. The site also includes online exhibits ranging from the historical impact of the 1960s to artifacts and documents that explore the history of the University of Texas.

It’s a perennial top 10 on everyone’s things-to-do in Texas list. We’re speaking of course about The Alamo. And it still can be on that list with a virtual tour!  This navigable tool lets you select what to view from a drop-down menu or from an accessible map, and 360-degree views place you in the middle of the picture. To give added context, stop at the digital battlefield page for visualizations of what Alamo Square looked like in the early 19th century.

The only museum in Texas created by the state legislature for the purpose of memorializing Texas as a nation, the Star of the Republic of Texas Museum has a number of online exhibits that mesh perfectly with those 4th and 7th graders at home needing a little Texas History curriculum. Previous exhibits such as Texas cartography or the works of John James Audubon in Texas are archived, and a virtual tour is available online (requires Flash player) or through their Texas1836 mobile app for iOS or Android.

Journey through aviation history with this curated exhibit at the Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas Love Field, or tour the entire site virtually courtesy of Google Arts & Culture (click the little orange figure in the bottom right corner). 

It’s not quite visual but it’s interactive. The Bullock Museum hosts The Texas Story project, an oral history project that shares the lives and experiences of people throughout the state. Read their stories and then share your story. And of course, it IS the Story of Texas, so you can also browse historical artifacts in the museum’s collection. Use the search tool to narrow down by region, time period or artifact type.

The 14,000 square-foot Bandera Natural History Museum sits on eight acres of Texas Hill Country. With a focus on nature-related educational programming, the museum houses full body animal mounts, international artwork and life-sized dinosaur and ice age animal reproductions. Visit their gallery for photos and videos or their interactive dioramas to learn more about the natural world.

The Witte Museum is an eclectic blend of history, nature and art that sits on the banks of the San Antonio river.  As with many of the destinations in our post, the Witte is currently closed. But that doesn’t mean they’re CLOSED, closed. Witte Where You Are brings demonstrations and tours straight to you! 

Who doesn’t either love or hate creepy-crawlies? Either way they engender a lot of emotion. Take an online tour of The Brown Hall of Entomology at the Houston Museum of Natural Science for up-close views of phasmids, moths and other critters that skitter and flutter in the night. You can also peek at the Paleontology, Malacology and Gems and Minerals Halls while you’re there. And by there, obviously we mean on the website.

Even if it's not rainy where you are, we hope that with these resources you and your family can explore the world inside while remaining healthy and safe - also inside.

If you enjoyed these virtual tours share this post and invite your friends to subscribe to Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine. An all-access subscription gives you instant access more than 600 articles, plus 1 year of updates!

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