Friday

Virtual Wanderlist: Museums 2



We end our Virtual Wanderlist with a few places not exactly related to parks, wildlife, nature or the outdoors. But what virtual tour list would be complete without museums that celebrate our more artistic leanings?  Here are some of the best virtual art collections in Texas.


Can't make it to Fort Worth? Kimbell Art Museum is one of several in Texas to offer online options.

The Kimbell Art Museum incorporates all multi-media has to offer. Using interactive photographs, videos, hundreds of audio tours – many specifically for children – art-making activities AND a mobile app, Kimbell From Home is the art museum virtual tour you didn’t know you were missing. 

In celebration of Women’s History Month, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston asks “can you name 5 women artists?”  The answer is #5WomenArtists, an online exhibit that features the work of women whose art is represented in their collection. MFAH offers other online galleries as well, presenting written text detailing the textiles, paintings, prints and photographs displayed.

The Dallas Museum of Art is a master of online curation, allowing visitors to explore art by pre-defined collections such as department, color, motif, century or object. For those looking to integrate online viewing with at-home learning, their Extended Information section has Teaching Ideas for specific items in the collection.  

The San Antonio Museum of Art has hundreds of items viewable online. Browse by collections from around the world, search by artist, title or medium, or use the advanced search tool to set specific parameters.  

The Blanton Museum of Art uses interactive tools that allow you to experience their pieces more closely than you ever could in person.  Whether room-sized installations, ancient pottery or European masterworks, zoom in to explore detail, texture and design up close and (virtually) personal.  And while you’re there, don’t miss out on their in-depth exploration of Ellsworth Kelly’s Austin.  

While not precisely a virtual tour, simply visiting the McNay Art Museum home page opens a visual window on several outstanding exhibits on fashion, pop culture and minimalist art. Scroll through its offerings but don’t forget to click “more info” for video and details on the collections. 

And, of course, We hope that with these resources you and your family can explore the world while remaining healthy and safe.

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!

Thursday

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!

Wednesday

Virtual Wanderlist: AZA Live Streams

We want to start by saying that a plethora of AZA accredited zoos and aquariums across the U.S. are hosting daily live streams on Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms. We can’t begin to list them all here.


The Houston Zoo has live streams of some of the largest and smallest habitats.

Instead, the following are daily live cams of a variety of animals at zoos and aquariums across the country. This is list is by no means exhaustive, and you check their websites as many offer audio commentary on set schedules.

As with any wildlife, animals in enclosures and aquariums won't always behave as expected. We can't guarantee that the animals will always cooperate, but we hope that with these resources you and your family can explore the world outside while remaining healthy and safe inside.

Aquarium of the Pacific
Beardsley Zoo 
Chattanooga Zoo 
El Paso Zoo 
Georgia Aquarium
Houston Zoo
Memphis Zoo 
Monterey Bay Aquarium
Moody Gardens
National Aquarium
National Zoo
Reid Park Zoo 
San Diego Zoo
Woodland Park Zoo 
Zoo Atlanta
If you enjoyed this shelter-in-place safari, 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!

Tuesday

Virtual Wanderlist: The National Parks Edition

If you yearn for wide open spaces, the National Parks Service has teamed up with Google to bring the beauty of several National Parks to your home. Or office. Or, you know, home office.


Fire or ice. Deep or high. Which will you visit first?

The following parks offer Park Ranger guided tours to hidden parts of the parks not generally visited by the average tourist.



Many of the other parks can be explored using a version of Google Maps’ street view or Google Earth,including several Texas parks like San Antonio's San Juan, San Jose, San Francisco and Mission Concepcion, and Guadalupe Mountains and Big Bend both in far West Texas.  And they haven’t neglected park visitors’ centers, making available a number of interactive gallery collections as well.

This colab is an exceptional way to travel the breadth of the country without ever leaving your home. Which is lucky, given that right now most of us can’t.

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!

Monday

Virtual Wanderlist: Distance Learning for Kids

We know it's unbelievable but it seems as if children across the state are starting to miss going to school. Many districts are still working on implementing on-line learning as Governor Abbott's order extends closures through the end of April.

Meanwhile, your children crave structure. They're tired of being bored. They're looking to you for things to do. 

And luckily enough, we've heard your unspoken pleas and gathered some of the best distance learning opportunities Texas has to offer.



Distance learning opportunities at Texas State Aquarium engage children and adults alike.

If you missed your beach vacation for Spring Break we have good news for you. The Texas State Aquarium can give you back a little of that ocean feel with their Aquavision program.  The Aquarium typically offers two paid levels of at-home courses, Blue and Gold, but in the face of nationwide school closures, are providing a limited series of daily distance learning for free.

For the rest of the school year the Bullock Museum is offering their Distance Learning program at no cost. These TEKS integrated, online learning courses cover different topics in Texas History and are just the thing if you’re looking for study opportunities at home. (Distance Learning courses require connection via www.connect2texas.net)

A little bit science, a little bit history, The Mayborn Museum at Home Program brings the experience of this Baylor University complex to you. Virtual visits and follow-along activity videos are perfect for filling those long hours at home.

The Children’s Museum of Houston offers dozens of free resources for online and at-home STEM experimentation and learning.   

The John C. Freeman Weather Museum is a permanently virtual collection of weather topics to explore. Become weather-wise at home by learning about weather modeling or forensic meteorology while using up-to-the-minute satellite and radar imagery. 

The Fort Worth Museum of Science and History has done a deep-dive into distance learning with Discovery Lab, a state standards-based interactive program in STEAM and history courses. Live animal demos, hands-on art and science experiments and the history of artifacts in their collection are presented in free daily lessons. 

Not to be outdone, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science offers Amaze Your Brain at Home! In addition to a video series, at home activities are presented by grade level so there’s something appropriate for all the kids languishing at home.

We hope that with these fun and educational resources, your family can explore the world outside while remaining healthy and safe inside.

If you enjoyed these learning opportunities 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!