Online Tours & Activities
Don’t let social distancing keep you from exploring the world! Below you’ll find links to live music and theater, arts and crafts classes, animal cams, virtual tours of museums and national parks, exercise, and more--and it’s all FREE. We’ll update this list periodically.
Please note that the City of San Marcos does not endorse, collect payment on behalf of, or receive funds to advertise any of the third party sites or services listed or referenced on this page.
Library Take and Make Crafts:
Pick up a Take and Make Craft at the library through our Front Porch Pickup service (while supplies last), or use your own supplies at home and follow the directions below.
Go on a Virtual Tour:
- Anne Frank House Museum
- Blanton Museum of Art - An assortment of digital resources that let you explore the permanent collection, peek behind the scenes with Blanton staff, watch artist interviews, and more.
- Blarney Castle, Cork, Ireland
- Buckingham Palace
- Dallas Contemporary - Digital tours of past exhibitions, as well as at-home activities and worksheets.
- Dallas Museum of Art
- Ellis Island - Learn about immigration with this 30 minute webcast.
- Future U - Visit Johnson Space Center and meet Boeing employees.
- Google Arts & Culture - View over 2,500 Museums and Galleries.
- The Great Wall of China
- Harry Potter: A History of Magic Exhibit
- The Hidden World of the National Parks - Includes virtual tours of Bryce Canyon, Carlsbad Caverns, Dry Tortugas, Hawaii Volcanoes, and Kenai Fjords National Parks.
- How Science Powers Us - Tour a pharmaceutical lab.
- The Louvre - Travel to Paris, France to see amazing works of art.
- NASA at Home - STEM activities, virtual tours, and the opportunity to chat with astronauts.
- San Marcos Art - Take a virtual tour of the murals and sculptures in San Marcos.
- San Marcos Mermaid March - Take a virtual tour of the mermaid statues around San Marcos.
- Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History - Access virtual tours of permanent, current, and past exhibits, research stations, and other Smithsonian holdings.
- Stages Around the World - Step inside some of the most beautiful theatres, concert halls, and opera houses in the world and experience the grandeur and drama of these iconic venues.
- Stanley Black and Decker Makerspace
- Take Virtual Tours of these Stunning Libraries
- Vatican Virtual Tours - Tour seven popular Vatican sites, including the Sistine Chapel, Raphael’s Rooms, and the Chiaramonti Museum.
- Versailles 3D - Take an interactive stroll around the Palace and learn about Versailles’ transition from simple hunting lodge to glittering palace.
- Yellowstone National Park - Visit several locations in the park.
- 13 Virtual Train Rides from Around the World - Virtual train rides offer viewers the chance to zone out and calm the mind, while seeing new landscapes, some of which many people will never experience in real life, quarantine or not.
- Amon Carter Museum of American Art - Their video series, “Cooped up with the Carter,” includes tutorials for at-home activities inspired by works from their collection.
- Art is Fun - Tutorials for drawing, painting, and colouring for beginners and art enthusiasts.
- Art Projects for Kids
- Artsology - Art games for kids.
- Barley And Birch: Eco-Friendly Crafts - Find craft ideas that will use things from around the house, or that can be found in nature.
- Color Our Collections - Libraries, archives, and other cultural institutions around the world are sharing free coloring sheets and books based on materials in their collections.
- Crafts by Amanda - Easy craft tutorials for kids and adults.
- Draw Every Day with Jarrett Krosoczka - Daily drawing at 12 p.m. CST
- Jarrett Lerner’s Comic Making Activities
- Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems
- Zentangles - The Zentangle Method is an easy-to-learn, relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns.
- 100 Activities To Do At Home During School Closures
Grow Your Brain:
- ABCya - Free educational video games.
- Audubon for Kids! - Activities to give children the space to explore and feel connected to the natural world.
- CBC Kids: Games - Free math, spelling, and other games for kids.
- CrashCourse - YouTube channel started by John and Hank Green. Videos cover topics such as chemistry, history, philosophy, artificial intelligence, and study skills.
- The Exploratorium - Engage in activities about the science of coronavirus and explore other online resources for learning at home.
- Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - Free learning resources in math, reading, history, science as well as social and emotional learning.
- Khan Academy - Short, free lessons on a wide variety of topics for different ages and levels of study.
- The Kids Should See This - Kid-friendly learning videos.
- Mad Science - At-home experiments that your family can do with ingredients that you most likely already have in your house.
- National Geographic Kids Science Lab - Science experiments with common household items.
- Nature Activities for Kids and Families - Activities include outdoor observations and journaling, outdoor bingo, seek and find hikes, and fact sheets on wildlife, insects, trees, rocks, and food chains.
- Physics Girl - Dianna Cowern adventures into the physical sciences with experiments, demonstrations, and cool new discoveries.
- Scholastic Learn at Home - eBooks, education videos, crafts and activities broken down by ages, made available from Scholastic during school closures.
- Science Lesson Plans from the California Academy of Sciences - Here you’ll find short, lively activities and full lessons to integrate into your child’s curriculum.
- Start with a Book - Book suggestions, reading activities, and practical tips for teaching kids to read.
- Techboomers - Over 100 free courses with step-by-step tutorials that can help you learn anything and everything about the Internet’s most popular websites and apps.
- Texas Wildlife Association - Interactive webinars on armadillos, frogs, bats, and more are available anytime and include a follow-along worksheet for children to copy.
- 1,500 Free Online University Courses - Take online courses from the world’s top universities for free.
- 300,000+ FREE printable worksheets for toddlers to teens.
Just for Fun:
- Cinderella Escapes - A digital escape room created by Henika District Library.
- Dog Man Escape Room - A digital escape room.
- Escape from Wonderland - A digital escape room created by Moultrie-Colquitt County Library.
- Funology - Arts and crafts, science experiments, trivia, games, jokes and riddles, and baking projects to keep you busy and exploring.
- Golden Girls Escape Room - A digital escape room.
- Harry Potter: Magic Final Exam - A digital escape room created by San Leandro Public Library.
- A Hobbit’s Adventure - A digital escape room created by Bedford Public Library.
- Hogwarts Escape Room - A digital escape room created by Peters Township Public Library.
- Hogwarts is Here - Enroll in a virtual version of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
- Hunger Games Escape Room - A digital escape room created by Longview Public Library.
- Mandalorian Escape Room - A digital escape room created by Manchester Community College Library.
- Marvel’s Avengers: Escape from the Hydra Base! - A digital escape room created by Richmond Hill Public Library.
- Merriam-Webster’s Daily Crossword - Challenge yourself with the popular dictionary’s daily crossword.
- Nomster Chef - Illustrated recipe picture books that get kid chefs excited about cooking. Recipes encourage culinary skills, literacy, math, and science.
- Pete the Cat and the Birthday Party Mystery - A digital escape room created by Abington Free Library.
- Pikachu’s Rescue - A digital escape room.
- Star Wars: Escape from Star Killer Base! - A digital escape room created by Richmond Hill Public Library.
- Theater in Place - An online, interactive theater for children of all ages, and those who love adventure – featuring actors and circus performers from around the world.
- Trapped in the Toy Room - A digital escape room created by Cuyahoga Falls Library. This escape room is intended for Kindergarten - 2nd Graders, as it highlights early literacy skills and simple math/counting.
- The Word Search - A massive collection of word search puzzles online, with new ones being added regularly.
- CBC Parents: Mindfulness Activities for Kids
- Cosmic Kids Yoga - Yoga, mindfulness and relaxation designed specially for kids aged 3+.
- Dancing Alone Together - An aggregation of live-streamed dance classes. They are available through a variety of platforms: Instagram, Zoom, and YouTube.
- GoNoodle - Movement and mindfulness videos created by child development experts.
- Life Time - Check out these free online workouts including cardio, strength training, and yoga.
- Planet Fitness - Offering free daily live-streamed at-home workouts at 6 p.m. on its Facebook page.
- Tara Brach’s Guided Meditations
- YMCA - Choose from tons of workout videos including yoga, bootcamp, and barre with these on-demand workout videos.
- 305 Fitness - This dance-cardio studio is offering free live-stream workouts every day at 11 a.m. CST.
Watch and Listen:
- Austin City Limits - Stream concerts from the ACL archives for free.
- Broadway World "Living Room Concerts" - Daily mini-performances.
- Live Virtual Concerts - NPR Music is compiling a list of live audio and video streams from around the world, categorized by date and genre, with links out to streaming platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
- The Metropolitan Opera - The Met will stream a title from its Live in HD series each night beginning at 6:30 p.m. CST through the duration of the closure.
- National Theatre - Free full-length plays every Thursday.
- Royal Opera House - Watch opera and ballet performances, as well as behind-the-scenes looks.
- Seattle Symphony
- The Shows Must Go On - Andrew Lloyd Webber Musicals on YouTube.
Watch and Listen for Kids:
- All Around This World - Jay Sand teaches dynamic, participatory, super-fun world music classes for little kids and their families.
- Audible Stories - Hundreds of Audible titles available for free. No log-ins, credit card or passwords needed.
- Center for Puppetry Arts - Watch free puppet shows, workshops, and more.
- Children’s Authors Doing Online Read-Alouds & Activities - A list of 50 of the best virtual author activities.
- Cincinnati Zoo - Home Safari on Facebook Live each day at 2 p.m. CST where the zoo highlights one of their amazing animals and includes an activity you can do from home.
- Good Night with Dolly Parton - Thursdays at 6 p.m. CST
- Kids Stories in American Sign Language (ASL)
- Pete the Cat on YouTube - A fun, musically driven series about exploring your world and trying new things.
- Playtime Playlist - A list of independent children’s musicians around the globe who are transitioning live shows to live streams.
- The Spanish Experiment - Stories in Spanish.
- Storyline Online - Stream videos of celebrated actors reading children’s books alongside creatively produced illustrations.
- Story Time From Space - Astronauts on the Space Station reading stories to and conducting science experiments for the children of Earth as the world rotates below.