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Explore the Outdoors While Indoors This Weekend

While facing unprecedented closures, museums and public gardens across the country are meeting challenges head-on by bringing the natural world straight to you. Digital visitors can get up close with spring foliage, watch animals and natural landscapes in real time, and traverse lands where dinosaurs roamed billions of years ago.

This weekend, explore the outdoors while indoors with these digital resources and opportunities from institutions supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies:

Watch Spring Bloom through the Virtual Gates of the New York Botanical Garden

The New York Botanical Garden (NYBG) is uploading video and photo highlights of the new season, including a virtual stroll among the magnolias, a ‘First Day of Spring’ video tour, and a walk through its latest exhibit, The Orchid Show: Jeff Leatham’s Kaleidoscope.

Virtual visitors can dive into NYBG’s enormous digital collection, which encompasses everything from rare books and exploring the foliage in the Palm Dome, to watching plants evolve and reflecting the changing seasons with the Perennial Garden interactive guide. Every Wednesday, tune into NYBG’s Facebook page for a watch party and live chat.

For the truly passionate, delve into NYBG’s lecture series from world-class botanists, horticulturalists and scientists. Finally, if you’re looking to brighten up your home with a plant of your own, check out NYBG resources including green thumb advice from experts.

To See Butterflies Explore the Museum of Science in Boston

The physical museum may be temporarily closed, but the Museum of Science (MOS) in Boston is thriving online. Kids can  discover a whole new world right in their backyard with the museum’s guide to butterfly watching.

The Museum of Science has also embarked on an ambitious project to bring not only resources, but educators, to homes across the world with the MOS at Home initiative. Designed to help kids and families build on their love of STEM, this program offers daily livestreamed presentations from museum educators on subjects that range from dinosaurs and reptiles to lightning to the human genome.

Other features of MOS at Home include Pulsar, a thought-provoking podcast for older children, an array of family STEM activity ideas straight from classroom curricula, and a series of town halls featuring thought leaders discussing everything from the latest details around the Coronavirus to human genome editing.

Keep Tabs on Your Favorite Animals with the California Academy of Science

The California Academy of Science has gone above and beyond to make its collection available online. If you’d like some company while working from home, its webcams are keeping track of adorable penguins. You can also watch stunning coral reefs, the raw beauty of the Farallon Islands, and mesmerizing stingrays in the Reef Lagoon exhibit.

On select mornings, the Academy Breakfast Club brings stories, insights and discoveries from around the world presented by experts. The Academy’s interactive collection of videos and games also gives virtual visitors a chance to try their hand at green technology solutions, identify species and add observations, and zoom in on 3D photos of more than 700 scientific specimens.

Bring Natural History to Life at the Field Museum in Chicago

The Field Museum in Chicago is bringing the world of natural history to your home with interactive resources and activities for kids of all ages. Parents and teachers looking for educational activities can check out the Learning Resources Hub, which brings science to life with lesson plans and games on engaging topics including evolution, world cultures, and earth science. Most of these lesson plans are available in English and Spanish.

Organize a family game night with missions across Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous landscapes. Inquisitive minds will love The Brain Scoop YouTube channel and its hit videos exploring fossils, invertebrates, geology, and even dissections. You can also keep up with The Field on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to enjoy live chats with scientists, behind-the-scenes access to exhibits, and more.

We’ll see you next week for more virtual resources from arts and cultural institution, and don’t forget to follow Bloomberg Philanthropies on Twitter and Facebook for a daily cultural spotlight.

And catch up on our previous posts in this virtual arts experience series:

Five Ways to Explore Culture This Weekend with Podcasts, Online Courses, Livestream, and Music

Five Ways to Travel the World Virtually This Weekend