Visit parks and museums from the comfort of your home

Meijer Gardens Butterflies are Blooming butterfly
Meijer Gardens offers a live stream of its butterfly exhibit. Courtesy Meijer Gardens

Since Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order on Monday, Grand Rapidians have had to find creative ways to entertain themselves and their children as they stay home to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many local organizations are offering live streams and virtual tours that allow people to explore from the comfort of their home. In addition, there are several virtual resources for parents that include activities to keep your kids entertained and educated while home from school.

Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park

If you haven’t visited Frederik Meijer Gardens’ Facebook page in the last week, you are truly missing out. The organization offers a live stream of its Lena Meijer Tropical Conservatory, which showcases the Butterflies are Blooming exhibit. The park’s virtual visits also include educational materials on the butterflies featured in the exhibit.

In addition, Meijer Gardens staff members read children’s books, something kids in elementary school surely have been missing out on since schools closed.

Grand Rapids Public Museum

The Grand Rapids Public Museum offers a live stream of its Grand Fish, Grand River exhibit, which features a lake sturgeon.

The museum also has an expansive digital collection, featuring photo galleries of more than 250,000 artifacts and scientific specimens.

Virtual Discovery Kits are great for parents and teachers looking to keep children learning. The museum currently offers one on Egyptian artifacts.

Grand Rapids Art Museum

Just like the public museum, the Grand Rapids Art Museum offers resources for parents to keep their kids engaged during this stressful time with lesson plans, art activities and more.

In addition, users can take a virtual tour of the art museum as if they were actually there.

For adults, the art museum teamed up with AM Yoga to offer virtual yoga sessions. Check out past live sessions on AM Yoga’s Facebook page.

Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum

The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum also offers a virtual tour for guests to explore.

The museum put many of its collections online, and its Facebook page has been sharing photos from those collections.

Also, be sure to check out the museum’s YouTube page for historical speeches from the former president and former First Lady, Betty Ford.

Pure Michigan

Pure Michigan, the official travel and tourism organization for the state of Michigan, has webcams all around the state for people to enjoy.

There might not be a lot of people out right now thanks to the governor’s orders, but you might be able to catch some wildlife.

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