Museums Offer an Escape While We #StayHome.

It has now been five weeks since we have been told to “stay home” and we are sure you are all going just a bit stir crazy these days. Under normal circumstances, we would be looking to our cultural institutions to help us get out of our doldrums and explore without having to leave Massachusetts. We are lucky enough at Bentley Library to be able to offer access to world-class institutions throughout the state and being stuck at home has not changed that! Here is a look at what museums are doing to stay connected and stay vibrant in a virtual world:

Zoo New England has created #ZooToYou! You can tune in everyday at 1:30pm EST to Facebook live where they are presenting videos, activities, and more. You can also virtually “meet” the animals to learn more about their natural habitats and conservation efforts!

The Museum of Science has similarly created #MOSatHome where they have daily “Ask a Scientist” live stream events as well as “Science in Action” where they conduct live experiments. You can register for the free events ahead of time so you can add them to your calendar and receive a reminder of when they are about to start.

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum now has “The Gardner at Home” where they are blogging about their collections and offering virtual tours of their world famous courtyard and greenhouses. You can even watch or download music that has been performed in their newly renovated concert hall.

The Museum of Fine Arts has made a number of their collections available through “Google Arts & Culture” and made virtual tours of recent exhibits available on their site.  They have also started “Art for this Moment” where curators “share objects from across our collections that carry personal significance and global resonance.”

In addition to their award winning podcast, PEMcast, Peabody Essex Museum has pulled together all sorts of digital content. You’ll be able to read stories, listen to artist’s, and explore collections all from the safety of your living room.

If you are just craving some time spent outside, our newest partner, The Trustees of Reservations, have got you covered! There you will find wildlife cameras, activities to help you identify bird calls, a live sunset stream from The Fruitlands Museum, and even a virtual fire pit at 6:45pm EST every Friday!

Grand Teton National Park

Lastly, our National Parks are one of our greatest resources and they provide many opportunities to #FindYourVirtualPark! The National Park Foundation has virtual tours, activities for kids, live webcams, and incredible photography.

Even though it is easy to feel stuck right now, we hope these ideas inspire you to stay connected while we all #StayHome.