• Education and entertainment don't have to stop because schools and community centres are closed. (Photo: Getty Images)

With the current emphasis on social distancing and the encouragement from health officials to stay home to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 in North America, March Break might look a little different than a lot of families were expecting — including lasting a few weeks longer than intended.

But even though you can’t physically visit that museum or art gallery you’d planned to check out or send your kids to day camp, March Break fun doesn’t have to be limited to video games or the local park. Here’s a roundup of virtual experiences for the whole family to enjoy from the comfort of your own home.

Look at artwork in museums in Paris

Paris Musées, a collection of 14 museums in Paris, have made high-res digital copies of 100,000 pieces of art available to the public for free. Works from Rembrandt, Monet and Picasso are all included.

Go on a Google Street View Trek

Want to wander through Iqaluit, Venice, or the Galapagos Islands? The Google Map Treks camera was taken out by people in a number of communities, recording what life is like in each location. For some locations there are also audio tours and virtual reality-style experiences. 

Visit a zoo or conservation location

Major zoos, including Toronto, Calgary and San Diego, have live cameras set up to monitor their animals in their enclosures. Sign on to watch penguins diving or elephants wandering for a break from the scenery in your living room. 

Go behind-the-scenes

Is your sports fan bummed that baseball practice is cancelled or that there’s no sports to watch on the TV? Go behind-the-scenes at EA Sports with their Discovery Education team. The virtual team also has tours of a John Deere facility and LG. 

Get out of this world

If virtual field trips on Earth aren’t cutting it, get out of this world with NASA’s selection of virtual adventures, including how to train like an astronaut and a launch from the Kennedy Space Centre. There are seven options on their YouTube channel

Take a nature walk

Thanks to Google Earth technology, you can visit 33 U.S. National Parks, including the Grand Canyon and Yosemite. It’s entirely free to click your way through the trees online. 

Take a class

Some educational companies like Scholastic, recognizing that at-home learning is possible, have released curriculum-based content through day-by-day projects designed to keep kids (and inquisitive adults!) reading and learning. There are four learning experiences a day for different grade levels.

Bonus! Use Can Geo Education resources to stay busy

The Can Geo Education team has all kinds of resources for learning. Designed as in-class curriculum-connected content, these can be adapted to be used at home. We have printable tile maps, activities and worksheets to use free of charge.