Best of Virtual NYC

Bring the best NYC cultural experiences into your home wherever you are with these fabulous virtual offerings.

Find more creating and learning in our online arts & culture guide, educational websites and upcoming virtual museum programs.

And check out what is currently open in NYC and nearby adventures.

Please support these treasures by shopping in their fantastic online shops for great toys and games (perfect for staying at home) and consider becoming a member of your faves - so many perks all year round.

MUSEUM WEBSITES/APPS

VIRTUAL MUSEUM TOURS

Take virtual journeys to over 1,200 museums around the world via Google Arts & Culture. See collections and gallery views of  Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum, Florence’s Uffizi Gallery, Mexico City’s Museum of Anthropology, Paris’s Musée d’Orsay and more (plus NYC faves like the Whitney, Guggenheim and MoMA).

New-York Historical Society Online

This fascinating historic  museum (now partially open for visits) hosts engaging live educational programs for all ages, audio and video resources (including the inspirational We Rise) and interactive 360 degree tours drawing on its world-renowned collections. Excellent educator resources including videos,  remote lesson plans, and media-rich curriculum website Women…

MOMI Moving Image Studio

Find tutorials and interactive ways to collaborate and make media art with Astoria’s Museum of Moving Image educators. Create Jim Henson-inspired puppets, learn about film editing and apply to have your media art shared on their YouTube channel.

MoMA Families At Home

MoMA provides resources and ideas—from art-making activities to books and films—to spark creativity and fun at home. Explore artworks in MoMA’s collection through activities (available in English and Spanish), watch favorite kid-friendly short films with prompts to spark discussion, dig deeper into Dorothea Lange: Words & Pictures, find favorite Children’s Books about Art, listen…

CMA HOW-TO TUESDAYS

Children’s Museum of the Arts’ blog features videos and detailed instructions for art projects like Paper Chains of Kindness and Collaborative Drawing Games. Projects can be adapted for different ages and made with materials around the house.

Experience The Tenement Museum From Home

Learn about former residents of two historic Lower East Side buildings and find out what life was like in a tenement. Browse reading and writing activities, listening and watching activities, online exhibit exploration guides interactive games and more. Hear the American stories not shared in your standard history book on…

Jewish Museum At-Home Art Projects

Explore hands-on art activities inspired by works of art in the Jewish Museum’s diverse collection and exhibition. Activities like Abstract Stamp Print and Found Object Sculpture, eachaccompanied by information on the artist, are designed for kids and adults to create together at home.

OLOGY: A SCIENCE WEBSITE FOR KIDS

Learn about the “Ologies” – anthropology, astronomy, microbiology etc. through animated and live videos, games, stories, and suggestions for hands-on activities on this award-winning website/app from the American Museum of Natural History. Other online features include virtual museum tours, video trips through the universe, science quizzes and more.

 

TATE KIDS

Play art-inspired games, take cheeky quizzes, find art activities, and share your art on a fun website from British museums Tate and Tate Modern. Find detailed instructions for activities such as “think like the artist Alberto Giacometti” and create interesting portraits and landscapes.

NYSCI At Home

Find tons of games, activities, experiments and projects from Queen’s New York Hall of Science. At-Home STEM resources encourage open-ended exploration and imaginative learning. Learn about physics, engineering, design, biology, math, chemistry and more with videos, instructions for experiments and art projects, interactive graphic novels, engaging apps and more.

Cooper Hewitt Online Learning

Follow along with design activities (with clear, well-designed instructions) to create protoypes, chairs, zines, posters and more. Also explore design case studies, remarkable female and LBGQT+ creators, the digital mansion, and museum exhibitions. Great graphics, video and easy-to-understand text for all ages.

WHITNEY KIDS ART CHALLENGE

Try projects, based on works of art in the Whitney’s amazing collection, designed especially for kids and grown-ups to do together. Learn about and be inspired by some of the diverse ways that modern American artists such as Andy Warhol, Stuart Davis and Georgia O’Keefe think and work. Also find

Brooklyn Museum Learn and Teach

Explore exhibition or objects from the encyclopedic Brooklyn Museum in-depth with printable teaching prompts and activity ideas, developed by the museum’s professional educators. Includes new mini art lessons for ages 2–6 and 7 & up. Also dream up zany stories, while practicing parts of speech, with Brooklyn Museum Mad Libs and brush up on your…

NYC MUSIC & THEATER

Ailey All Access

The acclaimed Alvin Ailey dance company shares full length videos of past performances. Also see videos of company members dancing the landmark Revelations and other pieces together from home, join free online dance classes and check out the  great Resource Guide for Educators.

Find free live and on-demand classes for all ages in a variety of dance…

Carnegie Hall Music Explorers

Learn about musical culture and tradition around the world – African-American Freedom Songs, South African Zulu songs and many more – with lessons plans, music and video featuring global artists. The well-designed site features a world map to explore.

Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Jazz Academy

Watch curated educated videos on the from Jazz at Lincoln Center’s educational programs and learn about it’s roots in African-American traditions and communities.  WeBop instructors demonstrate fun activities to get families swinging and singing, members of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra share performance secrets,  and Middle School Jazz Academy instructors break down jazz techniques.…

The Paper Bag Players At Home

Watch short sketches from The Paper Bag Players, an acclaimed NYC troupe that makes stories out of cardboard and paper, paired with questions and/or activities that will help children think more about what they’ve watched and provide opportunities for them to create and imagine on their own. Play games and make cars, crazy faces, and…

Flushing Town Hall Global Arts for Global Kids

Learn about international music, dance and more through short videos with post-lesson activities featuring African drumming, Chinese dance, Pop-up Page Making and more.

Also explore the Smithsonian Year of Music collection and video archive. Focus on Jazz, Blues & Rock, Folk & Country, and Latin Music through items from the Smithsonian, such as bomba drums and…

Lincoln Center At Home

Watch short #concertsforkids recorded (at home) by world-class artists including musician Etienne Charles celebrating a cross-section of cultures from the African Diaspora, Soul Science Kids weaving soul, funk, hip-hop and educational themes and many more diverse voices.

Learn puppetry, dance, songwriting and other art forms with simple materials found at home with Lincoln Center…

Chamber Music Society

Engage with the vast CMS archive of concerts and lectures including the Meet the Music family programs, short videos with the wacky Inspector Pulse and Digging Downbeats with Wolfgang Amadeus Schmutzinberry (who has his own web series). Weekly themed classical music playlists include fun assignments and activities.

Little Orchestra Society

Find interactive videos on writing melody, making pitched percussion and more musical topics plus musical storytimes and short funny features with Professor Treblemaker, the star of one of our favorite kids concert music series.

 

NEW VICTORY ARTS BREAK

Learn circus tricks, songwriting, puppet making, tap dance, magic and more  skills inspired by the diverse shows at New Victory Theatre, an amazing NYC performing arts venue for families. Watch excerpts from past and sadly cancelled productions. Currently featuring partners from around the world.

LIVE VIRTUAL MUSEUM PROGRAMS

Whitney Open Studio From Home

December 5 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Kids, teens, and families are invited to join Whitney Educators for free weekly online art classes. Experiment, create, and learn together with at-home art materials.  Each week features a new theme and project connected to a work of art in the Whitney’s collection or current exhibitions.

Hanukkah Family Day

December 6 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Join the Jewish Museum for an exciting mix of Hanukkah related activities and performances that will launch on their YouTube channel for families to explore. Groove with musicians Daphna Mor, Saskia Lane, and Daniel Freedman in partnership with the Beineinu community during a festive concert. Discover and sketch unexpected Hanukkah objects on a virtual tour.…

History @ Home

December 7 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am

Learn about history in real-time with New-York Historical Society educators on Zoom. Lessons are content-based and inquiry-driven, featuring images and historical documents from the museum’s collections using shared PowerPoint presentations.

Grade levels vary by day with grades K-12. Themes include The People of New York, Exploring Black History and History of American Protest. Great lesson…

Guggenheim Stroller Tour

December 8 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Join an interactive exploration of works from the Guggenheim’s collection and exhibitions designed for adults with small children (up to 24 months).

Intrepid Online Family Programs

December 8 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Join an Intrepid Museum Educator each week to explore history, science, and ingenuity online together. Family-friendly and engaging for all ages. Includes hands-on projects. Advance registration required to receive Zoom information and print-at-home materials when necessary.

Little New-Yorkers @ Home

December 8 @ 3:30 pm - 4:15 pm

Join New-York Historical Society Storytime via Zoom every Tuesday and Friday for story time and crafts. Each class includes a special Little New-Yorkers hello song, silly stretches and exercises, a story book reading, and a craft to do at home. Designed for ages ages 3-6.

Loving Math

December 8 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Join master storyteller Steve Sherman for a wacky workshop designed for rising kindergarteners through third graders. Enjoy stories, games, and laughter in a hilariously fun children’s event.

Presented by the Museum of Math.

Living History @ Home: Let’s Bake for Christmas

December 9 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Did you know that decorating trees for Christmas wasn’t a common practice until the mid-19th century? Join New-York Historical Society online to learn more fascinating factoids about winter traditions in 18th-century America. Then, bake the Christmas dessert almond cake along with us at home.

Mathematical Magic Tricks

December 10 @ 5:45 pm - 7:00 pm

With at most a bit of misdirection to create the appearance of complications, Joshua Zucker will perform several mathematical magic tricks, teach you to perform them yourselves, and guide you through the mathematical thinking that makes them work. Using that thinking, you can even create new tricks of your own.

Museum of Math Folding Fridays

December 11 @ 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

Origami expert Kathleen Sheridan teaches unique origami models. Explore the wonders of paper folding — there’s math in every fold.

To participate, you’ll need several sheets of printer paper as well as several sheets of square paper (size should be 5.5″ – 8.5”). Origami paper is preferred – available to ship now from the…

Picture This! Dream Menorahs

December 13 @ 10:00 am - 10:45 am

Join the Jewish Museum for a virtual family tour and art-making experience inspired by its popular Picture This! series.

Discover unique Hanukkah menorahs made with unexpected materials in a virtual tour with interactive activities, and create a folded sculptural menorah book with dreams and hopes for each night of the holiday. The museum is…

Guggenheim Sunday Family Tour

December 13 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Family-oriented virtual tours explore works from the Guggenheim’s collection with conversation and creative hands-on activities utilizing materials you can find at home. Includes art looking and hands-on art exploration. Tours are organized around a single theme and highlight artworks on view from the permanent collection and special exhibitions (plus some discussion of the museum’s amazing…

Living History @ Home: Let’s Celebrate Kwanzaa

December 16 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Celebrate community, family, and culture with this deep dive into the Black American holiday of Kwanzaa. Join New-York Historical Society online to learn about the history of the holiday, its significance, and the seven principles.  Discover and learn about New-York Historical artifacts that connect with the principles of the holiday. Then, create a guided activity…

Train Tales and Crafts

December 23 @ 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Celebrate New-York Historical Society’s annual Holiday Express exhibition with all things trains via zoom. Join a hello song, silly movement activities, a train-themed story book reading, and a train-themed craft to do at home.

Nefesh Mountain

December 25 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Enjoy the toe-tapping sounds of Nefesh Mountain, led by singer Doni Zasloff and her multi-instrumentalist husband Eric Lindberg. Dance to a vibrant blend of bluegrass, Celtic, and Appalachian tunes with a Jewish soul, as the band performs original melodies from their notable family release Songs from the Mountain and heralded album Beneath the Open Sky…