Zoom Around the World
Few things have helped people stay connected during these strange times the way Zoom has. Zoom, and other video-conferencing apps like it, let long-distance families throw parties, colleagues hold lunch meetings, and players enjoy our Zoom scavenger hunts.
On our new virtual games, a live event host uses Zoom to lead teams on a trip around the world, a murder mystery scavenger hunt, a quest through a major city, and more. And in each game, museum websites, virtual tours, Google Arts & Culture, and other tools let you visit different places you might not be able to right now. You may have seen some of the great and strange places you can explore virtually. Here are 5 of the best online spots you’ll investigate on our Zoom scavenger hunts.
Up in the Air Above London
The new Escape to London Virtual Tour Game lets virtual explorers visit Buckingham Palace, 10 Downing Street, the home of the World’s Greatest Detective, and many world-class museums. For pure fun, though, it’s tough to beat this 360-degree view of the city from atop the London Eye. (Don’t worry, it’s not a spoiler for the game, since there are a lot of things to see up here.) By looking around and clicking on a location, you can zip over to Piccadilly Circus, the Tower of London, the Gherkin, and more.
Wee Rooms in the Windy City
The Art Institute of Chicago is one of the top art museums in the U.S., and a favorite on our scavenger hunts. And one of the best galleries to visit virtually is Gallery 11, featuring 70 of the Thorne Miniature Rooms. These tiny rooms showcase centuries of European and American decor with meticulously crafted, itty bitty furniture and fixtures, and online you can really see many fine details you might miss in person. Take a good look at the gilded opulence of the 19th Century French anteroom, for example, or the artful simplicity of the New Mexico dining room, circa 1940.
Where’s Waldo, But Make It Art
Speaking of top American art museums, have you heard of a little place called the Met? The home of our very first scavenger hunt back in 1993, New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art is, to put it mildly, a very nice museum with some very nice art. A fun way to explore the museum is with this Met Kids Map, a Where’s Waldo-style snapshot of many of the Met’s galleries, including the art and artifacts therein. Even better, as you poke around every corner of the museum, you can click on many artworks to learn more about them. (And sure, it’s great to share with your kids, but adults can like fun things too.)
No Wonder It’s a Wonder of the World
Cross the Lost City of the Incas off your virtual bucket list with this tour of Machu Picchu. Gorgeous 360-degree panoramas let you take in the sights of the famed ruins, perched on top of an 8,000-foot mountain ridge in Peru. No, it’s not the same as being there in person, but at least it doesn’t take a couple flights, a train, a bus, and one heck of a hike to get to.
Shout-Out to the Zoo Crew
The Internet was invented to host animal videos. And now that most zoos and aquariums remain totally or partially closed, many have pumped up their virtual offerings—especially when it comes to videos showing off their animals. On our virtual hunts, you might meet the two-toed sloths at the Philadelphia Zoo or feed the penguins at Boston’s New England Aquarium.
Here’s a fun one we couldn’t squeeze into the already jam-packed Around the World Scavenger Hunt: The Asia Pacific Game: a group of daring keepers milking—yes, milking—a bunch of snakes at the Austrlian Reptile Park in New South Wales.
Photo credits: Big Ben Photo by Jurica Koletić on Unsplash; Thorne Miniature Room courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago, Public Domain; Machu Picchu photo by Willian Justen de Vasconcellos on Unsplash