By DeVry University
As summer quickly approaches, you might be finding that your plans look quite a bit different than previous years. Whether you had to rearrange activities, cancel events or postpone your travel arrangements, there are still plenty of ways to immerse yourself in many great experiences around the globe, thanks to on-demand learning, virtual reality entertainment and other offerings.
Taking advantage of these free or inexpensive opportunities for personal enrichment is fairly easy to do – as long as you know where to look. Read on for some ideas on where to start.
Explore Museums with Virtual Reality Entertainment
A recent CNBC article highlights how research has shown that virtual reality experiences can help people feel more mindful, calm and connected. Thanks to virtual reality technology, museums and other institutions are able to offer virtual tours and visits to people across the country and the world – no immersive headsets required.
Some institutions offer full virtual reality tours so that you can feel like you're standing in a famous gallery half a world away. Today, it’s likely that even your local museums – from science and industry to history and art – are offering something digitally. Be sure to check out their websites to see what options might be available.
Other museums have created podcasts and video chats with famous artists and museum curators to engage the public in new and different ways. A few of the more well-known institutions offering digital opportunities include:
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The MET in New York is host to the world-famous Met Gala. It is also home to some of the most famous works of art in history. They’ve recently added virtual visits and activities to their website to help visitors learn and experience new things. Explore some of their most iconic spaces in a 360-degree video, read online essays on art history, get a glimpse into select exhibits, or view concerts, lectures and other performances.
- The Vatican. The Vatican offers several virtual tours, including of the Sistine Chapel, the Pio Clementino Museum, the Chiaramonti Museum, Raphael’s Rooms and more.
- The Louvre. A visit to Paris isn't complete without taking in the Louvre. Visiting online has its perks too – such as the ability to cover more ground than you might have in person. You can take virtual tours of several exhibitions and galleries. There is also a virtual tour of the museum itself, an architectural wonder in its own right.
Museum virtual visits are enriching for people of all ages. This is a great time to expose children to new and different things they might not otherwise see. It's also a good way to continue learning while school is out. Other ways to support your kids' education at home this summer include:
- Nature hikes.
- Family yoga time.
- Science experiments.
Virtual Exercise and Fitness Options
Physical exercise is an important part of maintaining your overall health and wellness – including your mental health. According to the CDC, some of the best ways to cope with stress include:
- Eating healthy meals.
- Exercising regularly.
- Getting plenty of sleep.
Fortunately, a number of gyms and fitness companies are also offering digital training and class options. Good Housekeeping recently published a list of gyms and studios that are offering free live-stream workout classes that you can join remotely. Other companies offer applications that have special free trial options.
Some examples of at home fitness providers include:
Virtual Reality Entertainment with Music
Attending live music events is one of the most wonderful ways to spend time with friends and family. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to hear great artists even if you can’t attend in-person.
Billboard, for example, keeps a running list of all the virtual concerts and events that are being live-streamed in the coming weeks. The page is updated regularly to incorporate new events.
If you're more interested in classical or opera music, Classic FM has released a comprehensive list of live-stream and digital events that include performances from the London Symphony Orchestra, the Metropolitan Opera and many more . With digital access, you have the opportunity to experience music from all over the world and are not limited by your physical location. You can experience talent everywhere from Carnegie Hall in New York to the Festival Orchestra in Budapest.
If you'd like to learn an instrument or improve your musical skills, now is an excellent time to take advantage of the variety of online tutors and venues offering learning opportunities. In fact, Save the Music has a full resource page for those interested in:
- Distance music learning.
- Online music learning resources.
- Virtual concerts and ours.
- Advocacy and fundraising opportunities.
On-Demand Learning for Your Future
The benefits of online learning have been particularly evident in recent months. Many traditional classes – from kindergarten to graduate level – have turned to online learning environments out of necessity. Companies have implemented work-from-home initiatives in order to continue operating within the parameters of social distancing measures.