Take a virtual field trip to see all sorts of animals without leaving home. You can visit zoos, aquariums, farms, and even go on a virtual safari all in the same day!
We’ve rounded up an amazing list of zoos, aquariums, farms and nature preserves that have webcams, live streams, and youtube videos you can watch to learn more about animals. We’ve also included links to online lesson plans and activities for those families wanting to create a richer learning experience from their virtual field trips.
What is a Virtual Field Trip?
Field trips are awesome learning experiences because they get you out of the classroom and take you into an immersive environment. On a virtual field trip, you open a window to explore outside your home or classroom. You can simply observe, or you can add to the experience with some educational information or activities to go along with it.
The list we’ve compiled below is pretty extensive, so be sure to bookmark this page so you can come back to it.
Zoo Virtual Field Trips
Modern zoos are an amazing blend of entertainment and education, coupled with research and conservation. When you visit a zoo, you not only get to see and learn about animals you are unlikely to encounter, but you are also supporting efforts to protect wildlife and the planet.
Try one of these resources to add to your virtual field trip experience.
- Virtual Field Trip Guide
- Free Zoo Field Trip Questions
- World Wildlife Federation’s “Wild Classroom” – They have 5 “days” of activites set up. There are also 9 educational toolkits currently available.
- National Wildlife Federation Lesson Plans and Webinars – broken up by topic and specifies appropriate grade level.
- Free Digital Versions of Ranger Rick Magazines – Through June 2020.
- Animal Books you can read or have read to you online
- Teacher Guides and Saving a Species Video Series + teacher toolkit from SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment.
San Diego Zoo (USA)
One of the most famous zoos in the world offers live webcams of baboons, penguins, apes, tigers, koalas, burrowing owls, elephants, polar bears, giraffes, and condors.
There is also archived webcam footage of pandas.
Houston Zoo (USA)
The Houston Zoo has webcams that let you look in on the giraffe feeding platform, the gorilla habitat, the elephant yard, the rhino yard, the chimp window, and even leafcutter ants!
The folks at the Houston Zoo have also been bringing the Zoo to You on their facebook page every weekday at 11am Central Time.
Kansas City Zoo (USA)
The Kansas City Zoo has live webcams showing two types of penguins, giraffes, and polar bears. The penguin cams are listed as separate cameras, but both show the same view. At the time of this post, the polar bear cam was not working.
Zoo Atlanta (USA)
We were fortunate to get to visit Zoo Atlanta a few years ago and we loved seeing the pandas! It’s so nice to know we can drop in and see Ya Lun and Xi Lun from home.
Philadelphia Zoo (USA)
Visiting the Philadelphia Zoo is unique because the animals are literally all around you as they have paths they can use to go over the walkways. When you can’t visit in person, you can view the penguin point webcam.
In addition, the Philadelphia Zoo has started doing Facebook Live sessions called “Philly Zoo at 2” at 2pm EDT daily.
Milwaukee County Zoo (USA)
On Zoo View TV, you can drop in on the Milwaukee County Zoo’s residents such as Polar Bear, Jaguar, Lions, Hyenas, Tigers, and Penguins… and even fish.
National Zoo (USA)
The National Zoo has live webcams for you to virtually visit their giant pandas, lions, elephants, and naked mole-rats! And you can get updates on what’s going on at the zoo on the National Zoo Facebook page.
Chattanooga Zoo (USA)
The Chattanooga Zoo in Tennessee has four live webcams on their zoo’s site. You can drop by and check out meerkats, snow leopards, tamarin, and the spotted genet.
Greenville Zoo (USA)
The Greenville Zoo has two cams set up to watch their giraffes. One gives you a look inside the barn. The other is a view of the paddock.
Alaska Zoo (USA)
As you might expect, the Alaska Zoo has a polar bear, and you can virtually visit it through its webcam. In addition, the zoo has started doing free live sessions via the Zoom app. Spots are limited and the schedule and links are being posted on the Alaska Zoo Facebook page.
Edinburgh Zoo (Scotland)
Did you know that the Edinburgh Zoo was the first zoo in the world to house and breed penguins? In addition to penguin cams, they also have live streams of pandas, tigers, and koalas.
In addition, the Wildlife Conservation Charity has some interactive learning from home courses for all ages.
Dublin Zoo (Ireland)
The zoo is also home to a scimitar-horned oryx, which is a species of antelope you can no longer find in the wild.
Ireland’s Dublin Zoo offers webcams of penguins and elephants, as well as their African Savanna where you might see giraffes, ostriches, zebras, or rhinos.
Marwell Zoo (UK)
The Marwell Zoo has a live video stream of their flamingos. They also have a photo streams (photos update every 30 seconds or so) of penguins, giraffes and lemurs.
Paignton Zoo (UK)
The Paignton Zoo has webcams set up looking at meerkats and sulawesi crested macaque. Their Flamingo webcam is currently unavailable. They also have a series of YouTube Videos about animals and working with them.
Starting Monday, March 23rd, the Paignton Zoo will be adding downloadable resources to their “Wild at Home” program for parents and teachers.
Zoos Victoria (Australia)
Zoos Victoria is an association of three zoos in Australia: Healesville Sanctuary, Melbourne Zoo, and Werribee Open Range Zoo. Their site features webcams where you can see snow leopards (indoor and outdoor), penguins, giraffes, lions, and zebras.
More Zoos for Virtual Field Trips
- Baton Rouge Zoo (USA)
- Bronx Zoo (USA)
- Chester Zoo (UK)
- Cheyenne Mountain Zoo (USA)
- Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden (USA)
- Home Safaris daily at 3pm ET on Facebook
- Cleveland Metroparks Zoo (USA)
- Daily Virtual Classrooms on Facebook at 11am ET @ClevelandMetroparksZoo.
- Columbus Zoo (USA)
- Cotswold Wildlife Park (UK)
- Denver Zoo (USA)
- El Paso Zoo (USA)
- Fort Worth Zoo (USA)
- “Keeper Chats” on Facebook Live @FortWorthZoo
- Gatorland Zoo (USA)
- “School of Croc” lives at 10am ET on Facebook
- Indianapolis Zoo (USA)
- Maryland Zoo (USA)
- Minnesota Zoo (USA)
- North American Bear Center (USA)
- Omaha Zoo (USA)
- St. Louis Zoo (USA)
- Tallinn Zoo (Estonia)
- Live Webcams: Snow Leopards, Elephants, Amur Leopards (must have Flash Player enabled)
- Toledo Zoo (USA)
- Tulsa Zoo (USA)
- Virginia Zoo (USA)
- Woodland Park Zoo (USA)
- Live Webcams: Bears, Bats, and Tigers
- Updates on the Woodland Park Facebook page
- Zoo Montana (USA)
- ZooAmerica (USA)
- Facebook Live Q&As – Weekdays 11am ET @ZooAmerica
If you know a zoo with great virtual field trip content like live cams, videos, or activities that isn’t on this list, let us know to add it!
Aquarium Virtual Field Trips
Aquariums focus mainly on ocean life, though many have animals that live out of the water, but live in or near the water.
One Big Ocean Online Curriculum
“One Big Ocean” is an online curriculum from Ocean.org. They have three different programs customized for the level of school. These can be used by themselves, or paired with a real or virtual visit to any aquarium.
Online Ocean School
You can also learn about the various creatures and habitats of the Gulf of St. Lawrence at “Ocean School“, with three weeks of lessons online and more being added.
National Aquarium (USA)
The National Aquarium in Baltimore, Maryland has cameras placed in three exhibits: Blacktip Reef featuring blacktip sharks, rays, and colorful fish; “Jellies Invasion” which you can guess features jellyfish; and “Pacific Coral Reef”. You can also take a virtual tour of the National Aquarium with 360 degree images.
Georgia Aquarium (USA)
The Georgia Aquarium is ranked as the best aquarium for families in the United States. We’ve been there, and it is AMAZING! And they have some great, high quality live feeds from their exhibits, too!
You can watch the Ocean Voyager cam where you can see sharks, rays, fish, sea turtles and even huge whale sharks! There’s also the Indo-Pacific Barrier Reef, Southern Sea Otters, Jelly Cam, California Sea Lions, African Penguins, Piranhas, and Beluga Whales.
And while they haven’t been going live, they have been posting videos to the Georgia Aquarium Facebook page.
Shedd Aquarium (USA)
You might have seen the video going around of the Shedd Aquarium’s penguins taking their very own personal tour of the aquarium’s exhibits. If you haven’t, you should check it out.
In addition to the one live stream we found on their site so far, the Shedd Aquarium also has a great series of videos just for kids called “Sea Curious”. They also have some really cool 360 degree videos of sharks!
The Aquarium of the Pacific is located in Long Beach, California. They have several webcams that allow you to visit virtually. You can see penguins both above and below the water, a shark lagoon, sea jellies, a tropical reef, blue cavern, and colorful anthias and wrasse exhibit.
The Clearwater Marine Aquarium located on the Gulf Coast in Clearwater, Florida is home to Winter and Hope, the rescued dolphins whose stories were the basis for the movies “Dolphin Tale” and “Dolphin Tale 2”.
You can virtually visit Winter and Hope, along with Nicholas and PJ. The aquarium also has views of its otters, pelicans, and sea turtles.
The Clearwater Aquarium even has downloadable lessons in language, math, and science to go along with a real or even virtual visit to the aquarium. There is also an online Kid Zone with games, activities, and experiments.
As the name suggests, the California Academy of Sciences is not just an aquarium. The San Francisco facility is also a natural history museum with a rainforest exhibit and planetarium.
There are a few webcams that allow you to visit right from home. You can look in on penguins, stingrays, a coral reef, and even take control of a camera at the top of a lighthouse on the nearby Farallon Islands.
The site also has lesson plans and materials for kids from preschool through high school.
Tennessee Aquarium (USA)
Live webcams of the secret reef, penguin, and sea otter exhibits. And on their facebook page, they are live streaming Aquarium at Home sessions.
Vancouver Aquarium (Canada)
Canada’s Vancouver Aquarium is home to more than 50,000 animals and features 30 exhibits to explore. When you can’t visit in person, you can still drop in on the sea otters, jellyfish, and penguins via the webcams on their homepage.
Facebook Lives weekdays at 10am @AtlanticWhiteShark. Resources on the website.
Farm Virtual Field Trips
While farms are different than zoos, they can be just as educational and rewarding in connecting us to nature, whether we visit in person or virtually.
Hen Cam (USA)
The Hen Cam comes from a backyard outside Boston, Massachussetts. The feed switches automatically between 3 cameras showing the hens outside and inside. You might also see goats and a bunny named Phoebe.
Peter’s Farm (Holland)
You can see a live stream of the cows, and maybe even some baby calves, at Peter’s Farm in Holland. The stream is only during operating hours, but there is also some YouTube footage for when it isn’t live.
Folly Farm (UK)
Folly Farm has a cute webcam that gives you a peek at its farm animals like sheep, goats and donkeys. The website also lists penguin, giraffe, and lion webcams from the zoo, but they were not working when we visited.
Farm Sanctuary (USA)
This sheep barn camera is at the Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen , New York. They also have a recorded virtual tour of the farm showing you some of their other animals.
Goats Live (??)
Not sure where it is coming from, but this camera is pointed at some goats and streams 24 hours a day.
Farm Food 360 (Canada)
Farm Food 360 has virtual tours of all different kinds of farms. There are milk & cheese, dairy cow, sheep, pig, mink, grain, egg, and oat farms, feed mills, and an apple orchard.
Chatsworth Farm (Canada)
Chatsworth Farm is an over 2,000 acre family-run farm in Canada where they grow grain and legume crops, alfalfa, and raise beef cattle, sheep, turkeys, ducks, and chickens for eggs and meat. They have a few video tours on their webpage and they’ve also been live streaming recently on the Chatsworth Farm Facebook page.
Horse Shoe Farm (USA)
This camera pans back and forth showing the outdoor pens of the Horse Shoe farm in Hendersonville, North Carolina. The horses are not always outside, though.
Virtual Farm Field Trips on YouTube
We found a whole bunch of Farm tours and Q&As on YouTube. Here are links to those. Some are individual, but others are whole playlists with multiple videos.
- American Dairy Association Indiana (4 videos)
- Ohio Pig Farms (50+ videos, several very recent)
- Grow Next Gen (discusses various topics)
- Ohio Beef Council (18 videos)
- New York Beef Council (4 videos)
- American Dairy Association Northeast (12 videos)
- Pennsylvania Beef (no playlist, but at least 3 tours among their many videos)
- Milk Means More (4 tours to a Michigan Dairy farm)
Safari Virtual Field Trips
Live Streamed safaris from the African wilderness. You never know what you are going to see, and your tours are guided by knowledgeable guides who sometimes answer questions from viewers.
SUNRISE SAFARI (Monday to Sunday)
- Central African Time (CAT): 06:00am – 09:00am
- East African Time (EAT): 07:00am – 10:00am
- Eastern Standard Time (EDT): 00:00pm – 03:00am
SUNSET SAFARI (Monday to Sunday)
- Central African Time (CAT): 15:30pm – 18:30pm
- East African Time (EAT): 16:30pm – 19:30pm
- Eastern Daylight Savings Time (EDT): 09:30am – 12:30pm
Over on the Cumbria Wildlife Trust webpage, you can drop in on webcams of a few different animals from across the United Kingdom. There is a camera pointed at the bird feeders at Plumgarths Wildlife Garden, Grey Seals at the South Walney Nature Preserve (archive footage when cam is not working), a Badger cam from Rydel, Ambleside, and an Osprey cam from Foulshaw Moss Nature Preserve (says cam will be available late March 2020).
Explore.org Webcams (Worldwide)
Explore.org has countless live streams from all over the world that you can choose from, including several locations already mentioned in this post. But our favorites are the ones you can view outside of a zoo, aquarium, or farm setting.
Some of these also have great audio, so you can make it full screen, turn up the volume, and have a window to the world. Great for background or meditation.
- Tembe Elephant Park (Africa)
- Honeybees going in and out of a hive
- Flying Foxes (bats)
- Hear Orcas (and occasionally see them) underwater
- Sea Lions hauled out onto rocks
- Polar Bear Cubs
The Wolf Conservation Center in New York is dedicated to protecting and preserving wolves in North America. They have several live feeds of various species of wolves. And if you want to learn a little about wolves, you can do that, too.
Bald Eagle Cam (USA)
Despite being the national symbol of the United States, we don’t get to see Bald Eagles all that much. But with the camera set up at Duke Farms in New Jersey, we can look right into a Bald Eagle’s nest! They even have a scavenger hunt you can print out for the kids to watch the nest and see if they spot any of those things.
In addition to their bird-watching tips and guides, All About Birds has a lot of live cams from all over North America for virtual bird-watching from the comfort of your home.
Know about a Zoo, Aquarium, Farm, or Wildlife location providing virtual access? Please let us know so it can be added to the list!