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Virtual tours and experiences for seniors

virtual tours

The need to stay at home during the pandemic has brought about a new focus on how to connect to and view the world through the wonders of technology. Now many of us are very comfortable with using virtual experiences to stay close to loved ones and being able to continue enjoying the world. Although virtual experiences are nothing new and have been appearing more frequently over the last few years, when the Coronavirus struck, many businesses had to close their doors and as a result, the virtual world sprung into life.

With so many leisure activities closed and people unable to travel, many museums, landmarks, sanctuaries, even personal trainers and chefs moved online to continue offering their services – virtually. The good news is that it seems likely that virtual experiences are here to stay.

This is a real positive for the older generation who may still not be able to go out or travel very far at the moment. So, if you’re looking for some inspiration for virtual tours and experiences that you or a senior member of your family can enjoy from the comfort and safety of their own home, here are some ideas.

Virtual museum tours

Some of the world’s top museums have created or given access to virtual tours and exhibitions so that people can still enjoy a little history and culture even if they can’t attend the museum in person.  Some of the most popular museums offering virtual services include:

  • British Museum, London
  • Guggenheim Museum, New York
  • National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul
  • Pergamon Museum, Berlin
  • Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
  • Vatican Museums, Rome
  • Musée d’Orsay, Paris

This is not an exhaustive list. There are many museums and art galleries to visit, from national to local, from the stone age to modern history. With these great virtual tours, a bit of escapism and culture can be yours with just the click of a button.

A trip to some of the world’s most famous landmarks

On a similar note, many of the world’s greatest landmarks have also set up webcams or video technology so that those stuck at home can at least partially satisfy their wanderlust. From the tip of Machu Picchu in Peru, right the way through to the Colosseum in Rome – there are so many exciting places just waiting to be explored.

You can find out more information about virtual tours and live footage from 10 of the world’s most famous landmarks, right here.

Discover Ireland

Take a virtual tour around some of Ireland’s best loved locations, from Blarney Castle through rugged coastlines to the Guinness Storehouse, and taking in some fascinating galleries and museums in-between.

Online cooking classes and tutorials

Fancy getting a little bit creative in the kitchen? Why not enjoy a virtual cooking class? Whether you decide to tune in live or simply watch the online tutorial later, there are lots of chefs out there that want to pass on their wisdom and help people to create delicious food. And what can be more comforting than tucking into a good meal?

You can catch tutorials from well-known TV chefs like Jamie Oliver on YouTube that can be enjoyed again and again, or sign up for a masterclass with the likes of Gordon Ramsey and many others.

 A trip to the aquarium or animal sanctuary

A day out to the zoo or your nearest aquarium can be great fun, but it often requires a lot of walking, not to mention it’s even tricker now with new health and safety regulations in place. But the good news is that sanctuaries and aquariums across the globe have made it possible to get your fix of cute and fuzzy animals as you sit at home with your cat.

You can enjoy everything from the pandas at Smithsonian’s National Zoo to the gorillas in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Or fancy taking a dive? Then why not go to the Georgia aquarium to watch the marine life in all its beautiful glory.

Exercise classes

Are you missing your weekly yoga or water aerobics class? Not a problem! If there weren’t enough virtual exercise classes and tutorials before, this year has certainly seen the availability of online workouts soaring. You could join popular body coach, Joe Wicks for a quick 10-minute workout or if you want something a little longer, join the Move It Or Lose It club where you can work out and socialise with others as you do.

Watch the Northern Lights

With people unable to travel, tour operator Lights Over Lapland created a virtual reality experience in which you’ll be taken on a journey to enjoy the Northern Lights. This is not the only way to enjoy the lights virtually, but it’s certainly one of the best. The tour takes you from the famous Ice hotel to the shoreline of Lake Torneträsk to watch the waves roll in. Gradually you move through the  Arctic wilderness spotting reindeer, before finally watching the Northern Lights above Abisko National Park in Sweden.

Catch a concert or a show

It’s time to get yourself all dressed up or even just treat yourself to a fresh pair of pyjamas because tonight you’re going to a night at the opera! You can get your toes tapping to the sound of the Seattle Symphony or the Metropolitan Opera. Or, if the theatre is more your thing, sign up to Broadway HD where you can see all classics from Shakespeare to Cats.

Visit a friend

But a virtual experience doesn’t have to be a grand exploration or experience either, why not simply pop by a friends house? There are so many platforms out there that make it easy to set up a quick video call and have a catch-up and a cup of tea with a friend (or two). From Google Hangouts to Skype, you can feel like you’re sitting in the same room together catching up on all of last week’s gossip.

Author Kathy Lawrence is editor of When They Get Older

Photo by Christian Fregnan on Unsplash

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