While our BUSY BRAINS blog post provides an enormous list of global virtual field trips, tours, online activities, and educational resources — we wanted to give you some options closer to home.
Ready to get live & local from the comfort of your own home? We’ve put together a list of the best online special events and ongoing virtual activities and classes, hosted by folks right here in New Orleans & on the Northshore.
VIRTUAL SPECIAL EVENTS
St. Tammany Library Summer Reading Kicks Off
May 15 at 6:30pm
The St. Tammany Parish Library will kick off the “Imagine Your Story” Summer Reading Challenge with a live virtual event featuring Jester Jim at 6:30pm on Zoom. Be sure to check out and participate in the awesome lineup of virtual events including storytimes for little ones, workshops and fun stuff for older kids, and online performances for the whole family.
Live Author Book Reading
May 15 from 3-4pm
The Book & the Bean/Book Nook Store will host a live reading with Rosalind Bunn, author of Beau’s Bayou Treasure. They are accepting pre-orders to have your book signed by the author and shipped directly to your home.
Live Online Teen Art-Making Session
May 16 from 1-3pm
This LIVE teen hang-out and art-making session based on work of Walter Anderson, currently on exhibition at the Ogden Museum. Teens are encouraged to spend time connecting with other teens and making their own masterpiece, and checking out the teen docent program. Zoom link: https://zoom.us/s/237480936
Curbside Pickup St Tammany Library
St. Tammany Parish Public Library has announced that they’ll be offering curbside pickup at their Causeway, Covington, Madisonville, Mandeville, Slidell and South Slidell Branches from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday though Saturday beginning Monday, May 18. You can simply call one of these six locations to request curbside pick-up service or place a hold via the library website.
Baby ArtsPlay!™ at Home
May 21 from 9:30-10am
Join Ogden Museum of Art on Facebook for Young Audiences of Louisiana’s Baby Artsplay!™ at Home Presented by The Helis Foundation. Caregivers can participate in this popular local workshop at home. Learn how to integrate purposeful activities into your children’s daily routine and support their cognitive, physical and social development.
Now through the first week of May, kids and families can take advantage of virtual cooking (Mondays & Tuesdays) and baking classes (Wednesdays), plus special needs cooking classes (Thursdays).
Encore Studio of Dance, Tumbling, Music & Theatre
They are offering online Zoom classes for voice, piano, dance, musical theatre or tumbling to current and new students.
Louisiana Academy of Performing Arts
LAAPA is now enrolling students for May online music lessons and dance classes, and they have lots of free classes coming up on their Facebook page.
This tutoring and enrichment establishment is offering private sessions for May for reading and writing (Grades prek-12) and math (Grades prek-5).
Rivertown Theaters for the Performing Arts
They started “Quarantunes Challenge” where 24 local performers present video songs (most quarantine parodies) and compete in a “March Madness” sort of bracket. Performances can be watched here and votes are $1 each. The winner will face off vs. the winner from Theatre Baton Rouge!
They are offering virtual dance classes in Ballet, Modern, Contemporary, Hip Hop, Creative Movement, Pilates and Art, as well as a Master Class Series.
Their virtual summer martial arts program can be used to meet school PE requirements, build new social friendships, reduce stress, build confidence, coordination and so much more.
ONGOING DIGITAL EVENTS/ACTIVITIES/TOURS
Audubon Virtual Community Connection
Audubon Nature Institute (Zoo, Aquarium, Insectarium, Nature Center) provides updates on the animals we all love, as well as quizzes, puzzles, videos and other online activities.
Barnes & Noble Virtual Storytime
Every Saturday, Barnes & Noble brings a new storytime to life via their page and YouTube channel. You can purchase the book online and take advantage of curbside pick up to follow along at home, or just listen and do the printable activity sheets they provide for each storytime. Upcoming schedule: May 9 – You Be Mommy; May 16 – Little Engine That Could; May 23 – What About Worms?!; May 30 – Don’t Worry, Little Crab.
CMST Virtual Storytimes & Museum Without Walls
Children’s Museum of St. Tammany offers virtual story times & daily online programming through their Museum Without Walls outreach. They post on Facebook everyday at 10am and 2pm with resources, lives, and videos.
Daisy Duke’s Mandeville Drive-in Theater
Every Friday & Saturday through May 23, from 7:30-9pm, you can order smoothies, Ice cream, dinner and/or drinks for curbside pick up at Daisy Duke’s of Mandeville, and stay for a drive-in style movie. Kitchen will be open until the movie is over.
Beginning May 1, Global Wildlife Center in Folsom will be offering Global on the GO, a NEW Safari Drive-Thru, which allows you to take a cruise in the comfort of your own vehicle while interacting with over 30 different species of animals from around the world.
LCM In Dialogue Video Chat Series
Thursdays now through June 18, from 1:30 – 2:30pm, this adults-only series addresses mental health issues for caregivers of children 8 & under, from Louisiana Children’s Museum & Tulane Institute of Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health.
Mardi Paws Virtual Treasure Hunt
Now through the end of May, all you need to participate in this free scavenger hunt is a map, a computer or smart phone, and a penchant for adventure.Search for the “treasures” at each location, record them and submit your entry form for a chance to win cash and prizes.
Morning Yoga Live Stream at Legacy Park
If you’re looking for Hump day Wellness Wednesday yoga vibes this weekly event – Wednesdays through June 24 from 8:30-9:30am – offers powerful & fun ALL LEVELS vinyasa flow led by an instructor.
NOMA Virtual Tours & Digital Exhibitions
NOMA offers high-resolution digital exhibitions, as well as a virtual tour of the museum. There’s also a Mobile Guide of their collection and the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden, plus NOMA’s YouTube Channel for a wide range of curator-led gallery talks, artist perspectives, interviews, and panel discussions presented at NOMA over the last several years.
NOPL Virtual Storytimes & More
New Orleans Public Library allows you to choose a theme and view storytimes anywhere, any time. New videos uploaded regularly. It also offers interactive electronic storybooks, chapter books, nonfiction, language learning, puzzles, games, and much more.
Ogden Museum of Southern Art Online Activities
The Ogden’s all-ages online programming includes virtual tours, weekly online lesson plans inspired by works in their permanent collection and special exhibitions, plus Baby Artsplay sessions, all-ages art activities, Art + Zen live museum meditations, and more.
Painting with a Twist Mandeville is now shipping painting kits right to your home. Two kits to choose from, which include 6 bottles of paint, brushes, and either 3 8x10s or 2 12x12s. Upon order you will receive written instructions and a video tutorial walking you through the steps. Best suited for ages 5 and up, so you can either do a Zoom girls’ night, or have fun with the kiddos. (985) 626-6272, email@example.com
STPL Live Virtual Storytimes & More
St. Tammany Public Library offers a variety of online events and activities, including live virtual storytimes, a reading club, one-on-one Zoom appointments with reference librarians, and multiple other home learning and educational resources.
SoFab Kids’ Virtual Activities & Videos
In addition to their kids’ page and kids’ YouTube channel that includes recipes and cooking demonstration classes for kid-friendly meals, Southern Food & Beverage Museum has a YouTube channel with virtual tours of their most popular exhibits & special collections.
World War II Museum Virtual Field Trips & More
In addition to virtual field trips, the National WWII Museum’s distance learning page offers webcasts, webinars, a distance learning video archive, and more.