While WOSU Public Media is keeping you informed about all the latest news on our coronavirus live blog, we also wanted to provide a space for you to find local resources and learn about virtual experiences to enjoy from the safety and comfort of home. This site will be updated regularly, so please check back for updates and new virtual experiences.
Click a link to jump to the categories listed below:
- Local Virtual Experiences – Scheduled
- Local Virtual Experiences – Ongoing
- National & International Virtual Experiences
- Tips & Resources
- Virtual Resources from WOSU Public Media
- Submit Your Own Virtual Experience Or Resource
Monday, January 18 at 9:00am
All are invited to this memorable signature City of Columbus flagship MLK Jr. Day event to honor the memory of the iconic civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The largest community event of its kind honoring the fallen civil rights leader Dr. King in the nation. Professor Melissa Harris-Perry is the Maya Angelou Presidential Chair at Wake Forest University where she teaches courses on American politics and elections at the intersections of race, place, and gender will deliver the keynote address.. The virtual event is open to the public, but attendance is limited and is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Advanced registration is required.
Columbus Metropolitan Club
Friday, January 22 at 12:00pm
A special Friday forum! The inauguration of President-Elect Joe Biden promises to be a historic day amid months of history making challenges for our country. Our panel will discuss their impressions, take-aways and predictions regarding the new president and the message he delivers to us on January 20.
Featuring host Tracy Townsend, Co-Anchor, WBNS 10TV and 10TV’s “Face the State”; Sandy Theis, Owner, Theis Research and Consulting, LLC; Herb Asher, Ph.D., OSU Professor Emeritus, Political Science, Terry Casey, Republican Strategist and Commentator, and Ray Miller, Publisher, Columbus & Dayton African American News Journal.
Visit the CMC YouTube page to view and participate in the community conversation during this livestream event. Audience questions will be submitted live. Register to submit questions in advance and to receive information on how send questions on the day of the forum.
Sunday, January 24 at 4:00pm
To culminate its community read of “Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You,” the Columbus Metropolitan Library presents a virtual talk on Jan. 24 with co-author Jason Reynolds. The free event aims to spark conversations on racism and social justice in the greater Columbus community.
Tuesdays at 11:00am
Always Subject to Change is a brand new online conversation series by and about artists created by the Wexner Center for the Arts in partnership with WOSU Public Media. This weekly series will feature artists, thinkers and creators discussing some crucial questions: What does artistic practice look like in this unprecedented era impacted by the dual public health crises of a pandemic and systemic racism? How do artists and creative thinkers move forward with their work when every day is subject to change? The next episode, available Tuesday, January 19 at 11am, features a conversation with Kristy Edmunds, Executive and Artistic Director of UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance. New episodes drop Tuesdays at 11:00am on YouTube.
Upcoming Local Virtual Experiences
Where Do We Go from Here? MLK’s Vision for a Fair and Just America
Saturday, January 16 at 7:00pm
Shortly before his death, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. published his last book, Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community, a powerful explication of his thoughts and ideas on how to create a more democratic society. This talk with Dr. Hasan Jeffries will explore the blueprint for the future that King laid out, highlighting the elements of his vision that are most applicable today.
Pleasures of the Cup Virtual: Ohio on the Rocks
Saturday, January 23 at 7:00pm
Join the Ohio History Connection from the comfort of home as the Pleasures of the Cup series goes virtual! Create drinks along with our mixologist as we bring the glaciers to your home (no actual glaciers will come to your home), then learn about mammoths, mastodons, bears and other cool Ice Age things. Alcohol not provided. Advance registration required. You’ll receive recipes in advance plus a link to the presentation about 2 hours before it starts. Must be 21 and over to attend.
Wonderball Goes Virtual
Saturday, January 30 at 8:00pm
The last Saturday of January will again be alive with wonder, unexpected experiences, and creative black & white fashion. Columbus Museum of Art will present Wonderball virtually on Saturday, January 30, 2021 with free registration, enabling more people than ever to experience this celebration of the creative spirit of Columbus.
Ongoing Local Virtual Experiences
Museums & Art
Art Unites Cbus – CAPA and the Greater Columbus Arts Council partnered to launch an Art Unites Cbus online gallery to document the works produced during the #ArtUnitesCbus initiative launched on June 1, 2020. The initiative worked to commission Columbus-based visual artists to decorate the plywood installed over the broken windows at the Ohio Theater and Arts Council office. It quickly became a city-wide movement supported by businesses, artists and individuals who wanted to express their support for the protests and hope for the future. Photos of the murals are now available through this site, which will be regularly updated as more murals are documented in Columbus.
Columbus Museum of Art – Walk with Art – Enjoy art wherever you are with the Columbus Museum of Art’s ‘Walk with Art’ virtual experience. CMA is committed to sparking curiosity, inciting empathy, creating connection, inspiring hope, and reminding all of us of our shared humanity through art and culture. Scroll through this selection of videos to design your own walk with art experience.
Columbus Museum of Art – Stay Connected – While the Museum is currently closed, they are still here for the community. Join CMA online over the next few weeks to explore new ways of virtually gathering, cultivating creativity and play and building community resilience and connection together. They’re also offering Free Resources for At-Home Arts Education.
Urban Arts Space Crafternoons – Urban Arts Space will host weekly virtual Crafternoons! Video tutorials will be posted at the beginning of the week. Check out their Facebook Live for interactive Crafternoon sessions every Saturday at 1:00 pm, where you’ll be able to get real time instructions and ask questions with their staff!
Accessible Expressions Ohio Exhibition – Accessible Expressions Ohio is one of the most diverse art exhibits on display. It is an adjudicated, statewide exhibition and tour of sixty 2D and 3D art by Ohio artists with disabilities. Art Possible Ohio will feature one artwork from the 2020 exhibition daily at 9:05am via Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Ohio Museums with Virtual Programming, Education Activities, Tours and Events – In response to COVID-19, many museums across Ohio are offering virtual programming through online education activities, tours and live-stream events that can be enjoyed outside of museum walls.
ProMusica Virtual Family Concert – ProMusica Chamber Orchestra recorded their Family Concert program with their string quartet to share with you virtually, to watch in the safety of your own home.
Columbus Jazz Orchestra – Offstage LIVE – During this series, you will see your favorite musicians, listen to incredible music, and be able to jump in on the conversation with your own questions and comments from the comfort and safety of home. Join the CJO each Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday evening at 6:30pm on Facebook.
SWACO Virtual Tour of the Franklin County Sanitary Landfill – The Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio invites you to take a virtual tour of Franklin County’s Sanitary Landfill without leaving home. Take this opportunity to learn about the importance of waste reduction, recycling and safe disposal at the landfill. If you’re interested in virtually hosting a SWACO educator, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 614-782-9418.
CAPA Behind the Curtain – Take a peek behind the curtain to see what the CAPA team is doing to maintain their historic theatres during the COVID-19 pandemic. Jason Gay, CAPA’s Associate Vice President of Operations, performs a walk-through inspection of the Ohio Theatre where he shows you dark corners of the Ohio, talks through what to look for in the building, and shows your their classic ghostlight!
Franklin Park Conservatory Virtual Experiences – Franklin Park Conservatory is offering a collection of virtual experiences to continue to realize their vision despite the closure. Virtual experiences are opportunities to enjoy many of the aspects of the Conservatory that traditionally require admission, for free and from home. Included are the biomes, exhibitions, and classes as well as additional expertise related to gardening and plant care. The public outdoor gardens of Franklin Park remain open for visitors to enjoy from dawn to dusk.
Scott’s Social Distance Tours – Local writer and arts scene enthusiast Scott Woods collaborated with Streetlight Guild and The Columbus Foundation to host virtual tours of the Columbus Museum of Art and the Thurber House. You can check out these visits on his Facebook page.
Hilliard Historical Society Virtual Tour – Enjoy a virtual tour of the Hilliard Historical Society
Ohio Craft Museum Virtual Tour – Enjoy a virtual tour of the Ohio Craft Museum
Tour Ohio State University – Use this self-guided, virtual tour to explore popular spots across the Columbus campus. Along the way, you’ll learn about Ohio State’s unique history and traditions.
The Wexner Center’s Zoom Family Film Festival – Check out Columbus’s only annual celebration of affordable family entertainment from around the world. Presented in partnership with Columbus Metropolitan Library, much of this year’s online edition of Zoom is free for anyone with a library card through the Kanopy Kids streaming service! Enjoy fresh and fascinating films that focus on kids’ unique interests and perspectives as well as other resources and activities—including downloadable coloring pages, a crafting video, and book recommendations from Wexner Center educators and CML employees.
ProMusica Musical Storytimes – Join ProMusica for Musical Storytimes every Tuesday at 10:00am on their Facebook page. Designed for the youngest music lovers, we will sing songs, learn new alphabet letters of the day, read cherished children books, and meet and hear ProMusica musicians introduce and play their different instruments.
CATCO is Kids Storytime – Join CATCO on Mondays at 10:00am for storytime!
The Columbus Zoo Digital Learning Center – Follow the Columbus Zoo on social media Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 1 p.m. to see their #ColumbusZooSchool activities or join using Zoom on Thursdays at 10 a.m. for a live Columbus Zoo Virtual Adventure. A recording of these programs will be available shortly after the program is presented. All activities address Ohio Learning Standards for Science and are designed to connect you and your family with nature.
At Home with Highlights – Columbus-based Highlights for Children Inc. is offering Highlights@Home, an ongoing series of free content including activities, craft ideas, stories, puzzles, recipes and more. Each week has two themed collections that parents can access online or get delivered free to their email inbox.
The Wex Daily Stream: Make Paper Planes with Hakim Callwood – Enjoy the first in a series of short video tutorials for youth by local artists. Pick up a piece of paper and get ready to make it fly! In this short video for young children, Columbus artist and Wex Education collaborator Hakim Callwood shares a primer on an art form that comes in handy throughout one’s life: folding paper airplanes.
COSI Connects – COSI’s Digital Doorway for fun at-home science discovery and learning.
Ohio History Connection – Learn at Home – While Ohio schools are closed, many caregivers are now tasked with educating kids at home. OHC has developed a number of engaging and educational history resources that you and your family can easily access online.
Virtual Screenings at The Wex – Check out what’s new and what’s holding in Wex virtual screening rooms this week. Each stream purchased through their independent distributor partners helps support the center and its programming. Updated every Friday.
Gateway Film Center – Explore Gateway Film Center’s collection of films available to stream online.
Planetarium Shows from The Works – The Works: Ohio Center for History, Art & Technology in Newark is offering virtual visits to SciDome, its planetarium. Two shows are offered, “Dinosaurs at Dusk” and “Solar Superstorms.” Shows are scheduled through the end of April
National & International Virtual Experiences
The Louvre Museum Virtual Tour – Wander through this famous Parisian museum without leaving your home
Metropolitan Museum of Art Virtual Tour – Enjoy a virtual tour of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City
Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Virtual Tour – Enjoy a virtual tour of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
Google Arts & Culture – Providing sweeping access to institutions all over the world, Google Arts and Culture has partnered with cultural organizations to host virtual tours of museums and other landmark sites.
Nightly Met Opera Streams – The Metropolitan Opera will be expanding its “Nightly Met Opera Streams” program to offer more titles and a longer streaming period. The streams begin every night at 7:30 p.m. and will be available on the Met’s website for 23 hours.
National Parks Virtual Tours – Google Earth Has Virtual Tours of 31 National Parks in the U.S.
30 Field Trips Throughout the World – Explore the world from your couch with these virtual field trips
National Museum of the United States Air Force – The virtual tour allows visitors to take a virtual, 360-degree, self-guided tour of the entire museum by navigating from gallery to gallery either by using a drop-down map or by following navigational arrows connecting the individual nodes.
National Museum of the Great Lakes – The National Museum of the Great Lakes is committed to spreading their mission by providing valuable resources to those looking for history-based learning opportunities at home. This page allows you to explore our virtual tour of our museum exhibits and the Col. James M. Schoonmaker Museum Ship.
Under The Canopy (360 video) – Journey into the largest tract of tropical rainforest on our planet — the Amazon. Narrated by indigenous guide, Kamanja Panashekung, and actor Lee Pace, this new virtual reality film by Conservation International and Jaunt VR takes you into the Amazon and urges the protection of world’s largest rainforest.
Valen’s Reef (360 video) – Plunge into one of the greatest spectacles of biodiversity in the world. The Bird’s Head Seascape in eastern Indonesia is an area the size of Great Britain that holds more species of fish than Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and more species of coral than the entire Caribbean Ocean.
Kids & Family
Rock Hall EDU – Explore Free Online Learning Resources with Rock Hall EDU
Teachers and parents, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is here to help you engage with students as schools move to at home, online instruction. Rock Hall EDU, their free digital learning platform, is full of resources and activities that use the power of rock & roll to engage students of all ages. The resources are developed and curated by their award-winning Education team and meet national and state learning standards in a variety of subject areas, including music, social studies, STEAM, English and more. Sign up for a free account now!
LeVar Burton Reads – The beloved, longtime host of Reading Rainbow announced that he’s bringing storytime to Twitter using his handle @Levarburton. The series will take place three times a week and will include age-appropriate selections depending on the day – Mondays are reserved for children, Wednesdays are for young adults and Fridays are for adults.
Harry Potter at Home – J.K. Rowling, along with the folks at Audible, Bloomsbury, OverDrive, Pottermore Publishing and Scholastic, are delighted to introduce ‘Harry Potter At Home’ to help children, parents, carers and teachers add a touch of Harry Potter magic to our new daily lives. The site includes some new ways to bring the magic closer to you, all specially created by different members of the wide Wizarding World family.
Goodnight with Dolly – Dolly Parton will read a series of Imagination Library books all carefully chosen for their appropriate content at this moment in time. Parton’s storytime will be streamed on Facebook every Thursday at 7:00pm.
The Wonder Zone at the Cincinnati Museum Center – Curiosity is far too big to fit into a museum, so the Cincinnati Museum Center is bringing it straight to you. Wonder Zone brings experiments and museum experiences into your home. Follow along and try your hand at some of these experiments or just watch and enjoy.
Children’s Museum of Cleveland – Enjoy a virtual tour of the Children’s Museum of Cleveland.
Stay At Home Story Time with Oliver Jeffers – Artist, illustrator and writer Oliver Jeffers will read one of his books each weekday and discuss some of the things that went into making it. Watch LIVE on Oliver’s instagram (@oliverjeffers) at 6 PM GMT/ 2 PM EST/ 11 AM PST or view all of them on his website.
Storyline Online – The Screen Actors Guild Foundation created this children’s literacy website, which features videos of actors reading children’s books alongside produced illustrations. Each book has a recommended grade level and activity guides. Readers include Viola Davis, Chris Pine, Lily Tomlin, Kevin Costner, Annette Bening, James Earl Jones, Betty White and dozens more.
Can’t Stop Columbus – Join a massive community-driven movement to build solutions for the COVID-19 pandemic.
Virtual Art Makes Columbus – The Greater Columbus Arts Council’s page dedicated to updating virtual arts experiences, closings and postponements of local events and performances.
Takeout Covid – Help save Columbus restaurants and bars by ordering food, cocktails, wine, and beer for delivery or takeout and keep your local favorites in business!
Local Restaurants Offering Carryout & Delivery – A list of local restaurants offering carryout and delivery curated by Columbus Monthly
Support Columbus Eats – This site is meant to be a resource for the citizens of this city to find local spots to order from and support.
Support Local Food-Makers – Local food blogger Nick Dekker from Breakfast with Nick, complied a list of resources to support local food-makers, including special offers, online orders, projects and activity kits, meals for food insecure kids and more.
YMCA YouTube channel of exercise classes – The YMCA is offering a YouTube channel of exercise classes, including yoga, barre and bootcamps.
Digital Resources from the Columbus Metropolitan Library – A full list of the digital resources available for free with your CML library card. And did you know your local library has thousands of ebooks and audiobooks? You can borrow them, instantly, for free, using the Libby app. Learn how to download it here.
Columbus Music Commission Emergency Resource Center – The Columbus Music Commission has gathered resources to help you to navigate the current COVID-19 turbulence. There’s useful information on available relief, live streaming performance opportunities and more helpful links.
44 Ways to ‘Be The Helper’ During the COVID-19 Outbreak – Complied by City Pulse Columbus, this extensive list of resources offers many ways to help your community during this time.
Your Stay at Home Guide to Columbus – Experience Columbus put together some frequently asked questions and answers about staying home to flatten the curve, in addition to ways you can still explore and support Columbus.
Support Local Businesses – On this site, you can search for a local business, add a business to the list and help support local businesses by purchasing a gift card to enjoy later.
WOSU Public Media Virtual Resources
Letters from Home – WOSU’s Letters from Home project is recording the day-to-day lives of all of us through the COVID-19 pandemic. We ask for reflective stories and thoughts. While social media is a quick splash in a puddle, we are looking for a deep dive in your feelings and life. Use this link to write us a response to our weekly prompt. Feel free to expand and answer as you like and write as often as you wish. You can even upload a photo/video/or audio to accompany your post. Check back weekly for new questions.
WOSU Radio Live Audiostreaming – Listen to the 89.7 NPR News and Classical 101 audiostreams using your preferred streaming device, desktop player or smart speakers. Also, learn how to download the WOSU Public Media mobile app for programming on the go.
Classical 101 Blog – Explore concert previews, book and music reviews, arts features, web-exclusive playlists and archived audio and video of local and visiting musicians.
Quarantine Classics from Classical 101 – A new video series that will allow your favorite Classical 101 hosts to stay connected with listeners in the age of social distancing. Each day we’ll post on Classical 101’s Facebook page fun video messages that connect our listeners with a video of a great live musical performance.
WOSU Passport – This member benefit provides you with extended access to an on-demand library of quality public television programming. Featuring both PBS and select local programming, WOSU Passport allows you to watch even more episodes of your favorite shows, including full seasons of many current and past series.
WOSU TV – Viewing Guide – Find out where to watch WOSU TV, WOSU OHIO, WOSU Plus and WOSU Kids on television.
Columbus Neighborhoods: Coshocton Canal Boat 360 Ride – Take an extended 360 horse-drawn canal boat ride with architectural historian Jeff Darbee and Roscoe Village tour guide Stacie Stein in Coshocton, Ohio.
Columbus Neighborhoods: Kelton House Underground Railroad Stop 360 Tour – Take a 360 degree look around the Kelton House and Museum on East Town Street in downtown Columbus, Ohio to learn more about its history as an Underground Railroad stop.
WOSU Classroom – Learning At Home – Resources for educators and families to support learning at home during school closures.
WOSU Classroom – Daily eNews for Parents and Educators – Sign up to get lessons and activities delivered right to your mailbox every morning. These curated collections of resources are organized by grade and aligned to state standards. Most importantly – they’re fun! Keep kids engaged and learning from home, or anywhere.
Virtual Field Trips for Elementary Classrooms – Use these PBS LearningMedia virtual field trips and short video clips to explore places like the post office, the airport, the zoo and even a radio and TV station, all without leaving your home. These field trips are appropriate for students in grades PreK-3rd.