As Massachusetts residents face another weekend at home due to the statewide stay-at-home advisory because of the coronavirus pandemic, cultural institutions across New England are providing a virtual escape.
Ahead, discover how you can tour a historic mansion in Massachusetts, wander a national park in Maine, and view daffodils in Rhode Island, all from the comfort of your couch.
Virtual visitors can explore the 1878 Eustis Estate Museum in Milton and the 1938 Gropius House in Lincoln, courtesy of Historic New England. You can wander the inside of the buildings and also check out photos, videos, and archival materials. The Eustis Estate Museum, designed by renowned Boston architect William Ralph Emerson, sits on 80 acres of picturesque landscape at the base of the Blue Hills in Milton. Gropius House was designed by Walter Gropius, who taught architecture at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design.
The New England Aquarium takes virtual visitors behind the scenes with the animals daily and the videos are listed on its website. So you can kick back on your couch and watch Reggae the Atlantic Harbor seal brush his teeth (Friday’s video), tour the lobster lab, watch sea lions in training, and more. The New England Aquarium boasts the largest shark and ray touch tank on the East Coast and is home to seals, sea lions, and penguins.
The historic 33-acre estate on the shore of Narragansett Bay is the home of more than 50,000 blooming daffodils every April. The property may be closed, but you don’t have to miss out on the beauty or blooms. Every Sunday and Wednesday, the staff sets up a live feed from a variety of outdoor spots, which means virtual visitors can listen to the wind in the trees, the birds chirping, and view the daffodils blooming.
If you missed the exhibition “Pastoral Present” by Wilhelm Neusser at Fruitlands Museum, which ran from April 2019 to March 2020, you can still view it from the comfort of your home. Fruitlands Museum curator Shana Dumont Garr offers a virtual tour of the project, in which German-born painter Wilhelm Neusser altered the display of the museum’s permanent collection of nineteenth-century landscapes by Hudson River School painters such as Albert Bierstadt, Thomas Cole, and Frederic Church by adding new paintings created specifically for the space. Fruitlands Museum is home to five collections on 210 acres of meadows and woods.
You can take a virtual trip to Acadia National Park’s famous 1,530-foot Cadillac Mountain, where sunrises and sunsets are “bucket-list experiences,” according to Fodor’s. You can also check out many other aspects of the popular park, such as Jordan Pond, a 187-acre mountain lake, and the 110-foot pink granite Otter Cliff. The 47,000 acre Atlantic coast park full of mountains, beaches, lush forests, 45 miles of carriage trails, and granite cliffs, attracts millions of visitors each year.