There was a time when summer vacation was considered as the most favourite time of the year for children. Its arrival meant going back to one's home country to meet family or go on a dream holiday to a favourite destination.
However, with the pandemic having hit us since March 2020, travel has almost come to a standstill and with the parks and children's play zones being closed or restricted, children have nowhere to go during the holidays.
Parents too are running out of ideas to keep them engaged at home. But don't dampen your spirit, you can still go places. Why not plan an exciting virtual adventure trip to places like Disneyland, Harry Potter's Magical World or to Swiss Alps without leaving your home? This weekend it's time to get up close and personal to your dream holiday destination.
If you are a Potterhead, this one’s for you
If you are a Harry Potter fan and had planned to tour the Harry Potter Studio Tour in London but had to cancel your plans owing to the pandemic, don;t lose heart. You can still feel the magic at home. There are several free and paid virtual tours that will take you through the full Harry Potter Studios experience from home.
For those who want to know more go on a virtual tour of the British Library Harry Potter. Google Arts & Culture''s virtual tour, in partnership with the British Library, of their exhibit Harry Potter: A History Of Magic will let you learn muggle magic lessons, explore the artistry of the series, learn about potions, charms, divination, herbology, and much more.
'Celebrating Harry Potter’ is Google Earth’s virtual tour of real-life places featuring in the magical world of Harry Potter. Be it the cobbled streets of Diagon Alley, the barrier at Platform Nine and Three Quarters, or the impressive Hogwarts castle, this tour has it all. There’s also a little something for fans of the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them spin-off and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. What’s more, you can catch a glimpse of the place where it all started: the café in Edinburgh where author J.K. Rowling famously wrote the series.
Take a Disney virtual tour where you can virtually ride your favourite rides and watch your favourite shows. You can even wear your favourite Disney attire and snack on your favourite Disney treats. Stream the videos on your TV screen and get lost in the Disney World experience. With the sights, sounds, and smells reverberating throughout your home, you may not even notice that you’re taking a Disney virtual tour.
Take a grand tour of Switzerland
With gorgeous scenery and breathtaking views, a trip to this country is on every traveller’s bucket list. Now is the time to visit some of these locales without even leaving your home. Visit the cities and towns of Switzerland. Walk in the mountain villages and enjoy the waterfalls, castles, bridges, peaks, slopes, lakes, vineyards, glaciers and more. Lose yourself in the idyllic and charming locations.
Go to South African national parks
If you are a wildlife and nature enthusiast visit South Africa. There are several virtual tours that will take you to the stunning national parks, including the world-famous Kruger National Park. Whether you stand atop tall peaks and soak in incredible views, or meet wild animals such as lions, elephants and cheetahs, take this tour and lose yourself in the wild.
Step out of this world and go to Mars
How about exploring another planet? With Access Mars, an immersive experience presented by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in collaboration with Google, you can go on a virtual field trip to Mars. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, collaborated with Google to produce Access Mars, a free immersive experience. It's available for use on all desktop and mobile devices and virtual reality/augmented reality (VR/AR) headsets. That includes mobile-based virtual reality devices on Apple and Android. So wander around the dunes and valleys and visit several sites that the rover has explored.