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How does your family stay entertained when the weather’s awful and you need to stay inside? We understand it can be difficult to keep everyone happy, especially if you’re on a tight budget. But you’ll be relieved to hear that we have some fun suggestions for you and your family, which don’t cost a bundle!

1). Take Free Virtual Tours

You can take virtual tours for free almost anywhere in the world! Just do a Google search to see what’s currently available. We found that the Smithsonian, located in Washington, D.C., has free virtual tours! The list of free virtual tours may change, but there are always free visits to galleries, museums and more available online.

Many of these virtual tours allow 360-degree views of famous sites, works of art and more. What a fun way to plan a future trip or even help your kids learn about new things!

Take some time to do a virtual tour, you won’t be disappointed; you’ll also save money in the process, all without leaving home.

2). Google Augmented Zoo

Would you like to see a zoo animal in your own home? Right now, if you do a Google search for an animal, such as a panda, the search results will include an option that says, “View in 3D.” You’ll need a smartphone to enjoy the animals, but it’s so much fun!

This is a great way to entertain everyone, plus learn some interesting facts about beautiful animals. The animals you can view in Google AR include:

  • Alligator
  • Angler fish
  • Ball python
  • Brown bear
  • Cat
  • Cheetah
  • Deer
  • Dog (Bulldog, Pomeranian, Labrador Retriever, Pug, and Rottweiler)
  • Duck
  • Eagle
  • Emperor penguin
  • Giant Panda
  • Goat
  • Hedgehog
  • Horse
  • Leopard
  • Lion
  • Macaw
  • Octopus
  • Racoon
  • Shark
  • Shetland pony
  • Snake
  • Tiger
  • Turtle
  • Wolf
  • Easter bunny (yes, you read that correctly!)

But wait, there’s more you can do with the animals! Once the animal is “in” your room, it’s possible to take selfies with it, or take a “photo” of the animal in your room by itself. What fun you can have! Search for a tiger, then take a picture of you or once of the kids with the big cat, then send it to Grandma to enjoy!

3). Take Free Online Drawing Classes

Have you ever wanted to learn how to draw? Then check out some free online drawing classes. These classes are given by professional or semi-professional artists and are all conducted online. They share their knowledge and methods for drawing for free.

Drawing is also great therapy and it’s very satisfying. You can find some free drawing classes on this list, which are available now. Have a blast!

4). Download Free Kid’s Books from Audible

Do your kids love to listen to stories or enjoy being read to? Then check out some kids’ audiobooks that are free on Audible right now. This is a great way to spend time together as a family, or let the kids have some time on their own listening to some great books.

You’ll find books available for young kids all the way up to teenagers. The stories can be streamed on almost any device such as a:

  • Laptop
  • Desktop computer
  • Tablet
  • phone

5). Free Teaching Materials on Twinkl

Twinkl has some wonderful educational resources that are free right now and cover many subjects that kids may find interesting. The resources are available in “packs,” which have been created by qualified teachers. The packs include everything—from the lesson plan to the assessments. Everything is currently free, so why not take advantage? You can help your child get ahead with their math, spelling or other subjects!

6). Learn New Card Games

Do you have a deck or two of playing cards at home? Then why not learn how to play some new card games with the kids? Playing cards is a great activity for everyone in the family. The games can even help younger children learn their numbers, colours, how to match and more.

You can find a list of 12 free card classic card games for kids here. The games include Crazy Eights, Rummy, Pig (which can be hilarious fun for the whole family!), and more.

7). Live Stream the Northern Lights

Have you or the kids ever seen the Northern Lights (also called the Aurora Borealis)? If not, then you’re in for a great treat. Explore.com has set up a live cam where you can enjoy the Northern Lights right in your own home.

The live web cam is set up at the Churchill Northern Studies Centre in Manitoba, Canada. This is the perfect location, because they’re situated directly under the aurora oval, making this one of the best places to view the Northern Lights in the world.

You’ll need to check in on the live cam when it’s dark in Canada, which is usually from 10pm to 4am EST. If you have big screen TV, this will be an awesome view for you and the whole family.

8).  Watch a Live Cam of an Aquarium

Right now, the Shedd Aquarium, located in Chicago, Illinois, USA, is showing a live cam of one of its aquariums. If you and the family enjoy aquariums, this could be a fun, soothing activity for you all!

Just visit their website, and then scroll down the page until you come to “Live Cam,” and then just click the “on” button (circle with a triangle in the middle). The image will load and come to life right in front of you! If you have a large-screen TV, you can even cast the live cam image to the device! You’ll feel as if you’re all there at the aquarium, enjoying the fish as they swim by!

9). Take a Virtual Tour of the Great Wall

The Great Wall of China is a World Heritage Site. If you’ve never been there, than check out this virtual tour! This amazing wall stretches over 6,300 kilometres (3,915 miles), and it’s the longest structure every built by humans. You’ll be amazed at the views capture on the tour, and you have full control over what you’d like to see!

Being stuck at home, indoors, can be a challenge. But we hope you and your family have fun with these free, fun activities when you need to stay inside. You can have fun and learn new things all together, even when you’re stuck indoors!