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Local Museums Say ‘Let’s Get Virtual’

With popular museums and destinations temporarily closed and families currently sheltering-in-place, many local area museums have risen to the occasion and gone virtual with fun and FREE activities for families to do at home. While more educational, informational and amazing online offerings continue to be added each week, a sampling of the virtual activities include the following:

Aerospace Museum of California – tapping into creative expertise provided by museum staff and team members, the Aerospace Museum offers hands-on activities and tutorials that are fun for children and families. Easy-to-replicate demonstrations are available on the museum’s Facebook page @AerospaceMuseumCA. For additional online events, including Hubble’s 30th Birthday Celebration, please visit aerospaceca.org/events.

California Museum – launched a new Distance Learning program providing educational materials for K-12th grade students aligned with Common Core and California State Content standards. A State Symbols Coloring Book and a series of five California Indians Oral History worksheets are currently available. Additional activities furthering learning on the state’s diverse history, culture and arts are scheduled for release through the end of the 2019-20 school year, both as downloadable PDF files and as paperless, shareable assignments in Google Classroom. For details or to access activities, visit www.californiamuseum.org/distance-ed.  

California State Railroad Museum – offers virtual versions of All Aboard for Story Time! on Mondays at 11 a.m. with local influencers reading children’s railroad-related books via Facebook Live. Each week, live and previously recorded book readings are available for viewing on both the California State Railroad Museum & Foundation Facebook page @CaliforniaStateRailroadMuseum.

Center for Sacramento History – offers original film productions, a “Staff Favorites” section with new film clips updated regularly, and recordings of past Speaker Series events such as the following:

  • “Devoted to the Union: Sacramento and the Civil War” by Dr. Glenna Mathews    
  • “The Time is Now: The Civic Life of Sacramento’s Nathaniel Colley” by Dr. Mark  Brilliant
  • “Red Menace! The Sacramento Conspiracy Trial of 1935” by Dr. Kathryn Olmsted

To access the 100+ history-rich films and video clips, visit youtube.com/centerforsacramentohistory.

Crocker Art Museum – provides relaxing, refreshing and uplifting art experiences online. Virtual art and gallery tours and activities for all ages are available on the museum’s blog at crockerart.org/oculus, the Google Cultural Institute, on the museum’s YouTube channel as well as on their social media channels @crockerart. The community is invited to spend “Thursday Nights In” this April with alternative ways to experience Crocker programs including a spring film series, ArtMix, and a pre-recorded Global Rhythms concert featuring Jessica Fichot. CrockerCon Goes digital on April 17 as the museum celebrates comic book art and family-friendly virtual cosplay; for more, please see the Crocker blog and social media channels for details and updates.

Museum of Medical History – online users can access a virtual tour (originally launched 10 years ago) that highlights many intriguing medical artifacts and interesting tidbits at ssvmmh.org/virtual_tour/FloorPlan. In addition, numerous articles on interesting aspects of medical history are available at ssvms.org/museum.aspx.

Roseville Utility Exploration Center – offers online educational resources filled with learning opportunities, games and activities to do at home. Families can discover comic books, coloring pages, craft ideas, science lessons and ways to continue to learn while having some fun. For more information, visit roseville.ca.us/explore.

Sacramento History Museum – offers a website and free app for iOS and Android devices that takes users on a journey through some of the more amazing moments in Sacramento’s history. “Anytime Tours” feature 50-minute digital walking tours through the Historic City Cemetery and Old Sacramento Waterfront highlighted by 10 stops at each location. The tours can be accessed at sachistorymuseum.org or downloaded free of charge from the App Store or Google Play by searching Anytime Tours.

In addition, the Museum has launched a robust “Home Made History” series of at-home activities that include games, videos, coloring pages and more. New programs are added each week and can be accessed at sachistorymuseum.org.  


For more information about upcoming activities offered by Sacramento area museums, “like” them on Facebook at Facebook.com/SacMuseums, follow them on Instagram and Twitter @SacMuseums or visit the user-friendly website at SacMuseums.org. Those interested can also sign up for emails to learn more about your Sacramento Area Museums via the website at sacmuseums.org.

About the author

Traci Rockefeller Cusack

Traci Rockefeller Cusack has 25+ years of media and public relations experience.  Her work experience includes News10 (ABC) as Promotion Manager from 1989-1998 (where she developed and launched “Coats for Kids’ Sake,” a winter coat drive that lasted 20+ years plus coordinated Oprah Winfrey’s first ever visit to Sacramento) and Fleishman-Hillard as Vice President from 1998-2005 (where she led the wildly successful statewide “California Grown” program and also produced the five-minute video that played on the Jumbotron on Opening Day at Pac Bell Park). In 2007, she launched T-Rock Communications and currently handles a wide range of marketing activities for a number of top-notch organizations.

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