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Ways to virtually explore West Michigan

Courtney Sheffer from the West Michigan Tourist Association shares ideas for ways you can explore West Michigan virtually.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Due to the coronavirus pandemic, a stay-at-home order and the closure of pretty much everything -- people are stuck at home. But that doesn't mean your time in the house has to be boring. 

Courtney Sheffer from the West Michigan Tourist Association shares ideas for ways you can explore West Michigan virtually.

Blandford Nature Center
Learn about some of our local wildlife from home, with resources from the Blandford Nature Center. You can learn about the nature center’s wildlife ambassadors on their website, or check out their Facebook page, where they’ve been featuring a different wildlife ambassador with a live video each day. You’ll meet and learn about different types of owls, mammals, reptiles, and more. Challenge your kids to see which of these types of wildlife they might be able to spot in your own backyard!

Thornapple Arts Council
If you’re looking for ways to experience, or participate in, the arts from home, the Thornapple Arts Council has a website full of these resources. They have links to musical performances, online museum tours, and even links to dance classes that you can participate in right from your living room.

Inland Seas Education Association
If you have school-age kids at home, check out the learning resources available online from the Inland Seas Education Association. They have a downloadable, hands-on project that will teach your kids about water conservation, and help them learn how to save water in your own home. 

Sarett Nature Center
The Sarett Nature Center in Benton Harbor holds a “Spring Stampede 5K” each year, and this year, they’ve turned it into a virtual race that anyone can participate in. Anyone is welcome to register for the 5k, then you’re invited to run or walk the five kilometers anywhere, whether in your neighborhood or on a treadmill. Complete the 5k and record your time on the race website any time between April 11th and April 19th, and once the nature center is back open, you’ll be able to pick up your finisher medal at Sarett.

West Michigan Live Camera Gallery
Explore somewhere new without leaving your home by checking out the West Michigan Live Camera Gallery. Use it as an educational tool to explore the state, or just click through for relaxing views from around West Michigan, including from the USS Silversides Museum, Crystal Mountain, and more. The newest live stream is from the Grand Rapids Public Museum, and lets you take a look at the Lake Sturgeon tank in one of their current exhibits.

For more information on all of these resources, visit West Michigan Tourist Association's COVID-19 Cabin Fever Busters page!

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