Whether it’s too darn cold out to leave the house, you don’t feel like hassling with in-person interactions, or you’re exercising extra caution during the pandemic, we’ve got plenty of LOCAL virtual classes, activities, events, tours & resources to keep you and the kiddos entertained this winter.
(And for an enormous list of global virtual field trips, tours, online activities, and educational resources, visit our BUSY BRAINS blog post.)
All of Louisiana Academy of Performing Arts’ classes/private lessons are offered both virtually via Zoom and in person. Check out https://www.laapa.com/online/music-lessons for additional information on what their Zoom music classes usually consist of and https://www.laapa.com/online/dance-classes for the same information regarding dance.
January 12, 19, 26 & February 2 & 9 from 4:30-5:30pm
Mardi Gras revelers near and far are invited to an interactive event series exploring the music, movement, and art that brings Carnival to life. Krewe of You participants will learn from New Orleans’ most acclaimed Carnival krewe members and culture bearers to create all the elements of their own krewe. The series was created for students (ages 7+), families, and educators – but open to all. Visit site for schedule of classes.
Now through February 20
Like most Mardi Gras celebrations, Krewe du Pooch’s “parade” and other fun activities will be virtual in 2021. Sign up for a virtual fun walk/run to raise money for your favorite local rescue organization. You can complete the fun run or walk anytime between Jan 6 and Feb 20, from anywhere, and they encourage you to do it with your pet(s). Remember to take lots of pictures and share on their Facebook and Instagram pages so that they can cheer you on and recognize your efforts in our fundraising. Check out their Facebook and Instagram pages for details and to compete in their costume contest.
Tuesdays, January 19 – February 9 (4 sessions) 4 – 5:30pm
For grades 2-5, these virtual sessions are designed to awaken your child’s imagination and creativity. Kids will gain both confidence and an understanding of the visual arts while building painting, drawing, sculpture and mixed-media skills. Before the session begins, each student will receive an art box with all the supplies needed for the session. During each themed weekly class, Museum Educator Mikhayla Harrell will be live on Zoom to guide kids through deep art observation, critical thinking, art making procedures and mindfulness practices.
From yoga and pilates to Zumba and low impact aerobics, the New Orleans Jewish Community Center offers multiple classes throughout the week to get fit and stay healthy from the comfort of your own home.
The winter session for ages 5 and under will include theme related Zoom Classes with Marilyn and R.E.A.D. assistants which includes books, an activity, singing, dancing, and class mascot, Willoughby; There will also be weekly theme related R.E.A.D. videos and a weekly newsletter which will include early literacy tips and links to activities and stories related to the week’s theme.
New Orleans School of Cooking offers multiple Zoom classes each week, featuring a different New Orleans delicacies, like king cake, beignets, pralines, crab cake benedict, and meat pies, just to name a few.
Talk with other parents about what is going well – and not so well. Share ideas about parenting during the pandemic. A staff member facilitates the group. Free and open to the public, call 504.896.9591 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for the link. Wednesdays, mornings and evenings alternately. 10-11 AM: Jan 6, 20, Feb 3, 17, March 3, 17, 31, April 14, 28, May 12, 26. Night – 8-9 PM: Jan 13, 27, Feb 10, 24, March 10, 24, April 7, 21, May 5, 19, 8-9 p.m.
Learn techniques proven to quickly calm crying and boost infant sleep based on the ideas in the popular book by Dr Harvey Karp. FREE, pre-registration required. January 9, February 20, March 13, 10am-12am; Feb 22 6pm-8pm
January 18 from 10am-5pm
In addition to in-person activities and free admission, the Odgen is offering online activities and performances, and starting January 11, a limited number of art activity bags will be available for pick-up at the Museum and all 15 locations of the New Orleans Public Library while supplies last.
January 22 – 24
Christ Episcopal Church, Covington will present the 6th annual “Jazz in January,” the popular weekend event performed at the historic church located at 120 S. New Hampshire St.. Performances will be livestreamed evenings on Friday, January 22nd and Saturday, January 23rd, with a special tribute to Dolly Parton mass on Sunday morning. Traditionally the music-filled weekend features performances by top Jazz instrumentalists and vocalists from across the region on Friday and Saturday and two Jazz masses on Sunday morning.
January 29, February 5 & 12 at 7pm
This virtual series of three special music concerts at the historic Dew Drop Jazz and Social Hall will be presented virtually on Mandeville’s social media channels. Schedule: January 29 – John Boutte Trio; Feb 5 – LPO String Quartet; Feb 12 – Doreen Ketchens.
VIRTUAL EVENTS, ACTIVITIES & RESOURCES FOR KIDS & TEENS
For kids, JPL offers virtual storytimes, grab and go crafts, young readers’ choice challenge, and virtual book displays. For teens, Virtual Volunteens program, Louisiana Teen Readers’ Choice program, scavenger hunts, free virtual yoga classes, a teen Facebook page, downloadable ebooks, music & more.
The New Orleans Public Library offers for children — virtual storytimes, craft times, take and make kits, STEM demos, book talks, e-resources for kids & homework help. For teens, take and make craft kits, virtual escape rooms, e-resources for teens, virtual book talks, homework help, downloadable or streaming free music, and websites/online activities for teens.
For kids, St. Tammany Public Library offer virtual storytimes, music and movement programs, videos, homework help, online resources. For teens, there’s crafternoons, AniManga club, escape room, plus links to cool stuff like hobbies, activities, and more.
Audubon Nature Institute provides updates on the animals we all love, as well as quizzes, puzzles, videos, and other online activities.
This online universe for all things Contemporary Arts Center allows you to explore their online galleries and uplifting art resources from our community and around the world. Plus, they provide a huge list (with links) of online art experiences and activities for kids & families.
Watch and subscribe to the Children’s Museum of St. Tammany’s series called “Kids Wanna Know” as they will explore the wonders of nature in their Natural Wonders Gallery. It’s an opportunity to explore, discover, and create.
The French Quarter-based museum and research center preserves the history and culture of New Orleans and the Gulf South. Explore their selection of virtual exhibits, research your own personal interests via THNOC’s online catalog, watch previous lectures and performances on THNOC’s YouTube Channel, and browse and listen in on THNOC’s extensive selection of oral histories.
In addition to the city’s individual attractions offering virtual experiences and tours, NewOrleans.com has teamed up with Xplorit to offer a taste of some of New Orleans’ most iconic experiences and locations. Transport yourself into world-famous Cafe du Monde for beignets, a ride along the St. Charles on the historic streetcar, and close out your virtual tour by pressing your luck at Harrah’s Casino.
The Newcomb Art Museum offers online tours of their collections, as well as many virtual events. https://newcombartmuseum.tulane.edu/
NOMA offers high-resolution digital exhibitions, as well as a virtual tour of the museum. There’s also a Mobile Guide of their collection and the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden, plus NOMA’s YouTube Channel for a wide range of curator-led gallery talks, artist perspectives, interviews, and panel discussions presented at NOMA over the last several years.
The Ogden’s online programming includes virtual tours, weekly online lesson plans inspired by works in their permanent collection and special exhibitions, plus all-ages art activities, and more.
Painting with a Twist Mandeville is now shipping painting kits right to your home. Two kits to choose from, which include 6 bottles of paint, brushes, and either 3 8x10s or 2 12x12s. Upon order you will receive written instructions and a video tutorial walking you through the steps. Best suited for ages 5 and up, so you can either do a Zoom girls’ night, or have fun with the kiddos. (985) 626-6272, email@example.com
In addition to their kids’ page and kids’ YouTube channel that includes recipes and cooking demonstration classes for kid-friendly meals, Southern Food & Beverage Museum has a YouTube channel that features virtual tours of their most popular exhibits, the Popeye’s and Copeland’s special collections.
In addition to virtual field trips, the National WWII Museum’s distance learning page offers webcasts, webinars, a distance learning video archive, and more.