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Statewide Culture 1

The ULTIMATE List of Virtual Experiences in Arkansas

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Across Arkansas, schedules have been shifted. Learning and working have moved home, and families are getting creative as they experience life together in a new way. For some, Spring Break trips were canceled, concerts postponed, and certification programs suspended. It’s not really business as usual. But, that doesn’t mean exploring the Natural State has to stop, or even slow down.

While most in-person education events at Nature Centers and Arkansas State Parks have been canceled, there is still so much learning to do. Arts Centers and concerts may have postponed, but many artists and theaters are providing online experiences to consume. Every children’s museum and various historical sites shut down visitor experiences. Still, many have turned to virtual resources to keep the fun going with bonus content many do not usually get to experience.

Museums, educational centers, and downtown networks across the state are establishing virtual experiences through mobile devices, apps, and videos.

Photo used with permission from the Arkansas Maritime Museum.

Museum Virtual Experiences

  • Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum is hosting virtual tours of different portions of their vessels, including spaces not offered in public tours.
  • Virtually tour the exhibits in the Esse Purse Museum, the only purse museum in the nation, located in our state’s capital city.
  • Museum of the Arkansas Grand Prairie has launched a distance learning blog to explore the women of the Grand Prairie.
  • Museum of Discovery is hosting an “at home discoveries” series for families as well as color pages and a construction project competition. Lots of fun supplemental activities for parents with items you already have at home.
  • Museum of Native American History can be explored through the exhibits page on their website.
  • Siloam Springs Museum offers an exclusive look into their archives through their website as well as a self-guided tour brochure for walking or driving the historic Siloam Springs community.
  • Gangster Museum of America offers a 360 Virtual Reality experience through the exhibits that unveil the behind the scenes and introduce the famed mobsters of Hot Springs.
  • Hampson Museum virtual museum project including rendering and 3-D objects and artifacts.

Photo used with permission from Ranger Rebecca at the LR Central HS National Historic Site.

National Historic Site Virtual Experiences

Through nps.gov you can virtually visit any National Park Site, we have eight national park sites in the state of Arkansas.

  • Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site is hosting a “peeling back the layers” series with Ranger Rebecca and Facebook live events telling more about the stories behind the Little Rock Nine and reading time weekly in children’s books.
  • Arkansas Post National Memorial site is practicing digiscoping to bring virtual experiences with geese, red-bellied woodpeckers, and even some new photos of a group of 19 new baby alligators.
  • Pea Ridge National Military Park Visitor Center closed, but you can still tour the park online.
  • Hot Springs National Park is challenging followers to a Wildlife Olympic Challenge, hosted in the gym are of one of the historic bathhouses.
  • Clinton Birthplace Home National Site offers a virtual tour of the home where Bill Clinton lived with his grandparents when he was firstborn.
  • Fort Smith National Historic site is doing live tours on Facebook and has set up a gallery of images to download and personalize Zoom calls with an Arkansas based background.

Audio Tours

Outdoor Educational Virtual Experiences

Arkansas Game and Fish has released a Virtual Nature Center, featuring scenic spotlights, outdoor skill development, and features on wildlife.

  • Fred Berry Conservation Education Center | Yellville – videos about snakes, touring their trails, tying a knot, and reading through nature.
  • Janet Huckabee Arkansas River Valley Nature Centernew videos each day exploring activities like bird watching binoculars, Tree stand fall safety, identifying the nocturnal animal activity, and firearm safety.
  • Witt Stephens Nature Center is hosting afternoon tea time with center officers learning about Arkansas Bats, opossum, and outdoor skills.
  • Forrest L. Wood Crowley’s Ridge Nature Center is focusing many videos and teaching opportunities on fishing – how t filet a fish, tips for getting in the water, wild game recipes, and hunting for fungi.
  • Rick Evans Grandview Prairie Education Center – explore the Grandview Prairie ecosystem in an auto tour.
  • Gov. Mike Huckabee Delta Rivers Nature Center has been hosting a “name that animal” contest to help with snake and wildlife identification.
  • Potlatch Conservation Education Center has you covered with wild game recipes and preparation skills with things you may already have at home!

 

Northwest Arkansas

Photo used with permission from Old State House Museum.

Central Arkansas

South Arkansas

  • Logan County “Old Jail” Museum is hosting a daily virtual tour of the museum, exploring different exhibits and collections throughout the museum.
  • Arts and Science Center for Southeast Arkansas is conducting virtual make and take STEAM art and science projects, as well as virtual tours of the current exhibits.
  • Take a 360 Virtual Reality tour of downtown El Dorado and experience the transformation happening in this booming South Arkansas town.

Northeast Arkansas

Church Street FB live songs – used with permission from Church Street.

Musical Virtual Experiences

Individual musicians and churches are hosting their virtual concerts. Consider supporting these and other artists through their Venmo and Paypal accounts.

Educational Resources

  • ArkansasIDEAS and Arkansas PBS are teaming up to share virtual learning experiences for Arkansas families.
  • Virtual Arkansas, the provider of the premier online learning courses in Arkansas, hosts online course programs.
  • Arkansas Connections Academya virtual library of courses.
  • The Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub is hosting online workshops, including a 3D printer workshop, hand sew art, and building bridges in Minecraft, so many new and creative ideas for children and adults.
  • Local libraries across the state have online books to download as audio experiences for FREE and access to resources for child learning, including Tumble Book Library and brainfuse.

The Natural State is always at its best when we come together, and right now is no different. There are still so many great ways to explore Arkansas!

 

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Keisha (Pittman) McKinney lives in South Arkansas with her husband and sweet Boxer, Bailey and one-year-old son! Keisha is passionate about connecting people and building community, seeking solutions to the everyday big and small things, and encouraging others through the mundane, hard, and typical that life often brings. She put her communications background to work as a former Non-profit Executive Director, college recruiter and fundraiser, and Digital Media Director at a large church in Northwest Arkansas. Now she is using all of those experiences through McKinney Media Solutions and her blog @bigpittstop which includes daily adventures, cooking escapades, #bigsisterchats, the social justice cases on her heart, and all that she is learning as a #boymom!

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One response to “The ULTIMATE List of Virtual Experiences in Arkansas”

  1. Elizabeth says:

    Hi! I love this page!!!! I was browsing through the list, though, and saw that the Gangster Museum of America and Crystal Bridges (under Audio Tours) do not have links.
    🙂

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