Museums, zoos and other tourist spots are easing their doors open again, but many of us are still staying close to home this summer. Feeling stuck? Check out these virtual explorations of new lands and bright ideas.

Make a kaleidoscope

Someday when we’re all traveling again, you might want to head for the ScienceWorks Hands-On Museum in Ashland, Oregon, and walk inside its giant kaleidoscope. In the meantime, try the museum’s directions for making your own kaleidoscope at

Get lost in art

Google Arts & Culture has a page full of lively visual games at You can pursue a penguin on the loose in a Netherlands museum, re-create famous art poses and test whether your eyes are as keen as Mona Lisa’s by playing “I Spy” with renowned artworks.

Create boba for bubble tea

How do they make those squishy little balls in bubble tea? Scientific American outlines what’s behind the sugary magic and how to conjure it at home, at

Celebrate World Emoji Day

That’s Friday, July 17. You can learn about how emojis are created at, then design your own. (Anyone can propose an emoji to the group that’s in charge of such things.) Or see if you can write a story using only emojis.

Go to the moon … in Idaho

Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve is an otherworldly place to wander. Some of America’s best-known astronauts visited in 1969 to train for their moon missions. Take a tour at, and watch an astronaut’s return to the Idaho version of the moon at