The Best Places to E-Visit in Cleveland, Ohio to Get You Through Quarantine

Here are some sites Cleveland residents can visit to enjoy virtual educational and entertainment resources from the comfort of their own home.

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Jon Kunitsky


Jan 21, 2021

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The Coronavirus pandemic has caused all non essential business to shutter and for local economies to grind to a startling hault. This not only includes restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and retail stores, but unfortunately many museums, history centers, and libraries have had to close in accordance with the quarantine mandate.

For Cleveland residents currently taking this time to self-quarantine, it can be difficult to find things to do while at home, especially for families with young children. Luckily, many local public libraries, history centers, and art museums are offering online resources for children and parents to access from their own homes during this period of self-quarantine--including archives, interactive games, and even weekly streamable events

To help you during this trying time, we’ve compiled a list of places you and your family can e-visit while in quarantine.

Cleveland Public Library

Just because the library is closed doesn’t mean kids can’t access the educational materials they need to stay on track in school.

Sit down, turn on the computer, and start a good book! Yes, digital libraries are the new normal. Photo Courtesy of the Cleveland Public Library

Like many city libraries in the country, the Cleveland Public Library offers CPL patrons a variety of educational resources such as TumbleBooks online book database, children’s TVtv shows on Kanopy, online books with Hoopla, music streaming with Feegal, and teaching materials through Gale Cengage. The CPL also offers information about COVID-19, as well as a financial resource center for small businesses.

The Cleveland Public Library has even organized a virtual storytime for families and children during the COVID-19 Pandemic. The CPL virtual story time was streamed on digital platforms like Facebook, Youtube, and on March 31 and included library staff, elected officials, journalists, and other celebrities reading various children’s books hand selected by the CPL’s Youth Services Department

“It’s important for children to have an outlet during the pandemic. Despite our closure, Cleveland Public Library can still be a safe space for children to learn and enhance their literacy skills,” said Annisha Jeffries, Youth Services Manager at Cleveland Public Library. “We encourage all families to watch our Virtual Storytime and utilize our database of fun and educational resources for students.”

The virtual storytime experiences, such as this collection of storytime videos starring local newscasters from the Cleveland 19 News, can be accessed through the library’s online platforms, including their main page,

Cleveland Public Library is also making an effort to ensure that families have reliable access to the internet during the library closure. Wi-Fi signals are now available for use outside the Main Library and from the parking lots of our 27 neighborhood branches. CPL is also partnering with the Ashbury Senior Computer Community Center to set up an emergency “digital inclusion hotline” to help unconnected individuals get access to free and low-cost internet services (The hotline number is (216) 202-4292), as well as PCs for People to provide low-cost computers to low income families and individuals.

Cleveland Museum of Natural History

Experience nature outside and online through the CMNH’s digital educational programs.

Learn about science, humanity, and the natural world all online through the natural history museum’s @Home programming. Photo Courtesy of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History

Like the CPL, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History has created an online service to provide educational programming to families during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a letter to the CMNH community, CEO and President Sonia Winner said that it is her hope to keep everyone connected during this difficult time.

“We are working together to help our community of learners gain new insight into our amazing museum,” she wrote. “Next week, we will launch CMNH@HOME, which will provide engaging virtual-science classes, in-depth looks at wildlife, and spotlights on our scientists and specimens.”

The CMNH@Home offers streamable educational events every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday at 12pm. Children can discover fun facts about the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, as well participate in lessons from seasoned professionals.

Learning never stops at the CMNH. On Museum Mondays, virtually tour museum galleries with museum educators. Get a behind the scenes look at the Prehistoric life and Paleontology collections, explore the Hall of Human Origins where experts answer questions involving the life and physiology of our hominin ancestors, and dive into complex cultural topics with the museum’s Distance Learning Coordinator & Museum Educator, Lee Gambol, and experimental archaeologist Mark Kollecker.

On Wildlife Wednesdays, hear from animal experts as they share fascinating facts about the creatures that call Ohio home, such as the Red Tailed Hawk, the Gray Fox, and the Bald Eagle. Viewers can also learn about animal care from staff of the Ralph Perkins II Wildlife Center & Woods Garden—Presented by KeyBank and learn how our animal experts care for its residents.

On Scientist Saturdays kids can join museum curators and get the inside scoop on groundbreaking science and research in their Research Roundup videos, and take a deep dive into selections from museum collections alongside science experts during Specimen Spotlight.

In addition, the CMNH offers online access to The Harold Terry Clark Library, which includes the Rare Book Collection and Museum Archives. The library focuses on natural history and science topics that reflect the Museum's interests and ongoing research initiatives with over 20,000 books and a collection of over 40,000 periodicals representing 3,000-plus titles. Explore paleontology, archaeology, anthropology, astronomy, botany, entomology, ecology, geology, mineralogy, zoology, ornithology and natural history art.

While not all materials are available online, much of the library can be explored through their online catalog.

Cleveland Art Online

The Cleveland Museum of Art offers an array of online resources for young and old alike.

Experience art galleries at the Cleveland Museum of Art from the comfort of your own home through the ArtLense App and their online archival database. Photo Courtesy of The Cleveland Museum of Art

While the Cleveland Museum of Art is temporarily closed until further notice due to the COVID-10 Pandemic, the staff is dedicated to providing adequate online resources for Ohio residents to continue enjoying arts and culture while at home.

The CMA online collection is a perfect place to start for those wishing to explore the various pieces inside the walls of the museum and can utilize the online search tool to view anything in the collection from paintings to sculptors to pottery. The CMA video series is also an interesting way to gain further insight from top curators about some of the museum’s prized pieces. Topics include drawings and paintings from Latin America, Monet, and Ilse Bing.

Looking for something to read? Check out the CMA Thinker Blog and discover pieces written about everything from the history of handwashing to how conservationists polish the objects in the museum’s silver collection.

For those looking for a more immersive experience, the CMA encourages e-visitors to explore their ArtLens App, a smartphone application that allows users to digitally explore the museum’s galleries from absolutely anywhere. It is free to download and gives access to the museum’s artworks anytime, along with interpretive commentary, video content, and additional fun facts. Make your own fun on your very own self curated tour, or use the CMA produced digital tours for users, which come with bonus content related to the tour’s theme.

The CMA also has Collection Collections games, music, stories, activities, and creative challenges for the whole family to participate in. And the best part is that new artworks and activities are added each week!

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Delve into the music history of American through online resources provided by the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Rock and roll and... reading? The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame has a number of excellent educational resources teachers can utilize in their online classrooms and parents can bring into their homes during their quarantine educational hours. Photo Courtesy of Ohio Magazine

Life at home got you down? Looking for a bit of sound and soul to electrify your routine? We recommend checking out the online resources the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame has available on their main site.

Free online learning is offered on their site, including education materials and information on how to connect with digital educational programming. Children can learn how female inductees helped pave the way in the music industry, and how artists like the Beatles embraced imagination with songwriting and music composition.

Rock Hall EDU gives teachers and parents help in engaging their students and children as schools move online during the COVID-19 quarantine. Rock Hall EDU is a free digital learning platform full of activities that engage students of all ages through the power of rock.   You can find professionally developed lesson plans, downloadable activity sheets, videos, presentations, playlists, and digitized primary sources from the museum’s library and archives.

Our resources are developed and curated by an award-winning Education team and meet national and state learning standards in a variety of subject areas, including music, social studies, STEAM, and English.

YMCA Virtual Workouts

Stay active, healthy, and positive during the COVID-19 Pandemic with online fitness activities and workouts.

Your local YMCA might be closed, but the YMCA is not going to let you fall behind on your fitness goals. Photo Courtesy of YMCA 360.

The YMCA Of Greater Cleveland is doing its part to help the community amid the coronavirus pandemic. To help relieve stress the YMCA is offering two programs to help give members of the community a little peace and fitness.

First, they are providing free online workouts online through their YMCA 360 site and the My Y Virtual YouTube page. Dozen of workout videos, that can be done at home, can be found on their websites. There are a variety of workouts available including cardio, stretching, yoga, zumba and more. The workouts are suitable for people of all ages and no special equipment is needed.

The second resource is childcare to critical care workers. Those workers include medical personnel, first responders and nursing home employees. Check out their website for more information on locations offering childcare and hours of operation.

The Cleveland Orchestra

Discover the beauty of music through the Cleveland Orchestra’s Youtube Page.

Sweet, glorious music! At home, listen and learn about the brilliance of the Cleveland Orchestra. Photo Courtesy of NPR

Not even a pandemic will stop the show for the Cleveland Orchestra. During this quarantine, the orchestra will continue to perform their gorgeous and unique classical compositions and put on live broadcast over the radio for the next few months. The 104.9 radio station will be hosting their performances and viewers can tune in on their radio enabled devices or online. You can view their schedule and lineup here.

The orchestra is also providing online education resources, including videos of their centennial celebration concert on PBS, music lessons for various instruments and musical theories on their Music Explorers YouTube playlist, various music lesson plans on their music lesson library, as well as music themed coloring book pages for younger children.

For more videos, resources, and educational materials, the Cleveland Orchestra YouTube has much more content to explore.

Start Your E-Visits Today

Just because a pandemic has forced us all to stay inside and has caused businesses, museums, and libraries to close doesn’t mean we have to forfeit our need for intellectual stimulation, physical activity, and educational fun. Not only is Cleveland a vibrant and resourceful city in normal circumstances, but even during tough times municipalities and public works are coming together to provide the best and most effective digital resources for families.

So what are you waiting for? Get your kids, your parents, even your grandparents together in your living room or over Zoom, and dive into the rich, multi-disciplined resources these museums and organizations have to offer.

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April 17, 2020
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