27 August 2021

Escape from home without even opening the front door with our national institutions

| Lottie Twyford
National Gallery of Australia

Just because the doors are shut, doesn’t mean your mind has to be. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

Just because Canberrans (or should that be Ken Behrens?) are stuck at home doesn’t mean there’s no escape from the chore of lockdown, dreary Zoom meetings, attempts at home-schooling and procrasti-baking.

And no, I’m not talking about the government-permitted one hour of exercise a day.

Living in the capital, it can be easy to forget that we live in the same city as all of our major national institutions – and many of these have opened up their doors (well, websites) to allow us to experience a bit of the extraordinary while we deal with the very ordinary in our own lives.

National Gallery of Australia

Find the beauty in the ordinary with the National Gallery of Australia’s (NGA) program of home events.

Even though you can’t really be there, you can still take a virtual tour of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander galleries and take a gallery walk through Belonging: Stories of Australian Art.

All you need is your mouse and keyboard to navigate the galleries.

The NGA has also developed online and downloadable artist activities to bring out everybody’s inner creative spirit. From making koalas to crafting Ned Kelly masks, the best thing is that they all use ordinary supplies that you probably have at home already.

There are also recorded artist talks and documentaries available online.

On Air PlayUp

PlayUp has gone on-air to keep little ones entertained from home. Photo: MoAD.

Museum of Australian Democracy

If you need something to keep little hands and minds busy, MoAD has you sorted with their award-winning early education program now available online.

Each episode is themed, so pick one that interests your little ones and get started.

You’ll find facilitated activities, all accompanied by a downloadable guide with craft instructions as well as games to play, books to read and songs to sing.

National Museum of Australia

The National Museum of Australia has opened its online doors to let you explore its collections from the comfort of your own home. Photo: National Museum of Australia.

National Museum of Australia

Even when its doors are shut, the National Museum of Australia (NMA) invites you in with a range of videos and virtual tours to keep you busy.

Car-lovers will be interested to learn that the NMA’s car collection spans more than 100 years of automotive history, and it’s available to explore online.

Keep an eye out for the 1926 Crossley Landaulette ‘Canberra’ which was used for the 1927 Royal Tour and the opening of Parliament House.

Australian War Memorial

Come inside the Australian War Memorial without leaving your couch. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

Australian War Memorial

The Australian War Memorial (AWM) invites you to explore the entirety of their Museum at Home Hub.

You can research a family member, explore the Memorial’s interactive digital experiences, listen to podcasts and watch videos about the amazing objects in their collection.

The 3D Treasures gallery allows you to look at objects from Australia’s war history in the closest detail possible.

Albert Tucker and Joy Hester

In the mirror: self-portrait with Joy Hester, 1939, Albert Tucker from the Australian Love Stories exhibition. Photo: Supplied.

National Portrait Gallery

The National Portrait Gallery has taken an innovative approach to putting the Australian Love Stories exhibition online.

Read an array of enticing tales from the heart, all of which feature famous figures from the Gallery. Each of the stories is in the style of a pick-your-own-adventure and are recommended for adults only.

They also have a range of virtual gallery tours and recorded talks to watch online.

two people with a bowl of liquid nitrogen bubbling over

Keep your budding scientists entertained at home during lockdown. Photo: Questacon.


Scratching your head for a science-based activity to keep the young Einsteins in your house entertained?

Look no further than the massive range of hands-on STEM activities developed by the Questacon team for parents and kids to work on together at home.

They are also offering a range of activity sheets and video resources suitable for children from kindergarten all the way through to Year 12.

Original Article published by Lottie Twyford on The RiotACT.

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