As event professionals adjust to the new normal of working from home due to the coronavirus crisis, many of them must help a more rambunctious audience — their children — figure out how to deal with social distancing, too. If you’re struggling to manage your workload while managing your kids, take heart: Many attractions are offering assistance as part-time substitute teachers, giving you some much-needed breaks.
Take a Virtual Rollercoaster Ride in Orlando
While family vacations might seem like a distant possibility right now, thrill-seeking kids can get a glimpse of Mako, Orlando’s tallest, fastest, and longest rollercoaster. The online simulation of the SeaWorld ride is one of many virtual tours recommended by Visit Orlando. And if you’re looking to help supplement their science lessons, point your kids to the Kennedy Space Center’s Facebook page for tutorials on how to make cups fly. (See video below.)
Master Marine Sciences in Long Beach
Continue their science courses with Aquarium of the Pacific’s Online Academy. The Long Beach, California, attraction is planning a full agenda each week with 30-minute classes on penguins, octopus, and a range of other sea creatures. If your kids want less-structured activities, have them check out the aquarium’s shark lagoon cam (below), a live look-in at the biggest sharks at the aquarium.
Make the Delicious DoubleTree Chocolate Chip Cookies
Hilton already gave adults a reason to smile when it extended elite status to Hilton Honors members through March 31, 2022 (the first of the major chains to make such a move). Now, one of the hotelier’s brands is giving every member of the family a reason to smile. DoubleTree unveiled its secret chocolate chip cookie recipe last week. More than 30 million of the melt-in-your-mouth cookies, which are available at check-in, are consumed each year, and families can continue to satisfy their sweet cravings at home. (Editor’s note: I am a grown man, and I am probably just as excited as any kid is about this development.)
Become a King or Queen
Ireland’s five-star Dromoland Castle Hotel looks like the backdrop for Game of Thrones, and kids who want a taste of royalty are in luck: The property wants to help them learn how to build their own noble palace. Limerick-based artist Una Heaton is offering arts and crafts courses, including a five-minute lesson on creating a castle (below).
Feel the Island Rhythm
Sadly, high-school students will not have proms this year — but Visit Jamaica can provide an even better soundtrack for a party. The tourism board is hosting “Escape to Jamaica,” a weekly series of virtual events on Instagram. Last week included a live DJ set.
Start Training to Be a Star
The lights may have been dimmed on Broadway, but if your children have an interest in the performing arts, they can start gearing up for the big stage with online courses from the Broadway Dreams Foundation. Each day, the organization posts info for free Zoom courses on vocal techniques, auditioning tips, dance lessons, and more (below). The daily schedules are posted on the My Broadway Dreams Instagram. The password and link for the next day’s classes are posted on the Facebook page and in an Instagram story.
You can’t take care of your kids unless you also take care of yourself. Read this previous Convene story for recommendations on what to do, see, and sing while you’re at home.
David McMillin is an associate editor at Convene.
What Events Professionals Need to Know About COVID-19
PCMA has created a COVID-19 resources page to help event professionals find reliable information about the pandemic and to share events industry-related resources to ensure they are prepared now and in the future.