As the quarantine days tick by, I’ve been wishing I was back at Nimmo Bay. My boys and I took a trip of a lifetime there in the fall, where we escaped into the wilderness and saw grizzly bears, humpback whales, jellyfish and more. Since most of us are stuck at home these days, it’s even more important to turn off the news and get outside. And if you can’t get outside, whether because of bad weather or because you don’t have a yard to hang out in, I’ve found that nature livestreams are a fantastic and needed substitute.
In fact, studies have shown that even just looking at photos of nature can reduce stress. That’s why Sierra Club is one of my favorite follows on Instagram. The environmental nonprofit posts beautiful nature pictures and cute clips of penguins and other wildlife.
Whether you’re looking to bring down your blood pressure, or just want to show your kids some cool animals, here are our six favorite wildlife cams to check out.
And tell me in the comments: What’s your favorite nature livestream? I’d love to discover others great finds!
Monterey Bay Aquarium
This California aquarium is letting fans keep tabs on all its animals while closed. Check out its sea otter cam, aviary cam, jellyfish cam, penguin cam, and more. Plus, the aquarium is offering meditOcean meditation sessions every weekday morning at 8am PST via its Facebook page. You can also find some of its meditation videos on Youtube, like this awesome evening one.
Home Safari Cincinnati Zoo
Home to the famous Fiona the Hippo, the Cincinnati Zoo is doing a live stream on its Facebook page every day. During the 15-minute live, they show off one of their animals and include an activity that kiddos can do at home.
Explore.org Nature Cams
This amazing philanthropic live nature cam network features 86(!) livestreams at all times. Check out pandas, gorillas, manatees, and more, anytime day or night.
San Diego Zoo Safari Park
The San Diego Zoo has three live cams, starring elephants, condors and my kids’ favorite: tigers.
The Beluga whale cam is the big draw at this aquarium’s website, but there’s also a California sea lion cam, a piranha cam, an indo-pacific barrier reef cam, and more.
Yellowstone National Park
Nine webcams, one streaming and eight static, dot this national park. Old Faithful and its eruptions stream on the live cam. It’s really fun to take bets with your kids on when the geyser will explode next. (Fun fact: It erupts every 44 minutes to 2 hours, so that’s a good chunk of time you’re burning through!)
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Thanks for the great nature viewing suggestions!! I am really liking going on Youtube and experiencing virtual tours of places in the world! The African Safari ones are my favourite!
Great options I took notes I’m always looking for new nature related things for my toddlers. We currently live on 3 acres with a small pond so we are always outside finding new adventures. Now that is spring we have a ton of frog eggs in the pond so it’s a daily walk to the pond to see any new tadpoles. We can’t wait for the fire fly’s to come out or as my 4 year old calls them butt bugs!
Wow!!! Thanks Gen. I wouldn’t even have thought this would be possible. What I wouldn’t do to be able to freely go out and explore. This isolation is getting a bit much now, especially as I live on my own. I crave that human contact from my family. Can’t wait for the next post!! Love to you and yours xxxxx
Thanks for the great ideas!
Search Winter the dolphin at Clearwater Marine. She is the real dolphin from the movie Dolphin Tale. She is amazing to watch! I bet the kids would really enjoy this one.
I love all your sites and ideas Gen. San Juan Islands are great for kayaking with orcas and seeing seals when you can get outside with family again. Two sites I enjoy with my 2nd graders are zoo.org/webcams. They have live webcams and instagram videos on the webpage. Also earthcam.com/events/animalcams/ has the best webcam for places around the world and different animals. When you click on an amimal you can see recent sighting videos too or feeding times to go back and watch during feedings. I will be Sharing some of your sites with my families because now Washington has shelter in place till May 4th as of today.
Even though there’s no eruption at this time, volcanos are always high on the list of fascination for my young people.
Volcano National Park webcams:
Dawn Marie McGlothin
Thanks so much for these! I LOVE the Explore.org website! Very calming in this trooubling time.
What a great picture! Now that my youngest is older, it would be fun to go camping! Nature is very calming especially for those of us with anxiety.
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We are LOVING explore.org which you posted. We have seen the northern lights (great since our alaska trip is cancelled). And at work (nurse) I had the polar bears up so as things got crazy or people felt stressed the polar bears brought a calming happiness 🙂
Hi, Gen. A GREAT zoo website, and great zoo to visit if you’re on the east coast, in the DC area, is the Smithsonian National Zoo. It just recently reopened, but they too have a number of web cams, at least some of which are livestreaming. My favorite one, which is livestream, is the one for the great Panda exhibit. We’ve got a pair of pandas on “loan” (I use quotes because I don’t consider it a loan if you have to pay millions in order for them to be “loaned”) from China, and have had at least two panda cubs born here. We do get to keep the babies for a few years, but have to send them China once they’re about 3 years old.
Their website is: http://www.fonz.org and the direct link to their webcams is: https://nationalzoo.si.edu/webcams .