Museums, libraries and other Santa Barbara institutions are closed right now, but many of them are offering virtual tours and other ways to explore their collections from home.

The Santa Barbara Zoo: During its closure, the Santa Barbara Zoo is offering behind-the-scenes videos and virtual keeper talks on its website and social media pages. Monty the penguin is having adventures around the zoo grounds and the newest baby giraffe, Twiga, is getting to know the rest of the herd.

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden: Scot Pipkin, the director of education and engagement, is offering virtual walks on the Facebook page to give people a glimpse of the gardens and the garden’s tiny – and currently only – guests: its hummingbirds and bumblebees. 

Wildling Museum of Art and Nature: The museum has launched virtual visits on its website, displaying online galleries from three of its current exhibitions. The site also has a behind-the-scenes look at artist Nathan Huff installing a 13-foot-long painting for the Starry Nights: Visions of the Night Sky exhibit. 

Santa Barbara Museum of Art: The museum’s website has at-home activities for kids and some of its permanent collection is available to view online. 

Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History: While the museum is closed and buildings its summer exhibits, it established SBNature From Home with activities to do online, indoors and outdoors (while social distancing), including printable coloring pages and guides to birding and tidepooling. 

MOXI The Wolf Museum of Exploration and Innovation: MOXI at Home has virtual models of some of its more famous exhibits, offering patrons the chance to experience them from their homes. There are daily activities inspired by exhibits, including templates for kids to make their own board games, using Legos to recreate the museum’s famous marble run, and using a shoebox to create a pinball game. 

Explore Ecology: Santa Barbara’s environmental education and arts nonprofit is offering a number of do-it-yourself projects, like learning how to build fairy gardens and plant vegetables that grow in less than two months.  

Local libraries are boosting their digital resources during the closures. 

The Santa Barbara Library System is mailing books to patrons and has a list of ebook and audiobook recommendations.

Hoopla, the media streaming platform available through local libraries is offering a number of free movies, comics, ebooks and audiobooks for all ages. Its popular “bonus” collection doesn’t count toward a patron’s monthly item count. 

Noozhawk contributing writer Evelyn Spence can be reached at Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.