Over 40 ways to stay entertained while staying at home because of COVID-19

As we practice social distancing and staying at home to reduce the greater potential impact of COVID-19, we now find ourselves navigating a very different way of being. To battle the cabin fever for those already at home or to curb some of the ongoing updates, we’ve gathered over 40 online links and ideas not only to entertain the kids, but also to give you access to places that you may have always wanted to experience like museums, oceans, musicals and so much more. Plus, we’ve also included virtual places for fitness and exercise, online courses, and activities so you can explore as much as possible.

We are finding more and more resources every day and we will do our best to continue to update this list and to add to it in the coming days and weeks. Some opportunities are only being offered for a specified period of time.

We’ve tried to include as many free options as possible, but some of these aren’t. Please know that we get no compensation or benefit in any way from these different links – we just want to give you a hub you can turn to or share with others to benefit from.

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If you’re not staying at home just yet, we came across this helpful guide to and more information for preparing to stay at home.

 

Theatre and Entertainment to Start

1) Enjoy a museum or art exhibit from the comfort of your own couch. Google Arts & Culture has access to a number of different museum exhibits across the globe. Take a peek at Frida Kahlo’s diary or get up close and personal with Van Gogh. See all options here.

2) Are you a musical theatre or Broadway junkie? Playbill has 15 Broadway plays and musicals you can watch ON STAGE from anywhere right here. And they some great recommendations for what to watch from home and where to find them in this article.

3) The Louvre has 3 virtual tours of their exhibits you can view online.

4) With movie theaters being closed for safety, movie goer subscriptions have been suspended and studios are offering what would have been in-theatre movies online, on demand instead. Learn how you can rent or buy in-theater movies without needing a subscription here.

 

Take Classes and Courses

1) Harvard University offers a number of free online courses. Check out the options here.

2) Yale’s most popular class The Science of Well-Being with 4.9 stars from over 4,110 ratings is available free online.

3) Ever wish you could take some cooking classes? Well, you can stretch your culinary skills by signing up for this free  cooking school (until the end of April).

4) If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to code, you can do it free and online with Ivy League Courses in programming here.

5) Or, you can learn a new skill here on Skillshare.com for the next 2 months – this is a paid service, but they offer 2 free months.

5) You can get a small taste of the inner working of Walt Disney’s Imagineers who created a free online program called Imagineering in a Box. It is a series of interactive lessons in theme park design and engineering, for a behind-the-scenes peek into their development process.

1,000’s of Health and Wellness Options

For many, heading to the gym or catching work out classes was part of a regular routine. Now, we’re having to get creative if there’s no home gym. Here are ways you can still burn calories at home or work on your mental state of being.

1) The YMCA has launched a free on demand service where you can take group exercise classes for all ages right in your own home at no charge for a limited time here.

2) Take up Yoga With Adriene’s YouTube channel has so many video resources you can watch for free here.

3) The Daily Burn is one membership with access to thousands of different workout videos so you can mix it up every day right from your own home (extended 60 day free trial).

4) Nike’s Nike Training app helps turn staying in into your at-home advantage here.

5) Barre Body Studio is a boutique fitness studio with online classes here.

6) Practice pilates anytime with access to 3,400+ streaming Pilates videos in your home and on the go
(15 day free trial).

7) Daily PE Sessions Monday through Friday for Kids with Joe Wicks (a fitness trainer in the UK) – we’re hoping they will be available on his YouTube channel here after they are done LIVE via video.

Escape with Travels & Tours

Maybe some travel plans were cancelled or you’re dreaming of your next bucket list destination. Well, now you can take a virtual tour through national parks, zoos and beaches near and far.

1) Google Earth lets you discover all parts of the planet here.

2) Why not check out The Hidden Worlds of the National Parks here?

3) You can even explore Mars here.

4) And, you can enjoy spring flowers with these 5 gardens across the globe that you can virtually tour right here.

5) Take a peak of the Great Wall of China here.

6) Get an insider view of jelly fish and more with Georgia Aquarium’s live web cam footage here. Or check out Monterey Bay Aquarium’s here.

7) Then, hop on over to San Diego Zoo for some more live camera adventures here.

38 Activities For the Kids

You might be looking for creative ways to entertain the kids or grandkids after school closures and thankfully there are some great online resources that may come in handy.

1) Tune in for the daily Lunch Doodle from 1-1:20 PM EST through March 27. Learners worldwide can draw, doodle and explore new ways of writing by visiting Mo’s studio virtually once a day for the next few weeks.

2) Author Mac Barnett is also reading a different book every day at 3 PM EST via Instagram Live.

3) The Kennedy Space Center has launched science lessons on Facebook Live.

4) In the STEM (stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Activity Clearinghouse, you can find vetted activities that are appropriate for multiple audiences and difficulty level here.

5) iKnowIt.com is a comprehensive, interactive math practice site for students in Kindergarten to fifth grade and can be used for independent practice, remediation, assessment, and more (90 day free access).

5) A teacher gathered links for over 30 Virtual Field Trips including Mars, an animal farm tour, U.S. Space and Rocket Museum in Huntsville, the Boston Children’s Museum, and more here.

6) Vooks has an ever-growing streaming library of kid-safe animated storybooks on all your favorite devices here.

7) Authors are grabbing their favorite books and phone and are recording themselves reading with Operation Story Time.

8) Learn more about marine biology with this family’s Virtual Marine Biology Camp.

Stay Connected with Shared Virtual Activities

Businesses that were based in person are taking their services online so people can still connect together with others.
1) Enjoy a glass of wine with friends for a Paint Nite date listed on YayMaker along with other virtual creative events here.

2) Netflix has launched a party option so friends and family can virtually watch movies together while social distancing. Here’s how to get your viewing party started (if you have a Netflix membership):
Step 1. Go to netflixparty.com https://www.netflixparty.com/ on a Google Chrome browser and click “Get Netflix Party for free!” This will redirect you to Netflix Party’s page on the chrome web store.
Step 2. Click “Add to Chrome” and then click “Add extension” in the pop-up window. Netflix Party will then be added to the top right corner of your Google Chrome browser, next to the address bar. It will have the initials “NP.”
Step 3. Make sure your friends have downloaded “NP” onto their Google Chrome browsers too.
Step 4. Using your Google Chrome browser, go to Netflix.com, and play the show or movie you all want to watch.
Step 5. Then click the “NP” button on your browser. You’ll also have the option of making yourself the one in charge of pausing, fast-forwarding and rewinding by checking the “Only I have control” box. If you don’t, anybody in your party will be able to use these features.
Step 6. Click “Start the Party” and copy the URL that appears. Send this URL to the people you want to join your party.
Step 7. Once your friends open the link, they should log into Netflix and hit the “NP” button on their Google Chrome browsers.
Step 8. You can also communicate with each other via group chat on the right side of the screen.

Where else can you find streaming content without paying a dime (with free trials)?

Los Angeles Times has a great article with more options here.

Stay safe out there!