Let’s be honest, after six weeks home alone, with a roommate, or family, finding ways to stay entertained is tough. While half of us lean into virtual interactions, others are trying to stay motivated from their home offices while entertaining children 24/7. What’s next? I myself have tried to find the newness in each day to keep from boredom. I collected a list of fun and active ways to consume your weekly downtime whether you are alone, or with a quarantine buddy. Here are my top things to see and do with family, friends or solo at-home.
The first and most obvious is planning a night out with friends/family. Since we are missing social interaction and glued to our cellular devices, schedule a day of the week with a group of friends to throw a dinner party, cocktail party, or game night digitally. I love the card game “We’re Not Really Strangers.” It’s a fun game to play with anyone. Create a similar DIY game with all of your friends and let each person on the call ask a question to see how well you all know one another. A lot can change when you are stuck in a house for six weeks. Houseparty is the next best thing to Zoom with the option to play a group game within the chat. They do everything for you so all you need to do is get your group to pick a game. Some wineries are also hosting virtual wine tastings so make a Zoom reservation for you and your friends now.
Cooking lessons always sound fun to me! If you are home with someone or alone you can escape with a new recipe. It seems like everyone has started sharing their “what’s in my pantry” recipes online so there are plenty to choose from. But for the indecisive person choose a friend to host a virtual cooking class and let them pick what’s for dinner. Or do an around the world dinner and have each friend on the call cook a dish from their favorite country. While cooking together you can talk about food parings, culture and geography.
If cooking isn’t your thing you can always get the group together to record a playful video. Social media stars have started a trend of getting friends from around the world to film 1-5 sec videos celebrating birthdays, washing hands, and even passing toilet paper around. Once they edit the video together it’s entertaining to watch, and a great way to bring the community together by showing how we are all in this together!
Companies like Airbnb are offering online experiences also. You can host a class, or signup to join a group, or individual class, and learn how to bake, enjoy a guided meditation or take tango lessons to name a few. If you are not into Tango there’s TikTok. The most downloaded app for trending dances right now. If you don’t want to pay for an Airbnb lessons join TikTok and put your skills on display. You never know what might go viral.
I read a lot of books and have noticed virtual book clubs becoming the next VIP hot spot. Reese Witherspoon hosts “Reese’s Book Club” and they discuss a new book each month. A number of celebrities and media outlets are hosting book clubs during COVID-19. It’s worth looking into if nothing more than to find another great read to add to the list.
My favorite virtual entertainment right now is a toss up between live streaming workouts and DJ sets. In a way I feel if we are all doing this together then the workout and the party are more rewarding. Sam Blacky and Club Quarantine with D-Nice both have a great DJ set. Plus their energy is infectious and makes you want to have fun! There are so many workout videos I can’t keep track of which is best. Since I get bored easily I like to change it up. Some of my favorites are Rhys Athayde from Dogpound, Psycho.la and Wundbar Pilates. For Yoga I love CorePower and Yoga With Adriene. My everyday go-to is currently Heather Robertson and running with Gatsby around the neighborhood.
If you missed the “One World” virtual concert here is a list of upcoming live concerts to watch. Travis Scott is also hosting a Fortnite concert this week from April 23-April 25, 2020. For classical music lovers, the Fondation Louis Vuitton and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center have released archival concert footage that can be streamed on their websites or on YouTube. For theater lovers Broadway has launched a series of living room concerts featuring Broadway stars singing songs from different shows including Lin-Manuel Miranda singing from Hamilton. If you have a favorite artist Google their tour schedules because chances are they are hosting a virtual show.
If you are with kids I’ve learned the best way to keep them entertained is by rewarding them––especially for younger children. When I’m having a girls night with my best friend, I play quite hide and go seek. They have to count to sixty while I’m having a glass of wine with her. After I search for them quietly. No one makes a noise, she has peace and quiet, and they think they are sly by hiding behind doors and under blankets because I pretend I can’t find them for minutes at a time. The game could go on all night but eventually you will tire out. The key is “the quiet” element. They get to play a game they love, and you have peace and quiet. If they talk the game is over. We also make homemade ice cream pops. Since you have to freeze them overnight be sure to have fruit or something sweet on hand, but kids love making their own popsicles out of fresh fruit. They are healthy and delicious.
If that isn’t enough to keep you busy here are more out of the ordinary experiences. Ever wanted to attend a night at the Opera? Now you can nightly with the NYC Metropolitan Opera here. Date night anyone? If you are like me and get weak for museums there are tons of museums hosting virtual tours. Count me in on exploring the Guggenheim Museum Bilboa, The Louvre and National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea. I have been to The J. Paul Getty Museum several times recently, but for those not in Southern California the galleries are worth watching online.
Animals and aquariums are proven stress relievers so I’m going anywhere that I can do both. Especially aquariums where I tune out the rest of the world and fall into a deep meditative state. It’s the most calming place for me. I won’t admit how many times I’ve watched the Monterey Bay Aquarium videos, but I could watch Jelly Fish all day here. The Georgia Aquarium shares live webcams all day, and if you want an interactive visit to enjoy with kids be sure to go for a virtual tour at the National Aquarium. If you know me personally then you already know how much joy pandas bring me. At the Atlanta Zoo you can watch the panda cams which are guaranteed to make you smile, or go to the Houston Zoo and feed Giraffes. Just make sure you bring the family with!
The Netflix Party Chrome extension lets you link up through social distancing with friends to watch movies and TV shows together. For children obsessed with Frozen Walt Disney World is taking you on a virtual ride of your own. Fasten your seat belts for the Frozen Ever After ride. You might also enjoy the It’s a Small World ride or Pirates of The Caribbean ride.
I saved the best for last. If you don’t have a backyard, patio or place to go when you are feeling cooped up inside, take a walk or hike through nature from your living room. Google Arts & Culture is a way to digitally visit hundreds of museums and galleries around the world
With a number of virtual ways to consume your time, I’m beginning to wonder what’s the point of wanting to leave the house in the first place. It appears that even in the most fearful times the economy has found a way to make money, delivery groceries, and keep everyone entertained. It’s a win-win for all. Now you just have to decide what’s next on your schedule for the week.
Things You Might Enjoy At Home