Right now, many people are finding themselves with more time on their hands than they’ve ever had before. The COVID-19 pandemic has most of us sheltering at home, but there’s no reason to be bored with so many things to do. We’ve created a list of things you can do while sheltering at home during the coronavirus crisis.
Visit Someplace You’ve Never Been
There’s no reason you can’t still explore new places while you’re stuck at home. Was the coronavirus crisis responsible for cancellation of your spring travel plans? Maybe you can still go there virtually — and explore other places you’d like to see as well. Here’s some possibilities.
- Gardens are a great place to start and here’s some possibilities from House Beautiful.
- Visit Stonehenge, the Taj Majal, Palace of Versailles, Great Pyramid of Giza, the Colosseum and other sites around the world, courtesy of Google Arts and Culture.
- Here’s some info on how to travel virtually – https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/24/travel/coronavirus-virtual-travel.html
- Winchester Mystery House Offering Virtual Tours To Homebound Horror Fans
- 33 National Park Tours you can take virtually from the comfort of your own home
- Google Maps street view will allow you to visit almost any destination around the world. Check out this view from Pompei.
- Visit the Great Wall of China https://www.thechinaguide.com/destination/great-wall-of-china
- Virtually discover Yellowstone National Park https://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/photosmultimedia/virtualtours.htm
- Tour England through this 360 video.
- Take a live look at Colonial Williamsburg.
- Go on a virtual field trip to Ellis Island.
- San Diego Zoo https://kids.sandiegozoo.org/videos
- Zoo Atlanta Panda Cam https://youtu.be/_6wbfVWVk8Q
- Smithsonian’s National Zoo https://nationalzoo.si.edu/webcams
- Reid Park Zoo Lion Cam in Tuscon, AZ http://reidparkzoo.org/cameras/lion-cam/
- Ouwehand Park Polar Bear Cubs Rhenen, Netherland https://explore.org/livecams/polar-bears/polar-bear-ouwehand-twin-cubs-cam-2
- Monterey Bay Aquarium https://www.montereybayaquarium.org/animals-and-exhibits/live-web-cams
- Georgia Aquarium https://www.georgiaaquarium.org/webcam/ocean-voyager/
- National Aquarium Virtual Tour http://samuraivirtualtours.com/example/nadc/index.html
- Virtual Tour of the Seattle Aquarium
- Check out webcams in parks and wildlife sanctuaries around the world at Explore.org, including the underwater Channel Islands Kep Forest, the above=water Mantee Cam at Florida’s Blue Spring Park and a cam positioned on bald eagle nests in Decorah, Iowa: https://explore.org/livecams
Learn A New Skill or Take A Class
Is there something you’ve always wished you could do but never had the time to learn? Perhaps sheltering at home during the coronavirus crisis is the perfect opportunity to learn or improve a skill, earn a certificate or take that class you always wanted to take.
- Take an online cooking class or try a new recipe from a cookbook.
- Want to become a baker? This lovely London bakery is live streaming baking tutorials on Instagram!
- Learn to knit or crochet – find a YouTube tutorial
- Calligraphy – Lots of online courses and YouTube tutorials are available
- Learn to braid (fishtail, french, etc.) vis YouTube tutorial
- Learn a language – download Duolingo or a similar app to teach yourself a new language
- Learn origami and make creations for your loved ones
- Take an online typing course to see if you can learn to type more words per minute
- Learn a new style of dance via YouTube
- Harvard University offers a number of free classes ranging from game development and web programming to neuroscience to art and design – https://online-learning.harvard.edu/catalog/free?fbclid=IwAR3LjbfARphYlMkvUR4KXiQn7-9srU3ttt7Hd5of9iQWB1m12N5PgD232_4
- 500 FREE Online courses from Ivy League schools that will make you smarter (and less stir crazy)
- Use your time in isolation to learn everything you’ve always wanted to: Free online courses, audio books, ebooks, movies, coloring books, & more!
- Here are 450 Ivy League courses you can take online right now for free
- Take one of 2500 courses from 140 different institutions.
- Earn a certificate in anything from fundraising for nonprofits to neurolinguistic programming: https://alison.com/certificate-courses
- Write a book or start a journal or blog
- Paint or draw a picture
- Take FREE drawing classes from famous illustrators
- 5 online art challenges to help you stay creative and connected during Coronavirus lockdown
- Coloring books aren’t just for kids anymore and there are even coloring apps on your phone. Give one a try.
Many museums are offering their collections online and this is a great time to visit museums you’ve wished you could go to. Here are a few possibilities.
- Take a trip to your favorite NYC museums with these virtual tours
- You can virtually tour 1,200+ of the World’s Most Famous Museums from home!
- 12 Famous Museums offering Virtual Tours you can take on your couch!
- Louvre Museum, Paris https://www.louvre.fr/en/visites-en-ligne
- National Gallery of Art, Washington DC https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/national-gallery-of-art-washington-dc?hl=en
- Metropolitan Museum of Art https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/the-metropolitan-museum-of-art
- Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/van-gogh-museum?hl=en
- Uffizi Gallery, Florence Italy https://artsandculture.google.com/partner/uffizi-gallery?hl=en
- 2500 Virtual Museum Tours
- Tour the Sistine Chapel: http://www.museivaticani.va/content/museivaticani/en/collezioni/musei/cappella-sistina/tour-virtuale.html
Your favorite streaming app, YouTube, Amazon Prime Music, or radio station are still great options. Additionally, performers including Elton John, Willie Nelson, Paul Simon and others are offering concerts you can watch from home during the pandemic.
- Consider NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts – https://www.npr.org/series/tiny-desk-concerts/?fbclid=IwAR3d_GdqdC8P1drmvJ55ECi1LKs0k3Nv3Dao3DLNoEjQMGnmUtI1jdBVlrU
- Death Cab for Cutie’s Ben Gibbard announces daily live stream concerts from his home studio
- 100 songs to help lift your spirits during a pandemic: https://www.usatoday.com/story/entertainment/music/2020/03/20/coronavirus-100-songs-listen-while-youre-stuck-at-home/2882725001/
- Enjoy live streams of the Metropolitan Opera, with a different opera every day.
- Check out the list of live streams and virtual concerts featured on Billboard’s site.
- Here’s some other classical music and opera options to stream at home: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/mar/16/classical-music-opera-livestream-at-home-coronavirus
- If you’re a Broadway show fan, there are options on Amazon Prime, Netflix and Hulu. You could also consider streaming your favorites via BroadwayHD. And while there are subscription costs, if you’re new to the service, you can get a 7-day trial period, which could allow for some Broadway binging for free: https://decider.com/2020/03/26/watch-broadway-shows-online/
- You could also consider learning to play an instrument, either via YouTube or Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/319427482321619/?event_time_id=535445784053120
- Have a family sing-along. Consider doing a Zoom or Facetime “meeting” for a singalong with family and friends in other locations.
While our beaches and biking and walking trails are closed in Long Beach during the coronavirus pandemic, you can still take a walk or ride your bicycle around the neighborhood or in one of your neighborhood parks as long as you practice safe social distancing. There are also tons of online resources for exercising at home. You may consider downloading a fitness app with curated workout playlists or try at-home aerobics or yoga videos. Here’s a few you can check out
- Core Power Yoga. Sixteen hour-long yoga classes, plus four meditations, on its website.
- Echelon and Peloton. Both apps offer a wide variety of live and on-demand classes (yoga, dance, core, Pilates) in addition to the in-home Spin classes they’re known for. Both apps are free for 90 days.
- Barre3 and The Bar Method. The ballet-meets-yoga-meets-Pilates classes are free for 15 days.
- Daily Burn and Gold’s Gym. Miss gym classes? Try a 60-day free trial of the Daily Burn’s sleek at-home classes, with a variety of specialties such as postnatal. Or hit the 600 audio and video classes on the Gold’s Amp app, which is free until May 31.
- Planet Fitness. Planet Fitness has a free daily class at 7 p.m. ET on its Facebook Live page.
- YMCA offering classes for both adults and kids free of charge!
- Other online exercise classes to check out
You can’t head to the spa or salon now during the coronavirus crisis, but you can still do some self-pampering while you’re at home.
- Give yourself a facial or manicure
- Start a new skincare regime and stick to it
- Try a new hair color — if you don’t like it, nobody has to see it. Want to see what it would look like virtually before taking the plunge? There are lots of sites that allow you to do that, including Redken.
Improve Your Home & Garden
You’re spending a lot of time at home now, so why not invest a little time into making your home the best it can be?
- Is now the time to start that DIY project like a new kitchen backsplash, painting the spare bedroom, or perhaps installing a bidet to conserve on hard-to-find toilet paper? You may be able to order the supplies online and YouTube has tutorials on just about everything you may want to do. Additionally, home construction is considered an “essential” industry and some contractors are still working and might be glad to have your business during this time as long as you’re all able to practice safe social distancing.
- Organize your sock drawer, linen closet, spice cabinet, medicine cabinet, kitchen drawers, bookshelves, garage or any other spot you’ve been meaning to organize. Channel your inner Marie Kondo and get rid of anything that doesn’t “spark joy.” While you may not be able to donate items right now as many places are closed up tight, bag or box the items, store them neatly in an out-of-the way corner of the garage and then get rid of them once we’re past the pandemic.
- Plant a garden. You can order seeds online and start it from seeds. Or order online or by phone from Armstrong Nursery and they’ll either deliver your plants or have them available for curbside pickup. Wondering what you can plant? Consider 12 vegetables you can grow from scratch.
This is the perfect opportunity to catch up on movies you’ve been meaning to see or binge watch series you never have time for.
- Here’s a few suggestions to get you started: https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/reviewedcom/2020/03/26/coronavirus-100-best-tv-shows-watch-while-quarantine/2907294001/
- 200 essential movies to watch right now from Rotten Tomatoes: https://editorial.rottentomatoes.com/guide/200-essential-movies-to-watch-now/
- 100 best movies on Netflix right now: https://www.vulture.com/article/best-movies-on-netflix-right-now.html
- 10 binge-worthy shows you finally have time to watch: https://www.altpress.com/features/best-tv-shows-to-binge/
Read A Book (Digital, Paper, or Audible)
Suddenly, there’s actually time to read those books you’ve been meaning to get to. If you’ve got a pile waiting for you, dig in now. Not sure what to read? Here’s some possibilities for where to find online books as well as some reading lists.
- You can download over 300,000 books from the NYPL for free!
- If you’ve got a Long Beach library card, you can check out books online there as well as access other resources.
- Pen America has created a Coronavirus reading list.
- NPR created a list of “Books to make your isolation feel a little less lonely.”
- Or maybe this is the time to work your way through “30 books everyone should read at least once in their lives.”
- Looking for a business book? Then perhaps you’ll find something on the list of 101 best business books of all time.
Improve Your Finances
The coronavirus crisis has increased unemployment and shut down numerous businesses so now is a great time to really pay attention to your finances. Whether you’re a homeowner, renter, landlord, business owner, an employee or employer or self-employed, there may be options for financial help during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are some other things you can do as well.
- Create a budget
- Balance your checkbook
- Shop around for a better insurance rate – or if you’re not driving as much now, ask your insurance agent if you can temporarily change your mileage to reduce your premium
- Go through your credit card bill and google play and eliminate any unnecessary subscriptions
- Talk to a lender about whether now would be a good time to refinance. Need a referral? Let us know.
- Meet virtually with an attorney to create a trust and write your will if you don’t have one
- If you still have cable or satellite TV, look into whether now would be a good time to cut the cord.
Activities with Kids
Many of the above activities are good for kids or adults. Involve your children in trying new recipes, exploring sites virtually, or planting a garden. Here’s some other options as well.
- Drag out the board games and play them as a family.
- Play a game with family or friends elsewhere via Zoom. Do you both have Battleship? No reason you can’t do that in two places — or even Charades.
- Do a science experiment: Two weeks worth of fun and easy science experiments
- Look into what some of the educational companies are offering.
- Virtual Visit to Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom
- Educational Shows on Disney+
- Imagineering in a Box
- 150 Educational Shows on Netflix
- Boredom Busting Bingo
- 1000 Free Disney Coloring Pages
Still Looking For Ideas?
Here’s sone other resources for what to do at home during the coronavirus pandemic.