As we practice social distancing, it may feel like our options for passing the time are limited. However, due to the initiatives of many amazing individuals, organizations and online programs, digital entertainment opportunities are popping up everywhere.
Below are some of our favorite ideas for staying busy throughout the next several weeks. From entertainment, education, organization and home improvement, it’s all coming to you digitally.
Explore National Parks From Your Couch
Google Earth invites you to get outdoors even while stuck indoors with virtual tours of 33 national parks! Take a walk around Redwood National Park or Yellowstone National Park without ever leaving the house.
View Metropolitan Opera Performances Online
For some world-class entertainment right at home, visit the Metropolitan Opera’s website to enjoy free streamed encore performances from many of its most famed shows. Each night, the Opera will be offering a different piece from their performances over the past 14 years, providing at-home audiences with a new show each night.
Museum Hop Around the World
Ever dreamed of touring famous museums from London to Berlin? Well now you can visit hundreds of world-renowned museums at your fingertips virtually! Google Arts and Culture has partnered with hundreds of global galleries and prepared virtual tours for all to enjoy. Notable stops on this world-wide tour include the Guggenheim Museum in New York, British Museum in London and Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.
For the Family
Work Out While You Wait It Out
Pass the time with a healthy activity by doing at-home work-ins with Planet Fitness trainers. Online workout videos offer new virtual routines every day. To join a live class in the United We Move campaign, tune in to the Planet Fitness Facebook daily at 7 p.m. EST. These 20-minute home work-ins are a great way to pass the time, stay active and even relieve some stress.
How to Access the Local Library at Home
Looking to have a dance party, read a thrilling novel or relax with a new magazine? Orange County Library Systems has many resources available online. Reading resources such as Overdrive, hoopla and cloudLibrary offer e-books, digital magazines, audio books and music for your enjoyment. These resources can pass the time while also providing your family with educational entertainment.
Calm Your Mind
During stressful times, it’s more important than ever to take some time for yourself and just breathe. So Jay Shetty, a former monk, award-winning podcast host and author of “Think Like a Monk,” will be live streaming meditation sessions for 20 days starting on March 20. Take 20 minutes a day to relax your mind, body and soul with others from around the country – all from the comfort of home.
Organize Your Home
While spring cleaning has only just begun, using these next few weeks to organize, de-clutter and deep clean will distract, disinfect and make for a better home space. Take this time to organize the pantry, clean your appliances and sort through unnecessary clutter. Ask your kids to do the same in their bedrooms and play areas. As a family, you can donate items to local nonprofit organizations when it’s safe to go back out. Get inspired by Marie Kondo’s organizational series on Netflix, or check out our recap article with organizational tips, before you get started.
New Movies without Moving
Although Netflix and Hulu offer endless options for streaming entertainment, Universal Pictures will be releasing its movies to home audiences on the same day it’s to be released in theaters. If your kids have been waiting to see Trolls World Tour on opening day, fret no longer. This new movie, and many others, are coming to you as soon as Friday, March 20. They will be available for 48-hour rental via Comcast, Sky and other on-demand partners.
Art Class on Your Couch
Now is not the time to panic but perhaps to paint! Thanks to the Boca Raton Museum of Art, a new program is being created for all ages from kids to seniors during a time of social distancing! Keep Kids Smart with Art offers a visual arts program that is free for all ages offering artistic programs for those to enjoy and create at home! To access this wonderful online program stay up to date by checking out Boca Raton Museum of Art’s Instagram page!
Virtual Netflix Watch Parties
Just because your social distancing doesn’t mean you can’t be social while binging your favorite shows! Netflix Party, a new Google Chrome Extension, allows groups of friends to get together virtually and watch their favorite shows at the same time! In order to access this all you need is a Google Chrome browser, the extension and your Netflix account!
For the Kids
Educational Resources For Home Schooling
Educating at home is an adjustment for both kids and parents. Sites like Saving Dollar and Sense offer free online resources that entertain and educate, such as math tutorials and virtual field trips. Examples include EveryDay Earth, where students can explore landscapes and geology online, and BrainPop, which demonstrates all curriculum topics for free during school closures.
Take an Educational Trip to SeaWorld Online
SeaWorld Orlando understands that you may need turnkey, engaging activities now more than ever. That’s why they have developed standards-aligned resources available to help families virtually explore the wild world of animals and nature for grades K-12! Parents, students and teacher can explore hands-on, creative resources including Classroom Activities, Teacher’s Guides, Saving a Species Video Series, Animal Bytes and Animal Info Books. To access these amazing resources visit SeaWorld.org !
Storytelling Online with Actor Josh Gad
Actor Josh Gad has captured the hearts of children worldwide in his role of Olaf in the Frozen series. He is now taking the initiative to capture their hearts and keep them entertained while the nation is practicing social distancing by reading children’s books each night on his Twitter page. His most recent reads include The Day the Crayons Quit and The Giving Tree.
Get to Know Aquarium and Zoo Animals
Kids love anything animal related. Who doesn’t, really? Thanks to aquariums and zoos around the country, no one has to wait to get their fill of adorable animals. You can check out the Georgia Aquarium’s website to view live webcam footage of all the exhibits or tune in to the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden’s Home Safari Facebook Live every weekday at 3 p.m. to meet one of their animals and participate in an educational activity. Locally, the Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Garden is inviting viewers to meet their own featured animals and complete kids’ activities every weekday at 2 p.m.
Explore Space While Keeping Safe
The education team at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex will share daily Facebook Live video experiences as well as shorter segments that will each pair with an at-home activity. Covering topics such as living in space and on Mars, tours of Space Shuttle Atlantis and the Astronaut Training Experience, rocketry 101, and more. Hands on activities will involve everyday items that can be found around the house, such as using straws, paper towel tubes, and rubber bands to build and launch a rocket. Presentations will take place Monday through Friday at 9:30 a.m. EST for younger children, and 1 p.m. for young adults on Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex’s Facebook.
Walt Disney’s Imagineering in a Box
Walt Disney has paired with Khan Academy to offer a free online program that brings together the diverse talents of Disney Imagineers around the world for a one-of-a-kind learning experience! This online curriculum series, available on Khan Academy’s Website, offers 32 videos that demonstrate how imagineers use a variety of skills to create from conceptual design to physics! Modules range from a tutorial on engineering software, to an interactive exercise where learners are encouraged to gather items around them and create something new!
Brighten Someone’s Day
With so many restrictions in place to protect the public, nursing homes have been closed to visitors. Make some time in your child’s day to sit down and write a note or draw a picture then mail it to a local nursing home. It’s sure to put a smile on someone’s face.