It’s finally summer, and whileare lifting in many states, many of your usual means of entertainment are probably still off the menu. At some point, even the most introverted of us are going to go stir crazy now that it’s so nice outside — especially if you’ve got .
The good news is, the internet is responding with more options for social gatherings than ever before, including free online concerts (more below) and ways toeven if you’re . We’ve rustled up some of our favorite ways to stay entertained if you’re self-quarantined or practicing social distancing in the warmer weeks to come.
Uplifting scenes of coronavirus solidarity around the world
See all photos
Stream a concert, opera or TV show
Since the US government has encouragedback in March, performers have been trying to find a way to share their art. Artists such as Pink, Coldplay’s Chris Martin, Keith Urban, Death Cab for Cutie’s Ben Gibbard, Rob Thomas and John Legend have streamed live concerts on Instagram and YouTube — many of which are still available to watch.
The Grammy Museum put some of its recorded Q&A performances online from artists like Billie Eilish, Brandi Carlile and Greta Van Fleet. The initial rollout included nine artists. All of the sessions were filmed in the 200-seat Clive Davis Theater inside the museum, located in the LA Live complex, according to a report from Variety. Plus the Metropolitan Opera has streams of performances every night on its website.
Go fishing in Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Animal Crossing: New Horizons came out on Nintendo Switch on March 20. Players all over the world have since immersed themselves in all aspects of peaceful island life —included. The game’s social aspect has made . Players have even taken the game to another level and begun . Simple in-game actions like growing fruit, planting flowers, exploring, designing rooms and spending time with friends can be comforting.
Plus,is coming on Friday, adding the ability to swim, dive and collect sea creatures.
Take a digital museum tour
Thanks to technology, spending the day at a museum is still an option, even if you can’t leave the house. Travel and Leisure has a list of 12 museums that offer virtual tours. You can check out famous locations in the US or abroad in Seoul, Berlin, Florence and more.
You can also get your art fix with the Google Arts and Culture app for iPhone and Android. The app lets you view paintings in AR, read up on masterpieces and find your. Don’t forget to if you’re in the mood to explore.
The Georgia Aquarium and the Monterey Bay Aquarium have turned on webcams so you can still watch otters, fish and penguins without the crowds.
Host a Netflix viewing party
If you and your friends or family have a Netflix subscription, you can schedule a time to watch a movie or show synced together. Asyncs video playback so you can play and pause at the same time. It also has a group chat feature so you can keep the conversation going while you watch. Everyone in the party has to have a Netflix account though, so it’s not entirely free.
Do some summer cleaning
Some of us reserve cleaning for weekends, but if you’re stuck at home this summer, you’ve likely got some extra time on your hands. CNET has a list of tips if you want to sanitize your, your , your and even and . Plus, learn how to , and . While you’re cleaning, don’t forget to , too.
Binge watch a new show
When you’ve got downtime on a regular day, turning to a streaming service likeor is a clear option. There’s always a — new or old — regardless of the service you’re subscribed to.
You might also check out a platform you’re not subscribed to, likeSling TV or YouTube TV. And don’t forget about , , Apple TV Plus and . If you need help choosing, .
Read something new
If you’re like me, you have more than enough books on your shelves — and tablet — to keep you busy for a while. But you can also buy or borrow books, magazines and newspapers fast on Nook, Kindle and the Apple News app for iOS. But be warned: Even though digital books are often discounted, the cost can still add up if you’re a reading fiend.
There are also ways to download free eBooks to your tablet, computer or phone. Websites such as Authorama and Project Gutenberg have hundreds of public domain works including Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett and Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland available for download. Check out these.
Get your game on
Playing video games is another option to pass the time if you’re stuck at home. On top of the games you might already own or have downloaded from theor Microsoft Store for Xbox, there are other ways to play.
If you’re looking for a new gaming experience, Apple Arcade
are worth trying out for their exclusive content. Google also offers a for a more affordable gaming experience (in comparison to Stadia). If you’re a PC gamer, check out a plethora of game options on Steam.
In addition,for Mac and iOS called NeMO-Net in which players can virtually travel the ocean floor in a vessel called the Nautilus, identifying and classifying whatever coral you come across. The cool part is that when you play the game, you’re actually helping NASA with their data and research. The game helps to train the Pleiades supercomputer at Ames to recognize corals from any image of the ocean floor.
Take up exercise
Relaxing on the couch can be fun, but you might get restless after a while. There are dozens ofto choose from that you can do at home, but it’s ultimately about and that fits your lifestyle. Some are free, like FitOn, and are packed with features that other apps would charge for. Other apps, such as Pocket Yoga, have free features but require subscriptions for the full experience. You can also or on .
Working out at home definitely doesn’t require an expensive. Depending on the workout you want to undertake, you only need to clear out a small amount of space. For example, resistance training, some barre exercises, pilates and yoga only require a few square feet and typically don’t require any equipment. In addition, some Instagram fitness trainers, like Jaclyn Ho, have started streaming live classes on IGTV and you might be able to convince your super fit friend to share their workout on Facebook Live.
Pinterest can keep you entertained for ages with its aesthetically pleasing pictures and ways to be creative. While some might require stuff you don’t have on hand, you might find supplies after you organize that overflowing closet. You can find a project for anyone — whether you want to get creative, organize your kitchen or keep your kids busy.
Here are a few to get you started:
Work on your garden, indoors or outdoors
Summer is prime gardening season. Whether or not you have an outdoor space for growing things, you can still grow herbs, fruits and vegetables (or at least make a valiant effort not to kill them). Here are a few gardening tips from CNET if you’re ready to flex your green thumb.
Having kids help with indoor plants is also a fun way to help them stay busy that isn’t screen time.
Go down an internet rabbit hole
Sometimes a good Google or Wikipedia search is enough to keep you busy for a bit. What have you always wanted to know more about? Pick a YouTube video and click the suggestions after that. If you need inspiration for learning more about a variety of quirky topics, check out:
More fun things to do
- Search for adult coloring books and puzzles you can print online
- Check Pinterest for a baking project for you or your kids
- Dig out your pack of cards and teach yourself a new game
- Play online games with family and friends over video chat
For even more ideas, check out the, , and .