Looking for free things you can do at home during quarantine? With social distancing rules in full effect, people all over the country and the world no longer have their usual access to live music, art, history, educational experiences, gyms, and so much more. Inside, there’s only so much Zoom-ing you can do and TV you can watch (though there is a lot of good TV to watch). Fortunately, a ton of museums, musicians, venues, and other institutions have stepped up by making their content available virtually—for free. Here are 10 free things you can do at home:
1. Visit a famous museum
With Google, via its Arts & Culture arm, you can walk around 1,200 of the world’s top museums, including the British Museum (London), the Musée d’Orsay (Paris), the MoMA (New York City), and the Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam). In the style of Google Street View, you simply click the arrow pointing in the direction you want to move and you virtually move through the museum in that direction. You can also click and drag your mouse to look 360º around. It can be a little hard to navigate at times, but once you get used it, it’s pretty amazing. Google lists 10 of the most popular available museums here.
2. Tour a famous landmark
Want to see Machu Picchu? You’ll have to wait to see it in person, but for now you can wander the grounds from your computer or phone. You can do the same at the Pyramids of Giza, Petra, the Eiffel Tower, Angkor Wat, and more thanks to Google, YouVisit and some of the sites themselves. The Guardian rounded up 10 options—each among the world’s most iconic landmarks—and how to tour them in this post.
3. Attend a concert at NYC’s Lincoln Center
New York City’s famed Lincoln Center has launched a “Lincoln Center at Home” portal on which it releases video of full concerts and more every day. Performances by the New York Philharmonic and the Metropolitan Opera and Q&As with directors are all available for free.
More concerts: Plenty more artists and venues are making free performances available. Here’s one list of other places to find free music. You might also try Googling a favorite performer to see what comes up!
4. Watch a classic MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, or MLS game
Free things you can do at home are especially in need with pro sports on hiatus. As written here, the five major pro sports league in the U.S. have each opened made full games and new content available to fans missing the action right now.
5. Take an Ivy League class
Why not use the time at home to learn something new or to freshen up on a favorite subject? The hundreds of university-partnered offerings on Coursera are always free to audit, but if you’d like to filter out all but the Ivy League stuff, Dhawal Shah, founder of Class Central, has rounded up 450 free Ivy League classes—in computer science, business, math, health, personal development, and more—that you can take right now.
6. Explore Australia
One of my favorite places in the world is no longer overcome by bush fires, but it’s now pretty much off limits to international travelers like every other destination in the world is. For now, Tourism Australia has 18 interactive videos on YouTube with which you can click-and-drag your way around some of the country’s most amazing spots (like Sydney Harbor, the Great Barrier Reef and Whitehaven Beach).
7. Work out with a personal trainer
There’s plenty of help on YouTube for anyone interested in staying active (like Yoga with Adrienne if you want yoga). Gold’s Gym, meanwhile, has made dozens of guided workout videos available for free here. More video- and audio-guided workouts are also free inside the Golds Gym app.
8. Watch a movie with friends and family
It’s not quite being in a room together, but Netflix Party might be the next best thing. The free extension for Google Chrome (only Chrome, for now) “synchronizes video playback and adds group chat to your favorite Netflix shows.” It’s like a play/pause button linking multiple devices in different homes—plus a place to chat about what you’re watching in real time.
9. See opera and ballet at Moscow’s Bolshoi Theater
Moscow’s famed theater houses the world’s largest ballet company and is one of the best places to see ballet and opera anywhere. Through April 10, the theater is streaming some of its “most popular opera and ballet performances, also known as the ‘Golden Collection,'” on YouTube.
10. Assist with a research project
This is a cool one. Zooniverse, a people-powered research platform, aggregates real scientific projects that need help. Right now, you can help any of 100 or so projects along without even standing up, by identifying what you see in images taken in space, through a microscope, and more. In one project, for example, you can help identify map the surface and weather of southern Mars! Some of the projects can seem a little technical so make sure to keep the “NEED HELP WITH THIS TASK?” button close.
Know of more free things you can do at home?
Please share them in the comments below! And stay safe!
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