Just because you’re stuck at home doesn’t mean you cant have fun! From the best Netflix documentaries to stream, visiting well known holiday destinations without leaving your arm chair, creativity, culture, music and a few random things we stumbled upon, and more. Here’s our pick of some of the best things to do at home during lockdown.
1. Virtual tour: The Vatican including the Sistine Chapel and Rafael Rooms
If the Vatican is on your list of places to visit, here’s the next best thing – the virtual tours on their website are superb quality and you can see lots of detail and explore at your own pace. The iconic Rafael Rooms and Sistine Chapel are great to see in such detail and in full screen.
2. Watch cute Sea Otters, live at Monterey Bay Aquarium
Enjoy watching the gorgeous Sea Otters as they frolic and play and during their feeding times. Monterey Bay Aquarium is a leading marine life research facility, in particular sea otters and the rehabilitation of injured otters and stranded pups. If there’s no live stream on, there’s video content you still enjoy. You can also explore lots of the exhibits during your ‘visit’ – soothing and calming jelly fish, the Coral Reef, the Shark cam and the gorgeous Monterey Bay itself. Their Youtube channel has more content too.
3. Explore Singapore’s glorious Gardens by the Bay and Supertree Grove with Vloggers James and Hollie
We came across Hollie and James and their YouTube channel – Barbster360, whilst looking for virtual tours of places of some of the best places in the world to visit. Singapore is a big favourite amongst travellers and the famous Gardens By The Bay and Supertree Grove look spectacular and Hollie and James do a great job of taking us with them on their visit. During 2018 they travelled across 11 countries, captured on their YouTube channel – this is definitely worth a look.
4. Make chocolate brownies with Jamie Oliver
Who doesn’t love a good chocolate brownie? Jamie Oliver takes you through step by step, you can’t go wrong, the recipe is really simple. Watch the Youtube video here. If you want to get creative, there’s a whole load of other different brownie recipes including gluten free brownies, here.
5. Printable colouring pages from Crayola
We love these printable colouring pages from Crayola. The designs are varied and intricate and can make a great little art project, especially if you’re not confident starting a drawing from scratch. You can download all of them to print.
6. Make your favourite cocktails, from your favourite movies
So you can’t go out, no problem. if you’ve ever wondered exactly how to make that perfect cocktail you always order on a night out, here’s your chance. Even better, cocktails from lots of our best loved, classic movies, from all eras; Cocktails of the Movies – An Illustrated Guide to Cinematic Mixology is a brilliant little book, (for sale on Amazon) for movie buffs and cocktail lovers alike, celebrating classic characters and the cocktails / drinks which make an appearance in the film. Each film features easy to follow recipes and you don’t necessarily need any fancy kit (although there are some great recommendations). The book is beautifully illustrated and includes fascinating facts from each movie too. So, pencil in an evening and pretend you’ve gone back in time to 1988 and you’ll soon be as good Tom Cruise.
Buy the book here: amazon.co.uk/Cocktails-Movies-Illustrated-Cinematic-Mixology
7. Stare at abandoned tourist spots by webcam
Visit your favourite places, all in the comfort of your arm chair. There’s no crowds and these places look very different now. Madrid, Rome, Florida, Maldives and more. This website has absolutely loads to look at: skylinewebcams.com
8. Learn to dance with Oti Mabuse
Who doesn’t love Oti from Strictly Come Dancing?! As a professional dancer with many years experience, Oti brings us some of the her favourite moves to keep those muscles going as well as some general dance moves – aimed at all the family too, for grown ups and kids. Oti is uploading almost every day now with something different each time and we tried it, it’s great fun! Go to her Youtube channel where you can find everything:
9. Watch a thought-provoking documentary on Netflix
Netflix has become the place to go for wilder, thought-provoking documentaries; with Making a Murderer becoming an overnight global talking point, many were to follow. But which ones have you seen and which ones are worth watching? Old and new, there’s some great stuff to watch. Making a Murderer – with an armchair detective slant, there’s hours and hours to keep you going as it follows the Steven Avery case. New documentary series Tiger King is currently the most watched show on Netflix and is completely addictive – there’s no point in trying to describe this but one episode in and we were hooked. Amanda Knox was absolutely riveting viewing – a few years old now, check it out if you missed that first time round. The Great Hack takes an in depth and intriguing look at the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Casting JonBenet, is a documentary film about the worlds most famous child-murder case and the legacy it left behind.
10. Do a drag aerobics class online
Just because you’re stuck indoors doesn’t mean you can’t still get active and keep the fitness levels up. Plus, if you decide to lie down on the floor half way through, no one will ever know. Drag Aerobics with Dolly Trolley is spandex-fest with a nod to 80s aerobics videos. The sessions are every Wednesday on Facebook or Instagram and they’re free but organisers have set up a PayPal link if you want to donate.
11. Virtual theme park rides – Star Wars, The Walking Dead, Jurassic World…and roller coasters galore
There’s a plethora of great quality, 4K videos on YouTube of some of the best theme park rides and roller coasters in the world – so have fun from the comfort of your sofa! A few we quite liked – Star Wars Rise of the Resistance a trackless ride and the sets looks amazing. The Walking Dead is a must for TWD die hard fans and we quite liked the Jurassic World ride at Universal Studios. Of course your regular crazy roller coasters can be fun watch at home too and have a surprisingly realistic effect…
12. Do an Instagram baking masterclass
Bread Ahead, based in Borough Market in London, are doing daily baking classes on Instagram – and it’s the things we love but might never have had a go at making ourselves! Donuts, Bakewell tart, sourdough bread, scones and more. Check out their website which gives us the schedule to expect over the next few weeks – all their live tutorials happen every day at 2pm on their @breadaheadbakery Instagram page.
13. Take a virtual tour of the best museums in the world
Some of the best museums in the world are available to explore online. The British Museum have adapted their website to feature some great interactive content. If you’re an Andy Warhol fan, the exhibition at Tate Modern (which would have been open now), is on YouTube here. If you’re a science and natural history fan, the virtual tour of the American Museum of Natural History (in New York) is fun. Equally, closer to home our National History Museum in London have adapted their website with some brilliant content and you can explore different collections, watch live YouTube sessions with scientists and take yourself on a virtual tour of this lovely museum.
14. Online cooking classes with Delia Smith
Whats great about this website is the huge number of videos and there’s lots of classic well known dishes – as well as videos on techniques, such as preparing garlic, choosing the right pans, how to separate eggs and more. The cake section is really good featuring all time favourites. The entire website is a great resource and well put together and easy to follow, so, if you’re thinking about becoming a home baker, now’s the time!
15. Do an online Clubbercise or Zumba class with Accidental Fitness Buxton
If you’re an avid regular to Clubbercise or Zumba, or, you’ve always fancied trying it, alas you can now join in the fun with their live streamed classes every week, with the team from Accidental Fitness Buxton. For £3.50 per household it’s brilliant value too. Find out more: explorebuxton.co.uk/clubbercise-zumba-with-accidental-fitness-buxton
16. Take an online photography course
Get into photography during quarantine. There’s a whole range of resources online to look at for free, including Nikons free online classes (currently free until the end of April but fingers crossed they might extend that). Canon Live is a good website full of great content and features live Facebook events to attend. Fuji have just launched their Stay Creative At Home campaign too with new tips, exercises and techniques for you to try out at home every week: digitalcameraworld.com/news/best-free-photography-courses-and-content
17. Sing along with strangers in a virtual choir online
If the videos of cities in lockdown coming together to sing on their balconies left you with a lump in your throat, here’s your chance to add your vocal cords to one of several online choirs popping up around the world. The Sofa Singers is a free online singing event that aims to ‘bring people together from around the world to spark joy and human connection’.
18. Catch a set by a top DJ
Legendary New York DJ David Morales is currently doing his Sunday Mass event every week, live on Facebook, and if you like that kind of thing, it’s really rather good. Closer to home, the House Proud Radio Show is currently streaming regularly on Twitch.
19. Virtual zoo day at Chester Zoo
Chester Zoo have run four of these events now and it sounds like there will be more. We’ve had Asian cute otters, adorable tree kangaroos, penguins, Asiatic lions 🦁, Komodo dragons, Sulawesi macaques, elephants, reptiles and more. They stream live from both their Facebook page and their YouTube channel. We love it, it’s brilliant fun for the kids too, fingers crossed there’s another soon – if we see it pop up we’ll add the link.
20. Join a lunchtime doodle drawing session
Kennedy Centre resident artist Mo Willems hosts these free online drawing sessions every lunch time at 1pm on their YouTube channel here: youtube.com/playlist. Perfect for you and the kids to enjoy. All their previous videos are on the YouTube channel too.