A Helpful List of Virtual Experiences You Can Do at Home to Distract Yourself

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If stocking your pantry and disinfecting everything have been at the forefront of your mind lately, you're not alone. And with some of us spending more time at home, it's hard not to feel anxious or stressed.


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With many public places closing, it can feel like we don't have much recourse for getting our minds off things. But thankfully there are quite a few ways to use the internet to our advantage, especially when you need a break from the news.

Whether it's virtual museum visits or an otter live cam, here are some activities you can enjoy from home.



Google Arts & Culture: Even before the chaos of coronavirus, Google Arts & Culture was a fantastic resource for leaning more about visual art and virtually visiting your favorite museums. From the comfort of your home, you can roam around the Uffizi Galleries, Musée d'Orsay, Guggenheim, The J. Paul Getty Museum, and more. Start exploring here.


National Gallery of Art: The Washington, D.C. art institution wants to bring in-depth art experiences to you during its closure. You can tune into the National Gallery of Art's streams on Instagram as they go room by room and speak with curators. The Instagram stories will also include "15 seconds of Zen" for stress relief. Follow the NGA here.


Castelo de Rivoli: As ArtNews reports, Castello di Rivoli's director Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev has been working overtime to get new digital content up for people to enjoy art as a form of relief. The Rivoliy, Italy museum has a new Digital Cosmos section that offers video content in one place, including a strangely mesmerizing video of a snail on a violin bow as a musician plays.



Cuarentena Fest: This online music fest (translating to Quarantine Fest) is broadcasting from Spain March 16-27. It's a big time difference if you're in the U.S. but perhaps a good way to fight insomnia. The artists are also taking donations, so it's a great way to show support. You can find out more here.


Metropolitan Opera: Starting today, March 16, the Metropolitan Opera will live stream portions of its Live in HD series. They'll be available for 20 hours after they first go live. You can see the full schedule for the next week here.

Berliner Philharmoniker: The concert hall Berlin Philaharmonie has closed, so the institution is offering free access to its usually paid-access only digital concert hall. That means plenty of live, high-definition broadcasts as well as interviews and documentaries. Learn more here.


92Y: The New York-based arts nonprofit will stream its upcoming concert with mezzo-soprano Fleur Barron on March 18 at 7:30 p.m. EDT. It plans on offering future online programming and also has an archive of past talks, concerts, and more. Find out more here.

Cute Animals

Monterey Bay Aquarium: If you just need to get your mind off things, the Monterey Bay Aquarium offers live camera feeds that show adorable otters or relaxing jellyfish. Check them out here.


San Diego Zoo: Sea creatures not your vibe right now? The San Diego Zoo has live cams of koalas, pandas, and more. Choose your favorite here.

Cincinnati Zoo: The Cincinnati Zoo kicked off its Facebook Live series, Home Safari, recently and plans on streaming every weekday at 3 p.m. EDT. Head to their Facebook page's video section, scroll down to the All Videos section, and look for the "live" icon.


ClassPass Live: The ClassPass app offers on-demand workouts, from yoga to cardio; it's included with memberships or you can sign up for a free 14-day trial. And of course, you can watch plenty of videos on the app's library of digital workouts, too.

Nike Training Club: Workouts from the Nike Training Club range from ones you can do without props to ones focusing on specific equipment. You can also pair the app with your Apple Watch. Basic membership gets you around 200 workouts and a paid monthly membership offers premium workout and nutrition guidance.

Obé: Find pilates, power, and postnatal classes on app Obé, which boasts more than 2,500 workouts. You can opt into either a monthly or annual subscription for the service, and start with a free seven-day trial. (And workouts are set against millennial pink/pastel backgrounds if that's your vibe).

Fitbit Coach: If you already own a Fitbit or Fitbit Watch, you can definitely use Fitbit Coach to your advantage. You can rate how hard or easy the moves that you try are and get personalized suggestions for your next workout.

Freelectics: If you want a more structured approach, Freelectics lets you choose a specific goal — like gain muscle or get fit — that you'll focus on for six, eight, or 12 weeks at a time. Prices depend on the length of your subscription and how much you want access to in the app.

YouTube and Instagram: Now's a great time to check what the fitness experts in your feed are up to in light of recent events. Lots of creators are releasing new material – and they have plenty from the past that's great to try, too. Some of our favorites include Kayla Itsines, Yoga with Adriene, Lauren Ash, and Jessamyn Stanley.


Ten Percent Happier: If you enjoy a range of meditation formats, Ten Percent Happier categorizes its guided meditations into sections like sleep, happiness, focus, and now even coronavirus sanity. The app currently also offers live meditation. You can sign up for a seven-day trial before deciding to do a yearly membership.

Calm: If better sleep is what you need, that's the main focus on the Calm app. It includes meditations but also adult bedtime stories and music especially made for drifting off. You can try a seven-day run, as well as sign up annually or even for life.

Headspace: If you want to start off slowly, Headspace is all about doing just a few minutes of meditation a day. The app also includes sleep sounds. You can do an annual or monthly membership, with your first week free.

Virtual Classes

Skillshare: From writing to illustration to photography, now could be a good time to pick up a new skill (or a fun hobby). Skillshare features a range of classes and you can get two months for free right now if you're a new member (bonus: there's classes with masters of their craft, like Roxane Gay).

MasterClass: With areas ranging from sports to music to business, MasterClass has plenty to offer. You'll also see lots of familiar faces, from Anna Wintour to Gordon Ramsey to Samuel L. Jackson.

Lynda.com: You can find plenty to learn on Lynda.com's database — from HTML to video editing to digital marketing — and we're especially jazzed to see that the Los Angeles Public Library gives you free access.