Social Distancing Events to Enjoy From Your Couch

Apr 23, 2020

Maybe you need to stretch your mental legs. Or your kids need something to do. Maybe you just need somewhere to escape to after a long day of essential work, and streaming services just aren’t cutting it. If you’re social distancing and wanting a bit of entertainment, here are some online possibilities.

Missing the zoo?

You aren’t alone! Many zoos have been maintaining webcams and sharing videos during quarantine. The Houston Zoo offers chimp, rhino, gorilla and elephant cams, among others; The San Diego Zoo hosts 10 live webcams that feature the zoo’s koalas, penguins, tigers and other animals, while the Bronx Zoo is offering a “virtual zoo,” which includes some animals—lemurs!—you might not see on other webcams.

If sealife is more your speed, check out the Georgia Aquarium’s webcams, which offer penguins, sea lions, and a giant tank with whale sharks. The Shedd Aquarium in Chicago recently shared a wildly popular video of their penguins roaming the aquarium, but their Facebook page has lots of behind-the-scenes videos of their animals as well.

Interested in museums?

You’re in luck. The Smithsonian Museum network offers multiple virtual tours. A perennial favorite, the Museum of Natural History, it has virtual walkthroughs of most of its major exhibitions, including its incredible new fossil hall. The British Museum, current resting place to artifacts from all over the world, also has a virtual tour available; so does the Guggeinheim art museum. For an even longer list of museums with virtual tours available, check this roundup and you’re sure to find something you enjoy.

Music festivals?

This one is a bit harder, but if you want more than just following your favorite artists on social media and listening to whatever they choose to post, the Social Distancing Festival—which gathers live streams of all different types of performances in one place, on one calendar—has a plentiful helping of music. WKAR in Michigan is also keeping a rolling update of live-streamed concerts around the world.

If you want something a bit more classy, live chamber music concerts (and recordings of past performances) are available from the Berlin Philharmonic, the Chamber Music Society of London, and the Seattle Symphony, among others.

If theater is your thing?

If you’re in the mood for musicals, Broadway World has a free series on its website called Living Room Concerts with some of the top actors from touring shows on Broadway. They’re exactly what you’d expect - candid and cozy videos of actors in their living rooms performing favorite songs, usually while playing an instrument. Meanwhile, the National Theatre will be uploading full-length theatrical productions to its YouTube channel every Thursday (7pm BST/2pm EST), and have already accumulated quite a backlog.

Is there anywhere collecting stuff to do every week?

As it happens, there is! The New York Times has you covered with a daily roundup of streaming cultural offerings. Enjoy!

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