Worldwide icon-chevron-right 101 things to do when you’re stuck at home
50 things to do while your stuck inside
Photograph: Time Out

101 things to do when you’re stuck at home

Bored at home? Then get stuck into our epic list of streaming culture, movies, podcasts, games, workouts and learning – plus some curveballs

By James Manning, Huw Oliver, Ellie Walker-Arnott and Time Out editors

A quarter of the world’s humans are at home right now. If you’re reading this, chances are you’re one of them. Yes, it’s important to stay safe indoors to protect ourselves and others – but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a good time. Time Out may have changed its name to Time In for now, but our mission to bring you the best culture, entertainment, food and fun from around the world hasn’t changed. So naturally, we wanted to create the ultimate list of things to do indoors – from curated lists of the best movies and greatest podcasts to indoor fitness, online learning, games to play, amazing live-streams to tune in to, and some offbeat activities dreamed up by creative people around the world.

As time goes by we’ll be updating, evolving and extending this list of fun things to do while you’re at home, so check back soon for more great indoor activities and streaming culture. You may be stuck at home, but stick with us and we promise you won’t be bored for a second.

101 actually fun things to do at home

Someone holding a tray of Bread Ahead doughnuts
Photograph: Bread Ahead

Take an Instagram baking class

Being stuck inside has its upsides: namely that you’re never far from your kitchen. This definitely is not the time to worry about waistlines, and baking has all sorts of therapeutic effects (seriously – google it). But if your repertoire doesn’t go beyond chocolate fridge cake, don’t worry: ace London bakery Bread Ahead is streaming baking classes and master baker Dominique Ansel is showing you his expertise via Instagram. From doughnuts to brownies, there’s no limit to what these pros can help you create. Take their ingredient list on your next shopping run before tuning in.

Pembroke college library
Photograph: Wikimedia Commons / RogerRabbit888

Catch up on literary classics

You know that pile of books that you haven’t ever quite managed to get into? There’ll never be a better time to conquer it. We asked nine authors for the books that they’ll be finally finishing during lockdown. And if you’ve already exhausted your library, you can now access more than a million books for free online as part of the ‘National Emergency Library’. The Internet Archive has removed waiting lists from its comprehensive library of 1.4 million digitised books and other materials donated by libraries and universities around the world. Usually you’d have to join a queue before being able to ‘borrow’ anything from its collection. But now you can just dip into whatever you want, whenever.

Virtual choir, Camden Voices choir
Photograph: YouTube screengrab

Join a virtual choir

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’. It involves hundreds of singers joining a Zoom call and learning a new song together. Lifefullness Live also runs a sing-a-log every weekday. You can either join a video call near you to sing with your neighbours, or stream the event on Instagram or Facebook.

Aurora Borealis, Finland I Photo by Ekaterina Kondratova from Shutterstock
Photograph: Ekaterina Kondratova / Shutterstock

Live-stream the Northern Lights

Just because you're stuck at home, doesn't mean you have to miss out on some of the world's most beautiful natural wonders. Thanks to, you can now live-stream the Northern Lights straight into your front room. The live cam is located at the Churchill Northern Studies Center in Manitoba, Canada, directly underneath the aurora oval. With the arctic dark most of the day and the skies clear, now’s the perfect time to tune in.

microphone, comedy
Photograph: Unsplash

Set up a home karaoke session

If you’re usually wary of the karaoke crowds, now’s the time to choose (and ace) your go-to belter. Yet to decide? No fret – we've assembled a list of the best karaoke songs ever, from raucous party songs you can sing while tipsy to tender love songs for serenading your boo. Karaoke versions of all of them are widely available online.

Keukenhof, Netherlands
Photograph: Shutterstock

Wander The Netherlands’ most spectacular tulip garden

At this time of year, the Netherlands are basically one enormous carpet of tulips. Or, at least, that’s what the normous annual Keukenhof Flower Exhibit would have you believe. This year, of course, the event is cancelled as the Netherlands and much of the rest of the planet practises social distancing. But that won’t stop you getting an eyeful of the colourful petals. The garden, which is at its blooming best right now, has decided to share its technicolour fields online via a ravishing series of videos.


Read a beautiful art magazine

Magazines are brilliant: little bundles of paper filled with countless ideas and images and writing. They’re places of comfort and safety and distraction, something to turn to when everything feels a little overwhelming and scary. So what better way to distract ourselves from these whackadoodle times than with a selection of amazing art publications that you can get sent right to your door?

A close up shot on a red surface shows a noose, a knife, a gun and a looking glass.
Photograph: Steve Buissinne/Pixabay

Host a virtual murder mystery

Just when you thought Cluedo-style mysteries would be limited to figuring out who got into your stash of quarantine snacks, UK company Red Herring Games has come through. Describing itself as offering ‘the best in murder mystery entertainment’, Red Herring’s multilayered games can now be adapted for virtual gatherings with the assistance of Zoom or Google Hangouts. We recommend the ‘Great British Bump Off’.

Photograph: Shutterstock

Get lost in a new podcast

Completed Netflix? Struggling to concentrate on a book? Podcasts might be the answer. Pop one of these amazing podcasts in your earholes and you’ll be immediately transported from your poky apartment to somewhere much more interesting. Tune into anything and everything from uplifting tales of human connection on ‘Modern Love’ to 25 years’ worth of the inspirational ‘This American Life’.

Photography: Courtesy of MasterClass

Up your home bar game

Say goodbye to your sad Quarantini. The home bar has taken centre stage as watering holes shutter the world over. But what do you put in the shaker when all you have at home is some vodka, a sad lemon and a few half empty bottles of liqueur? Bartenders have turned to social media to share their recipes and tips, and some are even taking requests in real time so we can all drink better while social distancing. Here are some thirst-quenching resources, whether you want to set up that virtual happy hour or simply want to pour yourself one.

Donny Osmond and Joan Collins in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
Photograph: Courtesy the Really Useful Group

Watch Andrew Lloyd Webber’s greatest hits

As his contribution to lifting spirits during lockdown, prolific composer Andrew Lloyd Webber is offering free broadcasts of his greatest musicals. A different Lloyd Webber musical will stream every Friday on The Shows Must Go On!, a new YouTube channel devoted to this project – watch this space for the streaming dates for mega hits like ‘Cats’ and ‘The Phantom of the Opera’.

Jellyfish at Oceanogràfic aquarium, Valencia
Photograph: Tamara Larissa/Shutterstock

Bring an aquarium into your home

Missing trips to the aquarium? Us too. Well the folks at Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium are now beaming the magic of the lakefront aquatic complex directly to our homes. A live cam in the aquarium’s ‘Underwater Beauty’ exhibit provides a relaxing and mesmerising view of angelfishes, wrasses, tangs and butterflyfishes gliding through the water. Or you could take a virtual tour of Europe’s largest aquarium, the Oceanogràfic in Valencia.

Laptop on table
Photo: srpphoto/Unsplash

Learn Japanese for free

No Nihongo? No problem. Learning Japanese has never been easier thanks to a vast array of online resources including websites, videos, podcasts and even apps to help you speak and understand it. There’s something out there for everyone, whether you're a beginner looking to pick up a few useful phrases for your trip to Tokyo, or just looking to brush up on your rusty command of the language. Here’s a list of online resources covering a range of proficiencies – all of which are free.

Cirque du Soleil
Photograph: Courtesy of Cirque du Soleil

Gasp at the gravity-defying feats of Cirque du Soleil

Obviously, Cirque du Soleil can’t perform to a live audience right now – so it’s taking the show online. The world-famous troupe is streaming the most impressive moments from its larger-than-life shows on CirqueConnect, its new digital hub, every Friday. While the tension and spectacle will never be the same as the live events, at least these are completely free.

Harry Potter glasses and scar
Image: Shutterstock

Live the Harry Potter dream

If you’ve always dreamed of going to Hogwarts, now’s your chance to live that fantasy. Potterheads are well served by our weird times, thanks to the brand new Harry Potter at Home site launched by JK Rowling; this virtual tour of a magical Harry Potter exhibition; this marvellous Potter-themed online escape room; our shockingly accurate Sorting Hat quiz and this virtual Harry Potter roller coaster. If you’re in the USA, you can get paid $1,000 to watch all 10 Harry Potter movies. And if you’re a Potter novice? You can now listen to the first Harry Potter book on Audible for free. Boredom banished!

vacation, Hawaii, Florida, Miami, Aspen, Las Vegas
Photograph: Shutterstock

Take an idyllic virtual vacation

All over the USA, there are hotels and resorts with live webcams offering mesmerising views of their surroundings. Think stretches of sandy beaches, majestic mountain vistas and placid lake scenery that (sort of) make it seem like you’re really there. Sure, cams can't quite replace the feeling of reclining in the sun or shooting down a slope on skis – but they are free and, let’s face it, the next best thing when actual travel is out of the question.

Photograph: Shutterstock

Experiment with a new haircut

Now is a very tempting time to do something crazy or get creative with your hair. Yet very few of us actually have the skills to trim and colour quite as well as those who get paid to do it. Thinking about giving yourself a quick lockdown chop? We asked some of New York’s best salons and experts to share their top haircutting tips.

Photo: Sarah Brown/Unsplash

Clear out some stuff – and give it away to charity

What about using all this free time you suddenly have to give your pad a thorough spring-clean? It may not sound like fun, but there’s nothing like a freshly Marie Kondo’d apartment to put the spring back into your step – particularly since you’re spending a little more time there than usual. And if you turn up plenty of clothes and other objects in good nick that you don’t want any more, make sure to start a giveaway pile to donate to a charity shop when this is all over. Here are the best thrift shops in London, New York and Singapore.

Photograph: Classpass

Hit the gym in your living room

Doing a daily workout during lockdown has suddenly become a whole lot easier. Classpass, the fitness-class app that previously allowed you to book into sessions in bougie gyms across the world, has just released 2,000 fitness video and audio tutorials for free. The sessions span yoga, HIIT, boxing, strength training, barre and loads more – all you have to do is sign up via the app or website.

Disneyland churros recipe
Photograph: Courtesy Disney Parks

Recreate recipes from Disneyland or Shake Shack

While restaurants, hotels and amusement parks are closed, they’ve been sharing their most famous recipes to help you recreate their famous dishes at home. So why not test your culinary skills and your brand loyalty by having a crack at Disneyland’s churros, Shake Shack’s signature burger or Pizza Express’s dough balls? There are even recipes out there for McDonald’s McMuffins and Ikea meatballs. At this rate you’ll never need to eat out again.

Artist Lavrence performs in all black leather holding a microphone, their cropped hair is bright yellow and they wear blue eyeshadow.
Photograph: Supplied/Heaps Gay

Hit up an amazing queer club night

While the iso life has given us plenty to miss, for many of us a special iso tear is reserved for the beauty and interconnection of queer nightlife. Nothing beats getting down with your bad self for a boogie in a safe space. Well, some of Sydney’s party starters and creative powerhouses aren’t gonna let Aunty Rona keep us down: they’ve launched Loud 'n' Queer TV, a livestreamed party coming at you every Friday night, and available for 24 hours afterwards.

Irish street projecting films
Photograph: Clare Keogh

Forge new bonds with your neighbours

In normal times, you might not be the type to actually talk to your neighbours. But let’s be honest: your social life’s a wreck right now, and you’re going to make friends with the people next door, no matter what. So why not take inspiration from these raucous balcony parties in Miami, the Londoner hosting aerobics classes on his doorstep or the street in Ireland that’s putting on communal film screenings? Go on, get social – in a distant kind of way, of course.

Street art in Copenhagen
Photograph: Welinoo

Laugh at the best cartoons and street art for our times

When the news gets a bit much, it’s comforting to know illustrators will always be there to reflect your anxieties right back at you. The biggest story in a generation has obviously given cartoonists the world over plenty to work with, from France’s Jean Jullien to pug-loving Brit Gemma Correll via the New Yorker’s star illustrators. And some very creative street artists have got in on the act too. (Yes, that includes Banksy.)

Puppy poking its head out of a box
Photograph: Pixabay/Krijgsman

Adopt an adorable new pet

Self-isolating? Why not make it a little cuddlier? With many people across the country practising social distancing, animal charity the RSPCA is looking for Aussies to take on pets in need of a temporary home for two to four weeks during the pandemic. If you’re in Australia, just contact your local branch and you might be lucky enough to be matched with a companion to ride out all this new-found downtime with. If not, see whether any adoption services near you are looking for foster parents for the short or medium term.

Deserted St. Mark’s Square, Venice
Photograph: Shutterstock

Gawp at abandoned tourist spots on live webcam

Usually, you’d have to wade through crowds upon crowds to get within even queuing distance of the Doge’s Palace in Venice or Prague’s Old Town Square. But with curfews and lockdown measures being enforced throughout Europe, things are looking very different – as these live webcam feeds of tourist hotspots show. You do wonder who the odd straggler is and why they’re still knocking about, but mainly it’s made us even more impatient to get back out and explore.

Interior at Neighbourhood Wine
Photograph: Nathalie Saldumbide

Stuff your face (and support local restaurants)

Got cash to spare? Now is a good time to ‘invest’ in your favourite restaurants – either by ordering food delivery, or stocking up on gift vouchers from them. Both will help them earn some cash in a difficult time, and you’ll be able to use the vouchers once this blows over (think of it like an IOU). Here are some restaurants you can support by buying gift cards in LondonMelbourneNew York and the rest of the USA.

Italian ricotta cake
Photograph: Al.ta Cucina

Cook something new

If there was ever an opportunity to spend more time experimenting in the kitchen, this is it – after all, you’re likely to be pretty much stuck there for the foreseeable. We’ve rounded up some ace recipes from culinary superstars, including a Michelin-star chef’s recipe for a crisp omelette, an Italian recipe for chocolate, orange and ricotta cake and tips on how to turn your basic banana bread into a work of delicious genius – all using ingredients that you’re likely to already have in your cupboard.

Colouring pencils and book
Photograph: J. Kelly Brito/Unsplash

Lose yourself in a colouring book by legit artists

To try and make lockdown a little more bearable, British artists Antony Gormley, Grayson Perry, Gillian Wearing and others have come together to create a free, downloadable activity book. It’s called ‘Art Is Where the Home Is’ and the idea is that every project can fit on a single A4 sheet of paper, and you won’t need any specialist materials. The activities are a bit more leftfield than dot-to-dots or colouring in: Antony Gormley’s task involves making a daisy chain of people, while Harold Offeh wants you to create an album cover. Are the ideas mostly aimed at children? Yes. But don’t let that stop you.

Digital portrait of William Shakespeare
Image: Time Out

Watch every single one of Shakespeare’s plays

Cut through the gloom with the words of a man who knew a thing or two about plagues: Mr William Shakespeare. ‘The Show Must Go Online’ is a digital project led by classical actor and director Robert Myles that aims to bring The Bard’s words to life by reading them out loud at a time when conventional live performance is verboten. Professional actors and experienced amateurs are invited to sign up to do a weekly reading, and the public can follow along on YouTube. They’re going through all his plays from A to Z.

Quarantine cakes
Photograph: Courtesy Emily Nejad/Bon Vivant Cakes

Bake a hilarious quarantine cake

Some people eat in times of crisis, and other people bake. Based on what we’ve seen on the internet in the last few days, lots of people fall into the latter camp. These stressed, intrepid, creative pastry wizards have really found a way to make this whole isolation thing more entertaining with their clever cakes. Want some inspiration for your own? These are some of the funniest quarantine cakes we’ve found online.

Street in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico
Photograph: Shutterstock

Daydream about being somewhere totally different

If you’re anything like us, you’re already thinking about all the places you want to visit once this is all over. And who better to ask for tips than than a set of award-winning travel writers? We spoke to five of the winners of this year’s Edward Stanford Travel Writing Awards to get their top travel recommendation: their favourite place on the planet. Just the stuff for a post-isolation bucket list, if you ask us.

Laptop use
Photograph: Shutterstock

Get smart with a free, online Ivy League course

Why not use all that time we usually spend socialising to learn something new? And you might as well learn from the best, we say. The eight Ivy League colleges across the US – Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Pennsylvania, Princeton and Yale – are offering 450 free online courses that are just the right amount of challenging to take our minds off the current state of affairs.

Photograph: Ginger Phlappage

Do a drag aerobics class

Dig out the spandex, make some space in your living room and tune into Facebook or Instagram Live every Wednesday for an aerobics lesson from drag queen Dolly Trolley. This is a revival of ’80s home workout videos, social media-style. The sessions are free, but organisers have set up a PayPal link for those who want to donate a few pounds. Here’s our pick of all the other brilliant fitness sessions you can enjoy from home.

Prince photograph: Jeffrey Mayer/Getty Images

Watch Prince play live

Actual concerts and gigs are no-gos for the foreseeable, but you can replicate those live-music vibes in your living room thanks to YouTube. There are a bunch of really amazing full-length concerts available to stream for free, from Abba making London shine in ’79 to Radiohead’s first Glastonbury headline slot in the late 1990s.

Netflix Tiger King
Tiger King/courtesy of Netflix

Stream a thought-provoking doc on Netflix

Netflix has revitalised the documentary industry. ‘Making a Murderer’ became a global talking point overnight, followed by exclusives like ‘13th’, ‘Amanda Knox’ and now ‘Tiger King’, while the streaming site’s archive of great docs has proven enormously popular. But which of these true tales are worth 90 or more minutes of your precious time? From genre-defining classics to intimate personal studies, these are the best documentaries to stream right now on Netflix in the UK and US.

Musée d’Orsay
Photograph: EQRoy /

Take a virtual tour of the Musée d’Orsay

Our much-loved museums and art galleries may be closing their doors, but don’t despair. Tech-savvy curators are getting creative with how the public can access their collections, and many are catering to an online audience with insanely good virtual tours. From ogling Parisian Impressionist works in the Musée d’Orsay to a voyeuristic archive of ex-lovers’ relics at the Museum of Broken Relationships, there are truly some fascinating online museum tours out there.


Finally watch all of ‘Twin Peaks’

There are classic shows you know are good and you know you’d enjoy – but that, in usual circumstances, you just can't commit to, you know? But these aren’t usual circumstances, meaning this the perfect time to start a relationship with trippy cult fave ‘Twin Peaks’, set off on a seven-season-long journey with ‘Mad Men’, or finally give in to ‘The West Wing’ – or any of the other classic TV shows available via Netflix. If not now, when?

Man listening to music with his laptop
Photograph: Shutterstock

Listen to this motivational WFH playlist

Not quite into the swing of working from home? Perhaps you need a stack of absolutely massive bangers to jump-start your brain. We’ve compiled a playlist that gets the job done while obeying the golden rule of motivational playlists: a certain amount of cheese is essential, but you don’t want to overload it. And yes, it does kick off with ‘Work from Home’ by Fifth Harmony, because, well, we’re only human.

Cherry blossoms, sakura, Meguro River, Nakameguro
Photo: Jenna Neal/Unsplash

Tour Japan’s most spectacular cherry blossom displays

Hanami flower-viewing parties and sakura festivals have been cancelled all over Japan – but that doesn’t mean you can’t still get your fill of beautiful cherry blossom. The country’s Weather News channel has released 50 VR videos that explore the best blossom spots throughout Japan, with stunning 360-degree views and some very soothing background music. Bliss.

Another Space
Photograph: Another_Space

Do a digital yoga class

You might not be able to visit your regular yoga studio, but social distancing guidelines can’t keep a good class down. Plenty of yoga studios are now live-streaming classes so you can still practise with your fave teacher – calming music, guided shavasana and all. Here’s to going with the flow on your front room floor.

Hamlet at Schaubuhne theatre
Photograph: Arno Declair

Watch world-class actors take to the stage

Thank goodness for streaming: it’s let many of the world’s best theatres broadcast previous shows while shut down. You can watch plays online from New York and London, as well as from Berlin’s cutting-edge Schaubühne. And top playwrights and producers are already making new work for these new times – the UK’s Headlong company will be broadcasting ‘Unprecedented: Real Time Theatre from a State of Isolation’ from April. Here’s our full guide to the best streaming theatre you can watch online now.

national parks, tours, travel, North America
Photograph: Shutterstock

Tour the USA’s greatest national parks

One silver lining of living through a pandemic in the age of the internet is that, though you may be self-isolating, you can still (sort of) get that much-needed dose of the great outdoors. Thanks to Google Earth, you can now virtually tour 31 of the USA’s greatest national parks, from the Virgin Islands to Mount Rainier in Washington State. Click on your chosen park and you’ll be whisked away to your destination.

Quick, Draw! game
Photograph: Quick, Draw! screenshot

Play Pictionary with a robot

Need a break from reality? Try ‘Quick, Draw!’, a free-to-play game that doubles up as an AI experiment to see if a ‘neural network’ can learn to recognise human doodles. It’s basically playing Pictionary with a robot, and is stupidly addictive and weirdly mindful. We’re hooked.

Frida Kahlo
Photograph: Wikimedia Commons / Toni Frissell and Adam Cuerden

See 800 Frida Kahlo paintings in a virtual exhibition

Since you can’t go traipsing around your favourite museums right now, here’s an incredible online art exhibition dedicated to everyone’s favourite monobrowed modern art master: Frida Kahlo. For ‘Faces of Frida’, Google Arts and Culture have brought together 33 museums from around the world to share their Kahlo archives. You can browse 800 works by the Mexican artist, but also lots of biographical elements (personal objects, letters, journal extracts).

Uncut Gems
Photograph: Netflix

Catch up on all the hyped movies you missed

You know those films you’ve been meaning to watch for years? The iconic ones you kinda pretend you’ve seen, the really long Oscar-worthy ones, the difficult watches you were never quite in the mood for? Now’s the time. No excuses: check out our picks of the best movies on Netflix US, Netflix UK and Amazon Prime UK right now, and get watching.

House party
Photograph: Shutterstock

Party at home with our ultimate playlist

Thanks to Spotify and other streaming services, everyone’s a DJ these days. But this doesn’t mean it’s acceptable to cobble together dodgy party playlists filled with soggy bops and half-arsed nearly-bangers. To help you make sure your (very exclusive, residents-only) house party goes off like a frog in a sock, we’ve put together this ultimate list of surefire floor-fillers. Just remember to think of your playlist like a spag bol: a little bit of cheese is a fine addition, but too much can be overpowering.

Wynwood Walls in Miami, deserted
Photograph: @fuegzzz

Scope out the world’s major cities looking like ghost towns

It’s a ghost town out there. As we all hunker down at home and learn how to effectively social distance ourselves (lots of food delivery and a well-stocked drinks cabinet seem to be the first steps), the busiest places in our cities have emptied out. Just take a look at these photos of eerily quiet streets across the world.

La Traviata
Photograph: Todd Rosenberg

Have a night at the opera

Their audiences may have been kept at home, but temples of high culture have fought back hard against the global lockdown. New York’s Metropolitan Opera is raiding its archives and streaming free daily productions from the award-winning ‘Live in HD’ series while its doors are closed. London’s Royal Opera House is also streaming past productions every Friday, while Vienna’s acclaimed Wiener Staatsoper is sticking as closely as possible to its planned schedule of performances, but with archive productions rather than live ones. And they’re all filmed from the best seats in the house – no opera glasses needed.

Installation view of Keith Haring | Jean-Michel Basquiat: Crossing Lines at NGV International
Installation view of Keith Haring | Jean-Michel Basquiat: Crossing Lines at NGV International, 1 December 219 – 11 April 2020. © Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat. Licensed by Artestar, New York. © Keith Haring Foundation. Photo: Tom Ross

See a Keith Haring exhibition

Like most museums around the world, the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne has temporarily closed its doors. But those who missed out on its big-hitting ‘Keith Haring | Jean-Michel Basquiat: Crossing Lines’ show (plus other curious art fans around the world) are in luck: the exhibition is now available as a free virtual tour led by the curator. The NGV’s rather timely ‘Kaws: Companionship in the Age of Loneliness’ is also available online.

nikon, photography
Photograph: Unsplash/Pressmaster

Take an online photography course

At this point of the global lockdown, you’ve probably mastered the art of getting your pet, kids or other half to do exactly what you tell them to. Serious times call for strict household obedience. So why not use this as an opportunity to get them all to pose for a nifty portrait or three? ‘Photographing children and pets’ is one of ten online photography courses Nikon has made free for all to stream.

Biqtch Puddiń
Photograph: Davide Laffe

Join social-distancing drag queens for a digital kiki

Earlier this month, Karla Croqueta – the beloved Miami drag queen whose energetic performances have earned her jobs all around the city – began seeing her gigs disappear one by one. Only a few hours later, Croqueta launched the hashtag #DigitalDragShow, and with it the first live-streamed online performance of her legendary Counter Corner party. Almost simultaneously, one of America’s favorite drag queens, Biqtch Puddiń, launched ‘Digital Drag Show’ from NYC. It turns out fabulousness conquers all.

Romance movie: Four Weddings and a Funeral
Photograph: Working Title Films/Film4

Get some fuzzy vibes going with a feelgood movie

As we know pretty well by now, real life and current affairs can really get you down. For many of us, Netflix is the antidote and escapism we need from daily life. However, with so many titles to choose from, it can be hard to know which films will leave your spirits high. From wild action comedies such as ‘Charlie’s Angels’ to classic romcoms like ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral via movie musicals like ‘La La Land’, here’s our guide to the 25 best feelgood movies streaming on Netflix in the UK and US.

Nail art on a laptop in a tasteful loungeroom
Photograph: Creative Commons

Unwind with some sublime YouTube ASMR

Having a little trouble unwinding at the moment? YouTube is our go-to source for all kinds of soothing content. ASMR communities have quietly been setting up camp in this corner of the internet for years now. These are the chillest channels and most blissful standalone clips we’ve found online.

colin huggins piano guy washington square park
Photograph: Shutterstock

Hear an incredible pianist playing live

Innumerable musicians and performers are being deprived of their livelihoods right now. Do your bit for the industry by catching one of these 45-minute live piano gigs showcasing London musical theatre talent new and established. New York’s ‘Piano Guy’ is also playing daily shows and asking for small donations, and you can tune into shows from the city’s legendary piano bar Marie’s Crisis in this Facebook group every night.

Shedd Aquarium penguins
Photograph: Courtesy Shedd Aquarium

Watch penguins, elephants and belugas live from the zoo

Missing that cat you always say hello to on the way to work? Frankly, animal-assisted therapy is just what we need right now. So let’s hear it for the zoos. Many are streaming real-time feeds of their most popular attractions. From baboons to beluga whales, here are six incredibly soothing live-streams from zoos and aquariums around the world. You can also watch some penguins adorably explore a Chicago aquarium, or tune in to an Australian zoo broadcasting live koalas, 24/7. You’re very welcome.

Duncan Laurence wins the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest for the Netherlands
Photograph: EBU/Andres Putting

Enjoy (or suffer through) the biggest tunes from Eurovision 2020

Following the cancellation of the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest, fans worldwide will have to wait until next May for their next live fix of pop silliness, glammed-up hosts and highly politicised public voting. Until then, here are our favourite contestants from this year’s cancelled contest, performing live on YouTube instead. If you’d been stockpiling snacks, booze and polyester flags in preparation, now’s the time to bust them out and host your own quarantined Eurovision party.

Monet, Van Gogh, Klimt, painting
Photograph: Shutterstock

Take up painting with help from the masters

If you’ve been itching to stretch your creative muscles, now is most certainly the time. You can easily order art materials online. But you’ll also need some inspiration – and we recommend the Google Arts & Culture Zoom-in guided tours, which provide super-high resolution images of paintings: you can get close enough to see brushstrokes. What better way to figure out how to use a brush than learning from the best?

New York Botanical Garden
Photograph: Courtesy of the NY Landmarks Conservancy

Take a tour of New York City’s secret attractions

Wanderlust getting the better of you? Don’t worry. You can still explore some of New York’s most fascinating, under-the-radar landmarks – all from the comfort of your home (and for free). The New York Landmarks Conservancy has a catalogue of video tours you can play from the comfort of your couch. In ‘Tourist in Your Own Town’, presenter Peg Breen guides viewers around historic sights like Governors Island, the New York Botanical Garden, St Paul’s Chapel, Wave Hill, the Alice Austen House and many more.

Photo: Mark S/Unsplash

Listen to a 238-hour Haruki Murakami-inspired playlist

Why the hell not, eh? Japanese author Haruki Murakami is passionate about music and songs play an important role in almost all of his stories. Happily for die-hard Murakami fans (and anyone who just likes good music), Spotify user Masamaro Fujiki has compiled all the songs Murakami has written about in his stories into one playlist. It all adds up to nearly ten solid days of music, which should squash that ‘What should we listen to?’ question for a while.

Netflix star ratings dropped
Photograph: Shutterstock

Host a digital Netflix party

We don't need to tell you that streaming service Netflix is your friend during this crisis – you’ve probably got half an eye on it right now – but did you know you can have a Netflix party with your mates? The Netflix Party app, available on Chrome, lets you stream Netflix in unison with your pals. Anyone can play and pause the video for everyone else, and there’s a chat window so you can all wittily discuss what's happening on screen in real time. It’s a pop culture podcast waiting to happen.

BFI Southbank
Photograph: BFI Southbank

Join in with a huge LGBTQ+ film festival

London's recently cancelled BFI Flare Festival is back in business on the ol' internet. It'll be bringing LGBTIQ+ shorts and feature films into our homes from March 20-29 (the same dates the festival was due to run). Even the spirit of Flare’s raucous closing-night party will live on, with a DJ set being made available via Spotify. You just have to provide the dancefloor. Ticket-holders can access it via BFI Player; there’s a free two-week trial period available to everyone else too.

Sugarloaf Mountain cable car, Rio de Janeiro
Photograph: Shutterstock

Take in the view from Rio’s Sugarloaf Mountain

All our travel plans have been scrapped and we're staying home, but that doesn't mean you can’t explore the wonders the world has to offer – you’ll just have to do it from our sofas while wearing your pyjamas. We’ve trawled Google Street View for the most incredible 360-degree views of some of the world’s greatest cities. Happy ‘travels’!

Marimegmeg Beach, Palawan, Philippines
Photograph: Shutterstock

Book a holiday for once all this has blown over

Cooped up inside with cabin fever? Had all your spring holiday plans ruined? We’re right there with you. But there’s no time like a lockdown to dream about your next extravagant getaway. We’ve rounded up the best places to visit in October, November and December this year: fingers crossed we’ll all be able to go travel-crazy by then.

Volunteer Park Conservatory
Photograph: cdrin/

Visit a calming botanical garden

Feeling stressed? What d’ya say to a live-stream of some leaves? Volunteer Park Conservatory in Seattle, USA, is offering just that, sharing soothing videos of the inside of their greenhouses on social media every day. The glasshouse, which was inspired by London’s Crystal Palace, was built in 1912 and is made up of five different temperate zones, which are home to hundreds of different types of plant life. Check out their Instagram page for the calm, green scenes.

Massimo Bottura
Photograph: Stephanie Breijo

Take a cooking lesson with a Michelin-star chef

We’d always allow Massimo Bottura into our kitchens, but right now he’s especially welcome. The Michelin-starred chef is energetic as ever, and just the jolt of optimism we need as millions enter into quarantine to mitigate the spread of the virus. While some in isolation are turning to takeaways, others are using the time at home to jump into their own kitchens. Bottura wants to help with a nightly, free cooking series on his own Instagram account.

Mo Willems
Photograph: Courtesy Mo Willems

Join a lunchtime doodle session with a top kids’ illustrator

Young’uns getting restless? Brooklyn artist Mo Willems, the educational artist-in-residence at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, is leading a free online drawing session every day at 1pm. Kids can see the magic behind the mind that came up with ‘Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!’, ‘Knuffle Bunny’ and many more contemporary classics. You can also catch previous sessions on YouTube.

Audiobooks: books and headphones
Photograph: Shutterstock

Listen to a free audiobook or short story

If you’re the kind of person who likes to disappear from reality into an audiobook, you’re in luck. To help those in self-isolation, Audible has just opened up a huge chunk of its collection to readers/listeners for free. All you have to do to get access is visit their website, where you’ll be met with classics (various Brontës, Jane Austen, Chaucer, Shakespeare and F Scott Fitzgerald – a real all-star squad) as well as less highbrow reads. Who couldn’t use a comforting night in with Winnie the Pooh and Tigger, right now?

An acoustic guitar with a woman's hands playing
Photograph: Pixabay/Creative Commons

Learn to play guitar (like, properly)

Remember when you promised yourself you’d learn to play that guitar that ended up gathering dust in the corner? Here’s your chance: Fender is offering three months’ free online lessons. The guitar maker has even got high-resolution videos with IRL teachers, and you can track your progress online. You can follow along to videos or practise at your own pace, with adjustable scrolling tablature and a metronome.

Yale University gates
Photograph: Shutterstock

Sign up to a free happiness class

As the world around us changes on a daily, almost hourly, basis, we’re all facing some new anxieties. That's where world-famous Ivy League university Yale comes in. They’ve shared their most popular course, The Science of Well Being, online, for free, wherever you are in the world. Following psychologist Laurie Santos’ ten-week seminar series, you’ll learn how to increase your happiness, debunk myths about what makes us content and ultimately create better, more productive habits.

Misako & Rosen Gallery in Kita-Otsuka
Photograph: Misako & Rosen Gallery

Discover the Japanese contemporary art scene

Museums and art galleries around the world are no-go zones for the foreseeable. So here’s a way to bring a splash of colour into your own home. Japanese art magazine Bijutsutecho has created an ‘online viewing art gallery’ called Oil by Bijutsutecho. Freely accessible for art lovers worldwide, this platform has a total of 700 artworks on display, sourced from over 50 galleries in Japan, including Tokyo's hpgrp Gallery, Misako & Rosen and Tomio Koyama Gallery. Once you’ve seen it, check out this Instagram exhibition of young London artists too.

Buddhify app
Photograph: Buddhify

Calm the f*** down with a meditation app

Serenity seems pretty hard to come by right now, but you can breathe a sigh of relief: whether you’re a fully fledged meditation guru or totally new to it all (and, tbh, a bit confused by the hype), we have a plan. Flick through our choice of the best meditation apps and find your favourite – because an app can put you in the right frame of mind when a stick of nag champa just won’t cut it.

Gaming with friends
Photograph: Shutterstock

Raise a new family of Sims

Staying in can get really boring, really fast. You binge-watch a Netflix series or four, eat even though you’re not hungry and discuss ridiculous hypotheticals with your housemates. After a while, frankly, you’re definitely going to need a brain-stimulating escape. That’s where the world of video games totally comes into its own. Our absolute fave is The Sims, mainly because it’s a massive power trip. You rule the roost: controlling your virtual characters’ personalities, the environment and pretty much everything else. Not your thing? Here are some other fab time-wasters for these self-isolating times.

Ibrahim Mahama's stunning art din Cockatoo Island Turbine Hall
Photograph: Zan Wimberley

Go to a virtual art biennale

The 22nd Sydney Biennale has adapted to the new normal by going digital – bringing inspirational art to an even wider audience across the globe. Working hand-in-hand with partner Google, the organisers have created a virtual Biennale of podcasts, Q&As, curated tours and artist takeovers. This year’s edition comes under the banner of ‘Nirin’, a Wiradjuri word meaning ‘edge’, and aims to showcase more than 700 artworks by 101 artists with a focus on First Nations creatives.

Christine And The Queens, publicity shot with red eyes
Photograph: Camille Vivier

Catch a streaming gig by one of the world’s biggest artists

With music festivals and venues closed for the foreseeable future, artists are doing what we’ve all been doing – that is, taking to the digital realm and essentially living there for the time being. And lucky for us, they’re putting on some pretty rad shows on a host of streaming services, everything from bedroom-pop gigs (captured in literal bedrooms) and band practices to virtual DJ nights and request-heavy sets by heavy hitters. Check out our regularly updated page of live-streaming gigs for more.

Winchester Mystery House
Photograph: Courtesy Winchester Mystery House

Go on a ghost tour

California's most famous haunted home, the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, is offering free video tours while the mansion is closed. The bizarro tale began when the lady of the house, Sarah Winchester, inherited a vast fortune from her father-in-law, Oliver Winchester, manufacturer of the famous rifle. Winchester came to believe her family were haunted and built this house as a way to elude the ghosts of all those who had fallen victim to the Winchester rifle. Follow the house’s Facebook page to tune in to a walkthrough, which will stream on select days at 1pm. Enjoyed that? Next, take a virtual tour through the Paris catacombs

Clare Halse in 42nd Street
Photograph: Courtesy Brinkhoff/Moegenburg

Watch the best of Broadway

With Broadway and the West End shut down for the time being, fans of musical theatre are hungry for shows they can watch at home. That’s where BroadwayHD comes in. This new streaming service offers 300 high-quality full-length performances from Broadway, the West End and beyond. Subscriptions cost just $8.99 a month – and for new subscribers, the first week is free. But how can you choose among the many shows on offer? These are the ones we think you won’t want to miss.

Woman making pasta
Photograph: Shutterstock

Learn to make pasta with an Italian nonna

One 84-year-old Italian grandmother has had the perfect reaction to her country going into lockdown. Nonna Nerina usually runs pasta-making workshops in the countryside near Rome, but she had to cancel all her classes. Now, with her granddaughter Chiara, Nerina has taken them online. You can book on to a live two-hour, virtual pasta masterclass where you’ll be taken through their storied family recipes. Or if you don’t fancy the class fee, there’s an entire YouTube channel containing nothing but Italian grandmas making pastaBuon appetito!

Black bear in Yosemite National Park
Photograph: Shutterstock

Take a moment to appreciate the animals taking back human spaces

Lockdown hasn’t been all bad. Sure it’s a little scary and a lot claustrophic, but there have been some positives to come out of this current world situation, like zoom quizzes, Instagram bake-a-longs and communal claps for our healthcare workers. Oh, and all the tales about animals taking advantage of the drop in human activity to have a jolly time. Here are a few of the animals thoroughly enjoying lockdown, from Llandudno’s goats to Yosemite’s bear population.

Balletboyz: Deluxe, Sadler’s Wells 2020
Photograph: George Piper

Move your body with one of the world’s greatest dance venues

London’s most famous dance theatre, the legendary Sadler’s Wells, has had its entire programme suspended until at least the end of June. Fortunately, it’s opening up its substantial digital vaults during the current crisis through new streaming platform Digital Stage. It’ll be screening archive performances, special one-offs and dance workshops aimed at a variety of ages, from a family workout for ages two-to-six to classes for the over-sixties.

Busch Gardens
Photograph: Courtesy Busch Gardens/Scott K. Brown

Ride a roller coaster

Right now, as the majority of us stay at home all over the world, what we're able to do is pretty limited. But you know one thrill-inducing thing we can do, wherever we are? Ride Universal’s Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey roller coaster. The ride, at Universal Studios Hollywood, has been recorded by Undercover Tourist, and thanks to them we can now get a little adrenaline rush from our living rooms. Here are ten more rollercoasters you can ride virtually online.

Photograph: Shutterstock

Play a nostalgic board game

There are certain classics (Scrabble! Connect 4! Monopoly!) that we think every household should own. These are the games that never fail to tug at our heartstrings: they are culture-defining, nostalgic go-tos that always deliver come game night. Looking to take a trip back in time? Bored of charades? Here’s our guide to the best board games of all time.

Tools for DIY
Photograph: Eugen Str/Unsplash

Do that DIY project you’ve been putting off

It’s time to face the cold, harsh light of day: you are an adult now, and you need to know how to do things. Things involving hammers. Just got an exhibition poster framed and want to put it on my bedroom wall? Want to feel more capable next time your sink backs up? Do some googling. After all, there’s nothing to make you feel more productive than a bit of DIY – especially when you’re confined to a tiny apartment with eff all to do.

Joe Wicks doing PE lessons for kids on YouTube
Photograph: YouTube screengrab

Get physical with superstar PT Joe Wicks

Suddenly found yourself trying to work from home AND home-school your kids? Here’s a thing that might help. Personal trainer Joe Wicks, aka The Body Coach, is live streaming daily PE (Phys Ed) lessons to keep little ones active (and let’s be honest here, tire them out for the rest of the day). The 30-minute lessons are being live-streamed on YouTube every day at 9am GMT, and are suitable for ‘kids of all ages’ according to Wicks.

Houseplant delivery
Time Out/Shutterstock

Bring the outside in with some to-order houseplants

If you can’t go outside, bring the outside in. Sure, you could throw on another six layers and open the window for an hour a day – but a less hypothermia-inducing idea is to order in some houseplants from a plant subscription service or garden centre offering delivery. Not only will they make you feel better for having some greenery around you, plants will also look great in the background of all those isolation selfies we have no doubt you’ll be taking. Here are the two houseplants experts promise even you can’t kill.

Photograph: Wikimedia Commons / AJEONG_JM

Learn Korean with K-pop megastars BTS

Bored of Duolingo? Into K-pop? Then we’ve a suggestion. BTS, aka ‘Bangtan Sonyeondan’, aka one of the biggest boybands in the world, have launched a new language-learning platform that aims to help their fans better understand Korean-language tunes like ‘Boy with Luv’, ‘I Need U’ and ‘Fake Love’. And frankly, even if you’re BTS-ambivalent – merely a keen linguist looking to add a new vernacular string to your bow – what better way to learn Korean colloquialisms than through the medium of TOTALLY MASSIVE bangers?

Google’s Animals tool
Photograph: Time Out

Project AR animals into your living room

Chit-chat with the flatmates wearing thin? At this point of the global lockdown, we reckon it’s time to play Big Brother and bring a troublesome new contestant into the house. How about a life-size lion, tiger or giant panda? Yep: thanks to Google’s augmented-reality animals tool, you can choose from a range of furry new residents and view them in 3D within the confines of your own home.

Clay Sydney at-home class
Photograph: Supplied

Get into pottery

Ceramics were having a bit of a moment until self-isolation and social distancing happened. Missing your clay fix or simply want to try out a new hobby during lockdown? You don’t need a wheel at home to get creative. In London, acclaimed workshop Kana London is launching an online pottery course, while in Sydney, the Clay Sydney studio will be offering all the materials, tools and tutorial support to take one of its popular classes from the comfort of your own home. See if there’s a similar course in your city, or just order some clay and get sculpting with the help of YouTube.

Best video chat app
Image: Time Out

Spend some quality (digital) time with your loved ones

Who knew that video-conferencing apps would become such a big part of everybody’s lives so quickly? People around the world have swiftly pivoted from IRL socialising to Zoom, Houseparty, FaceTime, Skype and all the other video-chat apps out there. But which is the best, which one should you be using to keep in touch with your friends, family and Tinder dates? Here’s our ranking of the best free video-call apps around.


Torment your friends in a game of Cards Against Humanity

Sick-humoured saints be praised: you can now play the popular fill-in-the-blank ‘party game for horrible people’ online – and for free. (To do so, you simply nab a link at, send said link to each of your pals, then play together remotely from your respective PCs.) That’s just one of the many party games you can play remotely with your friends. Your move!

Patrick Stewart on the red carpet
Photograph: Shutterstock

Watch Sir Patrick Stewart read Shakespeare’s sonnets

A lot of Britain’s greatest stage names have gone to ground during the pandemic. Dame Judi Dench has published a couple of funny videos, apparently in self-isolation, while Sir Ian McKellen has been plugging away on the ol’ retweets. But it’s his BFF Sir Patrick Stewart who may emerge as the top dog from all of this. The seasoned Shakespearian is self-broadcasting one Shakespeare sonnet a day until this nightmare is over. There are 154 sonnets, allowing for roughly five months of self-isolation, FYI.

Photograph: Time Out/Shutterstock
Photograph: Time Out/Shutterstock

Nail your banana bread recipe

Found yourself making a lot of banana bread recently? Haven’t we all? But trust us: you could seriously dial it up with just a few tweaks. We asked some of London’s top bakers to share their tips for making the sweet, stodgy comfort food – from master patissier Dominique Ansel to Lewis Freeman from the 200-year-old Dunn’s bakery.

big puzzle
Photograph: Grafika

Take on the world’s biggest jigsaw puzzle

If you’re looking for fun things to do at home, you’re up for a mega challenge and you have a massive home, then boy, do we have a suggestion for you. The brand-new ‘Travel Around Art’ puzzle comes in at an astonishing 54,000 pieces: we’re talking 190 sq ft of pure fun. When completed, it makes an art gallery, complete with artworks like Gustav Klimt’s ‘The Kiss’ and ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ by Johannes Vermeer. And once you’ve finished that, there’s always this 51,000-piece Kodak puzzle. Should keep you busy.

Limpieza exfoliación facial peeling
© Shutterstock

Give yourself a DIY facial

Beauty treatments are off the table right now, but there’s never been a better time for self-care. While you can't visit your favourite massage, facial or nail studios at the moment, that doesn't mean you need to neglect yourself – especially when great studios like Re:lax in London are sharing their secrets online. Watch them at work on their Insta stories or sign up to one of their virtual courses to learn how to give yourself a 5 star facial at home.

Houseparty app logo: a waving yellow hand
Image: Houseparty

Host a Houseparty on this viral social app

Think living life in lockdown means you can't host a banging house party? Think again, people. You might not be able to be in the same room as your pals right now, but thanks to the Houseparty app you can still hang with all your mates, and even play games like Heads Up.

Cat in bed
Photograph: Shutterstock

Catch up on your sleep

Remember when you thought you were sleep-deprived because of your busy social schedule? Well, now there’s no excuse not to at least try and catch some Zs. But if you can’t sleep, don’t fret: a whole bunch of us are struggling to get our eight hours in during these strange and stressful times. We spoke to snoozing expert James Wilson, aka The Sleep Geek, to get some tips on getting great sleep every night while you’re on lockdown – and they go way beyond counting sheep.

Man with a tattooed back sitting on a box
Photograph: MONA/Jesse Hunniford

Live-stream some weird, avant-garde art from Tasmania

Introducing Tim – a former tattoo parlour manager from Zurich who’s inexplicably sitting out this weird time on a livestream at Tasmania’s Museum of Old and New Art. Since 2011, Tim has spent more than 3,500 hours sitting on a plinth at the museum, with his tattooed back being streamed in real time online. It’s an ongoing artwork, you see. And the work is only finished when Tim dies and the tattoo is handed over to its owner (a German dealer who’s already paid a sweet $250,000 AUD). Art, huh?

The Second City comedy class
Photograph: Courtesy The Second City

Learn how to make people laugh

Apart from paracetamol, laughter is still the best medicine. If you’ve always dreamed of performing at your local stand-up night, now’s the ideal time to hone those gags. Chicago’s legendary Second City Training Center may be closed, but it’s offering an expanded series of classes online covering everything from performing voiceovers to writing for TV. Most affordable, though, are its $25 drop-in improv and stand-up classes. Sign up and give those one-liners a test run.

Do nothing
Image: Twitter/Time Out

Do nothing

Here’s the thing. At Time Out, we’re normally all about helping you squeeze the absolute best out of city life. We want every second you spend to be spent well: eating the best food, soaking up the best culture, dancing at the best parties. But right now, things have been turned on their head a bit. Everyone is having to stay in and do less. We’ve even renamed ourselves Time In. And actually, we’re kind of relieved at having a bit more time on our hands. Time to dream, doze and do absolutely nothing. So by all means try and pack as much into your lockdown time as you can. But don’t forget to take some time, every so often, to switch off and drift – at least until we’re all out in the world again.

Still bored? Here’s how to stay sane

How our editors are staying sane
Photograph: Philip Lay

How to stay sane during lockdown

Things to do

Home for the foreseeable? So are our editors in New York, Barcelona, London, Sydney and elsewhere. We asked them to share the things keeping them going.


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