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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

Written by
James Manning
,
Time Out editors
,
Huw Oliver
&
Ellie Walker-Arnott
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What does 2022 have in store for us? It might be wise to avoid making overly hopeful predictions, lest disappointment creeps back into everyday life, but remaining optimistic is vital. We remain resolutely cheery here at Time Out, but preparation is half the battle, so we’re making contingency plans should everything go to the dogs again.

To cut a long story short, you can never have enough things lined up to keep you entertained if stuck indoors. After all, cabin fever is no fun at all. But it only takes a change of approach and a carefully curated expert list to change that. Stick with us, and you’ll find plenty to keep you occupied, from books and games to movies and TV shows. You might even find it preferable, although don’t give up on the wonders of the outside world just yet. It is pretty darn beautiful out there, you know.

RECOMMENDED: The 100 best movies of all time

101 actually fun things to do at home

Solve your way out of an online escape room
Photograph: Courtesy of Escape Hunt

1. Solve your way out of an online escape room

We could all do with a bit of escapism right now. But how can you get away when the fear of lockdown is always around the corner? Answer: with the internet’s array of brilliant virtual escape rooms, which offer an incredibly literal way to feel like you’re breaking free – all without leaving your sofa. Into your thrills, riddles and supernatural chills? These eight online escape games are bound to get your heart racing and your adrenaline pumping. 

Feel the thrill of a fresh true-crime podcast
Image: Shutterstock/Time Out

2. Feel the thrill of a fresh true-crime podcast

Occasionally gruesome and always edge-of-the-seat enthralling, the best true-crime podcasts trace murder mysteries, cold cases and miscarriages of justice through twist after twist. In fact, the true-crime genre at its best can be so compelling that it’s easy to burn through a whole series… leaving you hungry for some fresh intrigue. That’s exactly why we’ve rounded up some of the most captivating murderous and mysterious tales to listen to next. Plug-in those headphones and get gripped.

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Catch up on the awesome new movies you missed because, well, 2021
Photograph: Netflix

3. Catch up on the awesome new movies you missed because, well, 2021

Yes, 2020 was a movie year like no other, and 2021 didn't exactly represent a glorious comeback. But despite the closure of cinemas, the switch to streaming and wild uncertainty over what comes next, there were plenty of mesmerising films to enjoy. Last year was a great one for fans of Spielberg, Jane Campion and more, while an iconic actor bowed out of an even more iconic role. For proof, just check out our pick of the top 20 films of 2021. Stock up on snacks, and let the movie marathons begin.

Shake up your home cocktail skills
Photograph: Shutterstock

4. Shake up your home cocktail skills

There’s something therapeutic about taking the time to make a quality cocktail at home. We’re talking about the kind of sipper that requires a handful of ice, a cocktail shaker, a dusty bottle from your drinks cabinet and maybe even a swish of citrus. To help stir some inspiration, we asked Time Out staff around the world to spill their go-to cocktails, the drinks they know how to make from muscle memory, from classic (Negroni, anyone?) to newfangled (you gotta try the Tommy Casual).

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Blast off into the universe of sci-fi
Photograph: Shutterstock

5. Blast off into the universe of sci-fi

Science fiction isn’t all spaceships and space battles (though there is a lot of that), and when it’s good, it’s a proper escape from the real world. But what makes it really special is its subject matter. Whether it’s gender politics, racism, environmental collapse or capitalism, science fiction is full of fables that tell us about humanity right now, and where it’s going. Don’t know your Asimov from your elbow? We’ve rounded up 100 of the best sci-fi movies of all time and ten of the best science fiction books for beginners.

Gawp at some pretty spectacular photography
Photograph: Tomasz Rojek / Landscape Photographer of the Year

6. Gawp at some pretty spectacular photography

There’s nothing like browsing some properly mind-blowing photography to take your mind off things. Want to hang out with some furry friends? Check out these wildlife photography snaps and side-splitting animal pics. Searching for breathtaking natural landscapes? There’s plenty of that at the Drone Photo Awards and the Panoramic Photography Awards. And if you just can’t wait to travel again? Take a peek at these shots which made us really want to explore the world again.

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Get into running (and actually stick with it)
Illustration: Jordan Moss

7. Get into running (and actually stick with it)

Could 2022 be the year you actually get into running? Probably not, but hey, optimism! If you are thinking about, y’know, just going for it, you might now be wondering how the hell you actually get started. Well, one Time Out writer has gone from total running sceptic to legit marathon completer – here’s how you could, too. And if running doesn’t quite sound like your bag, we’ve also put together beginners’ guides to yogalifting weights, cycling for fitness and outdoor swimming.

Reboot your repertoire in the kitchen
Photograph: Time Out

8. Reboot your repertoire in the kitchen

Okay, so by now you’re probably sick of cooking yourself the same meals over and over again. That means your repertoire in the kitchen is probably due a refresh. At the end of last year, we asked Time Out staff around the world to tell us about the best cookbooks they relied on to get them through 2021. See what takes your fancy – and bon appétit!

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Stream one of our fave shows of 2021
HBO

9. Stream one of our fave shows of 2021

Twenty-twenty-one was such a great year for TV that you could (if you really wanted to) spend most of 2022 sat in front of your telly just catching up on the past 12 months. From trying out the record-breaking Squid Game to psyching yourself up for Succession’s most gripping, tumultuous season finale yet, there have been so many phenomenal shows to keep on top of this past year. Looking for your next TV fix? We’ve rounded up our fave streaming series of 2021 here

Get back into video games
Photograph: Cuphead

10. Get back into video games

Lapsed button-masher? Right now feels like a pretty good time to scratch that nostalgia. If you’ve been staring at that console gathering dust in the corner over the past twelve months, here are six brilliantly nostalgic games that’ll transport you back to your childhood (and probably make you want to stick around there). Can’t get enough? We’ve also weighed up the pros and cons of the PS5 and Xbox Series X, and put together this guide to the most immersive open-world games

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Take a literary tour of the world
Photograph: Nido Huebl/Shutterstock.com

11. Take a literary tour of the world

Looking for a way to expand your horizons without actually leaving your flat? We hear ya. This literary world map – a bookshelf made up of the most popular books set in (almost) every country on Earth – is a good place to start. It’s been compiled using Goodreads user ratings and reviews and makes for a fascinating tour around the globe. It’s definitely enough to keep us and our brains busy until we’re ready to pack our suitcases IRL.

 

Perfect your home coffee game
Photograph: Shutterstock

12. Perfect your home coffee game

When it comes to that morning cup of joe, necessity has been the mother of invention for many of us over the past couple of years. Out has gone the habitual visit to our cheery local barista; in its place has come a need to duplicate the taste and buzz from the relatively espresso-machine-free surrounds of our kitchens. But before you do anything desperate, like drink instant, help is available. Here’s how to make filter coffee perfectly every time, using three different methods.

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Put food in your ears
Photograph: Shutterstock

14. Put food in your ears

Cooking alone can feel a little lonely, right? One surefire way to get yourself some artificial (and generally pretty cultured) kitchen company is to whack on a podcast. And since you’ll want to be semi-focused on the cooking, it may help if they’re talking about food. Luckily, there are many funny and fascinating series well up to the job – and we’ve sorted through them all to come up with this list of the very best podcasts that are all about food, glorious food. Just don’t get so wrapped up in what they’re saying that you overlook (and overcook) your dinner.

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Build a home cinema
Photograph: Shutterstock

15. Build a home cinema

The lack of a 45-foot-wide screen in your living room shouldn’t rob you of a proper cinematic experience at home. With a little canny investment and some lateral thinking, you can transform any room into a temple of jaw-dropping, high-fidelity viewing. From arthousing-up your sofa to the best TVs and sound systems around, here are five ways to replicate those Dolby Atmos vibes at home.

See the best online immersive theatre
Photograph: Morpheus

16. See the best online immersive theatre

Fair to say watching adaptations of ‘Marcus Aurelius’ on the telly isn’t exactly everyone’s ideal night in, but don’t worry, not all live-streaming theatre sticks to such a traditional script. Enter Morpheus: a spooky, interactive experience that brings live theatre to your home via Zoom. You answer questions, make decisions, and, of course, watch an actual play. Shows include ‘Manor of Lies’, a period murder mystery, and ‘Undercover’, an adventure comedy.

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Get to know the world’s coolest filmmakers
Photograph: Time Out

17. Get to know the world’s coolest filmmakers

You might already think of yourself as a bit of a film buff. But whether you’re dressed head to toe in A24 merch or your movie knowledge stretches to a couple of Marvels and that’s about it, you should check out our list of the world’s coolest filmmakers. Our global film editor has detailed everything you need to know about Spike Lee, the Safdie brothers, Chloe Zhao and 47 more. Should be enough to bulk out your to-watch list (or start a totally new obsession with Korean film).

Become hooked on a new mobile game
Photograph: Courtesy of Knight Brawl

18. Become hooked on a new mobile game

Truly brilliant mobile games usually fall into one of two categories: violent or relaxing. Very occasionally, they manage to be both. Many of us have frankly ludicrous amounts of spare time at the moment, as well as plenty of frustration we’d preferably like to channel into as mindless an activity as possible. So here are six of best games on iPhone and Android to help you let off steam right now, from aesthetically chilled origami puzzles to single-players where the aim is to purée fruit or bash gummy bears.

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Get properly buff
Illustration: Jordan Moss

19. Get properly buff

Something about lifting weights can feel intimidating. Maybe it’s because you don’t know how to use the equipment. Or because people in the weights area often do a lot of grunting. Don’t let that put you off, though. These five tips from a newly converted weightlifter are a great way to get started. When done right, lifting is about celebrating what your body can do – and that can only be a good thing.
 
 

Live-stream the Northern Lights
Photograph: Ekaterina Kondratova / Shutterstock

20. 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 Explore.com, 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.

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Read a beautiful art magazine
Elephant

21. 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 wackadoodle times than with a selection of amazing art publications that you can get sent right to your door?

Get a book club going with pals
Image: Time Out

22. Get a book club going with pals

For many, the tumult of the last two years has seen them develop a new, deeper relationship with books – or rediscover a passion for reading that the treadmill of commuting, work and regular daily life had slowly eroded. Time and again we’ve heard of friends and colleagues spending more hours than ever escaping from day-to-day reality via the pages of a great read. And what better way to revel in your literary discoveries than over Zoom with pals? If you’re looking for some book-club inspiration, these are the properly brilliant books that helped Time Out staff around the world get through 2021.

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Host a virtual murder mystery
Photograph: Steve Buissinne/Pixabay

23. 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’.

Get lost in a new podcast
Image: Shutterstock

24. Get lost in a new podcast

Completed Netflix? Struggling to concentrate on a book? Podcasts will almost certainly 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’.

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Up your home bar game
Photography: Courtesy of MasterClass

26. Up your home bar game

Say goodbye to your sad Quarantini. The home bar has taken centre stage as watering holes experience uncertainty 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.

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Bring an aquarium into your home
Photograph: Tamara Larissa/Shutterstock

27. 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.

Get yourself in trim with some ballet pros
Photo: ENB Ballet Active

28. Get yourself in trim with some ballet pros

Building on the hodgepodge of classes English National Ballet put online in 2019, the London-based company – led by legendary dancer Tamara Rojo – has launched a full-on home workout platform called BalletActive, that should hopefully be with us for a long time after our present woes have ended. For £9.99 a month – or £99.99 a year – with the option of a free seven-day trial, you get access to a frankly gargantuan amount of stuff, from a beginners’ ballet series with dancer Sarah Kundi to masterclasses and advanced lessons from Rojo herself. You’ll be pliéing and pirouetting in no time at all.

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Learn Japanese for free
Photo: srpphoto/Unsplash

29. 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.

Gasp at the gravity-defying feats of Cirque du Soleil
Photograph: Courtesy of Cirque du Soleil

30. Gasp at the gravity-defying feats of Cirque du Soleil

When Cirque du Soleil wasn’t able to perform to live audiences, the world-famous circus took the show online. The iconic troupe set up a streaming platform to host its larger-than-life shows, so head over to CirqueConnect and get signed up. While the tension and spectacle will never be the same as the live events, at least these are completely free.

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Take an idyllic virtual vacation
Photograph: Shutterstock

32. 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.

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Experiment with a new haircut
Photograph: Shutterstock

33. Experiment with a new haircut

Desperate times call for desperate measures. 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.

Clear out some stuff – and give it away to charity
Photo: Sarah Brown/Unsplash

34. 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.

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Recreate recipes from Disneyland or Shake Shack
Photograph: Courtesy Disney Parks

35. Recreate recipes from Disneyland or Shake Shack

While restaurants, hotels and amusement parks have been closed as much as open over the last two years, 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.

Forge new bonds with your neighbours
Photograph: Clare Keogh

36. 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: the last two years have played havoc with your social life, 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.

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Cook something new
Photograph: Al.ta Cucina

37. Cook something new

If there was ever an opportunity to spend more time experimenting in the kitchen, this is it – after all, you never know how long you might be stuck there. 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.

Lose yourself in a colouring book by legit artists
Photograph: J. Kelly Brito/Unsplash

38. Lose yourself in a colouring book by legit artists

To try and make staying at home a little more bearable, British artists Antony Gormley, Grayson Perry, Gillian Wearing and others came 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 special 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.

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Watch every single one of Shakespeare’s plays
Image: Time Out

39. 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’ was a digital project led by classical actor and director Robert Myles that aimed to bring The Bard’s words to life. Professional actors and experienced amateurs were invited to sign up to do a weekly reading, and the public could follow along on YouTube. As of September 2021, the project has finally come to a close – but happily, everything is still on YouTube.

Bake a hilarious quarantine cake
Photograph: Courtesy Emily Nejad/Bon Vivant Cakes

40. 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 over the past year or so, 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.

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Daydream about being somewhere totally different
Photograph: Shutterstock

41. 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 a set of award-winning travel writers? We’ve spoken to five 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.

Get smart with a free, online Ivy League course
Photograph: Shutterstock

42. 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 manic world around us.

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Watch Prince play live
Prince photograph: Jeffrey Mayer/Getty Images

43. Watch Prince play live

Actual concerts and gigs aren't exactly filling the calendar at the moment, 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.

Set up a home karaoke session
Photograph: Unsplash

44. 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.

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Stream a thought-provoking doc on Netflix
Tiger King/courtesy of Netflix

45. 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 ‘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.

Take a virtual tour of the Musée d’Orsay
Photograph: EQRoy / Shutterstock.com

46. Take a virtual tour of the Musée d’Orsay

Many of our much-loved museums and art galleries have been closed, 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.

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Finally watch all of ‘Game of Thrones’
Photograph: HBO

47. Finally watch all of ‘Game of Thrones’

We have all watched a lot of TV over the last two years. Some of us have watched all of it – seriously, you should see the end credits when you complete TV – and at a time when we’ve been stuck at home this so-called golden age of television has never felt so burnished and shiny. From recent streaming hits like Sex Education and The Crown to established masterpieces like The Wire and Six Feet Under, the choices are almost limitless. But the unique circumstances of 2020 drew us to old favourites like cats to a radiator – as much for their familiar comforts as their guaranteed quality. 2021 was a little better, but quality is quality, no matter the circumstances. You swore it would never happen, but perhaps it really could be time to queue up Game of Thrones.

Listen to this motivational WFH playlist
Photograph: Shutterstock

48. 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.

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Book a holiday for once all this has blown over
Photograph: Shutterstock

49. Book a holiday for once all this has blown over

Cooped up inside with cabin fever? Had all your 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 picked out 16 amazing city breaks for 2022 (when you can): fingers crossed we’ll all be able to go travel crazy sometime vaguely soon.

Tour Japan’s most spectacular cherry blossom displays
Photo: Jenna Neal/Unsplash

50. 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.

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Do a digital yoga class
Photograph: Another_Space

51. Do a digital yoga class

Looking to get into yoga but unsure about visiting a studio? 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. Starting from scratch? The secret to yoga for beginners is to get up and keep going, according to our resident amateurHere’s to going with the flow on your front room floor.

Watch world-class actors take to the stage
Photograph: Arno Declair

52. 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 Berlin’s cutting-edge Schaubühne, while London’s National Theatre has even set up its own streaming platform. With stages opening and closing and opening again to an extent that it’s actually quite confusing, perhaps at-home theatre could be here to stay.

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Tour the USA’s greatest national parks
Photograph: Shutterstock

53. 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.

Play Pictionary with a robot
Photograph: Quick, Draw! screenshot

54. 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.

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See 800 Frida Kahlo paintings in a virtual exhibition
Photograph: Wikimedia Commons / Toni Frissell and Adam Cuerden

55. See 800 Frida Kahlo paintings in a virtual exhibition

Since you might not fancy 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).

Catch up on all the hyped movies you missed
Photograph: Netflix

56. 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.

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Party at home with our ultimate playlist
Photograph: Shutterstock

57. 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.

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Get some fuzzy vibes going with a feelgood movie
Photograph: Working Title Films/Film4

59. 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 movie musicals like ‘La La Land’, here’s our guide to the 25 best feelgood movies streaming on Netflix in the UK and US.

Take up painting with help from the masters
Photograph: Shutterstock

60. 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?

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Listen to a 238-hour Haruki Murakami-inspired playlist
Photo: Mark S/Unsplash

61. 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.

Unwind with some sublime YouTube ASMR
Photograph: Creative Commons

62. 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.

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Watch penguins, elephants and belugas live from the zoo
Photograph: Courtesy Shedd Aquarium

63. 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.

Host a digital Netflix party
Photograph: Shutterstock

64. Host a digital Netflix party

We don’t need to tell you that streaming service Netflix has been a wonderful 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.

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Take a tour of New York City’s secret attractions
Photograph: Courtesy of the NY Landmarks Conservancy

65. 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.

Join a doodle session with a top kids’ illustrator
Photograph: Courtesy Mo Willems

66. Join a 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, kept children all over the world busy last year with these free online drawing sessions. The live classes may have ended, but you can still catch all the previous sessions on YouTube. 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.

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Take in the view from Rio’s Sugarloaf Mountain
Photograph: Shutterstock

67. Take in the view from Rio’s Sugarloaf Mountain

All our travel plans have been scuppered and we’re all staying home a little more than we’d like, 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’!

Learn to play guitar (like, properly)
Photograph: Fender Play

68. 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? Think you still might have a secret Eddie Van Halen hidden deep within you? A mini St Vincent lurking somewhere in your gut? Well, you should probably go to a doctor, but after that, you might actually want to start learning how to play. Do it properly with these three easy ways to brush up online.

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Sign up to a free happiness class
Photograph: Shutterstock

69. 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’s 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.

Discover the Japanese contemporary art scene
Photograph: Misako & Rosen Gallery

70. Discover the Japanese contemporary art scene

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 more than 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.

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Calm the f*** down with a meditation app
Photograph: Buddhify

71. 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.

Raise a new family of Sims
Photograph: Shutterstock

72. 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.

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Go on a ghost tour
Photograph: Courtesy Winchester Mystery House

73. Go on a ghost tour

California’s most famous haunted home, the Winchester Mystery House in San José, is offering free video tours. 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 was haunted and built this house as a way to elude the ghosts of all those who had fallen victim to the Winchester rifle. Enjoyed that? Next, take a virtual tour through the Paris catacombs

Watch the best of Broadway
Photograph: Courtesy Brinkhoff/Moegenburg

74. Watch the best of Broadway

With Broadway and the West End seemingly forever on the verge of having to close, 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.

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Learn to make pasta with an Italian nonna
Photograph: Shutterstock

75. Learn to make pasta with an Italian nonna

One 84-year-old Italian grandmother 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!

Move your body with one of the world’s greatest dance venues
Photograph: George Piper

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

London’s most famous dance theatre, the legendary Sadler’s Wells, has opened up its substantial digital vaults during the current crisis through new streaming platform Digital Stage. The venue is now 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.

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Play a nostalgic board game
Photograph: Shutterstock

78. 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.

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Do that DIY project you’ve been putting off
Photograph: Eugen Str/Unsplash

79. 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 your 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.

Get physical with superstar PT Joe Wicks
Photograph: YouTube screengrab

80. 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, came to the rescue by live-streaming daily PE (Phys Ed) lessons back in 2020 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 available on YouTube and are suitable for ‘kids of all ages’ according to Wicks.

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Bring the outside in with some to-order houseplants
Time Out/Shutterstock

81. 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.

Learn Korean with K-pop megastars BTS
Photograph: Wikimedia Commons / AJEONG_JM

82. 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, has launched a 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?

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Project AR animals into your living room
Photograph: Time Out

83. Project AR animals into your living room

Chit-chat with the flatmates wearing thin? 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.

Get into pottery
Photograph: Supplied

84. 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? 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.

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Spend some quality (digital) time with your loved ones
Image: Time Out

85. 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 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
Shutterstock

86. 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 playingcards.io, 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!

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Nail your banana bread recipe
Photograph: Time Out/Shutterstock

87. Nail your banana bread recipe

Found yourself making a lot of banana bread over the last couple of years? 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.

Take on the world’s biggest jigsaw puzzle
Photograph: Grafika

88. 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.

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Host a Houseparty on this viral social app
Image: Houseparty

89. Host a Houseparty on this viral social app

Think living life in fear of lockdown means you can’t host a banging house party? Think again, people. You might not be sure about being 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.

Catch up on your sleep
Photograph: Shutterstock

90. 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 – and they go way beyond counting sheep.

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Live-stream some weird, avant-garde art from Tasmania
Photograph: MONA/Jesse Hunniford

91. 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 live stream 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?

92. Book a once-in-a-lifetime train trip

There are some really, really amazing railway trips you can take internationally. And ​​with climate change an ever-growing threat, the eco-credentials of travelling by train have never been more appealing. These brand-new train routes could revolutionise European rail travel - forget low-budget airlines, you can relax in luxury as you sail across the continent in a chic sleeper cabin. If something more traditional is your thing, these are the most incredible train journeys around the world, like the Coast Starlight from Seattle to Los Angeles, USA or the Orient-Express from Venice to London.

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93. Travel (virtually) to the world’s greatest cities

Take 19 insanely talented street photographers and tell them they have only one shot to sum up their city. The results? A truly incredible virtual tour of the greatest metropolises in the world. This series from earlier in the year showcased works from a mix of pro photographers and smartphone snappers, who all sought to capture city life at its most vibrant and multifaceted. Spinning between solitary, contemplative figures and vast scenes of joyous revelry, they’re a chance to momentarily escape the confines of your home and celebrate the glorious variety of urban life.

94. Grow your own mushrooms (no, not that kind)

Everyone knows some guy who knows some guy who’s growing ‘shrooms from the dark web and doesn’t shut up about it. But what’s wrong with normal mushrooms? Everything’s more delicious when you grow it yourself – and that stands for mushrooms, too. Plus you can get them in a nice, neat, easy box like this one, so you don’t have to go scavenging and, erm, potentially poisoning yourself. Once you’ve got yourself a box, we’ve got one tip: be patient. Those oyster mushrooms look damn delicious, but you’ll get more of them per harvest if you hang back a little longer.

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95. Make a full-blown tapestry

What people often don’t realise about tapestries is that they’re pretty versatile. Anyone can make one, they’re not always just enormous pictures of famous battles or Biblical events. You can make tapestries of anything, from radishes and puffins to abstract patterns. Ehrman Tapestry has hundreds of designs that can be tapestried across cushions, rugs or, as is the classic, wall hangings. Tapestry-making is also very therapeutic, and, if you really, really want to, there’s nothing stopping you from weaving your own full-size, Bayeux-esque masterpiece.

96. Try crafting your own candles

Candles, undeniably, always make things a bit better. Bit grey outside? Stick a candle on. Can’t go to the cinema but still want a movie night? Light a match, make it romantic. If you’ve got a bit of time on your hands, these candle making kits allow you to create your own. The boxes contain everything you need to make the ultimate home accessory – premium, scented wax, plus colouring options – and the instructions for getting crafty. A lot of fun for you and your housemates, we reckon.

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97. Raise your own backyard chickens

A pandemic pet isn’t original at this point – your social media is probably full of adorable puppies that were adopted in 2020 and are now much, much larger than anyone could ever have expected. If you’re not quite ready to commit to daily walks, backyard chickens might be the animal for you. They have unique personalities, can be great with children and can become adorable feathery friends over time. Plus, you’ll get fresh eggs every morning, which, short of moving to the countryside, is the cottagecore dream.

Learn how to make people laugh
Photograph: Courtesy The Second City

98. 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 a pretty good time to hone those gags. Chicago’s legendary Second City Training Center is 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.

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Give one of Airbnb’s virtual experiences a go
Photograph: Shutterstock

99. Give one of Airbnb’s virtual experiences a go

Meditating with sheep in the Scottish Highlands? Chasing a plague doctor through Prague? Snuggling up to some irresistibly cute pandas? Sure, in an ideal world we’d be able to do all those things IRL – but, for various reasons, many of us can’t at the moment. Happily, Airbnb offers the next best thing: a collection of local expert-led experiences, which you can enjoy from the comfort of your home. Best of all, many of these things are surprisingly cheap (especially considering how unusual they are).

Plan your new life somewhere sunnier
Photograph: Shutterstock

100. Plan your new life somewhere sunnier

You don’t need us to tell you that the past two years have been pretty terrible. But if it’s left you with a strong and persistent desire to make a massive life change, we can help you out with some ideas. Like, which of the world’s vibrant and exciting cities you should move to next, for example. Or which countries offer the best visa options for remote workers. Or which beautiful villages in Italy are selling homes for just €1 (one friggin’ euro!). Anyway, see ya later... we’re hopping on the next safe flight outta here.

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Do nothing
Image: Twitter/Time Out

101. 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 even renamed ourselves Time In for a little while. 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 the world feels like a safer place.

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