Suspend boredom, anxiety, and workaholism with this virtual entertainment roundup. We're experiencing information overload right now and it's hard to keep up with the pace of things. Here's a curated list of activities to keep us connected, entertained, and calm.
The Social Distancing Festival features a collection of digital events, live streams, and even a beer tent. You can also submit your event to be included. The site aims to showcase the work of artists around the world and encourages you to donate to arts organizations.
Virtual Happy Hours & Digital Coffee Dates: Support local small businesses by ordering booze from your local store for delivery or send gift cards to your favorite restaurant/cafe and meet up via Zoom, Google Hangouts, Cisco Webex or another video conferencing service. Some restaurants even offer virtual happy hour specials like at Denver Beer Co.There, you can order online a sampler pack to-go and participate in a Facebook Live tasting with the brewery. Don't forget to jazz up your space with a custom virtual backdrop.
Art galleries & museums: Thanks to Google, there are 2,000 locations you can peruse from your couch. Interestingly, many of the interactive, Instagrammable "museums" are not accessible virtually which means no Meow Wolf, Color Factory, or Museum of Ice Cream. Try out the many other awesome options, including:
MUSIC, DANCE, CONCERTS, PODCASTS
Concerts: Nugs.net offers 30 days free and plenty of bands are playing shows on Facebook and Instagram Live.
Dance: Host your own dance party with friends via video conferencing or watch one of the best ballet performances from the Royal Ballet.
The Metropolitan Opera: Stream Live in HD performances from the past 14 years featuring opera's most talented performers. Watch nightly for free on the website or Met Opera On Demand app for your mobile devices or smart TV. Performances are only available for 23 hours, from 7:30 p.m. EDT until 6:30 p.m. the following day, before the next show. Check the website for a full schedule.
BOOKS, MOVIES & GAMES
Book Club: Check out an e-book from your local library or stream audiobooks online. Many libraries now offer call-in or virtual storytime for children too.
Denver Film Society: Denver Film’s "At the Movies" sells home screenings to titles that would otherwise be playing the Sie Film Center right now. Browse films via the link above and pay $12 to watch a movie that won’t be available for rental or sale in the next several months. New additions include “Bacurau,” “Saint Frances” and “The Wild Goose Lake.”
Experimental Films & Video Art: A list from Hyperallergic featuring experimental films crowdsourced virtually. Free to watch, though you can make a donation to support the artist.
Kanopy: Create your own film club with Kanopy or another favorite video streaming service. Your group can watch the movie and then meet up online to talk about it. Bring your own popcorn and soda. If you are a member of the Denver Public Library, you can stream for free with your library card.
Netflix Party: A Google Chrome extension that allows you to watch Netflix films and chat digitally with friends. This is where *talking* during the movie is encouraged.
Games: Entice friends and family to play a game of Scrabble or Monopoly. With the help of a multiplayer app, you can play one another online.
Video Games: Nothing wrong with clearing out that old Atari, Nintendo, or Wii to play old school games. After all, getting through the grocery store with social distancing feels a bit like a game of Frogger. This link, however, takes you a list of a few new options for play.
Meditation: Headspace, Calm and other apps. offer free access to guided meditations. Personal favorites includeAudio Dharmafrom the Insight Meditation Center andBe Time(check their Instagram stories for a schedule of live-streamed classes).
Exercise: There are a lot of streaming classes and apps to use while at home. One option is Commune, an online community forum with breathwork, meditation, wellness seminars, and yoga. If you choose to workout outdoors, please don't meet people for basketball, tennis, or a walk in the park. Go solo and maintain 6ft. social distance.
Veg Out: It's good for our mental health to daydream or just sit and enjoy nature for a few moments of the day. Check out these live streams of cute and cuddly animals.
Get Outside: If you're on lockdown, time outside the home should be limited. Take a hike through a national park with these virtual experiences.
There are cleaning, organizing and fix-it projects or professional development courses you can also do, though these feel more like work. Let's enjoy the present as best we can. Do what feels good to you [inside your home]! This too shall pass.