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It’s safe to say things are understandably weird right now. As the world reacts to the COVID-19 pandemic, people across the planet are staying home, quarantining, and practicing social distancing as an effort to slow — and hopefully stop — the spread of coronavirus. Though staying home is totally necessary right now, it means many of us have found ourselves with a lot of time on our hands. If you're struggling to figure out how to keep yourself occupied beyond your usual at-home hobbies of Netflix and chill, you're not alone.
Related: These Virtual Tours of Europe's Famous Castles Will Make You Feel Like a Royal
For us, we’ve taken this time to really lean into the leisure side of Travel + Leisure, and help our readers around the world realize that we’re all actually a lot closer than it feels right now. If you’re like us, the idea of not being able to get outside to explore is difficult, but we’ve found that virtual travel is not only fun and exciting, it’s helping us see and understand places we’ve only dreamed about going. From the comfort of your couch you can explore the depths of Carlsbad Caverns and other national parks before “jetting off” to a virtual tour of the Louvre in Paris. Afterwards join an online cooking demonstration from a world-famous chef before sitting down to a breathtaking performance from New York City’s Metropolitan Opera. The world’s the limit — really.
Related: How to Visit 17 Beaches and Hotels in the Maldives Virtually
So whether you’re at home trying to find educational stimulation for your kids, in a tiny apartment with your best friend from college dreaming about restaurants, or alone with your dog or plant calling everyone you know on FaceTime, we’ve gathered up a massive list of fun things to do at home during this time. From livestreams of animals to games to play virtually, these activities will keep you entertained, informed, and hopefully put a smile on your face. And we all could use a smile right now.
Take a virtual trip at home
With travel basically at a standstill, it’s time to embrace a new way to see the world — virtual travel and virtual tours. Thanks to the World Wide Web we can go pretty much as far as desired — all without a passport. Below we’ve rounded up the very best ways to experience the world outside our homes from the comfort of our couches, all broken down by different activity types to make it easier to get going.
Go sightseeing around the world with these virtual destinations
- This Site Is a One-Stop Destination for World Tours, Classes, and Travel Experiences You Can Have from Home
- Discover the Mystery of Easter Island and the Beauty of Chile With This Interactive App
- Chicago Is One of the Coolest Cities in the Country — and You Can Take a Virtual Trip There Right Now
- How to Take a Virtual Trip to Montreal
- These Virtual Tours of Europe's Famous Castles Will Make You Feel Like a Royal, Even in Your Pajamas
- Watch These Relaxing 360-videos for a Moment of Waterside Zen
- Relax for a Few Minutes With a Virtual Visit to Saint Lucia
- Hotels Around the World Are Livestreaming Their Views to Make You Feel Like You’re on Vacation
- Explore Bucket-list Attractions Like Machu Picchu and the Taj Mahal Without Leaving Home
- Grab a Guinness and Take These Virtual Tours of Ireland and the Guinness Storehouse
- Take a Virtual Trip to Some of the Most-visited Stops on NYC’s Fifth Avenue
- Take a Virtual Trip to Puerto Rico to Salsa Dance, Mix Cocktails, and Master Your Cooking Skills
- How to Visit Japan While You're Stuck at Home
Explore museums, art, theater, and culture at home
- Stuck at Home? These 12 Famous Museums Offer Virtual Tours You Can Take on Your Couch
- Discover Some of Banksy's Best Street Art Without Stepping Outside
- The Sydney Opera House Is Bringing Music, Education, and More to Your Living Room
- The Grammy Museum Is Now Offering Online Music and Video Production Classes
- This App Will Turn Your Phone Into an Interactive Museum You Can Play With for Hours
- The Neon Museum's Virtual Tour Will Light Up Your Living Room Like It's the Las Vegas Strip
- A Botanical Garden in Seattle Is Livestreaming Plants to Help You Relax
- Museums Around the World Are Sharing Their Most Zen Art on Social Media to Help People Relax
- The Metropolitan Opera Is Offering Free Virtual Shows
- BroadwayHD Is Letting You Watch Your Favorite Musicals For Free — for a Limited Time
- The Globe Theater Is Closed, but You Can Stream Shakespeare's Plays
Get “outside” while stuck at home
- Need to Get Outside? These 5 National Parks Offer Virtual Tours You Can Take From the Comfort of Home
- This Virtual Tour of the Carlsbad Caverns Will Entertain You (and Your Kids) for Hours
- This Virtual Tour of Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park Will Make You Feel Like You're on an Epic Island Hike
- Visit Glacier National Park Without Getting Off Your Couch
- Tour These 7 Beautiful Southern Gardens Virtually — Pollen Not Included
- Take a Virtual Tour of the Great Barrier Reef With David Attenborough As Your Guide
- You Can Now See Spring's Prettiest Cherry Trees in Full Bloom From the Comfort of Your Own Home
- How You Can Livestream the Northern Lights Right Now
- Take a Virtual Hike on the Great Wall of China From the Comfort of Your Couch
- Attention Nature Lovers: This New Site Can Help You Find Outdoor Experiences You Don't Have to Share
- Make Yourself a Margarita and Take This Virtual Tour of Florida's Best Beaches
- How You Can Watch the D.C. Cherry Blossoms Bloom From Home
- The Biggest Party in the U.S. Virgin Islands Is Going Digital — Here’s How to Celebrate Carnival Virtually
What to eat and drink while stuck at home
Whether your shelves are totally stocked or you're trying to figure out how to make dinner with a box of noodles, can of beans, and some cookie dough, don’t fret. World-class chefs and Italian nonnas are taking to social media to teach you how to cook — and has there ever been a better time to learn? Plus, breweries are hosting virtual happy hours, quarantini happy hours abound, and digital mixology classes are popping up left and right.
- Grab a Drink and Hang Out With Some of New York’s Beer Experts at These Nightly Virtual Happy Hours
- Bombay Sapphire Launches Online Platform for DIY Projects and Mixology Classes Amid Coronavirus Quarantine
- Celebrity Chefs Offer Online Demos to Help Us Work on Our Cooking Skills While We're at Home
- This Italian Chef Is Teaching Traditional Tuscan Cooking Classes on Instagram
- Take a Free Online Cooking Class From the World-famous Borough Market in London
- This Adorable Italian Nonna Offers Virtual Pasta-making Classes From Her Gorgeous Home Outside of Rome
- Cocktails With Friends Over Video Chat Is the New Way to Socialize — Here's How to Have Your Own Quarantini Happy Hour
- 10 Cookbooks to Satisfy Your Appetite for Travel
Things to do at home with kids
With most schools shut down and kids turning to online lessons, it’s obvious that little ones are also learning to adjust to this new normal. Luckily, we’ve found plenty of fun and exciting activities for parents to do with their kids — and digital adventures kids can get lost in on their own. Play some travel-inspired games to help them learn about landmarks or set them loose in a virtual children’s museum to let their imaginations run wild.
- Your Family Can Make Piñatas at Home With Help From This Luxury Hotel in Mexico
- Dolly Parton Will Read Children’s Books Online Every Thursday Night — and Our Hearts Are so Happy
- Neighborhoods Across the U.S. Are Organizing 'Stuffed Animal Safaris' to Entertain Local Kids
- This Children's Museum Is Helping Kids Travel the World From the Comfort of Their Living Rooms With At-home Programming
- Over 100 Museums, Libraries, and Galleries Are Offering Free, Printable Coloring Sheets
- Need a Travel-inspired Break? This Spot-the-difference Game Will Give You a Dose of Wanderlust
- Take a Virtual Field Trip With These Videos and Livestreams From the Kennedy Space Center
- 10 Travel-themed Puzzles That Are Perfect for Doing at Home
How to experience Disney at home
There’s nothing more magical than a trip to a Disney park, and, sadly, many of us had to cancel trips to Anaheim and Orlando (and beyond) as coronavirus spread around the country when many families were about to embark on spring break. Disney parks have totally shut down, though reservations are open starting June 1. It remains to be seen if that will actually happen, but until then you can certainly conjure up some Disney magic at home by attending a virtual parade or taking a virtual ride. Here’s how to experience Disney at home:
- Experience Disney Parks Around the World With These Virtual Rides (Video)
- 7 Ways to Bring the Disney Magic Home While the Parks Are Closed (Video)
- This Sweet Video Will Remind You Why You Love the Disney Parks, Even While They're Closed
- 5 Disney Recipes to Bring the Magic Home While the Parks Are Closed
- A Baby Porcupine and Zebra Were Born at Disney's Animal Kingdom — and They're so Cute (Video)
- Pixar Surprises Fans With an Early Digital Release of 'Onward'
- This Virtual Disney Parade Will Brighten Up Your Day With Beloved Characters and Stunning Floats
- Disney Fans Are Recreating Famous Theme Park Rides at Home — and It's Amazing
- These Virtual Disney Rides Will Make Your Couch the Happiest Place on Earth (Video)
- This New Show Combines Disney and Cooking for a Family-friendly Competition
- Learn the Secrets of Being a Disney Imagineer With This Free Online Course Your Entire Family Can Take Right Now (Video)
- John Stamos Wants to Read You a Disney Bedtime Story
- These Photos of Sunrise at Disney Parks Around the World Remind Us 'There's a Great, Big, Beautiful Tomorrow'
- These Disney+ Shows and Movies Will Bring the Theme Park Magic to Your Living Room (Video)
Virtually visit other theme parks around the world
- Ride Universal’s Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey Right From Your Couch
What to watch at home during quarantine
While it’s true that this is certainly a time to do some armchair tourism, let’s face it, it’s also a chance to binge, binge, binge some TV shows and movies. And though you’ve probably already watched Tiger King and Love Is Blind, we’ve gathered up everything else you should be binge-watching while stuck at home. We even have a handy guide to the best wine to pair with every type of TV show.
- How to Create Your Own Home Theater and Enjoy a 'Night Out' at the Movies
- 7 Travel Movies and Shows to Watch on Netflix Right Now
- Hallmark Is Having a Christmas Movie Marathon to Spread a Little Joy
- Animal Planet Is Showing 90 Hours of Puppies, Kittens, and Teacup Pigs
- This Netflix 'Party' Extension Lets You Have a Remote Movie Night by Syncing Accounts
What to read at home right now
If you’re like me, TV can only last so long before you need to change it up. There are plenty of travel books to give your mind a little sense of wanderlust while you’re at home, and libraries around the world are beefing up their digital subscriptions so you can download books straight to your favorite devices.
- This App Lets You Get Thousands of E-books and Audio Books For Free
- 10 Books That Will Transport You From Your Couch
- The Best Books for Travel Inspiration in 2020
- These Are the 20 Books Travelers Are Always Leaving Behind at Their Hotels
How to watch an animal livestream at home
If there’s one group that seems to be thriving during this unfortunate time, it’s animals. Dogs have never been happier as their owners are spending hours-on-hours at home. It may be a different story for cats. But whether you have a pet or not, zoos, farms, and animal sanctuaries around the world are here to help by livestreaming their most adorable animals right into your living room. Might we suggest tossing one of these bad boys up on your TV and, well, never turning it off?
- Watch a Nest of Baby Owls Hatch in Arizona Live Via Webcam
- This Koala Livestream Is the Cutest Thing on the Internet — and There's Even a Cuddle Train Camera
- Watch Adorable Rescue Elephants Bathe and Play on This Hotel's Daily Livestream
- This Zoo Created a Giraffe Livestream to Entertain Fans at Home — but a Dancing Zookeeper Stole the Show
- This Senior Dog Livestream Is Helping Us Appreciate the Slow Life Right Now
- This Baby Goat Livestream Is the Most Comforting Thing You’ll See Today
- These Zoo Live Cams Let You Hang Out With Pandas, Giraffes, and Other Adorable Animals All Day Long
How to connect with celebrities at home
Celebrities, like us, are also stuck at home right now. And they’re using this time to give live performances, teach us classes on things they’re experts at, and generally trying to keep us smiling. Here’s how celebrities can keep you entertained for a few hours.
- Learn Skills From Gordon Ramsay, Christina Aguilera, and Simone Biles This Weekend While You're at Home
- Watch Musicians Like Lizzo and John Legend Perform Live From Their Quarantines
- BTS Just Dropped a Web Series to Help You Learn Korean at Home
- Celebrities, Orchestras, and More Are Streaming Live Music to Your Living Room — Here's How to Listen
- Celebrities Around the World Are Using Social Media to Give Live Concerts, Teach Classes, and Keep People Entertained at Home
The best classes to take online right now
One good way to spend this time is to take a class online. Maybe you’ve been waiting for the perfect opportunity to learn a new language or brush up or finally learn some basic accounting. Trust me, now’s the time. And you can even take free classes from Harvard. So what are you waiting for?
- Yale's Popular Happiness Class Is Now Available Online for Free — Here's What It Entails
- You Can Take Online Classes at an Ivy League School for Free Right Now
- This Language App Is Offering Free Subscriptions for Students From Kindergarten to College
How to stay fit and healthy at home during quarantine
Gyms and workout studios are closed, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun by staying healthy while trapped indoors.
Related: The Best Spin Bikes for a Full-Body Home Workout
Hotels are sharing their best workout tips and tricks while celebrity fitness instructors are taking to social media to do the same. Here are a few of our favorites.
- The Las Vegas Chippendales Dancers Turned Their Routines Into Quarantine Workout Videos
- How to Exercise During the Coronavirus Outbreak — and Why You Should
- Boost Your Mind and Body With These Equinox Hotel Yoga Rituals at Home
- This At-home Yoga Set Will Help You Stay Active During Quarantine
- These Online Yoga Classes Are Perfect for Doing at Home With Kids