But just because travel and public events are off the table, and we’re all staying home for a while, doesn’t mean you can’t have enjoyable leisure time.
We’ve rounded up a selection of free virtual experiences you can have from the comfort and safety of your home.
The streaming platform BroadwayHD offers a seven-day free trial, so theater fans can watch musicals like “Kinky Boots” and “Cats” and plays including “King Lear” and “A Doll’s House” from their couches. Performances range from Broadway productions to shows from London’s West End to regional offerings from American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco.
Other theater streaming services include the Seattle-based On the Boards, which focuses on more experimental productions and currently has a code for free viewing through the end of April. The 24 Hour Play Festival company has a series of monologues performed by famous actors and other entertaining content on its Instagram account.
Google Arts & Culture offers virtual tours of museum spaces, including the Guggenheim in New York, the British Museum in London and the Acropolis Museum in Athens, as well as views into their vast collections.
Many other museums have their own tours and digitized galleries, including the Louvre, Vatican Museum, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and the Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida.
The San Diego Zoo has live cameras (as well as archived footage) that allow virtual visitors to see what the penguins, tigers, koalas and other animals are up to.
Like zoos, many aquariums have live-streams to show off what their residents are up to. Monterey Bay Aquarium has cams for sea otters, jellyfish, sharks, penguins and more.
Music lovers can enjoy a variety of free live and taped concerts online. NPR’s “Tiny Desk” series, for example, has hundreds of archived performances.
Classical music fans can also tune in to performances from professionals such as the Berlin Philharmonic, the Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Even if you can’t go to your gym, there are ways to stay fit through a quarantine. Workout apps Obé Fitness, Peloton and P.volve (among others) have free trials that let you stream live and archived workouts from home.
There are many unofficial YouTube videos that give viewers virtual experiences of Walt Disney World rides, such as Frozen Ever After, Pirates of the Caribbean and It’s a Small World. Google Street View has virtual tours of the parks, including Magic Kingdom and EPCOT.
Legoland theme parks have official virtual tours of the spaces and attractions as well.