Here are 36 fun, free things to do online while you’re stuck at home

You can virtually explore theme parks, museums, luxury hotels, and more from home.

caption
You can virtually explore theme parks, museums, luxury hotels, and more from home.
source
Disney/Songquan Deng/Sean Pavone/Shutterstock
  • Those staying home might be struggling to find ways to entertain themselves, but museums, national landmarks, theaters, and more are stepping in to help through free, virtual experiences.
  • Celebrity chefs are also offering virtual cooking classes, and you can even date online through a new experiment called “Love Is Quarantine” on Instagram.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Many people who are self-isolating right now may be starting to feel worn down by the mundane nature of life at home.

Luckily, there is no shortage of free, virtual experiences in which people can partake to make them feel like they’re experiencing outdoor life.

Here’s a running list of the free and fun things you can do online to pass the time.


You can access a myriad of virtual museums in the coming weeks.

caption
You can explore museums online.
source
Songquan Deng/Shutterstock

Famed museums like the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC, and London’s British Museum are offering online experiences, allowing viewers to learn about the exhibits in the museums from the comfort of their homes.

You can find more museums that have made virtual tours available here.


You can mosey through national parks from the comfort of the couch.

caption
You can look at national parks online.
source
Shutterstock

At least 32 of the United States’ national parks are available for viewing thanks to Google Earth and Google Arts & Culture, including the Grand Canyon and Yosemite.

Check out a full list of the parks you can tour virtually here.


You can pretend you’re exploring some of the world’s most famous theaters through virtual tours.

caption
You can take virtual tours of theaters.
source
Peter Kramer/Getty Images

Although they’re physically closed to the public right now, theaters and opera houses like Carnegie Hall in New York are available through Google Arts & Culture.

You can see what other theaters are available to tour here.


You can transport yourself to some of the world’s most popular theme parks, including Disney World.

caption
Disney is offering virtual tours of its theme parks.
source
Disney

360-degree tours of Disney parks like Disney World, Disneyland, and even Epcot are available through Google Street View, so you can bring the magic of the parks into your home.


You can even take it a step further through virtual roller coaster rides.

caption
You can watch videos of roller coaster rides on YouTube.
source
Doug Lemke/Shutterstock

There are a plethora of videos of roller coaster rides on YouTube, with clips of everything from Space Mountain at Disney World to Six Flags’ Kingda Ka.

Just search your favorite coasters on YouTube, and you’ll likely find video footage of the ride.


You can join a virtual pub quiz game to keep your brain sharp.

caption
Virtual pub quizzes bring trivia to your home.
source
Getty Images

Although you can’t go to your weekly trivia night with your friends, you can join Big Drop Brewing Co.’s virtual pub quiz game.

It’s available via livestream on YouTube on Tuesday nights, beginning March 24. You can find out more about it here.


Colleges are offering free online classes during the pandemic, and Ivy League schools like Harvard and Yale are participating.

caption
The campus of Harvard Business School and Harvard University, July 26, 2016, in Boston, Massachusetts.
source
Brooks Craft/Corbis via Getty Images

You can use your abundant free time to enroll in some college courses through the platforms Coursera and EdX.

All of the classes on the platforms are free to audit, and there are hundreds of courses in a variety of subject matters available from top universities, including Princeton, Harvard, and Yale.

You can learn more about the courses available here.


Watch virtual cooking lessons from famous chefs.

caption
Antoni Porowski making his “Keep Calm-lette.”
source
Instagram/Antoni Porowski

Famous chefs are offering cooking tips and advice for those in isolation or quarantine during the pandemic, which you can read more about here.

Antoni Porowski has even started a series on his Instagram called “Quar Eye” to share recipes.


You can stay active through a variety of online resources.

caption
You can take workout classes at home.
source
Shutterstock

There are countless at-home workout videos on YouTube, and apps can also come in handy for exercising at home.

You can check out Business Insider’s favorite health apps here.


Play old-school games like Words With Friends and Draw Something.

caption
You can play games on your phone.
source
leungchopan/Shutterstock

They’ve gone out of style in recent years, but your phone has access to thousands of games that make time fly.

Games that allow you to socialize with your friends from a distance, like Words With Friends and Draw Something, will be particularly enjoyable as you practice social distancing.


Aquariums and zoos across the country are livestreaming their animals to make people feel less alone.

caption
You can livestream zoos.
source
San Diego Zoo

Although both are physically closed, the Monterey Bay Aquarium is livestreaming and the San Diego Zoo has both pre-recorded and live footage of its animals.

You can see a full list of animal livestreams here.


You can date even while in isolation thanks to “Love Is Quarantine,” a play on the Netflix show “Love Is Blind.”

caption
You can date online amid the virus.
source
Love Is Quarantine/Instagram, Screenshot/Hanna Lustig

The experience is organized via Google sheets and airs on Instagram stories, allowing anyone to participate and watch real romances unfold.

One Insider reporter even tried to find love through the experience.


You can take virtual tours of landmarks from far corners of the world.

caption
You can view landmarks online.
source
r.nagy/Shutterstock

Google’s Arts & Culture section comes in handy for checking out the sights from home.

You can explore some of the wonders of the world online, including the Taj Mahal in New Delhi, India; the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France; or even the Sydney Opera House in Australia.


There’s no shortage of social media content amid the pandemic.

caption
Social media is as entertaining as ever.
source
The Quarantine Crew/TikTok

Social media users are bringing COVID-19 into their content, whether it be through memes or TikToks, giving you plenty of things to scroll through at home.

Celebrities are getting in on the fun too, like Tyler Cameron and Hannah Brown from “The Bachelorette.”


Google Street View lets you travel to exotic places without leaving home.

caption
Google Street View transports you to different locations.
source
Google

Google Street View makes you feel like you’re walking down the road to wherever you want.

Just enter your ideal location, and you’ll be transported.


Have a virtual happy hour with your friends.

caption
Zoom allows you to gather with large groups of people digitally.
source
Getty

Many people are turning to platforms like Zoom and Google Hangouts for virtual meetings, but you can also use them to spend time with your friends.

Organize a group happy hour, and sign on at the same time to make it feel like you’re together even when you’re not.


You can download NASA’s mobile app for free to take a virtual tour of its facilities.

NASA’s free Space Center Houston app offers a tour of its educational facility, as well as VR experiences and astronaut selfies.


You can partake in virtual meditation or online group therapy.

caption
There are virtual mental health resources.
source
Luna Vandoorne/Shutterstock

There are a variety of online mental health resources that can help those who are struggling during the coronavirus pandemic.

Whether it be through virtual therapy, a meditation app, or following mental health professionals who can help on social media, you can find resources that are right for you.

You can read more about the mental health resources available to you here.


For a limited time, Broadway musicals and shows are available to stream for free online.

caption
Broadway is closed because of the pandemic.
source
Cindy Ord/Getty

Although Broadway is closed because of the pandemic, you can still experience the magic of theater from home.

You can stream classic shows like “The King and I” and “Cats” through BroadwayHD.


Keep your mind sharp with some viral brain teasers.

caption
You can do brain teasers.
source
GaudiLab/Shutterstock

Brain teasers both take up time and give you the mental dexterity that watching TV all day can’t.

You can check out 16 brain teasers that went viral to help you pass the time here.


Other museums are offering moments of zen to help people stay calm.

caption
Museums are offering calming exhibits online.
source
Li Ying/Xinhua via Getty

A quick search for #MuseumMomentsOfZen will lead you to dozens of relaxing exhibits that will keep you calm and entertained.


Ranker, a site dedicated to ranking anything and everything, is perfect for passing the time.

caption
You can rank things.
source
Ranker

The site allows you to rank whatever you want, making it a great way to pass the time.


Some clubs are offering virtual parties and raves to make staying home more fun.

caption
You can attend virtual raves.
source
Sophia Ankel

A nightclub in Berlin, Germany, recently hosted a virtual rave night, as its bars and clubs are shut down because of the virus.


You can take free virtual guitar classes from Fender.

caption
Fender Play has free, online guitar classes.
source
HelloRF Zcool/Shutterstock

Fender Play is offering three months of free virtual guitar lessons amid the pandemic.

The program comes with short lessons, a variety of songs, and tools that help you track your progress. You’ll have to provide your own guitar, though.


If you’re a parent, you can give yourself a break by letting your kids watch their favorite shows through Amazon Prime.

caption
Kids shows are streaming for free on Amazon Prime.
source
PBS

Amazon made over 40 shows and 80 movies available for kids to watch for free on its Prime platform in response to the coronavirus. You don’t even need a membership to watch.

You can find out more about the shows here.


You can learn photography tips from the pros at Nikon Live.

caption
Nikon is offering free photography tips.
source
Willie B. Thomas / Getty Images

Nikon is livestreaming presentations from world-renowned photographers for free on Nikon Live on March 25 and 26.

The videos will live on the site permanently, so you can learn about the art of photography throughout the pandemic.


You can watch concerts at home from stars like Lizzo, Beyonce, and Jennifer Lopez thanks to TIDAL.

caption
TIDAL is offering free concerts via livestream.
source
Dave J Hogan/Getty Images

The music platform TIDAL is livestreaming 12-hour concerts to help people pass the time amid the pandemic.

Five different genres will be featured throughout the week of March 23, including Latin, Pop, Hip-Hop, Electronic, and R&B.

You can stream the concerts here.


You can take online cooking classes from London’s Borough Market.

caption
Borough Market is offering virtual cooking classes.
source
Getty

You can’t go to London’s famous market right now, but you can get the next best thing thanks to its online cooking classes.

The famous market is streaming classes on its Facebook and Instagram pages.


Celebrities and authors will read stories to kids.

caption
Kids can have virtual story time.
source
Reading Rainbow

“Reading Rainbow” host LeVar Burton is working on figuring out a way to livestream reading stories for kids.

Likewise, Jennifer Garner and Amy Adams teamed up to enlist celebrities to read stories on Instagram to keep children who are at home entertained, and to raise money for Save the Children and No Kid Hungry.


And Mo Willems will teach them how to draw.

caption
Mo Willems.
source
Boston Globe / Contributor/ Getty Images

The famous children’s author is giving free drawing lessons called “Lunch Doodles” on YouTube every weekday to entertain kids stuck at home because of the pandemic.

You can read more about them here.


You can take free music production classes on the Grammy Museum website.

caption
Lady Gaga attends the Grammy Awards on January 31, 2010.
source
Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Awards shows and concerts are on hold for the time being, but you can perfect your music skills while you wait for them to come back on the Grammy Museum website.

The site is offering free, virtual video webinars in video production, as well as music history and other subjects.


Families can tune into Rockefeller Center’s “Spring Sunday” series, which offers everything from live musical performances to live puppet shows.

Every Sunday beginning at 11 a.m., Rockefeller Center offers live performances on its social media channels.

The series is aimed at families, and it includes everything from puppet shows to live musical performances and art workshops.

You can find out more about it here.


You can take free yoga classes twice a week from the Smithsonian Channel.

caption
You can take yoga breaks from the Smithsonian Channel.
source
LWA/Dann Tardif/Getty Images

The Smithsonian Channel personality Julie Montagu is offering yoga and breathing breaks twice a week through the museum’s Facebook page.

Montagu is a yoga and nutrition teacher, so her classes come with expert knowledge.


You can see what you would look like as a Renaissance painting.

caption
A website transforms selfies into Renaissance paintings.
source
AI Art

The artist AI Gahaku created a website that transforms selfies into Renaissance paintings.

You can upload your own photo and test it out here.


Budget Direct offers people a glimpse at what ruins of castles might have looked like in their prime.

caption
Budget Direct reimagined the Poenari Castle.
source
fotokon/Getty Images

If you’re interested in ancient architecture, you’ll love Budget Direct’s new series on renovated castles.

The site spotlights gifs of what seven different ruins of castles might have looked like in their prime, such as the Poenari Castle in Romania.

You can check it out here.


You can stream the views and sounds of hotels around the world to make it feel like you’re on vacation.

caption
You can livestream hotels.
source
Shutterstock/Sean Pavone

You can’t physically experience traveling to luxury hotels right now, but you can get a taste of what a vacation would be like thanks to hotels that are offering livestreams.

Hotels in California, Colorado, Israel, and St. Barths are all streaming their views. The sound of beach waves is just a click away.