Most American states are under some sort of stay at home order due to COVID-19, meaning we’re all spending a lot more time on our couches.
Here in New York City, we’re well into week five (six?) of working from home and I am well past contemplating cutting my own bangs. Now I’m occasionally spinning around in my chair really fast, getting dizzy, and repeating. Everything is going great.
This may be the only time in our lives that doing absolutely nothing can save our neighbors, but that doesn’t mean we’re not going to feel bored sometimes. If I stare at my walls anymore, I *will* draw on them like a toddler. Luckily, for us (and my security deposit) there is a solution to this boredom — all you need is an internet connection.
Here are nine fun online experiences you can enjoy from home.
Head to the Disney Parks
Disney is now closed indefinitely, but there are a ton of videos online offering POV rides of its best attractions. Some of our favorites include Splash Mountain (have someone throw water on you for the full effect), the brand-new Star Wars experience Rise of Resistance, and the Frozen Ride.
After going on as many rides as your heart desires without waiting on a line, explore the entirety of each park with Google Street View and chow down on the exclusive park snacks — recipes are here. It’s an introverted Disney fan’s dream come true!
Run Away from Hogwarts with the Harry Potter Escape Room
A librarian from Pennsylvania created a virtual escape room through google forms in which players get to know their new Hogwarts housemates by figuring out a muggle mystery.
Harry Potter fans need to bring their sleuthing skills and memory of how many sickles are in a galleon to this experience. It has slightly more learning involved (bring your knowledge of U.S. geography) than I expected, but provided a magical time nonetheless.
Learn About Magic
While on the topic of Harry Potter — you can learn a lot about the boy who lived from the online version of the British Library’s Harry Potter: A History of Magic exhibition. Fans can explore the magical world of Harry’s journey, learn muggle magic, explore the Ripley Scroll, and peak into the art of the wizarding world.
Travel Out of this World
Jam Out to Concerts
Pretty much every celebrity is performing on Instagram Live, but some are taking the next step and hosting virtual festivals. Lady Gaga hosted the One World: Together at Home special in an effort to raise money with the World Health Organization and Global Citizen to help those affected by the pandemic.
All eight hours of content from the festival are available right here. Songs are divided up as well and are performed by artists such as Billie Eilish, Lizzo, Paul McCartney, and Taylor Swift’s heartbreaking performance of “Soon You’ll Get Better” — watch it above if you feel like crying.
If you have a favorite artist, there’s a big chance that they’re doing something, so check their Instagram regularly. If all else fails, there’s always the option to fall down a YouTube-rabbit-hole of concert videos!
Dance Along with Broadway
Stay far away from New York City and watch some Broadway classics for free on BroadwayHD. The musical streaming service offers a seven-day free trial, which is plenty of time to watch Les Miserables, Gyspy, and Kinky Boots 15 times each.
Visit The Strong National Museum of Play
Google’s Arts and Culture feature has a *ton* of exhibitions to check out from real museums but one of the coolest is the Museum of Play. Not only do you not have to leave your house, but you also don’t need to go to Rochester, New York (Has it even stopped snowing there yet?).
Visitors of the online experience can dive into exhibits that cover topics such as a history of bikes, American board game and card game history, and The Oregon Trail (the infamous game, not the historical event). In addition to exhibits, visitors can also use Google Street View to head into the museum and explore Sesame Street.
Try a *New* Type of Horrifying Experience
Horror simulations are more fun with VR viewing abilities but also worth a watch for bored fans of the spooky stuff. Below are three of my favorites.
Happy Death Day is terrible quality filming but a great quality story. The audience follows the point of view of Becca, a sorority girl who keeps getting murdered at her own birthday party. It’s up to the audience to discover who is killing her.
“Good news, you don’t need reservations at the morgue,” Ryuk laughs in the chilling Death Note simulation based on the anime. Fans arrive in a dark room where he taunts you and then presents the Death Note book, in which if any name is written that person dies.
Viewers are transported to the creepy house from The Conjuring 2 in the 360-video of the same name. I have never been so happy to not have a VR headset as when I watched it. I am certain I would’ve cried if I did because of the neverending jumpscares.
Laugh along with At-Home Talk Shows
Who guessed Miley Cyrus could become the shining light in a global pandemic? She continues to provide the Disney throwbacks on her Instagram with the Bright Minded series every weekday, talking with celebrities such as Demi Lovato and Emily Osment.
Every major late-night host has also figured out how to continue from home — although with fewer rainbows featured than Cyrus. Jimmy Fallon is interviewing celebrities from his house, Samantha Bee showed off her apocalypse-bunker, Trevor Noah has the Daily Social Distancing Show, and Stephen Colbert reported straight from his bathtub. The best part? It’s all on YouTube.
Whether you’re looking for a good laugh, scare, or Disney-deep dive — the internet is here for you. Grab your laptop, settle into your comfiest chair, and explore all the world wide web has to offer. It’s your duty.