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Stuck at home? Where to get free music, theater, and more during coronavirus isolation

Editor’s note: This article was updated on April 7, 2020 and will continue to be updated with new information as it comes in. If you have a tip, please send to stephanie@cashay.com.

Coronavirus, or COVID-19, has brought the world to a halt and forced people to experience life cooped up for the foreseeable future.

To prevent cabin fever from setting in, allow your mind to wander and give it a much-needed distraction. With travel suspended and cultural centers shuttered until further notice, you might yearn for something a little more intellectually stimulating than reruns of your favorite TV show.

Cashay has rounded up free online museum tours, music and theater performances, reading materials, and children’s educational content to help make the most of the isolation.

Art

  • Mo Willems, artist-in-residence at the Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C . is hosting an art workshop for all ages. Join him weekdays at 1 p.m. EDT with your own art supplies and learn to doodle.

If you’re feeling starved for art and culture, these museums offer virtual tours and display certain exhibitions online. Through Google Arts & Culture, there’s access to nearly 2,500 museum collections.

Paris, France: The Louvre is one of many museums around the world offering virtual tours and display certain exhibitions online. (Photo: Getty Creative)
Paris, France: The Louvre is one of many museums around the world offering virtual tours and display certain exhibitions online. (Photo: Getty Creative)

Music

French-born Chinese-American cellist Yo-Yo Ma plays during a concert at the Metropolitan Theater in Medellin, Antioquia department, Colombia on May 9, 2019. (Photo: JOAQUIN SARMIENTO/AFP via Getty Images)
French-born Chinese-American cellist Yo-Yo Ma plays during a concert at the Metropolitan Theater in Medellin, Antioquia department, Colombia on May 9, 2019. (Photo: JOAQUIN SARMIENTO/AFP via Getty Images)
  • Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra has posted orchestral concerts online. Use the code “BERLINPHIL” to redeem before March 31, 2020, for access to its Digital Concert Hall free for 30 days.

  • The Metropolitan Opera House is hosting “Nightly Met Opera Streams” on certain nights at 7:30 p.m. EDT and will remain available via the homepage of metopera.org for 20 hours. Viewers can watch recorded performances like “Carmen” and “La Traviata.”

  • Follow Yo-Yo Ma on Twitter to watch the internationally renowned cellist host impromptu concerts in his home.

  • John Legend is using social media to coordinate a #TogetherAtHome concert series and is rallying fellow musicians to host.

  • Andrew Lloyd Webber takes to his piano nightly and accepts song requests from his Twitter followers.

  • Montreux Jazz Festival has 50 free concerts from performers like Ray Charles, Wu-Tang Clan, Johnny Cash, Nina Simone, Marvin Gaye, Carlos Santana, and more.

Theater

  • 24 Hour Plays releases a new monologue every 15 minutes from actors like Hugh Dancy, Richard Kind, and Rachel Dratch.

  • Theatre Without Theater is an Instagram account founded by three actors who upload performances nightly.

  • BroadwayHD offers a free one-week trial to stream professionally recorded Broadway shows.

Reading

  • Consider Libby an online digital library for books and audiobooks. Using your local library card, you can browse titles and download them to your devices for free.

  • Scribd touts itself as the world’s biggest online digital library of books, audiobooks, and magazines, and is offering a free 30-day trial. After the trial ends, it’s $8.99 per month for unlimited content.

  • Audible, a digital audiobook library, is offering a free 30-day trial. After the first month, it’s $14.95 to subscribe.

Fitness

  • Daily Burn allows users to stream workout videos from a phone, tablet, laptop, or smart TV. The company is offering a free 60-day trial.

  • Peloton has extended its free trial period to 90 days and users can stream a variety of fitness classes without buying the company’s fitness equipment.

  • The boutique boxing gym Rumble is hosting free daily workout classes on Instagram.

  • Fitness streaming app Sweat is offering one free month of access to its library of at-home workout classes.

  • For those looking to sweat by dancing, the video game Just Dance 3 is streaming choreography on YouTube and you don’t need a gaming console to learn the routines.

  • Yoga practitioners of every skill level can log onto Do Yoga With Me for free guided classes.

For parents and children

CINCINNATI, OH: Emi, a Sumatran rhinoceros eats Ficus leaves with her three-week-old female calf at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden August 19, 2004 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo: Mike Simons/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH: Emi, a Sumatran rhinoceros eats Ficus leaves with her three-week-old female calf at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden August 19, 2004 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo: Mike Simons/Getty Images)
  • The Indianapolis Public Library has over 100 video animated read alouds of childens’ classics like “Where the Wild Things Are” and “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.”

  • Mystery Science is a library of science lessons for kindergarten through fifth grade.

  • Raddish is for kids ages 4 to 14 and emphasizes the importance of culinary education. Given the number of parents who now find themselves homeschooling, the company is offering free cooking kits and cook-along online classes to make dishes like Irish soda bread and cinnamon doughnut holes.

  • Illustrator Wendy MacNaughton is hosting live weekday art lessons at 10 am PST on her Instagram account.

  • Author Kate Schatz is reading from her book “Rad American History A-Z” on her YouTube channel.

  • J.K. Rowling has a new website, Harry Potter At Home, for all things wizards, magic, and spells for first-time readers or long-time fans of the series.

  • Seussville is home to crafts, puzzles, games, videos, and activities that complement Dr. Seuss’s most beloved titles like “The Lorax,” “Green Eggs and Ham,” and “The Cat in the Hat.”

  • Storyline Online is a library of celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, Al Gore, and Betty White reading childrens’ books aloud.

Stephanie is a reporter for Yahoo Money and Cashay, a new personal finance website. Follow her on Twitter @SJAsymkos.

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