What to do during quarantine: 12 fun ideas to keep you busy at home this summer
Streaming concerts and reading free books only scratch the surface. Here are other ways to have fun while staying home.
Shelby BrownEditor II
Shelby Brown (she/her/hers) is an editor for CNET's services team. She covers tips and tricks for apps, operating systems and devices, as well as mobile gaming and Apple Arcade news. Shelby also oversees Tech Tips coverage. Before joining CNET, she covered app news for Download.com and served as a freelancer for Louisville.com.
She received the Renau Writing Scholarship in 2016 from the University of Louisville's communication department.
It's finally summer, and while coronaviruslockdowns are lifting in many states, many of your usual means of entertainment are probably still off the menu. At some point, even the most introverted of us are going to go stir crazy now that it's so nice outside -- especially if you've got kids cooped up inside.
The good news is, the internet is responding with more options for social gatherings than ever before, including free online concerts (more below) and ways to create your own sense of community even if you're living alone. We've rustled up some of our favorite ways to stay entertained if you're self-quarantined or practicing social distancing in the warmer weeks to come.
The Grammy Museum put some of its recorded Q&A performances online from artists like Billie Eilish, Brandi Carlile and Greta Van Fleet. The initial rollout included nine artists. All of the sessions were filmed in the 200-seat Clive Davis Theater inside the museum, located in the LA Live complex, according to a report from Variety. Plus the Metropolitan Opera has streams of performances every night on its website.
Thanks to technology, spending the day at a museum is still an option, even if you can't leave the house. Travel and Leisure has a list of 12 museums that offer virtual tours. You can check out famous locations in the US or abroad in Seoul, Berlin, Florence and more.
If you and your friends or family have a Netflix subscription, you can schedule a time to watch a movie or show synced together. A free Google Chrome extension called Netflix Party syncs video playback so you can play and pause at the same time. It also has a group chat feature so you can keep the conversation going while you watch. Everyone in the party has to have a Netflix account though, so it's not entirely free.
When you've got downtime on a regular day, turning to a streaming service like Netflix or Hulu is a clear option. There's always a show to binge -- new or old -- regardless of the service you're subscribed to.
If you're like me, you have more than enough books on your shelves -- and tablet -- to keep you busy for a while. But you can also buy or borrow books, magazines and newspapers fast on Nook, Kindle and the Apple News app for iOS. But be warned: Even though digital books are often discounted, the cost can still add up if you're a reading fiend.
There are also ways to download free eBooks to your tablet, computer or phone. Websites such as Authorama and Project Gutenberg have hundreds of public domain works including Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett and Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland available for download. Check out these 10 different ways to download free books.
Playing video games is another option to pass the time if you're stuck at home. On top of the games you might already own or have downloaded from the PlayStation or Microsoft Store for Xbox, there are other ways to play.
If you're looking for a new gaming experience, game streaming servicesGoogle Stadia and Apple Arcade are worth trying out for their exclusive content. Google also offers a Play Pass for a more affordable gaming experience (in comparison to Stadia). If you're a PC gamer, check out a plethora of game options on Steam.
In addition, NASA launched a game for Mac and iOS called NeMO-Net in which players can virtually travel the ocean floor in a vessel called the Nautilus, identifying and classifying whatever coral you come across. The cool part is that when you play the game, you're actually helping NASA with their data and research. The game helps to train the Pleiades supercomputer at Ames to recognize corals from any image of the ocean floor.
Working out at home definitely doesn't require an expensive home gym. Depending on the workout you want to undertake, you only need to clear out a small amount of space. For example, resistance training, some barre exercises, pilates and yoga only require a few square feet and typically don't require any equipment. In addition, some Instagram fitness trainers, like Jaclyn Ho, have started streaming live classes on IGTV and you might be able to convince your super fit friend to share their workout on Facebook Live.
Pinterest can keep you entertained for ages with its aesthetically pleasing pictures and ways to be creative. While some might require stuff you don't have on hand, you might find supplies after you organize that overflowing closet. You can find a project for anyone -- whether you want to get creative, organize your kitchen or keep your kids busy.
Summer is prime gardening season. Whether or not you have an outdoor space for growing things, you can still grow herbs, fruits and vegetables (or at least make a valiant effort not to kill them). Here are a few gardening tips from CNET if you're ready to flex your green thumb.
Sometimes a good Google or Wikipedia search is enough to keep you busy for a bit. What have you always wanted to know more about? Pick a YouTube video and click the suggestions after that. If you need inspiration for learning more about a variety of quirky topics, check out: