From Concerts to Workouts, Here’s All the Free Online Entertainment You Can Enjoy Right Now
Have fun on the house—while you’re stuck in the house.
If you’ve already cleared through your to-do list for today—and watched everything in your Netflix binge list (twice)—you’re probably looking for something new to occupy your time.
Sure, you could rearrange your pantry or mix up a batch of your own hand sanitizer—but there’s plenty of fun to be had for free. Expect this list to grow as new entertainers share their talents while they’re social distancing.
Live-Streamed Cultural Performances
The Metropolitan Opera's free replays of the past several years’ highlights have been inundated with viewers—but you can always wait until after the 7:30 p.m. ET livestream and watch it for free until 3:30 p.m. the following day, or download the Met Opera On Demand app to enjoy without taxing their servers. Or take in some culture from across the pond—the Vienna State Opera is offering livestreams of opera and ballet performances each day.
If Broadway is more your thing, check out Actors Fund Stars in the House, a series of at-home concerts and dishy interviews with top Broadway performers, which includes Idina Menzel, Kristen Chenoweth, and Audra McDonald on its future slate. (It’s free, but you can donate to the Actors Fund to support theater workers unemployed due to the coronavirus.) Broadway World is also offering free short Living Room Concerts with Broadway actors sharing their favorite show tunes. BroadwayHD is also offering a free week of access to its top-notch performances—including classic musicals and Shakespeare. (Sorry, no Hamilton yet!) And for fans of just about anything arts-related, check out the Social Distancing Festival, which is showcasing rehearsal and raw footage of projects postponed or canceled due to the coronavirus, along with an up-to-date calendar of livestreams.
If you’re aspiring to take the stage yourself, Dancio is offering two free weeks of its master dance classes, taught by principal dancers from New York City Ballet, Martha Graham, and other leading companies. Debbie Allen has also been offering live free classes for adults and for kids.
Lots of top performers are taking a moment (or a whole couple of hours) to give you some free (and fun) entertainment. Coldplay's Chris Martin, John Legend, and Charlie Puth gave Instagram Live concerts as part of the #TogetherAtHome series, and have challenged their famous friends to keep the entertainment going. Country star Keith Urban did a show, with wife Nicole Kidman hanging out as the only audience member. The Indigo Girls will perform live on Facebook on March 19 at 6:00 p.m. ET, and Garth Brooks will perform "Live from Studio G," on Monday, March 23 at 7:00 p.m. ET.
Billboard is starting to livestream concerts on its Facebook page, with upcoming concerts from artists including Luke Bryan and Josh Groban.
If you missed out on your dose of St. Patrick’s Day fun, the Dropkick Murphys St. Patrick’s Day concert is still available online for free, and U2's Bono dropped a new song inspired by the Italian balcony singers.
Fans of Americana, country, and folk can follow the “Shut in & Sing” series, broadcasting daily on Stage It.
Comedy clubs are closed, but that hasn’t stopped the laughs. Comedian Patton Oswalt did a brief set for a very—very—limited audience and posted it on Twitter. You can catch comedian Steve Hofstetter’s daily Social Distancing Social Club interview and show at the every day at 2:00 p.m. ET. And the world-famous Comedy Cellar brings you free livestreamed comedy while the quarantine continues. You can find fresh (Coronavirus-themed) sets from New York, and more freewheeling shows from the Cellar in Vegas.
Free Sports and Fitness Classes
Sports fans who are going through withdrawal (and don’t have ESPN Classic to help them through the lack of sports), can take in Ken Burns' stellar Baseball documentary, courtesy of PBS.
If you’d rather do than watch, Peloton has 90 days of free fitness classes you can do in your home (no bike required!). Planet Fitness is streaming free fitness classes as part of its “United We Move” offer, and Down Dog offers free yoga, HIIT, and Barre classes until April 1—or July 1 if you’re a student or teacher with an edu email account.
Free Zoo and Aquarium Visits
The vets and animal care experts are still working hard to keep your favorite animals healthy and happy—and you might actually have a good shot at checking them out on the live cams. The San Diego Zoo offers koalas, penguins, polar bears, and more. At the National Zoo, say hello to the pandas, elephants, lions, and naked mole-rats. And if baby goats are your thing, there's always the Beekman 1802 baby goat cam, with live footage of the little guys frolicking or snoozing.
If aquatic life is more your thing, get a live look inside the Monterey Aquarium exhibits, where you can watch the sharks, soothing jellyfish, or sea otters. The National Aquarium lets you peek in on black-tipped sharks and a Pacific coral reef. Of course, if you want to get really meta, watch the adorable penguins of Chicago's Shedd Aquarium tour the rest of the exhibits and peek in on their neighbors.
Travel to the world's finest museums without the crowds. Google's Arts & Culture page offers must-see works of art from 2500 museums all over the world. The British Museum lets you take a look at its offerings along a cool timeline, while the grand Musée de Orsay in Paris and Amsterdam's Van Gogh Museum give you virtual tours. The Louvre offers virtual tours of some of its highlights, as does the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
If science museums are your thing, the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History lets you cover every bit (including the gift shop) in their virtual tour.