Even during this time of physical distancing, there are lots of fun, free activities to keep us busy and entertained from the safety of our homes.

Below are some of our recommendations:


Night On Earth:  This fascinating 6-episode Netflix nature series follows the lives of animals around the world at night.

World War II:  This 10-episode Netflix docuseries covers the beginning and end of World War II, with stunning colorized footage.

Steve Jobs:  This Netflix biographical film explores the life of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.

High Fidelity:  Hulu is streaming 10 episodes of this romantic comedy TV series, that centers around the life of a record store owner in New York.

Instant Family:  Hulu is also streaming this family comedy/drama about a young couple that adopts three young children.

One Child Nation: Amazon Prime is streaming this documentary about the fallout from China’s one-child policy from 1979-2015.

Frozen 2:  Disney has released the latest installment of this family favorite film featuring Elsa the Snow Queen. It’s available on Disney+.

The Tonight Show – Home Edition:  Jimmy Fallon is taping a mini-version of his late-night show from his home.  He interviews guests remotely and offers a sneak-peek into his home life.  Check it out by clicking here.

Jimmy Kimmel’s Quarantine Minilogues:  Jimmy Kimmel is posting daily monologues and checking in with celebrities via Skype.  To watch, click here.

Musicians from all genres are taking to social media and streaming platforms to play live for their fans.  The Metropolitan Opera and the Vienna State Opera are streaming free daily performances while a host of other musicians (classical, jazz, blues, rock, and folk) are making their music available.

Click here for NPR’s list of daily free streaming concerts.

Earlier this week, ColdPlay’s Chris Martin offered an impromptu 30-minute concert from his home via his Instagram account.  Millions of fans watched and now other big stars are also performing from their homes.

To watch the in-home concerts, log in to Instagram and enter the hashtag #TogetherAtHome.

Read By is a new podcast where today’s finest writers read the work that matters to them — from their homes, to yours.  New podcasts are released every Monday, Wednesday and Friday (click here).

Free TV Streaming Services.  Several of the largest streaming companies (Sling, Showtime, Acorn TV, Starz, Shudder, Sundance) are offering their services for free during this period of social distancing.

NBA League Pass.  Fans can watch a free preview of NBA League Pass which includes full-length and condensed replays of all games from the 2019-2020 season.

NFL Game Pass.  Fans can watch a free preview of NFL Game Pass until May 31, 2020.  The preview includes all NFL games from the 2009-2019 seasons.

Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell.  Gladwell discusses how we approach our interactions with strangers and the misconceptions that cause us to misunderstand one another.

The Mamba Mentality by Kobe Bryant.  Kobe offers his own personal perspective on his life and career in basketball.

NPR Politics Podcast by NPR.  This podcast includes a quick recap of the latest developments in national politics. (Daily podcasts are 12-15 minutes in length.)

The Daily Podcast by The New York Times.  This podcast recaps all the latest national news.  (Daily podcasts are 20-30 minutes long.)

Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard.  Celebrities discuss how they got into show business.  (Weekly podcasts are 120 minutes.)

Free Audio Content from Audible:  While schools are closed, Audible is allowing kids everywhere to stream stories free of charge to help them continue dreaming, learning, and just being kids.  To get started, click here.

You can experience the wonder of a national park without actually being at a national park.  The National Park Service (NPS) is offering access to America’s favorite parks through a variety of virtual tours. For example, enjoy the beauty of Yellowstone by clicking here.   To explore Alaska’s Denali National Park, click here.  And, if you love watching bears, eagles, or other wildlife, check out the NPS webcams by clicking here.

Twelve of the most famous museums in the world have opened their “virtual” doors so that art lovers can continue to be inspired by great works of art.  Travel + Leisure has compiled a list of the museums who are offering virtual tours, including Musee d’Orsay in Paris, the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, the British Museum in London, and The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. For links to each of the virtual museum tours, click here.

All Orange County Libraries are closed but there are still terrific online selections at www.ocpl.org/elib

PBS offers a number of educational shows and movies on their website for free at www.pbs.org

National Geographic has some fascinating educational videos for kids at kids.nationalgeographic.com

Scholastic has launched a new webpage that includes day-by-day projects to keep kids reading, thinking, and growing while schools are closed. To learn more, click here.

Yale University’s most popular class is now available online for you to audit free of charge.  The psychology professor who created the class — Laurie Santos — has designed an iteration for the online learning platform Coursera, called “The Science of Well-Being,” which is currently available for free.  To learn more about the online class and to register, click here.

Playwriting Class.  Renowned playwright Lauren Gunderson (who is America’s most produced playwright) is offering a free writing class.  The first course, Playwriting Class Part 1: Beginnings and Endings, is available on Facebook by clicking here.

Guitar Lessons.  Every Tuesday at 8am, Dan Smith is offering a free guitar lesson. To join the lesson, click here.

For all you foodies who can’t get to your favorite restaurants right now, you can still enjoy a meal from some of the most renowned chefs in the world.  The only catch is that you’ll have to cook it yourself.

Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street Cooking School has opened their online library to the public for free.  To access the video classes, click here.

Italian chef Massimo Bottura, who is the man behind the Michelin three-star restaurant Osteria Francescana, is bringing his culinary skills to the masses by streaming how he prepares his nightly dinners on social media.  Bottura has named the English-language live streams “Kitchen Quarantine,” which come to you directly from his home daily at 12pm via his official Instagram account.

To check out Chef Bottura’s cooking classes, click here.

Since in-dining is no longer an option, the Irvine Spectrum has set up 8 curbside stations so that you can still order from your favorite restaurants and pick up the food from the safety of your car.  To check out which restaurants at the Spectrum are participating and where each curbside station is located, click here.

You can also visit https://www.grubhub.com and https://postmates.com to order food from most of your favorite local restaurants, including fast food chains.  Postmates will also pick up and deliver items from stores like CVS and 7-Eleven.

Orangetheory is sharing a new 30-minute workout video each day, featuring some of its most popular coaches from around the world.  According to the fitness center, the workouts don’t require any special equipment, but may feature everyday household items.  To get started, click here.

Gold’s Gym is offering a variety of digital workouts for free through the end of May.  To download the app which offers over 600 audio and video workouts, click here.

CorePower Yoga is offering free access to a limited collection of online yoga and meditation classes while their studios are closed.  To access the classes, click here.

Planet Fitness is live streaming “Work-Ins” at 4pm every day on Facebook.  The company said its trainers, and occasionally surprise celebrity guests, will lead the 20-minute workouts, which are free for everyone.   To join the fun, click here.

YMCA 360 is offering a wide variety of free on-demand workout videos available for all ages and abilities.  To get started, click here.

Self-distancing does not mean you cannot go outside at all.

Last fall, the Trust for Public Land ranked Irvine #6 in the nation for our City’s access to parks.  In fact, 80% of Irvine residents live within ten minutes of a park, so you should be able to get out and enjoy nature without having to worry about coming into close contact with others.

ICNV Staff