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Coronavirus Response: Useful Virtual Tools for Weekend Fun

May 01, 2020

By 411admin

Updated on 05/01/2020, 2:30 PM EST

Stay-at-home orders have been in place for more than a month in many places around the country, and quarantine fatigue is starting to show. As some local orders are relaxed, anonymous cell phone data shows we are moving farther away from our homes than when the orders were first issued.

Have you grown tired of Netflix, worked too many puzzles and had your fill of reorganizing your closets?

Want to do something new, but struggling with ideas as the coronavirus pandemic has closed the places you’d like to go? Technology has the solution! You can visit national parks, view the world’s greatest art and take classes – all virtually – while you’re sheltering-in-place.

Here are some ideas to ramp up your virtual experiences this weekend.

National parks may be closed for in-person visits, but they are virtually open. Spend your afternoon visiting national parks as diverse as the Statue of Liberty National Monument, Yellowstone National Park, Crater Lake National Park and the National Mall.

Want to improve your culinary skills? You can do it virtually. Good Housekeeping has a list of its 10 best online cooking classes where you can learn everything from the basics to more advanced techniques.

Need your Disney fix? Disney World has a YouTube channel, Virtual Disney World, where you can experience Disney attractions, shows, trains, boats and park areas within a virtual 360-degree video experience.

Don’t know the difference between a pinot noir and a pinot grigio? Well, you can learn with virtual wine tastings. Vineyards around the country are holding online wine tastings, and many will sell you the wine for the tasting before your tasting session. For example, Priority Wine Pass offers private wine tastings from six Napa Valley vineyards.

Always wanted to learn to play a musical instrument? Now you can do from the comfort of your home with virtual lessons. VirtuLessons offers lessons for musical instruments ranging from bagpipes to the xylophone, and everything in between.

The Florida Aquarium in Tampa has set up Facebook Live and YouTube channels that offer content while the aquarium is closed. Watch videos about feeding baby alligators, drawing sea creatures and spawning cactus coral.

For the doodlers out there who always wanted to learn how to draw, there are free drawing classes offered by famous illustrators. Fast Company has compiled a list of 10 illustrators that can help you or your children tap into a creative side.

Great Explorations Children’s Museum in St. Petersburg, Fla. offers virtual and downloadable games, activities, books and videos that will entertain and educate kids.

Finally, see the world’s greatest museums and zoos through virtual tours. Good Housekeeping has assembled a list of the ultimate virtual tours that include the Vatican in Rome, the Louvre in Paris, the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago and the National Aquarium in Baltimore.

If you don’t see something here that appeals to you, don’t let that stop you from finding some virtual fun. Run a quick Google search on your topic of choice, and within seconds, you should have your pick of multiple options.

Thanks to Rylee Ramsey, daughter of AmeriLife Corporate Counsel Ryan Ramsey, for some of the virtual recommendations featured today.

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