Free Stuff During the Coronavirus Quarantine

Social distancing and self-quarantining is our reality now.

You might end up going a little stir crazy if you haven’t already, so to help stave off boredom until you can get out of the house, a ton of companies and brands are giving away things. Whether you’re looking to better yourself, give your kids some education while schools are closed, or just pass the time, here are the best free resources to take advantage of during the coronavirus outbreak.

Entertainment

eBooks: Reading is an easy way to pass the time when you’re stuck inside, and Amazon has tons of free eBooks available for download. You can also check out a 2-month free trial of Kindle Unlimited for access to even more titles.

Explore.org Livestreams: During a long quarantine, it’s easy to feel really distant from nature and the outside world. The vast collection of livestreams on Explore.org can help fill that void though. There’s a stream for everyone, too. Need your daily cute-fix? Check out this group of puppies. If you’re looking for something more unique, there are streams of bald eagles and pandas as well. Suffice to say, there’s a lot of content here.

JK Rowling’s New Story: Rowling, the acclaimed Harry Potter author, is publishing chapters of her new fairy tale, The Ickabog, free online. Rowling will post new chapters online through July, so you can keep up as they’re published or wait to see the whole story.

Kanopy: If you have a library card, you can access tens of thousands of films and videos for free through Kanopy. If you’re stumped on where to start, recent award winners like Lady Bird, Eighth Grade, and Moonlight are available to stream right now!

Metropolitan Opera Livestreams: If you’re looking for high culture from your quarantine, the Met Opera is offering free streams of shows through March 29.

NBA League Pass: All major sports are canceled, but the professional leagues are doing what they can to sustain fans. While the NBA season is suspended, the league announced that all fans can access NBA League Pass for free, giving them access to recordings of every game from this season, and many historic games.

NFL Game Pass: Like the NBA, the NFL is making its subscription package free for the foreseeable future. Game Pass features every contest from the 2019 season, plus other archived clips, games, and shows.

NHL Center Ice: Joining other major sports leagues, the NHL announced that content from this season and league archives will be free to stream.

Ken Burns’ Baseball: The famous documentarian Ken Burns created a nine-part series on America’s Pasttime for PBS, and he announced last week that it will be free for all fans to stream.

Education

Fluency and Fitness: If your child’s school has been closed due to coronavirus, Fluency and Fitness is offering three weeks of free classes to use at home. The program is full of useful resources, and teachers regularly use Fluency and Fitness exercises in classrooms, so you’re getting high-quality education for your kids.

Khan Academy: To aid children disrupted by the COVID-19 outbreak, Khan Academy has a number of resources for parents and teachers affected, as well as daily educational live streams at 9 A.M. EST.

Rosetta Stone: Students get free access to courses on Rosetta Stone for three months as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. It’s one of the best ways to learn a language, and quarantine could mean more free time to study.

Mystery Science: Mystery Science offers tons of unique, in-depth lessons on science topics, and currently those resources are free to parents. Topics range from “why is the sky blue” to “what makes bridges so strong,” meaning your child will learn some interesting things!

Scholastic Learn at Home: With so many schools closed, Scholastic launched a learn-from-home program to help parents and students adjust. According to the editors of Scholastic Classroom Magazines, “Even when schools are closed, you can keep the learning going with these special cross-curricular journeys.”

Internet

AT&T: For the time being, AT&T won’t suspend services to phone or wireless customers who can’t pay their bills. The company also said that AT&T hotspots will be available for anyone to use.

Comcast: All Comcast WiFi hotspots can be used by all Americans, for free, for 60 days, as a result of the coronavirus. Existing Comcast customers will get unlimited data, and will not lose internet connection if they cannot pay their bills.

Spectrum: Charter Communications, Spectrum’s parent company, is offering free broadband and WiFi to households with students, K-through-12 and college, for 60 days. Spectrum hotspots will also be free to use.

Staycations

Sistine Chapel: Even if you’re stuck inside, now might be your best chance to see some of the most beautiful places in the world. For example, the Sistine Chapel in Italy has been closed as COVID-19 spreads in the country, but you can virtually walk through the chapel for free. 

Georgia Aquarium: Although the Georgia Aquarium is closed, you can live stream their jellyfish, piranha, puffin exhibits and more. A little bit of animal love can go a long way in a quarantine.

U.S. National Parks: Most national parks in the country are still open, and many offer free entry to encourage people to get outside while still social distancing. Still, if you prefer to stay safe by staying at home, you can find virtual tours of most parks online.

Fitness

Blink Fitness: Although most Blink gym locations are closed during the outbreak. To help people stay fit while staying inside, Blink is live streaming workouts every weekday morning on Facebook. 

Down Dog Apps: Dog Down, the producer of a number of popular yoga apps, is making all of its platforms free to use until April 1. Students and teachers can get free access through July 1. Even if you’ve never tried yoga, now is a good chance to learn!

Gold’s Gym: Goldsamp, the gym chain’s workout app, has been made free until the end of May for anyone who wants access to 600+ audio and video workout guides.

Peloton: While most people probably don’t own a Peloton bike, the company has made its exercise app free for anyone through June. Beyond cycling, the app offers yoga, cardio, strength training and more.

Cooking

Milk Street Cooking School: Through April, online cooking classes at the Milk Street Cooking School are free for anyone. You’ll probably have more time at home, so why not use some of that learning a new skill and making delicious dishes?

Kitchen Quarantine: Massimo Bottura, a world-famous chef and restauranteur, is using his Instagram to show off his talents and educate people on cooking. Bottura posts videos and live streams of his dinner prep, giving us a one-of-a-kind look at the kitchen of a world-renowned cook.

Huntington’s Kitchen: This West Virginia establishment is more of a community center than a restaurant. The Kitchen’s goal is to educate people on cooking and eating healthy meals, and the coronavirus outbreak won’t slow it down. Marty Emerson, the head chef, will live stream cooking classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays this month.

This list will be updated as new freebies get announced.