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.
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.
Netflix: While you still need a Netflix account to watch, the streaming service has made a handful of original shows and movies free to watch with no fee or credit card! The titles include Stranger Things, Bird Box, and The Two Popes.
Ken Burns’ Baseball: The famous documentarian Ken Burns created a nine-part series on America’s Pasttime for PBS, and he announced that it will be free for all fans to stream.
Varsity Tutors: With summer camps largely closed this year, the resources that Varsity Tutors supplies are even more important. The online educational platform offers dozens of free, virtual summer camps for students of all ages, ranging from web design for high schoolers, mock trials for middle schoolers, and chess for elementary schoolers. In addition, Varsity Tutors also has free school classes and practice problems for students. All courses are taught by experts, meaning your children will be getting the best virtual education possible.
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.
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.”
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 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. Spectrum hotspots will also be free to use.
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.
Blink Fitness: Gyms are reopening, but not everyone is comfortable going. To help people stay fit while staying inside, Blink is live streaming workouts every weekday morning on Facebook.
Gold’s Gym: Goldsamp, the gym chain’s workout app, has been made free 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 is offering 30-day free trials of the Peloton App. Beyond cycling, the app offers yoga, cardio, strength training and more.
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. The Kitchen livestreams meals with recipes a few times each week on Facebook.
This list will be updated as new freebies get announced.