There's a world waiting for you with the click of a mouse.
We have seen the community come together during this time, supporting each other in new, exciting ways. This month, businesses are slowly starting to open their doors again and welcome guests after a long period of staying at home. If you're still not quite ready to leave the safety of your home yet, that's okay! There are still plenty of opportunities for learning and fun from home.
Here are just a few ideas to keep you busy.
Animals still need care when the doors are closed! The Virginia Living Museum invites you to join them live on Facebook at select times to for some natural education. Watch keepers and aquarists interact with your favorite otters or engage in Red Wolf enrichment activities. Plus, be ready to ask your questions during a live Q&A. The whole family will enjoy learning about how the animals spend their time while the crowds are away!
Library from Home
Did you know that your library card gives you a world of access to free e-book rentals? Power up your Kindle or other e-reader and log in to the Overdrive app (www.overdrive.com), where you'll walk through the steps to sign up using your library card information. Browse through all your favorite genres, plus audiobooks and periodicals as well. You're sure to find the best summer reads!
Civil War History
History lovers, rejoice! Dive deep into historical documents from the 18th- and 20th-centuries through newly released digital archives from Pamplin Historical Park & The National Museum of the Civil War Soldier. Discover personal letters and more from the famed Wiley Sword Collection, explore periodicals from the Civil War Research Library, and view envelopes and postage from the Gladstone Collection. Visit www.pamplinpark.org to travel back in time for these exclusive archives.
The Rhythm Project
The Virginia Arts Festival's world percussion ensemble, The Rhythm Project, introduces musical performance to students of all ages that "focuses on instilling discipline and dedication in students through performance and touring opportunities." To help bring the community together, the instructors of the project have created a virtual performance of the song "Circles" by Post Malone. Enjoy the smooth sounds of the steel pan bringing this song to life on YouTube: https://youtu.be/4a1EZKfSGPg. Plus, catch more exclusive performances and virtual content at vafest.org.
Lynnhaven River Now is encouraging us to stay connected with the environment through their latest social media campaign, #AloneTogether. Using the hashtag, post your natural arts and crafts projects or fun photos out in nature to share with the community. Discover new ideas to try with your family, learn fun facts about the environment, and find out how you can take action. Find LRNow and the #AloneTogether community on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
Discover the Arts
Find new ways of discovering the arts online. Norfolk Arts has provided a curated list of virtual art offerings, from free e-books to photography classes, drawing lessons, Shakespeare plays, and more. Discover popular film festivals or virtually tour Frank Lloyd Wright's most famous buildings. Or, stream a free concert from your computer! Visit norfolkarts.net to cure your social distance blues.
Hey entrepreneurs–grab a fresh cup of coffee and hop online every Wednesday at 2 p.m. for a Weekly Innovation Challenge with Canberra Innovation Network. Each week, be prepared to discuss relevant new ideas and challenge yourself to try something new in your business. Growing businesses, inventors, and innovators can learn together with other savvy professionals and exchange skills. Hear from guest experts followed by Q&A opportunities, too! Join the community at facebook.com/CBRinnovation.
Learn a New Language
Looking for an easy way to learn a new language? Download the popular free app, DuoLingo for free lessons in over 30 different languages, from beginner all the way through fluent speakers. Another way to strengthen skills in a particular language is to watch a show or movie in that language with English subtitles. Learn together with your whole family and encourage each other to practice together every day for a fun new approach to daily interaction!
Practicing social distancing doesn't mean you have to lose touch with friends and family. Plan to order takeout and make a margarita while catching up via Zoom or Facebook Messenger. Choose a fun online classic game to play together like Words with Friends. Write someone a handwritten letter for a nice surprise in the mail. There are plenty of ways to stay close with loved ones. Just add a touch of creativity and be open to new ideas!
With extra time on your hands, why not pick up a new skill? The Suffolk Center's Visual Art Education Program now has over 60 free arts education videos on YouTube for all ages.
Learn in the subjects of visual arts, theater, culinary arts, sewing, dancing, and more. There are educational videos for preschool-age kids as well as story times. New videos are added every week, so choose your course and visit youtube.com/suffolkcenter to get learning!
The HeART of Hampton
Keep up with the arts at home! Get the inside scoop from artists and industry insiders in The HeART of Hampton provided by Hampton Arts. Catch weekly live episodes including interviews and demonstrations in plein air, collage, water color painting, and more. Some episodes even include special guests like Billboard-topping singer, songwriter, and pianist Avery*Sunshine, or Virginia's very own The Deloreans. Visit hamptonarts.net/connect/heartofhampton for more engaging and educational videos.
History is Fun
Keep up with the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation through a brand new live weekly broadcast. Enjoy "History Happy Hour" exploring distillation and brewing in early America. Or view "Historical Solutions to Modern-Day Problems" for some creative tips you can use in everyday life. Test your knowledge of the 17th and 18th Centuries with "History Mystery Trivia Night" on June 5. Visit historyisfun.org/at-home for interactive activities, blogs, and more.
You can still enjoy some wonderful performances with the Virginia Arts Festival online. Stream the 2016 Virginia International Tattoo or go behind the scenes with two internationally-acclaimed dance companies, The Dance Theatre of Harlem and the Richard Alston Dance Company. Enjoy virtual happy hour with some local craft beers brewed for special events like this year's NATO Beer, available at Bold Mariner in Norfolk! Catch more exciting performing arts content at vafest.org/virtual-connections.
Look for new virtual fun ideas every week on TW's Facebook page!
Stephanie Allen is the publisher's assistant for Tidewater Women & Tidewater Family. She is also a success coach helping creatives learn effective strategies for putting their work in front of others while making quality connections. Follow her on Facebook & Twitter for free tips and resources!