During this strange time, although we must make health a priority, we might not be putting too much thought into our own personal enjoyment – or at least, distraction! Hobbies are important at the best of times so now is a good opportunity for some safe distraction; entertainment in all its forms can help us escape stressful times so here are a few fun ideas for how to stay cultured in quarantine. All of these can be explored from the comfort of our own homes and there are options to involve all members of the family.
Staying in means we no longer have the opportunity to explore new things but it doesn’t mean we aren’t in a position to enlighten ourselves with some culture. Many museums, galleries and institutions have worked on ways of bringing their magical worlds into our homes and this includes virtual tours. Accessing these places and exhibitions online means we can see new sights on the sofa, in our pyjamas and wine in hand!
VIRTUAL GALLERY, MUSEUM & PALACE TOURS
The J. Paul Getty Museum
An audio walkthrough of Michaelangelo’s art, with details and descriptions.
Georgia O’Keefe Museum
Take a look into the incredible artist Georgia O’Keefe’s work.
The British Museum
Browse through the countless galleries and objects from the past 200 million years. The British Museum has any theme, year, and culture you can possibly be interested in!
Versailles: The Palace Is Yours
The Palace of Versailles has partnered with Google Arts & Culture so you can now visit using virtual reality. VersaillesVR: the Palace is Yours enables a total discovery from every angle.
Buckingham Palace, Edinburgh Castle and Schönbrunn Palace
The best place to find virtual tours of all sort of wonderful places is Google Arts and Culture. They have so many cool things to see, all of which can be accessed by phone, tablet or laptop. Quite a fun break for homeschooling parents and their pupils!
National Trust Tours
I’m obsessed with National Trust houses and while all their sites are closed, you can still explore some of their most beautiful locations online. Sissinghurst is my current favourite and Giant’s Causeway (which I’ve never been to) is next on the list.
MUSIC TO MY EARS
Typically Spring signals the start of festival season. Whether it’s Coachella, Stagecoach or Glastonbury we most likely all had a live concert or festival that we were looking forward to and with most artists cancelling their 2020 tours, we might all be feeling just a tad empty. This is however a great opportunity to get a little bit of listening in whether it be music, broadway performances, podcasts, essays read aloud; it’s easy to treat ourselves to a bit of audio magic.
The Met Opera New York
Here is your chance to see all of the most incredible opera performances over the past 14 years.
Hay Festival Podcast
This incredible podcast takes place in lieu of the Hay Festival that typically takes place every year. They offer a monthly recommended book and a free film every week.
BBC Arts is bringing all sorts of variety to you. Think Shakespeare performances, Margaret Atwood discussions, and so much more.
FOUNDATIONS OF FASHION
Fashion truly has a way of bringing people together. Here are a few examples of how the incredible fashion world is working together to bring support.
The incredible Alexander McQueen brand has launched a project with the hashtag #mcQueenCreators. Every week there is a new inspired project, and creators share their work on Instagram.
THEATRE, BALLET & PHOTOGRAPHY
National Theatre At Home
This is one of my favourite things to come out of quarantine. The National Theatre are releasing streams of some of their most popular shows including ‘One Man, Two Guvnors’, ‘Jane Eyre’ and Danny Boyle’s ‘Frankenstein’.
There are so many ballets on here, I’m re-watching all my favourites like The Nutcracker and Swan Lake.
National Portrait Gallery
Hold Still is a photography project that depicts a portrait of our nation in 2020 and how we have dealt with the virus. The National Portrait Gallery invite submissions of portraiture on one of the below themes:
-Helpers and Heroes
-Your New Normal
-Acts of Kindness
One hundred shortlisted portraits will feature in a virtual exhibition on the Gallery’s website and a selection of images will also be shown across the UK later in the year. It’s free to enter and open to all ages and levels of experience. See more information about how to enter here.
Royal Albert Home
The Royal Albert Hall is bringing a series of shows to your home. As they say on the website ‘in these extraordinary times closing our doors is the best way to look after the world; but why should that stop us from bringing you some of the world’s most talented artists?’…an idea I can totally get on board with. They’re releasing a show every few days, including readings, opera and gigs.
The Royal Opera House
One of my favourite places in London is offering free online broadcasts of their biggest shows for their #OurHousetoYourHouse series. Visit their Facebook and Youtube pages to watch.
How have you been staying cultured in quarantine?