Stay-At-Home Entertainment Guide
Looking for something to listen to/watch/keep the family entertained while stuck at home? We've rounded up what we think are some of the best songs, TV shows, movies, games, and a few super unique social-distance-approved ways to help you and your family pass the time. COVID-19 has impacted all of our lives in so many unprecedented ways, but through it all, we've seen communities rise up and demonstrate incredible creativity and innovation to adapt wherever and however possible to stay connected with each other from home. From live-streamed concerts from living rooms and virtual museum tours and piano lessons, to digital game-nights and happy hours with friends.
We will continue to add to this stay-at-home entertainment resource list as new things continue to pop up and we welcome and encourage you all to share what you've been doing or listening to with us. Send us a note at email@example.com - we'd love to hear from you!
Looking to mix up your tunes? Check out these Spotify playlists from our staff.
Movies & TV Shows
What We're Watching
Your stay-at-home entertainment resource roundup, in no particular order...
If you're late to the instagram game, we'd recommend downloading the app now to take advantage of the growing trend of live-from-home performances taking over social media. Everyone from Chris Martin of Coldplay and Trisha Yearwood and Garth Brooks, to Andrew Lloyd Webber and Lin Manuel-Miranda have performed live from their living rooms. James Corden even organized a cross-continental musical experience that he dubbed #HomeFest, broadcasting from his LA garage to bring live musical performances from BTS in South Korea, Dua Lipa in the UK, Andrea Bocelli in Italy, and Billie Eilish (with Finneas) and John Legend in Los Angeles. For one of the most comprehensive lists we've found that rolls up who's going live and when, click here. Also Billboard and NPR have some nice live event roundups. And keep in mind, quite a few musicians have simply surprised us on a random evening with impromptu acoustic sets.
This may seem like a shameless plug (well, it is), but if you're reading this, it probably means you're into A/V and/or music and movies just like we are. So, we're hoping you join us Wednesdays at noon ET as we livestream from our own living rooms. We'll be talking about Smart TVs and settings, how to get better, cleaner sound out of your home entertainment system, how to get better Wi-Fi or set-up your streaming playlist. We'll be taking questions, asking questions, and will even have the occasional special guest from a few of our favorite A/V brands. So, follow us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel, stay tuned for our next livestream, and join the conversation! In the meantime, you can watch last week's live with Adam here and check out our YouTube videos here.
Theater 5 is BMFI’s new online film hub. They're working to bring you the BMFI programs you love, including exclusive access to new release movies, film introductions and discussions with Film Studies Online, curated selections you can stream at home, and opportunities to virtually connect with a community of film buffs. A portion of your digital tickets will benefit BMFI, just like your ticket to theaters 1, 2, 3, and 4.
The cancellation of this year's SXSW Music Festival is one of many in a long list of cancelled events that will have a major impact on up-and-coming musicians and artists from around the world. The SXSW festival has a truly global reach, as more than 1,500 acts were scheduled to perform that represent a large world of music that spans many dozens of countries and countless genres and subgenres. We encourage you to use the festival's remarkable lineup to help you discover and support some incredible musicians.
Looking for something in particular to watch but don't know where to find it? JustWatch is a streaming search engine for movies and TV shows. Just type the name of a movie or TV show in the search bar and JustWatch shows you which streaming service currently has it available. Or, choose your favorite streaming providers in the “WatchBar” and see at a glance or via filtered options what’s on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu and more than 85 other legal streaming providers.
Check out Playbill's roundup of some of the best filmed Broadway shows - from Newsies to Sweeney Todd, - and how to watch them from home.
Nightly Opera Streams offers a wide range of musical and theatrical flavors—from the infectious comedy of Rossini’s classic Il Barbiere di Siviglia to the epitome of the bel canto style in Bellini’s Norma and the grand drama of Verdi’s monumental Don Carlo. Explore The Met's articles and resources to expand your knowledge and enhance your experience as you enjoy the free streams. Full schedules are posted and updated weekly on their site.
Schools may be closed but Lincoln Center Pop-Up Classroom is open. and they're going live on Facebook every weekday at 2:00 pm ET for your daily dose of creativity. Led by some of world's best artists and educators, each creative learning activity utilizes simple materials found at home to help families with children explore a variety of art forms. Plus, they're teaming up with a remarkable group of artists who will deliver world-class performances and diverse musical perspectives straight from their homes to yours.
9. Facetime Play Dates for kids and adults.
Whether you use Facetime, Duo, or Zoom, actual face time with friends and family is one of the best things we've done since homebound. Schedule a happy hour, sing someone happy birthday, host a Netflix watch party, set your kids up with virtual playdates with their friends. Even through a digital screen, seeing a friendly face is one of the easiest and most effective psychological uplifts we can recommend at a time like this. Call your grandma or an elderly neighbor and help them get set up.
We interrupt this list to bring you something perhaps a little less entertaining, but important nonetheless to our home entertainment. Our remotes at home and the screens on our devices are some of the most touched and therefore most germ-ridden items in our homes. This is a PSA from our friends at URC on cleaning remotes and touchpads and here's something from the CDC on how to properly clean your home electronics. Ok, now back to the fun stuff...
When it comes to vinyl sound quality, unwanted noise artifacts and vibrations are your worst enemies. We can't stress enough the importance of proper turntable care and vinyl cleaning. The right maintenance will not only ensure you're getting the best sound out of your turntable and records, but it will prolong the longevity of your gear and vinyl collection. Here are 4 ways to get the best sound out of your turntable and prolong the life of your gear.
If you've ever watched your kids get lost in an endless cycle of YouTube videos... well, we can't blame them, it's actually pretty easy. Here are some of the more interesting YouTube "nuggets" we've come across lately.
Get Smarter every Day with Smarter Every Day. What’s the world’s longest home run by batting machine? What happened to Houdini? How do you make a bicycle go backwards and break your brain in the process? This place is amazing… and hosted by one of today’s most sought-after science guest lecturers. Get some snacks, grab the family, and get ready for some serious science fun! (There are dozens of “Get Smarter Every Day” episodes… all G-rated and fun and amazing. The host is awesome.).
How ridiculous? THIS ridiculous. Five guys with nothing better to do in Southern Australia spend six entire days attempting to make a 656-foot (yes, that’s right, SIX HUNDRED AND FIFTY-SIX FOOT) basketball shot – by hand. Welcome to “How Ridiculous” a wildly popular channel by some goofballs with too much time on their hands. And while your at it, take note: they keep missing and missing and missing, but they seem to hit a randomly placed GoPro over and over! (Seen by over 35 million people.)
Okay, so you’re on a boat in the middle of the ocean, surrounded by… Sharks. LOTS of sharks. Your feet are in the water, and you're spilling bucket after bucket of chum nearby. So, what happens next? Find out with Mark Rober, and check out his other odd experiments while you're there.
Learn to cook with Walter White. Otherwise known as “Heisenberg.” If you're a Breaking Bad and Bryan Cranston fan, this is simply a bunch of fun back to back clips, each one is better than the last… and all are gripping / amazing / etc.
Hang with Tony, Paulie, Silvio and Christopher. But watch your back. Start watching these clips and we’re betting you won’t be able to stop digging through the millions of other best-of-Sopranos YouTube roundups – especially you young folks who have never met The Sopranos. Warning: foul language, occasional mob violence and some really bad home design choices.
You’ve been saying it forever: “I wish I had learned to play the piano, but I just don’t have the time.” [ clears throat ] Well, you do now. And thankfully, there are many new and easy ways to learn how to play the piano online. Playground sessions gets our vote, but there are plenty of free options on YouTube.
“Goodnight With Dolly” will feature Dolly Parton reading a series of Imagination Library books all carefully chosen for their appropriate content at this moment in time. Starting with "The Little Engine That Could." And, if you're a Dolly fan, we've got something for the adults too. Check out the podcast Dolly Parton's America.
Studios have responded to fallout of closed movie theater by releasing some of its movies early and we couldn't be more grateful. Here’s every film that’s been released early so far.
Check out this roundup of the best movies to watch if you're craving epic sports action or stream Ken Burns’ Baseball free for a limited time amid the delayed MLB season.
17. Play games with friends and family... or your Voice Assistant.
Almost every board game you can think of can actually be played online. Some for free, some by subscription. Not to mention, Google Home and Alexa have some fun and wacky games you can tap into just by saying things like: "Alexa, start Jeopardy". And have you played Zoom Pictionary yet?? Here are some of our favorite roundups for some inspiration.
Jeopardy now has their qualifying test online. And it’s really hard. Find out just how good you really are, and maybe get on the show to boot. College and teen tests are also available.
Staying at home doesn’t mean you can’t experience a little travel and culture from the safety and comfort of your couch. Tour the MoMA in NYC, or the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, or Uffisi Gallery in Florence. In our stay-at-home search, we also found that there are over a hundred museums and libraries around the world make coloring books based on their collections for the Color Our Collections program, led by the New York Academy of Medicine. There are now 396 PDF coloring books you can print out.
20. Listen to a Podcast.
Here are some of our favorites... mostly music-related, of course.
Song Exploder. This hit podcast lets the artists themselves break down their songs, explaining the origins behind some of the biggest hits.
Questlove Supreme. The Roots drummer and author possesses an encyclopaedic musical knowledge quite like no other and can convince his guests to fall down the rabbit hole with him.
New York Times Popcast. Hosted by music critic Jon Caramanica, you can count on the roundtable of critics to tackle every subject matter with rigorous enthusiasm, from the rise of Post Malone to Chris Cornell’s legacy, the bootleg merch trade and the future of jazz.
Cocaine & Rhinestones. As the son of outlaw-country artist David Allan Coe, Tyler Mahan Coe knows a thing or two about country music. Coe doesn’t just recount the wild stories of country, but backs them up with an arsenal of facts. He covers the big names of the genre – Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline and highlights some of the overlooked names in country, while telling you the story behind Loretta Lynn’s banned song ‘The Pill'.
Stay Free: The Story Of The Clash. Hip-hop legend Chuck D isn’t the most obvious choice to host a podcast on the Clash, but after listening, it's hard to imagine anyone else in the driver's seat. The podcast tells the story of the band that, as Chuck D put it, “burned so brightly, they had to burn out,” leaving behind a legacy that is still inspiring people today.
Broken Record. While access to artists doesn’t guarantee a great podcast, listening to Tyler, The Creator, Roseanne Cash, The Black Keys, and Nile Rodgers chat with legendary producer Rick Rubin is almost always fascinating.
The Rewatchables. If you want to listen Quentin Tarantino wax poetic about what makes Dunkirk a masterpiece or why Chris Pine is his favorite actor, check out this podcast. “The Rewatchables” taps into the universal joy of revisiting a favorite movie — and the less universal joy of doing it with a bunch of deeply knowledgeable friends. For more podcasts for the movie-lover, we couldn't have put together a better list than this one from the New York Times. Enjoy.
Have something to add?
Tell us what you're watching, share a playlist, or let us know what you're getting in to these days. Send us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org and we just might add it to this list.