As Silicon Valley and beyond does it’s part by sheltering in place (SIP), many of us are wondering what to do besides binge-watching the news and Netflix or scrolling through social media to keep ourselves entertained and educated. Below are a wide variety of creative, educational and cultural options The Dawn Thomas Team has curated to add a bit of spice to SIP.
Online Culinary & Cocktail Classes
Now is a great time to brush up on your baking and culinary skills. There are numerous celebrities offering how to videos on social media and even more free online cooking classes. YouTube is always a great resource as is Masterclass, where you can find top chefs sharing their secrets. (Masterclass does require a subscription but offers a variety of different online courses.) Thrillist and PopSugar are among the many articles written recently listing a number of celebrities, lifestyle experts and chefs who’ve launched free virtual culinary courses. Masterclass and YouTube also have a variety of mixologist videos and many local bartenders are sharing their favorite drinks on social media.
Eating Out & Ways To Support Local Businesses
Many local restaurants, bakeries, coffeeshops and eateries are still open for take-out and delivery. Many Chambers of Commerce are great sources to discover which restaurants are open and what they are offering. We encourage you to help your local favorites by ordering in once or twice a week. This will also give you and your family something to look forward to as well as a break from meal prep and planning. Below are links to the various Chambers in the areas we serve that have SIP restaurant and business directories.
- Campbell Chamber of Commerce
- Los Altos Chamber of Commerce
- Los Gatos Chamber of Commerce
- Mountain View Chamber of Commerce
- Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce
- San Jose Chamber of Commerce (Silicon Valley Organization)
- Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce
- Saratoga Chamber of Commerce
- Sunnyvale Chamber of Commerce
- Willow Glen Downtown Association
Online Fitness Classes
It can be challenging to stay creative and motivated to maintain an exercise routine but a number of local fitness centers are stepping up and offering a variety of online classes, many for free! Zumba, HIIT, boot camps, yoga, pilates and more are available on a daily basis. Many fitness centers and personal trainers are also posting workout videos on social media so be sure to LIKE or FOLLOW your favorites to get access.
The JCC in Los Gatos is offering a variety of free online fitness classes daily via Zoom and other online platforms as are places like Orangetheory, 24 Hour Fitness and other local studios.
Online Plays & Concerts
Friday, April 10th, join the cast of the Broadway hit, Hamilton, as they do a live #HamAtHome sing-along of the original cast album. Watch it live on YouTube or get more details about this and other virtual performances at Broadway World.
Also on April 10th, Palo Alto’s TheatreWorks in conjunction with Streaming Musicals will be offering a free performance of Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice. TheatreWorks has been streaming other performances and the best way to be ‘in the know’ is to LIKE them on Facebook. To watch Pride and Prejudice, be sure to register in advance.
Andrew Lloyd Webber has created a YouTube channel called The Shows Must Go On where he will offer many of his hit musicals for free. Currently available are Jesus Christ Superstar and Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat while other plays will be added weekly.
Shotgun Players located in Berkeley has past productions available to watch online and City Lights Theatre Company is streaming a free preview of the world premiere of Coded, written and directed by Kirsten Brandt, about female game designers.
Lady Gaga has pulled out all the stops, creating One World Together at Home, a global broadcast & digital special to support frontline healthcare workers and the WHO. Hosted by Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, and Steven Colbert, the event will stream live on Saturday, April 18th at 5pm. The all-star line up includes appearances by:
Alanis Morissette • Andrea Bocelli • Billie Eilish • Billie Joe Armstrong • Burna Boy • Chris Martin • David Beckham • Eddie Vedder • Elton John • Finneas • Idris and Sabrina Elba • J Balvin • John Legend • Kacey Musgraves • Keith Urban • Kerry Washington • Lady Gaga • Lang Land • Lizzo • Maluma • Paul McCartney • Priyanka Chopra Jonas • Shah Rukh Khan • Stevie Wonder
Live Nation is hosting Live From Home, where artists from around the globe share music, stories, comedy shows and more directly from their homes.
New York’s Metropolitan Opera is offering free streaming encore performances nightly at 7:30pm. Available online for 20 hours, they will be available for viewing on the Met’s homepage.
Virtual Castle, Landmark, Museum, National Park and Zoo Tours
Google’s Arts & Culture Collection is hands down one of the best places to find digital access to just about any place in the world.
Virtually peruse over 2,500 famous museums from around the globe. The British Museum in London, New York’s Guggenheim Museum and Museum of Modern Art, the Musée d’Orsay in Paris and the J. Paul Getty Museum located in Los Angeles are only a few of the cultural icons that have online exhibits and digital tours.
Again, thanks to Googles Arts & Culture Collection and Travel & Leisure, you can also wander the halls of centuries-old castles the likes of Edinburgh, Castle, Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle.
We bet by now, you’re ready to head outside. The National Park Foundation has all types of virtual tours of national parks, wildlife webcams and suggestions on how to bring the great outdoors into your home. Live streams from numerous zoos and aquariums, including the Monterey Aquarium and San Diego Zoo, can be found here.
The Winchester Mystery House in San Jose has been posting live virtual tours to their Facebook page. Other local historical landmarks and gardens, such as Hakone in Saratoga, have been doing live streams as well. If you haven’t already LIKE or FOLLOW your favorites on social media to discover when these virtual events occur.
Other Entertainment & Education Resources
Most libraries including all in the Santa Clara County Library District, are offering free online story times, art and craft classes for all ages as well as the opportunity to check out digital versions of books, audiobooks, magazines and other media.
MoMA is offering free online art classes, children’s author Dav Pilkey of Captain Underpants and Dog Man fame is creating free drawing demonstrations and read alouds, and if you’ve run out of actual puzzles, give these virtual versions a try.
All of us at The Dawn Thomas Team hope these ideas will help keep you and your family entertained as we all continue to stay home and flatten the curve.