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Culture, Things To Do

26 ‘Virtual’ Things to Do for Angelenos Under Quarantine

March 18, 2020 by Juliet Bennett Rylah
Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve / Photo by: Christina Champlin

As social distancing and bans on group gatherings temporarily close down many of L.A.’s arts institutions, bars, clubs, and other public spaces, now is the time to get creative.

Below, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best ‘virtual’ things Angelenos can do if they’re stuck at home, whether under self-quarantine or just abiding by our Mayor’s call to limit person-to-person contact. The list includes museum tours and public lectures, online cooking classes, digital drag and comedy shows, a karaoke league, Instagram sound baths, and even a live feed of the blooming poppy fields in Antelope Valley.

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We hope it helps.

1. Bach in the Subways is an annual event celebrating composer Johann Sebastian Bach’s birthday. This year’s Bach in the Subways would have seen musicians serenading passengers around the world March 19-25, but several live performances have been canceled due to COVID-19. Performers are still invited to submit videos of their pieces online for your listening pleasure. You can also listen to past performances here. And if you’d like to submit a performance, you may do so here.

2. While the Venice Art Crawl has postponed its event, they will over a live, online experience on March 19 from 6-10 p.m. on Facebook. According to VAC President Sunny Back, “You’ll be able to look around, ask the artists questions, and even buy art from the comfort and safety of your living room couch.” Participating artists include Flavio Campagna Kampah, who will show viewers the inside of his studio in Parma, Italy where he’s currently quarantined. 

3. USC Architecture will host its spring 2020 lectures and events online. Here’s what they’ve got on board:

  • March 25: Generation Next, featuring alumni working in architecture, urban design, fabrication and more. 
  • March 27: Firm Fair, where students can meet employers, recruiters, and industry leaders. 
  • April 1: Technology Conversation: “Technology is the Answer…But What Was the Question?” A panel discussion on how design research can leverage technology to interact with social and environmental issues to affect positive change. 

4. Zócalo Public Square’s panel, “How Does Music Change Your Brain?”, will now stream online. How does music change or enhance our mood, performance, development, and health?  This panel will explore the power music has over us and how we may be able to use it to improve our brains. The event is moderated by NPR’s Elise Hu with panelists Mary Steenburgen (songwriter, actress), Assal Habibi (research psychologist), and Mark Tramo (neuroscientist, director of the Institute for Music & Brain Science).

5. The Metropolitan Opera will stream a different opera from its collection each night on its website. Each performance kicks off at 7:30 p.m. EST and will remain online for 20 hours.  

6. Yoga app Down Dog’s Yoga for Beginners, HIIT, Barre, and 7 Minute classes will be free until April 1. Additionally, students and teachers will have free access through July 1. Students and teachers can sign up with their school email or, if their email does not use an .edu extension, email Down Dog directly at schools@downdogapp.com. 

7. Sound healer Roxie Sarhangi is offering sound baths over Instagram. Her next scheduled event is March 18 at 7 p.m. Follow her on Instagram @roxiesoundhealing

8. United Karaoke is an international team karaoke league. Our local chapter is known as Los Angeles Karaoke. Though teams typically compete at karaoke bars, they’re now moving online. Participants can record a video of their karaoke jam, then submit it here. United Karaoke suggests that singers will not be judged solely on their voice, but perhaps criteria including “best use of a partner or pet,” “best parody,” “best costume,” and more. Los Angeles Karaoke will host one on Wednesday, March 25 at 6:30 p.m. PST.

9. Or, check out @karaokequarantine on Instagram to join a live, online karaoke night every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday at 9 p.m. PST. The best part about people singing from their living rooms is that you get to see their pets.

10. Starry Kitchen’s Nguyen Tran is sharing recipes on Reddit, including citrus sesame tofu and garlic noodles. Feel free to ask questions and share your cooking outcomes. 

11. Gucci Osteria chef Massimo Bottura is hosting free cooking classes on his Instagram @massimobottura. Classes begin at 8 p.m. CET, which is noon in Los Angeles. [h/t Time Out LA]

12. The Industry’s site-specific opera Sweet Land was meant to take place at LA State Historic Park. Now, the Industry intends to sell online tickets good for a streaming video performance of the opera. The Industry describes the show as a “grotesque historical pageant that disrupts the dominant narrative of American identity.” You can check for updates here.

13. Tuesday night, members-only club Cloak & Dagger is known for dark tunes and requiring guests to dress all in black. Though the club has closed for now, DJ Adam Bravin will still spin on Twitch. Tonight’s stream starts at 10 p.m.

14. The Two Bit Circus Foundation is offering livestreams of hands-on activities that families can do while kids aren’t in school. This service starts on Wednesday, March 18 at 10 a.m. PST on Two Bit Circus’s Twitch channel.

15. Everybody Gym will livestream their classes on Zoom. Unlimited and basic members can watch for free, while non-members can drop in for $5.

16. Dancer Kelleia Sheerin will host her “Kelleia & the Jazz” dance classes live on Instagram. The next one is on Thursday, March 19 at 12:30 p.m. PST. Find her on Instagram @kelleiaandthejazz.

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17. Actress/dancer/singer Debbie Allen will offer a free dance class on her Instagram on Wednesday, March 18 at 1 p.m. PST. Follow her on Instagram @officialadance.

18. Boxing studio Box Union will livestream classes on Instagram. Follow them @BoxUnionStudio to see the studio’s class schedule. 

19. L.A. based comedian Iliza Shlesinger and her husband Chef Noah Galuten have started an online cooking show called Don’t Panic Pantry on Instagram TV and Facebook Live. They post the ingredients you need ahead of time so everyone joining them can cook along. Find them on Instagram @ilizas and Facebook @IlizaShlesinger.

20. Last year, bad behavior threatened the gorgeous superbloom at the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve as guests trampled the delicate flowers in pursuit of the perfect selfie. While trails and non-campground areas of the parks remain open, California State Parks has closed all visitor centers. That makes it a perfect time to observe the blooming poppies from a safe, trample-free distance via the park’s live cam

21. Using Google Art & Culture, you can take a virtual tour of museums throughout the world. Local options include The Getty and LACMA.

22. Meditation app Calm is offering several free resources here, including sleep meditations, sleep stories, video tutorials on stretching, meditations for kids, and more. 

23. Watch a digital drag show hosted by Biqtch Puddin’ and featuring a huge lineup of performers. It’ll stream live on Twitch on Friday, March 20 at 7 p.m PST. They’re asking for a $10 donation to watch. The link is here.

24. Comedy Quarantine is a comedy livestream and fundraiser for Covid19 Mutual Aid Network – Los Angeles. Over 40 comics will perform via Instagram Live on Thursday, March 19 from 6-9 p.m. PST. The lineup includes Maria Bamford, Adam Conover, Chris Garcia, Nick Turner, Jena Friedman, Naomi Ekperigin, and many more. Watch on Instagram @comedyquarantine, donate here.

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25. The Grammy Museum will release digital programs, exhibits, and educational content, some of which the public’s never seen before. Content consists of artist interviews, slideshows, lesson plans, playlists, and more. Featured artists include Bob Newhart, Billie Eilish, Brandi Carlile, Scarypoolparty, Kool and the Gang, Greta Van Fleet, and others. The museum will drop a new program every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday, starting March 18. Check them out here.  

26. Facial spa Clean Your Dirty Face plans to offer at-home facial tutorials via its Instagram @cleanyourdirtyface to keep your skin nice and dewy. 

More lists:

This ongoing Google doc lists online cultural events all around the world, including streaming plays, operas, classes, and ARGs. If you’re not sure what an ARG is, it stands for Alternate Reality Game. You might solve puzzles, reveal pieces of an ongoing narrative, communicate with characters, or other fun diversions.  

And this ongoing Google doc lists puzzles, online courses, watch parties, livestreams, interactive books and more.

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