Pastimes and Distractions: e-Books, videos, virtual tours, colouring books, libraries online, Arts related pages, and other resources and activities that entertain and help to pass time well.
Arts and culture
Rob Biddulph an artist posting draw-along videos via Twitter
Google Arts and culture – Learn something new every day!
BBC Radio 4 – The History of the world – podcasts
50 things that made modern economy – Podcasts
Marquee TV – streaming arts and culture
10 best Broadway shows to watch online free
Drama Online – Online theatrical performances
#ColourOurCollections – Explore, Color and Connect with Libraries and their collections
National Emergency Library – A collection of books that supports emergency remote teaching, research activities, independent scholarship, and intellectual stimulation
National Theatre – Streaming shows on YouTube every Thursday
Open culture – 1,150 Free movies to watch online
Time Out/In – Websites, mobile, social media, print and live events curated by local expert journalists food, drinks, culture, art, music, theatre, travel and entertainment in 327 cities and 58 countries
Canada Council for the Arts – COVID-19 Information
Everything you ever wanted to know about Roman Forts
Canadian Arctic animals colouring pages – Elise Imbeau Instagram page
Wind in The Willows – How to stream the West End performance free
Patrick Stewart reads Shakespeare’s Sonnets – one each day Facebook
Geography and nature
The Tennessee Aquarium – Fun activities and resources for an at-home Aquarium experience, anytime!
Explore wildlife cams – Watch live video of elephants, lions, hippos and many other animals.
Virtual Tours of Ireland and the Guinness Storehouse (Video)
Project Noah – Global site where you can view and share wildlife
Environmental Film Festival – Free documentaries about the environment
Kent Wildlife association – Simple ideas you can do in the garden to help wildlife
World Geography games – Free geography games
ZSL institute of Zoology – ZSL Wild Science Podcast
Audible – Free audiobooks for this period – Available in 6 languages
French children’s stories – Children’s stories translated into French and spoken by a native French speaker
More children’s stories told in French Fable Cottage
Gutenburg – Download free books, e.g. Shakespear, Edgar Allen Poe, Frankenstein, etc.
Solomon Kingsnorth – Free Books in PDF, Word and audiobook format – Alice in Wonderland / Wind in the Willows / The Railway Children / The Jungle Book / Peter Pan / Black Beauty
Read great literature online – How to Find Great Literature Online for Free includes study guides
OPEN CULTURE – 1000 Audio Books: Download great books for free
Bibliomania Over 2000 books online
50,000 free ebooks – arranged by genre
Open Library Access – An Open free Library for the World
Milan Presse – French magazines available to download
Radio Garden – Explore live music by rotating the Globe or searching by country, city or station
Free Opera – Nightly Metropolitan Opera Streams. Free series of encore Live in HD presentations streamed on the company website during the coronavirus closure
COVID-19 live streams – A number of groups offering video streams of chamber music concerts without audience
Berlin Philharmonic orchestra – Live streams and performance archive – Requires free registration
Announcements/lists – of worldwide performances being streamed
Livestream concerts list – artists and bands
Bands and artists – Live stream and virtual performances by various artists and bands
Exploration of the day – Artistic website connecting people from around the world
Facebook Virtual Choir -This is an online choir for anyone who can’t access a face to face choir or singing group. Private Facebook group
Board Game arena- Play board games online for free – Registration required
Virtual tours & activities
Canadian museums – Virtual Exhibits
Museums from around the world – Virtual, online tours
Access to 500 Museums & Art Galleries – Free, online
How to explore London’s top museums at home
How to explore London’s top art galleries at home
Virtual Tours – Virtual online tours – including zoos, landmarks in foreign countries, etc.
Aquarium – Georgia aquarium allowing you to tour under the sea
Virtual farm trips – American dairy association
Virtual field trips – Created for children, but they look great for adults too!
Edinburgh Zoo – Live streams: Panda Cam / Tiger Cam / Penguin Cam / Rock Hopper Penguin Cam / Koala Cam
Canada’s Wonderland virtual ride at home
Expeditions App- Free virtual Reality Augmentation app for all ages, to take virtual trips around the world to hundreds of destinations.