CULTURE

The Best Free Live Streams to Help You Feel Connected

best free live streams for kids, music exercise museums and more

Much of the world is confined to home right now. Among the many challenges? Boredom and loneliness. A shrinking of the spirit and a sense of isolation. Perhaps even some fatigue from excessive time housemates and family members. What can be done? Two words, dear reader: live streaming. Our correspondent Abbie Martin Greenbaum has a curated a list of some of the best free live-streaming broadcasts for kids, music, concerts, museums, exercise, cooking, classes and self-improvement of all kinds. Did we mention that they’re all free? 

Live events are even more special right now

Are you one of the millions of people who is now spending an unexpected amount of time at home? You may be working from your couch, sorting out new schedules with your children, and learning how to live in a world without live sporting events, bars and restaurants. It’s disconcerting, to say the least.

In strange times like these, the Internet can become our secret weapon. Almost overnight, hundreds of new live streaming offerings have popped on the web. It’s the ultimate in experiential luxury – and lots of these are free.

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And there’s just something about “live” right now. Sure, you can binge-watch a lot of great content on demand. But when you’re feeling isolated, there’s real magic in a real-time live event that you’re sharing with others. The joy we get from a shared live experience is even more precious when it’s so incredibly scarce.

The good news is that right now you’ll find hundreds of ways to entertain and care for yourself and your family, and maybe even learn a little something new. If this global quarantine has any silver lining, it may be that you’ll finally get around to learning that new language, or listening to that opera, or just chilling with kids while they watch the animals at the zoo.

The Best Free Live Streams to Help you feel connected

Here are twelve of the best free live streams we recommend viewing during this COVID-19 quarantine.

1. School Your Kids with Scholastic

Dating back to the days of the Scholastic book fair, the legendary publishing house has always been around to help students. And that hasn’t changed. With so many kids out of school, Scholastic has launched a Learn at Home website to help parents who are suddenly home schooling.

The best free live streams for music, exercise, kids, classes and cooking right now

The best free live streams for music, exercise, kids, classes and cooking right now: Scholastic Learn at Home.

There are free resources, lessons and activities for children of all ages, and more content is continually being added. Check out our list of other great distance learning sites here.

2. Meditate with Headspace

To put it mildly, everyone is feeling a bit more stressed out than usual. So maybe this is a good time to get into meditation.

The best free live streams for music, exercise, kids, classes and cooking right now

The best free live streams for music, exercise, kids, classes and cooking right now: Headspace. Courtesy Photo.

If you’re looking for a guide, Headspace is now offering a platform of free content to both users and non-users. They have meditation walk-throughs and tools to help you sleep more soundly, as well as short exercises you can do in your home.

3. Learn to Cook with Massimo Bottura

If you have ever wanted to cook like a Michelin-starred chef, the COVID-19 outbreak might just be your chance to learn. Every night on Instagram, the man behind Osteria Francescana is going to be hosting what he’s called “Kitchen Quarantine”: a cooking tutorial for those stuck at home.

The best free live streams for music, exercise, kids, classes and cooking right now

The best free live streams for music, exercise, kids, classes and cooking right now: : Massino Bottura. Courtesy Photo.

These are simple, fun, and charming videos, and a great way to improve your culinary skills while you have time on your hands.

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4. “Go” to the Opera

If you are feeling sad about the idea of a world without art, don’t worry: art has never been easier to watch than it is now. For example, the Metropolitan Opera is offering unprecedented access to its incredible roster of performances, with a nightly streaming of a different opera each day – for free! 

online learning

The best free live streams for music, exercise, kids, classes and cooking right now: Metropolitan Museum of Art. Courtesy Photo.

The streams begin at 7:30 each night, and are available for a full 20 hours after the performance if you miss the beginning.

5. “Take” Your Kids to the Natural History Museum

Many museums have put virtual tours of their collections online – perfect entertainment for adults and children alike. While your kids are at home, maybe they’d like to check out the Natural History Museum.

best online livestream activities

The best free live streams for music, exercise, kids, classes and cooking right now: Museum of Natural History. Courtesy Photo.

The way the tour is set up, you can virtually navigate through almost every room in the museum, and it’s almost as good as actually being there.

6. Exercise with Peloton

One of the best ways to stay sane during quarantine is to stay in shape. Nothing will help your mood or your immune system more than continuing to move and stretch your body.

The best free live streams for music, exercise, kids, classes and cooking right now: The Peloton Fitness app. Courtesy Photo.

Peloton is offering a 90-day free trial of their app for anyone to use, which should give you more than enough exercise assistance while you’re waylaid from your favorite class or gym. (Full disclose: our CEO is on the board of Peloton Interactive).

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7. Join a New Book Club

If you read enough, you can learn just about anything. The Quarantine Book Club was launched to help us all stay intellectually stimulated during the coming weeks.

There is a Zoom discussion every day on a new book, attended by the author as well as by readers. You will have the incredible opportunity to ask the creators all of the questions you can think of as you read.

8. Watch a Broadway Show

For some people, there is nothing more comforting and mood-enhancing than a good Broadway musical. While Broadway itself has gone dark, the streaming platform BroadwayHD is now offering a seven-day free trial on their website so that you can have access to all the same shows.

best livestream online activities

The best free live streams for music, exercise, kids, classes and cooking right now: Broadway. Courtesy Photo.

This means for one whole week you can watch all of your old favorites – or maybe even something you never got a chance to see! – completely free of charge.

9. “Take” Your Kids to the Zoo

The zoo might be closed to visitors, but that doesn’t mean your kids have to stop enjoying the animals. The Houston Zoo has set up a series of webcams at many of their exhibits, so that you can feel close to the animals even when you are far away. For those without a furry companion at home, this could be a great activity.

whaat to watch

The best free live streams for music, exercise, kids, classes and cooking right now: Zoo. Courtesy Photo.

Lots of other zoos are doing this too, with “event” programming geared to feeding time.

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10. Do Yoga

If you want to stay fit and stay calm at the same time, this may be the perfect time to start – or continue – a yoga practice. There are a lot of ways to do this, between online yoga videos, YouTube channels, and studios that are now streaming virtual classes each day.

We recommend the Down Dog app, which has many different customizations for your practice, and which has been made free for the foreseeable future.

11. Learn to Draw with Carson Ellis

Maybe you have always secretly wanted to be an artist. Well, now you have the chance to learn how. Illustrator Carson Ellis is hosting a daily drawing class on Instagram, where she provides assignments for people to complete and a place for them to share their work. This is a great opportunity for people of all ages to pick up a new skill.

what to watch

The best free live streams for music, exercise, kids, classes and cooking right now: Art with Carson Ellis. Courtesy Photo.

12. Attend an Erykah Badu Concert

We’re all sad about the live events, festivals and concerts that have recently been canceled. But there are still plenty of ways to listen to live music – and some cases, it’s free (or seriously inexpensive).

what to watch

The best free live streams for music, exercise, kids, classes and cooking right now: Erykah Badu. Courtesy Photo.

This weekend Erykah Badu is beginning a livestream concert series on her Instagram. It is $1 to watch, and fans can request songs. More information will be posted on her account soon.

We’ve heard that Melissa Etheridge is doing daily free concerts. Christine and the Queens, Yungblud and Celeste have all hosted free live streamed concerts for their followers.

13. Dance it off at Club Quarantine

“Homeschool at Club Quarantine” was an epic dance party held last weekend on Instagram Live. Los Angeles DJ and rapper D-Nice streamed a 10-hour set from his living room, and so many bold-faced names showed up that there’s not enough room to share them all here.

The short list? Rihanna, Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey and Jennifer Lopez. The set list included Childish Gambino’s new music and Stevie Wonder’s greatest hits. There will surely be a second edition, so stay tuned for the details.

the best free live streams to help you feel connected

That’s it – our picks for live music, learning and exercise, even in the time of coronavirus. What else are you streaming that we should add to this list? Stay safe and healthy, dear reader.

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For access to insider ideas and information on the world of luxury, sign up for our Dandelion Chandelier Newsletter hereAnd see luxury in a new light.

Abbie Martin Greenbaum grew up in New York City and currently lives in Brooklyn, where she drinks a lot of coffee and matches roommates together for a living. At Oberlin College, she studied English and Cinema, which are still two of her favorite things, along with dessert and musical theater. She believes in magic.

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