Nobody was prepared for the coronavirus outbreak, but one good thing among all of the chaos is the amount of resources we can find online to keep the kids (and us!) busy and entertained. Moms and kids can get their cultural fix while they’re home with these free or cheap online arts and culture resources.
Google Arts and Culture – Google has an incredible collection of museum archives that you can visit virtually from your home, and it’s completely free. You can access over 2000 museums from your computer, or download the app for other fun features. Some of the must sees are the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, the Guggenheim in New York, and the Museo Frida Kahlo in Mexico City. Kids of all ages will enjoy the American Museum of Natural History in New York, and the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC.
Le Louvre – The largest and most popular museum in the world is currently not available on Google Arts and Culture but you can take a virtual tour right on their website, free of charge. Check it out and enjoy some of the Louvre Museum’s permanent collections.
Opera and Ballet
The MET Nightly Opera Stream – The MET is streaming encore presentations of the company’s Live in HD series. The operas will be available to watch for 23 hours starting at 6:30 pm Central Time (7 EST) until 5:30 pm the following day day (or 6:30 EST). Not a lot of kids are into opera but this would be a great opportunity to show them how it works, and watch the orchestra and the singers in action. The streams are also available through the Met Opera on Demand apps for Apple, Amazon, and Roku devices, and Samsung Smart TV. To access them without logging in, click “Browse and Preview” in the apps for connected TV, and “Explore the App” on tablets and mobile devices.
Royal Opera House – The Royal Opera House Launched the #OurHouseToYourHouse program, where they will stream some of your favorite ballet and opera performances, as well a some masterclasses. The shows will premier every Friday and will be available on their Facebook Page and YouTube channel. The first on the list is The Royal Ballet’s Peter and the Wolf, you can watch it here.
Broadway and Other Performances
Broadway HD – You can now enjoy your favorite Broadway shows from your living room. Broadway HD offers a 7 day free trial ($8.99/month after that) with over 300 titles including Cats, Phantom of the Opera, and Les Misérables among many others. Younger audiences can enjoy Peter Pan, Disney’s Broadway Hits, or The Sound of Music. There are also plays and ballet performances available to stream.
Amazon Prime Video – Other Broadway shows available for rent on Amazon Prime are Rent, Newsies, She Loves Me, Into the Woods, and Billy Elliot, among others.
Cirque Du Soleil – Cirque du Soleil launched #CirqueConnect where you can stream footage from your favorite shows. Behind the scenes videos are also available, where you can learn some exercises and makeup techniques. You can watch for free on their website.
Books and Storytimes
Audible – Audible is offering stories for kids, completely free directly from their website. You don’t even have to sign up for an account, super easy. Start listening here. Kids of all ages will be able to stream stories in six different languages.