St. Augustine is home to an enormous amount of activities. Any local could tell you that there’s no shortage of attractions, parks, events, and more to fill up your free time and keep your kids (and yourself) entertained at all times. Since COVID-19 forced us into the practice of social distancing, though, that’s become a little more complicated. It’s hard to explore your city or enjoy all it has to offer when you’re stuck inside. Luckily, we’re all in this together – all over the nation – and entertainment of all kinds has been going virtual. From our local library to national parks all over the United States, there are plenty of ways to explore and experience something new in isolation.
SEE THE ST. JOHNS COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY’S DIGITAL OFFERINGS
If you have a local library card, there’s much more open to you than just the collection that sits on the library shelves (that we can’t access right now since they’re closed). Our library system offers lots of books and movies that you can explore digitally – whether you’re finding stories to read to your littlest, new novels for your teens, something interesting for yourself, or a movie you can all enjoy together. Now’s the time to familiarize yourself with the collection. And if you can’t find exactly what you want, Audible is offering free streams on a number of kids’ books while schools are closed.
TUNE YOUR LITTLE ONES IN FOR STORYTIME
To add some entertainment to your kids’ mornings, a Youth Services Librarian from the St. Johns County Public Library will read some of the delightful and engrossing stories from their shelves. The storytimes will take place on Facebook Live each morning Monday-Friday at 11am. They’ll last for approximately 30 minutes. They’ll be recorded and posted to the library’s Facebook page afterwards, so even if you miss out, you’ll be able to enjoy it later on.
TAKE A HIKE THROUGH OUR NATIONAL PARKS
Through an amazing virtual set-up, you can immerse yourself in the beauty of some of our national parks while sitting in the comfort of your home. Google Arts & Culture is unveiling the hidden world of the national parks, where you can join a park ranger on a virtual exploration of Kenai Fjords in Alaska, Hawai’i Volcanoes in Hawai’i, Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico, Bryce Canyon in Utah, and Dry Tortugas right here in Florida. You can also take a 360 view of many other parks through Street View, read stories from the experts about park collections, watch videos from the parks, and browse through high-res images and artifacts.
STAY ACTIVE WITH AN ONLINE FITNESS CLASS
By Executive Order from the Florida governor, all gyms and fitness centers were closed. However, this doesn’t mean that you won’t get to keep up your routine and stay active. Plenty of local centers and gyms – like Anastasia Fitness, DRiV Fitness, The Yoga Collective, and a whole lot more – are going virtual and offering livestream classes to members. Staying on a routine can help bring a sense of normalcy, and exercise will help ease some of that stress we’re all feeling.
GET CULTURED AT THE MUSEUM
And while you’re on a tour, you might as well take in some beautiful world culture. There are some incredible museums that offer virtual tours like the Guggenheim in New York City or an online tour of a few of The Louvre’s collections in Paris. You can wander the exhibits of the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History or the rooms of the Vatican Museum or the Palace of Versailles. Examine hundreds of artifacts at the British Museum or the artworks at The Museu de Arte de São Paulo. There’s a whole world of art and culture open wide.
LEARN SCIENCE AT THE KENNEDY SPACE CENTER
Just south of us, the learning at the Kennedy Space Center hasn’t slowed down. For kids starved for hands-on science, the Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex is offering educational sessions for young kids on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 9:30am. For older kids, the sessions start at 1pm. Add a little education into your daily entertainment.
SPEND A NIGHT AT THE THEATRE
Tired of flipping through channels or scrolling through the endless movies and shows on streaming and still coming up empty? Opt instead then for something a little different. The curtains rise on the visually stunning performances of the Metropolitan Opera, where you can watch the operatic action on your television. Or if opera isn’t exactly your speed, then you might be more inclined to Shakespeare, where you can watch dozens of his plays performed at the famed Globe Theatre.
BECOME AN IMAGINEER WITH DISNEY
For the kids looking to hone their creativity, Disney’s free “Imagineering in a Box” course features 32 videos that showcase real Imagineers from around the world sharing their skills and passions. They’ll be exciting things to learn no matter your kids’ interests.
How are you keeping entertained during social distancing? Let us know in the comments below! Featured image via Dry Tortugas National Park.