District News

Culture and More from Home During COVID-19

Apr 13, 2020
Home Activities - Met Opera

Is the quarantine lifestyle making you a little stir crazy? Lincoln Square’s businesses and cultural organizations are beginning to open their doors – virtually – to help fight the social distancing scaries! 


Lincoln Center has launched Lincoln Center at Home featuring virtual pop-up classes, concerts and more! We are updating our events calendar with these virtual events, but you can also view all upcoming programs here

The Metropolitan Opera may be closed, but they are still bringing opera to the people – for free! As of Monday, March 16, the Met Opera has begun streaming encore presentations from their award-winning Live in HD series on the company website for the duration of the closure. All “Nightly Met Opera Streams” will begin at 7:30pm and will remain available via the homepage of metopera.org for 20 hours. Viewers can also access the stream through the Met Opera on Demand apps for Apple, Amazon, and Roku devices and Samsung Smart TV. 

The New York Philharmonic has cancelled the rest of their performances for the season, but they are now offering virtual archival recordings through a new portal, NY Phil Plays On. And, every Thursday evening, a past performance will be streamed on their Facebook page

Culture shock? From talks and interviews to concerts and behind-the-scenes snippets, many of the neighborhood’s cultural institutions have great content online. We know it’s not the same as being in a concert hall, but you can watch and listen from the comfort of home right now:

Are you a fan of Broadway? Bring the live theatre experience to your home with Broadway HD! Broadway HD is a streaming service that features your favorite musicals, Shakespeare shows, foreign theatre performances, and more. It's available on iOS, AppleTV, Android, Roku, Amazon Firestick, and the Web. The streaming service offers a 7-day free trial. Regular service is $8.99 per month (plus tax) or $99.99 per year (plus tax). 

Do you miss going to the movie theater? Film at Lincoln Center is bringing a cinematic experience to your personal TV! Film at Lincoln Center is offering audiences a chance to watch three movies from home: the 2019 Brazilian film BACURAU, the 2019 Romanian crime thriller The Whistlers, and the 2019 Portuguese film Vitalina Varela. Tickets are $12 each and proceeds will go directly towards supporting Film at Lincoln Center. Likewise, the group New Plaza Cinema is offering movie rental streaming options of some independent and foriegn films through its website. Choose from titles including Zombi Child, The Wild Goose Lake, and others for a three-day rental or rent films including Sorry We Missed You or The Woman Who Loves Giraffes for a five-day rental. 

The American Folk Art Museum (AFAM) may be temporarily closed, but you can stay connected to AFAM through their online collection and online videos. Use their free resources, dive into their magazine archives or learn about self-taught artists like Ralph Fasanella. You can even create your own artwork by following AFAM's Drawing Guide. Do you need some new music to add to your playlist? Check out this Spotify playlist featuring artists from AFAM's Free Music Friday series. 

The Museum of Art & Design (MAD) has opened up an Online Learning Lab while they are temporarily closed. Check out videos and articles on designers and artists as well as observe work from MAD's own collection. 

There's no better way to pass time than with a good book. If you have been looking for something new to read, but are trying to skip the lines and practice social distancing, the New York Public Library (NYPL) has got you covered! While all NYPL branches are closed until at least March 31, you can still check out some of the wonder digital resources from NYPL's E-Book Central. Download SimplyE app to access over 300,000 e-books of all genres, listen to audiobooks and access additional resources with your library card (you can also apply for a library card if you don't have one through the app). You can check out up to three e-books/audiobooks at a time, return them once you’ve finished and check out more. In addition to e-books and audiobooks, the NYPL offers an array of other digital resources. Check out Flipster for free access to more than 100 popular magazines or try NYPL’s Digital Collection to access over 800,000 photographs, illustrations, maps, manuscripts, and more.


It’s hard to stay active while stuck at home all day and gyms and fitness centers are closed. Luckily, CorePower Yoga is offering free yoga classes for everyone while their studios are temporarily closed until at least March 30. The yoga classes can be accessed through CorePower Yoga on Demand. New classes at various levels (CorePower 1, CorePower 2, Sculpt, Hot Power Fusion and meditation) will be available every week to help keep up practice from home. Now is the perfect time to support the health and wellbeing of your body and mind!

lululemon has launched a page for their Community Carries On initative, #thesweatlife online community. This page is a hub for sweat sessions and mindfulness practices straight from lululemon trainers and partners to help you stay connected, harness collective energy, and maybe even make new friends along the way. Click here to view #thesweatlife online community page

The West Side YMCA is also here to help you, your family, and the entire community stay active and engaged while they are temporarily closed. They are now offering an online resource - YMCA @ Home. With workouts focused on stretching and yoga, conditioning and strength, meditation and relaxation and cardio, there's options for everyone. And, they even have specific exercises designated for older adults. YMCA fitness instructors will bring the Y to you with exercise routines that will keep you healthy & active from the comfort of your own living room!

Equinox has temporarily closed their two Lincoln Square locations, but they are offering free workout classes via their Instagram page. Try exercises that focus on abs, total body, or even jump roping! 


Looking for resources to provide educational entertainment to your children? NYPL offers a variety of tools for parents, teens and kids to utilize online. Click here to view all the tools and resources available for parents and kids of all ages. Use your time inside as an opportunity to catch up on your reading or to share a book or learning experience with your children or loved ones.

Sesame Workshop's Caring for Each Other initiative is supporting families during the coronavirus pandemic with new content featuring Sesame Street friends sharing messages of love & kindness, playful learning activities and virtual play dates. Click here for free resources designed to help provide comfort, create routines, and keep families physically and mentally healthy.

Each week, the Met Opera will be offering one opera specially selected for our young audience members around the globe, along with opportunities to learn more about the production and hear from some of the artists who helped make it happen. Designed to support teachers, students, and families working and learning remotely during the Covid-19 crisis, this program offers daily live events between Monday and Wednesday that are aimed at deepening your understanding of the opera. Then, between Wednesday and Friday, you can tune in to view the opera—and apply everything you’ve learned! Click here to check out the Met Opera's Free Student Streams. 

Fun at Home is a free new digital platform to provide safe, fun, and entertaining virtual activities for New York City’s teens and young adults. The campaign combines city and community resources to engage teens who are at home during the COVID-19 crisis, and also provides tips to cope with the public and mental health challenges that may arise during this difficult time. Users can access to dozens of diverse activities, including exercise videos, SAT practice sessions, and links to free NBA League Pass and Mario Kart tournaments. 

Find joy while doing art at home! Here are some amazing FREE COLORING PAGES from Color Me Mine! Art can help reduce depression and anxiety and help boost your mood. Go ahead and get creative!

Is your child a future scientist? Check out Ology, a science website for kids by the American Museum of Natural History! The website is full of games, stories, activities and videos on subjects relating to biology, human cultures, and Earth and space. 


Many other cultural organizations and businesses around the City and rest of the country are offering virtual activities and programming during this period. Below are some highlights from beyond our borders:

We will continue to provide updates as more businesses and organizations offer virtual activities and programs to the public during this time. And, check out the LSBID Events Calendar for a variety of virtual events that may be of interest. 

Original Post: 3.17.20; updated regularly

Photo credit: Filip Wolak