All products are independently selected by our editors. If you buy something, we may earn an affiliate commission.
The isolation period is well underway for many people. Hey, we’ve lost count of the days at this point but it’s absolutely essential we all do our bit to stay home to save lives and protect the incredible NHS. All the days may be rolling into one and it often becomes difficult to differentiate between work and play but to keep your mental health in check, it helps to make a list of activities and tasks you’ve been meaning to tackle for months and *actually* get them done.
Nailed your at-home wardrobe, figured out your WFH routine, how to co-exist with your partner and even make tinned meals? Well done you. You’ve probably rewarded your efforts with a good Netflix sessions, binge-watching your favourite rom-coms, sad movies, films and maybe even dipped your toe in some Korean drama (trust us, try one).
Still bored? You won’t be after you’ve perused this article. We’ve rounded up fun things to do at home and some brilliant ways you can spend your time indoors that are a little more exciting than watching your freshly-painted wall dry, from cheese tasting to virtual beach cams and even making your own crazy golf course. There’s something for people living alone, those looking for a romantic evening in with a loved one and fun things to do with the family. You’re welcome.
1. Read a book
Whether you have time off work or simply find yourself with more time on your hands, there’s no better excuse to curl up with that book you’ve been meaning to read from last summer. Or you could try one of the hot new book releases for 2020.
2. Download Disney +
If you’ve not got your hands on a Disney+ UK subscription yet, now is most definitely the time. Brits finally have access to a library of all the Disney for the first time ever, from popular classics (Dumbo, we <3 you) to TV shows and new releases. And if you sign up now, you can get a seven-day free trial. That’s seven days of FREE DISNEY to enjoy while you self isolate and relax. Dreamy.
3. Join a virtual ‘day out’
Let’s Day Out is launching ‘Let’s Day In’ (see what they did there?) to all IOS users with an array of events that will be available to them to do – and all virtually. You can enjoy live cooking demonstrations, virtual parties, art classes, workout sessions led by trainers, themed online meetups etc. The events will be free-of-charge to the public, but all users will have the option to donate £1.00 to the World Health Organisation to help them find a cure for COVID-19 with their COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.
4. Tidy the house
*Collective eye roll* but hear us out. Tidying and deep-cleaning your space will not only get rid of harmful dust, dirt and germs, but it’ll put you in a clearer headspace. So, chuck on your favourite playlist, wash those throws and cushion covers, hoover right into those corners and take the bloody bins out. We’ve rounded up some chic storage solutions if you’re in the market for some new ones. You’ll feel better for it, promise. Plus, you can totally reward yourself with a glass of wine afterwards.
5. Sort through your wardrobe
That old band t-shirt gathering dust in the back of your wardrobe? Those sequinned denim shorts you haven’t worn since Glasto 2015? It’s time to get rid, huns. Grab some strong bin bags and get closet culling. It’ll make you feel wonderfully cleansed, and your local charity shops will be very grateful for donations (make sure it’s in a saleable condition though; anything with holes or stains should be recycled instead). The same goes for the rest of your home, too – most charity shops are super grateful for bric-a-brac, no matter how small or cheap. Find charity shops near you at charityretail.org.uk.
6. Join a Harry Potter-esque potion making class
Harry Potter mad? Hogwarts Is Here is an online social network created by fans who are now hosting live Harry Potter-esque classes. You sign up, choose your house and enrol in classes such as Potions, Charms, Transfiguration, Astronomy, History of Magic, Defense Against the Dark Arts, and Herbology. Magic!
7. Sign up to a virtual wine tasting
Yes, we are missing Saturday nights at the pub, too. Thank goodness, then, that Pull The Cork has teamed up with Elliot Awin to host virtual wine tasting sessions via Instagram live. All you need to do is order one of the isolation cases on Pull The Cork’s website and sip along at the weekend. Elliot really makes an event of his sessions, inviting famous faces and wine makers to join the live as he talks guests through the various wines; he’s even started sharing recipes for food pairings ahead of time. On Saturday at 7pm, Elliot is doing a wine tasting takeover on one of our favourite fashion brand, Rixo’s account. Emma Louise Connolly will be dropping in, along with a couple of other fashion related guests. Buy your bottles here and prepare for a fashionable, booze-fuelled affair. Remember when you said you wanted to learn a new skill in quarantine?
8. Organise your beauty cabinet
If you’re anything like us, your current bathroom shelf situation is a mess of fake tan spills, near-empty serums and old lipsticks. Check out this make-up organising hack and get sorting. Added bonus: you can take a chic shelfie for the ‘gram afterwards.
While you’re at it, clean those make-up brushes. Yes, they can be a faff to clean, but dirty make-up brushes are an absolute breeding ground for bacteria. “If you are one of those people that does all the right things and yet can’t understand why you have rashes and spots, take a look at the tools you use to apply your products with,” says Lynne Sanders, cosmetic scientist and founder of Cosmetics a La Carte. Here’s our step-by-step guide on how to clean your make-up brushes.
Oh, and don’t forget your straighteners/ curlers. Yes, really. Get cleaning those hair tools people.
9. Join a live gin music festival
You might not be able to kick back in a field sipping on your favourite gin but The Cotswolds Distillery is bringing weekly gin and whisky Distillery Sessions to your home live from their Facebook page, with musicians from across the globe. Cheers to that.
10. Join a mindful happy hour
If you’re trying to cut back on the alcohol, instead of reaching for a glass of wine or G&T why not try your hand at low and no mindful cocktails? Join Camille Vidal, founder of La Maison Wellness for her Mindful Happy Hour Instagram live every Friday at 5pm. Bringing all the flavours and celebratory elements of a cocktail without the inclusion of strong alcohol, Camille’s masterclass teaches you how to make mindful cocktails and low-abv alternatives of your favourite tipples. Camille offers pro-tips and bartenders secrets for you to hone your cocktail-making-skills and teaches you how to become a Healthy Hedonist.
11. Start gardening
Okay, you’ve cleaned every corner of your gaff, had that glass of wine and hung up your Marigolds. No more cleaning for you. Now, why not turn your hand to gardening? Tons of studies recently have shown the benefits of gardening for our mental health (so much so that horticultural therapy is said to help treat depression and anxiety), and you don’t even need a garden to get started; even the smallest of balconies or terraces can be used for a herb garden. Or stay indoors and become a loving houseplant mum – there’s a helpful guide to houseplants at rhs.org.uk.
12. Cook up a storm
Cooking is wonderfully therapeutic, too. Batch cook some of your favourite recipes or turn to one the best cookbooks for recipe inspiration. Can’t be bothered to buy your own ingredients? Call on a meal delivery service to send them to your front door.
13. Get your bath time self-care game on
Light your favourite candles, run a bubble bath, get that face mask on – your self-care game is about to be its strongest yet. Think ‘at-home-spa’.
14. Improve your posture
We all know that the amount of time we spend sitting down in our daily lives is not doing our bodies any favours and working from home in the current isolation period isn’t helping.
Being locked in one position for many hours of the day is the total opposite of what the human body has evolved to do and this makes our joints and muscles unhappy.
Why not enlisted the expert advice of Postural Alignment Therapist, Posture Ellie (@posture.ellie), who shares simple videos you can follow at home to improve your posture? Check out her YouTube here.
15. Crack the games out
It’s time to show some love to that jigsaw puzzle your aunt Karen bought you for Christmas 2010. Or challenge your SO/ flatmate/ mum to a game of six-hour, relationship-testing Monopoly. Shotgun the thimble.
16. Listen to a podcast
To say that podcasts are having a moment is a massive understatement. Whether it’s to have a serious LOL or be inspired in your career, there’s never been a better time to plug in to some juicy conversations. There’s a hell of a lot to choose from, but fear not, because here’s our pick of the best podcasts out there.
16. Binge all your ‘to-watch’ list on Netflix
Whether it’s catching up on all the new Love Is Blind dramz or starting one of Netflix’s new drops, now is the time to snuggle up in front of the telly without a care in the world. You could even tackle one of those epic binge-worthy TV series you keep meaning to start…
17. Do a home workout
‘I be up in the lounge just working on my fitness’, as Fergie would say. There’s plenty of exercises you can do sans gym; just check out our round-up of the best at-home workouts.
18. Nap. Nap till your heart’s content
After that sweat sesh, you deserve a little lie down. And really, when was the last time you actually had time to nap? And aren’t naps one of life’s greatest pleasures? So, go forth, get cosy and have a delicious little nap. You so deserve it.
19. Paint your nails
Honestly, hear us out. We know you’re missing your favourite salons right now, but doing your own nails can be pretty therapeutic. If you’ve not yet mastered the at-home mani, why not take this time to try doing your own gel nails at home?
20. Marie Kondo the sh*t out of your phone
Those emails from Domino’s? That recipe app you downloaded and literally never used? Those 500 accidental screenshots of your home-screen? They are using precious phone storage and now is your chance to go on a deleting spree. Boy bye.
21. Call your friends and fam
Just because you’re a nice person. Here are all the best video technology options for staying in touch.
22. Host your own cheese tasting sesh
Just because you can’t get out to your favourite Italian doesn’t mean you need to skip your next cheese fix. The Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company are on hand to deliver you genuine cheddar to your front door. Cheese lovers up and down the country can support the business by taking advantage of their speedy courier delivery service just in time for the weekend. A brie-lliant idea (sorry!).
23. Enjoy a literary festival from the comfort of your own home
Fill your spare time by watching sessions from talks at Cliveden Literary Festival, the literary salon of the 21st century which takes place annually at the magnificent Berkshire English country house. Enjoy sessions including The Art Of The Novel with Howard Jacobson, Ian McEwan, Kate Mosse, Ben Okri and Leila Slimani; Emotional Education with Alain de Botton; Britain’s Sharpest Airhead with Emily Maitlis and many more.
24. Live stream a beach cam
Just because your holiday got cancelled doesn’t mean you have to miss waking up to the sound of waves. America’s iconic and historic beachfront hotel “The Del” is one of the few surviving examples of an American wooden Victorian beach resort. See the crashing waves, ocean breezes, and beaming sunshine from afar with The Del’s live beach cams which offer a glimpse of the breathtaking views seen from Hotel del Coronado. Tune in here.
25. Watch some great theatre
The National Theatre will broadcast some of its most popular productions for free during the lockdown every Thursday night at 7pm. The new two-month National Theatre at Home programme kicks off with One Man, Two Guvnors, the Richard Bean comedy starring James Corden. Each show will be available on demand for seven days.
26. Get green fingered
Now is the perfect time to pot up some herbs and vegetables – and you don’t even need a garden or a balcony to do so. You can grow a variety of herbs, salad leaves, spinach, potatoes and carrots in containers and it makes life easier when you can’t get to the supermarket. Order some seedlings and equipment in from dobies.co.uk and seedsofitaly.com.
27. Work on your wellness, on-demand
Missing your weekly yoga class? In pain and can’t see your physio? Wellness app Urban is launching a temporary online home for live-streamed, one-to-one fitness, physio, yoga and mindfulness. The service aims to support Urban’s community of self-employed, mobile practitioners, by providing them with a safe way to earn from home; and users an easy way to stay active and well. Named ‘The stay at home club’, the new category on the app and urban.co features private, live-streamed classes and sessions delivered by two-way video and are conducted by qualified Urban professionals from their own homes. If you’re dubious about following YouTuber and ‘influencer’ advice, this is the professional help you’ve been searching for.
28. Try your hand at Sourdough
Anyone else’s Insta feeds rife with people whipping up their own bread? If you want to jump on the bandwagon, Tara Jensen’s Instagram account is worth a follow. She documents her bread making journey, step-by-step. Plus, it means we don’t need to steal it all from the supermarket when there’s people more in need of it.
29. Get a roast dinner delivered to your door
Missing your Sunday roast down your local pub? Thankfully some of London’s best chefs are still delivering roast dinners to your door. Design My Night has listed all the eateries offering doorstep Yorkshire puddings. Yaas.
30. Host a fondue or pizza making night
Who doesn’t love gooey, melted cheese? We’ll wait. If you want to re-create the Alps in your kitchen, Jimmy Garcia is lending you his kit, along with all the ingredients, fuel and recipes so you can have your own fondue party with his cast iron fondue sets. He delivers on Fridays, and collects the equipment on the following Tuesday. Find out more here. Not into cheese? Make you own stonebaked pizza using his micro wood fired pizza ovens.
31. Take a virtual Harry Potter tour
A live tour guide sorts you into a Hogwarts house and guides you through London via all the iconic Harry Potter landmarks.
32. Indulge in virtual karaoke
Famed karaoke bar Lucky Voice is offering people a month’s free subscription to karaoke service, head to their online karaoke player and enter code LUCKY20 then belt your heart out.
33. Play with animals online
Missing your family pet? Bring a bit of excitement and joy into a shelter animal’s day by playing with them online. Head to Petcube.com where you can control the toys in a shelter and play with the animals in real time from their app. You can also watch live animals in their natural habitat, which will whiz the hours away.
34. Play at at-home scavenger hunt
You may not be able to spend long enough outside to enjoy a scavenger hunt but Big Smoke Events have turned their fantastic group scavenger hunt into one you can play at home. They send you 12 challenges to develop the most creative social media posts you can with your wits and your smartphone which you share on social and they choose a weekly winner.
Kids (and big kids) will love this step-by-step to creating your own at-home crazy golf course from Plonk. Plus, 50% of profits from this campaign will go to The Lennox Children’s Cancer Fund.
36. Partake in at at-home bakeoff
Just because you can’t channel your inner Mary Berry at Big Bakes: the UK’s first and only live baking competition, doesn’t mean that you can’t whip up some culinary treats during isolation. The company is organising three bake-at-home classes a week via their Facebook or Instagram and you submit your culinary creations to win a chance to receive a free trip to a live class later on in the year (worth £37.50 each).
37. Become a Champagne expert
If you have always wanted to become an expert in Champagne (um, who hasn’t?) now is your chance. The Comité Champagne, the organisation that represents all Champagne houses globally, has launched its brand new online learning course, the MOOC, for wine enthusiasts, students & even sommeliers. Covering the Champagne making process, the terroir, economics, 300 year history of Champagne and crucially, tasting. Yaaas. To enhance the learning experience further, The Comité Champagne has a unique 360 VR tour of the region (available in 3D using VR headset) that you can access via app or on your desktop so you don’t even need to stress about that cancelled trip. To sign up, visit www.champagne-mooc.com, and take a virtual tour of the region here https://360.champagne.fr/
38. Curate your own at-home wine cellar
On the topic of booze, if you’ve always dreamed of having your own wine collection, or curated wine cellar (again, who hasn’t?), why not start now? Chef Sommelier of Terre Blanche, Aurélie Deharbe, shares her top tips for curating your perfect collection:
39. Perfect your floral arrangements
Flowers have the ability to transform any space (yes, your kitchen/office hybrid) and bring a smile to anyone’s face. The Dorchester hotel is known for its impeccable floral arrangements so to bring the outdoors in and make the most out of your flowers at home, the hotel’s designer florist Philip Hammond has shared his top tips:
40. Host your own Come Dine With Me
Get your family to make the most of meal times by hosting your own version of the popular show. Take a night of the week each and impress your family with a three-course meal and entertainment before judging each other’s efforts. A bit of competitive spirit will add some fun to boring dinnertimes.
41. Learn some life skills from your favourite celebrities
Join Masterclass, NOW. Dubbed the “best educational investment” you can make, it is a hub of online courses taught by experts and celebrities in any given field. In short, your favourite celebrities are finally there, on-tap, to teach you how to be good at what they do. You can nestle down for two and a half hours of Anna Wintour’s teachings on creativity and leadership, or sit back as the one and only Natalie Portman teaches you how to act. Up there with one of our favourite courses has got to be Bobbi Brown’s makeup masterclass.
42. Replicate Pret’s iconic cookies
Missing your daily Pret trip? Same. Thankfully the coffee chain has been sharing a whole host of recipes on social media under the #PretRecipeBook hashtag. The cookie recipe, in particular, is sending social media into overdrive.
43. Play virtual bingo
Dabbers Social Bingo is inviting participants to play virtual bingo every Friday; players will answer a series of questions to discover which numbers to dab off; throw in a hilarious comedian host, party tunes, and fab virtual prizes up for grabs. 10% of all ticket sales will go to support the fantastic work that Hospitality Action is doing.
44. Throw a virtual cocktail party
“Virtual Birthday Party” sounds like something out of an episode of Black Mirror (2020 has so far felt like an episode too I guess), but in response to customer demand, a cocktail company in the UK has started delivering virtual cocktail making parties by delivering cocktail making kits to customers’ doors and then hosting the tutorials through a video call to the birthday girl and her friends. Those interested in having a virtual cocktail making class order the kits on the Boozy Events website and a cocktail making kit is delivered to each person wanting to take part. Everyone joins the same video call where they can chat and interact with their dedicated mixologist. Each class will teach you how to make a menu of cocktails and prices start at just £29.99 per kit with same-day delivery available. The equipment is collected the following day so customers are free to experiment or make more of the cocktails they were taught all night.
45. Stream Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Fleabag stage show
In fantastic news: Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s stage version of Fleabag will be available to stream online, and all the proceeds will be going towards COVID-19 charities. You can watch it on Soho Theatre’s On Demand streaming website for a minimum donation of £4.
46. Learn to knit
We are Knitters, a sustainable and fashionable knitting brand, will be running free tutorials via Instagram. Tune in at 5pm on Saturday and Sunday to learn how to knit with a little help from influencer Jonahhands. The tutorials offer a great opportunity for all ages and levels to get involved with something crafty at home and is a great way to pass the time and do something creative with your afternoons.
47. Learn calligraphy
As if Sneha Narayan, a full-time doctor working in intensive care and anaesthetics during this current pandemic, wasn’t busy enough, she’s using her downtime to teach people calligraphy. She crated her Instagram page @paintpotsandquills to bring the therapeutic benefits of calligraphy and watercolour to people during isolation to encourage them to stay home and create. What a woman.
48. Indulge in a virtual facial
FaceGym is launching a range of digital solutions to keep you face fit at home. You can either rune into a masterclass hosted by FaceGym’s Trainers from London, NYC and LA, which is a 15-minute live stream class on Instagram Live @facegym that focuses on a different muscle group to tone, lift and sculpt the face. Or, if you’re feeling fancy, have a private training session with a FaceGym trainer to teach you a series of their signature muscle workout techniques. Like in-studio, each session will begin with a skin consultation, followed up a tailored warm up, cardio, sculpt and cool down for a fresh-from-the-studio look. It costs £45 for 45 minutes and you can book through FaceGym.com for a private Zoom link.
49. Rave in Ibiza (sort of…)
The one and only Glitterbox (if you know, you know) has announced a series of digital activations, including its debut Virtual Festival on Friday 17th April, with Bob Sinclar, Purple Disco Machine, Natasha Diggs, Melvo Baptiste and Dimitri From Paris taking to the decks, plus more names to be announced. No Glitterbox party would be complete without its larger-than-life production and performers, who will be appearing on the stream via video link-ups across Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Twitch. Glitterbox’s colourful squad of drag performers will also be bringing the ‘Express Yourself’ ethos to life through a series of Instagram Live sessions. If you’re already dreading missing the opening parties, this one’s for you. Sequins compulsory.
50. Join a gaming session
Facebook has introduced a new feature, Facebook Gaming Tournaments, through which anyone can join or organise an online gaming tournament so if you’re feeling lonely, log on.
Ali Pantony & Bianca London
Published on Glamour
Press team contact:
April 26, 2020
April 10, 2020