Things to do at home
Stay safe, stay at home… stay sane! We’ve gathered together tons of free resources to keep you happy and healthy at home. Read, watch, listen, exercise, relax, craft, learn!
April 6, 2020
The Library is accepting submissions for “Quaranzine: Sharing Our Stories,” a weekly collection of creative works that share and document how our community is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Everyone is invited to submit their work, from age zero to eleventy-one! Content should be appropriate for a wide audience.
Read, Watch, and Listen
Feeling like there’s nowhere to go and nothing to do? You can still visit the library from the comfort of your own home!
Berlin-Peck has plenty of ebooks, audiobooks, movies, TV shows, magazines, concerts, graphic novels, craft classes, and more–which you can download for free to keep you and your family entertained.
Our three most popular services are:
Download ebooks, audiobooks, magazines, television, movies, and children’s materials. Works on nearly any device!
Download ebooks, audiobooks, television, music, movies, comics & graphic novels, and children’s materials. No waiting for holds!
Access services like AcornTV, Great Courses, IndieFlix, and Qello Concerts.
Choose from thousands of ebooks and audiobooks—and download directly to your mobile device, tablet or computer! To get started, click the links, or visit your app store to download the free OverDrive, hoopla, or RBdigital app.
Each service includes different books. You can search all three at once using the library catalog. Use the “refine by” feature on the left side
There are also over a million books availability for free through the Internet Archive’s National Emergency Library!
for children & families
Visit our Library Fun @ Home Page for links to free read-alouds, activities, videos, learning resources, and, for a limited time, access to TumbleBook Library, Tumble Math, Teen BookCloud, and Audio BookCloud books & audiobooks.
Each service includes different magazines.
movies & television
You can also use your RBdigital account to stream British mysteries, dramas, and comedies from AcornTV, and pop culture favorites, box office hits, award-winning feature films, documentaries, and shorts from IndieFlix.
music & concerts
Download complete music albums for hoopla, or check out Qello for a HUGE collection of full-length concerts and music documentaries—pop, rock, alternative, oldies, classical, electronic, funk, jazz, hip hop, metal, and more.
For a limited time, through May 15, Berlin-Peck patrons can access thousands of live classical music videos through medici.tv. Enter passcode bpml20.
events & interviews
The Library of Congress has posted thousands of their events and interviews online for free!
While you’re staying at home, don’t forget to get up and move around! Exercise is important for your physical and mental health.
- Check out Orangetheory Fitness on YouTube for a new at-home workout every day
- 305 Fitness is offering cardio dance live streams twice a day on their YouTube channel
- Blink Fitness sessions weekdays at 8:00 am
- Retro Fitness sessions weekdays at 6:00 pm
- Planet Fitness sessions every day at 7:00 pm
Apps and websites
- The YMCA has launched a new on-demand exercise program, including barre, boot camp, and yoga
- Peloton is offering its app to new users for free for the next 90 days
- Gold’s Gym is offering workout videos for free through the end of May
- Crunch Live, Crunch Fitness’ online workout class portal, is now free for 45 days
- Life Time is offering free classes on demand, including kickboxing, barre, and mediation
- CorePower Yoga is offering free access to yoga and meditation classes while studios are closed
Yoga is a great way to take time for yourself, relax, and move your body—all at the same time!
- Yoga with Adriene (YouTube)
- Yoga (OverDrive)—unlimited downloads, may have wait time
- Yoga (hoopla)—5 downloads per month, no waiting
Mindfulness is a way to relax and deal with stress by maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment, through a gentle, nurturing lens.
The University of San Diego Center for Mindfulness is hosting free daily mindfulness sessions.
Psychology Today has an excellent article on how mindfulness can help calm the anxiety we’re all feeling in the face of this pandemic.
The Child Mind Institute recently published a great article on How Mindfulness Can Help During COVID-19. Remember to take time each day to relax and center yourself, and try to limit multi-tasking.
Here are a few exercises from the article, to help you relax:
- Squeeze Muscles: Starting at your toes, pick one muscle and squeeze it tight. Count to five. Release, and notice how your body changes. Repeat exercise moving up your body.
- Belly Breathing: Put one hand on your stomach and one hand on your chest. Slowly breathe in from your stomach (expand like a balloon) and slowly breathe out (deflate).
- Mindful Meal: Pay attention to the smell, taste and look of your food. No multitasking.
- Meditation: Sit in a relaxed, comfortable position. Pick something to focus on, like your breath. When your mind wanders, bring your attention back to your breath.
- Blowing Bubbles: Notice their shapes, textures and colors.
- Coloring: Color something. Focus on the colors and designs.
- Listening to Music: Focus on the whole song, or listen specifically to the voice or an instrument.
From the Mayo Clinic: Kristin Lohman discusses managing anxiety by practicing mindfulness and meditation.
Watch a guided meditation:
Watch a “bubble blowing” breathing exercise for children:
Mindfulness books available for download with your library card:
Can’t make it outside to enjoy nature? Bring nature inside with one of these live webcams. Relaxing, interesting, and adorable!
- Explore Live Nature Cams
- International Wolf Center web cams
- Times Square
- Earth Cam
- Old Faithful
- Sea Otters
Need to lift your mood? Try reading something funny.
- Humor on OverDrive (available now)
- Humor on hoopla
Visit a museum
- The Hartford Courant has put together an extensive list of museums and galleries you can visit from home!
- Google Arts & Culture takes you on a breathtaking virtual journey to museums across the world. Over 12,000 international museums are available to be explored.
- The Met is livestreaming of operas every evening.
Visit the zoo
- Cincinnati Zoo is hosting a “safari” on Facebook Live, weekdays at 3:00 pm. They will highlight one of their amazing animals and include an activity you can do from home! You can also watch previous videos.
- Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is hosting virtual classrooms on Facebook Live, weekdays at 11:00 am and 1:00 pm.
- Woodland Park Zoo will be posting a weekly activity to help families create innovative and educational play time at home.
- Enjoying Nature from the Berlin Land Trust provides clever ideas that encourage you to broaden your awareness and understanding of the outdoor world all around you. Heidi’s helpful suggestions will potentially expand your appreciation for nature, whether it’s in your own backyard, on a local hiking trail, or in a state park forest.
Learn at Home
- The Great Courses Library Subscription!
Thousands of in-depth videos on subjects like; Science, History, Travel, Health & Wellness, Professional Development, Photography, Cooking and much more.
Crafts and DIY
- Creativebug Library Subscription!
Watch more than 1,000 award-winning art & craft video classes taught by recognized design experts and artists.
User-created instructions for circuits, crafts, cooking, living, and outdoors—plus workshops and classroom projects!
- Chilton Auto Repair
Get the detailed information you need to tackle vehicle maintenance and repairs, including step-by-step service and repair procedures, labor estimating, diagrams, close-up photographs and illustrations, and ASE test prep quizzes for the most popular certification exams.
- Homemade Face Masks
The CDC says that homemade face masks ARE NOT a substitute for N95masks or surgical masks. However,when these supplies are impossible to get, homemade masks ARE better than nothing. If you can sew, you may want to consider making some for yourself or others or to donate.
- Mango Languages Library Subscription!
Learn a new language with easy daily lessons! Pick from 64 different languages, including English as a Second Langage (ESL). Mango even has an auto-play mode for learning in your car.
Learn the basics of computer programming using interactive tools.
Learn to code, build projects, and earn certifications.
While they are free to use, some of these university courses also offer paid versions that will earn you school credits, professional certificates, or even degrees.
An open online university founded by Harvard and MIT, with courses from over 120 institutions, including discussion boards and quizzes. Courses are free to audit (watch videos and join discussions) for a limited period.
- MIT OpenCourseWare
Virtually all MIT course content, including lectures, lecture notes, homework assignments, sample tests and many other materials from the actual courses at MIT.
- Khan Academy
Classes in math, science, engineering, arts, humanities—at preschool to high school levels. Also includes college test prep.