While the world isn’t coming to an end just yet, it sure feels like it for many people stuck inside their homes during the coronavirus pandemic. Whether you are going stir-crazy or your kids are getting cabin fever, here are some of the best entertainment options available for such a time as this. The best part – most of them are free!
New Movie Premieres in Your Home
Since no one is going to the movie theaters, the movies are now coming to you! Some movie just started playing before theater doors got slammed shut. Others haven’t arrived yet, but will bypass movie theaters altogether. While some movies will be pretty pricey to rent (up to $20) others will be included free with your streaming service subscription. New movies will be streaming on such services as iTunes, Google Play, Prime Video Cinema, Disney+, Netflix, etc. Some services are offering special deals too. For example, you can try Netflix out for free for 30 days.
Here’s what’s available now or coming soon:
- Available Now: Frozen II (Disney+ only), Onward, The Way Back, Birds of Prey, Bloodshot, Emma, The Hunt, The Invisible Man, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Just Mercy
- March 27: I Still Believe
- March 31: The Lovebirds (Netflix only), Sonic the Hedgehog
- April 3: Onward (Disney+)
- April 10: Trolls World Tour
Watch Movies with Friends Remotely
Now you can go to the movies with your friends without actually seeing them. Netflix offers a “party” feature where you can watch any of the service’s content with friends with a special chat feature so you can comment while you watch. As long as you and your friends have Netflix accounts, this service is free.
Free Faith-Based Movies
Revelation Media’s new animated film, The Pilgrim’s Progress is streaming free for families (in nine languages!) until April 30, 2020. As a book, The Pilgrim’s Progress has been translated into over 200 languages, has never been out of print, and has sold over 200 million copies – more copies than any Christian book, next to the Bible.
You also might want to check out Vid Angel or Pure Flix for thousands of movies and TV series choices. Vid Angel is offering everything on its’ site for free until April 30th and you can try Pure Flix for free for a week.
Quibi is Free for Limited Time
Stuff for the Kids
Amazon is offering a treasure trove of options for kids and teens. Amazon Prime Video is presenting many children’s TV series and movies and Audible.com (an Amazon company) is also providing many audiobooks to listen to free of charge.
There are also a variety of celebrities offering free story times for kids and families as well including:
- Josh Gad: The voice of Olaf from Disney’s Frozen tells tales every night on his Twitter feed.
- The Screen Actors Guild Foundation: Featuring various celebrities like Chris Pine, Kristin Bell and Rita Moreno reading children’s books at Storyline Online. Especially good is Betty White reading about Harry the Dirty Dog.
- Save with Stories: offers storytimes on Instagram with such readers as Jimmy Fallon, Demi Lovato and Jennifer Garner.
Remote Game Time Around the World
Jackbox Games offers a variety of fun party games for adults that can be played together remotely using your cell phones and a service like Steam, Apple TV and Nintendo Switch. Right now they are offering the game Drawful 2 for free during this virus madness. The game is super fun, but is not meant for little ones. Other individual games are on sale as well.
In an effort to address isolation being experienced around the world, Jackbox Games released Quiplash 2 InterLASHional today on Steam for Windows/Mac/Linux. This is the first fully localized title from Jackbox Games for Germany, Italy, Spain, and France.
Check out this story from Huffington Post for more game ideas.
See a Virtual Concert
Billboard magazine is offering livestream concerts on its Facebook page with artists from Luke Bryan to Josh Groban.
Visit a Virtual Museum
Google’s Arts & Culture website offers free virtual tours of hundreds of museums all around the world. If you are an art lover, this will keep you busy for a long time.
Maybe you aren’t looking to be entertained. Maybe you just want to stress less. A new Christian meditation app called Whispers from God is offering all of its features and guided Bible meditations for free until this whole COVID-19 pandemic is all over with. Available on iOS and Android.
Don’t Forget Your Library
While many physical libraries are off limits, many offer free online services including online book and movie rentals.
Main Image: Netflix
I write about arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.