Hi! I'm Nico and these are my stories as a tech obsessed traveler who calls Sri Lanka home.

41 FREE Things To Do While Self Isolating At Home (Updated With More!)

Just because you’re stuck at home doesn’t mean you should be watching paint dry or count the number of clouds in the sky. Here are some ideas to get your mind and body going while self-isolating at home for the cool price of FREE.99.
In This Post

HEALTH & WELLNESS

While gyms and health clubs around the world have shuttered in the wake of the current pandemic, the fitness industry has gravitated to providing workouts in the comfort of your own home.

7-Minute High-Intensity Circuit Routine (YouTube)

7-minute workout routine / YouTube

I have this video saved on my phone so I can bust it any time that I need a solid heart-pumping workout. The routine involves 12 different exercises of 30 seconds each with short breaks in the middle that last a total of 7 minutes.

You don’t need any equipment but space and a chair/block for step-ups and chair dips. Repeat as many times as you need! The most consecutive circuits I’ve been able to do is 3 so see if you can beat me!

►► Access the workout video here.

Yoga With Adrienne (YouTube)

Home – Day 26 – Keep | 30 Days of Yoga With Adriene / YouTube

For all the yogis in the house along with beginners curious about yoga, head on over to Yoga With Adriene, an extremely popular yoga focused YouTube channel with 6.5+ million subscribers. This is my wife’s channel of choice when it comes at-home yoga!

►► Access the channel video here.

Nike Training Club Premium (US Only)

For those of you in the U.S., the popular Nike Training Club Premium subscription is now free to further boost an active and healthy lifestyle at home. The app contains classes on-demand workouts, programs, and expert tips on nutrition and sleep.

►► Access the Nike Training Club here.


BOOKS & MEDIA

If you want to give your eyes a workout more/in addition to your body, here are some free reading resources for you to tap into.

30 Days Free Trial With Scribd

Scribd is an audiobook and eBook subscription service with a huge catalog of reading material on a wide variety of topics. They even have popular magazines such as Time and Newsweek for you to read. For a limited time, they are offering a 30-day free trial to access their entire catalog!

►► Access Scribd here. 30 days free trial offer valid for new sign-ups until April 17, 2020.

Free Sesame Street Books For Kids

Sesame Workshop, the non-profit organization behind the timeless show ‘Sesame Street’ has graciously has made a lot of its content free for children and families. This includes over 110 eBooks being made free on all major eBook platforms including Amazon Kindle and Apple Books.

►► Access free Sesame Street eBooks on all major eBook platforms, such as Amazon Kindle.

Free Books On Apple Books (US Only)

Apple Books on MacOS

If you have an iOS device or a Mac, fire up Apple Books to download some free books courtesy of Apple.

►► More information about Apple Books can be found here.

Free 60-Day Trial of ComiXology (US Only)

Amazon-owned online comics platform Comixology has recently increased the free trial of their ComiXology Unlimited subscription service from 30 to 60 days giving you enough time to engross yourself in the worlds of Spiderman and Batman with over 25,000 digital comics in their archives.

►► Sign up for the free 60-day trial of ComiXology Unlimited here. Offer valid to US residents only.

Free Comics From Marvel Unlimited (US Only)

Marvel’s official comic subscription service Marvel Unlimited is now offering free access to a select number of their famed series from the likes of The Avengers, Spider-Man, and Black Widow free of charge via their Marvel Unlimited app until May 4, 2020, no sign-up or subscription required!

►► Start reading free comics with Marvel Unlimited for iOS and Android. Offer valid for App Store and Play Store accounts in the US only.


CREATIVE PRO SOFTWARE

Calling all digital creatives! Here are some sweet deals on professional software for audio, video, and image editing.

Final Cut Pro X and Logic Pro X Free For 90 Days (Mac Only)

Apple’s pro software for video and audio editing, Final Cut Pro X and Logic Pro X, are now offering extended 90-day trials allowing you to edit your next movie making masterpiece or first hit song for free. Final Cut Pro X has been my video editing software of choice and it is so cool that Apple is extending its usual trial for this slick piece of software.

►► Access the Final Cut Pro X trial here and Logic Pro X trial here.

Affinity Design Suite Free For 90 Days

Attention digital designers! Adobe rivals Serif are offering 90-day trials of their flagship design Suite – Affinity Publisher, Affinity Photo, and Affinity Designer apps for MacOS, Windows and iPad.

I’ve been meaning to find a good alternative to Adobe Illustrator because I didn’t want to get stuck with the subscription fee and Affinity Designer looks like it is going to fit the bill. If you like any of the apps, Serif is also offering 50% off on the desktop and iPad versions for a limited time!

►► Access the Affinity 90-Day trial here.


UPSKILLING

Schools, universities, and training centers closed? No problem! Learn a new skill online to level up at work or be able to do something that you have always wanted to do.

Free Professional Photography Online Classes

Featuring over 1,100+ online courses for all things professional photography, the Professional Photographers of America has got your back if you want to step up your stills game.

►► Access the online classes here.

Free Multi-Disciplinary Online Classes

Udemy (disclaimer: personal affiliate link) is undoubtedly the largest on-demand online learning marketplace with over 50 million students taking classes on the platform. In response to the pandemic, the learning platform has recently launched a Free Resource center featuring 150+ free courses. In addition, you can find more free classes that are not widely advertised using UdemyFreeCourses.org.

►► Access the official Udemy Free Resource Center here and find more free classes on Udemy here.

Free Month Of Technology Skills Learning With PluralSight

Beef up or pick up new technology skills in software development, cybersecurity, and IT ops with Pluralsight’s 7,000+ courses led by subject and industry experts for free all of April with no credit card required.

►► Access Pluralsight here for free all of April

Free Technology Skills eBooks

h/t to my colleague Livia!

Manning books is offering several technical eBooks on programming, web design, and data science for free until May 30, 2020, including the latest edition of their best seller “Hello World! Computer Programming for kids and other beginners”.

►► Get free eBooks from Manning here until May 30, 2020.

Free Business Entrepreneurship Training Course

Entrepreneur and podcaster Pat Flynn has made his “Smart from Scratch” course free (usually $249) to help those on the ropes about entrepreneurship and looking to launch a new business. The course features a ton of videos on testing your ideas and even tutorials on how to build your own brand.

►► Access “Smart from Scratch” here.


FOR KIDS & TEACHERS

The educational landscape has been turned upside down with the pandemic with many school-aged children forced to be homeschooled for the rest of the school year. Use the following tools to keep teachers and students connected and learning outside of the classroom.

Free K-12 Course Content With Khan Academy

Khan Academy has been at the forefront of distance learning since 2008 and the pandemic has made the non-profit even more invaluable to teachers, parents, and students. Due to the enormous strain from the increased demand, Khan Academy is soliciting donations to keep their servers running.

►► Start free classes on Khan Academy here.

Students Learn A New Language For 3 Months Free

Online language learning platform Rosetta Stone is offering 3-months free access to students who want to learn a new foreign language such as Japanese, Hindi, and Mandarin.

►► Start Rosetta Stone for students here.

Free Reading Mobile App (iOS Only)

Duolingo ABC – Learn To Read / Apple App Store

Duolingo, the folks behind the popular free language-learning mobile application of the same name has launched Duolingo ABC for iOS to help your child learn to read.

►► Download Duolingo ABC (iOS) here.

Free Video Conferencing For K-12 Teachers & Students

Video conferencing company Zoom has gained so much mindshare as a great way for everyone to be in touch with each other during the pandemic via video. Heck, even my in-laws have started using it!

Zoom has recently lifted the 40-minute meeting restriction on free accounts for K-12 teachers and students around the world to host your next virtual classroom. However, keep in mind that their privacy policy is a little suspect.

►► Start your first Zoom call here.

Free Audiobooks For Kids

Audiobook giant Audible (owned by Amazon) has released hundreds of free audiobooks for kids in several languages including the first Harry Potter book narrated by none other than Stephen Fry without the need for signing up or credit cards.

►► Starting listening to Audible here.


GROUP CHAT & SOCIAL GAMES

I’ve made more video calls in the last 10 days than I have in the last 10 years. Frankly, I really enjoyed them as the world retreated to asynchronous text-based communication pre-pandemic. You can do much more than talk over video so here are a few ideas to jazz up your next video call.

So Many Video Chat Apps To Choose From!

Group video call with my in-laws via Zoom

There is an abundance of video calling apps to make you dizzy. At the end of the day, the app you choose will depend on how big of a video call you plan on having. Here are the video call participant limits on popular messaging apps for unlimited video calling:

NOTE: I’m not including Zoom on this list because they impose a 40-minute restriction on group calls unless you are a K-12 teacher or student.

Words With Friends 2

If you have a bunch of competitive friends, Words with Friends 2 is a perfect way to ignite that competitive fire while social distancing with this popular scrabble-like turn based mobile game.

►► Download Words With Friends 2 for iOS and Android

Video Chat & Play Games With Houseparty

Image Courtesy of The Verge

If you want to combine video calling and fun group games then Houseparty is for you and up to 7 of your friends to video chat and play games like Heads Up. This app has my wife’s seal of approval! 😃

►► Download Houseparty for mobile and desktop here.

Virtual Netflix Viewing Party (Desktop Only)

This ingenious Google Chrome extension allows you to watch Netflix videos with your friends through synchronized playback and even offers a group chat.

►► Start your Netflix Party here.


VIRTUAL TOURS

You can travel the world in a social distancing approved manner in the comfort of your own living room.

Tours Of International Museums

Virtual tour of the Sistine Chapel

While the world’s most prestigious museums are shut, you can pay them a virtual visit (without the score of so many other visitors!) with immersive tours of their most popular pieces. Museums such as the Louvre, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, and The Vatican Museum all offer virtual 360° tours that you can take at your own pace.

►► Head on over to Good Housekeeping for a list of museums offering virtual tours here

Live Cameras Of Zoos

Wolong Grove Panda Cam powered by EXPLORE.org / YouTube

I was surprised to see how many zoos around the world had live cams of their cutest residents. If you need to observe species other than humans for a change, a zoo’s life feed can entertain you for hours!

►► Head on over to Good Housekeeping for a list of zoos offering live feeds here

Explore.org – Worlds Largest Live Nature Network

If you want to visit the motherload of live nature live cams, Explore.org will keep you and your kids entertained for days live camera feeds, documentaries and pictures of the best nature on display around the world.

►► Head on over to Explore.org here.

Curated City Tours

10 Iconic NYC Restaurants To Visit When Social Distancing Is Over | Legendary Eats Marathon / YouTube

Travelers all over the world are grounded for now 😢but that doesn’t mean you can’t start planning your next trip once this is all over. I’m planning to head to New York City as soon as it is safe too and found tons of great up to date content on YouTube on things I can do and munch on while I’m there.

►► Planning to head to the Big Apple (NYC) in the near future? Then this video on the city’s best restaurants is mouth-gasmic.


ON-DEMAND STREAMING SHOWS/MOVIES

For all the couch potatoes out there, I’ve got you covered with some not so common streaming options for you to binge on while self-isolating.

Free 30 Day Trial Of CBS All Access (US Only)

CBS joined threw their hat into the video streaming wars way back in 2014 with CBS All Access and the service has found recent success with the CBS exclusive show ‘Picard’ (of Star Trek fame). For a limited time, enjoy an extended 30-day trial of the streaming service if you live in the US.

►► Start your 30-day trial with CBS All Access here valid for all new subscribers until April 23, 2020.

Free 30 Day Trial Of Showtime (US Only)

Showtime, home of hit shows such as ‘Homeland’ and ‘Billions’ has also extended their free trial from 7 to 30 days for viewers in the U.S.

►► Start your 30-day trial with Showtime here valid for all new subscribers in the US.

Free 30 Day Trial Of Acorn TV

Acorn TV is a video streaming service featuring the best British TV. They, too, have extended their free trial to 30-days in regions where the service is available.

►► Start your 30-day trial with AcornTV here and use code FREE30 at sign-up. Valid for all new subscribers where the service is available.

Free 90 Day Trial Of Quibi (US Only)

Recently launched mobile-only streaming service Quibi (short for ‘Quick Bites’) is offering a 90-day trial with over 50 original shows featuring Chrissy Teigen, Chris Hemsworth, and Sophie Turner.

Initial reviews of the new service has been lukewarm so far so it is best you see it for yourself with this long trial.

►► Sign up for Quibi here for a free 90-day trial

Oprah Talks COVID-19 (iOS/MacOS Only)

Oprah Talks COVID-19 / Apple TV

If you need another humanity focused angle of the whole COVID-19 pandemic, who better to give you that perspective than the Queen of day time television herself – Oprah Winfrey. She signed a multi-year deal to produce content for Apple’s streaming service Apple TV+ her latest show on the network can be seen for free by anyone who owns an iOS device or MacOS enabled computer, no subscription required.

►► Stream ‘Oprah Talks COVID-19’ on Apple TV here

Free Select Apple TV+ Originals (iOS/MacOS Only)

In line with other major streaming competitors, Apple has gone ahead and made some of its original shows from their premium Apple TV+ network free to view without a subscription. Free shows include “Little America“, “Servant“, and “For All Mankind” and animated series “Snoopy In Space“.

►► Stream using the Apple TV app on MacOS and iOS devices here.

Free HBO Programming (US Only)

HBO is opening up their original programming warchest and giving viewers in the US free access to their hit shows including The Sopranos, The Wire, and Silicon Valley, for free on their streaming apps HBO Now and HBO GO starting April 3, 2020.

►► Stream using HBO Now and HBO Go starting April 3, 2020.

ON-DEMAND ARTS & SPORTS VIDEO

Free 30 Day Preview Of NBA League Pass

While major sports around the world are on hiatus with the pandemic, the National Basketball Association (NBA) is offering fans a 30-day free preview of their subscription service, NBA League Pass, to watch archived games, including the recently concluded 2020 All-Star Game in Chicago this past February.

►► Begin your NBA League Pass preview here

Free Access Of NFL Game Pass

The National Football League (NFL) has followed suit offering free access to their streaming archives of past games for fans to relive the best moments from their favorite teams and players. I, for one, will not be watching the 2019-20 season that saw my beloved New England Patriots crumble in the playoffs that ultimately led to Tom Brady heading for the exit. Full games are also being posted on their official YouTube Channel if that is more your viewing platform of choice.

►► Access NFL Game Pass here

Free Full Length Concerts With Austin City Limits

For all the concert-goers stuck at home, famed concert music series Austin City Limits has released a massive library of full-length concerts from the likes of Billie Eilish, Vampire Weekend, Willie Nelson, and Khalid, to turn your living room into a concert hall.

►► Access the Austin City Limits archive here

Free Full Length Cirque du Soleil Shows

Thank you to my father-in-law Mukesh for this one!

Worldwide stage show sensation Cirque du Soleil is releasing 60-minute specials of their show on their YouTube channel for longtime fans and new viewers to be completely mesmerized to.

►► Access CirqueConnect here

Free Full Andrew Lloyd Webber Stage Shows

Thank you to my father-in-law Mukesh for this one!

British theater impresario Andrew Lloyd Webber recently launched a new YouTube channel called “The Shows Must Go On!” that will feature a full-length replay of one of his critically acclaimed shows every Friday.

Just in time for Easter, “Jesus Christ Superstar” is now playing for Easter weekend.

►► Access Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “The Shows Must Go On!” here

Free Weekly Concert Series

Major artists are stuck at home just like us, their fans, and now some are starting to release full-length archival footage of their past shows to transport you back to one of their live shows. Artists such as Metallica and Radiohead have started releasing new concerts every week on their official YouTube channels.

►► Access the Radiohead Concert Series here and the #MetallicaMondays Concert Series here


I hope this list was useful to fill up your time while you self isolate at home. If you have some great free things to do that I didn’t mention above, please leave a comment below. Stay safe and healthy!


April 12, 2020

April 3, 2020

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
drinking-chai-tea-taj-president-hotel-mumbai-india

Nico Atienza

Chief Storyteller

An expat remote worker based in Colombo, Sri Lanka with a penchant for window seats on planes, travel, and technology that makes everyone’s lives easier.