Keep the bounce in your step this quarantine with virtual comedy, theatre and music, time-consuming hobbies and plenty to keep the kids happy
With New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern recently declaring the Easter Bunny an 'essential worker', we're determined not to let the COVID-19 blues put a damper on our bounce this Easter long weekend. Whether it's taking in a live streamed performance from your favourite musician, tackling a new hobby with all this free time we've suddenly got on our hands, or just something to keep the wee ones occupied for a few blissful minutes, we'll have you jumping for joy in the comfort of your own home this weekend.
First off, we've got to give a shout out to our ingenious pals over at the Edinburgh Science Festival who – undaunted by the cancellation of their physical festival – have gone digital, repackaging their 2020 programme into the virtual mini-festival Elements of #EdSciFest. Up on their website now are a range of fascinating talks on climate change, renewable energy, citizen science, lectures by former Edinburgh Medal recipients, and one rather pertinent one on the psychology of coping with quarantine by psychiatrists Dr Raj Persaud and Dr Neil Greenberg. Friday and Saturday will feature live streamed talks focusing on oceans and Scottish wildlife, broadcast via the popular Earth Live Lessons YouTube series.
If you're hankering for a tipple or two, but don't much fancy drinking alone, never fear: there are virtual tasting sessions for every type of poison, from a live virtual whisky masterclass led by Forbes' whisky writer Felipe Schrieberg (Fri 10–Sat 11 Apr) to a gin tasting run by Eden Mill (Sat 11 Apr). Both sessions require participants to book in advance so that the drinks can be sent to the participants before the workshop. Lyon Wines is also running an online wine tasting wherein participants can bring their own vino to discuss with new friends (Fri 10–Sun 12 Apr).
The clubs and music venues might be silent for now, but our favourite musicians and comedians are still keeping our spirits up. Red Note's musicians are taking their Noisy Nights online for the first of their digital concerts (Fri 10 Apr), while Canadian indie musician Dan Mangan proves that distance is now just a concept by performing a virtual home-bound concert for our listening pleasure (Sat 11 Apr). British singer-songwriter Sadie Jemmett also sings favourite hits, obscure numbers and takes requests at her Home Alone Sessions, streamed via Facebook Live (Sat 11 Apr).
The funny folk over at Cosmic Shambles return for another edition of their Stay at Home Show, which is slated to feature Robin Ince, Josie Long, Isy Suttie, Polly Samson and Keisha Thompson (Fri 10 Apr). Josie Long and our favourite absurdist John-Luke Roberts are also set to keep us in stitches at the Saturday Night Quarantine Comedy Club (Sat 11 Apr), while famous comedy club The Stand returns with their digital edition of Saturday Night at The Stand (Sat 11 Apr). Expect gags from the mighty Mark Nelson, Omid Djalili, Glenn Wool, Susan Morrison and more.
But if streaming infinite amounts of content straight into your eyeballs is starting to lose its charm, why not use the seemingly-endless empty hours we've suddenly found thrust upon us to good use and pick up a time-consuming hobby? After all, there's no better time to take up home brewing, in case there's suddenly a shortage of alcohol, or to feed your family through your own sourdough starter.
For those really looking to get into the Easter groove, learn how to cook up a storm with a series of Easter recipes, suitable for all types of eaters. Or pick up a few eggs during your next essential groceries shop and dye them festive colours using this kit, and hide them around your home (or garden, if you're lucky) for your 'quaranteam' to find.
For the Kids
To the brave parents and guardians who've been keeping their tiny terrors occupied during this lockdown: we salute you. Let Dan Hancock help you burn off some of their energy with Home School PE, with videos focusing on their physical and mental health broadcast via his Facebook page (Fri 10 Apr, Mon 13 Apr), and have beloved children's author David Walliams take them gambolling off in their imagination at his storytime Elevenses with the World of David Walliams, wherein he reads a story from his collection titled World's Worst Children (natch) every day (Fri 10 Apr–Mon 13 Apr). Keep their synapses poppin' at the Family Science Club (Sat 11 Apr), which sees British physicist and oceanographer Helen Czerski joined by a passel of her science-loving friends to explore the great mysteries of our universe at this family-friendly online event.
Dan Mangan (born April 28, 1983) is a Vancouver-based Canadian musician. He has also been a contributing writer for The Guardian's Arts section, Montecristo Magazine and Huffington Post Canada, and has won two Juno Awards.
The Edinburgh Science Festival team take their 2020 programme online in a new digital mini-festival, with online entertainment, curated articles, live streamed content, pre-recorded talks and downloadable resources to keep us curious during the quarantine.