FUN things everyone can do from home

NEW (5/20): 

Websites with Virtual Programs and Entertainment:

Fayetteville Free Library:

Manlius Library:

Liverpool Public Library:

Everson Museum:


Painting with a Twist:

Onondaga County Public Libraries:

Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute:

At Home with Symphoria:

Onondaga Historical Association:

Get outside!

Gardening for Beginners:

Baltimore Woods Nature Center:

Onondaga County Parks:

New York State Parks:

Parks & Trails of New York:

Staying active safely:

Livestream Concerts:

Free Movies Online:

Comedy Central:


NEW Get your laughs in with some comedy shows

NEW Learn how to draw with classes from famous illustrators


Zoos & Aquariums:

Rosamond Gifford Zoo YouTube

Monterey Bay Aquarium – 10 different live cams to choose from!

Smithsonian’s National Zoo – 4 cams

San Diego Zoo – 11 cams!

Georgia Aquarium – 5 cams

Houston Zoo – 6 cams

Atlanta Zoo Panda Cam

Kansas City Zoo – 4 cams

Reid Park Zoo Lion Cam


Animals in the wild:

The Wild Center – Adirondack NY

Brooks Falls, Katmai National Park, Alaska

Wildlife in Transylvania, Romania

African Watering Hole

U.S. Department of the Interior – 4 wildlife cams

Audubon – 10 wildlife web cams

National Park Service – bear cams, ocean cams, and bald eagles nest cams!



Bird Watching HQ: 7 cameras from around the world!

The Cornell Lab – birdfeeders and nests – several birdfeeder web cams from around the world!


Miscellaneous variety:

Earth Cam – various zoos, aquariums, parks, and wildlife

Explore Live Cams – A great selection!


Museums (UPDATED 6/9/20):

Travel & Leisure – 12 famous museums

Mental Floss – 12 world-class museums

National Museum of Natural Histor

Smithsonian Museum:

El Museo de Barrio

The Jewish Museum

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Museum of the City of New York

Neue Gallerie New York

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum


Virtual Travel:

Washington Post – 12 historic sites! – 22 destinations!

Refinery 29 – museums, graffiti, and nature walks!

NEW Tour Hawaii

NEW Tour Ireland


Here are more fun ideas to do at home!

Good Housekeeping – over 50 ideas!

My Domaine – over 90 ideas!

Big Seven Travel – 7 great ideas!

Working Mum – Activities for kids!

National Geographic – Keeping kids amused

The Guardian – helpful hints for everyone


Activities – No Supplies Needed

  • Tell stories
  • Tell exaggerated “stories” of the “old days” to entertain
  • Put on mini plays or skits. Have individuals and staff act out different characters
  • Play “Story Building” – one person starts the story and then the others add to it in turn
  • Share secrets, most embarrassing moments, wishes, and/or dreams
  • Make up different dances or dance to known songs (i.e. the hokie-pokie). Have a dance contest
  • Play “Name That Tune.” One person hums a tune or says a line of a song and the others try to guess what the song is.
  • Play “Sound Search.” Everyone sits still and id’s as many sounds as possible.
  • Play “Charades.” One person or team acts out a movie, book or TV show using only body language, and the others try to guess what they are acting out.
  • Play “Encore.” Assign common words to two teams who take turns trying to think of a song that contains each word. Each team must be able to sing at least eight words of the song in order for the entry to count.
  • Play “20 Guesses.” Think of any noun, cartoon character, singer, movie, television or sports star. The have the others take turns guessing. Answer the guesses with only a yes, no or sometimes/usually/rarely response.
  • Play “Rock, Paper, Scissors.” Two people move their fists up & down three times while saying together “rock, paper, scissors.” On the fourth downward motion, each person chooses one gesture:
    • Rock – a closed fist
    • Paper – an open flat hand
    • Scissors – index and middle fingers extended

Determine who is the winner: Rock smashes scissors, scissors cut paper, and paper covers rock.

  • Play “Hide and Seek.” Designate an area with clear boundaries. Have everyone gather around a landmark which will be “home base.” Pick a person to be “it.” Whoever that is will close their eyes and count to a designated number while the rest of the players hide. When he/she is finished counting, the person who is “it” calls out: “Ready or not, here I come,” then goes to look for a “tag” (gently touch) the hidden players before they get to home base. If the player gets to home base before he/she is touched then they are safe. The first player tagged will be “it” for next round. If none of the payers are tagged then the person is “it” again.

Activities requiring limited supplies for daytime or lighted areas:

Paper, marbles, deck of cards, blocks, coins


  • Play “Five Questions.” Write down questions such as:

o          What is your favorite color?

o          What was your favorite subject in school?

o          What is your favorite song?

o          What is your favorite food?

o          What is your favorite book?

o          Each person has to answer them. Once the first set of five questions are answered, let each individual come up with their own set of questions to ask.

  • Crumble up a wad of paper and play a ball game (Basketball, baseball, blowing the ball across a table into a “goal”).
  • Play marbles. If no marbles are available, use rocks or pebbles (draw a circle and see who can knock the rocks out of the circle).
  • Play “Hangman.” Make up a word in your mind. Draw the number of lines that correspond to the letters in that word. Draw an upside down L. If you would like you could give them a little hint such as “animal, vegetable or mineral.” The other players guess a letter and if it’s correct, you put it in the correct blank. If it’s incorrect you put a head on the upside down L. Draw another body part for each subsequent wrong guess. The object is to guess the word before you complete the body. Whoever wins gets to pick a word next.
  • Make paper airplanes, origami, or paper boats.
  • Trace a person’s hand or draw a random shape and see what animals they can make out of it. Write letters to friends and family.
  • Play “Tic Tac Toe.” Make a three by three grid on a piece of paper. One person is an “X” and one is “O.” The player who succeeds in placing three respective marks in a horizontal, vertical or diagonal row wins the game.
  • Play “Hidden words.” Have everyone agree on a key word, which must be at least seven letters long. Then, players try to find as many smaller words as possible within the key word, by rearranging letters or keeping them in the same order. For instance, “kitchen” would have the hidden words “it,” “itch,” “kit,” and “etch” In it.
  • Play “Find a Word.” Make a grid of random letters interspersed with horizontal, vertical and diagonal words and have the person circle the words when they find them.
  • Play “House or Tower of cards/Blocks/Coins.” Using a deck of cards, blocks, or coins choose a flat surface and each person builds a house or tower. Whichever house or tower falls down first loses the game.
  • “Dress for Success” – have clothes applicable to a particular season, or for a particular role or job, Chef, Doctor, etc.  – ask groups to come up with a particular outfit that is acceptable
  • Play card games, board games or dominoes.
  • Play musical instruments, drums.
  • Perform simple magic tricks.
  • Have a treasure hunt where you write down clues on slips of paper and lead children to a “treasure.”
  • Have a scavenger hunt where you write down clues on slips of paper that lead people to a “treasure.”
  • Play “Guess the Object.” Select an object and hand it to a person under a cloth, or with his/her eyes blindfolded or closed. They feel the object with their hands to determine what they are holding. When the person guesses correctly offer another object to guess. If they have difficulty, give clues (what is it for) or ask what they feel and help them figure out what the object could be.
  • Play “Guess the Person.” Do in pairs, or for a group  – give one word to describe a person in the group. Taking turns, have someone in the group guess who it is. If the person guesses wrong, provide another word to describe the person and then allow another guess. Continue this process until the person guesses correctly. Play again but switch roles, have the other person provide clues and you guess.

Activities that require limited supplies for lights out/night-time or dark areas:

Drawing Paper, flashlight

  • Play “Shadow Puppets.” By creating animal shadows using a flashlight and your hands.
  • Play “Shadow Drawing.” Tape large sheets of drawing paper on the wall. Have a person pose or stand in front of the paper. Using a flashlight to cast a shadow on the paper,  you and another person can trace  the individual’s shadow on the paper. Have people color or draw in the features.
  • Play “Sleeping Pirate.” The “Pirate” has a flashlight and sits at one end of the room, with the “treasure” (any object) sitting in front of them. The other people line up on the other end of the room, each trying to sneak up and steal the treasure without tipping off the pirate. If the pirate hears a sound, he shines the flashlight in that direction. If the flashlight beams tags a player, they must go back to the starting line. The first player to nab the treasure without alerting the pirate becomes the new pirate.
  • Play “Flashlight Scavenger Hunt.” Call out different objects, colors or other clues for players to find. The first person or team to shine a flashlight on the object wins that round.

MORE IDEAS – Some supplies needed

Egg Carton Mancala Game – you make it, then play it:


How to make a paper fidget spinner:


Magic Tricks to learn:


Time Capsule:

Make a Time Capsule and bury it in the yard.  Someday, someone will find it and it could tell the story of what the individuals residing in the houses are going through, or just about them, or about the crisis itself, etc.  They could put in pictures, letters, items that represent important things to them, etc.  They should mark it once buried so it can be found someday.