1. Make a cocktail at home with help from Alexandria’s The Hour. The vintage barware and glassware seller is offering virtual cocktail-making tutorials through its YouTube channel, and providing recipes on its sister site, The Modern Home Bar, so you don’t have to miss out on happy hour any longer.
2. Sports arenas may be empty, but you can still get your sports fix of hometown teams with virtual simulations of NBA and NHL games. Both the Wizards and Capitals recently faced off for a series of virtual games against teams they were scheduled to play during the season, and you can rewatch the games online.
3. Local one-stop shop Fran’s Cake and Candy Supplies is offering DIY cookie kits for those looking to do some baking from home. While one comes with pre-baked cookies, the other is for baking aficionados, complete with cookie cutters, food coloring, icing and piping bags. The best part? Staff will bring the goods right to your car window.
4. Parents in search of lesson plans for their children (as well as lifelong learners) should look to the Smithsonian Learning Lab. Students can find more than 1.7 million resources from the DC-based institution’s 19 museums and the National Zoo. Look for everything from 3D dino models and virtual travel to deep dives into American history.
5. While the National Zoo may be closed, you can still observe giant pandas Tian Tian and Mei Xiang chomp on bamboo, tumble in the grass and roam their enclosure with the zoo’s 24/7 live Panda Cam. The footage is used by trained volunteers to collect behavioral data, but for us, it simply brings a little joy.
6. Remember all of that time you wished you had when Netflix’s Tidying Up with Marie Kondo made waves? Now you have it. Get a few boxes and start going through your closets, storage areas and more with the family, and you might just be surprised at what you find. We could all use a little more joy.
7. Step away from the TV and get outside to breathe in some fresh air and enjoy the arts with a sculpture walk around downtown Fredericksburg. Take the family or the dogs to visit all six sculptures in one day or spread your visits out throughout the month. // Downtown Fredericksburg: various locations
8. Say hi to George and Martha and take a tour of their estate with virtual tours around George Washington’s Mount Vernon. The virtual tours give new perspectives to the mansion, outbuildings, gardens and grounds. Plus, every weekday at noon, the Mount Vernon team discusses a different aspect of Mount Vernon on YouTube and Facebook Live.
9. Keep the creative juices flowing by taking a virtual art class with Wine & Design. Pick out your paint kit design online and stop by the store to pick up all of your materials for the night’s livesteam class. // Wine & Design; $35
10. Enjoy the beautiful weather and treat Mom to a special Mother’s Day (May 10) with a picnic in the backyard. Grab a plush blanket and pack your picnic basket full of yummy homemade treats for a day under the sun.
11. Can you solve a murder mystery? That’s the question Murder Mystery in a Box asks you when it delivers a monthly, mysterious package to your doorstep. Inside, you’ll find curated items and clues to help you investigate and catch the killer.
12. It’s easier than ever to get crafty from the comfort of your own home, thanks to local businesses fibre space and AR Workshop. The two havens for creatives are offering DIY take-home kits full of knitting needles, yarn, wooden planks, paint and more, making it easy to pick up a new hobby.
13. Story time! Mo Willems, author of beloved children’s books like Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! (and current Education Artist in Residence at The Kennedy Center) is offering Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems every weekday at 1 p.m. Let your kids log on and learn how to draw in the author’s signature style.
14. Make some space in your living room and get moving. Local studios have moved their classes online to make sure you can still get your blood flowing and heart pumping, even if you’re not at the gym. Rent a stationary bike, roll out your yoga mat or squeeze in some cardio.
15. Enjoy your weekly watch parties with friends from a safe distance at your home. Netflix Party, a new virtual feature from the popular streaming site, allows users to add group chats and synchronized video playbacks to shows and movies. Customize your party with user icons, nicknames, emojis and GIFS too.
16. You might have caught 2019’s favorite breakout star Lizzo doing meditations with her flute on Instagram, but if you’ve run out of ways to keep your mantras and maintain your deep breathing, check out Homegrown Power Yoga on Facebook. Not only has the studio transitioned all classes online (minus the heat), founder Alison Adams has offered several meditation videos for you to watch any time.
17. Book club will read on! Although Books & Brews can’t be enjoyed in person this month, pour yourself a pint at home and join a Zoom call to discuss Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng. What better excuse is there to socialize, drink and read a good book?
18. Grab a magnifying glass and have your kids become detectives by creating a fun scavenger hunt in your yard. Create a list of household items and things found in your yard for the ultimate afternoon outdoors. Add a little incentive by rewarding a completed hunt with a special treat.
19. Keep up with your culture. The Met in New York City is offering streaming shows of its world-renowned operas on a nightly basis. Even if you’ve never been an opera fan, this is a great new way to dip your toes into that world.
This piece was originally published in our May 2020 print issue. For more entertaining ways to spend your days in Northern Virginia, subscribe to our e-newsletters.