This is normally the space I devote to 5 things to do under $5. But for now, we are going to pivot and offer five things you can do with your kids while social distancing. Feel free to send me your discoveries in the coming weeks. If you want to find or add more virtual events, we have a whole calendar of them at tampabay.com/things-to-do.
1. Disney magic: You won’t be hearing an athlete shout “I’m going to Disney World!” anytime soon, but the now-closed theme parks have put up an online version of the parks called #DisneyMagicMoments so you can do things there virtually. You can take a virtual “sail-through” of the It’s a Small World attraction and see how it looks in Tokyo, Paris and elsewhere around the world. There’s also a tutorial on how to draw Olaf from Frozen and story time with actor John Stamos. You can see on the official parks blog how the closed parks around the world paid tribute to health care workers on World Health Day on April 7. Walt Disney World lit up its emblematic Cinderella Castle in bright blue “in an effort to convey a sense of hope and gratitude"; and security members held up Thank You signs in front of the castle on Main Street U.S.A. Find it all here: bit.ly/2JLxAXX.
2. The James Museum From Home: The St. Petersburg museum of Western-themed art is offering weekly art activities, games, music, movies, storytelling and more. Themes change and content is updated each Tuesday at thejamesmuseum.org/jmfromhome. Last week’s theme was Navajo culture, and it featured art, a Navajo poet, a movie, a review of Hampton Sides’ book Blood and Thunder and a recipe for Navajo Fry Bread. Free, $3.99 per movie. (727) 892-4200.
3. Tampa Bay Lightning’s Thunderbug: The team’s season may be dark, but they have lots to offer in Keeping Busy With the Bug. Each day, team mascot Thunderbug will share new things to learn, exercise ideas and ways to get creative. Thunderbug invites families to share photos of their daily work using the hashtag #KeepingBusyWithBug. Follow Thunderbug on Twitter @ThunderBugTBL or check the the team’s website, nhl.com/lightning/fans/keep-busy-with-bug.
4. Great Ex at Home: Even though it’s currently closed, Great Explorations Children’s Museum is providing an outlet for families to learn and play at home. Their website offers a mix of virtual and downloadable games, activities, books and videos designed for children of all ages. Additionally, parents can find resources to help guide conversations about the coronavirus, which can be a challenging topic to explain to kids. Find them at greatex.org/at-home. Great Ex team members will regularly update the site with ideas for at-home learning and discovery. “Great Explorations Children’s Museum aims to be the place where children can learn through play and exploration — whether that be at the museum or at home,” said a news release.
5. Play video games for charity: The video game and graphic novel online store humblebundle.com has a COVID-19 Bundle that features $1,071 worth of games and ebooks for just $30. It includes popular games such as Hollow Knight and Undertale and the graphic novels Saga and Spawn. All proceeds from your bundle purchase go to support organizations responding to COVID-19, such as delivering protective gear to safeguard health care workers. When that sale ends, you can choose from other bundles on the site. Every purchase supports charity.
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