We’re all mostly confined to our homes right now, perfecting our social distancing and trying to keep ourselves occupied with things that aren’t totally coronavirus-related. Because while it’s important that we all do our part to flatten the curve, it’s also important the we look after our mental health. And sometimes that means finding distractions.
If you’re looking for some patently Cleveland things to do while you’re avoiding social gatherings and normal after-work and weekend activities, here are more than a dozen to choose from – many of which you can enjoy for free at home!
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Cleveland things to do in quarantine
1. Visit a museum virtually
With all of Cleveland’s museums closed right now (some of them indefinitely), you might be feeling some withdrawal. But there’s good news! You can still visit some of your favorite spots online.
For example, the Cleveland Museum of Art can be explored through its Collection Online or its ArtLens app, the Cleveland History Center has a lot of its archive online, and you can take a full virtual tour of the Children’s Museum of Cleveland.
BONUS: Check out my top 9 things to see at the Cleveland Museum of Art, complete with links to how you can see everything online!
2. Support a local restaurant
Many local restaurants have closed during Ohio’s statewide lockdown. But many others are still open, trying to stay afloat by offering take-out and delivery. If you’re able to, consider ordering from a favorite local spot once a week (Tuesdays have been dubbed #TakeoutTuesdays). And bonus if you order from your local Chinese restaurant!
Here’s a running list of places that are still open for take-out and/or delivery in Cleveland. And here’s another list of Ohio breweries that are also filling carry-out and delivery orders (yup, you can now order beer for delivery).
If your favorite spot isn’t open any longer (or if you just want to go above and beyond and spread even more love), consider purchasing a gift card that you can use later, once this is all over.
3. Build your own Cleveland in a Box
Another way to support some small businesses around Cleveland is to build your own “Cleveland in a Box.” You can choose from dozens of Cleveland-made and Cleveland-branded items to fill your box with, and either send it to a loved one, or just keep it for yourself.
You can build a box with as few as 3 items, or as many as 15. Boxes ship free within the US.
4. Drop in to a virtual classroom
With so many kids at home right now, many local museums and organizations have stepped up to offer fun online content that’s also educational. Some things to try include:
- Tune in to Curiosity Corner LIVE! From the Great Lakes Science Center on YouTube. Live shows at 10:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. provide STEM learning opportunities.
- Join Cleveland 19 News’ meteorologists for Weather School around 10:30 a.m. each day to learn the science behind the day’s weather forecast.
- On weekdays at 11 a.m., visit the Cleveland Metropark Zoo’s Facebook Page for a daily Facebook Live about zoo animals.
- At 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m., Cleveland Metroparks naturalists and outdoor experts go live on the Metroparks Facebook page.
- Check out the Children’s Museum of Cleveland’s Facebook page for daily storybook readings, craft ideas, and more.
- Visit the Greater Cleveland Aquarium’s YouTube page for a live shark cam, along with lots of educational videos.
- Check out the Cleveland Museum of Natural History’s list of at-home programming, [email protected].
5. Watch some (old) sports
The Indians home opener should have been on March 26, but baseball has been postponed, along with every other live sport. But fear not, sports-loving Clevelanders: Fox Sports Ohio is airing some classic Indians and Cavs games (see schedules here and here) to tide us all over.
6. Watch a Cleveland movie
If you’re feeling nostalgic for the city, why not “visit” parts of it via the big screen? There are quite a few movies and TV shows set in Cleveland (including the new Hulu series “Little Fires Everywhere,” set in Shaker Heights), along with plenty of movies that have been filmed in Cleveland.
Movies filmed in Cleveland include the likes of A Christmas Story, American Splendor, the first Avengers movie, and parts of Captain America: Winter Soldier. See how many Cleveland landmarks you can spot while watching them!
READ MORE: 12 Movies Every Clevelander Should See
7. Cook dinner with Michael Symon
We can’t visit Michael Symon’s Lola Bistro or Mabel’s BBQ right now, but we CAN cook up a meal with the Iron Chef himself! Michael Symon has been doing a series of live cooking demonstrations on the Food Network Kitchen Facebook page. Even if you miss the live streams, you can watch the videos and get recipe ideas at any time.
8. Visit your local Metropark
The Cleveland Metroparks is running its excellent Virtual Classroom series on Facebook, but all 18 of the Metroparks reservations remain open to the public right now.
If you need to get some fresh air or fleeting spring sunshine, you ARE still allowed to go outside for exercise. I would just caution you to still be vigilant about social distancing; if you get to a park or trailhead that is crowded, don’t get out of your car.
Note, too, that some Metroparks services are unavailable (all Nature Centers are closed, as are most picnic areas and all playgrounds). Restrooms may also be closed, and some parking lots are, as well, in order to discourage people gathering in groups. Check this page for the latest updates on Metroparks closures.
9. Watch Rock Hall inductees
Did you know that you can watch clips from past Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremonies online? You can explore more than 300 inductees, and watch clips, acceptance speeches, and even performances from different induction ceremonies.
10. Tune in to a local concert
If you’re in the mood for Cleveland-specific music, check out live performances by local musicians every Friday night, courtesy of Virtual Shows CLE. You need to contact them to get a video invite to each week’s event, but the virtual concerts are free (though a small donation is encouraged).
11. Do a Cleveland puzzle
We’ll still have some not-ideal weather coming our way this spring. If you’re looking for a way to “visit” some of your favorite Cleveland sites from home, consider tackling these online Cleveland jigsaw puzzles, created using some of our favorite photos from around Cleveland. They’re free!
12. Stream a live fitness or yoga class
Missing your favorite Zumba, yoga, kickboxing, or other fitness class? Check to see if your studio or gym is offering any online classes. Many studios are offering live classes either on Facebook or over video conferencing apps like Zoom.
Doing a fitness or yoga class at home isn’t quite the same as doing it in a professional studio or gym, but signing up for these virtual classes is an excellent way to support local small businesses – AND a good way to help counteract the extra stress-eating we’ve all been doing lately!
13. Catch up on local podcasts
Need a break from Netflix and movies? Or just need an excuse to slip on a pair of headphones and ignore everything else (I’m looking at you, parents!) for a little while? Then why not check out new episodes of some locally-produced podcasts!
Cleveland Browns fans might want to check out the Cleveland Browns Daily podcast, previous episodes of Surviving the Season, or the Best Podcast Available (that’s really the name!). Or how about giving a listen to That’s What B Said: A Cleveland Sports Podcast, which is run by two Cleveland ladies?
There are lots of other Cleveland podcasts, but most of them are sports-related. If anyone knows of any non-sports podcasts that focus on Cleveland, let me know!
14. Watch Cleveland from afar
Missing the Cleveland skyline? Check in to the live cam at Pier W to see how The Land is looking from afar. This web cam often catches some spectacular sunrises and sunsets!
15. Put together your Cleveland to-do list
Lastly, this is the perfect time to work on your own Cleveland bucket list for when this is all over (I promise, it will eventually be over!) and we can get out into the city again.
If you need ideas for where to start, check out this list of 80+ things to do in Cleveland!
Other things to do at home
These don’t really fit in with the rest of the items, but are still worth mentioning:
- Wear your favorite Cleveland clothing – As a Clevelander, it’s pretty much just a given that you have at least one article of clothing (if not several) with our city’s name on it. Whether it’s your favorite sports jersey, or favorite Cleveland Clothing Co. t-shirt, rep The Land at home.
- Join in on “Wine With DeWine” – Across Ohio, people are tuning in to Governor Mike DeWine’s daily press briefings (usually around 2 p.m.) while sipping their favorite beverage. It’s a good way to both keep informed, and also contribute to an uplifting sense of togetherness.
- Tell someone thank you – Say thanks to healthcare workers, people working at grocery stories, pharmacists, mailmen… anyone still working to serve people right now deserves a heartfelt thank you!
- Make a donation – Lastly, if you’re lucky enough to still have some disposable income right now, consider making (or continuing to make) donations to local charities. Places like the Greater Cleveland Food Bank still need donations from people who can make them in order to support others in our community.
- Shop locally online. We’ve compiled a big list of Cleveland products that you can purchase online! This is a great way to support local small businesses right now.
And don’t forget to download your free Cleveland Self-Isolation BINGO card so you can play at home!
What are YOU doing while social distancing at home?
Amanda was born and raised in northeast Ohio, and has always been a fangirl of the state. Now, she wants to share her love of Cleveland with the world, highlighting all the best things to do, see, and eat in the CLE. She’s been running Cleveland Traveler since January 2019.