We can’t travel right now and given all the uncertainty, I’m not sure when my next trip will be. So rather than rubbing salt in the wound or planning around hypotheticals, instead I’m including some games, podcasts, virtual activities, books, as well as some stuff for kids, that may help transport you out of the mundane. I’m sure you’ve already gotten lots of recommendations but perhaps I can help you discover something new! 🙂

Podcasts

If you and I have ever spoken about podcasts, then you know I’m a huge fan of Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard. His realness and ability to be raw, introspective nature, and desire to learn/grow aligns with what I look for in a podcast. Below are some of my favorite episodes:

  • It’s a good time to start or practice good habits and to incorporate them into our new routine. This episode of Armchair Expert was a great introduction to BJ Fogg’s book Tiny Habits.
  • Organizational psychologist, Adam Grant, has his own podcast with TED called WorkLife which I’ve just started listening to following this episode of Armchair because he’s awesome. He explores topics related to creating a better work life and is just an interesting guy with a ton of knowledge.

Games

Monopoly Deal: I know what you’re thinking: “Omg, have you played Monopoly as an adult?! It’s so boring!” I hear you. But Monopoly Deal is totally different. It’s a fast-paced, strategic, card-game version and it’s super addictive. Just trust me. You can find it on Amazon for $8.

Houseparty: This app allows you to play games like Heads Up, Trivia, etc., virtually with your friends. It alerts you when your friends are online so you can connect and catch up on a whim.

Virtual Activities

  • Virtual tour of the Louvre
  • Virtual Stroll through the Met – The Met’s 360 Virtual
  • Tour of the Museum of Natural History
  • Harvard and Yale are both offering free classes

Books

If you haven’t ever read the Harry Potter books, stop reading this email immediately and buy them NOW! I was lucky to have read these just a few years ago without ever having seen the movies first. Although the movies are well done, they just cannot compare even minimally to the spectacular and magical world that J.K. Rowling has created in her books. These got me back into reading and I could do nothing else while engrossed in them.

If you have only watched Big Little Lies but haven’t read it, I highly recommend it. Though, it may be hard to get into a book or enjoy it to the same extent when you already know the outcome. Liane Moriarty is a fantastic writer and I love a number of her other books as well (though BLL was the first I read and still my favorite). I love her writing style – a perfect balance of dark and light – and way of story-telling through rotating points of view, sometimes the POV of strangers/outsiders that are not characters within the story itself. I really liked What Alice Forgot. If you have siblings, you’ll also probably enjoy Three Wishes. Although to varying degrees, I have liked all 5 books of hers that I’ve read so far.

If you watched Mindhunter and like profiling shows like Criminal Minds, then I would suggest checking out this entertaining, easy to read thriller about an FBI profiler: A Killer’s Mind by Mike Omer.

Verity by Colleen Hoover. This book is so incredibly dark and twisted. It completely messes with your head and I could not put it down.

For Kids

As long as schools are out, Audible is hosting a free selection of hundreds of titles for kids of all ages. Go to stories.audible.com.

Scholastic has started a ‘Learn at Home’ series. Each day, Scholastic will add four different learning experience videos to their website for different grade levels. Click here for the Scholastic ‘Learn at Home’ projects.

Khan Academy: Created by experts, Khan Academy offers practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalized learning dashboard that empower learners to study at their own pace. They tackle math, grammar, computer programming, science, history, economics, SATs, and more for K-12 through early college, and it’s all free! They have also partnered with institutions like NASA, The Museum of Modern Art, MIT, and The California Academy of Sciences to offer specialized content.

Sworkit, an at home fitness program and app is now offering kid-friendly workouts to help your kids stay active while at home. Ranging from warm-ups and strength to agility and flexibility, these videos might help keep your child engaged and occupied so you can have a short break!