Quarantine-approved activities: 21 ways to stay engaged while you’re home

Quarantine-approved activities: 21 ways to stay engaged while you’re home
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This story is proudly presented by OrthoCarolina.

You can still stay active even if you’re stuck at home. Check out OrthoCarolina’s blog for free workouts and stretches you can do right from your living room.

As coronavirus cases continue to climb, staying at home as much as possible is more important than ever.

Here are some ways to break up the monotony of your current work, Netflix, eat, and sleep cycle — and support local businesses in the process.


1. Take a virtual cooking class

Chef Alyssa’s Kitchen: A $15 ticket gives you access to a pre-recorded cooking class of your choosing. Instructions and an ingredient list will be emailed once you’ve registered. Chef Alyssa recommends watching the video first before diving into cooking. Previously recorded classes include dumplings, tacos, and knife skills among others. Details.

Chef Alyssa at home

Courtesy of Chef Alyssa

2. Take a virtual SkillPop class

What: There are 30 virtual classes scheduled for December covering everything from holiday cookie decorating to tips for homeownership. Once you sign up, you’ll get specific information on how to log into the class.

Details: Classes are between $20 and $24 and about an hour-and-a-half long. Sign up here.

3. Channel your inner grand millennial, learn to knit

What: Charlotte Yarn is offering beginner knitting kits which include supplies to make a hat and step-by-step instructional videos. Color options are cream, blue, pink, and purple.

Details: $25 for kit and video lesson. Order here.

4. Stream a fitness class


  • Chelsea Cox, a Barry’s co-founder, and instructor posts live workouts daily on Instagram that include strength training and high-intensity intervals.
  • Flywheel coach Caitlin Collins Gulley and Barry’s founding instructor James Gulley post free at-home workouts with helpful modifications.


  • CorePower Yoga has a collection of free videos, including workouts and guided meditations.
  • Be Yoga is hosting its classes online. New students get 10 classes for $79 or two months of unlimited for $119.
HSM class

Screengrab from Hilliard Studio Method


  • Hilliard Studio Method is offering a free 7-day trial for online classes, and $19 a month for unlimited classes after that. The studio also shares helpful tips and challenges on Instagram.
  • Pure Barre Myers Park, SouthPark, and Ballantyne have teamed up to do live streaming through a private Facebook group. You can email the studios if you’re already a member and want to join, or if you want to become a member. You can also try Pure Barre On Demand free for seven days, after that a month of unlimited streaming is $29.99.

5. Order a cake pop kit or custom cook decorating kit from The Wow Factor Cakes

What: A six-piece cake pop-making set is $20 and a custom cookie-decorating kit (cookies, sprinkles, frosting) is $25. Cookie themes include animals, sea life, and cupcakes and crowns.

6. Entertain the kiddos with a Balloon Drop Bag from Confetti Castle

What: Confetti Castle will deliver you a giant bag of colorful balloons, 10 activity ideas, and a holiday cookie decorating kit from Cookies on the Side. I’ve seen parents posting about this on Instagram saying it’s entertained their kids for 2+ hours.

New Years’ Eve options are in the works, so follow Confetti Castle on Instagram for updates.

Details: Starting at $60 ($35 balloons, $25 per cookie kit), delivery is $15-$22. Order here.

Confetti Castle holiday balloon bag

Photo courtesy of Confetti Castle

7. Do one of Lindsey Regan Thorne’s makeup tutorials

What: I’m all about learning new skills right now, including how to apply a full face of makeup with absolutely nowhere to go. I started experimenting with my Naked eyeshadow palette on my own, I just looked like I had dirt around my eyes. So I used LRT’s tutorial for guidance, and it was much easier to follow.

Swan Beauty: You can also order a personalized box from her new venture, Swan Beauty. Your custom box is $25 and comes with samples of all the products, plus a diagram on how to use them. Full-size products are also in the box; you can choose to buy them or send back.

[Agenda related story: Influencer Lindsey Regan Thorne launches new beauty business called Swan Beauty]

8. Become your own personal chef

It’s not just you, we’ve all run out of ideas when it comes to fun food options. Luckily, Christina Marcellino at Carolina Charm makes really creative (but simple) family-friendly meals and snacks. Back in March, she posted 20 quarantine recipes to try.

9. Tune in to a live concert

The people behind Music Everywhere have launched Music Anywhere. On its website, browse a growing list of virtual concerts. Most are free, but virtual tipping is encouraged.

Literally, every day: Local cover band Josh Daniel’s Grateful Band has put on a virtual concert every day since this quarantine started. That’s 267 shows and counting.

[Agenda related guide: 30+ outdoor concerts and virtual shows in December, including Cyanca and Josh Daniels]

10. Have a dance party

DJ D-Nice: Some of his streams have reached more than 100,000 people including Elizabeth Warren, Khloe Kardashian, and Lil Jon.

The Jam CLT: The dance/fitness studio is posting free choreography to YouTube so you can add a little zest to your workout routine.

11. Listen to a local podcast that has nothing to do with coronavirus

Some options include Laura Vinroot Poole’s What We Wore, On Life & Meaning by Mark Peres (you can hear our own Michael Graff on this episode), Date Night with Jake and Page, and The Black Guy Who Tips.


Laura Vinroot Poole owns Poole Shop (pictured), Capitol, and Tabor. Her podcast is all about fashion.

12. Order takeout or delivery

We’ve rounded up 225+ local restaurants offering takeout and delivery right now. Options include:

eggs benedict haberdish noda charlotte

13. Support your favorite retail shops online

Gift-giving feels extra meaningful this year, as does supporting local. You can find dozens of retailers in our guides: Gift guide: 46 local items for everyone on your list under $1007 pandemic-friendly fashion trends to shop for this holiday season, How to support Black-owned businesses in Charlotte.

agenda holiday gift guide shop local

14. Read a book by a local author via Charlotte Mecklenburg Library’s ebook/audiobook system

Some local options include The Antidote for Everything by Kimmery Martin; The Elephant in the Room by Tommy Tomlinson; and anything by the Reichs family. (Kathy Reichs’ books inspired the TV show Bones and her son, Brendan, is now an acclaimed author himself).

15. Schedule a virtual therapy session

In my own life, I’ve noticed fear showing up in ways I’m not used to since Covid-19 has spread. My therapist has been a really great resource for me during this time and has offered to answer questions over email and text, schedule some quick check-ins, or do full phone or video sessions.

If you aren’t seeing a therapist currently, but have thought about going, you can sort through this list by insurance provider, areas of expertise, and meeting methods. It’s what I used to find my current therapist (that and reading every review I could find online).

16. Order a necklace-making kit from Erin McDermott

Kids kits: For $40, you get strands of wood beads (you choose the colors), a white turquoise elephant charm, and a cloth bag.

Adult Kits: Kits cost $68 and include enough to make six bracelets. You can choose from four color options.

jewelry making kit

Courtesy of Erin McDermott

17. Channel your inner Picasso

Windy O’ConnorLocal artist Windy O’Connor shares painting demos and time-lapses through her Instagram. Even if you’re not a painter, her videos are very soothing to watch.

Evelyn Henson: The artist behind Charlotte’s beloved hearts wall created a cheerful 10-minute tutorial on how to paint lemons.

18. Do a science experiment with Discovery Place

What: Discovery Place Science launched at-home science lessons for your kids. They have dozens of videos with step-by-step science experiments and a few live streams of exhibits at the museum.

19. Learn more about Charlotte with The Charlotte Museum of History

Lunch and learn: The series includes talks and discussions on various historical themes.

Distance learning: The museum has guided educational virtual lessons paired with an activity for school-aged kiddos. And some options for all ages, too.

20. Picnic at home with a curated to-go box

Babe & Butcher: There are four individual boxes to choose from, including cheese and fruit ($15), veggie ($15), desserts ($15), and meat, nuts, and cheese ($20). Delivery is $6. There’s also an option to buy a meal for a healthcare worker, which costs $20.

babe&butcher box

21. Learn how to decorate cookies with Sweet Spot Studio

Sign up for the Sweet Spot Cookie Club to receive a single, 3-, or 6-month subscription box filled with all the materials you’ll need to decorate stunning cookies. Follow along with the videos online or come up with your own cookie creations. Pickup and delivery are available.

sweet spot studio

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