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What to Do This Week While Staying Self-Isolated in Westchester


All the best things to do in and around your house this week. And next. (Also, maybe longer.)

Every week, we here at Westchester Magazine like to round up some of the most promising events for your evenings and weekend, so our readers know just what’s worth their time: concerts, tasting menus, community gatherings, fundraisers and worthy charity events, that sort of thing.

That … isn’t a great idea right now. With the whole nation in social isolation mode, Westchesterites need, more than ever, things to do but from the comfort of their own homes. With that in mind, we present to you The Best Things to Do in Westchester Your House This Week.


Get a Taste of the Great Outdoors

Just because you’re stuck inside doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy being outside…. No, really. The Westchester Parks Department is keeping most of its public trails and spaces open, social distancing permitted, but it’s also developed some really cool online content to help you stay connected to Mother Earth:

  • Naturalist Story Time every Wednesday helps kids connect with staff for a fun, nature-themed read-along every week
  • Short videos from your favorite Westchester nature sites
  • Downloadable virtual backgrounds to make your next Zoom meeting a little more festive (via the @WestchesterParks Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram)
  • Fun kids activities like egg dying, the Lasdon Park Scavenger Hunt, and Playland Playhouse coaster matching game via @PlaylandParkWestchesterCounty.

Muscoot Farm has brought back its weekly Farmers’ Market on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., albeit with some pretty strict social distancing guidelines, including mandatory masks and gloves, verification of online registration, limited shopping time, directional flow, and more.


Get a Good Workout

Listen, we love potatoes. Fried, mashed, roasted … the only kind we don’t like is couch. Unfortunately, when your commute is from the bedroom to the living room, you run the risk of becoming downright slothful. Luckily, Westchester’s trainers and fitness experts are pivoting from their now-closed gyms to the internet to get you pumped:

The Grit Ninja is posting a series of #GritGains videos to help you conquer the Warped Wall and other classic Ninja obstacles right from your own living room and maybe the local park — Westchester County’s Parks Department is reminding everyone to check with their local towns, but many of our local outdoor spaces are still open, like trails fields, and such. Active sports are prohibited and playground equipment is closed for use, but as long as people are practicing safe social distancing and health habits, there’s no reason you can’t enjoy a little bit of fresh air and vitamin D on a nice day.

Read More: 12 Virtual Fitness Classes to Get You up and Moving

If you’re more a go-it-solo type, that’s fine too. The Westchester Parks Foundation’s Bicycle Sundays program returned — a little modified, this year — as of May 3. Excluding Memorial Day and Labor Day, the program runs every Sunday in May, June, and September, setting out from Main St in White Plains (instead of County Center this year) and heading down to Scarsdale Rd in Yonkers.


… Or Work Out Your Brain

In light of all our historic and artistic venues closing, a few have already begun offering online events to get us through the near future. John Jay Homestead has begun offering virtual tours of the historic estate, and have added investigative “objects of the day” to help you sleuth out more fun details at the home.

Ever thought about going back to school? What better time than when you’re stuck at home all day? Heck, pretty much all local students are taking an extra-long Spring break and then heading back to now-online classes anyway, so why shouldn’t you get that certificate or new degree?

While standbys like Khan Academy have always offered free e-learning courses, for something a little more, why not consider a cheap class from Westchester Community College? Maybe now is a great time to start learning about genetics, biology, and go for a focus in virology and immunology. Or isn’t it finally time to shut up and got that law degree you’re always talking about? WCC offers great undergrad programs with a ton of online options, but since everything is moving online-only anyway, classes previously difficult to schedule in person around your adult life might be a bit easier to fit in from home.

Plus, if you take one class every semester you qualify for a student tax credit in 2021!

Your kids also deserve a little fun with how much screen time they’ve been putting in for school. RoboThink Westchester, a local computers and robotics company is offering STEM-based classes for kids in everything from Intro to Coding to Video Game Design. Courses include four 90-minute sessions with new classes being added regularly and costs just $100. It’s perfect for kids 7 and older eager to get into the world of computing and make their own creations.

The Westchester Children’s Museum has also gone virtual with WCM At Home, a new page with weekly projects and activities geared towards the 1-7 and 7+ crowds, online readings, demos, and projects, and even versions of the museum’s regular drop-in friendly events.


Enjoy Some Music

Meanwhile, the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts kicked off its summer virtual programming series on July 2. Check online for the full lineup of events and tickets.

The Music Conservatory of Westchester is also getting in on the fun, entertaining students and locals while the conservatory is closed with its Keep the Music Playing virtual concert! The live concert took place on the conservatory’s YouTube page at noon on Friday, May 8, showcasing students, faculty, and special friends of the organization performing from their homes. It is now available for viewing at your leisure.

Meanwhile, local country music star Jessica Lynn is continuing her series of living room sessions on Facebook Live. Each features stripped-down, intimate performances of new and classic hits, along with Q&As and discussion from the performer.

Fix Your Finances

Speaking of, they extended tax deadlines but that’s not all you’ve got to worry about right now. With the Dow in a downturn, many investment accounts have taken a hit. If you’re thinking of rebalancing, The SKG Team at Barnum Financial is holding a series of Webinars of Managing Finances. Webinars are about 45 minutes long and registration is free. The next date will be Thursday, July 9 at 12 p.m. and will focus on the different types of annuities.


Watch a New (or Classic) Movie

No, we do not condone getting the password to your girlfriend’s uncle’s streamable archive of 4K bootlegs. What we do condone is movie studios attempting to make up for the closure of theaters by making new and recent films available to stream either early or same day as their theatrical release.

Disney, for example, released Frozen 2 three months early to Disney+, which we’re sure your kids already told you about. But hey, it’s free if you’ve already got the streaming service and available elsewhere for a nominal fee, so find yourself a quiet place and let them watch the double feature a few times through. If you’re finally ready to give it a(nother) shot, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker has also been released to the same platforms. Plenty of other studios have gotten in on the digital-first bandwagon, including kids favorites and more dramatic, adult pictures as well.

The Bedford Playhouse has also gone fully digital, with a host of new and classic programming — including Zoomed expert Q&As and local presentations. The best part? They’ve partnered with digital distributors so that for some films you can stream through the playhouse’s custom links and direct a portion of your rental price straight back to the BPH!

Prefer something a bit more indie? Former Pelhamites Todd and Adam Stone, a.k.a. “Stone & Stone,” have released a new web series called Going Both Ways which you can stream on YouTube. The series is semi-autobiographical, detailing the lives of identical twins as one starts having kids in his thirties and the other comes out to their family. The duo also cast longtime friend and fellow comedian/Westchesterite Scott Rogowsky, so it’s a great way to support local creators.

Read More: Tips for Winning HQ Trivia (and 12 Awkward Questions With Host Scott Rogowsky)

Enjoy Some Fine Art

Purchase’s Neuberger Museum of Art has launched Neu-to-Do for Kids while the museum has to be closed, to help adults keep their favorite little people’s minds and senses sharp! the program includes periodic online classes and one-day open studios, along with plenty of activity sheets and project ideas to keep your little ones artistically well-versed through quarantine!

A Maze In Pottery in Briarcliff knows that creativity doesn’t stop with cabin fever. (If anything, we’ve gone to some pretty far limits to keep busy.) The art center is offering free delivery within 24 hours for one or three-piece clay painting kits featuring figurines, plates, and bowls starting at $26.

Sets come with three or more colors of paint as well as brushes and other tools, and come in both ready-to-display sets and those that can be returned curbside for kiln firing.

If you’d rather make sweet music than paint pottery, several music schools have already gone full-digital. Music in Chappaqua, for example, is open with 100% of lessons moving online. “Music is one of the most healing forms of self-expression,” says MIC President Angie Angier, “and if we can provide comfort to students and help them to endure this challenging time by working with them to upgrade their skills and understanding of their instrument of choice, then we are pleased and proud to do so.”

The Music Conservatory of Westchester has also moved all their classes online, using Skype, Zoom, FaceTime, and any other virtual medium possible to continue enriching its students lives.

Rather just take in your art visually? Pelham Art Center has released tons of online workshops and studio visits. Many are free and those that aren’t tend to be around just $10, with proceeds to benefit the PAC itself.

ArtsWestchester has launched its first ever Virtual Lawrence Salley Photography Award Exhibit, showcasing award winner Arnold Kastenbaum of Mamaroneck and eight other local photographers from Westchester, Fairfield, and the lower Hudson Valley.


Invite Some Friends to Play a Board Game

Gone are the days of mailing “Knight to Queen-4” by federal post to a person you’ve never met halfway around the world and waiting 6 weeks for their counter. With services like Board Game Arena you and your friends can log in from anywhere on pretty much any desktop or mobile device and without downloading any software play cooperative and competitive board games right in your web browser.

So grab some snacks, set up a group video chat, and start up Friday game night like usual, all without fear of having to travel or be in the same room as each other. Not enough friends for a certain gain? Play online with people from all around the world!

… and Have a Party!

Yeah, we know what you’re thinking. Still, birthdays happen and families want to celebrate. Magical Memories Entertainment found a solution, streaming live performances every Sunday of juggling, hula, magic, animal friends, and more for free!

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