Best Bets: A quick guide to online entertainment and virtual experiences for April/May

‘Las Quinceneras’ is part of La Jolla Playhouse’s Without Walls online performances.

Here are some online activities to undertake on your smart phone, computer or tablet during your quarantine quandary. All programs are free unless otherwise noted.

Expanding Thinking

• New biweekly podcast from renowned San Diego neuroscientists Bernard Baars and David Edelman, On Conciousness with Bernard Baars, features open-minded conversations on new ideas about the scientific study of consciousness and the brain. The latest episode was recorded at D.G. Wills Bookstore in La Jolla.

Cooking & Creating

• Chef Prabeen Prathapan of Pasea Hotel & Spa in Huntington Beach will host a virtual cooking class on how to grill the best steak for summer, 1 p.m. Saturday, April 25. He will share introductory videos, grocery lists and recipes prior to the live class so viewers can prepare.

Chef Prabeen Prathapan of Pasea Hotel & Spa will host a virtual cooking class on how to grill the best steak for summer.

The Old Globe Theatre has joined a cohort of nonprofit theaters to create the Play at Home project, a series of short plays commissioned specifically for this time of isolation. View and download scripts to read at home with your family.

• For those looking to liven up their Zoom backgrounds while videoconferencing, Dunkin Donuts offers background images for downloading.

Family & Children

• Transform your home into an Escape Room with kits of varying themes and for various ages. The kits contain stimulating puzzles to print at home, designed to bring you adventure for $22.

• The California State Parks runs daily lessons by age groups on natural resources and cultural heritage via Zoom from State parks. Topics include Giant Sequoia ecology, tidepool animals, and much more. Preregister at

San Diego Junior Theater is running JTogether, an online interactive video series featuring exercises in singing, dancing and acting to keep people connected while social distancing.

• Send your kids to bed with a positive message from one of their favorite Disney characters. The Disney Bedtime Hotline is available through April 30.

Health & Fitness

• A boost for your body and mind, The Workout Today e-mails will be delivered to your inbox three days a week with comprehensive workouts that don’t require experience or equipment. Workouts are balanced for body and mind, and are free. Sign up at

• Yoga as Therapy is a UC Television program in which clinical psychologist Erik Groessl talks about research about the value of yoga in reducing pain, improving physical function and overcoming opioid addiction in military veterans, among other patients, in this conversation with Paul J. Mills of UC San Diego.

Arts & Culture

• Write Out Loud hosts Listen to This, with a story told every day. The storytellers include Susan Clausen, Charles Evans, David Fenner, Caitie Grady, Linda Libby, Brian Mackey, Allison Spratt Pearce, Veronica Murphy, Walter Ritter, Rachael VanWormer and others. Sign up at

Oceanside Theatre Company presents its first virtual gallery tour of the “Pop!” exhibit now through the end of April. All art featured is for sale, with a number of the artists donating proceeds to support Oceanside Theatre Company.

La Jolla Playhouse brings its Without Walls (WOW) initiative online. Designed to break the traditional walls of theater, WOW offers immersive, site-inspired and digital works. $25 for four shows. Sign up for online performance dates at

• The 5th annual Happy Birthday, Mr. Shakespeare event will be streamed online via The Old Globe Theatre, commemorating the playwright through interactive activities including readings, lessons and more. 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, April 25.

• Harry Potter fans are invited to explore the wonders of the British Library exhibit Harry Potter: A History of Magic online, including artwork viewing and magic lessons.

Arte Hasta La Muerte hosts free online step-by-step painting classes (you’ll need to source the materials from their list). Held weekly via Zoom, the next one is 5:30 p.m. Saturday, April 25.

Travel & Outdoors

• Does a simple walk around the block have you on edge these days? San Diego Architectural Foundation invites you to opt for a video tour of the East Village instead.

• From Scripps Institute of Oceanography comes explorations NOW, a resource to interact with scientists online, find activities for children, and read reports from oceanographers, like this one about scientific resilience during a pandemic:

Virtual Galas & Events

Celebrate Art Alive 2020 April 24-26 from the comfort of your home via the San Diego Museum of Art.

• The galleries may be closed, but The San Diego Museum of Art invites you to celebrate Art Alive 2020, April 24-26, from the comfort of your home. Follow the museum’s social media channels 3 p.m. daily for content featuring floral interpretations throughout the years, including exhibitions, a dance party, cocktail recipes, crepe flower tutorials, and more. or Twitter @sdma or Instagram @sandiegomuseumofart

• The 37th annual San Diego Cake Show runs virtually through April 30, benefitting Ronald McDonald House Charities of San Diego. Judges from around the world will choose winners in a contest open to the public for voting.

What have you found to entertain from a (social) distance? E-mail your leads to


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