A guide to virtual experiences and online entertainment
Below is a continuing series of online activities to undertake on your computer or tablet during your quarantine quandary.
By Elisabeth Frausto
Learning & expanding thinking
Library card holders can enroll in any of nearly 400 courses online via the San Diego Public Library. These highly interactive, instructor-led classes range from law to language to art to technology, with many other categories represented. education.gale.com/l-sddp
Cooking & creating
UC San Diego’s Geisel library hosts virtual event Short Tales from the Mothership, a live reading of original science fiction stories, at 4 p.m. Tuesday, May 19. Submit your own fantasy or sci-fi micro-fiction (250 words or fewer) stories by May 8, or simply tune in for live readings. Email submissions and requests for the watch link to email@example.com.
Learn to draw Mickey Mouse with a Disney Parks artist. This series of tutorials on drawing Mickey through the years includes video and a list of other character tutorials. bit.ly/disneydrawmickey
Family & children
Mayor Kevin Faulconer hosts an online story time at 5 p.m. Sundays as part of the San Diego Public Library’s Storytime Club. Watch past readings with “Mayor Kevin” at youtube.com/user/sdpubliclibrary.
The Ruben H. Fleet Science Center invites you to FleetTV, an exciting online place to find fun and engaging science experiments, hands-on activities, behind-the-scenes interviews, bloopers, jokes and more. bit.ly/fleetsciencetv
Travel & outdoors
If you miss visiting Balboa Park, there’s another way to enjoy it right now. The Balboa Park Culture Partnership has launched Balboa Park TV, featuring more than 21 channels of arts and culture from Balboa Park venues. bit.ly/balboaparktv
Alpine animal sanctuary Lions Tigers & Bears conducts live broadcasts from 10:30 to 11 a.m. every Wednesday through Saturday during its mandated closure. Featuring a different animal each day, the sanctuary shares rescue stories and provides an interactive experience by answering viewer questions. facebook.com/lionstigerandbears
Health & fitness
La Jolla Community Center offers Strength & Balance at 11 a.m. Tuesdays. This 60-minute workout focuses on upper-body, lower-body and core exercises, all centered around balance, posture and flexibility, with modifications for any fitness level. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to register and receive a link.
Experience a 30-minute stress release response meditation led by Dr. Erhard Vogel of the Nataraja Meditation & Yoga Center. bit.ly/stressreleasemeditation
Art & culture
Solana Beach Madison Gallery presents a virtual opening of South Korean artist Jaehyo Lee’s “Beyond Nature,” running May 2 through June 3. Featuring sculptures of big cone pine, larch and chestnut, the exhibit describes and exemplifies the natural world. madisongalleries.com/jaehyo-lee-2
Join Chris Burns 10 a.m. every Monday via the La Jolla Community Center for Musical Moments. The 20-minute class will enrich your day with a mix of Renaissance, Celtic, American and classical melodies. Musical selections will vary week to week. Email email@example.com to register and receive a link.
Virtual galas & events
San Diego Youth Symphony invites you to its Encore! annual scholarship fundraising event from the comfort of your home. Grab a cocktail at 5 p.m. Saturday, May 2, and join in via Zoom for a brief program filled with music and fun including student performances, award presentations and celebrations. Visit sdys.org/encore for information and email firstname.lastname@example.org to attend.
Meals on Wheels San Diego County invites San Diegans to its “Cheers to 60 Years” gala from 6 to 7 p.m. Friday, May 8. This year, the annual gala is online with a party-infused virtual fundraiser including guest speakers and performing artists. Register at meals-on-wheels.org/events.
— What have you found for entertainment from a (social) distance? Email your leads to email@example.com.
University of California Master Gardener Program offers free online gardening resources
San Diegans looking to plant their first Victory Gardens, refresh some tired succulent beds or maybe teach their children how to grow food from seed can get their garden questions answered any time of the day thanks to Let’s Grow Together San Diego, a free online effort launched recently by the University of California Master Gardener Program in San Diego County.
Need to get rid of weeds? Grow herbs for cooking? Plant spectacular roses or bring butterflies to your backyard? Folks still staying close to home can visit www.MasterGardenerSD.org and take their pick from how-to videos and dozens of articles on all kinds of flowers, vegetables, and fruit trees plus tips on saving water. Since it will be a while before the Master Gardeners can make presentations at large county-wide events, their refreshed website is filled with targeted information to help San Diegans required to stay-at-home.
Let’s Grow Together San Diego is meant for gardeners of all ages and skill levels. There are fun projects for caretakers who want to get seniors back into the garden and for parents needing some home-school lessons. Beginning gardeners are offered step-by-step instructions and even seasoned pros will find in-depth details on hundreds of plant species. And many of the video lessons are offered in Spanish.
The new program combines the expertise of more than 300 local Master Gardeners with the plant scientists from the University of California Cooperative Extension service. Anyone with gardening questions can still email help@MasterGardenerSD.org or call the Master Gardener hotline at 858-822-6910.
The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UC San Diego moves online
Staying at home and tired of 24/7 news and old movies? The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UC San Diego has successfully moved its entire program online using Zoom videoconferencing.
The Institute is offering its 1,000 members twice daily discussions of current events and lectures on a variety of academic subjects featuring distinguished faculty from UCSD and other local universities, community leaders, artists and musicians, and others. Recent lectures have discussed the future of the European Union, How Baby Brains are Formed, the Life and Works of artist Marc Chagall, among others. The online program format is typically a one-hour lecture followed by an always-lively question and answer period.
Now in its 46th year at UCSD, the Osher Institute is a membership organization for adults over the age of 50 who wish to enrich their lives through continued learning and engagement. Both monthly and quarterly memberships are currently available. See the Osher website at http://extension.ucsd.edu/olli/join for current online program offerings and how to become a member.