Every year we post an update on great places or events to visit at Easter with or without a disability. During the Coronavirus Pandemic being housebound is the new normal (for all) and there are virtual experiences popping up all over the place from theatre to opera to museums along with the usual wannabe stars on YouTube etc. Here’s our choice of what’s best:

The National Theatre

The NT is streaming productions live on its YouTube channel for free. Every Thursday a new production will be released and will be available for one week after the initial live broadcast. Over two million people tuned into “One Man, Two Guvnors,” starring James Corden, which ran from 4 April to 9 April. This weekend you can tune into “Officially Jayne Eyre,” directed by Sally Cookson and is available until 16 April

Listen to Opera

The Royal Opera House, has launched a programme of online shows and masterclasses from productions including “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” and Verdi’s “La Traviata” and will be available to stream live on their YouTube channel. Free performances are:

  • Così fan tutte, The Royal Opera, 2010 – 10 April 2020, 7pm BST
  • The Metamorphosis, The Royal Ballet, 2013 – 17 April 2020, 7pm BST
  • Gloriana, The Royal Opera, 2013 – 24 April 2020, 7pm BST
  • The Winter’s Tale, The Royal Ballet, 2014 – 1 May 2020, 7pm BST

You can also listen to productions from the Metropolitan Opera, New York  and La Scala in Milan.

Virtual Gig

Together At Home from Global Citizen and The World Health Organisation,

‘The UN and the World Health Organization (WHO) asked Global Citizen to support their COVID-19 response by bringing the world together through music and inspiring everyone to take action. With an exceptional group of artists, Global Citizen is now launching One World: Together At Home”.

Their Youtube channel has some amazing gigs from people such as Chris Martin, Bastille, Lady Gaga, Andrea Bocelli. Something as catastrophic as Coronavirus has brought the world together and musicians and artists have never been more appreciated!

Virtual Exercise – For All Abilities

Access Adventures ‘provide fun adaptive programmes, hoping to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities by giving them access to sport and outdoor adventures’. For lock down they have added to their activities adaptive, virtual, yoga and cycling spin sessions. It’s wheelchair yoga for beginners and cycle spin if you have a bike, handbike or roller and is open to all abilities. Something that should be available all year??

There’s also great seated exercise class on this link from our friend Samanta Bullock and the following from the MS Society helps all abilities.

Visit a Virtual Dog Café

One of the more bizarre experiences comes from The Dachshund Café is a dog events company that normally hosts physical pop-up cafés and parties for dachshunds, their owners and dog lovers across the UK & USA. But since the lockdown they’ve created some virtual events and this Saturday (11 April) the café will host its first virtual dachshund disco, with a DJ playing disco and funk. To join you’ll need to download Zoom and find the meeting ID and password on the Dachshund Café’s private Facebook and Instagram pages.

The Dachshund café hosts events across the UK all throughout the year and there’s also the Pup up Cafe which welcomes all dogs so keep an eye out for future virtual meet-ups.

Pup Up & Daschund Cafe are Hosting a Virtual Disco for Easter 2020
Pup Up & Daschund Cafe are Hosting a Virtual Disco for Easter 2020

Tour a Museum or Gallery

You can now take a tour of some of the world’s most famous museums and galleries from the comfort of your home. Google Arts & Culture online platform gives you access to more than 2,500 globally, from London’s Tate Modern to the Frida Kahlo Museum in Mexico to The British Museum you can view exhibitions for free online.

A number of galleries are offering their own free tours – the Met Museum in New York created an award-winning series of short videos which allow viewers to immerse themselves in their exhibitions as has the Louvre, in Paris, and the Vatican museum.

Google Arts & Culture Offers Virtual Tours of Museums From Amsterdam to Mumbai
Google Arts & Culture Offers Virtual Tours of Museums From Amsterdam to Mumbai

Stay Connected Virtually, Quiz, Cook & Party

Using technology such as Zoom, Skype, House Party, WhatsApp, Google Hangouts (up tp 10 people on video) and Apple Facetime it’s now possible to chat, play quizzes and even have a party. However, with Zoom, you  have a 40 min time limit if the meeting has more than 3 people. It’s then £11/month.
We’ve set up a regular get together every Saturday where each of us cook our dinner and chat about what we’re doing. You’d be surprised how interesting it is to watch someone cook. Last saturday with music it turned into a party. There’s also a new craze in quizzing ‘virtually’ but I’m not sure how you stop cheating?

Virtual Easter Egg Hunt

For Easter why not try a Virtual Easter Egg Hunt. Good House Keeping have a great guide on how to host one with your neighbours using Zoom, Skype etc. You have to be good at co-ordinating activities and ensuring everyone doesn’t talk at the same time.

Finally, if you’re not into ‘virtual’ why not sketch, paint or photograph……

Wallpaper Magazine asked fashion designers to sketch their ‘Room With a View’. I’m going to try and will show the results here even though my left arm is not that stable. It’s also amazing to look outside and see how the earth is healing whilst we stay in – the birdsong is amazing even in london and the gardens are blooming without our interference.

Room Views from, Manolo Blahnik; Bath, Giuseppe Zanotti; Longiano, Maria Grazia Chiuri, artistic director womenswear Dior; Rome.
Room Views from, Manolo Blahnik; Bath, Giuseppe Zanotti; Longiano, Maria Grazia Chiuri, artistic director womenswear Dior; Rome.

Now that everyone is in the same house bound situation there is an abundance of new experiences available and we can only hope this continues for disabled people after ‘lockdown’.

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