Ten ways to make it feel like you’ve had an Easter break

Sent up a virtual egg hunt.
Sent up a virtual egg hunt.
Image: 123rf

So, you have cancelled the long weekend out of town and are growing so desperate for diversions, you catch yourself questioning whether The Godfather is really that unsuitable for the six-year-old.

Instead of being on holiday for the Easter weekend break you have been relegated to the sitting room floor, while the sofa and children appear to be physically absorbing one another. Now you are wondering whether the sensation in your chest is symptomatic of an anxiety attack, or the bassline that has been booming through the teenager's bedroom wall since Tuesday. Don't panic.

Armed with these easy hacks, you can create so many adventures, it will feel as if you've had a fortnight away.

1 MAKE A HOME HOTEL

Leave soaps, folded towels and dressing gowns on everyone's bed. Insist everyone wears the latter for at least half the day. To ensure you don't end up playing the role of hotel housekeeping, washing up and cooking is prohibited for 24 hours.

2 ORGANISE A VIRTUAL EGG HUNT

If you would usually be holidaying at the grandparents' house for Easter, rope them into a virtual egg hunt. Get both sets to write a clue and hide an egg in their garden. On the day, get everyone to sign in to a video chat, then take turns to read their clue and take the kids round their garden as they "hunt" for the egg.

3 WATCH A PLAY, OR GO TO THE MOVIES WITH PALS (KIND OF)

London's Globe Theatre is streaming a free Shakespeare play every fortnight, while the UK's National Theatre has put together a programme of family-friendly plays on its YouTube channel, releasing one every Thursday night, and Andrew Lloyd Webber has just started streaming his musicals on a YouTube channel called The Shows Must Go On - where one of his full-length musicals will be streamed every Friday evening for free.

In many ways, this is a superior experience. Consider: you can eat snacks noisily, and be free from fear that your bladder or mobile phone will embarrass you.

If your children are more partial to Pixar, a new Google Chrome extension has launched just in time to buy you at least 80 minutes in their good books. The free tool allows them to start, stop and pause a Netflix movie at the same time as their friends. There's even a chat bar. Just add popcorn.? 

4 VISIT A THEME PARK (KIND OF)

YouTube channels The Coaster Views and The Sharp Productions have video after video of footage shot from the rides at Disneyland, Disneyworld, Universal Studios Florida and other places. If you are taking this seriously, you'll put your child in a laundry basket and shake them about a bit as they watch.

5 GO ON SAFARI

Wild Earth takes viewers on live safari drives each day. Twice a day, every day, unless there is extreme weather which interrupts the live feed, teams - comprising an expert game ranger and cameraman head out into the African wilderness and film whatever they find, explaining the surroundings as they go and answering questions from viewers around the world. While it can be watched live from 6am until 9am and again at 3.30pm until 6.30pm, the drive is recorded and can be viewed later. Visit https://wildearth.tv/safarilive/ or WildEarth - LIVE safari on YouTube.

Please help us keep our daily safaris going through April and beyond. Find out how at http://indiegogo.wildearth.tv or http://wildearth.tv/support WildEarth Safari ...

6 VISIT A LANDMARK OR MUSEUM

Take an online tour of the Empire State Building or the White House. Visit the peak of Everest via the Everest Live Web Cam. See a virtual Van Gogh at the Musee d'Orsay, or revolve 360 degrees inside the Vatican Museum's Room of the Chiaroscuro. The Tate has announced plans to release free online tours of its Andy Warhol and Aubrey Beardsley exhibitions.

7 GO CAMPING......in your own garden.

No portaloos. No marital disputes about who was supposed to pack the pegs. No need, even, to remain in your tent when you remember, at half past 10, how much you dislike camping.

8 TRY TRAVELLING COCKTAILS

The Manhattan, the Moscow Mule, the Parisian, the Singapore Sling... It is possible to drink your way around the globe in a single week, armed with a cocktail cabinet and dedication.

9 LEARN A LANGUAGE

Doing so at home instead of the country of your choice may seem limiting. But there are upsides - not suffering the indignity of every single waiter responding to your pre-school Italiano in brilliant English.

10 ATTEND A PRIVATE CONCERT

YouTube has announced a special Easter Celebration line-up for Stay Home #WithMe (https://events.withgoogle.com/stayhomewithme/home/).  Kicking off on Good Friday, this weekend’s lineup includes performances from some of the African continent’s best-known gospel artists including heavyweights like South Africa’s Benjamin Dube, and Mthunzi Namba, alongside Nigerian gospel superstars Nosa and Glowreeyah Braimah. On Friday at 4pm watch JoeBoy; King Perryyis is on at 5pm and Nasty C is at 7pm. Under this initiative Matthew Mole put together a live show from his home kitchen on April 5. It was fun to watch and believe it or not interactive as he watched the live feed of viewers comments and responded to song requests and general questions. His next show in this format is at 5pm on April 12.

On the international front John Legend, Chris Martin, Shawn Mendez, Camilla Cabello and others have all recorded live performances for the World Health Organisation and Global Citizen's virtual concert series #togetherathome. It's like you're at a festival! Only it's not raining in your sitting room, and your feet are in slippers. Heaven.? Available on youtube.com — with additional reporting by Julia Butcher

Social distancing is important, but that doesn't mean it has to be boring. I did a little at-home performance to help lift your spirits. @Miguel, @Charlie Puth - you want next? Learn more about how you can take action to help slow the spread of coronavirus with our partners at @World Health Organization (WHO) and @Global Citizen https://www.globalcitizen.org/coronavirus #TogetherAtHome


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While erecting a tent in the garden may not seem as much fun as on an actual camp site many kilometres from home, there are some advantages.
While erecting a tent in the garden may not seem as much fun as on an actual camp site many kilometres from home, there are some advantages.
Image: 123rf
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