Fun & Free Virtual Programs for Older Kids and Parents

Keeping your older kids (and yourself) active and engaged while at home

Who knew there were so many free virtual programs? Now, we can even attend an opera without going to the Met! We curated a list of online resources to keep your older kids and yourselves engaged during this stay-at- home time. These programs can also be great bonding moments for you and your children.

The virtual programs below are suitable for kids ages 8+. If you have younger kids, check out our Fun & Free Virtual Program for 3-7-Year-Olds.

We update this post weekly, so be sure to check back for more suggestions.

Follow us on Facebook or Instagram to stay updated on new activities and send us any feedback and suggestions for other virtual events and videos.


Updated: April 22, 2020

1. Podcasts

Take a break from your screen and immerse yourself in these podcasts to expand your mind beyond the four walls of your home as you continue social distancing.

The Genius Life: Max Lugavere, author of Genius Foods, interviews experts in the field of wellness, health, and nutrition on topics such as Staying Mentally Healthy While Self-Quarantined and How to Get More  Confident, Pivot Toward Your Dreams and Achieve Anything

School of Greatness: Episodes range from interviews with incredible world-class game changers in entrepreneurship, health, athletics, mindset, and relationships, to solo rounds with the host, Lewis Howes, and the once-a-week listener-favorite, the 5-Minute Friday. Past episodes include: Take Time to Reflect and Get Out of Your Own Way

Impact Theory:  Go inside the minds of the world’s highest achievers with host Tom Bilyeu, founder of Quest Nutrition. Listen to how singer Jewel turned anxiety to a powerful ally or John Travolta speaking on succeeding on your  own terms.

The goop Podcast: Gwyneth Paltrow and Elise Loehnen chat with leading thinkers, culture changers, and industry disruptors about shifting old paradigms and starting new conversations.

NPR Plant Money: The economy explained. Imagine you could call up a friend and say, “Meet me at the bar and tell me what’s going on with the economy.” Now, imagine that in a fun, digestible format.

How I Built This: Guy Raz dives into the stories behind some of the world’s best-known companies. How I Built This weaves a narrative journey about innovators, entrepreneurs, and idealists—and the movements they built.

Duolingo: Improve your language skills and gain new perspectives on the world by listening to easy-to-follow, fascinating true stories. The podcast is available in Spanish or French, but the app offers over 30 languages.


2. Online Classes (that are actually fun!)

Smithsonian Institution: Participate in workshops and courses where teens and adults can learn about a variety of topics ranging from meditation to cinema.

MOMA: Explore the Museum’s online courses and sources that allow you to dive into the library virtually.

Corning Museum of Glass: If you loved Netflix’s Blown Away glass-blowing competition, check out the Museum’s 10 Ways to Digitally Experience Glass to understand why these glassblowers were vying for a coveted spot in its residency program.


3. Games

Words With Friends 2 – Challenge your kids, friends or partner to take you on as you scramble to create words out of random letters.

Cards Against Humanity – The game is easy. Every round, one player asks a question from a black card, and everyone else answers with their funniest response. Then, the asker selects the cared they find the most humourous. Note: Family Edition is PG-rated.

NBA 2k20:  Since no sports are on TV right now, why not play basketball with your friends and family virtually.  Play chess with friends and family no matter where they are in the world.

4. Fitness

Yoga with Adriene: Join these 35-minute loving, powerful, grounding yoga sessions.

SaraBethYoga: Choose from a variety of classes by level, duration, focus areas, and mood. Some days, we can only master a 10-min session, and that counts as a win for the day!

Move with Colour: Here ‘s an online platform for people who love to dance! Choose among 10-min dance classes in jazz, Classic 80s and Ugly Zumba.

Blogilates: With short, attainable workouts and one-on-one instruction, it can feel like you have your own personal trainer right in your living room.

Popsugar Fitness:  If you’re looking for classes that will make you feel like you’re working out with friends, Popsugar Fitness is exactly what you need. There are even family cardio sessions.

Sweat with SELF:  If you’re looking for some serious (free) “fitspiration” after swearing off stress-baking and eating, Sweat with SELF has 10-25 min high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and cardio workouts that will whip you back into fighting shape.


5. Performing Arts

Alvin Ailey: Stream full dance performances performed by the American Dance Theater’s Alvin Ailey. Check their website for the upcoming schedule.

Metropolitan Opera – Nightly Met Opera streams a different encore presentation from the company’s Live in HD series. Each performance is available for 23 hours, from 7:30 pm ET until 6:30 pm the following day.


6. Reading

Goodreads: Dive into the world’s largest site for readers and book recommendations. Their mission is to help people find and share books they love. Not only can you explore reviews from fellow readers, but you can also enter giveaways and ask your favorite authors questions.

Audible: This is more of a listening activity than a reading one, but we just love Audible. Their entire children’s story collection is open to the public free of charge, including Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone (British version of Sorcerer’s Stone) in six different languages. Plus, there’s a classic literary section for adults. Maybe you’ll finally get around to “reading” the audio version of Paradise Lost.


7. Cooking

Aya F – Attend live cooking class featuring Japanese-themed dishes every Thursday at 5:30 pm ET.

Iliza Shlesinger’s #dontpanicpantry Live Cooking Show – Who can’t use a little more laughter these days. especially when cooking? Comedian Iliza and her husband Chef Noah Galuten cook dinners you can easily make from your pantry on Instagram Live every day – with a healthy dose of humor, of course.


Looking for a more personalized interactive learning experience for your kids? Book one of Apiari’s Childcare+ enrichment sitters! We have vetted professional artists, musicians, dancers, and college grads who can tutor in English, Math and science and teach kids a new skill – either virtually or in-person.

Chat with our virtual assistant Amy to find a Childcare+ enrichment sitter who matches your child’s interests!



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