Yes, we are staying at home for the foreseeable future. Though, we can still remain in touch with the outside world via various channels and take some digital tours thanks to the latest technology. During April, why not schedule time for some virtual expeditions and online outings?

During these coming weeks, for many of us, the pace of life will be different to usual. Time takes on a new meaning during this period. Whether you are getting through your day juggling work while at the same time home-schooling a throng of youngsters, or you are home alone figuring out how to get the speaker to work on your laptop so you can join that online meeting – the likelihood is we are all turning to technology and getting to grips with gadgets that we didn’t know existed two weeks ago.

With events cancelled and museums closed, it is true that we cannot gather in groups or plan regular social activities at the moment, but that doesn’t mean we can’t get some fun trips planned; we just need to think digitally. So, who’s up for taking a virtual museum tour, watching a streamed stay-at-home concert, or getting lost in the world of film – all online and from the comfort of our own living room?

Virtual museum tours

teylers museum

Teylers Thuis Tour

On 1 April at 14:00, there will be an online tour of Teylers Museum in Haarlem from the director Marjan Scharloo live from the Oval Room. This will be broadcast via the museum’s Instagram channel and the recording will be made available via the Facebook page.

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Stay at Home Stedelijk

Via the Stedelijk website, you can access information, mini-docs, audio tours featuring popular exhibitions from recent years, and free online workshops with creative ideas for the whole family. Every Friday at 14:00, there is also a live tour via the museum’s Instagram channel and recordings of all tours can be discovered on YouTube and via Facebook. Follow the hashtag #stayathomestedelijk on social media.

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Rijksmuseum from Home

There are a whole host of initiatives that you can take part in to access the Rijksmuseum’s collection, including getting up close to masterpieces and taking virtual tours with the curators. There is also RijksCreative where you can learn to paint using techniques of the great masters.

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Colourful destinations

rollercoaster

Rollercoaster thrills

Fancy a trip to a theme park? You can take your pick of the destinations with virtual walk-throughs at one of Disney’s destinations (see here), and while you are there take a look around such attractions as the Star Wars Ride (see here). Though, if you fancy getting a rosy glow as blood rushes to your cheeks and your heartrate rises, why not take a thrilling front-row seat on some of the world’s exhilarating rollercoaster rides. Check these out the Incredicoaster below.

Jump aboard

Keukenhof blooms

The world-famous flower gardens are in full colour at the Keukenhof and, although we cannot see them in person, we can enjoy the rainbow of blooms from our living rooms. Regularly, the gardeners and horticultural experts will be leading virtual tours around the grounds. You can keep track of the tulips via the Keukenhof’s Facebook page.

Smell the flowers (almost)

Aquarium walkabouts

For a splash of colour, why not take a trip to an aquarium? You can take a glimpse at the colourful underwater world of wildlife without getting your feet wet. Many such institutions have live webcams set up – and a number of aquariums have been letting the penguins roam free while there are no other visitors. The short video accessible via the link below is from Vancouver Aquarium.

Penguins on tour

popcornDiscover film delights

IDFA

The International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) has a vast catalogue of documentaries that you can watch online for free. A number of other films are also available for anyone wishing to pay a small fee.

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Vitamin Cineville

If you have a Cineville pass, then you might already know this – but if not, we are spreading the word. The magical Cineville team have come up with something new to allow you to watch films from home. Freely available to pass holders, this new venture is called Vitamine Cineville. (There will be films in English and a selection of titles with English subtitles.)

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Picl

If you live in the Netherlands, you can pay to access a range of films via the online viewing platform Picl. All films that were due to be programmed at Toneel Flimschuur in Haarlem (and other Dutch cinemas) are now available via Picl, so this includes recent feature films as well as documentaries such as My Rembrandt and For Sama (with Dutch subtitles).

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Musical moments

music listening

Rotterdam Philharmonic

There are some amazing musical performances springing up online all the time – from one-off solo performances to full-on orchestral pieces. The Rotterdam Philharmonic performed the latter in an amazing feat of organisation to produce a recording of ‘Beethoven 9 for the Netherlands’ (this recording is a collaboration between the orchestra and Senior Service).

Watch performance

Met Opera

The Metropolitan Opera in New York has scheduled a series of daily opera streams from its archives. A different encore presentation from the company’s ‘Live in HD’ series will be streamed on the Met website to include ‘outstanding complete performances from the past 14 years of cinema transmissions, starring all of opera’s greatest singers’.

Get your opera fix

Sofar Sounds

Sofar Sounds is a global community that brings music to living rooms across the globe. It has recently launched an online ‘listening room’ where, every day, intimate performances from musicians’ homes will be streamed directly to you as you sit on your sofa.

Press play

sofar sounds listening room

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NEW: Book your place now for the expatsHaarlem free online tax seminars on 18 April!

Carmel McNamara