• Phyllis Prestamo

Virtual Experiences - More Than Just Zoom!

While many have spent a lot of their time during these unprecedented times binge watching Netflix and other TV shows and movies, I have begun to look for more. I started with YouTube and my interest in sewing and quilting and a simple search led me to several great YouTubers (as my grandson calls them) demonstrating techniques and projects I had always wanted to do; I have become a follower of a few talented craftspeople. I also participate in a Zoom Book Club and a Bible Study, but as the months passed by and we were still keeping close to home, I was looking for something new

. I'd like to share some of the best experiences, some free, some for a small fee and still others that are quite pricey. From celebrity chef-led cooking classes on Instagram to live streams of concerts to virtual tours of cities and museums; the world has responded quickly to social distancing orders and made it easier to explore a new hobby or travel the world without ever leaving your couch.

Airbnb - Airbnb has a full catalog of experiences to explore. Offerings include cooking lessons (Pasta with the Grandmas $45. or make Mexican Street Tacos with a Pro Chef $21.) , tours of famous and not so famous cities ( Irish Village, History, Culture & Craic $17. or A Fabulous Day in Paris with a Parisian $21.), Music (Sing Songs with a Broadway Star $50 or hear a Classical Piano Concert Live from Vienna $12.), and so much more including family friendly experiences , animal interest classes, dance lessons and other very unique experiences. This is where I spent most of my time exploring and perfecting my homemade ravioli.

Famous Landmarks - Visit the most epic landmarks without the epic crowds, thanks to livestreams, virtual tours and 360-degree videos. You can even explore the Seven Wonders of the World or check out the Sistine Chapel close up in 360 degrees.

Museums around the world are offering virtual tours, online collections and interactive experiences. 13 Museums you can visit online include the Guggenheim, Musee D'Orsay, Paris, The National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul, J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, The Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Boboli Gardens, Florence, Machu Picchu, Peru, Museu de Arte de Sao Paulo, Brazil, Museo Dolores Olmedo, Mexico City, The Art Institute of Chicago, The Palace of Versailles, France, The Tokyo National Museum, and The National Palace of Sintra, Portugal. You can Google most museums not listed and see what they have to offer.

Master Class - A more pricey option with an annual membership fee, Master Class maybe what you are looking for. They are currently running a special if you buy one annual membership you get the second free. From writing workshops, arts & entertainment, home & lifestyles, food, music and design, the possibilities are endless. Average classes include twenty 10-minute sessions and all classes are downloadable, include a PDF workbook and can be viewed on desktop, phone or TV.

Rosetta Stone - Ever want to learn a new language, well now you have the time. Starting at $7. a month what better way to prepare for that trip that you will eventually take when life gets back to normal.

Food Network Kitchen App - At $39.99 for one year you can take live and on-demand classes to learn recipes, tips and techniques from the experts on the Food Network. The membership also includes meal planning and shopping lists. Right now they have a 30-day free trial.

I have just touched on a few of the most noteworthy of virtual experiences, but don't forget to check out your community website and especially your Public Library for adult programs and events that are offered online. I hope that I have not sent you down the proverbial rabbit hole, I tried to do that for you and hope that you plan some fun experiences for yourself this winter.

As an aside, I am currently teaching classes on Outschool.com. So if you have any young friends, nieces, nephews or grandchildren who would like to learn how to sew, quilt or make doll clothes, just search my name on the website and it will bring you to my schedule of class offerings.

Happy New Year!

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