As your public library, we love to share! Here’s a roundup of free entertainment resources for adults and teens that we’ve been collecting. Have something to share? Please do! Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Explore the natural world around you with free field guides from The Field Museum.
- Experience spring garden moments with the Chicago Botanic Garden.
- Dive into the joy of birds with the National Audubon Society.
- Arts for Illinois: “This new online platform features talented artists—performers, singers, poets, painters, writers, and many more from across Illinois—who have made their works available for the public’s enjoyment while at home during these challenging times. This platform is a place to connect, express, and inspire. A place for comfort, laughter, and healing among all residents.”
- Concerts from Your Home: 5 Ways to Watch Live Music. Thanks for sharing this list, Chicago Public Library!
- Nightly Met Opera Streams. “During this extraordinary and difficult time, the Met hopes to brighten the lives of our audience members even while our stage is dark. Each day, a different encore presentation from the company’s Live in HD series is being made available for free streaming on the Met website” each evening at 6:30 pm CT. Each recording stays up on the website until the following evening at 5:30 pm.
- DJ D-Nice’s Homeschool Playlist on Spotify. From Instagram: “If you enjoy the throwback music that I’m rocking in my sets, check out my Spotify Homeschool playlist.”
- Austin City Limits, the PBS series featuring live music from today’s most celebrated artists, has made its last three seasons available for streaming. Search for your favorites or discover new acts.
- Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland has opened up its archive of induction class concerts. It has also created playlists for you to listen to while you work from home.
Famous landmarks & museums
- From The Guardian: “They’re closed for now but you can still take an interactive online tour, to gaze over the edge of Machu Picchu and marvel at the Pyramids from every angle.”
- From Readers’ Digest: “Good news—you won’t lose the arts when you shelter in place. The show must go on!”
- From Time Out Chicago: “Take a digital tour of some of Frank Lloyd Wright’s most iconic Chicagoland buildings.”
- The British Museum has an interactive timeline. Just pick a date and learn more about the thousands of artifacts that make up their collection.
- The Art Institute of Chicago’s collection is searchable online and includes additional information for each artwork.
- Experience the Field Museum at Home: Continue exploring natural history with online resources and at-home activities for all ages.
Live theater & dance
- Hamlet, Romeo & Juliet, and more from Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, starting April 6 »
- The National Theatre: Free full-length performances every Thursday »
- Alvin Ailey Dance Company All Access allows users to watch performances, learn more about the troupe’s dancers, and take online dance classes.
- Andrew Lloyd Webber’s YouTube channel is airing one musical every Friday. It will remain up for 48 hours.
- Free Streaming Opera lists more than 30 worldwide opera companies streaming free performances.
TV & movies
- 500 hours of free TV and movies from HBO »
- Free movies, films, and videos from The Moving Image Archive.
- SLING is offering a special two-week free trial of SLING Blue. Usually only a one-week free trial. No credit card info needed. Includes access to 45+ live channels and, it says, 50,000 on-demand movies and TV shows.
- Showtime is offering a 30-day free trial. Usually it’s just 7 days. No cable needed.
- Baseball: A film by Ken Burns streaming on PBS. “The story of Baseball is the story of America. It is an epic overflowing with heroes and hopefuls, scoundrels and screwballs. It is a saga spanning the quest for racial justice, the clash of labor and management, the transformation of popular culture, and the unfolding of the national pastime.”
For Star Trek fans
- For everyone who wants to binge-watch Star Trek: Picard »
- And for Patrick Stewart in a much different role…daily Shakespeare sonnets »
For Neil Gaiman fans
- Cool stuff for adults from author Neil Gaiman: Short stories, essays, audio, and videos