40+ Things to Do When You’re Quarantined

If you told me 2 weeks ago that I’d be staying at home indefinitely with my kids and husband, I’d have thought you were nuts. But changed quickly and here we are! The best way to keep your stress level low is to keep busy, have some fun and be productive. We know; it’s hard. But take a breath and try to embrace and enjoy the time to do things you NEVER have time to do!

Here are 40+ ways to spend those extra hours…

1. Curbside Sugar Fix
Sometimes a little something sweet and decadent can make everything feel better. Quench your sugar fix with one of the many ice-cream shops and bakeries on our list that are serving curbside treats. Then read “Why Chocolate is Good for Your Heart.”

2. Have a House Party!
I never thought I’d say this in front of my kids but thank god for social media! It’s what’s keeping us all feeling connected the last week. So put on a little make-up, wash your hair and get out of those pjs for some virtual cocktails or a brunch with HouseParty, the video chat app. You could even play a game of charades or Pictionary with family friends.

3. Try a New Restaurant
Order takeout from a restaurant you’ve never tried before: a fun treat for you and a way to keep our local businesses afloat. What are you in the mood for? Chinese, Mediterranean, Sushi? Here are the Ridgewood Restaurants Offering Curbside Pick-up or Delivery.

4. Take a Walk!
Be outside as much as possible, and feel good about being there.The coronavirus is not a poisonous gas. It is good for your immune system and good for your mental health. And if you need 30 minutes to yourself, this is a great way to get it!

5. Get a Curbside Craft at Creatively Yours
Creatively Yours is offering to-go craft kits. Select your ceramics and the paints, complete your craft at home and then bring the pieces back for firing after completion. Some of the crafts, like figurines, boxes and banks, are also suitable for acrylic painting, and they don’t even need firing.

6. Get Your “Om” On with Ridgewood’s Rachel Vassak
Flowyoganj.com has online classes!  She’s offering everything from her signature Vinyasa Flow class to Yoga & Mindfulness class to quiet your mind. First class is free and she’s offering just $45 for 30 days. Check it out.

7. Make Pizza!
Make dinner as a family and keep the kids busyt with a DIY pizza kits from Pizzaioli.

8. Treat the Whole Family to a Spa Day.
We all deserve–and need–a little pampering right now! Set the mood for your afternoon spa day: get in your coziest pjs, light some candles, and play soft music. Make a facial mask or homemade face scrubs. Then, everyone deserves a long soak in the tub. Next paint each other’s fingers and toes. Finish with a shoulder rub.

Or order a custom facial pack with everything you need to cure your skin from Flora’s Cottage. She can put together a custom-made facial for you to use. Or spend the afternoon with your kids making her DIY Lip Balm. Visit their website or call 201-895-1643.

9. Get Unplugged!
Pull out one of the dozens of games gathering dust in your closet or order something new on Amazon.

10. Read a Book Your Neighbor Recommends
Here is our list of books that our readers said they loved so much…they’d read them again!

11. The Library is Open!
Even though you can’t go in the building, you can still use the libray’s free digital sources. You can download eBooks and Audiobooks for your tablets, smartphones and eReaders. Check out what’s available.

12. Give Your Furniture a Fresh New Look
Order some chalk paint and give your kitchen or bookcase a new look with easy-to-use chalk paint. No priming or sanding. Stores are closed, but we were able to order it on Amazon. Our favorite is the FolkArt Chalk Paint. If you don’t want the shabby chic look, finish it with their clear wax. They also have chalk paint and wax brushes available online.

13. Play Two Truths and a Lie
This is a great way for you all to learn something new about eachother. Each person tells 2 true facts and 1 lie to the group. The group has to figure out which statement is the lie. For example, “When I was in college, to make extra money, 1) I babysat, 2) worked in McDonalds or 3) worked at Yankee Staidum. Which is the lie?”

14. Plan your Next Vacation.
Close your eyes and picture yourself on a warm tropical beach some time in the future. You will travel again!
Then, spend a few hours planning a trip to somewhere warm or dreamy to vacation.
Here are few of our favorite vacation destination ideas:
Puerto Rico
Turks & Caicos

Las Vegas & the Grand Canyon
Our Favorite Family Resorts

Ponce, PR
Fairytale Castles
Amtrak Adventures

15. Clear Space on Your Phone (& Your Kids!)
I am so tired of hearing “I don’t have space” from my kids. Get under the covers and delete the plethora of duplicate or bad photos–especially the ones where your face looks fat–as well as old emails and gain space!

16. Have a Dance Party
Blare your favorite tunes and get out some energy with a dance party.
Form teams, have a dance competition, and make one person the judge.

17. Give Blood
Because of the cancellation of blood drives, the American Red Cross is facing a severe shortage of blood. Click here to see where you can make an appointment to give blood.

18. Go Through Old Photos.
 Take a walk down memory lane looking at old photos and home videos. Create a digital album or even a traditional one on Shutterfly. Ask older kids to scan old family prints into your computer before they have aged beyond repair.

19. Organize Your Kids’ Closets.
Out with the old, ripped and too small. Sit with them in their rooms and figure out what fits and what doesn’t. Pack up the clothes that don’t fit to give away for donating later.

20. Make Soup.
Get the kids chopping and use up all those veggies that are going to go bad. Make a pot of hearty, comforting soup for dinner with whatever you
can find in the pantry and freezer.

21. Try a Edible Science Experiment
Here’s a fun, yummy home-schooling project: try an edible science experiment. The kids will have fun…and maybe even learn something. From fun edible experiments like making ice cream in a ziploc or rock candy pops to bloated gummy bears or homemade lava lamps.

sleep, insomnia, routine, eating, drinking, alcohol, exercise, health22. Take a Nap.
When do you ever indulge in a nap? Chances are, you never get enough sleep (find out here how much you need) and you need now to stay healthy! Catch up on your sleep and encourage your kids to do the same. Even if they sat they’re not tired, I bet if they lay in a cozy bed reading, they’ll end up asleep.

23. Make a Music Video.
Give in to your kids and make a Tik Tok video; you’re guaranteed to crack yourseld up. Or try musical.ly – your video social network, an app where you can lipsync and make music videos. Pick your favorite song; I bet if you try it, you’ll love it too!

24. Channel Your Inner Fancy Nancy 
and Play Dress Up…with the Whole Family.

25. Play Video Games…or Fortnite.
When do I EVER say “yes” to video games?!?  Take 30 minutes and play something with the kids: Wii Party, sweat to Just Dance, get trapped in a bubble in Mario, NBA 2K. They’ll be in heaven.

26. Get Cooking…
Play a game of Chopped like the show.If you’ve never seen it, watch one episode
On Demand (Food Network) first. You choose their ingredients, put them in a basket and watch your kids
get creative.  Of course, you’re the judge.

27. …and then have a formal Dinner Party.
Get out of those pjs and step away from the tv! Actually get dressed for dinner! My husband did this for my friend last week. He put on a suit and made and served her dinner in the dining room. Set the table, use cloth napkins, light candles, and put on your favorite tunes.

28. Make Homemade Butter
All you need is heavy cream, a tight lidded container and a marble. Plus, you’ll burn some energy! See how on mommypoppins.com

snow day

29. Do a jigsaw puzzle. 
You have one sitting in a closet somewhere, and it is not as boring as it sounds. It’s like meditating in a group.

30. Work on Your Family Tree.
Have the kids help make a family tree or order one online. The one above is a
walll decal and includes photos. Check out some of our favorite family trees.

31. Send Them on a Scavenger Hunt.
Feel free to include some things you’ve been looking for–like all those missing socks! Whoever kinds the most socks gets a prize! It’s is also a great way to have them find their uniforms for the weekend now.

32. Curl Up and Watch a Movie.
Pop some popcorn and curl up with an afternoon movie or two. Or binge-watch a series.
(Shut off all cell phones please.)

karaoke33. Sing Your Heart Out: Karaoke.
 Get silly. If you don’t have the machine, or the video game, try this app. A snow day is a great time to let your kids see your crazy side — by that I mean your college crazy side and not your Jack Nicholson from the Shining crazy side.

34. Create a Family Cookbook.
Put together recipes that are near and dear to your heart in a family heritage cookbook. The kids can help too by making drawings to go with it. This is a project that will take more than a day, but today is a great day to start it. Have it ready for the women in your life for Mother’s Day.

35. Call or FaceTime Relatives.
Our weekdays are so packed with activities that as much as I want the kids to call grandparents, aunts and uncles, there never seems to be time. They’ll love hearing from you today. It’ll make them feel loved and connected.

36. Watch your wedding video.
 Your kids will love seeing you when you were young…and that hairstyle from 15 years ago.

37. Make homemade cards for upcoming birthdays.
Grandparents will especially love this. Store them, and pull them out when you need them. or make a thank you note for yiour local hospital or emergency workers.

38. Clean out your game closet.
You will feel accomplished and it will inspire you and your kids to play some games you
haven’t looked at in years.

39. Play Pictionary.
You don’t even need the game. Make your own cards that represent things that everyone in your family can associate with.

40. Read Together.
For little ones, climb into bed with 5 of your favorite picture books. With older kids, start out reading their favorite books from when they were little and then, settle into each of your own books.

41. Finally, when all else fails, turn on the TV for your kids, and go hide in the bathroom with a good book and a bottle of wine or a QuarantiniNo guilt. It isn’t your fault your cooped up for weeks with the kids. They have to learn to entertain themselves for Pete’s sake!

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Author: Heather Zachariah

Former Art Director for Home Magazine, Heather Leahy Zachariah, left her career in publishing after baby number number one. She now works from home as a freelance graphic designer and a chauffeur to her 3 busy kids. "Working on TipsFromTown has been a wonderful outlet for me. It renewed my love of publishing where I can design colorful, enticing pages online and allows me to share the things I love about being a mom." Heather grew up in Shaker Heights, Ohio, a place that still is near and dear to her. " After living in Brooklyn for 18 years and studying Graphic Design at Pratt Institute, she now lives in the Jersey burbs. "I love living so close to NYC, but in my heart, I'm an Ohio girl."


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