Fun At Home

The 5 Best Online Entertainment Options (That Aren’t Netflix)

Forget about zoning out to Netflix — take a look at these other sites that’ll keep you entertained.

The 5 Best Online Entertainment Options (That Aren’t Netflix)
Royal Opera House

We’ve all been there. After more than two weeks in isolation, we’ve lost track of the number of times we’ve auto-piloted to the Netflix app and scrolled through a same-y list of shows till we zoned out. 

Fear not, because we’ve assembled a list of other digital entertainment that doesn’t involve watching your nth rerun of Friends. And who knows? You might just pick up a new interest — or even a skill — along the way.

01 | Tune in and turn up to a digital drag festival 

Hosted by artists from the inimitable RuPaul’s Drag Race and some of the biggest names in the scene, the Digital Drag Fest features a plethora of queens that’ll entertain your socks off. Each half-hour show promises to be a unique, never to be re-released experience of queens singing, cooking, doing comedy, drama… the list goes on. Expect to see the likes of Todrick Hall (Taylor Swift’s BFF and choreographer) and Sharon Needles, winner of season 4 of RPDR.

If you’ve never been to a drag show, a digital fest is one of the least intimidating ways to get into the art — and it’s also a pretty colourful way to spice up a quiet circuit-breaker night.

Each show has a limited number of tickets available to keep that cosy, intimate atmosphere of a real life show. Best of all, if you really like what you see, you can even make it rain on an artist of your choice. Digitally, of course. 

02 | Watch a performance at West End, or the Royal Opera House 

If you’re something of a culture vulture that’s disappointed by the closure of theatres, have we got something for you. 

The All-Star Les Misérables Concert has just released the digital recording of its 2019 West End performance online, which you can find here. What’s more, for every digital download, The Mackintosh Foundation (chaired by producer Cameron Mackintosh) will donate £5 to several UK-based charities for coronavirus-related relief efforts.

More of a ballet person? You’ll be glad to know that London’s Royal Opera House is now streaming full performances on YouTube as well. Beyond that, the iconic venue is also offering viewers a peak behind its gilded curtains with several behind-the-scenes vids. 

(Image: MasterClass)

03 | Pick up new skills from MasterClass

MasterClass is known for their impressive suite of digital classes — think filmmaking with Martin Scorsese, cooking with Gordon Ramsay, creativity with Anna Wintour, acting with Natalie Portman, conservation with Dr Jane Goodall… you get the drift. 

If you’re not already signed up with the platform, you can give it a whirl with their new MasterClass Live series. The weekly classes are free to watch on their site, and are also uploaded to their YouTube channel

So far, the live classes have featured the likes of author Dan Brown, and award-winning interior designer Kelly Wearstler, who’s been credited for changing ‘the look of boutique hotels around the world’ by The New York Times. Check back at their site here to see the upcoming classes.

04 | Explore space from home

Here’s one for the kids — especially if you want to pry them away from mind-numbing shows on YouTube — or space-curious adults. NASA has just launched a treasure trove of resources for budding astronauts on its site.

Build your own Moon phase calculator, or tinker with the free app that allow you to explore space in real time using real NASA data from your devices. You can even virtually visit some of the 4,000 exoplanets that they’ve discovered — many of which are, in their words, “weird”.

From super-Earths bigger than our big blue planet to gas giants, you can check out what conditions of those planets are like, based on NASA’s science. Fascinating stuff.

05 | Have a painting session hosted by a landscape master

Flex your creative skills and work off some of that cabin fever with a live painting class — after all, there are few things as therapeutic as putting a brush to canvas.

This Thursday, April 23, Singapore’s Ode To Art gallery will be hosting a livestream on Facebook featuring renowned landscape artist Ronnie Ford, who’ll be holding a class from his Scotland studio. A former art teacher himself, Ford will share tips on how to work with perspective, and walk you through your own masterpiece.

And even if you’re not planning to actually bust out your oils and palette, something has to be said about how soothing it is to watch someone paint, a la Bob Ross.

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