88 of the best things to do while in self-quarantine at home that are mostly free

Now that Governor Doug Ducey’s stay-at-home order has expired, it is up to you whether you want to continue to stay in. Honestly, there still isn’t much to do. That’s where the 88.7 best things to do comes to the rescue! Look below for some suggestions.

  1. Support local businesses. Here is an extensive list of places that are open in Arizona. Check to be sure which are locally owned and operated. Share your favorites on social media!

  2. Play an online game with friends. Use Jackbox Games.

  1. Go to a drive-in movie with family and/or friends. Load the car full with as many friends and family as possible and head to the drive-in movies. There are currently four in the Valley.

  2. See how many sit-ups you can do without taking a break. – Keep track of your best (i.e 0/100) and try to increase it every day/week.

  3. Watch the sun set or sun rise.

  4. Watch your favorite artists perform on Stageit.

  5. What’s your personality type? Take this test and find out about the REAL YOU!

  1. Go on a zoo safari from home!

  2. Visit an aquarium virtually!

  3. Take a virtual tour of the Winchester Mystery House. Check out the history and mystery behind the house.

  4. Be inspired! Watch a Ted Talk!

  1. Clear out your media collection of books, DVDs, and CDs.

– Go through your collection, determine which items you’d actually like to keep, and get rid of the rest. You can either sell them at a used media shop, swap them online using services like PaperBackSwap and SwapADVD, or donate them to a local library or thrift store that accepts used books and DVDs. In either case, you’ll declutter by getting rid of stuff you don’t watch, read, or listen to anymore, and possibly earn a bit of money – or at least some shelf space.

  1. Make your own hand sanitizer at home. All you need is 5 simple ingredients and can you make it about 5 minutes.

  2. Those emails you haven’t read… EVER… yeah, now is a good time.

  1. Do a neighborhood cleanup

– Invite some people to go out and clean up your neighborhood for a couple hours, picking up rubbish along the road and in any public places in the area (like parks or walking paths). This is a great way to interact with neighbors, make your community look better, get some fresh air and exercise, and not waste money, either.

  1. Look for your next new car. Here is a good place to start.

  2. Interview your grandparents (over the phone, of course) and save the audio. Can you create an audio story or book with that file?

  3. Challenge yourself to make a meal with whatever you have in your fridge or pantry right now.

  1. Drink only water as a beverage for 24 hours. You may feel completely refreshed and rejuvenated. If you can succeed for one day, try more.

  2. Buildbox is a simple, no code platform for making and publishing 2D and 3D video games. Create games, don’t just consume them, with this drag-and-drop game builder. You can get started for free, and there are dozens of video tutorials available to help you to get your first game published in minutes.

  3. Stay home and stream HBO for freeFind your new favorite premium cable tv show.

  4. Do some Zumba! offers a new video every Friday and its completely fun & free!

  1. Turn on the water sprinkler.

– This is a great way to have family fun with kids. Just run out a hose in the backyard, attach a sprinkler to the end, and turn it on, shooting the water up into the air. Darting back and forth through the cold water on a hot day is a ton of fun for kids — and for parents, too.

  1. Clean inside your car. It’s time to freshen up for summer.

  2. Dig up your family tree.

– Take a peek here or here and see what you can find out about your ancestors. If your family has been in the area for a long time, your local library can help you track down centuries-old birth certificates and other records. And don’t forget to ask your oldest living family members what they remember about their own parents, cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents. Try to assemble a family tree, and see if you can link to any distant cousins or long-lost family members. Doing this can give you a much clearer picture of your heritage and help you get in touch with your family roots.

  1. Bake some of your favorite cookies. On almost every list, Chocolate Chip is tops. Peanut Butter, Oatmeal Raisin, and sugar cookies are also in the Top 5.

  1. Give yourself, a family member, or a loved one flowers at random when they don’t expect it. Do this with five different people and notice how it makes them (and you!) feel.

  2. The Internet Arcade is a web-based library of arcade (coin-operated) video games from the 1970’s through to the 1990’s. You can play them online for free!

  3. Watch your favorite classic TV show for free! Find your favorite 80’s and 90’s tv shows for free here.

  4. Do a simple Abs workout! Artem Zuchkov is a well-known YouTube personality. Here is a beginner’s Abs workout. Most of us could us a simple workout to flatten our tummies!

  1. Blow bubbles.

– Just mix one part liquid dish soap with 15 parts water to make a homemade bubble solution. One quick way to do this is to just mix 1/4 cup dish soap with 3-3/4 cups of water. Use filtered and fairly soft water if you can. Then, take a wire coat hanger, bend and twist it into a small loop or two, and you’re ready to go. Another idea: Take a tin can or coffee can, remove the top and bottom and hammer down any sharp metal edges, then dip the end in the solution and wave it in the air. Blowing bubbles is fun at any age, but it’s especially fun if you have small children who love to chase them or are just learning to blow them.

  1. Get caught up on new music. Search for “New Music Friday” in Google. Spotify updates it weekly. Then, try making a collaborative Spotify playlist with friends who are also home.

  2. Ever wonder what you were really meant to do with your life? Try this!

  1. Check out the Houston Zoo from home! Whether you enjoy watching gorillas, giraffes, elephants, or more, you’ll love it! (5a – 5p MST)

  2. Forget Shark Week! You don’t even need a fish tank to have fun viewing the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s live rocky reef cam (moody music included!)

  3. Go on virtual rides. TheCoasterViews has attractions from Disney, Six Flags, and more!

  4. Learn a new language. Duolingo provides fun, quick lessons in over 94 different language courses in 23 languages.

  5. Try on all your clothes and determine whether they “spark joy” á la Marie Kondo.

  6. Make something homemade. This isn’t entirely free, but it’s almost always a savings over buying the “real thing.” I make my own laundry detergent, and my own soap. In each case, it’s cheaper than buying it from the store and it’s always an engaging experience.

  7. Pick up (and read) a copy of the town’s free newspaper. Look for it at local bus stops, grocery stores, coffee shops, etc. Some of them include Phoenix New Times, The Entertainer, and more!

  8. Go for a walk outside. Doctors say fresh air and exercise are good for not only your physical health but also mental health.

  9. Sign up for a dating site, if you are single, of course. Try Zoosk, eharmony, Match, Bumble, Tinder, OKCupid, Hinge, or Plenty of Fish. There’s also CoffeeMeetsBagel and Badoo. TasteBuds is a unique way to meet others through similar music tastes. All have free versions.

  1. Dust off that retro video game system and replay some of your favorite games! Do you still have your Atari 2600, Nintendo, Sega Genesis, Super Nintendo, or original Sony Playstation? What about a Nintendo 64, Sega Dreamcast, or Xbox?

  2. Spend an evening streaming some of your favorite shows and live tv for free!

– Save $30 a month and stream shows nightly from 5 p.m to Midnight here

  1. Lose two pounds a week (average) for as long as you can. Keep track of your best week and how you achieved that goal.

  1. Play Frisbee at the park. Get a friend (or a pet) and dig out that old Frisbee from your closet, then head out to an open field and toss it around. It’s a lot of fun, a great excuse to run around and stretch and jump, and it doesn’t cost a dime.

  2. Listen to every CD you own, once, all the way through. How many CDs do you still own? How many do you actively listen to? Write down the number of CDs you have and note every time you listen to one all way through. (i.e 0/283)

  3. How many words per minute can you type? Try it now!

  1. Cheetahs, lions, pandas, and elephants all live from the Smithsonian National Zoo. Peek in on what they are doing right now!

  2. Stay at home with Shedd Aquarium allows you to get up close and personal with nature from your own home.

  3. Take a virtual leisurely stroll along Cherry Walk and throughout Cherry Esplanade and savor the trees at peak bloom, in this delightful video by cinematographer Nic Petry of Dancing Camera. Enjoy it at full screen!

  4. Explore Wikipedia.

– You can also allow yourself some time to get lost down a Wikipedia rabbit hole — when you look up a tidbit of history, then start clicking deeper and deeper to learn more about related events and interesting historical subplots. Since each entry cross-links to so much other information, you could go on forever. Wikipedia, despite its imperfections, is like candy to the curious mind.

  1. Rearrange your furniture to make it seem like your home is a totally different space.

  2. Make a book! Write a story, print it out, bind it between construction paper, and draw a picture on the cover. Congratulations, you made a book!

  1. Laugh! The average person does it thirteen times a day. Pick a comedy and relax. Some of the best are Dazed and Confused, First Wives Club, Happy Gilmore, Idiocracy, Mrs Doubtfire, Scary Movie, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Legally Blonde, National Lampoon’s Vacation, and There’s Something About Mary. Find your favorites here.

  2. Play the Oregon Trail.

  3. Do some puzzles. I enjoy doing word searches and crossword puzzles. You can find a huge number of these puzzles online for free, and they’re a great way to stretch your mind a bit at the kitchen table.

  4. Get a free trial of a streaming service and binge-watch as much as you can before it expires. The major three are Netflix, HULU, and Amazon. There’s also Disney+, CBS All Access, and too many to mention.

  5. Discover if you can run a mile in under 10 minutes.

– A noncompetitive, relatively in-shape runner usually completes one mile in about 9 to 10 minutes, on average. If you’re new to running, you might run one mile in closer to 12 to 15 minutes as you build up endurance. Elite marathon runners average a mile in around 4 to 5 minutes. Take it easy at first and build up to a better time each run.

  1. Start a garden at home. No one grows better produce than yourself!

  2. Listen to cover versions of your favorite songs on YouTube.

  3. Where do you stand on the Political Compass? Test yourself and then print a free personal certificate!

  4. Pandas bring you joy. Why not watch them live? Zoo Atlanta has one of the best! You can also view all your favorite animals live here.

  1. Check out live broadcasting from the National Aquarium!

  2. Explore museums. Here is a virtual tour of one of the oldest and largest art museums in the United States, “The Art Institute of Chicago.” British Museum in London has a very cool interactive site.

  3. Teach yourself how to juggle.

– Ever wish you knew how to juggle? All you really need is three balls, a video showing you how to do it — and time to practice. Not only is juggling a fun activity to learn, it’s something that’s fun to bust out as a party trick on occasion (trust me, you can always get people to smile if you juggle three fruits in the kitchen while preparing something).

  1. Get rid of all those expired items in your fridge and pantry.

  2. Be rebellious! Read a banned book. This list includes some of the most well-known titles.

  3. Do some networking.

– Spend an afternoon drafting emails to professional contacts, just to see what they’re up to and to let them know what you’re up to. Set them up to send en masse on Monday morning. While it might sound boring, it can open up countless doors for your career if you do it consistently, and help you build new relationships and friendships — and all it takes is a little bit of spare time.

70. Solve a Rubik’s Cube. If you are really have a tough time or just wanna know the secret try this link.

  1. Watch the short films from South By Southwest Film Festival online for free!

  2. Find out how many push-ups you can accomplish without taking a break. Note your highest number (i.e 0/50) and attempt to raise the number every day/week. A study found men who can do 40 have a lower risk of heart disease!

  3. Find your favorite topic and listen to a podcast on it. Here is a great list to get you started.

  4. Where do you lie on the Kinsey scale? Find out here!

  5. Have you done your income taxes yet? The due date is now Wed July 15, 2020.

  6. Play Monopoly with your favorite people.

  7. Enjoy free streaming options. Xumo, Tubi, Plex, PlutoTV, and Crackle are all free. Kanopy and Hoopla are also free to use with a library card!

  8. Dust off that old instrument and play!

  1. Bring out the Legos.

  2. Create a Google document of shows or movies you’re watching and share it among family and friends.

  3. Coloring books: They’re not just for kids. Look here for the kids. This is for you!

  4. Put on a soap opera. Mute the sound. Create your own dialogue.

  5. Take a bubble bath.

  6. Dye your hair a new color. No one else needs to see it if you don’t like it.

  7. Survey Says Wearing Glasses Makes You Up To 75% MORE Sexy. Try some on virtually on sites like this.

  8. Dear Future Me. Write a letter to your future self.

  9. Look for future schooling options such as which program you want to pursue and where. It’s never too late to pursue your dreams!

  10. Search for a new home. Perhaps you have been wanting to move. Take some time to explore the type of home and area you are looking for. Dream big!

Jeff Kode

Jeff Kode has previously written articles for The Arizona Republic, as well as other publications including Echo Magazine and IONAZ Magazine. He is an enthusiastic movie lover, and enjoys discovering new music. He was previously on air middays with his own show The Sugar Rush, 6-9 am on The Morning Beat with Steve and Jeff, and can now be heard during the afternoon drive 3 to 5 pm at 88.7 The Pulse.