If you’re like a lot of folks trying to pass their time in quarantine, you’ve completed your to-do list five times over and binged all your favorite shows and movies. So what’s left to do? These options should spark a few ideas, and the best part is they won’t break the bank!
- Free Streaming Options:
- Crackle– Free all the time with ads
- IMDB– Free all the time with ads
- Hoopla– Your local library may have partnered with this service, in which case you can use your library card to access all kinds of free stuff, including movies. You’ll have 72 hours to watch!
- Internet Archive– home to all things public domain, including thousands of feature-length movies. “Public domain” is code for “old” or “mostly black-and-white,” making this the place for folks interested strictly in classic films.
- Kanopy– If your library isn’t connected with Hoopla you might ask about Kanopy. They offer some mainstream content, but their bread and butter is a large selection of indie films and documentaries. Their library also includes titles from the Criterion Collection as well as a Kanopy Kids section for family-friendly content.
- Plex– Primary known for its media-slinging server software, but it is breaking into free movie streaming as well.
- Pluto TV– Free all the time with ads
- Roku Channel– Free all the time with ads
- Tubi TV– Free all the time with ads
- Vudu– Free all the time with ads
- Prime Video Presents the SXSW 2020 Film Festival Collection. Free access April 27th through May 6th.
- Free Trial Offers
- HBO streams some of their original series for free all of the time. Or you can start a 7-day trial to binge a show or movie you know you want to see (only available to new subscribers).
- During the quarantine Sling TV is broadcasting free TV from 5 pm to midnight (only available to new subscribers).
- Acorn TV, a British streaming platform, is offering an extended trial period during the quarantine. Use promo code FREE30 to launch a 30-day trial.
- Filmatique streams art house picks and festival winning films, adding a new one each week. They’re offering a 30-day trial, no promo code necessary.
- Quibi specializes in short-form entertainment catered to Millenials and Gen Z. They offer a 90-day trial period.
- Hulu, Netflix, and Showtime also offer 30-day trials with no promo code necessary.
- Shudder offers horror movies, shows, and original content, and you can start a 30-day trial with promo code SHUTIN.
- AMC owned indie-film favorite Sundance Now is offering a 30-day trial. Just use promo code SUNDANCENOW30.
- Marketed as the first streaming service dedicated to black film and TV, ALLBLK is offering a 30-day trial via promo code UMCFREE30.
- If you’ve recently purchased an Apple product, or plan to, you can gain one year of access to AppleTV+ at no additional cost.
*The promo codes provided were active at the time this article was written and published.
- If you’re interested in PC gaming, gog.com is giving away 27 games for free.
- Amazon Prime members can receive 5 free games worth over $100 in value.
- Epic gives out a free game every week, be sure to check and see what their latest offering is.
- If Print-and-play board games are more your style, these options should keep you busy:
- If you’re looking for something fun to do with friends/family remotely, the notorious board game Cards Against Humanity may be the answer. You can play with friends or by yourself via their online portal-all for free.
Maybe fitness is more your bag. Don’t worry, there are free services to keep your skinny jeans at the forefront of your wardrobe.
- Echelon is offering a free 90-day trial of the FitPass app.
- Peloton is offering a free 90-day trial of the Peloton app.
- Les Mill’s is offering a 30-day-free-trial to his Body Pump subscription.
- Nike’s training club app is always free and offers many home workout options.
- Barry, of Barry’s Bootcamp, is sharing two workouts via his Instagram each day. One that requires no equipment and another that requires common at-home fitness gear.
- Amazon has numerous fitness content aimed at both adults and children, free for Prime members.
- There are plenty of free YouTube Yoga courses out there. If you’re new, you might consider Yoga With Adriene who offers hundreds of videos for all skill levels.
- If Pilates is more your thing, Blogilates YouTube channel has a lot of free content you can check out right now, and get your stretch on!
- Aussie superhero, Chris Hemsworth, has swept into action offering a six-week free trial for his fitness app Centr, so you can shave off the extra quarantine fifteen in no time!
Reference Good Housekeeping’s 25 Fitness Studios and Gyms Offering Live-Stream Workouts During the Coronavirus Outbreak for more options.
Magazines, eBooks, and AudioBooks
- Have a library card? Your library may offer free magazines and this article will show you how to access them: How to check out free digital magazines from your library.
- Amazon is now offering a bunch of Sesame Street e-books for free.
- For your free comic book fix, Dark Horse is offering a ton of free first-issue comics or head to Comixology to find a dozen free Marvel comics including Avengers vs. X-Men Collection and Civil War.
- For kids + teens: Audible is offering a big selection of streaming audiobooks at no charge.
- For adults, Audible is now offering a bunch of Audible Originals for free as well, most of them rated four stars or higher (you’ll need an Audible account to access these).
- Starting April 15th Masterclass will be offering a free course each week.
- The educational company Scholastic has created a digital “Scholastic Learn at Home” website that offers free daily courses for students from pre-kindergarten through high school.
- Sesame Street’s “Caring for Each Other” initiative offers free resources for children while they’re attempting to learn from home.
Whether you have kids stuck at home starved for intellectual entertainment or you find your own brain melting from all the shows you’re binging these days- refine your mental palette with some free art.
- Google’s Arts & Culture collection offers free virtual museum tours from all around the globe.
- Posters from History’s Greatest Illusionists
- YouTube channel The Shows Must Go On is streaming a different Andrew Lloyd Webber musical every Friday, and remains available for 48 hours. Next up: Phantom of the Opera, April 17, 11 a.m. PT.
- The New York Metropolitan Opera is streaming a different encore Live in HD performance every day. Each performance will begin at 7:30 p.m. ET (4:30 p.m. PT) and remain available for streaming for 20 hours.
- VR headset owners of the Oculus Go will be able to view the Tribeca Film Fest VR Movies at no charge.
- Need some new pictures for the kids to color? Crayola is offering a wealth of free-to-download (and print) coloring pages, all of them organized by season.
- Free Delivery: Uber Eats is divvying out free delivery to help independent restaurants.
- Have you always wanted to learn to rock out on the guitar? Fender can help, with their three-month subscription freebie.
- The meditation app Headspace has announced that it is making its premium tier free for all U.S. healthcare professionals who work in public health settings in an effort to support first responders who are hard hit and likely to be emotionally drained during the health emergency.
Check out part I in our COVID-19 Series: Looking at the Glass Half Full Amidst a Crisis.
While we know this list is just a drop in the bucket, it’s been amazing to see so many companies and individuals offer their resources, time, and money to help others in need. Tweet us your favorite ways to pass the time under quarantine or any offerings we’ve missed!