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As you piece together your new normal under the latest stay at home order, here are some ways to break up the monotony of your current work, Netflix, eat, and sleep cycle — and support local businesses in the process.
1. Take a virtual cooking class
Chef Alyssa’s Kitchen: A $15 ticket gets you access to a private cooking show with Chef Alyssa over Zoom. Instructions and an ingredient list will be emailed beforehand. Chef Alyssa recommends watching the video first before diving into cooking. Classes coming up include dumplings, tacos, and knife skills. Details.
Chef Kevin Winston: The chef (who’s cooked for Justin Bieber and Anthony Hamilton) goes live on Facebook at 6:30 p.m. every Monday and Tuesday. He posts the ingredient list ahead of time if you want to follow along. It’s free to tune it. Details.
2. Take a virtual SkillPop class
What: So far, there are seven virtual classes scheduled for April covering a range of topics like social media and building an online business, or makeup and meditation lessons. Once you sign up, you’ll get specific information on how to log into the class.
Details: Classes are $20 and an hour-and-a-half long. Sign up here.
3. Channel your inner grand millennial, learn to knit
What: Charlotte Yarn is offering beginner knitting kits which include supplies to make a hat and step-by-step instructional videos. Color options are cream, blue, pink, and purple.
Details: $25 for kit and video lesson. Order here.
4. Stream a fitness class
- Shane Lucas (@gucciwills), an instructor at Barry’s in Atherton Mill, has been posting 20- to 50-minute workouts on his Instagram stories that you can watch for free. He’s done resistance band training, yoga, and other full-body workouts. It’s free to tune in, but donations are welcome.
- Barry’s founding instructors Chelsea Cox and Erica Peñuñuri Rossi each post live workouts daily on Instagram that include strength training and high-intensity intervals.
- Health and fitness coach Emily Daly has started posting daily workout challenges that take around 10 minutes to complete. She also shares other health-related content on Instagram – all free to consume.
- Flywheel coach Caitlin Collins Gulley and Barry’s founding instructor James Gulley post free at-home workouts with helpful modifications.
- CorePower Yoga has 20 free videos, including 16 yoga classes and four guided meditations. They’re also streaming three live classes a day, available on YouTube.
- Yoga One posts free online classes while its studio is temporarily closed. The collection of classes is updated periodically.
- Be Yoga is hosting its classes online. New students get 10 classes for $79 or two months of unlimited for $119.
- Hilliard Studio Method is offering a free 7-day trial for online classes, and $19 a month for unlimited classes after that. The studio also shares helpful tips and challenges on Instagram.
- Pure Barre Myers Park, SouthPark, and Ballantyne have teamed up to do live streaming through a private Facebook group. You can email the studios if you’re already a member and want to join, or you want to become a member. You can also try Pure Barre On Demand free for seven days, then a month of unlimited streaming is $29.99.
- BK Pilates is offering 30-minute Zoom sessions for $5.
5. Order a cake pop kit or custom cook decorating kit from The Wow Factor Cakes
What: A six-piece cake pop-making set is $20 and a custom cookie-decorating kit (cookies, sprinkles, frosting) is $19. Cookie themes include dinosaurs, sea life, cupcakes and crowns, and vehicles. You can check their COVID updates highlight section to see more.
6. Do a virtual happy hour with Unpretentious Palate
What: Spring break might be canceled, but that doesn’t mean you haven’t earned a cocktail. Stay tuned for classes with Charlotte food and drink pros. Details.
7. Entertain kiddos with a balloon drop from Confetti Castle
What: Confetti Castle will deliver you a giant bag of colorful balloons, 10 activity ideas, and a special deal for you next order. I’ve seen parents posting about this on Instagram saying it’s entertained their kids for 2+ hours.
You can also add a cookie kit from Wow Factor for $25.
Details: $40 including delivery ($10 additional delivery for Concord, Waxhaw, and Mooresville). Order here.
8. Do one of Lindsey Regan Thorne’s makeup tutorials
What: I’m all about learning new skills right now, including how to apply a full face of makeup while absolutely no one can see me. I started experimenting with my Naked eyeshadow palette on my own, I just looked like I had dirt around my eyes. So I used LRT’s tutorial for guidance, and it was much easier to follow.
9. Become your own personal chef
I’m already my personal chef, but I’m almost two weeks into self-quarantine and the inspiration has run dry. Lindsay Kingdon’s SevenLayerCharlotte has tons of healthy recipes, and Christina Marcellino at Carolina Charm makes really creative (but simple) family-friendly meals and snacks. She just posted 20 quarantine recipes to try, too.
10. Tune in to a live concert
The people behind Music Everywhere have launched Music Anywhere. On its website, browse a growing list of virtual concerts. Most are free, but virtual tipping is encouraged.
Literally every day: Local cover band Josh Daniel’s Grateful Band has said it’ll put on a virtual concert every day that this quarantine lasts.
11. Have a dance party
DJ D-Nice: At one point, 100,000+ people joined the party last weekend, including Elizabeth Warren, Khloe Kardashian, and Lil Jon. Charlottean Anthony Hamilton also joined and got a shout out. Hamilton also did his own virtual concert recently.
The Jam CLT: The dance/fitness studio is posting free choreography to YouTube so you add a little zest to your workout routine.
12. Listen to a local podcast that has nothing to do with coronavirus
Some options include Laura Vinroot Poole’s What We Wore, On Life & Meaning by Mark Peres (you can hear our own Michael Graff on this episode), Date Night with Jake and Page, and The Black Guy Who Tips.
13. Order takeout or delivery
We’ve rounded up 200+ local restaurants offering takeout and delivery right now. Options include:
- Haberdish – online orders from 4:30-8:30 p.m. on weekdays, also offering cocktail kits
- Optimist Hall – order one thing from each vendor for a buffet delivered to you curbside
- Ace No. 3 – order a burger and a shake to-go through Ace’s website
- Stagioni – Call 704.372.8110 for curbside service (go with pizza and meatballs)
- Sunflour Baking Company – pick up a coffee and bakery treat to go
14. Support your favorite retail shops online
- Monkee’s of Charlotte has free shipping, curbside service, and local delivery. You can send them a DM if you see something you want on Instagram.
- Boem is doing free shipping and free home delivery within a six-mile radius of their SouthPark store for online orders. You can also pick up an order or book a private shopping appointment by texting the store at 704.575.2509.
- Girl Tribe has online inventory and is offering free shipping. They also launched a special collection to support other small businesses during this time.
- Society Social added more of its inventory online, of you can DM the shop for inquiries. They have delivery and curbside pick-up options.
15. Read a book by a local author via Charlotte Mecklenburg Library’s ebook/audiobook system
Some local options include The Antidote for Everything by Kimmery Martin; The Elephant in the Room by Tommy Tomlinson; and anything by the Reichs family. (Kathy Reichs’ books inspired the TV show Bones and her son, Brendan, is now an acclaimed author himself.)
16. Schedule a virtual therapy session
In my own life, I’ve noticed fear showing up in ways I’m not used to since COVID-19 has spread. My therapist has been a really great resource for me during this time and has offered to answer questions over email, text, schedule some quick check-ins, or do a full phone or video sessions.
If you aren’t seeing a therapist currently, but have thought about going, you can sort through this list by insurance provider, areas of expertise, and meeting methods. It’s what I used to find my current therapist (that and reading every review I could find online).
17. Try Tabor takeout
How it works: DM Tabor with your needs (think: I’m looking for casual new spring clothes), and a stylist will pull somethings for you in your size based on your request. They’ll deliver or ship to you for free, once you try everything on, you decide what to keep and send back the rest.
18. Order your a necklace-making kit from Erin McDermott
Kids kits: For $16, you get strands of wood beads (you choose the colors), a white turquoise elephant charm, two strings, and a cloth bag.
19. Channel your inner Picasso
Windy O’Connor: Local artist Windy O’Connor is sharing painting lessons through her Instagram. In the first video she shared what supplies you’ll need, and she’ll be adding more videos to her feed to share how-to.
KidzArt: Kids ages 6-11 can tune into a virtual, 45-minute drawing class Monday-Thursday. The week costs $30, and you can order supplies for an additional $20 if needed.
Evelyn Henson: The artist behind Charlotte’s beloved hearts wall created a cheerful 10-minute tutorial on how to paint lemons.
20. Do a science experiment with Discovery Place
What: Discovery Place Science launched at-home science lessons for your kids. So far, they have six videos with step-by-step science experiments, and a few live streams of exhibits at the museum.
21. Tune in to a virtual Good Taste with Cate forum
What: Good Taste with Cate is normally an in-person forum where women can mingle then have a guided conversation on a variety of topics, from sex to finance to style. Scheduled forums include Friendships & Quarantine on May 7 and Hormone Disruptors on May 14. These online forums are free for whoever wants to join; just DM @goodtastewithcate.
22. Learn more about Charlotte with The Charlotte Museum of History
Lunch and learn: The series includes talks and discussions on various historical themes.
Distance learning: The museum has guided educational virtual lessons paired with an activity for school-aged kiddos. And some options for all ages, too.
23. Picnic at home with a curated to-go box
Camp North End: For $30, you get a charcuterie sampler from Chop & Chisel (cured meats, cheeses, crackers, and rosemary spiced almonds); Bourbon Apple Jam from Bleu Barn Camp Northend; and salted caramel chocolates from Wentworth & Fenn. All proceeds go to the NC Restaurant Workers Relief Fund, too. Details.
Babe & Butcher: There are four individual boxes to choose from, including cheese and fruit ($15), veggie ($15), desserts ($15), and meat, nuts, and cheese ($20). Delivery is $6. There’s also an option to buy a meal for a healthcare worker, which costs $20.
24. Tune into CLT After Dark
The new weekly variety show features various talented Charlotteans and celebrities showing off their talents, like music, comedy, theater, and dance. The show starts at 10 p.m. on Thursdays.
25. Learn how to decorate cookies with Sweet Spot Studio
The bakery has six cookie decorating class packages priced $50-$60; it includes materials and videos for step-by-step instructions. Themes include Harry Potter and Friends, and there’s a macaroon option. Kits without detailed video instruction start at $35. Pickup and delivery are available.