11 Great Things to Do Online During Lockdown

Stuck at home with nowhere to go? Let the good times come to you via the magic of the internet…

Lead image: The Design Museum’s Electronic: From Kraftwerk to The Chemical Brothers is now online (photo: The Chemical Brothers at the O2 in November 2019 © Luke Dyson)

1 Restival Festival 2021

17-18 January

Banish those January blues and get your wellness on with Restival Festival. The two-day online wellness festival runs from Sunday 17 January to Monday 18 January (aka Blue Monday – the most depressing day of the year), focussing wellness and mental health. There are over 15 workshops across the two days, so you can mix and match the workshops and panel discussions curate your own festival of relaxation. Sessions include Pilates and Vinyasa flow yoga, ‘good for you’ Dinners, panel talks on music and sustainability, a virtual spa and introduction to reflexology. You can even add in self-care kits. 8am-9pm. Tickets from £20.

To book see thelittlesurprisescompany.co.uk

2 The Year Ahead with Thompson’s Gallery London & London Art Fair 2021

18 January-6 February 

With London Art Fair, the annual art fair held at the Business Design Centre in Islington, unable to go ahead this year, Thompson’s Gallery London presents The Year Ahead, an online group exhibition in partnership with London Art Fair 2021. London Art Fair usually displays modern British and contemporary art, from the early 20th century onwards, so Thompson’s in Marylebone has partnered with the fair online to present an exciting range of new paintings and sculpture. A promotion and preview of the exciting 2021 calendar, this exhibition introduces featured artists for year’s exhibition schedule along with artists whose shows were affected by the 2020 lockdowns. Featured artists include figurative painter Paul Wright, Canadian abstract painter Michael Adamson, sculptor Chris Buck and Goldsmiths alumna Angela A’Court.


3 The Albany’s Online Pizza and Pitches Party 

20 January

Deptford arts centre The Albany is hosting its third online Pizza and Pitches party to support creativity in the community. Following an open call out for community projects, people in south east London will have the opportunity to vote on their favourite creative projects, all focusing on things to engage and benefit local communities during the pandemic. Ideas that audiences will choose from at this event include an interactive sonic postcard series from Simon Scott and Stefan Hanegraaf, a 360° audio/visual piece from Alison D’Souza, Dan Samsa and Ukweli Roach, a socially distant series of outdoor dance sessions from Ana Coltatu and Luigi Ambrosio and an online workshop for teens with Autism from Philip Simon. The winning project will be awarded £600, with £100 for runners up, plus those who live in SE8, SE14 or SE15 can win free pizza. Free to attend.


4 The Online Immersive Sherlock Holmes Adventure

27 January-10 March

For three weeks only, the Olivier-nominated creators of Alice’s Adventures Underground, Les Enfant Terribles, have teamed up with virtual reality company LIVR to present an immersive online adventure that blurs the lines between theatre, gaming, escape room and board game. The online Sherlock adventure, called The Case of the Hung Parliament, will run from 27 January until 10 March. Suitable for ages 12+, the online ‘whodunnit’ invites audiences alongside live actors to follow in the footsteps of the great detective himself in an immersive experience incorporating 360°, multi-sensory technology. The Home Secretary, The Foreign Secretary and the Lord Chamberlain, have all been found hanging in their own chambers. Each victim died on their birthday, and on that day had received a card with a mysterious quote written in it. Can you solve the case before the murderer strikes again? Public shows £15pp, private shows £90 for up to six players.


5 BFH Virtual MyCycle Challenge


Stay active throughout the winter months with the British Heart Foundation’s 30-day virtual cycling challenge. Completing an exercise challenge, like MyCycle, can not only improve your heart health, it can also have a positive effect on your mental health as it helps increase your level of endorphins, which are a natural mood booster. The coronavirus crisis has hit charities especially hard. The BHF anticipates they will have to cut funding for new research by £50 million this year, which will put potential life saving discoveries at risk. So join the likes of British Olympic Snowboarder and cycling enthusiast Aimee Fuller to start pedalling and get sponsored to help raise vital funds for life saving research into heart and circulatory diseases. You can start any time, so long as you complete the challenge in 30 days.


6 The Architecture for Dogs Virtual Tour


The virtual tour of Japan House London’s playful Architecture for Dogs exhibition features a collection of architectural designs for dogs by world-class architects and designers such as Ban Shigeru, Kuma Kengo, Itō Toyō and Sou Fujimoto. Architecture for Dogs was devised by Hara Kenya, President of the Nippon Design Center and Japan House Creative Advisor to explore architecture and design that can be joyful for both dogs and their human companions. Discover the designs, their intended dog breed clients and their designers by clicking on the information icons beside each exhibit, and see the designs in action via the television screens along the walls. You can also design your own contribution and have it reviewed by a selection of esteemed guest judges – visit the virtual design bench to download a submission form. Plus, if you like Japanese drinks like sake and shōchū, you can join in a series of online events including a live tour of a sake brewery, masterclass sessions and a cocktail-making demonstration.


7 Digital Murder Mystery Co


The Digital Murder Mystery Co is offering a great way to great friends together online and liven up lockdown, with off-the-peg, download-ready murder mysteries, or bespoke immersive experiences available. Choose from themes such as Studio 54, 1920’s Paris, 1930’s Nile Cruise, Vintage Circus, Alice in Wonderland, the Grand Horror Hotel and more. One thing remains constant throughout the themes – somebody won’t make it through the night, and it’s your job to find out whodunnit! Each mystery is set up for 12 players, with the option to buy more characters for £5 each. All characters are non-gender specific and you receive party-planning tips from resident expert Charlotte Ricard-Quesada of La Fête, character profiles, mini-scripts, clues for the action and custom playlists to help get everyone in the mood. From £69.


8 SLG Skills: Online Introduction to Block Printing

2 February-9 March

Learn how to block print in South London Gallery’s series of online creative workshops led by artist Louisa Loakes. You will receive a Block Printing Box by post containing all you need to take part in the online course and carry on with block printing in the future so that you can create your own designs and print beautiful patterned fabric at home. The course will take place on Tuesdays from 2 February to 9 March, 5.30pm-7pm, covering an introduction to the process of block printing, potato printing, exploring pattern and scale using household items and your own designs, lino printing, cutting blocks and materials, learning how to use ink with the block to create variations in pattern, and how to print on clothing. General tickets £165, member tickets £140.


9 Lockdown Learning with Leiths


London-based Leiths School of Food and Wine has introduced two new online courses to be enjoyed from the comfort of your own kitchen at home, one exploring an exciting range of enticing plant-based dishes, suitably timed for the arrival of Veganuary, and the other designed for ambitious novice cooks. On the heels of the success of Leiths’ professional online course offering, the school has expanded to offer courses for home cooks, kitchen enthusiasts and would-be professionals looking for a way to expand their knowledge and skill set. The courses deliver accessible and flexible elite culinary training through a series of easy-to-follow video tutorials, alongside written resources, round-the-clock mentorship, and an interactive messaging feed to connect with your like-minded fellow students. There are even courses for teenagers. Find the full collection of online courses, prices and start dates online.


10 Drake & Morgan At Home’s Brunch Box & Cocktail Kits


Drake & Morgan has come to the rescue of dull weekends in lockdown 3.0 with their brand-new at-home boxes. First up, the Vegan Brunch kit, made in collaboration with Symplicity Foods’ chef Neil Rankin, feeds two and contains smashed avocado on toast with Symplicity vegan n’duja, feta and pesto, accompanied with a Breakfast Martini and an Elderflower Gin Fizz cocktail (£40 for two). Other brucnh boxes are also available. To up your Zoom celebrations, order one of Drake & Morgan’s cocktail boxes, created in collaboration with The London Essence Company. There’s Tales of Tequila, Captain Hook’s Ransacked Rums, Alice in Wonderland’s Gin Cocktails and The Three Wishes of Whiskey. Choose from a six-serve box for £35, or a four-serve kit for £25. Both boxes come with free delivery to London and the home counties. Order online by 11.59pm Wednesday for Friday delivery.


11 Electronic: From Kraftwerk to The Chemical Brothers – The Virtual Tour

Until 14 February

The Design Museum has put its 2020 blockbuster exhibition, Electronic: From Kraftwerk to The Chemical Brothers, online. Experience a specially-curated tour of the five-star exhibition from the comfort of your home with Design Museum curators Gemma Curtin and Maria McLintock. Meet the inventors and trailblazers of electronic music from early 20th century pioneers to Daphne Oram, Jeff Mills and more. Explore the birth of house and techno in Chicago and Detroit, New York’s historic dance culture and the UK’s Second Summer of Love. Immerse yourself in mind-altering audio-visuals and live performances from the likes of Weirdcore for Aphex Twin, Smith & Lyall for The Chemical Brothers and Max Cooper. Listen to exclusive interviews from internationally acclaimed artists, ground-breaking designers and visual artists. And discover how electronic music continues to provide a space for creative expression and freedom for marginalised groups. £7 or free for members. You can also experience the Beazley Designs of the Year exhibition online (£5, members free, until 28 March), and join in a number of one-off talks, events and workshops.



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