Staying Connected and Entertained Throughout Lockdown

Although we might not be able to gather in person at the moment, there are some great ways to keep connected and entertained virtually during lockdown. Even though you may be missing your friendly catch-ups, regular tai chi classes or seniors fitness classes at Canada Bay Club, there are still plenty of ways to amuse ourselves and stay connected to our club community.

For a bit of inspiration and motivation (that doesn’t rely on Netflix!), we’ve compiled some tips and suggestions for having fun, staying healthy and keeping connected with family and friends – all from the comfort of your own home and neighbourhood.

Entertaining At-Home Activities

Just because you’re at home doesn’t mean you should be deprived of arts and culture. And now, thanks to many museums and art galleries taking their collections online, you can get your fix of masterpieces virtually. Among our favourites are:

  • Florence’s Uffizi Galleries, where you can electronically tour the museum’s halls for works by Botticelli, Da Vinci, Giotto and other legendary greats
  • The Frida Kahlo Museum in Mexico City, a truly fun and colourful interactive experience that lets you move around the rooms of Kahlo’s Blue House with the click of your mouse
  • Paris’s Louvre, with nearly half a million artworks to explore, for free, at your fingertips
  • Our very own Art Gallery of NSW, which has a number of virtual tours, including the Arthur Streeton exhibition and the Archibald Prize 2021.

Have an artistic bent yourself? Grab a pad of paper and some pencils or paints and try your hand at sketching or painting your favourite masterwork.

Never had time to sit down and read some of the great classic books? Now’s your chance! The Greatest Books of All Time website has compiled a number of top-100 lists for you to curl up with on the couch. Dymocks takes it one book further with its Top 101 list of more contemporary options. Pick out a few page-turners, pour yourself a cuppa and get reading!

If you prefer to listen instead of read, Amazon’s Audible offers thousands of books for your listening pleasure, from literature and fiction to biographies, histories, crime thrillers, romance and more. These stories also make for great company if you’re getting out for some essential exercise. You can sign up for a 30-day free trial (there’s a small monthly fee thereafter), and you get your first audiobook for free!

Alternatively, if you have some older grandchildren, perhaps they’re reading one of the great books for school, or maybe you share a love for a certain kind of story. They could read you a chapter over Skype or Zoom (or you could take turns reading to each other). It’s a nice, quiet way to connect with family (friends, too!). Plus, you can have a discussion after each chapter as you go. 

Jigsaw puzzles have also seen a definite resurgence in recent times. We’ve all heard the do-a-jigsaw suggestion for when we’re stuck at home – and probably done a few, too. And though we agree it’s a great idea for keeping busy, we think it’s time to personalise your puzzling a bit more: Photo Puzzle AU lets you turn your favourite digital photos into puzzles. You can customise your puzzle for various sizes and levels of difficulty – from 35 pieces to a whopping 1,500 pieces! So, if you’re separated from your kids or grandkids for a time, find a great picture of them – or several – order your puzzle, and as you start putting the pieces together, they’ll materialise before your eyes!

Indoor and Outdoor Fitness

If you are getting outside a bit for physical fitness, try to mix things up a little and come up with a schedule, so you can look forward to both people and places. For example, if you’re exercising with another friend or family member, set aside special days for them. Maybe it’s a walk and takeaway coffee on Tuesdays with Tony. Or once-around-the-block Wednesdays with Wendy.

If you’re sticking close to home but still want to get some exercise, there are some great online options for focusing on fitness. LifeSource Yoga & Health has mastered the art of the Zoom yoga class – for all fitness levels, and seven days a week – and offers a great two-week introductory package. Similarly, Goddess Outdoor Fitness provides online coaching options for Inner West women that cover everything from meal plans and healthy recipe ideas to quick and effective at-home workouts. 

The City of Sydney has page dedicated to free events, many of which are online and with a healthy focus. Choose from talks, exercise classes, meditation sessions – even acting and singing classes! These will nourish not only your physical but also your mental wellbeing.

Comfort and connection

Grandparent and grandchild on laptop

When you can’t be face to face with your loved ones, screen to screen is the next best thing. Schedule regular catch-ups with your family and friends on Skype, Zoom or FaceTime. Thanks to technology, it’s amazing what we can still do without being in person: helping your grandchildren with their homework (and providing a much-needed respite for their homeschooling parents), having meaningful conversations with your besties, sharing a morning cuppa with a colleague and more.

Or take your digital dates a step further. Why not organise an online dinner party with a couple of your favourite friends? Email your special somebodies an entrée recipe. Then assign another friend to email a recipe for a main, and still another mate one for the dessert course. Each of you will make all three courses, then you can set a time when you can all sit down, enjoy dinner together – virtually – and rave about the recipes. Just remember to set up a Zoom meeting and set a place at the table for your laptops! Need some recipe inspiration? Australia’s Best Recipes has 80 tasty ideas to get you started.

Zoom dinner party with dog

Alternatively, online wine tastings have recently become all the rage. Wineries have taken to sending out tasting packs, so you and your friends can savour some sips at home. The Hunter Valley’s Scarborough Wine Co, for example, is currently offering three at-home tasting packs: The Classic, The Obsessive and The Offshoot. Each tasting pack comes with five 100-millilitre samples of wine to taste, a tasting mat (like the ones Scarborough uses at its cellar door), tasting notes and the chance to book a Zoom tasting with one of Scarborough’s cellar door staff. Tell your friends about it, order your packs and get ready to learn about and sip some special drops.

Finally, get gaming. This one falls under the categories of fun, family and friends, as you can play alone or online with your nearest and dearest. If you’ve got company at home, it’s time to pull out the classic board games for some head-to-head competition: checkers, chess, backgammon, Monopoly.


Alternatively, there are plenty of ways to play games safely online – on your smartphone or computer. If you need an online chess mate for checkmate, for instance, visit www.chess.com. If you like brainteasers – think crosswords, sudoku, word searches – you’ll find them all on The Senior puzzle page. Likewise, Australia Reader’s Digest offers a host of online games, including mahjong, tennis, trivia quizzes, word games and many more. Or simply set up a Zoom call and play some good old-fashioned charades with some of your best Canada Bay Club buddies!

We look forward to welcoming you back to the Club when we can. But for now, stay safe and healthy.

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