There’s no way around it, the last few days have been rough. The world as we know it seemingly came to a screeching halt, and virtually every industry was sent into a tailspin. Whether you’re working from home, self-quarantining, or going about your daily life, we hope to be back to business as usual soon. In the meantime, here are a few tech-savvy ways to support your local community during this challenging and unprecedented time.

Tune in to the Cattail Marsh Live Stream

While you can still go outside and get some fresh air (which is highly encouraged from a safe distance to maintain sanity), you can also tune in to nature 24/7 to tune out the noise of everything else. A much-needed distraction from the bombardment of news, the Cattail Mash Webcam just may become your favorite meditation channel. Bonus: with spring migration right around the corner and you never know what unique species we may be able to catch on camera.

McFaddin-Ward House Exterior

Virtually Tour the McFaddin-Ward House

Can’t physically visit museums or attractions right now? Be an armchair traveler. The McFaddin-Ward House has a robust photo gallery of the various rooms plus supplemental videos about the history of the house. It’s a look into Southeast Texas’s heyday and a reminder of better days.

Utilize Resources from the Beaumont Children’s Museum

Kids out of school? Is mom ready to pull her hair out, trying to work from home while suddenly thrown into the role of substitute teacher? The Beaumont Children’s Museum can help. They have a list of their favorite STEM resources online, and if this ends up lasting longer than expected, they also offer homeschooling workshops for kindergarten through 5th grade. Registration opens in November for the following year.

Baby Alligator at Gator Country in Beaumont, TX

Get a Laugh Watching Gator Country’s Videos

We all need something to lighten the mood, and what better than animals and comedy? No strangers to being filmed (Gator Country has been featured on CMT, A&E, Animal Planet, and Bravo) and now, hosts a traveling entertainment show and are masters of slapstick. They have a number of short clips on their Facebook page with entertaining interactions with the animals. Their episode poking fun of the toilet paper shortage is a personal favorite (spoiler: they recommend leaves).

Order Delivery

With many cities around the country implementing curbside, carryout, and delivery only initiatives encouraging people to stay home, no one is hurting more than local restaurants. But that doesn't mean you can't get your favorite bites. Many of the area restaurants have insane deals right now and with Favor, can be brought right to your doorstep. Pro Tip: Don’t want to deal with the chaos at the grocery store? You can even get beer and candy delivered from Circle K (which let’s be honest, is needed right now).

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Get Crafty 

The Art Museum of Southeast Texas is creating a series of videos for easy art activities that can be done at home to keep the kids happy and the parents sane. First up? Putty making! They're also working on adding virtual exhibit tours and some other fun behind-the-scenes stuff on their Facebook page.

Other Ways to Entertain Yourself While at Home

Going stir-crazy out of boredom is a very common response to being cooped up. Use this time to recharge and reset while virtually staying in touch with family and friends. Tackle your to-do-list, give the house a deep clean, and then give yourself a break. Use this as a chance to disconnect, take up a new hobby, read a good book, and ultimately take care of yourself. Do you need to be as productive as possible? If you want. But have some fun, too. Here are a few ideas how.

Host a Netflix Watch Party

A way to virtually watch Netflix movies and shows together, all you have to do is download and install a Chrome extension that allows friends and family to stream and sync videos remotely. A group chat function allows you to gossip about all the happenings and spoilers.

Try that New Recipe or Bake Something

There’s no better time to perfect your Iron Chef skills in the kitchen. Instructables always offers free cooking lessons (and home projects!), but now, celebrity chefs are also offering up their services in the time of need. Chef Massimo Bottura is streaming “Kitchen Quarantine” while Queer Eye’s Antoni Porowski is dishing up “Quar Eye: Cooking Lessons in Quarantine” and providing delectable Instagram content.

Stream Virtual Workouts

Being locked inside doesn’t do much for our fitness routine, but it’s vital to find ways to sweat and get our endorphins up. Several providers offer streamed on-demand workouts to stay active without leaving the house. Some that are recommended are the Nike Training Club app, CorePower Yoga, and Peloton digital.

Spend Time with Your Pet (or Foster One)

Pets are an excellent way to decrease stress. Take Fido out for a walk, throw the ball around, and laugh at their antics. If you don’t have a dog or cat, Tik Tok has an endless supply of funny animal videos to mindlessly binge. Or, if you’re so motivated, there’s never been a better time to take in a temporary companion. Our local animal shelter is always looking for support. 

Play Games

Whether you challenge your spouse or quarantine companions to a game night or download apps like Words with Friends or Trivia Crack, get your competitive juices flowing and take no prisoners.

Put on Your Smarty Pants

If you’re itching to master a new skill or learn something (all this social media can be soul-sucking), there are over 400 Ivy League courses you can take for free online from learning to code to business management. And wouldn’t you like to say you completed a program from Harvard?

For all the local Coronavirus news and updates on closures, visit our update page!