DIY Activities during COVID-19
Picture it: you're on the couch at 1:00 PM on a Tuesday. (Better yet, you are not sure what day it is.)
You are bored but antsy. You would rather be exploring the iconic, thirteen-block stretch of The Magnificent Mile or Chicago's scenic lakefront. Instead, you already walked around the block, up and down the yard, and the full length of your house or studio apartment.
Your list of tried and true family activities is failing you, and a change of scenery is in short supply. E-learning is almost done for the day, but you have a few virtual meetings ahead of you. And then there is dinner to think about! Is it 5:00 PM yet?
Instead of a four-letter expletive, we have three letters for you to consider: D-I-Y. Since you can't get away from it all right now, read on for recommended activities to stay grounded while you are stuck at home.
Be sure to check out our virtual Events Calendar, too!
Crafts and Interactive Activities
Culture and Crafts
Get closer than ever before to classic works in the Art Institute's collection with recently added interactive features. Test your knowledge of the Art Institute's collection and beyond with an art-inspired crossword puzzle!
Check out a selection of collection-inspired art-making activities and creative writing prompts that are sure to spark your imagination into action. Spend some time with icons of the Art Institute’s collection with printable coloring pages featuring La Grande Jatte, Nighthawks, The Great Wave, and more.
Explore Chicago history at home with activities tailored to teens and families alike, updated weekly!
A recent prompt: Design and Build Find inspiration in images of famous Chicago skyscrapers. Then design your own to add to the city’s skyline.
Flex those mental muscles with brand new games inspired by your favorite Chicago Shakespeare productions and new puzzles added weekly.
Learn, create and play together with print-at-home activity pages inspired by favorite family musicals at Chicago Shakespeare Theater.
Channel the bard with a Living Room sonnet series, read by local artists and actors, as well a behind-the-scenes videos and even recipes inspired by Shakespearean cuisine!
Long before COVID-19 or the internet... parlor (or parlour) games were popular during the Victorian era in Great Britain and the United States. They were often played in a “parlor”, the most formal room in a traditional Victorian house for social gathering and entertaining. Many of the games involved logic, word-play, dramatics, and simple creativity without the use of any equipment that would not be readily available in the parlor.
Feel free to throw on your best hat, make some tea and finger sandwiches, and unplug from the 21st century for a while with a parlor game.
Try to spot 10 slight differences in this photo of the Drawing Room fireplace and mantle!
Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago
The "Commons Online" blog opens up the museum's archives to the public, full of artist and curator interviews and activities to do with the kids. Its Learning Archive also offers dozens of art-centric explorations for children of all ages, including DIY activities as part of the “Top 5: Adventures at Home” for adults and families. We are big fans of the Window Still Life!
New online poetry workshops, led by author Maggie Queeney, will be part discussion, part creative writing seminar that explore poetry, comics, metaphor and repetition. All are welcome but space is limited, so be sure to register in advance.
Order puzzles and books for contactless delivery to your home. Fancy a blind date with a puzzle? Just select the number of pieces and denote in checkout if you want it to be hard or easy.
The Get Growing Series YouTube Channel, a Collaboration with the Chicago Flower & Garden Show®, presented by 811 Chicago & Peoples Gas and The Get Growing Foundation, features many of the horticulture educators and gardening professionals that were set to present at the 2020 Flower & Garden Show.
Tune in for #TeachingTuesdays!
Meal Kits + Chef Recipes
Order in a fresh and delicious Mexican meal to make exactly how you like it at home! Choose Tacos, Salad Bowls, or Nachos, or a combination! Protein choices include char-grilled chicken, char-grilled sirloin steak, or griddled fresh veggies. All meals come with the fixings like jack cheese, sour cream, mild or medium homemade salsa and fantastic homemade guacamole and tortilla chips. Michelada red rice and fat free black beans come on the side. And there’s more- one bottle of our Michelada Love cocktail mix, with recipes on the bottle!
As an essential retailer, Eataly’s grocery section – the mercato – remains open daily from 10 AM to 8 PM. Stop in and shop ingredients to master 3 Italian Dough Recipes including pizza e foccaccia!
Plus, tune in to Eataly Chicago's Instagram live each Wednesday for a new recipe with La Cucina Italiana.
Pre-packaged, cryovacced steaks that you can cook at home are available at significantly reduced prices. Order any pre-packaged steak and you’ll automatically receive one free bottle of Gibsons Seasoning Salt.
Try a Take Home Pizza Kit and create your very own pizza creation at home! This is a fun activity for the whole family. Available in both deep dish and thin crust, these kits are available for both pickup and delivery.
P.S. Many award-winning restaurants are offering affordable delivery, including 50% off the list price for wine and beer.
Mix It Up
Tune in to Cooper's Hawk's Instagram for LIVE wine tastings and watch two sommeliers guess what wine is in the other’s glass.
Lawry’s the Prime Rib - Chicago
The “Meat me at home” cocktail kit includes two martini glasses, vodka, martini shake, jar of horseradish and prime rib stuffed olives for $40. After all, where else would you be?
In addition to customizeable family meals like pulled pork sandwich kits, the gastropub offers DIY cocktail kits for delivery, including a Casamigo Margarita Kit. Not to mention, orders for $100 or more will receive a complimentary $25 DineAmic Hospitality gift card.
It's been a chilly month of April. Warm up with a Sake Bomb Kit. Order hot bowls of ramen and dumplings to your door, and stock up on essentials like vegetable or tonkotsu broth.
Is it summer yet? The popular tiki bar has a full to-go menu of cocktail kits including the Mai Tai, Zombie, and Pinky Gonzales. You can also shop novelty mugs and a bar tool kit. Order for pick-up via Tock or delivery via GrubHub (scroll down).
Birthdays at Home
Birthday in a Box
The Birthday Party kit comes with a "Happy Birthday" sign, party napkins and candles.* Choose a confetti birthday cake cheesecake or old fashioned chocolate cake.
DIY Kits are available for family fun, including a Sugar Cookie decorating kit (local or curbside only), Double Marshmallow Crispy Bar kit and Eli's Cheesecake Cutie kit.*
*Available for mail order only.
Lettuce Entertain You Restaurants
For anyone celebrating in quarantine, this family-owned restaurant group has tips for how to throw the best birthday party ever at home, including a build-your-own pizza kit from Stella Barra Pizzeria (with cocktail kits for adults), cookie dough six packs from Beatrix Streeterville, or a romantic birthday meal made for two.