If you’re anything like us, you’ve probably spent the past week and a bit in lockdown walking (a lot) and exhausting the endless possibilities of Netflix. As we stare down our third weekend under stay-at-home orders, you may be struggling with how to fill the days. Below, we’ve rounded up a series of activities that’ll give you the Sydney experience without needing to leave the house – from ordering food from the city’s top diners, to visiting its galleries and even working up a buzz thanks to its exercise studios.
Watch movies online
We can all agree that we want Sydney’s independent cinemas to continue thriving beyond lockdown. And some of the best of them have at-home streaming platforms, where you can watch everything from new releases to Aussie classics, award winners, film-festival hits and international classics. Palace, Dendy and the Randwick Ritz all offer online streaming – and Dendy Newtown and the Ritz also sell classic movie snacks (Dendy’s doing choc-tops – check out its Instagram for opening hours – and the Ritz sells choc-tops, popcorn, beer and wine from 4pm to 8pm on Friday and Saturday nights).
At 8pm on Friday July 9, Casula Powerhouse will host an online screening of We Don’t Need a Map, a documentary exploring Aboriginal people’s relationship to the Southern Cross – and its hijacking by those who have turned it into a symbol of hatred and division. Tickets are free; book here.
And ABC iView is showing Firestarter: The Story of Bangarra, in celebration of the Aboriginal dance company’s 30th anniversary. The documentary digs into intergenerational trauma, how the company has reclaimed Aboriginal culture, and the transformative and healing nature of art. It’s a must-see.
Get your hands dirty
Clay Sydney is taking one of its most popular hand-building classes – its Wine and Clay nights – online on July 9. Its very clever and entertaining tutors will take you through the process of making a mug, a planter, a vase, or whatever else you feel like creating. All you need to do is buy one of their Clay at Home kits online; each kit includes clay, tools and cheat sheets. Clay Sydney will even glaze and fire your handiwork once lockdown ends. And it strongly encourages punters to pick up a bottle of wine and their favourite takeaway and make a night of it. Kits are available via courier or pick-up from Clay’s Enmore studio.
Order booze and food from Sydney’s best
Once again, Sydney’s bars, restaurants and cafes have responded marvellously to lockdown, with a quick switch to takeaway. Fine diners are doing banquet meals to heat and eat at home, pizza joints are sending out bottles of wine with their pies, and bars are bottling cocktails and delivering them across the city. For inspiration, check out our constantly updated live list of spots doing takeaway and delivery – and our editors’ top takeaway picks for this week. We’ve also rounded up seven top bars doing cocktail home delivery, and put together a comprehensive list of those delivering wine, beer, cocktails, sake, gin and more.
Let someone else plan the fun for you
Experience company Amazingco has taken its adventures online, meaning you can solve challenges, complete riddles and have a blast, either with your household or virtually with your mates. Our picks? The Foodie Fun Night, in which you work your way through 10 culinary-related activities, including cooking, tasting, music and trivia; the Home Pub Crawl, which involves drinking games, trivia and themed dress-ups in each “pub” (room); and At-Home Dates, which involve challenges, riddles and clues to foster some healthy couple’s competition. For most activities you’ll be provided with digital instructions and a few items you’ll need to pick up from the shops.
Work up a sweat
There are now countless apps and virtual classes showing us how easy it is to work out when we want, how we want and where we want. The only tricky part is figuring out which is right for you. We’ve rounded up nine of the best virtual sweat sessions to try while you’re under stay-at-home orders, from dance classes on demand from Sydney Dance Company to cardio with Sydney fitness group Fitness Playground and Pilates with popular studio Fluidform.
Brush up on your cooking skills
This lockdown, Broadsheet has enlisted some topnotch local chefs to host cooking classes on Instagram Live. First up was “Big” Sam Young (ex-Lotus head chef), showing us how to make mapo tofu. Next? Ho Jiak’s Junda Khoo with a noodle recipe that’ll take the sting out of winter nights.
Get a bit of culture
Missing galleries? Travel? Paris? Stay sated with a gaggle of cultural happenings online. Academy Travel is hosting online lectures that’ll transport you abroad for a short while – choose from talks on the history and archaeology of Capri, the history of shopping in Paris and London, and ancient Egyptian tomb paintings. Lectures are $25 each and hosted by experts in their fields. Book here.
Casula Powerhouse has also gone online, with virtual exhibitions, activities for kids and even cooking videos from its in-house restaurant. The MCA’s switched to digital, with Naidoc talks, studio visits, interviews and guided tours of its exhibitions. Similarly, the Australian Museum has a line-up of workshops and activities catering to locked-down kids. And the Sydney Opera House is still delivering the goods on its streaming platform, with interviews, past live performances and theatre.