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Free Online Resources for Adults

Our staff compiled this list of some of the best free online resources available now. Up for opera or a Broadway show? Ready for a workout? Here’s your chance for a new experience! We will add to this page as we find more fantastic opportunities to help you through your time at home. (Updated 6/9/2020)


Free Things That Normally Aren't Free (from

Xfinity WiFi Hotspots in out-of-home locations are available for free to anyone who needs them to support communities through this challenging time.

Animals     Animal Cameras     Books, Reading and Streaming     Computers and Computer Skills     Documentaries     Education     Financial Assistance     Fitness     Food and Cooking     Genealogy     Libraries     Mental Health     Music     Museums     Outer Space     Virtual Tours     Working From Home     COVID-19 Info     Library Resources     City Resources


The Shedd Aquarium’s live cam is equal parts relaxing and mesmerizing

How to stay sane at home with the help of your pet

An Australian zoo is running a 24/7 koala live-streaming service

Zoos are live-streaming their feeding times – here’s when to tune in

Brookfield Zoo launches ‘Bringing the Zoo to You’ during coronavirus outbreak

Animal Planet Will Air 94 Hours Of Puppies And Kitties Because We Need It

Brookfield (IL) Zoo’s YouTube page

Virtual Farm Tool, “Immerse Yourself in Canadian Farm and Food Tours”

Cincinnati Zoo Offers an Online Educational ‘Home Safari’ Featuring Fiona the Hippo and Her Mom Bibi

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Animal Cameras

Animal Cameras:

Animal Cameras:

Animal Cameras:

Animal Cameras:

Live beluga whale feed:

Videos of cute animals:

Brookfield (IL) Zoo’s YouTube page

Virtual Farm Tool: “Immerse Yourself in Canadian Farm and Food Tours”

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Books, Reading, and Streaming

Stonehenge Will Livestream the Summer Solstice This Year (Video)

Here’s How to Watch Upcoming Films From Cannes & Sundance on YouTube for Free

We know you can’t see the Ailey dancers perform in a theater, so we wanted to make sure you can still find comfort and joy in the beauty of dance by virtually connecting with their performances. For a limited time, Ailey is thrilled to share full-length videos of the Company performing on stage!

The 40 Best Literary Adaptations to Stream Right Now

Quaint English Village Murder Mystery TV Shows with A Million Seasons, For Your Binge-Watching Pleasure During These Hard Times

National Theatre Announces FRANKENSTEIN With Benedict Cumberbatch and ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA Will Be Available to Stream

HBO is making hundreds of hours of content free

Sling TV’s 14-Day Free Trial Gives You Access to Countless Movies and Shows, No Credit Card Required

19 True Crime Podcasts to Fuel Your Inner Sleuth

Amazon to stream canceled SXSW Film Festival in your home for free

Disney is offering a free online course in how to be an Imagineer

Marvel announces free access to popular comics

Bookish  2020's Virtual Bookish Events - Bookish

Scribd - Read books, audiobooks, and more
The world's largest digital library. Read unlimited* books, audiobooks,... Access to millions of documents. FREE with a 30 day free trial. Cancel Anytime

USA Today:  Coronavirus: Free movies, shows, and audiobooks to stream while you're self-quarantining 
If you're hunkering down at home in the age of coronavirus, we offer suggestions for free TV, movies, and books you can stream to pass the time.

Here’s how to try every major streaming service for free during the coronavirus quarantine. How to get the best free trials for Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, and more.

Free stuff for adults from Neil Gaiman

How to Hold a Virtual Book Club

Room of Requirement: Librarian Creates Virtual Escape Room to Entertain Harry Potter Fans at Home

LibraryThing is now free. Enter what you’re reading or your whole library. It’s an easy, library-quality catalog.

Manga publishers are releasing over 450 volumes of comics available to read for free online.

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Computers and Computer Skills
Learn to code with free online courses, programming projects, and interview preparation for developer jobs.

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Geoffrey Baer Tours.  Explore Chicago, its neighborhoods, and beyond with WTTW host and producer Geoffrey Baer 

PBS is streaming Ken Burn's documentary on baseball for free.

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What to Expect When You’re Becoming a Plant Parent

MoMA Is Offering Free Online Courses for Art Lovers (and People Trying to Understand It)

Lin-Manuel Miranda Announces Virtual School Program, #EduHam at Home: The free digital program encourages teens and their families to create their own theatrical pieces

Nikon is offering free online photography classes for all of April (Free until April 30th)

Leica and Olympus are offering free virtual courses and talks for photographers

VICTORY GARDEN CHALLENGE 2020 Free online classes on gardening, growing food, and self-reliance. Your challenge: Attend every class & get your garden planted!

Skillshare Classes to Engage Your Creativity through Watercolor Flora, Striking Posters, and Houseplant Care

Stuck Inside? Come Hang Out With The Mighty Community!

Free Online Classes for Adults

MoMA is offering free online art courses you can take from home

You Can Take Online Classes at an Ivy League School for Free Right Now

How to Help Librarians and Archivists from Your Living Room
If you’re cooped-up and curious, use your free time to decipher handwriting, tag images, and more.

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Financial Assistance

What You Need To Know About The New Tax Credit Meant To Help Businesses Of Practically Any Size Keep Employees On Payroll

Economic Impact Payment Information Center

NYT Your Money: A Hub for Help During the Coronavirus Crisis: If your income has fallen or been cut off completely, we’re here to help. This guide will connect you to the basic information you’ll need to get through this, including on government benefits, free services and financial strategies.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau—CFPB has a post on how to protect yourself financially from the impact of COVID-19

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7 Best Lower Back Stretches To Ease Aches And Pain

A Deck of Cards Workout Will Keep You Moving and Guessing—Here's How It Works

8 Couch Exercises For Working Up A Sweat During Your Next Netflix Binge

5 exercises to offset too much sitting

No-Running Cardio Workout You Can Do at Home

This Chicago observation deck is hosting free virtual yoga classes 1,000 feet above the city

8 Exercises You Can Do With a Chair

Quarantine Fitness: ‘Prison-Style’ Exercises You Can Do Anywhere

Get your zen on from home with these digital yoga classes offered by local studios

YMCA 360 - Online Exercise
YMCA 360 offers online exercise, fitness, well-being, and youth sports classes from the comfort of your own home. Popular classes like yoga, barre, boot camp, tai chi, boxing, weightlifting, and soccer are free for you and your family.

Chris Hemsworth is Offering Free Virtual Workouts for the Next Six Weeks

Peloton - the popular spin fitness program - is offering a free 90-day trial of its fitness app, which guides you through a variety of challenging workouts from yoga to circuit training.

At Home Workouts - Les Mills On Demand
Thanks to your fitness club, this temporary site allows free access to 100 workouts during the COVID-19 disruptions.

Planet Fitness is offering fitness videos for free on their Facebook page as Facebook Live videos 6pm CT

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Food and Cooking

40 Quick Lunch Ideas That Will Sustain You All Day
These lunches are fast to make and oh so nourishing.

Need new recipes for quarantine? Pixar's YouTube channel is here to help

10 Things to Bake When You Don’t Have Flour

On-the-Fly Substitutions for 35 Common Ingredients
When supplies are running low, a good substitution can be your best friend.

Easy recipes you can make during coronavirus quarantine with five ingredients or less

The best online resources for quarantine cooking at all skill levels. They include beginner-friendly recipes and ways to use what you have on hand.

Take a Free Online Cooking Class From the World-famous Borough Market in London

84-Year-Old Italian Nonna Is Live-Streaming Pasta-Making Classes From Her Home Outside Rome

Supercook: Just add your ingredients and Supercook instantly finds matching recipes from the most popular cooking websites! Apps available to make it easier.

Free Access: The 50 America's Test Kitchen Recipes You Need Now | America's Test Kitchen --America's Test Kitchen is providing this special collection of 50 all-time favorite recipes free for everyone during the COVID-19

Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street: Milk Street Cooking School is making all their online classes free until the end of April:

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When Life Gives You Lemons: Genealogy Activities for Coronavirus Quarantine

Free Genealogy Classes from Brigham Young University

Adding Branches to Your Family Tree using DNA

Healing & Family History--The Emotional Side of DNA

RootsMOOC: An Introduction to Genealogy and Family History Research

Family History Activities from
In-home and online activities designed for the whole family

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Discover 36,918,180 images, texts, videos, and sounds from across the United States in the Digital Public Library of America

Discover archival photos, maps, illustrations, and more for free at these libraries’ websites.

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Mental Health

Crisis Text Line
If you aren’t able or don’t want to talk on the phone, the Crisis Text Line offers free, 24/7 support for those in crisis. Text “HOME” to 741741 from anywhere in the US to connect with a trained Crisis Counselor—every text is viewed by a human who can help you make a plan to stay safe and healthy. Learn more or message them online at

Why Work From Home Causes Stress In More Than Just Zoom Calls — And How To Overcome It:
Organizational psychologist Adam Grant gives tips on how to ease the strain of working from home, and even find joy in it.

10 Sneaky Ways Your Coronavirus Anxiety Is Coming Out
COVID-19 is messing with everyone's mental health. Here are subtle signs it's affecting yours, plus advice on how to cope.

15 Mindfulness Activities to Reduce Stress and Increase Calm
Practicing simple techniques and exercises can help you improve mental clarity and curb anxiety.

Get Help Now from the Pandemic Crisis Services Coalition

10 Ways to Care For Your Emotional and Mental Wellbeing during COVID-19

13 Ways to Cope With Pandemic Stress and Grief

15 Ideas for Relieving Stress During Coronavirus Quarantine

Cook County North Suburban branch of the National Alliance on Mental Illness

Illinois Department of Human Services launched a free emotional-support text line for Illinoisans experiencing stress related to COVID-19: Call4Calm. This isn’t a crisis hotline, but a source of support. If you want to speak to a counselor, text TALK to 552020, or HABLAR for Spanish speakers. You can also access a wider array of supports using the same number on your mobile phone. Text 552020 with keywords such as “unemployment” or “food” or “shelter” to receive information to help you navigate getting assistance.

Safe Space is home to resources and tools to provide you with some extra support in an emotionally safe environment.

The CDC has tips for managing stress and anxiety

Yale's most popular class ever is available free online — and the topic is how to be happier in your daily life

5 Resources: Mental Health During Social Distancing

Kindness Resources
A collection of resources to help us stay busy, calm & kind during the pandemic.

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CSO and WFMT to launch weekly series, ‘Maestro’s Choice’

Fender offers three months of free guitar lessons amid social distancing

Austin City Limits opens up video archives for free during COVID-19 pandemic

The Shows Must Go Online: 12 Ways to Stream the Stage

You can now watch Cirque du Soleil online from your couch

SiriusXM radio will be free until May 15

For the family that enjoyed Ken Burns Country Music Documentary. A Kentucky Treasure: The JD Crowe Story Part 1

BroadwayHD Is Letting You Watch Your Favorite Musicals For Free — For a Limited Time

Free Beginner Bluegrass Lesson by Banjo Ben

Met launches “Nightly Met Opera Streams,” a free series of encore Live in HD presentations streamed on the company website during the coronavirus closure

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The Louvre:

U.S. Space and Rocket Museum in Huntsville, Al :

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Outer Space

Access Mars: A webVR Experience

NASA’s Image and Video Library is free.

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Virtual Tours

Victoria & Albert museum invites viewers on a curator video tour of Kimono: Kyoto to Catwalk exhibition

Board a virtual tour of the Chicago River without leaving the house

Virtual Louisiana: Culture and Culinary Experiences Come to Life Online Bring home Louisiana’s vibrant culture and cuisine with museum virtual tours, art exhibits, and culinary events.

Take a virtual tour of Frida Kahlo’s dazzling Mexico City home

Take A Virtual Tour Through A 6-Mile Stretch Of Tulip Lanes In Holland, Michigan

NY Botanical Gardens

Take free weekly virtual tours of Frank Lloyd Wright's U.S. buildings

Virtual Travel Experiences That Let You Explore the World From Your Living Room

You Can Now Take A Haunted History Virtual Tour Of New Orleans’ French Quarter

8 Blooming Botanical Gardens To Explore Virtually

13 Virtual Train Rides From Around the World That You Can Experience Right Now (Video)

See the Most Colorful Tulip Fields in the Netherlands Without Leaving Your House This Year

This Virtual Tour of the Carlsbad Caverns Will Entertain You (and Your Kids) for Hours (Video)

Five-thousand-year-old Egyptian tomb opens for a virtual tour

Visit the most haunted places in the U.S. right from your couch

12 Frank Lloyd Wright buildings are now hosting virtual tours

How to visit some of Chicago’s best museums without leaving your house

Hit the World's Best Beaches With These 360-Degree Virtual Experiences

Calling All Car Lovers: You Can Take a Virtual Tour of the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Germany
From vintage cars to futuristic creations, this virtual experience has it all.

Walking Tour: The Stanley Hotel

Virtual Tour: Bran Castle, The Castle That Inspired Bram Stoker’s Dracula

See Buckingham Palace, Stonehenge, and More on This Virtual Trip Around the United Kingdom

A Virtual Tour of Biltmore Gardens in the Spring

Mount Vernon Virtual Tour

Virtual Disney World

Guggenheim Museum Virtual tour

Palace of Versailles tour

Explore amazing library architecture from the comfort of your computer.

Take a digital tour of some of Frank Lloyd Wright’s most iconic Chicagoland buildings

Chicago Is One of the Coolest Cities in the Country — and You Can Take a Virtual Trip There Right Now

Google Earth US National Parks

This Virtual Tour of the Carlsbad Caverns Will Entertain You (and Your Kids) for Hours (Video)

Take a Virtual Hike on the Great Wall of China From the Comfort of Your Couch (Video)

A Botanical Garden in Seattle Is Livestreaming Plants to Help You Relax

A Tour of the Paris Catacombs

New Orleans Virtual Tours

You Can Now Enjoy a Virtual Tour of Buckingham Palace (& Pretend You’re Queen Elizabeth Herself)

You can now take a virtual tour of NYC's best street art

Virtual Farm Tool, “Immerse Yourself in Canadian Farm and Food Tours”

Virtual Tour, The Great Wall of China:

Mammoth Hot Springs Boardwalk Trails at Yellowstone National Park Virtual Field trip:

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Work at Home Ideas

Tips for Working From Home Effectively

How to Work From Home, According to Neuroscience
You have to trick yourself into believing you’re at work, scientists say. Create cues that indicate you’re not at home anymore. And never work on your phone. (But rules are made to be broken!)

9 Productivity Tips for Working at Home Under Quarantine

That whole quarantine routine gone bust? No problem, we'll set you right. We won't judge you too hard for wearing sweats all day (or will we?), but your quarantine life needs some order -- now.

Dept. of Labor’s COVID-19 and the American Workplace

LinkedIn recently put together 16 unlocked courses in a free learning path to help individuals and organizations manage and work remotely

Live and recorded webinars from SCORE Chicago on different business topics:

Open-Access JSTOR Materials Accessible to the Public
The online academic resource has made over 6,000 ebooks and over 150 journals accessible without the need for an online login.

Want to Be a Great Storyteller? This Free Online Course From Pixar Is for You! Pixar and Khan Academy are teaming up to offer a free online storytelling course.

Coursera:  Build Skills with Online Courses from Top Institutions
Join Coursera for free and learn online. Build skills with courses from top universities like Yale, Michigan, Stanford, and leading companies like Google and IBM. Advance your career with degrees, certificates, Specializations, & MOOCs in data science, computer science, business, and dozens of other topics.

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COVID-19 Info

How We Reopen Safely
Tracking states as they make progress towards a new normal

Why days 5 to 10 are so important when you have coronavirus

COVID Explained

How To Make A Face Mask With A Bandana For Coronavirus

How to Make a DIY Face Mask for Coronavirus

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle held a press conference to announce Cook County’s new text message alert system, hotline and email for sharing COVID-19 updates. Residents can now text the word ALERTCOOK to 888-777, to receive rapid updates related to the virus; call the hotline number at (708) 633-3319; or email at:

You can find more about what Illinois is doing for small businesses amid the COVID-19 pandemic at

Volunteer opportunities for healthy individuals

Questions about COVID-19 and food safety answered.

These Common Household Products Can Destroy the Novel Coronavirus
Consumer Reports shows you how to use them and tells you which products to stay away from

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19): Authoritative and Relevant Resources

WebMD’s Coronavirus: The Latest Updates

The Park Ridge Community Network has even more up-to-date resources available

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Park Ridge Public Library Resources

Book Match from Reader Services!

PRPL Pinterest Board for Coloring and Coloring Pages

If you want to read newspapers (and magazines) don’t forget about Pressreader:
Make sure you choose library or group when you sign in, and find Park Ridge Public Library. Enter in your library card number and the word password in the PIN field.
You will have access for 30 days. You don’t have to create an account if you don’t want to. There is also an app of course!!!

RBdigital and Flipster have magazines. From the list of magazines that we subscribe to in print, we note which titles are available on each service.
And we subscribe to more digitally on each service than what is listed here. Enjoy!

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City of Park Ridge Resources

City of Park Ridge FAQ about coronavirus; Senior Citizens and other residents with special needs with questions should call the Police Department non-emergency line at 847-318-5252

The Park Ridge Community Network has even more up-to-date resources available

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Animals     Animal Cameras     Books, Reading and Streaming     Computers and Computer Skills     Documentaries     Education     Financial Assistance     Fitness     Food and Cooking     Genealogy     Libraries     Mental Health     Music     Museums     Outer Space     Virtual Tours     Working From Home     COVID-19 Info     Library Resources     City Resources