6 creative ideas for lockdown and beyond

Fingers crossed there is only another month of lockdown – particularly if you have children at home. Meanwhile, we’ve found a few unique ways to keep you and your family busy while ‘real life’ is on hold. And when it’s all over, bookmark this page for rainy days and indoor holiday entertainment ideas. 

1 Join a foodie masterclass

Wannabe masterchefs can take virtual lessons from the best in the business. Maggie Beer, Rockpool’s Neil Perry and My Kitchen Rules’ Colin Fassnidge are among the top Aussie chefs who are demonstrating signature dishes on their Instagram pages. Seafood king Josh Niland offers a series of masterclass videos about buying and prepping fish at  mrniland.com, while Nat’s What I Reckon YouTube series is a huge hit with starter cooks, especially young men (note: serious rude word alert).  

2 Say cheese!

If you’ve got some spare time on your hands, why not learn how to make cheese? You can order a selection of cheese-making kits from Omnon Cheese, or join one of Marly Badia’s virtual cheese-making masterclasses, which are designed to use products and utensils you would have at home. Perfect for kids, beginners or an online party.

Surry Hills-based cheese specialists Formaggi Ocello have taken their famed in-store cheese and wine nights online. Once you’ve made a booking you receive a box of six premium specialty cheeses and six paired wines, then join Sogna Ocello and a sommelier for a fun and interactive 1.5-hour zoom presentation – genius! 

3 Let’s drink to DIY

Turn your hand to craft beer or cider brewing with expert help from Aussie Brewmakers. The company stocks home brew starter kits plus all the products you need for making ginger beer, wine, spirits and liqueurs. 

Cocktail kits make great presents for friends (or yourself); check out the selection that are shipped Australia-wide at Capiche Cocktails. And if you have the ingredients at home but need to stock up on the right glassware and tools, Capiche supply all those, too. 

4 Channel your inner artist

If the idea of ‘crafts’ brings up dismal memories of failed woodwork or pottery projects, visit Class Bento for fresh inspiration. This company produces an astounding 630-plus craft kits, covering everything from calligraphy to candles and skincare products. You can choose kits that include live-streamed instructions, pre-recorded videos, or a printed workbook, depending on your level of expertise and confidence. Kidzinc offers dozens of craft kits specially designed for children from toddlers to teens. 

5 Get a virtual culture hit

Some of the world’s top museums and galleries have opened their doors for online browsing – you can see amazing science exhibitions and artworks from your lounge while planning your next real-life visit. Families are invited to join the Australian Museum’s Sydney Science Trail (closes September 13), while Concrete Playground offers an interesting selection of global exhibitions. Once you start googling you’ll find dozens of sites – check out Cult of Weird for more offbeat museums and unusual places to explore virtually. 

6 Animal magic

While we can’t visit zoos in real life at the moment, you can enjoy a surprising number of wildlife encounters online. Several feature livestreamed footage from webcams – just remember the time difference when you’re looking at overseas webcams because they can become rather soporific at night. Zoos Victoria’s Animals at Home showcases virtual tours of its three zoos, with excellent presentations from keepers and animal cams. Sydney’s Taronga Zoo also has a huge collection of behind-the-scenes videos on Taronga TV. Head to Queensland for an interactive journey around the Great Barrier Reef with David Attenborough and for sheer fun, check out animal antics at Kids National Geographic.