LIVINGSTON, NJ — As they continue to quarantine as best as they can inside their homes, Livingston residents are finding creative ways to keep both Cabin Fever and COVID-19 at bay.

Thanks to constant access to FaceTime, Skype, Zoom and similar technologies plus Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and other outlets, residents can not only stay abreast of everything going on in the outside world, but they can also stay connected to loved ones and keep themselves entertained by downloading movies, books, games, newspapers and more online.

Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Disney Plus and other streaming services have also become increasingly popular in the week since Gov. Phil Murphy officially issued a statewide curfew and officially shut down the schools; but community members of all ages are also determined to find other ways to amuse themselves off-screen.

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Outside of working from home, adults in Livingston reported the following as popular at-home activities:

  • Catching up on household chores, such as organizing their closets or pantries
  • Sipping cocktails either at home with their families or virtually with their friends
  • Experimenting with baking or cooking (occasionally breaking out the fancy plates for a dining room meal)
  • Writing poetry or journal entries
  • Sorting through the house for unused items to donate
  • Walking the dog(s) (while keeping to the six-foot rule from other pedestrians)
  • Planting indoor and/or outdoor vegetable and herb gardens
  • Exercising from home using DVDs, online videos, exercise machines/equipment and more
  • Meditating or doing Yoga exercises
  • Binge-watching a new series or old favorites like “Seinfeld” and “Sopranos”

Along with their kids, Livingston residents also said they’ve been enjoying:

  • Journeying outside to collect litter found in the neighborhood
  • Dancing to “Just Dance” on YouTube or through Go Noodle
  • Taking art or music lessons from various instructors, such as Mo Willems, author and illustrator of the "Elephant and Piggie" book series
  • Having Sing-a-longs
  • Cooking and baking (with some parents assigning each of their children a day to cook dinner or having blindfolded food tastings)
  • Creating new games for both indoor and outdoor fun
  • Doing mindful activities like reading, assembling jigsaw puzzles or Yoga
  • Doing indoor and outdoor arts & crafts, such as sidewalk chalk, painting, coloring books, woodwork, Play Doh and more
  • Doing science experiments
  • Playing card games, like canasta, mahjong, poker, UNO, Oregon Trail Cards and more, or board games like Monopoly and Scrabble (plus organizing unused games/toys to donate)
  • Playing games online or through mobile apps such as "Fibbage," a “bluffing and lying” trivia game
  • Enjoying physical activities, such as jumping rope or jumping on the trampoline
  • Getting together for daily viewing of family TV shows, such as “Pete the Cat Live” at noon on Instagram
  • Taking educational lessons outside of regular school hours through outlets like ABCMouse (ages 2 to 8)

Parents have also suggested other options for fun at home, including taking virtual tours of museums or zoos or taking a stab at popular game shows that can be played online as a family.

MSN Games, for instance, offers a plethora of free games on its website, while Playbill.com offers access to 15 popular Broadway plays and musicals that have been filmed. Metropolitan Opera is also offering the opportunity to view encore performances.

Here’s a list of other suggestions to keep busy over the next few weeks:

  • Camp out in the backyard with the kids or create an indoor fort
  • Use shaving cream, coffee beans, rice and other tactile objects for sensory-friendly activities

Seen in the photos above, Livingston kids and teens make the most of their time away from school—riding bikes, enjoying family activities, giving their pets a little extra attention, helping their parents with tours and more.

TAPinto Livingston thanks the community for continuing to share their heartwarming quarantine photos and encourages readers to be on the lookout for future photo requests.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Due to technical issues and volume of photos received, I was unable to credit individual pictures in time for publication. If you have a photo here that requires a proper photo credit, please contact me directly at dsantola@tapinto.net, and I will happily edit the caption for you.