Optima Staff Top Picks for Things to Do During Lockdown

Gemma ElsburyWorking from HomeLeave a Comment

We asked our staff for recommendations for things to do whilst social distancing. Here are some of the best!

Gemma, IT Manager - Go see a musical!

Know the lyrics to Jesus Christ Superstar? Wish you could play Christine in the Phantom of the Opera? Then you’re in luck. Andrew Lloyd Webber has teamed up with Universal to announce that his iconic musicals will be made available to watch for free on YouTube. These will be shown every Friday @ 7pm on a YouTube channel called The Shows must go on. You can sign up to notifications to remind you when the show is about to start!

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James, APL Team Leader - Learn something new!

Anyone looking to get into programming and computers could be interested in this link from Harvard.

They are offering the course for free at the moment. You only have to pay for the certificate, but the knowledge is what really matters. I watched the first couple hours on YouTube and the lecturer’s passion almost made me reconsider going to university


Jenny, Finance Manager - Virtual socialising

I used the below app on Saturday night with 5 mates – was great fun and able to catch up over a glass of wine or two.

Houseparty is the face-to-face social network where you can connect with the people you care about most. The app makes connecting face to face effortless, alerting you when your friends are “in the house” and ready to chat so you can jump right into the conversation. The same goes for you opening the app! Your friends will know you’re in the app and ready to chat, so they can join you (…because rejected calls are so last year). Houseparty is truly the next best thing to hanging out in person. See your friends more often on Houseparty.

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Jay, IT Director - Take up Tai Chi

My Mother has been doing Tai Chi for over 20 years and at 84 can outwalk most people! She has given me this warmup exercise to have a go and thankfully I managed to walk the day after! It’s only 7 minutes so worth a go.


Tristan, Network Engineer - SeaWorld without getting wet

I came across a virtual tour of SeaWorld Orlando. It includes a few of the main attractions and a virtual roller coaster ride all from within your web browser. This is all completely free.

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Paul, Managing Director - Virtually visit the theatre

At this time many organizations are looking to see how they might continue to offer some form of service to their customers and even generate a little bit of cash in the process.

Going up to London to see a show is always a firm favorite with us but can be quite expensive so we have resorted to watching some live streamed shows at the cinema from time to time. Although the atmosphere is not quite the same it is still enjoyable. This is also the case with the new streamed shows the National Theatre is showing on their YouTube channel every Thursday at 7pm. Sit down with the family, collect together some nibbles and crack open a bottle of something nice and before you know it you are in London but without the commute! And if you did feel the event was worthwhile you can donate a little cash to help them out.


Kevin, Operations Director - Podcasts and knitting!

There are a few recommendations I have during lockdown. Read that book you’ve been meaning to read for a long time, Skype/Facetime with family and friends, build a model kit, take up knitting again (I can’t knit!) or discover a new podcast.

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Izabella, Administrator - Gaming as a family

As a family we have started playing sports games on Xbox. After dinner it is our lockdown tradition of playing bowling with the kids or beating my Husband at boxing!


Sam, APL Developer - Virtually ride a roller coaster

A little while ago, my sister sent me a web page about Disney rides shot in 360 degrees on YouTube, and there is a whole channel dedicated to it. Getting a VR headset to use with your mobile makes these even better.

You can get these headsets from Amazon for about £15-£20 but make sure your mobile can view 360 images.

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Sam T, APL Developer - Online gaming with friends

Something that my friends and I have been doing is to play Jackbox games together over the internet. They are a collection of party games that use a phone as an input device. https://www.jackboxgames.com/


Tom, APL Developer - Binge some shows

My recommendation would be to get stuck into a Netflix show (or seven). Shows I am currently watching are Ozark, Community, Brooklyn 99 & Sunderland 'Til I Die.

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Peter, Senior APL Developer - Catching up with some history

I have been catching up with old history documentaries and drama series on YouTube. There are many out there and can easily be searched for on Google.


Sameer, Software Developer - Virtual museum tours

I have been touring some museums from the comfort of home. 12 famous museums from London to Seoul have started to offer virtual tours.

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Mike, Designer - Virtually explore the World

Google Earth is in VR these days (if you have a headset), it also has full street view support now.

Until you try it it’s hard to describe the experience. It's basically like you standing on Google Earth and being able to fly around.

Here is a YouTube link showing how it looks.


Kim, QA Manager - Pilates!

Since the lockdown started, I have taken up a virtual Pilates class. There are lots to watch on YouTube and follow along. I am hoping to find a few Yoga classes as well to accompany it.

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About the Author

Gemma Elsbury

IT Manager


In 2016, Gemma joined Optima’s network team. Her main priority is to provide support to our clients and internal staff. Gemma also takes care of the day to day running of the networking team, making sure all issues are solved within SLA’s and clients are happy with the support we provide. More about Gemma.


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