Best Bets for the Break: A quick guide to online entertainment and virtual experiences

"Mayor Kevin" reads stories online; new videos are posted every Sunday.

The Light presents this continuing series of online activities to undertake on your smart phone, computer or tablet during your quarantine quandary. All programs are free unless otherwise noted.

Learning & expanding thinking

Library card holders can enroll in any of nearly 400 courses online via the San Diego Public Library. These highly interactive, instructor-led classes range from law to language to art to technology, with many other categories represented.

Cooking & creating

UC San Diego’s Geisel Library hosts virtual event Short Tales from the Mothership, a live reading of original science fiction stories, at 4 p.m. Tuesday, May 19. Submit your own fantasy or sci-fi micro-fiction (250 words or fewer) stories by May 8, or simply tune in for live readings. Email submissions and requests for the watch link to

Learn to draw Mickey Mouse with a Disney Parks artist. This series of tutorials on drawing Mickey through the years includes video and a list of other character tutorials.

Family & children

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer hosts an online story time at 5 p.m. Sundays as part of the San Diego Public Library’s Storytime Club. Watch past readings with “Mayor Kevin” at

The Ruben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park, San Diego, invites you to FleetTV, an exciting online place to find fun and engaging science experiments, hands-on activities, behind-the-scenes interviews, bloopers, jokes and more.

Travel & outdoors

If you miss visiting Balboa Park, there’s another way to enjoy it right now. The Balboa Park Culture Partnership has launched Balboa Park TV, featuring more than 21 channels of arts and culture from Balboa Park venues.

Alpine animal sanctuary Lions Tigers & Bears conducts live broadcasts from 10:30 to 11 a.m. every Wednesday through Saturday during its mandated closure. Featuring a different animal each day, the sanctuary shares rescue stories and provides an interactive experience by answering viewer questions.

Health & fitness

The La Jolla Community Center offers Strength & Balance at 11 a.m. Tuesdays. This 60-minute workout focuses on upper-body, lower-body and core exercises, all centered around balance, posture and flexibility, with modifications for any fitness level. Email to register and receive a link.

Experience a 30-minute stress release response meditation led by Dr. Erhard Vogel of the Nataraja Meditation & Yoga Center.

Art & culture

The "Beyond Nature" exhibit opens Saturday, May 2, via Solana Beach's Madison Gallery.

The Solana Beach Madison Gallery presents a virtual opening of South Korean artist Jaehyo Lee’s “Beyond Nature,” running May 2 through June 3. Featuring sculptures of big cone pine, larch and chestnut, the exhibit describes and exemplifies the natural world.

Warwick’s Books in La Jolla will present bestselling author John Grisham live at noon Friday, May 1. Grisham will discuss his new book, “Camino Winds,” in conversation with Warwick’s.

Join Chris Burns 10 a.m. every Monday via the La Jolla Community Center for Musical Moments. The 20-minute class will enrich your day with a mix of Renaissance, Celtic, American and classical melodies. Musical selections will vary week to week. Email to register and receive a link.

Virtual galas & events

San Diego Youth Symphony invites you to its Encore! annual scholarship fundraising event from the comfort of your home. Grab a cocktail at 5 p.m. Saturday, May 2, and join in via Zoom for a brief program filled with music and fun including student performances, award presentations and celebrations. Visit for information and email to attend.

The Meals on Wheels gala will be held online Friday, May 8.

Meals on Wheels San Diego County invites San Diegans to its “Cheers to 60 Years” gala from 6 to 7 p.m. Friday, May 8. This year the annual gala is online with a party-infused virtual fundraiser including guest speakers and performing artists. Register at

What have you found for entertainment from a (social) distance? Email your leads to