13 virtual things to do this weekend: Small-space design, Obama, Taylor Swift, and more

May 15, 2020

The sun is shining, and the weekend looks lovely, so crack open those windows and enjoy one of these fun virtual events. From concert streams by Prince and Taylor Swift to virtual graduation events featuring a commencement speech by President Obama to Apartment Therapy’s weekend-long small-space design lineup to a star-filled benefit for Hollywood’s behind-the-scenes workers, there are plenty of cool things to do from home this weekend.


Prince and the Revolution: Live!
Through Sunday; free
Through Sunday, YouTube is streaming Prince’s 1985 Prince and the Revolution concert at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse. Viewer donations will go to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, and Google will match $2 for every $1 donation up to $5 million.

Atlas Obscura Trivia Night
7pm; free
Every Friday night, Atlas Obscura, an online “tour-guide to the world’s most wondrous places,” hosts a Zoom trivia competition. Officially known as “the Convocation of the Atlas Obscura Guild of Trivial Knowledge and Fascinating Ephemera,” the two-hour event allows teams of up to five players.

Apartment Therapy’s Small/Cool Experience At Home
7pm Friday through Sunday, May 17; free on @apartmenttherapy
Small spaces. Cool design. From your couch. After canceling the event planned to be held at Industry City in June, the team at lifestyle and interior design community Apartment Therapy decided to go virtual. Twenty designers–including Nate Berkus + Jeremiah Brent, HGTV’s Orlando Soria, and Emily Henderson–will create live small/cool spaces, all in less than 120 square feet. You’ll be able to shop featured items from these spaces digitally. There are tons of other fun events, too, like DIY tutorials, designer demos, interactive games, and giveaways.

We All Play Our Part: A Benefit for MPTF
9pm; free
This special event, which will be streamed live on YouTube, is behind held by The Motion Picture & Television Fund to benefit Hollywood’s behind-the-scenes workers. It’s being hosted by Yvette Nicole Brown and Tom Bergeron and will feature appearances by Matt Bomer, Jeff Bridges, Pierce Brosnan, George Clooney, Jodie Foster, Taye Diggs, Michael Douglas, Hugh Jackman, Allison Janney, Norman Lear, Joel McHale, Leslie Odom, Jr., Ray Romano, Wanda Sykes, and many more.


New York Transit Museum’s Party on Wheels!
12-1:30pm; $50 per household
The New York Transit Museum is bringing is going virtual with its family-friendly Party on Wheels! for the first time. Go on a virtual tour of the Museum’s vintage train cars, sing and dance to the music of Seth Ginsberg, meet costumed characters from the past, watch puppet performances and storytelling, make transit-themed art, and more.

Grand Ole Opry Livestream with Keith Urban, Kelsea Ballerini, and Morgan Evans
7pm; free
Saturday Night Opry is a special weekly live-stream event to support MusiCares’s COVID-19 Relief Fund, benefiting artists and music professionals affected by the crisis. This week, Keith Urban, Kelsea Ballerini, and Morgan Evans take the stage for a “live, intimate show” hosted by Bobby Bones.

Class of 2020: In This Together
7-8pm; free
Missing your graduation is a major disappointment. So CNN’s Erin Burnett, Don Lemon, and Jake Tapper are hosting this special virtual graduation. The event will feature President Bill Clinton, Amy Schumer, Jason Alexander, Gal Gadot, Jack Gilinsky, Henry Winkler, Alex Rodriguez, Keegan-Michael Key, and Anthony Anderson, and there will be performances by Yo-Yo Ma, Bazzi, and Foster the People.

Graduate Together: America Honors The High School Class Of 2020
8-9pm; free
The XQ InstituteThe LeBron James Family Foundation, and The Entertainment Industry Foundation teamed up for the second hour of this virtual graduation event. During this half, none other than President Barack Obama will deliver the commencement, addressing the three million high school seniors graduating in the U.S. this year. You’ll also see LeBron James, the Jonas Brothers, Zendaya, Olivia Wilde, Ben Platt, Megan Rapinoe, Yara Shahidi, Lena Waithe, Pharrell Williams, Malala Yousafzai, and more.


Kitchen Rodeo’s Focaccia con Formaggio class
2pm; donations start at $30
Kitchen Rodeo is a new initiative that offers classes to distance-cook with your friends and learn from industry experts, all while raising money for local causes such as City Harvest, Food Bank for NYC, Frontline Foods, and more. While all the classes sound delicious, this cheesy focaccia class has our mouths watering. Instructor Natasha Pickowicz, 2020 James Beard Finalist and Pastry Chef at Altro Paradiso and Flora Bar, will teach you to make this tasty treat that’s like “an Italian quesadilla” in real-time so you can also ask live questions. This class will benefit the Lenox Hill Neighborhood House.

Lincoln Center’s Memorial for Us All
6pm; free
Six faith-based groups across the city have enlisted the artists at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and Jazz at Lincoln Center for a new, weekly community remembrance. The event is a short concert honoring and celebrating those who have left us too soon. The first memorial was led by Wynton Marsalis in the New Orleans tradition, and last week by cellist Yo-Yo Ma. This Sunday, singer Brian Stokes Mitchell will take the lead.

MOFAD x Gastro Obscura Presents: The Beer Pantry
8-9pm; $15
The world’s first large-scale food museum has teamed up with Gastro Obscura on this fun event that will discuss beer styles, cooking with beer, and other brew-inspired topics (and of course, grab some of your own beer to enjoy!). Adam Dulye, Executive Chef of the Brewers Association and co-author of The Beer Pantry, a beer & food pairing cookbook, will lead the event with co-author Michael Harlan Turkell.

Taylor Swift City Of Lover Concert
10pm; free
This Sunday evening, ABC will air unseen footage from Taylor Swift’s City of Lover Concert held last September at the L’Olympia Theater in Paris, her first time performing songs live from her Lover album. You’ll also get to see special behind-the-scenes footage. After it airs, the special will be available on Hulu and Disney+.

Visit Louis Armstrong’s one-time home
The Louis Armstrong House Museum is located in the musician’s Corona, Queens home, where he lived for the last 40 years of his life. The Museum recently launched “That’s My Home,” a new online exhibition that provides a glimpse into Armstrong’s life at home using archival footage, rare photos, and audio from Armstrong’s private reel-to-reel tapes. The platform also includes virtual tours of the national landmark, as well as live-stream events.

Lead image credits: Photo of President Obama by Mike Brice from Pixabay; Photo of Taylor Swift via Wikimedia Commons; Photo of bus courtesy of New York Transit Museum; Small/Cool Experience at Home courtesy of Apartment Therapy

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