A variety of suggestions and ideas to help you make the most of the Covid-19 lockdown at home

Staying safe at home during lockdown doesn't have to be boring... it can be an opportunity to explore, learn something new, to pick up tips on how to make the most of spending, quality, precious time with our partners and children, and it gives us the chance to connect with others - to have that long overdue catch up or day to day chats with friends and family by various means online.

It's important to keep up those connections, take daily exercise, to look after body, mind and soul... all from the safety of our own homes, heeding social distancing advice and practices.

Spring watch on the Farm

The Ark Open Farm, based in Newtownards, is having a baby boom. Keep up to date with the farm nursery and all things farm related while the doors are closed on their Facebook page.


Discover Northern Ireland

Embrace a giant spirit at home with Northern Ireland good reads, online events, music and recipes! Read more


Have a go at an online jigsaw puzzle

Amongst many iconic sites Exploris Aquarium now feature scenes from their attraction on the Visit Belfast jigaw platform. Give one (or them all!) a go here.


Ready to bake

Tracey of Tracey's Farmhouse Kitchen has shared her recipe for her tasty soda bread focaccia, a twist on one of our most traditional recipes! Get the recipe and watch Tracey bake here


Cook up something yummy

Local producer Mash Direct are posting delicious recipes on their website - from Beef Brisket Burgers to Gluten Free Mash Direct Pizza.


Bringing the Museum to you

As North Down Museum, Bangor, remains closed during the COVID-19 lock down, they will be bringing the museum to you over the coming weeks, with a series of pictures of artefacts, paintings and photographs from the museum's collection. We hope you find them interesting! Find out more


Are you local? North Down Museum is collecting and recording information about the COVID-19 pandemic in Ards and North Down so in years to come, people will understand its impact on the borough and how we lived through it.

Please share your stories, photos, thoughts and memories with us.

Your submissions will become part of the COVID-19 Pandemic Archive which will be an important resource for future generations.

For more information visit northdownmuseum.com


Libraries NI 

You can access over 17,000 books and 160 magazines via your digital device, you can join and read within minutes for free. Anyone who works, lives or studies in NI can borrow eBooks, audiobooks and download eMagazines FREE from libraries NI.
There are also ideas and inspiration to keep the kids entertained while at home. Read more


National Trust

Check out the activities to do from your home if you are on your own or with family there are plenty of ideas to keep you busy in the home and garden this spring.


The National Trust is also delivering a series of live videos from Mount Stewart to connect people with nature as lockdown continues, “If people can’t come to see our places, we will bring our places to them.” This is the pledge of Heather McLachlan, Director of the National Trust in Northern Ireland which has ramped up its online presence with daily doses of nature content for fans and followers of the conservation charity.

There’s plenty of scientific evidence that experiencing nature is hugely beneficial to our health and wellbeing, but recent studies have shown that just looking at images of nature can also help to reduce stress levels.

One of the most popular posts to date has been a live stream from the Red Squirrel Hide at Mount Stewart hosted by ranger Toby Edwards in which three red squirrels can be seen playing and feeding in the background – one even comes right up to the camera for a nosey.

In response the team are now posting a daily #MountStewartMoment including regular live streams from the property where a number of rangers and garden staff remain on the estate to carry out essential tasks. 

A second live video from the red squirrel hide is planned for the 5th May 11am on Facebook when Toby hopes some young squirrels, or kittens as are they are known, will make an appearance.

For a daily dose of nature with the National Trust follow @NationalTrustNI on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

Search #MountStewartMoment and tune into @NTmountstewart on Facebook for live video details.


Ulster Folk Museum and Ulster Transport Museum

Experience what life was like in Northern Ireland over 100 years ago and explore one of Europe’s most comprehensive transport collections from the comfort of your own home.

Follow on the National Museums NI website and social channels.

Blogs  | Stories | Ulster Folk Museum Instagram | Ulster Folk Museum Facebook | Ulster Transport Museum Facebook


Health and wellbeing 

With restrictions on outdoor exercise we must become inventive, Ards and North Down Leisure are helping us keep fit and healthy in our own homes by streaming live classes via Facebook, Monday – Sunday. Check out the full timetable.


Get Arty

Millisle based business Eden Pottery are now offering you the chance to hire your own Decorating Pottery Boxes. The boxes work by buying a minimum of four ceramic pieces. The box includes ceramic paints, sponges and brushes to use to decorate your chosen pieces of pottery and is delivered to your doorstep. The hire box will then be collected after five days where your pieces will then be glazed and returned to you. Find out more

Interested in art classes? Check out Bangor based Boom Studios Facebook page for live online classes such as life drawing, abstract art and more. Fees may apply.

Or if you are an avid clay sculpture maker, or just fancy to try something different, check out Sharon Regan Art on Facebook. Sharon will be occassionally doing live scupts online with advice as she goes if you are keen to recreate her arts at home. Find out more about Sharon.


More ideas... bird watching in your garden, learn a new language, make a list of all the places you want to visit when restrictions lift, keep a diary of these unprecendented weeks away from the normal, take up poetry.

Keep an eye out on our Facebook page for more information and tips.


Business support

Don't forget that if you are self employed or are a business, that we have a wealth of information for you available at your fingertips on what to do in current times, where you stand and how to plan for the future. Read more


Stay Safe. Stay Home.

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