We Angelenos are used to being out and about, making safer-at-home restrictions especially tough for us. We’re no longer able to take to the trails, the beaches and our local parks and public gardens – most of which are now closed.
To help keep cooped-up families sane while we’re staying safe, the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation has launched Parks from Home, a virtual recreation center to provide free access to fitness and instructional classes. The online programming includes videos of L.A. County Parks staff teaching recreation, sports, arts and specialty courses, plus virtual tours of trails, gardens and popular attractions throughout L.A. County.
On a recent exploration I found golf skills, dance and boxing workout classes, plus little tutorials (generally 5-20 minutes) on everything from how to make your own “slime” to floral arranging, yoga, cheerleading and guitar. I recommend the DIY Lava Lamp workshop for its charmingly DIY production values, and the cupcake frosting tutorial for its brave honesty. “Kids love tons of frosting, so let’s give them a sugar high,” says the instructor at one point, then later, “This is probably wrong, but it’s how I do it.” These are just what you’d find at your local recreation center – but on YouTube.
Also fun – though they won’t help you get your steps in – are the little nature videos of things like goslings exploring Descanso Gardens and a walk through the park’s “ancient forest,” and the 60-second history tours of the Hollywood Bowl Fountain, Walker Cabin in Placerita Canyon and South Coast Botanic Garden.
The department plans to add new videos regularly and announce them on social media via @lacountyparks.
Currently, local and regional parks remain open as outdoor-only facilities with social distancing required and group gatherings of any size prohibited. Play and sports amenities, indoor facilities, nature centers, golf courses, sports and recreation programs and multiuse trails remain closed to the public.
For more information on closures and changes in response to COVID-19, visit the L.A. County Parks website.