The Sit List: Five things to do while staying largely at home

It goes without saying all our recommended activities are virtual. That said: Go on a garden tour, tune in to author conversations, study traditional music, watch dance or do earth crafts with the kids.

GARDEN TOURS Bringing Back the Natives Garden Tour is offering tours of Alameda and Contra Costa county gardens. On Sunday’s tour, which starts at 10 a.m., Berkeley resident and author Leslie Buck will let us roam around digitally in her two native gardens. Her tour will feature a frog that’s taken shelter in her bathtub pond, birds and crickets that inhabit her Japanese-inspired space. Sunday’s tour will also be kicked off by keynote speaker Douglas Tallamy, who will give us tips on how to attract wildlife to our gardens. Another tour is planned for Mother’s Day, May 10. You can participate via Zoom or YouTube on Sunday, May 3, 10 am-3 pm.  

UNBOUND BOOKS While the Bay Area Book Fest was cancelled because of coronavirus, that hasn’t stopped them from putting together a vibrant online gathering to rival their in-person event. The Bay Area Book Fest #Unbound takes place over the weekend on YouTube and will feature programs on voting rights, wellness, literature, youth, and women writers. Amber McReynolds and Jesse Wegman will lead a panel moderated by Ian Haney Lopez that provides information on voting from home for the 2020 election, while psychologists like Madeline Levine, Christine Carter, and Sarah Jaquette Ray will guide us on how to help our children cope during these uncertain times in a panel moderated by Dacher Keltner. Free. May 1-3. Register in advance. (See our feature story for more details.) Bay Area Book Festival #UNBOUND.

SOLO DANCING Watching others in motion can inspire you to take your home dance performances to the next level. Shawl-Anderson Dance Center and Dance Up Close/East Bay have partnered up to present the digital world with six solo performances by Bay Area choreographers to music by Michael Wall. The performance, called From One to Many, will begin with an introduction by the choreographers on Zoom, then jump to YouTube with a short film of the six solos, and then return to Zoom for a Q&A. This performance will have you jumping and dancing on many different dimensions. Saturday, May 2, 5 pm. Tickets on a sliding scale from $0-15. From One to Many  

Earth Day crafts to make with the kids, courtesy of We Are Teachers. Photo: We Are Teachers

EARTH & CRAFTS If the kids are getting bored of reading or watching TV during the lockdown, why not extend your celebration of Earth Day and try some eco-friendly crafts? No need to buy new supplies, simply recycle, reuse and renew things that are lying around the house or outdoors. You can collect some fallen shrubbery during a walk and create a nature wreath to hang on your door. Or you can make a simple hanging planter using an empty plastic bottle, some string, and soil. You can even upcycle used egg cartons and popsicle sticks to make a creative wall sculpture. You’ll have a blast eco-crafting with your kids and you’ll feel good about helping the earth out too. We Are Teachers Earth Day crafts.  


FOLK MUSIC If you’ve been wanting to express and experiment while sheltering, then you may want to try out a traditional music class from Freight & Salvage. You can study anything from French Café Songs with Olivier Zyngier to Flatpicking with Richard Brandenburg to the Mountain Dulcimer with Deborah Hamouris. You can even create music in different languages like in the Introduction to North and South Indian Vocal Percussion with Jim Santi Owen and Love Songs in Spanish with Chris Reid. The classes cover all levels from beginner to advanced. If you keep it up, you might have a new skill to show off by the time we’re out of isolation. Prices range from $139-$155. Freight & Salvage Learn to Play classes