Virtual Community Center


The City Council has taken preventative measures in response to COVID-19 within City facilities and has taken many steps to protect the public and prevent the spread of COVID-19. For a complete list of measures in effect and for regular updates on this rapidly evolving situation, visit

See more resources below to keep your brain engaged, connect socially, and remain physically active.

Recreational Resources


American Archive of Public Broadcasting: Be part of history, and fix computer-generated transcripts from thousands of historic public broadcasting programs from across the country. Learn more here.

Balboa Island Museum and Historical Society: Watch legacy project videos of area founders and leaders preserving stories that have shaped the Balboa Island community. Learn more here.

Bowers Museum: Bowers at home allows you to virtually explore exhibitions, explore weekly articles on the museum's permanent collections, and learn from audio lectures and tours. Learn more here.

Coursera: Find free online courses for high school and college students, as well as adult learners, in career development, graphic design, technology, mental health, and Spanish. Learn more here.

eBird: You can make a difference in the world of birding from your backyard. Learn more about bird species, record what you see in your neighborhood, and more. Learn more here.

Ed2Go: Keep your brain active with online classes, career training programs, and certification prep courses through Ed2Go. All courses can be found online at

Galaxy Zoo: Gaze at the stars and help classify galaxies based on their shapes. Learn more here

Gold Medal Exhibition: View the 109th annual Gold Medal Exhibition, a show exploring societal issues including diversity and the environment, online. Learn more here.

HackDesign: Explore a variety of design resources for beginners. Learn more here.

MIT: The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is offering one of its courses, User Interface Design and Implementation, for free online. Learn more here.

Museum of Modern Art (MoMA): Awaken your love for art with online courses in abstract painting, photography, modern art, and more. Learn more here.

NASA Citizen Science: Become a citizen scientist for a variety of projects that strike your interest. Track wildlife on trail cameras, search for interstellar particles from spacecrafts, identify bird species, and more. Learn more here.

National Archives: Get a glimpse of the outdoors by helping the National Archives tag photographs taken along 150 roadways in America. There are additional opportunities to transcribe historical speeches, memos, and more. Learn more here.

National Geographic: Read up on history, science, animals, and more. Learn more here.

Newberry Library: Calling all history and literature lovers! Help Chicago's independent research library transcribe documents from the 19th and early 20th centuries. Read up on transcription guidelines here, and explore the documents here.

Orange County Museum of Art: Join the museum virtually each week for new content to watch and listen to, and live broadcasts on Thursdays. Learn more here.

Project PHaEDRA: Support women's contributions to the field of astronomy, and catalog, digitize, transcribe, and create metadata for thousands of notebooks produced by early 20th century women at Harvard College Observatory. Learn more here

SciStarter: Fancy yourself a weather person? Take part in the I See Change project, and document your weather observations to help scientists learn more about local climates. Learn more here.

Virtual Tours: Explore museums such as the Louvre or a variety of national parks through virtual tours. Learn more here

Zooniverse: Find yourself with more free time lately? Put your boredom to good use and find a real-world academic project to take part in. No background is needed, and there are projects about space, history, nature, and more. Learn more here.

Connect Socially

Call a Friend or Relative: Mental health is important during times like this, and especially so when practicing home isolation. Call friends and relatives regularly to hear another person's voice and stay socially engaged.

Have a Virtual Hangout: Have a party on your computer! Use FaceTime, Skype, or other platforms to get together with friends digitally. 

Support Local Restaurants: Many establishments remain open for take-out or delivery. Support your favorite restaurants by ordering out for a meal.

Stay Engaged with Local Politics: Many City of Irvine and Orange County Great Park meetings are available for online viewing and commenting. Visit for live streams and past videos of City Council meetings and Great Park Board meetings.

But Also, Take Mental Breaks: Pepper in times to avoid watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can increase anxiety.

Exercise & Remain Active

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides strategies and ideas for adult physical activity, including for those with disabilities. Learn more here and here.

Go4Life: Go4Life lists exercise routines and online videos catered for older adults from the National Institute on Aging. Learn more here.

Move Your Way: The Move Your Way campaign uses fact sheets, posters, and web-based interactive tools to educate you on the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. Learn more here.

Take a Walk: The City of Irvine's parks and open spaces remain open for passive use. Take a walk or run, while still making sure to practice social distancing (maintain a distance of 6 feet from other individuals). Alternatively, enjoy a short outing in your own neighborhood for some fresh air. Find information on Irvine trails and maps at If you're a night owl, take part in Globe at Night and become a citizen scientist for light pollution. Learn more here.

Quail Hill Audio Tour: Take a self-guided audio tour with your cell phone along the Quail Hill Loop Trail in the Irvine Open Space Preserve. (Inclement weather could close trails.) Learn more here.

YMCA 360: YMCA 360 is offering on-demand video classes including barre, yoga, weightlifting, tai chi, and more. Classes cater to all ages. Learn more here.

And Don't Forget to Schedule Physical Breaks: When working from home or quarantined, make sure to step away from your computer for a few minutes to give your eyes a break. Stand up, stretch, or do a few stair runs.



Irvine Fine Arts Center:
The Studio Art Series

Stay connected with the arts this summer in the virtual art studio. This series of video tutorials presented by Irvine Fine Arts Center studio technicians include creative projects, technical instruction, and an inside look in the studio to inspire your artistic practice at home.

Exploring the Gelatin Plate: Part 1

Unravel the beauty of creating monotype/monoprints at home without a press, using only a gelatin plate. Ages 16+. For a supply list, click here. Click the button below for Irvine Fine Arts Center's Facebook video tutorial.

Gelatin Plate: Part 1

Exploring the Gelatin Plate: Part 2

Unravel the beauty of creating monotype/monoprints at home without a press, using only a gelatin plate. Ages 16+. For a supply list, click here. Click the button below for Irvine Fine Arts Center's Facebook video tutorial.

Gelatin Plate: Part 2

Flush Stone Setting

Learn how to use the flush stone setting technique to embellish your handmade jewelry with beautiful stones. Ages 18+. For a supply list, click here. Click the button below for Irvine Fine Arts Center's Facebook video tutorial.

Flush Stone Setting

Making a Leaf Bowl

Create a simple, beautiful leaf bowl out of clay in this free video tutorial. Ages 12+. For a supply list, click here. Click the button below for Irvine Fine Arts Center's Facebook video tutorial.

Making a Leaf Bowl

Paper Flowers

Learn to create paper flowers using printed photographs in this free video tutorial. Ages 13+. For a supply list, click here. Click the button below for Irvine Fine Arts Center's Facebook video tutorial.

Paper Flowers Tutorial