Virtual Recreation Center

Welcome to the City of Grinnell’s Virtual Recreation and Resource Center. We are committed to ensuring that our resilient community members have resources to maintain healthy lives, grow meaningful relationships, and have interesting experiences. In these challenging times, our Virtual Recreation Center will bring programs and resources to you and your family with the hope of making it easier for you to prioritize your health and well-being.

Visit this page often for ideas to keep you and your loved ones healthy, entertained and informed. Please note that we do not endorse or receive funds to advertise any of the third-party sites or services listed or referenced on this page.

Have an idea or resource you'd like to share? Email us !

Stay Active: As our daily lives are currently filled with more indoor time, there are many ways to stay healthy and active.

Indoor Activities

Take a Virtual Fitness Class - there are a plenty of FREE options online.

Here are specific videos for kids:

Outdoor Activities

  • Visit a local park - Use our walking trails and open spaces.
  • Walk/run around your neighborhood and say hi (from a distance) to all your neighbors who are outside too.
  • Go for a drive - take a scenic drive around town.

Connecting with Others - For all Ages

  • Facetime a friend or relative you haven't spoken to in a while to check-in.
  • Write a letter/Pen Pals.
  • Support a local restaurant - Many restaurants are still open for take-out or delivery orders. Here is list of local restaurants that are open from the Grinnell Chamber of Commerce.
  • Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, and get plenty of sleep.
  • Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
  • A Better Way to Homeschool - A quick-start resource to help families pull together a plan for surviving the next 1 - 2 months at home with their kids. It can also provide a time to slow down and enjoy our kids as they learn. This is for preschool through 8th grade.
  • Tips for Working from Home - Advice from PC Magazine for those who are able to work from home.

 Exercise your Brain

  • Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
  • Visit Drake Library’s Webpage - The library has tons of resources ready for your enjoyment.
  • Work on Mindfulness - Mindfulness is a type of meditation in which you focus on being intensely aware of what you’re sensing and feeling in the moment, without interpretation or judgment. Practicing mindfulness involves breathing methods, guided imagery, and other practices to relax the body and mind and help reduce stress.

Connecting with Others - For the Kids (Or Kids at Heart)

  • Hold a virtual play date through Facetime.
  • Teach a young person how to write and send a letter.
  • Over Coming Obstacles - Life skills curriculum for students in grades K-12. Their resources include strategies for teaching social and emotional skills.

 Visual and Performing Arts

  • Daily Doodle - lessons by Mo Willems.
  • FreeKidsCrafts - Lots of categories of ideas, templates, and print outs.
  • Crafts by Amanda - Free arts and crafts ideas.
  • Online digital coloring pages .
  • Artsology - Helps kids learn to appreciate the arts by providing them with the opportunity to play games, conduct investigations, and explore different forms of art.
  • Kids Think Design - Explores careers in fashion design, graphic design, interior design, book design, product design, film and theater, architecture, animation, and environmental design.

 Nature and Virtual Travel

  • Google Earth - Take a Virtual Vacation or explore the world. Use Street View to see places like you’re actually there.
  • San Diego Zoo - Check out their live animal cams and videos.
  • Nat Geo Kids - Learn about geography and animals from National Geographic.
  • Gardening - Guide to gardening for kids.
  • Smithsonian Zoos and Museums - No need to travel to one of the Smithsonian’s zoos or museums — this website brings your child everything from live video of the National Zoo to the Smithsonian Learning Lab right to your screen.
  • Yellowstone National Park - Check out the beautiful Yellowstone National Park from your living room!
  • Disneyland - Are you having Disneyland withdrawals? Do not worry; click the link to experience the happiest place on earth without ever having to leave your house!

Just for Fun

  • Storyline Online - Watch and enjoy as celebrities sit down to read classic children's stories!
  • All Kids Network - Crafts, activities, mazes, dot to dot, etc.
  • Highlights Kids - Fun games, recipes, crafts, activities.
  • Nomster Chef - Illustrated recipes designed to help kids ages 2-12 cook with their parents. Recipes encourage culinary skills, literacy, math, and science.
  • TasteBudsKitchen - Easy culinary lessons for the whole family.
  • Tennis at Home - Tennis lessons you can complete anywhere.

STEM and Educational Resources

  • Scholastic Learn at Home
  • Bed Time Math - Math as a fun part of your daily family routine.
  • Conjuguemos - Vocabulary, grammar, listening activities and games in Spanish, French, Italian, German, Portuguese, Korean, and Latin.
  • Science Spot - Science projects that can be completed with or without Internet access
  • The Happy Scientist - Just explore, have fun, and learn some science along the way.
  • Climate Kids - This NASA initiative covers a wide range of topics including weather, climate, atmosphere, water, energy, plants, and animals.
  • PBS Learning - PreK-12 digital media service with more than 30,000 learning materials.
  • Quizlet - For students to practice and master whatever they are learning.
  • Brainscape - Offers more than a million flashcard decks for every subject, entrance exam, and certification imaginable.
  • Banzai - Exposes students to real-world financial dilemmas to teach them the importance of smart money management.
  • 30 Educational Netflix Shows - List of educational shows on Netflix for all ages.

Be in the Know - Visit these sites for the latest local information regarding COVID-19: