With the period of lockdown looking like it’s going to stay put for some time, I know that many of us are struggling because it is not life as we know it. I miss my friends, family, and I miss doing what I do properly, which is going out and exploring Milton Keynes to inspire you to enjoy it too. I have really enjoyed producing ‘lockdown’ content for you such as my independent takeaway and delivery MK food guide and the lockdown shopping guide – I am so pleased that so many of you have found them useful for yourself or family members! This guide is for those of you who want to find something interesting to do at home…
This blog post is a list of things that you can do at home, brought to you by local businesses in Milton Keynes! I’ve made it easy to navigate once again by organising the activities by categories. So whether you fancy getting creative, doing a bit of exercise or you’re feeling foodie, then there will be something for you here.
Things to do during Lockdown in MK
What do you want to do?
Learn Calligraphy with Lettered By Annie
Learning to write beautiful, modern calligraphy is something I have always wanted to do and I’ve been meaning to book myself onto a course with Lettered by Annie for ages! Of course, her local workshops are now off-limits but she is now selling Brush Lettering and Modern Calligraphy Kits (from £22 each) which have everything you need to learn at home.
The kits contain an A4 workbook, a pen and some stationery for you to personalise with your new skills. Children’s kits are also available. I’ve bought myself a kit and it’s a really therapeutic, non-screen related activity to do at home.
Buy your Lettered By Annie Kits here.
Something Less Boring Remote Art Club
Something Less Boring hosts workshops and activities for complete beginners to advanced artists. Once hosted in a pub, their Art Club sessions now take place over Zoom! It’s just £4.50 a session and will help a local business stay afloat – just bring your own paints. Click here to book your place.
SLB also continues to share daily art prompts on social media and ‘Ten Minute Tutorials’ over on their YouTube channel. Whether you are a total beginner or seasoned pro, SLB will help you get creative at home and learn new skills.
Liquid Art Painting Tutorials
Rachel Baker, a local artist who runs Liquid Art sessions, is posting free tutorials over on YouTube that you can recreate at home! I did a Liquid Art session with my mum just before Christmas and it was really good fun. I found it super relaxing and therapeautic.
Check out the ‘Sail Away’ tutorial below.
Free MK College Courses
Perhaps your work situation has changed – yep, that dreaded ‘F’ word that NO ONE had heard of until last week – or you have a little extra time on your hands and you want to brush up that CV. Milton Keynes College is offering a selection of FREE certified Level 2 courses ranging in everything from management to understanding mental health.
Courses are available online and are part of MK College’s distance learning courses, so you can learn at your own pace and add another string to your bow! Click here to see the free online courses from MK College.
MK Digital Library
Milton Keynes Library is now closed, but bookworms can rejoice as their digital library remains very much open. The library has made it even easier for local residents to join online by providing a temporary digital membership (valid for six months).
This enables you to borrow over 7,000 publications, ranging from magazines to books. They can be downloaded to all portable devices (eReaders, phones, tablets) and the best bit is – there’s no waiting list, and you don’t even have to leave the house to return your books!
Click here to join the digital library.
Open Learn with the OU
The Open University is also offering digital courses as part of their Open Learn programme. For every Open University paid module, there is a small, free taster course so learners can get a sample of what the course covers. No matter the type of course, all of them come with a statement of participation upon completion that learners can download and use as a demonstration of their learning. Click here to see the Open Learn courses. More will be added soon!
Food & Drink
Cocktail Night In
AD – The following items were gifted in return for a review.
I don’t drink cocktails very often, but having the freedom to order one from a bar is something that I suddenly realise I really missed! Praise be, because there are a couple of local companies that are making it easier for you to have a bar-standard cocktail at home – and you don’t have to do much at all.
Prococktails, the sister company to The Whisk Kitchen, is doing home delivery of bottled cocktails. The delivery is free and fast if you are based in Milton Keynes. Each bottle comes with an associated garnish which is a fabulous touch! We tried the Pornstar Martini and Old Fashioned, both of which were delicious and tasted like they’d been made there and then at a bar. All you need to do is shake and pour!
If you want a total solution or to celebrate a special occasion, I recommend The Occasion Bar Co. who has created ‘Cocktail Boxes’! The boxes have everything you need to create cocktails at home, including the glasses, shakers and garnishes. Simply host your cocktail night, then pop the glasses and equipment back into the box and it will be collected the next day!
Based in Corby in Northants, but offering delivery on selected weekends to Milton Keynes (Next delivery is the weekend of 7th May), this is a great option if you are celebrating a birthday or something similar. The kit has everything you need to make two Strawberry Daiquiris, two Pornstar Martinis and two Mojitos. The cut off for orders is Wednesday at 12pm and the boxes are around £50.
Order via theoccasionbar.co.uk.
Live Cook-a-longs – with me!
Lots of local foodies have taken to Instagram or Facebook live to share their cooking skills and teach people how to recreate delicious food at home. Personally, I have really enjoyed taking to my Instagram stories and bringing you some recipes I am trying and inspiring you to cook at home. I am collaborating with local food vendors to bring you some live cook-a-longs which you can join in with at home.
I will be hosting more live cook-a-longs with Saf from Saf’s Kitchen over on Facebook Live. Click here to catch my first Live Cook-a-long with Saf’s Kitchen where we teach you how to cook traditional Indian Omelette. Stay tuned for some more!
Read more: How to make Bao with Fried Sriracha Chicken
Pizza Making with Big G’s
If you’ve got kids or you want to have a go at making your own pizza (without all the faff of making your own dough!) you can purchase pizza kits from local business, Big G’s.
The kits are great value at £8 and contain everything you need for two pizzas: Dough, sauce and toppings. The instructions are super easy to follow and you can order here for delivery on Friday or Saturday for a weekend treat.
Wine Tasting with Milton Keynes Wine School
Milton Keynes Wine School is hosting live virtual wine tastings every Friday over on Facebook Live! They will be talking you through how to taste two wines every week and teaching you about the wines. All you need to do is look out for their post which tells you the two wines that you need to buy.
Conveniently, our weekly shop is always on a Thursday, so I might just have to pick up a few bottles and take part in one of these…
Click here to visit MK Wine School’s Facebook Page and stay up to date on the live tastings.
Gym Classes with Energié Fitness
Exercise has been my one constant sanity throughout this whole period. Every day, Dan and I have been dedicating at least half an hour to a workout. If you’re finding working from home difficult and feeling lethargic, I highly recommend you get moving in your lounge or garden!
Energié Fitness Gym in Milton Keynes is offering a daily schedule of live classes from 6:30 am till the evening, so you can find a session that suits you. Most of the sessions don’t’ require lots of equipment either.
Head on over to their Facebook page for the daily schedule of classes.
Yoga with Sweat Studios
I really miss going to exercise classes, particularly my hot yogas classes with Sweat Studios. The good news is they are bringing yoga to your living room through virtual classes!
Sweat has an online schedule of over 15 of its most popular yoga and pilates classes charged at a drop-in rate of £7.50 per class. Some classes will be free to join. Supporting these online classes will give much needed financial support to the studio and the teachers. For more information and to book, visit sweatstudios.co.uk
Use code SOPHIE to get 50% off your first class (That makes it just £3.75!)
Read more: Why I love Hot Yoga and why you should try it too
Pilates with Mallasphere
If you fancy pilates, check out these virtual pilates classes with Mallasphere, a studio based in Wolverton. It’s £5 per class.
Virtually Explore Milton Keynes
Discover Unexpected MK
Local photographer, Gill Prince, released a book in 2017 to celebrate Milton Keynes’ 50th birthday. ‘Unexpected MK’ is full of beautiful photographs of Milton Keynes that celebrate the town’s diversity. She has very kindly made it available to download for FREE so you can find some beautiful spots nearby for your daily exercise. It’s a great way to discover somewhere new to walk or cycle whilst eliminating cabin fever! (But please don’t travel too far)
Download the digital version of Unexpected MK here.
MK Gallery had a fantastic exhibition on before they closed to the public – I’m so sad I never got to see it! MK Calling 2020 featured over 130 artists across the five gallery spaces, showcasing a range of established and up and coming artists – local and international – celebrating what is happening today in contemporary art.
The Gallery is posting photos of the exhibits over on their social media channels – @mk_gallery – so follow along and ‘visit’ MK Gallery’s latest exhibition from your home!
‘Night in’ with Friends
The Comedy Cow
The Comedy Cow hosted a virtual pub quiz over on Facebook which we took part in with some friends on a WhatsApp group call and it was pretty fun! They are doing some more in the future (the prize money was split with the winners and a chosen charity)
Follow The Comedy Cow on Facebook to stay up to date with future events.
So there we go – things you can do in Milton Keynes, in your home! And if you aren’t from Milton Keynes, feel free to take part in these activities, as many of them are available online and open to everyone. Don’t forget to tag the local businesses on social media to help spread the love.
And make sure you tag me too @sophie_etc and share your photos on Instagram with my hashtag #EatandExploreMiltonKeynes to help other people discover them too.
Which of these things will you try?
Other posts you might like:
- Independent Restaurants Offering Takeaway & Delivery in Milton Keynes
- The Independent Milton Keynes Guide to Lockdown Shopping
- A Guide to the Most Instagrammable Locations in Milton Keynes
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I got the email and it bought my on to your page.
I follow you on insta and regular ask odd questions. Found this latest news article /blog really inspiring and it must be a change for you to do it this way but has great creative content xx lifted me up today
Thanks so much Chloe! Haha, it is a little bit of a different way of blogging I have to admit, but it’s pushing me to try different types of content which I’m quite enjoying! I hope you are doing okay xx