Online entertainment


The City of Melbourne is maintaining a page which lists upcoming, virtual events.


Some MOOCs (‘massive, open, online courses’)

Free online courses are available from a number of universities, including:

  • Coursera .
  • edX (specific universities from around the world).
  • FutureLearn (the UK’s Open University and others).
  • Ivy League (Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Penn, Princeton and Yale).

Read about the acronym MOOCs on Wikipedia.

Watch lectures from University College London

UCL Lunch Hour Lectures are an opportunity for anyone to sample the research work taking place at UCL in bite-sized chunks. Speakers are drawn from across the university, and lectures frequently showcase new research and recent academic publications. The lectures can be viewed on YouTube or listened to on SoundCloud.


National Gallery of Victoria (NGV)

The NGV has closed for the time being but it appears that they are planning to offer virtual tours of their various exhibitions online. The first three virtual tours were:

Online tours of the world’s art museums

Google’s arts and culture website offers online tours of many/most of the world’s art museums. A website called Travel and Leisure has brought together 12 of their favourite tours from the Google website.


Behind the Lines is an annual exhibition at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House. It celebrates the role of political cartoonists in Australia and highlights the power that their drawings have in contributing to our daily political and social discourse. Visit the online exhibition.

The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria has a virtual collection of its artworks, photos, trophies, showbags and ephemera which you can explore.



Seniors Online Victoria has a games page, which includes code-cracker, crosswords, sudoku, trivia and word search.


The Guardian newspaper has two free, online crosswords every day, one quick and the other cryptic.


Yarra Plenty Regional Library has 13 digital jigsaws of local places for you to complete. There are actually another 2,500 jigsaws on the website – more than enough to keep you occupied.

If you find those too easy, try these ones.

Card games

Play cards online at, including 500, Hearts (aka Rickety Kate) and Oh Hell (aka Up River, Down River).

Crafts for a cause

Spotlight Crafts for a Cause is a Facebook group which is "a passionate community of makers, who are driven by making and doing for those we love and those in our local communities who are in need. The purpose of this group is to bring together the willing makers and the causes with a need. Volunteer your time, abilities or supplies to help each other around Australia." One of their current initiatives is to encourage people to make scrubs for healthcare workers. Return your finished items to your nearest Spotlight store.


Pluto the talking dog.

Watch live sculptures, including butterfly, chameleon, cichlid, mandrill, shoe, turtle and wolf. Watch more live sculptures.

Birdlife Australia are giving weekly talks on their Facebook page. The talks can be watched live starting at midday on Thursdays, or as videos afterwards.


Yarra Plenty Regional Library

Many of the books that they stock in hard copy are also available electronically as eBooks. The borrowing system works the same and the ‘borrow box’ allows you to search the available books. You don’t have to have a dedicated ereader or kindle, just use your tablet/ipad or PC to download and read your favourite books. Go to

Margaret Breare, from Rosanna Library, is offering support to people wanting to access digital content. Contact Margaret by email (

[Editor’s note: I’ve just noticed that the library makes electronic copies of all of the Age newspapers for the last 15 years available for free and this includes today’s paper.]

Project Gutenberg

Project Gutenberg is a library of over 60,000 free eBooks that you can download.

State Library Victoria

Membership of State Library Victoria is free but takes around 7 days to obtain (because they have to check that you really do live in Victoria). Once obtained, it gives you access to all sorts of goodies, including:

Local book swaps

Did you know that there are many little free libraries / book swaps around the area including right out the front of the historical society, next to the Old Eltham Courthouse. There is a relatively large one in the Greensborough Shopping Centre, in the 55+ meeting area (level 2, near JacquiE, around the corner from the Reject shop).

There is also a website called Street Library, where you can set up one of your own or visit one of the others in our area. It lists:

  • 129-163 Main Hurstbridge Road, Diamond Creek.
  • 901 Main Road, Hurstbridge.
  • Kangaroo Ground/St Andrews Road, Panton Hill.
  • 3 Deblonay Crescent, Greensborough.
  • 11 Louis Street, Greensborough.
  • The Living Energy Library, 83-87 Main Street, Greensborough.
  • Greenhill Road, Greensborough.
  • 18 Coventry Street, Montmorency.
  • 275 Gordons Road, South Morang.

Another website called Little Free Library lists:

  • Rivers of Yarrambat, 28 Kurrak Road, Yarrambat
  • 115 Eminence Boulevard, Doreen


The Melbourne Recital Centre

Performances at the Melbourne Recital Centre.

The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra

Performances by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.


Our Tuning into Opera group’s website

Our Tuning into Opera group maintains a blog, updated every week. It lists and discusses the performances available online each day. Every post carries links to reviews and clips and backgrounds to the operas performed. You can scroll back to read past posts about composers, performers and opera companies. Click here for the home page, and scroll down to read the posts.

ABC’s arts online guide

The ABC has produced an arts online guide.

Victorian Opera

Every Wednesday night, Victorian Opera will be releasing short, never-before-seen videos from their archives, as well as some new content. Read their program and watch some of their videos.

Opera Australia

Opera Australia has begun to stream operas online.

The Sydney Opera House

The Sydney Opera House site has various video clips, articles and podcasts.

London’s National Theatre

London’s National Theatre is streaming a free play every Thursday night. These plays will be available on their Youtube channel.

Shakespeare’s Globe, London

Shakespeare’s Globe, London has made its 2018 version of Hamlet available for viewing.

The Metropolitan Opera

The Metropolitan Opera (aka the Met) is offering free, daily operas on its website. Each opera is freely available for a period of precisely 23 hours, after which it requires payment. Given the time difference between here and New York (they are 15 hours behind us), it is a bit tricky to work out which of the operas is free at any point in time. Here’s my rule of thumb: it is usually the one with yesterday’s date. But you can always get to the current, free one here.

If you want other opera companies, read this article.

The Guardian has published an article with links to various classical music and operas that you can stream at home.