top of page
Graphic in which the words "Boredom Busters: a List of Free Online Resources" is spelled out in multiple colors. The MCLS logo is in the center of the image. The direct URL,, is at the bottom. White background with a green border

Your MCLS has put together the boredom busters below to help you learn, travel, and play. Choose one of the topics below, browse one of our databases (database access is free if you link through our website), and follow us on Facebook for online story times, discussion groups, and more!

Stream operas, plays, documentaries. Take a virtual tour of museums and parks.

Not just children's books!

Works read by the authors, famous actors, and everyone in-between

Crafts with supplies you have at home, and coloring sheets for the young and young-at-heart

Compiled from libraries all over the world, these Escape Rooms are digital, free, and fun to use. One for every interest, or build your own!

Arts & Entertainment

Arts & Entertainment

Music & Theater

Great music. No limits. Now the longest-running music series in American television history, ACL showcases popular music legends and innovators from every genre. In addition to being honored by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum as a rock and roll landmark, ACL is the only television program to ever receive the National Medal of Arts, the nation's highest award for artistic excellence.

Every day for the duration of the Met’s closure due to the coronavirus pandemic, a different encore presentation from the company’s Live in HD series will be made available for free streaming on the Met website. The schedule will include outstanding complete performances from the past 14 years of cinema transmissions, starring all of opera’s greatest singers.

As our community comes together in this time of crisis, the Seattle Symphony will continue sharing performances that provide strength, comfort and joy. The musicians of the Seattle Symphony have generously volunteered to share free broadcasts with everyone during this time of uncertainty. All broadcasts can be streamed through the Symphony’s social media channels

Immerse yourself in the stories of American art and architecture at Crystal Bridges with unique virtual reality experiences. Crystal Bridges is developing a series of experiences so you can interact with the museum like never before.

The National Gallery of Art – the nation's museum – preserves, collects, exhibits, and fosters an understanding of works of art.

MMCA has established itself as a representative institution of Korean modern art. MMCA’s foremost mission is to offer a culturally rewarding experience to its visitors. 

The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam houses the largest collection of artworks by Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890) in the world. The permanent collection includes over 200 paintings by Vincent van Gogh, 500 drawings and more than 750 letters. The museum also presents exhibitions on various subjects from 19th-century art history.

Online exhibits from the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.

Are you interested in doing a lot of exploring, but don’t often have the opportunity? Let’s face it; parents don’t always have the time to take the family on long field trips. Some destinations, such as other countries throughout the world, may take weeks and can be very expensive. When you can’t go globe-trotting, sometimes you have to get creative and let your mind do the exploring. This is where virtual field trips become a great alternative. These are fun and wonderful websites that will show you different parts of the world, famous landmarks, beautiful works of art, historic marvels, science adventures and so much more!

Parks and Exercise

Explore The Wild Center and its new Wild Walk—an elevated trail across the Adirondack treetops. Find new ways to connect with nature through outdoor experiences and guided paddling trips, and explore a 54,000-square-foot museum with live animals and hands-on everything.

The National Wildlife Federation will offer free, complimentary access to Ranger Rick online and the digital editions of its magazines during the COVID-19 shutdown of schools and daycare centers. The access will extend through June 30, 2020, and will only require an email address for access online. 

Use Google Earth to explore the pristine beauty of our nationally protected lands. Works best in a Chrome browser

Visit your favorite zoo animals from the comfort of your own home!

Free exercise and dance videos appropriate for all ages

Online Storytimes

Online Storytimes

Early Readers

Brightly Storyime brings you full-length picturebooks read out loud by our storyteller, Ms. Linda. Drop by for a new video every week!

Middle Readers

Well-known children's stories translated into Spanish and spoken by a native Spanish speaker. Great for kids... and adults too! Read along in Spanish or English.

The SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s award-winning children’s literacy website, Storyline Online, streams videos featuring celebrated actors reading children’s books alongside creatively produced illustrations. Readers include Viola Davis, Chris Pine, Lily Tomlin, Kevin Costner, Annette Bening, James Earl Jones, Betty White and dozens more.

Astronauts reading your favorite stories...while in space! Also space science lessons.

Lifelong Readers

StoryCorps’ mission is to preserve and share humanity’s stories in order to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world. Listen to intimate interviews and personal stories from regular people across the country.

Crafts & Coloring

Crafts & Coloring

Coloring Pages for All Ages

Launched by The New York Academy of Medicine Library in 2016, #ColorOurCollections is an annual coloring festival on social media during which libraries, museums, archives and other cultural institutions around the world share free coloring content featuring images from their collections. The coloring books from 2020 and previous years remain accessible year-round for free download.

 From Mandala inspired designs to animal drawings and pirate pages to flower fun, there are enough designs to keep any coloring fan busy for hours!  

As a celebration of the 2020 Children’s Book Week we’re presenting the book art of 23 artists! These beloved children’s book illustrators below have contributed their beautiful and inspiring artwork to help us celebrate our 2020 theme, Read. Dream. Share. Each individual illustration is available to print and distribute for to children, teens, and book lovers everywhere. Or download the full Coloring Book.

Arts & Craft Tutorials

Welcome to our family YouTube channel, Art For Kids Hub! We love doing art together and hope you follow along with us. Many of our lessons are perfect for any age, all you need is a few supplies!

Our studio will be going live daily Monday through Friday at 1pm Eastern Time, with free art & craft tutorials to create at home with your kids! We'll have shopping lists (with links to the supplies you can order from Amazon) so you can have supplies on-hand to complete the projects with us!

Digital Escape Rooms

Created by Libraries for you!

You can complete this escape room as a group or as individual. You can compete against friends and try it multiple times. Just make sure you have fun! This escape experience was created by Sydney Krawiec, Youth Services Librarian at Peters Township Public Library in McMurray, PA.

Take a stroll down TV memory lane. Answer the questions (trust me they are easy) to unlock the next section. Be careful with Capitalization. Make your way to the end for dessert! *THIS ESCAPE ROOM IS MORE LIKE A TRIVIA CONTEST!*

Can you help Cinderella get to the ball? Solve the clues and puzzles that follow to get her to her happily-ever-after!
This escape room is appropriate for tweens and up, or early elementary students if done with family. This virtual escape room was created by Stefanie Reed, Youth Services Supervisor at Henika District Library in Wayland, Michigan (

This escape room can be done as a group or by yourself and you can replay and/or share it as many times as you like! The clues are pretty difficult, so it is probably the most fun for groups with teens and adults. We recommend that you time yourself and see how fast you can solve all the puzzles. This escape experience was created by Lauren Rura and Felicia Brock, Adult Service Librarians at Washington-Centerville Public Library in Centerville, OH.

Welcome to the Minotaur's Labyrinth! While this escape room is recommended for tweens and teens, it can be family fun for all age groups. This escape room was created by Karen Liu (Salt Lake County), a Teen Librarian at The County Library's Riverton Branch

Escape Rooms

Bored at home one day, you go to your bookshelf to find your next read, and discover a book you’ve never seen before in your life!

An old bounty hunter friend needs your help to rescue someone...
You can complete this escape room as a family or individual. You can even compete against friends and try it multiple times. Just make sure you have fun! This Escape Room Experience was created by the Manchester Community College Library in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Doctor Who themed digital escape room by Tehachapi Branch Library

The Fayette County Public Library is closed and the families in Fayetteville are all very eager to have it reopen. Mrs. Ada is also excited for the day when the children and families are able to come back to visit. She is working hard to be sure that when they are able to come they will find organized shelves filled with amazing stories to read. Imagine her horror when one day Mrs. Ada pulls a book from the shelf and discovers that many of its pages are blank. She knows right away what this means. In library school she had been warned that unused libraries are sometimes invaded by the dreaded Page Snatchers. Page Snatchers are a species of zombie that feed off the words of popular books and stories. By absorbing the words from pages, a Page Snatcher is able to grow in power and keep anyone else from reading the book. They are also able to turn the characters absorbed into even more Page Snatchers. As soon as she saw the blank pages, Mrs. Ada dashed to her reference guide to supernatural library infestations to discover what could be done. What she found out was that there is NOTHING she can do. It is up to her readers. Can they solve four puzzles related to books and open the locks? If so, they will be able to unlock the magic portal that will send the invading Page Snatchers back to the dark realm from which they came and return the pages to the library's beloved books. So, reader it is up to you. Answer these puzzles. The fate of our library is in your hands.

Welcome to our Wonderland-themed Digital Escape Room! It is based on the story of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll. Also referenced are movie adaptations of the book--Walt Disney's Alice in Wonderland and Alice in Wonderland. This escape room is intended for all ages, and you can complete it by yourself or with a group. We hope you have fun! This escape room was created by Erin Honeycutt, Children's Librarian at Moultrie-Colquitt County Library System in Moultrie, Georgia.

Welcome to our Space Explorer Training Digital Escape Room! This Digital Escape Room is suggested for Teens ages 11 and up or Families. Complete on your own or with a group! We hope you have fun! This Digital Escape Room was created by Morgan Lockard, CCPL Adult/Teen Services Librarian, and you can contact her at

Pikachu has disappeared and needs your help! Can you solve the mystery of the Pokemon's disappearance before time runs out? Are you up for the challenge? Ages 6 and up.

Welcome to Escape the Fairy Tale: Part 1. This digital escape room was created by Marissa Lieberman, Children's Librarian at the East Orange Public Library, NJ (

Welcome to Escape the Fairy Tale: Part 2. This digital escape room was created by Marissa Lieberman, Children's Librarian at East Orange Public Library ( While the escape rooms can be done in any order, the narrative portion will be best enjoyed as a series.

The Sphinx is depressed after her riddle was solved and is taking it out on us! She has issued several new riddles and questions we need to figure out before we have one angry cat-lady on our hands.

The Abington Free Library in Abington, Pennsylvania, presents their Pete the Cat-themed Digital Mystery Puzzle. Feel free to solve this mystery by yourself or with others. The puzzle is not timed, so take your time and have fun! This activity may be most fun for ages 2 to 8.

Continuing Education
PK & Elem Learners

Continuing Education

Preschool & Elementary Learners

Play games, create comics, and take interactive quizzes, all based on your favorite books and characters!

Educational games, activities, and online books. 

Games, music, and videos featuring your favorite PBS characters!

Interactive articles, games, maps, and more!

Even when schools are closed, you can keep the learning going with these special cross-curricular journeys. Every day includes four separate learning experiences, each built around a thrilling, meaningful story or video. Kids can do them on their own, with their families, or with their teachers. Just find your grade level and let the learning begin!

SciShow Kids explores all those curious topics that make us ask "why?" Every Tuesday and Thursday, Jessi and her robot rat Squeaks answer your questions and explain fun, complex science concepts for young, curious minds

Summer Slugger is a fun, interactive, online course that uses the game of baseball to help kids ages 8 to 11 maintain their math and literacy skills during the summer months. Major League Baseball and EVERFI have teamed up to create a platform that keeps kids learning while they are out of school, and avoid the “summer slide” that contributes to a long-term achievement gap.

Middle and High School Learners

Step-by-step lessons, videos, and instruction for every subject and level.

A free online program that brings together the diverse talents of Disney Imagineers around the world for a one-of-a-kind learning experience and is part of Disney’s commitment to helping today’s youth create the future they imagine. 

The series offers 32 videos in which Imagineers share how they use a wide range of skills – from story development and conceptual design, to math, physics and engineering – to create immersive experiences

An interactive encyclopedia and database customized for the research needs of middle and high school students

Middle & HS Learners

Adult Learners

Get 1,500 free online courses from the world's leading universities --  Stanford, Yale, MIT, Harvard, Berkeley, Oxford and more. You can download these audio & video courses (often from iTunes, YouTube, or university web sites) straight to your computer or mp3 player. Over 45,000 hours of free audio & video lectures, await you now.

FREE online courses through MIT: knowledge is its own reward

Librarians are caretakers of some of the world’s greatest treasures—from historical documents and out-of-print books to archival photographs and illustrations. And thanks to the wonders of digitization, many library collections are available for everyone to explore online. Check these out during your next internet deep dive!

Offers interdisciplinary content that reinforces the development of skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, communication, collaboration, creativity, and innovation

Over a million digitized books, many that do not have an eBook available. All free to borrow and without a waiting list through at least June 30, 2020. Read more about this initiative here.

For a limited time, download your own copy of this Arkansas History Classic.

Live and archived talks from your favorite authors

Podcasts about the U.S. Civil War, directly from authors and historians

Adult Learners
bottom of page