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17 Things That Helped Us Pass The Time In 2020

A Nickelodeon coloring book, a HelloFresh subscription, two new Taylor Swift albums, and more amazing things that kept us busy in quarantine in this year.

We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

1. An adult coloring book your inner '90s kid will absolutely adore. It's like opening a time machine and traveling back in time and watching your favorite cartoons on a Saturday morning.

A page from the coloring book that Buzzfeed Editor Kayla Boyd colored in of Reggie from Rocket Power
Kayla Boyd / BuzzFeed

"Like many, many others in 2020, I decided to give coloring a try — and this coloring book brought me SO much joy in the midst of the pandemic. As a '90s baby who is obsessed with the whole nostalgia trend, I was delighted to flip through and find all of the BEST cartoons from my childhood: Rocket Power, Rugrats, The Wild Thornberrys, Hey Arnold, and more. It provided such a great stress relief (and a walk down memory lane). Anyone who knows the true joy of watching Nicktoons with their bowl of cereal on a Saturday morning as a kid should definitely give this coloring book a try!" —Kayla Boyd

Get it from Amazon for $12.23 or Target for $12.23.

2. A Hulu subscription for watching a wide variety of shows and movies like The Mindy Project, Killing Eve, Booksmart, and I, Tonya — just to name a few. Plus, you can opt for a subscription that includes live TV!

various categories on hulu including live tv, hulu originals, movies, kids, and more

"Binge-watching is a lot less fun (and more time-consuming) when you gotta sit through ads. With my beloved no-ad plan, I've binged some of my all-time favorite series all the way through — without relying on them being on Netflix, waiting for the latest season to finish, or paying for them on Amazon or Apple TV." —Katy Herman

Subscribe to Hulu's ad-supported plan for $5.99/month (first month free), the no ad plan for $11.99/month (first month free), or the ad-supported plan with live television for $64.99/month (first week free).

3. A subscription to Obé fitfness to help turn your living space into your very own workout studio. You'll have access to a broad array of pre-recorded workout classes, a packed live class schedule, exciting challenges, and a supportive community.

Abby Kass / BuzzFeed

"I've been using Obé for almost a year and a half now, but I really upped my game once quarantine started. I usually did an average of four classes a week for 30 minutes, but since I was stuck inside all the time, I started regularly doing an hour. Not only did it help pass the time, but I always felt SO much better after I was done. I started by doing a lot of dance and sculpt classes — which I love, but in June, I decided to push myself by participating in their Move With A Purpose challenge. During that time, I was pushed out of my comfort zone and started realizing I actually enjoyed Dance HIIT, strength, and power classes. (I've worked my way up to using 10 pound weights now, which I never thought would be a thing!) The app pushes me to be stronger and more confident and really has been such a good thing for me in the past couple months. The instructors are great and really make you feel like you're in workout classes (which I've found is the only way I can motivate myself to workout). I feel so strong because of the app, and I did it all without ever leaving my apartment." —Abby Kass

Subscribe to Obé fitness for $27/month for the monthly plan, $65/quarter for the quarterly plan, or $199/year for the annual plan. You'll get a free seven-day trial, and won't be billed until it ends.

4. The New York Times: Best of the Week Series Monday Crosswords that will make for a fun way to test your knowledge, and is a great activity to complete with a loved one!

cover of the crosswords book

"This is the perfect brainteaser for when my head starts feeling a little mushy. My partner and I even used to do these over FaceTime when we were long-distance, but now we get to happily do them together IRL — a quarantine love success story! Mondays are the 'easy' puzzles, but if you want more of a challenge, try the Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday versions of this book for increasing difficulty!" —Rachel Dunkel

Get it from Amazon for $11.69 or Target for $11.69.

5. A Book of the Month subscription to help take the guesswork out of choosing your next read. Each month, you'll choose from a selection of great reads you want delivered. If nothing strikes your interest, you can save your credit and apply it towards a future month instead.

Bek O'Connell / BuzzFeed, Rachel Dunkel / BuzzFeed

"When I first heard about Book of the Month Club, I was skeptical. I can figure out what to read on my own, tyvm! But it's more than just 'let this company send you a random book.' You get to pick one of five books each month (or skip a month if nothing calls to you) and then you get a nice hardcover book in the mail. My favorite so far has been Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo: a fantasy thriller that imagines what it would be like if Yale's secret societies actually dabbled in black magic. I devoured it in almost one sitting. If you love ghosts, a reluctant Scooby gang, and a scathing critique of Ivy League classism, I highly recommend this engrossing read." —Bek O'Connell

"I've been a subscriber for over a year and totally, completely recommend it. And 2020 has been...ya know...but I *always* look forward to the first of every month because it means I get to pick a new book! And as someone who loves literary fiction as much as a juicy romance novel, being able to cater my box to what strikes my fancy that month is key. I'm always impressed by the range of genres available. Beach reads, mysteries, nonfiction, fantasy — you name it they have it! It's also been a great opportunity to try books I never would have independently picked in the store but absolutely loved and would have missed out on! I owe my newfound love of fast-paced thrillers largely to BOTM." —Rachel Dunkel

Subscribe to Book of the Month for $14.99/month.

6. Animal Crossing: New Horizons (and of course, a Nintendo Switch or Switch Lite) that puts you in charge of taking a deserted island and turning it into your very own dream island bustling with adorable animal villagers.

BuzzFeed Editor Sam Wieder holding the black and gray Nintendo Switch console with Animal Crossing: New Horizons on the screen
Samantha Wieder / BuzzFeed

"I got the Nintendo Switch back in April, and it's still one of my favorite quarantine purchases I've made. For starters, at a time where things are... stressful, to say the least, it's been really nice to have a mindless form of entertainment whenever I want to just de-stress.

I bought my Nintendo Switch to play Animal Crossing: New Horizons. I loved playing Animal Crossing on my GameCube when I was younger, so the nostalgia aspect of the game was a big selling point for me. The best part of it though is the fact that it truly feels like an escape from reality. I love that I can spend hours interacting with my adorable villagers, designing my dream home, and building/re-arranging my very own island. I definitely want to explore other games, but from the standpoint of someone who bought this console literally for just one game and still loves it, I can tell you this really is a great purchase." —Sam Wieder (aka, ME!)

Get a Nintendo Switch from Best Buy for $299.99 (available in three colors), a Nintendo Switch Lite from Amazon for $199 (available in four colors), and Animal Crossing: New Horizons from Amazon for $49.99+ (available in two formats).

7. A Disney+ subscription so you can access a world of nostalgia-inducing shows and movies you grew up with, and discover new and exciting Disney+ exclusives.

Heather Braga / BuzzFeed, The Walt Disney Company

"I’m not sure how I would’ve made it through this year without Disney+. As a diehard fan of both the parks, the films, and the music I felt a big entertainment void filled whenever I tuned in. I’m a creature of habit and have been more than happy to watch classics like Beauty and the Beast and Hercules over and over, but it’s been such a delight to watch new Disney+ originals as well. I highly recommend The Imagineering Story, which is all about the creation of the various Disney parks. Howard is also a wonderful option if you want to learn about the mastermind and musical partner partner of Alan Menken, Howard Ashman. Don’t even get me started on Baby Yoda. Disney+ has, for lack of a better term, helped fill my year with some much needed magic." —Heather Braga

Subscribe to Disney+ for $6.99/month or $69.99/year.

8. Taylor Swift's folklore and evermore albums that served as the perfect soundtracks for a year like 2020 and will be on repeat all through 2021, too. As Jake Peralta once said: Taylor Swift, always right.

@taylorswift / Via, @taylorswift / Via

"I've spent the last 14+ years in awe of how Taylor Swift always seems to find the most stunning ways of taking every feeling and emotion that humans experience and turning them into lyrical masterpieces. The releases of folklore and evermore are prime examples of this — these albums convey the darkness, loneliness, and sadness that filled 2020 in a way that actually made it feel less isolating and like a warm, comforting hug. Though her surprise announcements of both albums sent me into full-on panics, it also added a much appreciated element of excitement to this year. These two albums will always hold such a special place in my heart. Most importantly though, I want you all to know that I am, in fact, a mirrorball." —Sam Wieder

"I’ve been waiting for Taylor to write folklore and evermore since I was a teenager. I feel so grateful to her for giving us that this year — it gave us something to talk about, to share collective feelings and theories and memes about. I have such beautiful memories of learning about the releases and sharing them with my family and fellow Swiftie friends. What I love about the storytelling aspects of these albums is that no two people interpret them the same way — every time I talk to someone about the albums I think of both the stories in them and the person I’m talking to in a new light, and it has brought me so many moments of shared understanding and unexpected delight in this year when both those things feel harder to come by." —Emma Lord

"As someone who has been to countless Taylor Swift concerts, it will come as no surprise to you that the greatest thing to happen to me in 2020 was the release of new music from the great Taylor Alison Swift. While I'm a fan of all of her albums, it felt so magical that in the midst of *gestures around* all of the things going on this year she was able to give her fans, an album filled with some of the most stunning lyrics I've ever heard and music that made me feel like I was transported to somewhere new like a saltbox house on the coast and forest of trees without having to leave my home (because I basically couldn't). Then she blessed us with evermore exactly when I needed it most. I had been super anxious and in the midst of some big life changes — it was as if Taylor knew I needed an old school jam like "no body, no crime" or a masterpiece like "willow" to get me through it. Ugh love live the queen, amiright?" —Heather Braga

"Having been a Swiftie for a decade now, I never dreamed we would be blessed with new Taylor music this year, let alone two albums. There is no denying that the likes of folklore and evermore — as well as the glorious, 2020-appropriate sound of Taylor finally saying the f word (repeatedly) — will live rent-free in my mind for the rest of my days. And what has warmed my heart most of all is seeing Taylor be everywhere, showing a new group and genre of fans the unbelievable lyricist she has always been, and continue to amaze us all with her talent in everything she does. The woman truly does come back stronger than a '90s trend, every time." —Katy Herman

Get them from Amazon: folklore for $11.47, and evermore for $13.79.

9. A subscription to HelloFresh for those looking to switch things up in the kitchen with some innovative, fun meals. They'll send you the pre-portioned ingredients and simple instructions you need to follow delicious recipes.

Maitland Quitmeyer / BuzzFeed

"For me there are three great reasons to try a meal kit like HelloFresh right now: 1. to reduce trips to the grocery store without having to forgo fresh produce, 2. to get out of the same-dinner ruts, especially when we're cooking at home more than ever, and 3. to learn new cooking skills in a basically foolproof setting.

Here's how it works: You can select from the four preferences: meat and veggie, veggies, low-calorie, and family-friendly. Recipes come portioned to two or four people (but I find the portions to be generous), and you can get either three or four recipes per week (for the two-person plan) or two or three recipes a week (for the four-person plan). And of course you can skip weeks, upgrade to ~premium~ recipes (think surf and turf) for an additional fee, or change the number of meals at any time. When your box arrives, you get everything you need to make the recipe, chilled to perfection, and portioned accordingly (you just need to provide pantry staples like butter, oil, salt and pepper).

And the instructions? Totally foolproof. My fave recipe so far exemplifies how helpful HelloFresh is for trying out new recipes and techniques — say hello to my little friend, tempura shrimp. I have thought about making at-home tempura for like.....years, but it seemed like a lot of work, and I'd burn myself on the hot hot oil.

But this recipe took all the scariness out of it — turns out I *didn't* need a whole pot of oil to fry these bbs up, a shallow fry worked PERFECTLY. And when I feel done with HelloFresh, when we're no longer social distancing from the grocery store and I feel like I've learned enough, I will 10000000000% make this again on my own. And I've been thinking about the sauce (an easy mix of mayo, Sriracha, and apricot jam) ever since, and will put it on just every single thing from here on out — including just a spoon. And the portions are IMO, very generous — I could not eat what they'd consider one portion in a single night, and the leftovers always reheated just as deliciously as they were the first night. And the best part = you can access their database of over 2,500 recipes even when you're not a subscriber, so you can just use it as a cookbook when you're done subscribing." —Maitland Quitmeyer

Subscribe to HelloFresh starting at $8.99/serving.

10. A paint-by-sticker book so you can channel your inner artist in cool way that's significantly less messy than paint. I personally think they should hang this book in The Louvre.


"This sticker-by-number book truly took me back to my youth of the paint by number or sand art by number (I know you millennials recall this messy art project). Doing this at the start of quarantine really got my head in a better place. Being able to just forget everything going on for a few hours to make a sticker masterpiece was really what my mental health needed. If you’re an art person as well, this book is seriously so cool. Making a sticker masterpiece of The Girl With The Pearl Earring? Iconic." —Ali Faccenda

Get it from Amazon for $8.71 or Target for $8.99.

11. A speaker that'll deliver excellent sound quality for all your favorite jams no matter where you use it. Not to mention, just LOOK at its sleek design.

BuzzFeed Editor Maitland Quitmeyer's black speaker
Maitland Quitmeyer / BuzzFeed

"I *love* this little speaker — it lives right on my bookshelves (without taking up basically *any* room) and fills my apartment with high-quality sound. The lil' portable size is perfect so I can grab it and take it into the kitchen for baking jams™ or into my bathroom for my latest in-shower karaoke session (sorry neighbors). It's adorable, but the sound is crisp, powerful, and well-rounded. Pairing it with my phone was incredibly easy, and it reconnects almost instantly as soon as I turn it on, so it's super user-friendly. I also barely *ever* have to charge it, which is important to me. And yes, that *is* a Jane Austen action figure next to it." —Maitland Quitmeyer

Get it from Amazon for $129.99.

12. A workout bike so you can enjoy the thrill of attending a spin class without leaving home. You can come up with your own routines, following free online videos, or download and subscribe to the popular Peloton app.

BuzzFeed Editor Rachel Dunkel on the bike
Rachel Dunkel / BuzzFeed

"My partner and I caved and got an exercise bike. It felt a bit indulgent but WOW has this thing lifted our spirits like nothing else. I also got the Peloton app, because *newsflash* you don't need a Peloton bike to have access to all of their cycling videos! I used to love exercise classes, so cycling daily has been a real mood-booster. The bike itself is great. No fuss, easy to put together, and gets us sweatin'. Highly recommend the combination of a more affordable bike and the Peloton app." —Rachel Dunkel

Get the bike from Walmart for $198.95, and the Peloton app for $12.99 (first month is free).

13. An indoor garden that'll allow you to grow fresh produce year-round from, yup, you guessed it, inside your home.

the indoor garden inside a person's home
Rise Gardens

"I own this and I can confidently say it's one of the biggest joys I've had during my quarantine life. Not only is the garden itself a gorgeous addition to my apartment but the process is truly fool-proof, with step-by-step instructions that have given me confidence with a hobby that's totally out of my comfort zone. The Rise Gardens app tells you everything you need to know about caring for your plantlings, and watching them grow so quickly is so satisfying! They have a great selection of herb and vegetable seeds to chose from — so become the apartment farmer you were always meant to be!" —Mal Mower

Get it from Rise Gardens for $549.

14. A Samsung Frame TV – it doubles as a television for watching all of your favorite shows and movies and a fancy piece of artwork on your wall when you're not watching anything.

Mallory Mower / BuzzFeed,

"This TV is honestly and truly the best splurge I have ever made. It has massively upgraded the look in my living room. My husband loves the photography options and I love all the classical paintings — as someone who loves changing up my decor, being able to update the display images has been so fun. The quality is fantastic while watching movies and TV...but I'm pretty sure I love it as a piece of art in my home even more." —Mal Mower

Get it from Amazon for $647.90+ (available in six sizes).

15. A weaving loom that may just inspire you to take up a new crafting hobby in quarantine. Just be ready for your loved ones to request you make them cool things.

Chelsea Stuart / BuzzFeed

"My boyfriend got me this loom for my last birthday — the very beginning of March — and little did I know then just how much time I’d have to practice my tapestries. Over the last few months, I’ve watched countless YouTube tutorials, read through a few weaving books, and just tooled around on my own to learn basics like how to warp the loom and then more complicated things like different types of weaves. I would definitely call myself a crafty person, but even if you’re not, don’t let that dissuade you — it’s a really fun hobby to pick up and you can totally go at your own pace! Just make sure you keep it away from your cats (I learned this the hard way)." —Chelsea Stuart

Get it from Amazon for $67.99.

16. A subscription to Piquant Post to introduce your tastebuds to incredible new spices. If you're someone who loves cooking, this is an awesome way to experiment with new flavors.

a plate of cauliflower curry and rice made by BuzzFeed Editor Kayla Suazo using the piquant post spices
Kayla Suazo / BuzzFeed

"This monthly spice subscription has sparked a fire deep down in my cooking soul. The spice blend combinations are incredible, and each spice comes with a corresponding recipe. I just made this cauliflower curry and my life will never be the same. I want to cook anything and everything with these spices." —Kayla Suazo

Subscribe to Piquant Post starting at $9.99 per month.

17. A hide-and-seek toy that lights up, sings, and drops hints to encourage young ones to come find it. This makes for a great activity the whole family can enjoy!

John Mihaly / BuzzFeed / Via

"You know when your brain tells you, 'This might be a bad idea!' but your gut tells you 'Nah, this is going to be hilarious! Maybe.' Luckily, my gut was right this time. Silly Poopy is beyond silly and not poopy at all. It is indeed a poop-ton fun for the whole family thanks to its infectious song that sounds like it was taken straight from a 1970s game show. Best of all, my kid loves it and hopefully, this is the only poop he tries to hide around the house." —John Mihaly

Get it from Amazon for $12.99.

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