THE turkey has been guzzled, the presents unwrapped, the Quality Street demolished and the Baileys depleted. While today has a magical, sparkly feel about it, in anticipation of exquisite presents, dancing snowflakes and children’s glowing faces; come the day after tomorrow, everything has curiously deflated with the reality of mounds of torn wrapped paper, uneaten sprouts and Drambuie-induced hangovers crowding in.
Some are open, some aren’t, so check before going. The major movies to see right now are Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, which you can catch at the Dominion, Vue Ocean Terminal and Cineworld. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is on at the Cameo, as well as Ocean Terminal and Cineworld – catch it on the new Imax for a real hangover blaster. As for something for the younger members of the family, try Vue Ocean Terminal for The Adventures of Tin Tin (at 10am) and Happy Feet 2 (at 10.10am) or Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked at Cineworld. And if the family have been driving you up the wall on Christmas Day and you’re beginning to think you’d be better off without them, why not check out Dreams of a Life at the Cameo at 6.20pm, which tries to piece together the life of Joyce Vincent, a 38-year-old found dead in her bedsit in 2003. She’d been dead three years and no-one had noticed she was missing . .
Boxing Day is the traditional day for the sales to begin. For some years, though, sales have been starting earlier and earlier. So most stores are open on Monday with the discounts just getting deeper. Some, however, will be beginning their sale on that day in the time honoured way, including Next, whose famous Boxing Day push begins at 6am. And for the first time in Scotland this year, Marks & Spencer will be opening on Boxing Day. Many of the shops and businesses around Princes Street will be open including Debenhams (7am to 8pm), Café Royal (12pm to 10pm) and Gap (8am to 7pm). The main shopping centres are open too, including The Centre in Livingston (9am to 7pm), Fort Kinnaird (10am to 8pm) and Ocean Terminal (10am to 6pm). Ikea is also open, 10am to 6pm, with its sale starting on Monday too.
Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood Palace are closed but there’s always the option of a brisk walk around Arthur’s Seat or the Botanics, which is open as normal. Edinburgh Zoo is also welcoming visitors, but remember to book your panda viewing slot online at www.edinburghzoo.org.uk at no extra charge. Deep Sea World in North Queensferry is also open from 10am to 5pm (last admission 4pm).
The National Museum of Scotland is open but Dynamic Earth is closed, as are the National Galleries and the National Museum of Flight in East Fortune. The Scottish Seabird Centre in North Berwick is open 11am to 4pm and Rosslyn Chapel is also open. Gorgie Farm is open from 10am but Almond Valley Heritage Centre in Livingston is closed. For the grown-ups and bigger kids, Edinburgh Dungeon is open, as are the Scotch Whisky Experience, Britannia, Camera Obscura and Mary King’s Close.
Most of the Christmas festivities in Princes Street Gardens are open on Boxing Day 11am to 8pm, including the Edinburgh Wheel, the ice rink, the Highland Village Christmas Market, the Snowglobe and all the lower level rides in the Gardens.
The traditional Boxing Day footie features aren’t on this year, but if you’re looking for a spectator sport, Murrayfield is hosting a Boxing Day derby between Edinburgh Rugby and the Glasgow Warriors at 5.35pm. If you want to burn a few pounds of Christmas lunch off, there are fewer options – all the Edinburgh City Council-run leisure centres and pools are closed, including Ratho Climbing Centre and Braid Hills Golf Club. Hillend Ski Centre is also shut. Murrayfield Ice Rink is open though, from 2pm to 5pm.
If you’re in need of a little me-time after the frenetic run-up to the big day, how about relaxing in Spa Missoni at the Missoni Hotel with a massage or facial and indulging in an afternoon tea afterwards? The spa is open from 11.30am until 7pm on Boxing Day.