Finding something open other than a gift on Christmas Day can be hit or miss, so here’s a a quick look at some of the options available.
All Tim Hortons are closed throughout the Capital Region, but there are several Starbucks open, including the one at Hull’s Field, for those in need of a boost from the caffeine bean. If you can’t go without lapping up a latte, Santa’s little helper suggests checking on your favourite location’s holiday schedule in advance because Jacklin Road’s a long drive from Sidney or Oak Bay to Langford.
The Shopper’s Drug Mart at Uptown maintains its 24 hours of operation on Dec. 25. Most other locations are open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., which means you can grab still grab that last-minute gift after you find out Christmas morning that Mister and Miss Givings have to decided to join the family for dinner after all.
Many SDM locations carry dairy and other food items as well, so there’s no excuse for running out of eggnog. You can also avoid having your guests’ moods turn fowl because the turkey’s running a lot later than planned by grabbing something to snack on
While most fast food chains including A &W and Subway are closed, McDonald’s restaurants in the Capitol Region have their dining areas open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., and 24-hour drive-thru service where available.
For those looking for some fresh air and a look at what’s in bloom this time of the year, Butchart Gardens is open from 1 to 10 p.m. on Christmas Day. It’s also a great way to dodge or entertain the in-laws, or walk off that second helping of turkey, stuffing and spuds. Ricky’s All Day Grill is open as well from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
If you’re part of the growing number of people who like to check out the latest Hollywood big-screen release after you open your gifts, most theatres are open on Christmas Day. Since taking in a movie on the big day is increasing in popularity each year, it’s probably a good idea to book your tickets online in advance.
Although most recreation centres in the Capital Region are closed, including all branches of the YM/YWCA, Esquimalt Recreation Centre’s pool and fitness room are open from 1:30 to 4 p.m. Oak Bay Recreation Centre offers free admission to the pool and skating rink from 1 to 3:30 p.m., with those attending encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item for the food bank. The fitness centre is open from 1 to 3:45 p.m. as well.
City Centre Park, including Langford Lanes, is closed on Christmas Day, so you’ll have to wait an extra day to try out that shiny new Brunswick Santa left under the tree.
It’s best to make a quick call or check online to ensure that wherever you’re headed, the doors will be open upon arrival because some businesses have been known to have a last-minute change of heart at this time of the year so staff can spend the day with family and friends.
The good news is if you’re alone or don’t take part in the season’s festivities, you can still find a coffee shop or restaurant happy to see you walk through their door. And maybe while you’re out and about, give a little love to the first responders, hospital staff, transit workers, cab drivers, servers and anyone else hard at work when the rest of us are enjoying some time away from the daily grind.