Indoor options for keeping busy during our seasonal closure

Access to Industry will close on Friday 22 December 2023 and we re-open our doors on Thursday 4 January 2024. We understand that this time of year can be challenging – if you find yourself in need of ideas to ‘keep busy’, or require specific help or support, here’s our useful guide to keeping busy indoors…

Edinburgh has many free indoor options. The National Museum is open 364 days (pictured above on a recent student trip, closed only 25 December). There’s also national galleries a-plenty – the National Galleries of Scotland are all open throughout, except 25 and 26 December. Turner in January (1-31 January) is an annual highlight at the Royal Scottish Academy, where a selection of Turner’s watercolours are displayed only during January when natural light is lowest.

Your local council library is a quiet place to stock up on books, CDs and DVDs to keep you entertained. They are open up to and including 24 December, and then 28-31 December (then closed until 4 January). Check your local library for regular events and groups.

For support in a sober- and substance-safe place, Edinburgh Recovery Activities has a Recovery Community Café (27 December, St Mary’s Cathedral, 11:30am-3pm), before its annual New Year’s Party (31 December, Leith St Andrew’s Church, 8:30pm-12:30am).

Soul Food offer warm meals in churches for those affected by homelessness, poverty or loneliness, including 24 December (Life Church, 5:30pm), 26 December (St Mary’s Cathedral, 12:30pm), and 31 January (Central Church, 2pm). Old Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church will have a warm lunch on 25 December (Jeffrey Street, 12:30pm-2pm). Social Bite will provide food for the homeless and vulnerable, including 24 and 25 December (Rose Street, 12pm-4pm), as well as distributing gifts and essential items.

Heart of Midlothian’s Big Hearts has its Warm Welcome Lunch (20 December, Eighteen74 Bar, noon-2pm), while Hibernian Community Foundation has its Lunch Club (20 and 22 December, Albion Place, 12:30pm-2:30pm/12pm-2pm), with games and crafts. SHRUB Edinburgh hosts a Warm Wednesdays social (20 December, Bread Street,  2pm-6pm), with free coffee, discounted homemade soup, games and skill-sharing.

You can find our list of Outdoor options here.
Our Help and Support Contacts here.
And our table of Edinburgh Food Bank opening times 2023, with additional non-referral food options.
We also have a Seasonal support guide 2023 Dundee.

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