Weekend best bets: Cirque Musica, Ugly Sweater party

— It’s the last weekend before Christmas. Here are some of our picks to help you get into the holiday spirit.

Holiday fun

Ugly Sweater and Cookie Contest – Draft Line Brewing in Fuquay-Varina hosts this event Saturday starting at 5 p.m. There will be prizes, food trucks and live music.

Flash Chorus: Holiday Sing on the Roof – This flash chorus will be held noon to 3 p.m. at The Roof at The Durham Hotel with hot cider, snacks and cocktails. The event is open to everyone. No prior singing experience needed. Admission is $8.

Last minute shopping ideas

Make sure to check out Out and About’s gift guide for some of our suggestions for great gifts!

Last Minute Shopping Expo – Head to the Kerr Scott Building at the N.C. State Fairgrounds on Saturday to get that last minute shopping done. The expo runs 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and includes more than 50 vendors, photos with Santa and raffles. Admission is free.

Pass the Gravy Holiday Pop Up Shop – The Green Monkey on Hillsborough Street will host this Raleigh T-shirt company on Saturday starting at 2 p.m. Pass the Gravy donates 10 percent of profits to Smart Start, which helps fun education and care of children in North Carolina.

Hops and Shops Market – Head to City Market in downtown Raleigh for this pop up market on Sunday featuring more than 30 local artisans and a farmers market with local brews. Admission is free.

On Stage

Cirque Musica Holiday Spectacular with the North Carolina Symphony – This show features holiday music paired with gravity-defying feats from circus performers all on one stage. Shows are Friday and Saturday at Meymandi Concert Hall. Advance tickets start at $33.

A Very Cary Christmas – This event at Cary Arts Center features the Cary Ballet Company’s “Visions of Sugarplums” and 3D Project Dancers’ new story “The Cracked Nut.” Shows are Friday through Sunday. Tickets are $18.

A Mini Very Cary Christmas – This one-hour introduction to the Nutcracker with a ballet demonstration is a great way to introduce your children to the production. The event is Saturday at 10 a.m. at Cary Arts Center. Tickets are $10. A Ballerina Tea, a separate $8 ticket, follows with punch and cookies and a chance to take photos with the dancers. Seats are limited for the tea.

Theatre in the Park’s A Christmas Carol – Ira David Wood III’s beloved musical comedy, A Christmas Carol, celebrates its 41st Anniversary this year. See it through Sunday at DPAC. Tickets start at $30.

Carolina Ballet presents “The Nutcracker” – It’s time for the holiday classic to hit the stage. You can see it this weekend and through Dec. 28 at Raleigh Memorial Auditorium.

Cinderella – Raleigh Little Theatre’s musical comedy continues its run. Shows are presented through Dec. 20. Tickets are $33.

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer The Musical – See the holiday classic come to live at Fletcher Opera Theater this weekend. Shows run through Dec. 30. Tickets start at $22.

The Santaland Diaries – Theatre in the Park presents this tale of Crumpet the Elf reliving his brief stint working at Macy’s “Santaland” attraction in New York City. Tickets start at $18 and the show runs through this weekend.

Nuncrackers: The Nunsense Christmas Musical – See this comedy that follows the first “TV Special” taped by the sisters in their convent basement studio for Cable Access. See it at North Raleigh Arts and Creative Theatre this weekend.

And local singer-songwriter and producer duo Castle Wild will play a free all-ages show Sunday night at The Pour House in downtown Raleigh. I’ve seen Castle Wild perform before and they are definitely worth checking out. They will be accompanying Texas songwriter Brandon Hughes.

Family fun

Breakfast with Mrs. Claus – Garden Supply Company in Cary will offer children a chance to enjoy breakfast with Mrs. Claus Saturday starting at 9 a.m. Mrs. Claus will read some of her favorite stories and take your letters for Santa.

Brunch with Santa – Mandolin restaurant in Raleigh will host a brunch with Santa Saturday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Meet the big guy, get photos taken and bring him your last minute gift lists.

Skate with Santa – Raleigh IcePlex will host this event Friday night. The fun also includes Elsa from Frozen, sled rides, family photos and holiday music.Tickets are $15.

Polar Express Movie Night – Lafayette Village in Raleigh hosts a screening of the holiday film Saturday night. Admission is free.

Raleigh Times 3rd Sunday Children’s Carnival – The carnival runs 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in front of the downtown Raleigh restaurant. It includes bounce houses, arts, crafts, games and face painting. Admission is free.

,It’s the last weekend before Christmas. Here are some of our picks to help you get into the holiday spirit.

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