ONE: Enjoy a bit of holiday dinner theater courtesy of Spotlight Playhouse at their lovely Broadway on Essex – HoliDAZE shows this Friday and Saturday. Enjoy a full dinner, dessert buffet and cash bar alongside a mix of traditional and nontraditional Broadway renditions. Doors for the show open both days at 6:15 p.m.
TWO: Want your chance to sing the holiday tunes instead of just listening? Your event this weekend is Firehouse Center for the Arts‘ Annual Holiday Sing Along on Saturday at 11 a.m. Belt out holiday classics with Immaculate Conception Church’s Youth Choir, and listen to a special reading of “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” by Terry Blanchard.
THREE: Northern Essex Community College has a Chamber Ensemble Holiday Concert for the best price of all: free! Featuring the works of Bach, Mozart, Pachelbel and Leonard Cohen, the performance will take place on Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Haverhill campus’s Hartleb Technology Center.
FOUR: In the category of “unconventional” holiday entertainment, you can’t do much better than the WWE Live Holiday Tour, which returns to the Tsongas Center for the first time in nearly four years this Saturday at 7:30 p.m. What better way to celebrate the season than with a bone-crushing face-off between Roman Reigns and Kevin Owens?
FIVE: Bring the whole family for a tasty meal and seasonal show at Blue Ocean Music Hall this Sunday at 10 a.m., when they’ll put on The Nutcracker Ballet Show + Brunch. Seaglass Restaurant will provide the eats, followed by visits from Santa, ballerina Clara and the Nutcracker himself, courtesy of the Methuen Ballet Ensemble.
SIX: Vocal ensembles and a cappella groups are beloved aspects of the Merrimack Valley holiday tradition, due in no small part to shows like Renaissance Men: Christmas Past/Christmas Present, which will light up the Rogers Center for the Arts stage with holiday cheer on Sunday at 3 p.m. Classics from “Ave Maria” to the Beach Boys’ holiday tunes will be performed.
SEVEN: The Actors Studio of Newburyport will provide a banquet of short and sweet holiday vignettes at their holiday show titled Holiday Meshugas III: A Collection of Holiday Tales. From the North Pole to Jerusalem, the studio promises to cover the full range of holiday experiences in its performances. Catch them on Friday or Saturday at 8 p.m., or on Sunday at 5 p.m.
EIGHT: Western Avenue Studios invites the public to join them for a weekend of festive art viewing at their Holiday Open Studios 2016. On Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m., their historic mill buildings will be open for holiday shoppers to peruse selections from glass artists, jewelers, metal workers, painters, photographers and more!
EXTRA! Here’s a little advance notice on a great thing to do two weekends from now, but one you’re going to have to reserve a spot for! Tuscan Kitchen will delight your palate with the delicious Southern Italian tradition known as the Feast of the Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve from 3 to 8 p.m. Reservations are open, but expected to go quickly: you’ve been warned!