'Tis the weekend for last-minute Christmas shopping, and some holiday entertainment.

'Tis the weekend for last-minute Christmas shopping, and some holiday entertainment.

1. 'The Nutcracker'

Catch the First State Ballet Theatre's holiday treat "The Nutcracker" at The Grand on Friday night. The production, which runs through Sunday, will feature spectacular footwork by the company's dancers, sparkling costumes created in Russia and composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's glorious music played by the Delaware Symphony Orchestra with the Wilmington Children's Chorus.

WHAT First State Ballet Theatre's "The Nutcracker"
WHEN 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21; 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 22; 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 23
WHERE The Grand, 818 North Market St., Wilmington
COST $28-$48 general admission; students 18 and under only pay 50 percent of general admission; seniors receive $5 discount
INFO thegrandwilmington.org or 1-800-37-GRAND

2. All aboard the Santa train!

Why stand in line at the mall to see Santa, when you can spend time with him on a fun train ride?

Wilmington & Western Railroad will offer the Santa Claus Express — a one-and-half-hour round-trip train ride to Ashland from Greenbank Station with the jolly fellow on Saturday and Sunday afternoon. And he'll give all children a chocolate treat. Santa may even bring Mrs. Claus with him! Parents, be sure to bring your camera and have Santa pose for pictures with your kiddos.

WHAT Santa Claus Express
WHEN 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 22; 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 23
WHERE Greenbank Station, 2201 Newport Gap Pike, Wilmington
COST $17.50 adult; $16.50 seniors and children (2-12); $2 (under 2)
INFO wwrr.com

3. Festive concert

Christmas caroling is lovely, but there's nothing like hearing a trio of singer-songwriters deliver holiday tunes. You'll experience such bliss at a concert featuring a talented trio of performers including Craig Bickhardt, Lizanne Knott and JD Malone at the Kennett Flash on Saturday night.

And the trio, each based in Pennsylvania, boasts noteworthy credits. For instance, Brickhardt has penned songs that were recorded by legends including Ray Charles, B.B. King and Johnny Cash. Meanwhile, JD Malone has opened for a number of national acts like Third Eye Blind and Sugar Ray. And Knott's video for "Miss You" went gone viral.

Come Saturday night, best believe you'll walk away knowing you saw what's sure to be an exceptional holiday show.

WHAT Christmas concert with Craig Bickhardt, Lizanne Knott and JD Malone
WHEN 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 22
WHERE Kennett Flash, 102 Sycamore Alley, Kennett Square, Pa.
COST $15 advance; $18 door
INFO kennettflash.org or (484) 732-8295

4. A dose of local music

A mix of local up-and-coming bands will share their musical gifts at Mojo Main Saturday night. Bands on the bill include Mean Lady, Villains Like You, Stem and Troubled Hips.

Two of the more popular bands are Mean Lady — a duo that meshes rock-n-roll, pop, psychedelic and other elements to forge their brand — and Villains Like You, a rock outfit that knows how to bring raw energy and spontaneity to the stage.

WHAT Mean Lady, Villains Like You, Stems and Troubled Hips in concert
WHEN 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 22
WHERE Mojo Main, 270 E. Main St., Newark
INFO mojomain.com or 369-MOJO

5. Conscious, cartoony art

A nifty art exhibit titled Thresholds will be unveiled at the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts on Saturday.

Thresholds, which will be on display through March of 2013, features large-scale cartoons by painter Benjamin Duke. The figurative paintings emerge from Duke's self-described dual interest in formal and conceptual ideas of identity. The artist's enigmatic, psychological work is intended to draw viewers into a narrative surrounding the way we negotiate our own ideas of individuality in an environment predicated on shared space, experience and multi-sensory input.

WHAT Thresholds art exhibit
WHEN 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 23. The exhibit runs through March 31, 2013; gallery hours are: 10-5 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday; 12-5 p.m. Wednesday and Sunday
WHERE Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, 200 South Madison St., Wilmington
INFO thedcca.org or 656-6466