Bars, pubs and clubs, showing the match on TV, are sure to be packed on Saturday night as Gareth Southgate’s England take on world champions France in the quarter-finals of the Fifa World Cup in Qatar.
But across Mansfield, Ashfield and Nottinghamshire, the build-up to Christmas also gathers more momentum thanks to a host of festive events.
Our weekly guide gives you a steer on the things to do and places to go between now and next Wednesday.
Among our 12 ideas are trips to local theme parks, Wheelgate and Sundown, where the Christmas celebrations are in full swing. While Mansfield’s Christmas Market and ‘Peter Pan’ panto at the Palace Theatre continue to delight.
For the kids, there are special Santa shows and play sessions at Mansfield Museum, as well as an ‘Alice In Wonderland’ trail at Newstead Abbey.
Elsewhere, you can make your own Christmas decorations, pick up some gifts at a Christmas market and bask in a spectacular magical wonderland at Nottingham’s Wollaton Hall.
Before you set off, please visit the websites of the individual venues for admission prices and opening times. Check out the weather forecast too because it’s going to be freezing!
Let’s hope all the festive fun is not marred by another of those dreaded penalty shootouts! Who knows? By the end of the weekend, Southgate might be as popular as Santa!
1. Magical walk through forest to meet Santa
Santa has arrived at Robin Hood's Wheelgate Park in Farnsfield, so why not take a magical walk through a forest of twinkling lights to meet him in his grotto? The trip can be part of a festive day out for all the family at the popular park, with other attractions including the elves' toy workshop, a snowman hunt, funfair rides, gingerbread decorating, entertainment and Christmas food and drink. Its 'Illumination Evenings' are also back, featuring the new 'Ride And Light Trail'. Photo: Submitted
2. Don't miss out on 'Peter Pan' panto
Have you seen Mansfield's annual panto yet? Early reports suggest it is a wonderful show and well worth catching before its run at the Palace Theatre ends on New Year's Eve. It's a new version of 'Peter Pan', with the main cast (pictured) led by Marc Baylis, who is best known as Rob Donovan in 'Coronation Street', and Sarah Jane Buckley, who was the crazy Kathy Barnes in another soap, 'Hollyoaks'. The story focuses on the return of Captain Hook, who wants his ship back. Photo: Brian Eyre
3. 'Alice In Wonderland' trail
Christmas at Newstead Abbey is being brought to life by a special 'Alice In Wonderland' outdoor trail for the whole family. The self-led trail, which includes a festive gift, is running until Monday, January 2 and is a delightful way of exploring one of the most enduring tales in the history of children's literature. Photo: Submitted
4. Help Santa save Christmas
Jack's beanstalk won't grown, Cinderella's glass slipper is broken and the Fairy Godmother's wand has gone wonky. It looks as if Christmas might have to be cancelled! That's the premise for 'Santa Saves Christmas', an interactive and musical show suitable for two-to-seven-year-olds at Mansfield Museum next Tuesday. Songs include festive favourites such as 'Jingle Bells', and every child in the audience will receive a present. Photo: Submitted