Eric Gay, Pool, Associated Press
Republican presidential candidate former House Speaker Newt Gingrich speaks during a Republican presidential debate in Sioux City, Iowa, Thursday, Dec. 15, 2011.

WASHINGTON — The Iowa caucuses are about two weeks away and Newt Gingrich, the Republican leading in the presidential race there, is taking the weekend off.

The former House speaker planned to spend part of Saturday watching his wife, Callista, perform in a Christmas concert with a county band in northern Virginia.

Periodic down time is not unusual for presidential candidates who typically keep to a hectic schedule of events.

While Gingrich takes it easy, chief rival Mitt Romney will spend Saturday campaigning in South Carolina with Gov. Nikki Haley. Haley endorsed Romney on Friday.

Gingrich will resume campaigning next week.