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Freeloader Friday: 45 Free Things To Do This Weekend

With lots of free concerts, a few pop-up markets, and a late-night dance party.

BlackStack Brewing|

Delightful chaos at BlackStack Brewing’s First Friday Dance Party

Freeloader Friday is your weekly guide to having fun no matter what your budget looks like. Each week we have a list of 100% free events like gallery parties, music, and films in the park, as well as free admission events like special happy hours, markets, and more. To see our picks for the week's best events, price be damned, click here.

Matt Arthur Contraption


The Matt Arthur Contraption

8 p.m. White Squirrel Bar, 974 W. Seventh St., St. Paul.

Bonnie Drunken Lad

Irish tunes. 7 p.m. Padraigs, 945 Broadway NE, Minneapolis.

The Strum Brothers

6-9 p.m. 11 Wells Spirits, 704 Minnehaha Ave. E., St. Paul.

Model Cars & Vintage Toys Extravaganza

9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 5-9. Your Turn LLC, 6870 Washington Ave. S., Eden Prairie.

The Haws, The Beavers 

10 p.m. 331 Club, 331 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis.

Friday Night Open Mic

21+. 10 p.m. The Comedy Corner Underground, 1501 S. Washington Ave., Minneapolis.

Holiday Markets

Raging Art On 

Shop all kinds of rockin’ items from local artists. Free. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wed.-Sat. through Jan. 6. Gamut Gallery, 717 S. 10th St., Minneapolis.

Winter Skolstice at Viking Lakes

Featuring vendors, holiday-themed cocktails, food trucks, free live music, outdoor activities for kids, and more. While some events have cover charges, many happenings are free admission. 4-9 p.m. Mon.-Wed.; 4-10 p.m. Thu.-Sat.; 3-10 p.m. Sun. through Feb. 24. Viking Lakes, 730 Vikings Pkwy., Eagan; find a complete schedule at

Shrimp OlympicsNatalie Jane Zavoral


Valors, Poison Ivy and The People, Shrimp Olympics

10 p.m. to 1 a.m. 331 Club, 331 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis.

Early Show

With Superfloor, High Tiny Hairs, and Rank Strangers. 1-4 p.m. White Squirrel Bar, 974 W. Seventh St., St. Paul.


With Sunshine and the Night Walkers. 9 p.m. White Squirrel Bar, 974 W. Seventh St., St. Paul.

Clothing Swap

Zero Waste Minnesota and Tare Market team up for a swap party. All genders and styles are welcome, and unclaimed items will go to Prop Shop EP. Noon to 2 p.m. Tare Market, 945 Broadway St. NE, Minneapolis.

Happy New Queers

This LGBTQ+ pop-up features 10 vendors. 2-8 p.m. Wandering Leaf Brewing Company, 2463 Seventh St. W., St. Paul.

A man and his rubber chicken hit the dance floor.BlackStack Brewing

First Friday Dance Party Vol. 4

With tunes from DJ Robbins Brazil and DJ Molefacekiller, Rocket Pizza serving eats, and local vendors. RSVP for a free Axman party bag. 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. BlackStack Brewing, 755 Pryor Ave. N., St. Paul.

Open Studio Saturdays

Open studios, sales, special receptions, and more. Noon to 4 p.m. Northrup King Building, 1500 Jackson St. NE, Minneapolis. 

Beer Poking Parties

Try the new Eisbock on the (heated) patio. 11-5 p.m. Northbound Smokehouse & Brewpub, 2716 E. 38th St., Minneapolis.

Free First Saturday Walker Art Center

Free First Saturday 

Featuring open galleries, art activities, film screenings, and more. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (free admission ‘til 5 p.m.). Walker Art Center, 725 Vineland Place, Minneapolis.

Free and Easy

8:30 p.m. Mainstreet Bar & Grill, 814 Mainstreet, Hopkins.

Rusty Playground

Americana with a bluegrass twist. 7-10 p.m. Excelsior Brewing Company, 421 Third St., Excelsior.

Mill City Caravan

Hot Club jazz. 7 p.m. Padraigs, 945 Broadway NE, Minneapolis.

Grunge Unplugged 

6 p.m. Badger Hill Brewing, 2805 Winners Cir. Dr., Shakopee.

The Twin Cities Record Show

Featuring six vendors with albums, 45s, and music memorabilia, plus beer poking starting at noon. 1-5 p.m. Forgotten Star Brewing, 38 Northern Stacks Dr, Fridley,

Four Seasons Nordic Village Market

Holiday and Farmers Markets

Four Seasons Nordic Village Market

Eight cabins host a weekend holiday market by MartinPatrick3, with a different variety of makers each weekend. Noon to 4 p.m. Sat.-Sun. through January. Four Seasons Minneapolis, 245 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis.

Minneapolis Farmers Market

Possibly the city’s largest and most popular market, with hundreds of vendors weekly. 9 a.m. to noon Jan. 6 and 20, Feb. 3 and 17, March 2 and 16, and Apr. 6, 13, 20, 27, and 28. 312 E. Lyndale Ave. N., Minneapolis;

Lowertown Winter Farmers Markets

Lowertown’s pride and one of the state’s largest markets. 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays. 290 5th St. E., St. Paul;

Mill City Farmers Market’s Winter Market

Long running market in the shadow of Mill Ruins Park, featuring local, sustainable, and organic groceries and produce, as well as handmade gifts and goods. For the season, the market is moves inside Mill City Museum (museum admission is not required). Winter Markets are held on the first and third Saturdays of each month, November through April. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. 750 Second St. S., Minneapolis;

Makenzie Johnson


Odd Market

This indoor maker’s market features a dozen local artists and vintage sellers, including clothes, prints, comics, and zines. Noon to 4 p.m. Odd Mart, 2520 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis. 

Trauma Sponges: Dispatches from the Scarred Heart of Emergency Response

Author Jeremy Norton discusses his book, in conversation with Jana Shortal. (You can also read our interview with Norton here.) 5 p.m. Magers & Quinn, 3038 Hennepin Ave. S., Minneapolis.

Standup Sundays

Hosted by Grant Winkels and Courtney Baka. 7:30 p.m. Fair State Brewing Cooperative, 2506 Central Ave. NE, Minneapolis. 

Manchester City FC vs. Huddersfield (FA Cup)

8 a.m. Brit's Pub, 1110 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis.

Early Show 

With Threads Electric, Lightkeeper, A Sunken Ship Irony. 1 p.m. White Squirrel Bar, 974 W. Seventh St., St. Paul.

Corpse Reviver

3 p.m. 331 Club, 331 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis.

Brass Messengers

7 p.m. 331 Club, 331 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis.

Free Mend-It Clinic

Menders from Reuse Minnesota will be on hand to help you restore clothing items with zipper issues, missing buttons, and other common fixables. 1-4 p.m. Old School by Steeple People, 1901 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis.

National Association of Letter Carriers “Enough is Enough” Rally

Letter carriers, residents, and community leaders come together to bring attention to/demand an end to the assaults and robberies of letter carriers delivering their routes. 11 a.m. Main Post Office, 100 S. First St., Minneapolis.

Winter Ice Festival

To divert you from the omnipresent dread that accompanies a mostly iceless Minnesota winter, let’s all enjoy every “ice” pun from Arnold Schwarzenegger’s portrayal of Mr. Freeze in 1997’s Batman & Robin! Feel better? No? Not really? Um, well, uh, here’s hoping our new climate reality provides ample winter conditions for the Winter Ice Festival, a free family-friendly party that’s hitting Centennial Lakes. You can expect appearances from Frozen characters, horse-drawn carriage rides, and DJs providing an ice-skating soundtrack at Edina’s idyllic public rink. Free. 1-4 p.m. Centennial Lakes, 7499 France Ave. S., Edina; find more info here.—Jay Boller   

Northeast Minneapolis Farmers Market

It’s an indoor market with eats and artisans. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 7, Feb. 4, Mar. 3, Apr. 14. Quincy Hall, 1325 Quincy St NE, Minneapolis.

Varsity Gaymes

Weekly event features spots on TVs, beer pong, and other bar games. 2 p.m. LUSH Lounge & Theater, 990 NE Central Ave., Minneapolis. 

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