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Freeloader Friday: 63 Free Things To Do This Weekend

Black history month celebrations, Super Bowl happy hours, and V-Day gift markets.

Simon Li|

CAAM will celebrate the Year of the Dragon at Mia and Midtown Global Market.

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. For our picks of the week's best events, cost be damned, click here.

Amber McDowell


Love… or Whatever

Over 20 artists explore and celebrate the little things they love or bring them joy. 6-9 p.m. Goza Gallery, Northrup King Building #155, 1500 Jackson St. NE, Minneapolis.

Frequency Shift 2024 Release Party

Featuring the release of Arbeiter’s Black History Month collaboration with the Black Brewers Podcast. With tunes from DJ Still Phresh. A portion of the evening’s proceeds will be donated to Lifting Lucy and the National Black Brewer's Association. 7 p.m. Arbeiter Brewing Co., 3038 Minnehaha Ave., Minneapolis. 

2024 North Loop Palentine’s Bar Crawl

Pick up a passport at any of the five locations for drink specials and the chance to win prizes. RSVP here. 2-11 p.m. Fri.-Sat. Inbound BrewCo., 701 N. Fifth St.; StormKing Brewpub, 618 N. Fifth St.; Fulton Beer, 414 N. Sixth Ave.; Modist Brewing Co., 505 N. Third St.; AxeBridge Wine Co., 411 N. Washington Ave.

LSD Release Party

Tunes from DJ Leisure Garcon, a market, and artwork from Better Together. 6-11 p.m. Indeed Brewing Co., 711 15th Ave. NE, Minneapolis. 

​​Matt & Laurel

7-10 p.m. Steele & Hops, 2800 39th Ave. NE, St. Anthony. 

Battle of the Bands: Battle 2

Four student bands – Corporate Death Party, My Buddy Eric, Pullstring, and Squirm – for a chance to perform at Spring Jam. 8 p.m. Whole Music Club, 300 Washington Ave. SE, Minneapolis.

"The Other Four"Yevgeniya Kaganovich, 'red-hand-piece 3' from the Solidified Gesture Specimen: Hypered Experience Device series

The Other Four

Have you ever come across a tactile-looking piece of art at a gallery and wished you could reach out and touch it? Well, you can at the Weisman’s new group exhibition. “The Other Four” asks guests to rely less on sight and more on smell, taste, touch, and sound. So museum etiquette be damned, you’re welcome to sniff, listen, and grope these pieces to your heart’s content. (We’re not sure how taste plays into this show, but according to the press release that’s on the table as well.) The collection features 16 multimedia works by 21 contemporary artists, and that includes pieces exploring technology, performance, experimentation, and interactive play. “Most of us are so accustomed to the dominance of our sense of sight that we often forget it is operating… sometimes causing one to drift off into thought and miss the moment,” notes local artist John Scheurman, curator of the show. A free artists’ roundtable is also scheduled for 6 p.m Thursday, April 3. Museum hours this weekend are: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Weisman Art Museum, 333 E. River Pkwy., Minneapolis. Through May 19—Jessica Armbruster

Loser Magnet

With Alley Mattress, Flatwound. 8-11 p.m. White Squirrel Bar, 974 W. Seventh St., St. Paul.

Mia Dorr and the Funkin’ Blusers

8-11:30 p.m. Schooner Tavern, 2901 27th Ave. S., Minneapolis.

TV for Dogs, The Envies, Baumgardner

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

Uptown Mpls Market

Shop vintage clothing, Pyrex, housewares, and more at this two-story pop-up. 2-7 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Turquoise Vintage, 2756 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis.

Mpls Craft Market celebrates V-DayDarin Kamnetz

Old Saint Anthony Valentine’s Night Market

Somehow the February 14 holiday is just around the corner… alarming, no? It’s enough to get you frantically googling “time moves faster older?” and “time moving faster 30s?”—neither of which will get you any closer to procuring a little last-minute Valentine’s something for your significant other. While we maintain that Viraluae’s T-shirts and hyper-specific stickers are the perfect gift for any occasion, there’s also this Minneapolis Craft Market-hosted happening. The bar will be open, with DJ Buster Baxter spinning “the most soulful love songs,” and, if you’re feeling extra ambitious, Sip ‘N Bloom is hosting a floral arranging class ($65 or $85 depending on your expertise). Free. 6-9 p.m. Machine Shop, 300 Second St. SE, Minneapolis; find more info here.—Em Cassel

Bato Bato!

High school students play Latin rhythms and the Shona music of Zimbabwe, plus marimbafied renditions of pop, alternative, rock, rap, and soul songs. 5:30-6:30 p.m. Midtown Global Market, 920 E. Lake St., Minneapolis.

Friday Night Open Mic

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

Azania Tripp


Okra and Indigo

Artist Azania Tripp presents a culinary storytelling art experience that celebrates historical chefs within the Black/African American community and explores Black Minnesotans relationships with food. 2-5 p.m. Minnesota African American Heritage Museum and Gallery, 1256 Penn Ave., Minneapolis.

Black History Month Celebration

Featuring work by visual artists L’Andrae’ Bradley and Renaldo Proteus Unbound and a dance party for “positive minded people” led by Mustafa King Nelson of STREET VIBZE starting at 10 p.m. 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. Artspace Jackson Flats, 901 18 1/2 Ave. NE, Minneapolis.

Open Book Valentine's Makers Market

A V-Day makers’ market with 30-plus local LGBTQ+, Black, and disabled artists. Noon to 5 p.m. Open Book, 1011 Washington Ave. S., Minneapolis.

The R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Market

Featuring 25+ Black-owned businesses, creatives, and organizations from the Twin Cities. Noon to 5 p.m. 56 Brewing, 3055 NE Columbia Ave., Suite 102, Minneapolis.

Ryan Paul jumps off the wall at the Red Bull Heavy Metal 2023 in Detroit, Michigan.Image courtesy Red Bull

Red Bull Heavy Metal

What is street snowboarding? If you’re to believe Viraluae’s Em Cassel (and lord I do), street snowboarding has gotten really big in Minnesota for an obvious reason: "We have hills, not mountains," Lexi Roland, one of about a dozen women and a handful of Minnesotans who competed in 2022’s Heavy Metal event in Duluth, told Em last year. Think snowboarders from around the world pulling off tricks atop handrails, ledges, stairs, and fences–all of which mercifully require very little snow. Recent X Games gold medalists Grace Warner and Pat Fava will be among the 20+ riders competing for $30,000 in prizes this year outside of the Capitol. Parts of St. Paul’s competition will also be aired later this month via ESPN 2. Free. 2 p.m. Minnesota State Capitol, 75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, St. Paul; find more info here.—Jay Boller

Early Show

With Caitlin Robertson & Alex Sandberg and LaPlant Road. 1-4 p.m. White Squirrel Bar, 974 W. Seventh St., St. Paul.

Lost Island Society

With Portside Dive, Splimit. 8 p.m. White Squirrel Bar, 974 W. Seventh St., St. Paul.

voltage controller

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

Bakermiller Pink Band, Rhino Shrine, Mineral Man

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

We Still R

8-11:30 p.m. Schooner Tavern, 2901 27th Ave. S., Minneapolis.


Stained glass works by Michael Lizama. 2-3 p.m. Foci MN Center for Glass Arts, 2213 Snelling Ave., Minneapolis.

Second Saturday Open Studios

Explore the work of local artists in three buildings on the Casket campus. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Casket Arts Building, 681 17th Ave. NE, Minneapolis.

Levels: An EDM Throwback Event

Backyard Boombox spins tunes by Avicii, Calvin Harris, Skrillex, Jack U, Zomboy, Swedish House Mafia, Diplo, Steve Aoki, and more. Get there before 6 p.m. for free entry; otherwise it’s $5 at the door! 3-11:45 p.m. Headflyer Brewing, 861 E. Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis.

Jason Bradley

Acoustic tunes. 6 p.m. Broken Clock Brewing Collective, 3134 California St. NE, Minneapolis.

Grunge Unplugged

7-10 p.m. Inbound BrewCo., 701 N. 5th St., Minneapolis.

Cheryl LeClair-Sommer

Open Studio Saturdays

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

Scents to Scenes

Landscape paintings by plein air artist Cheryl LeClair-Sommer, who uses fragrance to help set the tone and spark memory as she paints. (Yes, the scents will be available to sample at the gallery show.) Kolman & Reeb Gallery, Studio 395 in the Northrup King Building, 1500 Jackson St. NE, Minneapolis.

Art at the Heart

Featuring art demos, live music, open studios, and other fun, including arts classes (you’ll want to sign up and pay for those beforehand). Noon to 6 p.m. California Building, 2223 NE California St., Minneapolis.

Valentine's Makers Market

Local makers include Cool Trash upcycled. Noon to 4 p.m. Bricksworth Beer Co, 305 N. Fifth Ave. #105, Minneapolis.

Midtown Global Market

Lunar New Year (Year of the Dragon) 

Featuring a troupe from CAAM Chinese Dance Theater, Cypher Side Dancers, a martial arts presentation from The Cellar Gym, a traditional lion dance by Tay Phuong Lions, a food demo with Pham’s Rice Bowl and Intown Sushi, a craft table for kids, and more. Noon to 3 p.m. Midtown Global Market, 920 E. Lake St., Minneapolis.

Dancing Dragons: A Celebration of the Year of the Dragon

Enjoy a free public dance performance by CAAM Chinese Dance Theater, and check out “Year of the Dragon: Mystical Creatures of the Sky” in the galleries. 11 a.m. Minneapolis Institute of Art, 2400 Third Ave. S., Minneapolis.

Sensory Friendly Day: Valentine’s

Featuring adjusted environments and special activities like Valentine cookie decorating with neurodiverse folks in mind. Register here. 9-10 a.m. Mill City Museum, 750 Second St. S., Minneapolis

Art & Craft Market

Noon to 6 p.m. Broken Clock Brewing Collective, 3134 California St. NE, Minneapolis.

Meet Your Match

Featuring adoptable dogs, a pup kissing booth, and more. A portion of every beer sold during the event will benefit No Dog Left Behind. 1-4 p.m. Inbound BrewCo., 701 N. 5th St., Minneapolis.

sinatra to slayer: 007 A-Go-Go

Featuring James Bond and 007-inspired DJ tunes, themed drinks, movies and music videos, and a decked out dance floor. 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Apostle Supper Club, 253 Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul.

Market of Love

V-Day gifts and other treats from 13 vendors. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wild Grind Coffee, 6031 Pillsbury Ave., Minneapolis.

Market Collective MN Makers’ Market 

Featuring nine makers. 1-7 p.m. Insight Brewing, 2821 E. Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis.

Stupor Bowl

Look, Americans were robbed of the Super Bowl they wanted; Lions vs. Ravens would’ve been pure fun, but instead we’ll be subjected to the 49ers (who are annoyingly determined to frame themselves as underdogs) and, yet again, the boringly dominant Chiefs. Our suggestion: Make this weekend less about football, more about enjoying riding “the longest running messenger run alley cat race in the U.S.” Following last year’s scaled-down version, Stupor Bowl is back for a 25th anniversary ride that’ll kick off at Venture Bikes along the Midtown Greenway and crawl all over town before culminating with an afterparty at an undisclosed location. Be sure to check out the week’s worth of events surrounding this celebration of buzzed biking. Registration is from 10 a.m. to noon. Venture Bikes, 1000 Midtown Greenway, Minneapolis; find more info here.—Jay Boller   

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;

Walker Art Center


Sensory Friendly Sunday

This monthly event is designed for kids, teens, and adults with sensory processing differences, autism spectrum disorder, or developmental disabilities. The galleries will be closed to the general public, and there will be quiet spaces, fidgets, and sunglasses available. It’s free; but you’ll need to sign up at the Walker to reserve a time. 8 to 11 a.m. Walker Art Center, 725 Vineland Place, Minneapolis.

Market Collective MN Makers’ Market 

Featuring 13 makers. 1-5 p.m. Bad Weather Brewing, 414 Seventh St. W., St. Paul.

Valentine's Day Story Time

Crafts, story time, and activities for kiddos. 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Forgotten Star Brewing, 38 Northern Stacks Dr., Fridley.

Super Bowl Fun

Get $2 off your drinks if you come in an NFL jersey or a T-Swift tee all day.  Forgotten Star Brewing, 38 Northern Stacks Dr., Fridley.

Open House

Check out the new space. With snacks and coffee and notes from legislators. 1-4 p.m. FilmNorth, 2441 University Ave. W., St. Paul. 

Super Chili Bowl Cook Off 2024

Enjoy chili and vote for your favs, or enter to win for free. 4-7 p.m. Bent Brewstillery, 1744 Terrace Dr., Roseville. 

Super Bowl Party

Featuring food and drink specials. 5-11 p.m. La Doña Cervecería, 241 Fremont Ave. N., Minneapolis.

Super Bowl Watch Party

Featuring food and drink specials during the game. 5:30 p.m. Brit’s Pub, 1110 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis.

Super Bowl Watch Party 

Hosted by queens/performers Luna Muse and Aranya. With free touchdown shots, prizes, and sports! 7 p.m. LUSH Lounge & Theater, 990 Central Ave. NE, Minneapolis.

Early Show: R&R Sunday

With the Mike Munson Trio. 1 p.m. White Squirrel Bar, 974 W. Seventh St., St. Paul.

St. Paul Songwriter Rounds

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

Emmy Woods & The Red Pine Ramblers

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