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Freeloader Friday: 97 Free Things To Do This Weekend

Oktoberfests! Free movies! Vintage pop-ups! Possibly the last Open Streets ever?

Kelechi Amadi-Obi, 'Captain Rugged 8'|

“Urban Cadence” at WAM.

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, price be damned, click here.


Urban Cadence

This show, which opened earlier this week, features photography from artists living in urban areas in Lagos, Nigeria and Johannesburg, South Africa. Weisman Art Museum, 333 E. River Pkwy., Minneapolis.

The Royal Blues 

Jazz jams. 7 p.m. Padraigs Brewing, 945 Broadway NE, Minneapolis.

Fall Fest & Bonfire

With flag football, soccer, inflatables, s’mores, play fun games, a bonfire, and more. For info visit 6-7:30 p.m. Hayden Heights Rec. Center, 1965 Hoyt Ave. E., St. Paul.

The Saint Paul Art Crawl: Fall 2023

Featuring demonstrations, receptions, parties, sales, and more in 23 different throughout the city, including events at Dow Art Gallery & Framing, Lowertown Lofts Artist Cooperative, Lowertown Underground Artists, The Schmidt Artist Lofts, Tilsner Artist Lofts, Union Depot, and others. Fri.-Sun.; find more details at

Schmidt Artists' Lofts

Schmidt Fall Arts Crawl

This weekend, Schmidt Artists’ Lofts are hosting a good ol’ epic art crawl through its space. Over 80 artists will be on hand, sharing what they’ve been up to this summer. That includes painters, jewelry makers, clay artists, and more. Up on the rooftop folks can watch artists work live on projects throughout the weekend, while on ground level they’ll find sustenance with food trucks parked out front. Folks looking to cap off their explorations with a brew can do so at Keg & Case next door. Free. 6-9 p.m. Fri.; noon to 7 p.m. Sat.; noon to 5 p.m. Sun. Schmidt Artists’ Lofts, 900 - 876 West Seventh St., St. Paul.—Jessica Armbruster

Scary Stories to Tell in the Park

Pro actors read scary stories by kids, with s’mores and a bonfire. Costumes are encouraged. Followedby a movie at dusk. 5-7 p.m. Hidden Falls Regional Park, 1313 Hidden Falls Dr., St. Paul.

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Now that it’s October, there’s no holding back on all things fall and Halloween. But what about Christmas? Is it too soon for some Christmas fun? I don’t think so. At least, not when you mix the two together. This Friday, Hidden Falls Regional Park in St. Paul is hosting a free movie night featuring the stop-motion animated The Nightmare Before Christmas. The holiday mashup follows Jack Skellington, king of Halloweentown, as he attempts to spice up his life by taking over another holiday. Get there early for food truck eats before the movie screens. By the time Friday rolls around, the recent heat and humidity will likely be gone, so embrace that bit of chill in the air. More information can be found at All Events. Free. Dusk. Hidden Falls Regional Park, 1313 Hidden Falls Dr., St. Paul.—Makenzi Johnson

Birdtown Boo Bash

Featuring treats, crafts, costumes, games, music, dancing, and more, followed by a screening of Despicable Me 2 at 7 p.m. 5-7 p.m. Sanborn Park, 4242 Drew Ave. N., Robbinsdale

"Gods and Monsters 2022"L-R: 'Zen of Cthulhu' by CLR2; 'Samhain Fae Queen' by Ana Shirley; 'Lovers' Eyes' by Domnique Winders

Gods and Monsters

Otherworldly Arts Collective presents this group show celebrating all things horror and Halloween. With spoooooky bingo, treats from Twin Spirits Distillery and QueTal Street Eats, and more. Costumes are welcome. 4-10 p.m. Fri.-Sat. Artspace Jackson Flats, 901 18 1/2 Ave. NE, Minneapolis.

Earl Jam

Featuring food, drinks, and tunes from Chris Hunt vs 4FT 80s vs 90s, Dimitry Killstorm, Sean Anonymous, DJ Snuggles, and Shannon Blowtorch. 3-11 p.m. Earl Giles Distillery, 1325 Quincy St. NE, Minneapolis.

Food Truck Friday

Eats from six food trucks. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fleet Farm Blaine, 10250 Lexington Ave. NE, Blaine. 

Fall Into Art at Equus

Fall into Art

Meet artists, see live works in progress, and enjoy treats while taking in art and live music. 5-9 p.m. Gallery Equus, Northrup King Building, 1500 Jackson St. NE, Minneapolis.

Fall Warehouse Sale

Featuring one-of-a-kind shirts, samples, recently discounted apparel, and a scratch-and-dent section. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Fri.-Sat.; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sun. sota clothing, 6524 Walker St., St. Louis Park.

The Matt Arthur Contraption

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

FLOWTUS, Leslie, Getting By

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

Olio Vendor Welcome Happy Hour

Meet this month’s local vendors: Stay Gold Vintage and twigminn’s handcrafted leather handbags. With bubbly and snacks. 4-6 p.m. Olio Vintage, 21 Fifth St. NE, Minneapolis.

Daniel Kaniess

Existence: Daniel Kaniess 1955-2012

A retrospective of 50 paintings by the late artist. 5-9 p.m. ArT @ 967 Payne, 967 Payne Ave., St. Paul. 

Warehouse District Live

Enjoy a closed-off street open to pedestrians, with food trucks, tables and seating, activities, and added restrooms every Friday through Saturday through Halloween. Find more info on the official website, but in general events start around 7 p.m., with the street closed from 9 a.m. Friday to 10 a.m. Sunday. First Avenue North, between Fifth and Sixth streets, Minneapolis.

Friday Night Open Mic

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

Farmers Markets

Minneapolis Farmers Market

Possibly the city’s largest and most popular market, with hundreds of vendors weekly. 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily, EBT hours 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thu.-Sun. June through Oct. 312 E. Lyndale Ave. N., Minneapolis;

Signal Hills Farmers Market

Featuring fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables sold direct from producer to consumer, located in the lot of West St. Paul’s Signal Hills Mall. 8 a.m. to noon Fridays through October 27. 1225 S. Robert St., St. Paul;

West Broadway Farmers Market

Featuring local foods, arts, and community development, promoting healthy food access for North Minneapolis, with fresh produce, artisanal goods, grab-and-go eats, and locally grown plants. 3 to 9 p.m. Fridays, through Oct. 6. The Plaza @ the Capri, 2027 W. Broadway Ave. N. (Broadway and Oliver Street), Minneapolis;

Borough Block Party FB


Borough Block Party

The time really does fly, doesn’t it, folks? This is the 10th annual Borough Block Party, an all-day affair with a killer lineup of local live music, giveaways (you can win a Fender Stratocaster thanks to Twin Town Guitars and Green Room), and of course, food and drinks from Borough and Parlour. The music lineup kicks off with Private Oates at 1 p.m., followed by Dylan Salfer Trio, Faith Boblett, Nur-D, and headliner Viva Knievel. It’s all-ages, dog-friendly, outdoors, and still free—plus it’s on a Saturday, so as not to conflict with your Vikings-watching plans. (Hey, they finally won one!) Free. Noon to 10 p.m. Borough, Eighth and Washington, Minneapolis; find more info here.—Em Cassel

Ice Climber, Orthe, Linus

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

Early Show 

With Rosie Castano. 1 p.m. White Squirrel Bar, 974 W. Seventh St., St. Paul.

Ear Candy: A Live Electronic Music Series

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

Muun Bato

With Erik’s Iridescent Tent, LYXE (Lawrence, Kansas). 9 p.m. White Squirrel Bar, 974 W. Seventh St., St. Paul.

Tweed Ride '23

Twin Cities Tweed Ride and Lawn Party

Dress in your dapper best and hop on a bike for this chill ride through historic spots in St. Paul and Minneapolis. That lawn party part? MPLS Vintage Market and N/A+ THC beverage shop Marigold will be on the lawn all day. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. James J. Hill House, 240 Summit Ave., St. Paul.

365 Days of Incidents IV

This four-year b-day party features special beer releases, variants, and returns; specialty slushies; an artisan market; Meteor Hard Seltzer cocktails and Grape Ape and Underberg shots; pinball alley; and a rockin' lineup featuring Dashed, The Dead Century, The Right Here, Disasteratti, and Align. 1-10 p.m. Falling Knife Brewing Company, 783 Harding St. NE, Minneapolis.

Ice Kings and Friends S1: Ep1 Listening Party

Ice Kings celebrate the release of their EP, Ice Kings & Friend S:1 EP:1, with prizes, DJ Nacho Suave, a VS battle between Mookie The Magician and Tre Be Spazzin, and more. 4-8 p.m. 11 Wells Spirits, 704 Minnehaha Ave. E., St. Paul.

Autumn’s in the Air 

Hosted by Carnet Shop and EnChiloSito, with food trucks, live music, and more. 1-7 p.m. Sociable Cider Werks, 241 Fremont Ave. N., Minneapolis.

Owámni: Falling Water Festival

Owámni: Falling Water Festival

Now in its 10th year, this festival showcases Indigenous Minnesota cultures near the sacred waters of St. Anthony Falls, or Owámni, the Dakota word for the area, which also means “whirling/falling water.” Throughout the day, guests who visit Mill Ruins Park, Water Works, and Father Hennepin Bluff Park will be treated to a variety of music and dance, as well as tasty eats, makers’ booths, and visual arts. Free. 1-5 p.m. Mill Ruins Park, 102 Portland Ave. S., Minneapolis.–Jessica Armbruster

Harvestober Fest

With live music from Steve's "Overpopulated" One-Man Band and Polka Pak, food trucks, craft and food vendors (1-5 p.m.), beers from OMNI Brewing Co., axe throwing, live chainsaw carving, stein holding contests, keg rolling, pretzel necklace making, and yard games. 1-8 p.m. Central Park, 12000 Central Park Way, Maple Grove

OktoBeerMeatFeast 2023

Featuring a meterwurst eating contest, BBQ, special news on tap, tunes from Hula Creek, stein holding contests, and spaetzle relay races. 1-10 p.m. Sat.-Sun. Under Pressure Brewing Company, 8806 7th Ave. N., Golden Valley.

Lawrence Gipe: New Works from the Locomotive Series

Paintings, drawings and works on paper. 4-7 p.m. Douglas Flanders Art & Associates Fine Art Gallery, 5025 France Ave. S., Minneapolis.

Hijinks Stilts

Hijinks Stilts 25 Year Community Celebration

Minneapolis-based women, non-binary, and trans stilt walking collective Chicks on Sticks rebrands as Hijinks Stilts with a community party. With stilting, food, music, art cars, dancing, and photo ops a plenty. Stilters are invited to bring their sticks and/or glad rags. 1-3 p.m. Powderhorn Park, near 14th Ave. and 32nd St., Minneapolis.

Bench Pressed 2-Year B-day Party

Featuring eats for sale from Marty's Deli and MN Nice Cream, samples of little sippers from Mixly and Venn Brewing’s Zenn, face painting for kids and adults, and store deals. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Bench Pressed, 2010 26th Ave. S. #1, Minneapolis.

Twin Cities Iranian Culture Festival

Featuring Persian music, folk dance, crafts, food, and more. 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. 526 Selby Ave., St. Paul.

JJJJJerome Ellis: Aster of Ceremonies

Liquid Music joins forces with Milkweed Editions to present a multidisciplinary book launch event celebrating JJJJJerome Ellis’s forthcoming Aster of Ceremonies. This is a free event, but there is a $10 suggested donation for those who can afford it and would like to support the program. 7 p.m. Open Book, 1011 S. Washington Ave., Minneapolis. 

Hend Al-Mansour

Hend Al-Mansour: The Great Mothers 

Art celebrating two iconic mothers of the Islamic faith, Khadijah and Hafsah. There will be an opening reception on Saturday, October 7, from 7-10 p.m. Rosalux Gallery, 315 West 48th St., Minneapolis

Curioso Grand Opening Party

Curioso Coffee Bar opens a second location in a space shared with Broken Clock. Featuring music all day, with poetry readings from Mikey Kleis in between sets. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Curioso Coffee Bar, 3134 California St. NE, Minneapolis.

Fall Art Boutique 

Outdoor shopping. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Upcycled by Cindy, 4901 11th Ave. S., Minneapolis.

Free First Saturday: Look Close

Featuring open galleries, hands-on fun, and more for families. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (free admission until 5 p.m.) Walker Art Center, 725 Vineland Place, Minneapolis.

Cars and Crafts

Drink a beer and gaze upon cars. 5-9 p.m. Bent Brewstillery, 1744 Terrace Dr., Roseville. 

Maria Cristina and Xavier Tavera

Dedication of Strength in Unity

Check out new public artwork by Maria Cristina and Xavier Tavera. With music, light refreshments, and entertainment. 1 p.m. Green Crescent, west side of 35W between Lake St. and Midtown Greenway, Minneapolis. 

Blaine Oktoberfest

Featuring a fall craft fair inside Blaine City Hall, food trucks, a beer garden, a petting zoo, live music, and more. Learn more at Noon to 8:30 p.m. Tom Ryan Park, 10802 Town Square Dr. NE, Blaine.

Pumpkins on the Plaza

With pumpkin painting, music, and more. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nolan Mains Plaza, 3945 Market St., Edina.

46th Annual Rivertown Fall Art Fest

Featuring artists and makers, a beer and wine tent, food, live music and entertainment, and juried art. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sat.-Sun. Lowell Park, 201 Water St. N., Stillwater

Harvest Fest

Featuring a corn pit, bounce house, pumpkins for sale, and hayrides. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tamblyn's Farm & Greenhouse, 12730 Lever St. NE, Blaine.

Sanrio, man

Hello Kitty Cafe Truck

It’s not free, but the photo op is. 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Ridgedale Center, 12401 Wayzata Blvd., Minnetonka.

Fall Houseplant Sale

UMN Extension Hennepin County Master Gardeners hosts this sale of over 1,200 houseplants, educational demonstrations, a child-friendly activity, and more. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Southdale Center, 2015 Southdale Center, Edina.

Anoka Vintage Fest

Anoka Vintage Fest

Featuring over 80 vintage vendors, music and performances, food trucks, adult beverages, and more throughout downtown Anoka. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Cars & Coffee

Gaze upon cars and drink coffee. 9 a.m. to noon. The Leamington Ramp, 1001 Second Ave. S., Minneapolis. 

The Big Sit 2023

This annual event invites folks to hang out from sunrise to sunset and document all the birds they see and hear. Come anytime, stay as long as you’d like. If you have questions, email 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Coldwater Spring, 5601 Minnehaha Park Dr. S., Minneapolis.

Farmers Markets

Apple Valley Farmers Market

8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays through October 29. 7100 147th St. W., Apple Valley;

Burnsville Saturday Farmers Market

8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays through October 28. 200 Burnsville Pkwy. W., Burnsville;

Fulton Farmers Market

Traditional and heirloom vegetables, fruits, breads, and pastries. 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturdays through October 28. 4901 Chowen Ave. S., Minneapolis;

Lowertown Farmers Markets

Lowertown’s pride and one of the state’s largest markets. 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays; 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays. Through Nov. 19. 290 5th St. E., St. Paul;

Midtown Farmers Market

Urban market serving produce and more to Powderhorn, Phillips, and Longfellow. 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays through Oct.; 3 to 7 p.m. Tuesdays, through Oct. 2225 East Lake St., Minneapolis;

Mill City Farmers Market

Long running market in the shadow of Mill Ruins Park, featuring local, sustainable, and organic groceries and produce. 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays year round. 750 2nd St. S., Minneapolis;

Northeast Farmers Market

Seasonal market featuring food vendors, local produce, and artisanal goods. 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays through Oct. 14. St. Boniface Church parking lot, 629 2nd St. NE (corner of University and Seventh Ave. NE), Minneapolis;

Chatter Box Bar


100 Year Anniversary Block Party

Yep, that Chatterbox Pub is turning 100 this year. The pub and restaurant opened as a speakeasy in 1923. A century later, it’s still one of the few south Minneapolis pubs in the Powderhorn neighborhood, though a few new spots have popped up more recently (like Northbound Smokehouse). In celebration, they’ll be partying all day, with special menu items, a beer tent hosted by Pryes for brews, and Kabomelette Food Truck parked outside. Live music all day will include headliner Martin Zellar from the Gear Daddies, Chatterbox’s new Jukebox Heroes led by Vic Volare, Jackie Kean, Vittorio and The Bridges, Joan of Profile, and The Tire Fires. Free. Noon to 8 p.m. Chatterbox Pub, 2229 E. 35th St., Minneapolis.—Jessica Armbruster

Cult Cinema Sundays

Enjoy a surprise cult classic film on the big screen. With free popcorn and drink specials. 7-10 p.m. Roxy’s Cabaret, 1333 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis.

Dog Days Adoption Event 

Pet and hang with Healing Hearts Rescue dogs. 2-4 p.m. Lakes & Legends, 1368 Lasalle Ave., Minneapolis.

Fall Market

Featuring a vendor market, local brews, seasonal bites, live music, and pumpkin painting. Noon to 5 p.m. Viking Lakes, 2685 Vikings Cir, Eagan.

Old St. Anthony Fall Bazaar

Hosted by Minneapolis Craft Market. Noon to 4 p.m. Machine Shop, 300 Second St. SE, Minneapolis.

Family Day: Fall into Color

Featuring hands-on art making with artist Tia Keobounpheng, a painting workshop led by local Ojibwe artist and educator James Autio, and Spanish-language short films from the MSP Film Society’s Cine Latino festival. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Minneapolis Institute of Art, 2400 Third Ave. S., Minneapolis.

Arsenal vs. Manchester City FC (PL)

10:30 a.m. Brit's Pub, 1110 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis. 

Everything I Learned, I Learned in a Chinese Restaurant

Author Curtis Chin discusses his memoir of growing up gay and Asian American in Detroit. 2 p.m. Minnesota History Center, 345 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul.

Disco Death Records

Disco Death Records’ Vintage Market

Featuring 20+ vintage vendors in the parking lot. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Disco Death Records, 721 W. 26th St., Minneapolis.

Open Streets Minneapolis: Lyndale Avenue

Road closings kinda suck… unless we’re talking about Open Streets, where the lack of traffic just means there’s more room to party. For Lyndale Avenue celebration, the final installment of 2023 and perhaps the final installment ever, the main south Minneapolis drag will be closed to cars, but open to people on foot, on bike, or on other non-motorized modes of travel. Along the way you’ll find a variety of stuff to see and do, including parking lot concerts, sidewalk sales, middle-of-the-road yoga sessions, and pop-up beer gardens. Free. Events begin at 11 a.m. and run until 5 p.m. Lyndale Avenue, from 22nd to 42nd Avenues, Minneapolis; find more details at—Jessica Armbruster

The White Castle Goes Vintage

Oh dang, the historic WC has a new tenant moving in: a vintage shop. It’s currently unnamed, but check it out during Open Streets. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. 3252 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis.

Emmy Woods & The Red Pine Ramblers

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

Vintage Pop-up Sale

With Back Pocket Vintage and Rhodes Vintage in the parking lot. 1-6 p.m. White Squirrel Bar, 974 Seventh St. W., St. Paul.

Early Show 

With Caitlin Robertson & Alex Sandberg, Ian Alexy. 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.

Sunday Market

Shop this weekly farmer/cottage food and artisan market through Oct. 15. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dancing Bear Chocolate, 4367 N. Thomas Ave., 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. 

Farmers Markets

Inver Grove Heights Farmers Market

8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays through October 8. 8055 Barbara Ave., Inver Grove Heights;

Kingfield Farmers Market

Featuring a large selection of local produce, artisanal crafts, and prepared foods in a new location this year at MLK Park. 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays through Oct. 29. MLK Park, 4055 Nicollet Ave. S., Minneapolis;

Linden Hills Farmers Market

Featuring ethical meats, baked goods, ready-to-eat items, locally grown veggies and fruits, and live music. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays through Oct. 29. Settergrens of Linden Hills, 2813 W. 43rd St., Minneapolis;

Savage Farmers Market

8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays through October 29. 4800 W. 123rd St., Savage;

Woodbury Farmers Market

8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays through October 29. 8595 Central Park Place, Woodbury;

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