Skip to Content

Arcade Games, Hot Air Balloons, Luminary Loppet: This Week’s Best Events

Plus a '90s movie where Denise Richards falls in love with a dinosaur.

Luminary Loppet|

If not ice, then by land.

Welcome to Event Horizon, your weekly roundup of the best events in Minneapolis, St. Paul, and beyond. 


Arbeiter Third Anniversary

Arbeiter Brewing Company

Happy birthday, Arbeiter! (Has it really been three years already? Revisit Racket’s 2021 coverage of this fledgling brewery here.) Ever the party animals, this Minnehaha Avenue taproom is celebrating all week long. On Monday, that means a “thank you” happy hour with tunes from KRSM and La Tortilla Catering; on Wednesday, there’s a cribbage tourney with Angry Line Cook burgers; on Thursday, catch live music from Deep Fakes and Lutheran Heat (great name, and two Arbeiter staffers are members!), with Young Man Hawaiian on the food truck side. Find the day-by-day event play-by-play—including the lineup of beer releases—here. 3038 Minnehaha Ave., Minneapolis. Through Friday—Em Cassel


DJ Shadow

First Avenue

Do you kids even know what a giant this crate digger was back in the ’90s? Does anyone under 30—and I’m asking sincerely—ever rock Endtroducing…, or its less celebrated but even warmer follow-up The Private Press? At a time when we’re supposed to accept the duplicitous jumble of our culture as a postmodern inevitably, maybe Josh Davis’s method of reassembling a cohesive world of sound from the scraps he collected feels like a quaint exercise, foolish or even suspect rather than heroic. Your loss. Shadow’s 2023 album, Action Adventure, isn’t just his best since his heyday; it may also be his most personal, constructed from “all my records and tapes,” as one sample on this primarily word-free album puts it. Not that he reveals much of himself, except by referencing the music he loves: 808s and boom-bap, rockabilly guitar and chopped choral voices dah-dah-ing and a husky R&B plaint. What does it all mean? That question is beside the point when something unique has been crafted with such loving care. With Holly. $35. 8 p.m. 701 N. First Ave., Minneapolis; find more info here.—Keith Harris


Klezmer on Ice

Various Locations

Don’t take the title too literally—this isn’t a week of wailing clarinet players on skates. (It’s not like there’s a lot of ice to go around this winter anyway.) But this festival is offering plenty of great Jewish music, kicking off today at the Hook and Ladder with Lea Kalisch & JEWBALAYA and concluding with a performance by FORSHPIL at the Cedar on Sunday. In between are events in collaboration with the Art Shanty Projects and the City of Lakes Loppet, as well as a screening of new film The Klezmer Project, a klezmer workshop, and a “KlezmerKabaret” at Eagles 34. If you’re even a tiny bit curious about this elastic musical tradition, which has historically incorporated countless outside styles while retaining its essence, now’s your chance to learn more. Find a full schedule of events and other info here. Through February 4—Keith Harris


First Avenue

Contrary to popular belief, 2003’s War All the Time was not intended to protest the Iraq War. It was, perhaps unsurprisingly coming from a screamo band like Thursday, about the internal warring inside every 20-something in post-9/11 America. To call this New Jersey group “screamo,” however, sells ‘em a bit short; Geoff Rickly & Co. were always more indebted to Joy Division than Hot Topic, and that artistic depth permeates their whole discography, which holds the hell up. On War, their major-label debut, Thursday screamed a little less, grew more musically muscular, and trended in more complex directions than their peers. (That didn’t stop an Island Mercury label boss from publicly commenting on Rickly’s cute lil butt at the time.) It remains a visceral wallop of Bush-era malaise, and it’ll get the 20th anniversary front-to-back treatment tonight in the Mainroom. Opening are Rival Schools and Many Eyes. $30-$35. 7 p.m. 701 N. First Ave., Minneapolis; more info here.—Jay Boller

"Arctic Highways"Meryl McMaster, 'What Will I Say to the Sky and the Earth II'


Arctic Highways: Unbounded Indigenous People

American Swedish Institute

This winter, ASI is showcasing the work of 12 Indigenous artists from Sápmi, the Sámi people’s name for the arctic land they inhabit and travel, ranging from Alaska to Scandinavia to Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Russia. That may sound like a huge swath of land, but the connections are stronger than the miles here. “We are indigenous peoples who live in different countries and on different continents, and yet regard ourselves as peoples with kindred spirits,” the collective artist statement explains. “With this exhibition we want to tell our own story, through our own experiences, using our own forms of expression.” Pieces include photography, textile work, sculptures, and duodji handcrafts. The museum’s “first look” party this Friday, from 6 to 9 p.m. features live music, live reindeer, and hands-on art making. Tickets are $30 for the opening party, otherwise the show is free with admission ($6-$13). 2600 Park Ave., Minneapolis. Through May 26—Jessica Armbruster

Arcade Day

Boom Island Brewing Co.

This one is pretty easy to wrap your head around: Retro video game supplier Midwest Custom Arcades is setting up shop all day long at Boom Island Brewing Co. to create “the ultimate arcade haven,” per promo materials. That means, and here’s the important part, free gaming on generation-spanning cabinets, plus a high-score tourney that includes (possibly) fabulous prizes. Prefer buzzed gaming? Happy hour deals running from 3 to 5 p.m. should loosen you up on the joysticks. Free. Noon to 10 p.m. 5937 Baker Rd., Minnetonka; find more info here.—Jay Boller

SmooshingSociable Cider Werks

Winter Warm Up

Sociable Cider Werks

Well shit, the warm temperatures have claimed another ice event. Sociable Cider Werks had planned to host its annual bonspiel (aka curling and other ice games) on its bar rink, but this year’s balmy winter killed it. So they're pivoting to a tiki-hula-tropical party this weekend, of course. That means folks will be able to play lawn games including cornhole and other things in the beanbag oeuvre. The Smoosh Racing Championship will invite teams of four to run together while wearing shoes attached to a long piece of wood (It’s free to enter!). So & So’s will be serving up summer eats, and slushies will be on Sociable’s menu all weekend. Find more details here. Free. 2-11 p.m. Fri.; noon to 11 p.m. Sat.; noon to 9 p.m. Sun. 1500 Fillmore St. NE, Minneapolis. Through Sunday—Jessica Armbruster

We Them One’s Tour

The Armory 

Where else are you gonna find Mike Epps, DC Young Fly, Chico Bean, Lil Duval, and Mojo Brookzz under one large roof? A promotional video bills this showcase as "the biggest comedy tour in history" which, uh, doesn't sound quite right, but the big bill does pack plenty of headlining talent. Epps became a name in '90s for his energetic Def Comedy Jam performances and appearances in the Friday sequels; DC Young Fly and Chico Bean emerged as standouts on Wild 'N Out; Lil Duval is a BET staple; and Mojo Brookzz does huge numbers on social media. $151-$550. 6:30 p.m. 500 S. Sixth St., Minneapolis; more info here.—Jay Boller

Rockin' with the ColdiesJacki Bradham


Rockin' with the Coldies

EP Rock Elementary School

Could this event benefit from a more descriptive name? Probably, but who are we to quibble with a free weekend of hot air balloon theatrics over the skies of Hudson, Wisconsin? Now the main events, and the ones your kiddos will be most interested in, are the three launches featuring around 30 balloonists from around the region—Saturday and Sunday morning at 7:35 a.m. and Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. But “Rockin’ with the Coldies” is a whole thing, and you’re welcome to explore the weekend’s worth of events, including: bike races, craft fairs, pancake breakfasts, beverage crawls, and a torchlight parade complete with a kazoo marching band (!), among other activities. Free (donations accepted). 340 13th St., Hudson, Wisconsin; find more info here.—Jay Boller 

Minneapolis Luminary Loppet

Lake of the Isles

Warm winter weather be damned—the Luminary Loppet is happening. “We are full steam ahead and The Luminary is moving to land,” says a January 26 email to us from the Loppet Foundation. So, maybe there’s no snow or ice, but you can still enjoy hot cocoa and s’mores, watch fire dancers light up the night, and finish off the evening with an after party featuring Utepils beer, food trucks, and live music. And of course, the lovely luminaries’ll light your way as you trek around the lake. 6-9 p.m. $30; $15 for youth. Find more info and register here.—Em Cassel

Midnight Mayhem: Tammy and the T-Rex

The Main Cinema

You guys, this one is real dumb. Remarkably dumb. Amazingly dumb. Hot on the heels of smash-hit Jurassic Park, this 1994 cinematic trainwreck stars Denise Richards as the titular Tammy, a high school cheerleader who develops a crush on a crop-top wearing, pre-Fast and Furious Paul Walker. Unfortunately, Tammy’s ex-boyfriend is the jealous type, so he abducts Paul and feeds him to a lion. Fortunately (?), a mad scientist (played by Bernie from Weekend at Bernie’s) abducts him (again!) from the hospital and puts his brain inside a robot dinosaur (we’re never told why–yolo, I guess?). After killing a bunch of random people, Paul calls Tammy on a payphone and romance ensues. This is a real movie, folks. Find tickets here. $10. 10 p.m. 119 Main St. SE, Minneapolis.—Jessica Armbruster 

The Vulcan Reveal, a very chill event at the Saint Paul Winter Carnival.


Saint Paul Winter Carnival

Various Locations 

While our hearts may lie with the Minnesota State Fair, the Saint Paul Winter Carnival might be the fest that we’re best known for outside the state. And that’s for good reason: Minnesotans have been freaking out the rest of the nation with our enthusiasm for subzero temps for 138 years. This year’s installment is as epic as ever, with ice and snow sculpting competitions, an ice fishing tourney, hockey games, winter runs, huge parades, and music in a heated tent in Rice Park. There will be less traditional winter fun to be had too, including the Saintly City Cat Show, a dog party at the Depot, a beer release party at Saint Paul Brewing, and an orchid installation at Como Conservatory. For a complete schedule of events, see Through February 3—Jessica Armbruster

The Great Northern

Various Locations

The Saint Paul Winter Carnival isn’t the only sprawling festival that celebrates the coldest season. The newer kid on the block, the Great Northern, also offers a ton of things to see and do regardless of the windchill, with events highlighting cold-weather wellness, outlining climate change causes, and celebrating Indigenous artists, makers, and minds. A few highlights: Broken Ice, a First Ave showcase of Indigenous bands; a sauna village at Malcolm Yards and a BIPOC bathing event at Watershed Spa; and an ice bar in downtown Minneapolis. Other happenings include special film screenings, gallery shows and opening receptions, dining pop-ups, and nature walks. Find the complete schedule at Through February 4—Jessica Armbruster

Minneapolis Institute of Ice

Minneapolis Institute of Art

While Winter Carnival ice artists are firing up the chainsaws for an epic ice show, Mia is also hosting its own collection on ice, and it sounds pretty cool. For the project, carvers will create 10 pieces inspired by works in the museum’s permanent collection. On display, pretty much until they melt, iconic sculptures recreated using frozen water will include Raffaelo Monti’s Veiled Lady, a Tatra T-87 sedan, and a Celestial Horse from China. So check them out in the garden and then head inside to see the original inspiration. An especially good time to visit is during the ice-themed Meet at Mia this Thursday, January 25, from from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. with hands-on printmaking activity hosted by Highpoint Center for Printmaking, tunes from DJ TaliaKnight, and food and drinks for purchase. Otherwise, see them outside during museum hours. 2400 Third Ave. S., Minneapolis. Through February 4—Jessica Armbruster

Film Independent Spirit Awards

Walker Art Center

Every year, the Walker screens a slate of nominees from the Independent Spirit Awards, giving us hinterlanders a chance to catch up on some of the best movies of the past year—and for free (if you’re a member, that is). While some of the films, like All of Us Strangers and American Fiction, are still in theaters, others passed through all too briefly or didn’t play here at all—I’m particularly anticipating Raven Jackson’s well-reviewed All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt, which I believe only played at the Twin Cities Film Festival (and will cost you $20 on Amazon). Three of my ten favorite films from last year are screening: the sexed up Passages, the unconventional documentary Four Daughters, and May December, which is a much squirmier experience in a room full of people, rather than at home on Netflix. (Good luck making it through this Saturday’s double feature of Four Daughters and All of Us Strangers without becoming an absolute emotional wreck.) And three more of the movies (Earth Mama, Kokomo City, A Thousand and One) made my long list. Maybe I’ll even go see Past Lives again and decide if I was wrong about it. Free for members. 725 Vineland Place, Minneapolis; find dates, times, and more info here. Through February 10—Keith Harris

Art Shanty Projects

Art Shanty Projects

Lake Harriet

Once again the Art Shanty Project is taking over a frozen lake for weekends of hands-on happenings, live music and performances, and wholesome fun. And for the first time since the pandemic, people can again go inside some of the shanties, with activities taking place both inside and out. “We've got a 50/50 mix,” says artistic director Erin Lavelle. “So if you've been waiting to cozy up inside with us again, this is your year! And if you're still not comfortable with that, we got you!” Shanties include the Free Store Shanty, where you can donate a warm winter item or pick one up; Hot Box: Disco Inferno aimed to get people warmed up via dancing; and the Time. Light.Color. installation, which works as a unique sundial. The outdoor performance stage will host a variety of entertainment, from klezmer jams to yoga classes to Ice Pirate Radio broadcasts. In total, 18 different shanties will be heading back to Lake Harriet. Find more deets at Free; $10-$20 suggested donation. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. 4135 W. Lake Harriet Parkway, Minneapolis. Through February 11—Jessica Armbruster

Minnesota Ice Castle 

Maple Grove

Ice dams? Not cool. Black ice on sidewalks? Super un-fun. Buildings made of ice, on the other hand? Totally rad. For this epic annual ice castle, over 12,000 icicles are “grown” each day, then applied to the structure, which weighs over 20 million tons. Water will be turned into giant ice slides, magical caverns, and tunnels you can travel through. Icy wintertime things to explore include twinkling trails filled with lights, a snow tubing hill guests can zoom down, a polar pub serving up warm drinks, and ice sculptures created by artists both local and international. Find dates, times, and tickets at $16-$23. Thursdays through Mondays. 12500 82nd Ave. N., Maple Grove. Through February 14—Jessica Armbruster

The Fifteenth Film Noir Series: Neo-Noir

Trylon & The Heights

Noir is a pretty expansive genre to begin with, and neo-noir can be even more capacious. The 18 films that make the Trylon’s 15th annual noir festival seem chosen to highlight this genre’s elasticity. The series began last night with William Friedkin’s To Live and Die in L.A., which continues through Tuesday, and wraps up on February 29 (oh hey, 2024 is a leap year) with the unconventional Steve Martin musical Pennies From Heaven. The other selections stretch back to 1967 for the New Hollywood jumpstarter Bonnie and Clyde and Seijun Suzuki’s avant-yakuza flick Branded to Kill; the most recent film is Bi Gan’s slow cinema landmark Long Day’s Journey Into Night. Chinatown, maybe the most perfect neo-noir of ’em all, and the Coen Brothers’ Irish gangster flick, Miller’s Crossing, will show at the Heights. Don’t miss Bob Hoskins in The Long Good Friday (British gangsters are so grubby). Or Kathryn Bigelow’s sci-fi tale of police brutality, Strange Days. Or—dammit I knew I shouldn’t have started making recommendations, now it’s hard to stop. 2820 E. 33rd St, Minneapolis; find times, dates, prices, and more info here. Through February 29—Keith Harris

Multiple Realities: Experimental Art in the Eastern Bloc, 1960s–1980s 

Walker Art Center

What does subversive art look like when the artist knows the government is watching? For a sampling of the creativity that arises under oppressive circumstances, take a cruise through “Multiple Realities,” an exhibition spanning two decades of work by artists from East Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Yugoslavia. The collection, not commonly seen in the U.S., includes underground club photography, found objects turned into statements, witty scribbles, and images from performances with heavy nods to queer life, ironic humor, political dissonance, and, perhaps most important here, interpretative deniability. The exhibition opens on Friday with a Walker After Hours Party, followed by a free opening-day talk with pop-up performances in the galleries on Saturday. For a complete schedule of related events, check online. 725 Vineland Place, Minneapolis. Through March 10, 2024—Jessica Armbruster

Tetsuya Yamada: Listening

Walker Art Center

This winter, as performers from around the world will be heading to the Walker for its annual Out There Series, the galleries will be staying local, showcasing the work of ceramicist Tetsuya Yamada. For this survey, the Japanese-born, Minnesota-residing U of M prof will share over 65 pieces, including drawings, notes, and many, many everyday examples of ceramics–plates, vases, coffee mugs, and more. The title of the exhibition, “Listening,” refers to the instinctual choices an artist makes along the way to creating something. “The process might take me to places I didn’t imagine initially,” he explains. “This is the fundamental of studio practice for me.” There will be an opening reception this Thursday, January 18, with free admission from 5 to 9 p.m. and an artist’s talk at 7 p.m. (Stop by the Main Lobby Desk for tickets.) ​​725 Vineland Place, Minneapolis. Through July 7—Jessica Armbruster

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter