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Freeloader Friday: 106 Free Things To Do This Weekend

Dog Santa, Drag Santa, and lots of ugly sweaters. What a season!

Santa Barbie is coming to Dancing Bear

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.


Ugly Sweater Holiday Special

Featuring a themed photobooth, festive drinks, prizes for the ugliest sweater and the best ugly sweater couple, tunes from John Forrest and the Model Citizens (Fri.) and the Space Force (Sat.), and a pet photographer (Sun.). Inbound BrewCo., 701 N. 5th St., Minneapolis.

One-Year Anniversary Party

Featuring tunes from Maxwell Johnson. 6-9 p.m. OMNI Brewing Co., 9462 Deerwood Ln., Maple Grove.

Winter CarnivalALE Release Party 

Try the new Saint Paul Winter Carnival brew. 4-11 p.m. Saint Paul Brewing, 688 Minnehaha Ave. E., St. Paul.

MN Waterfalls: A Fire Arts Perspective

Last chance to see this collaboration with Pete Segar and 15 artists. 5-7 p.m. Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center, 3749 Chicago Ave., Minneapolis.

James Bond Vinyl Night 

6-10 p.m. Broken Clock Brewing Co., 1712 Marshall St. NE #100, Minneapolis.

Northern Hammer, Casey Gerald, Beggars

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


Rank Strangers, Scott Hefte and the Bury ‘Em Deep, Superfloor

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

Festival of Trees

A free walk-through winter wonderland. Mall of America, North Atrium, Level 3. Through January 3

Friday Night Open Mic

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

A few examples of previous years sales.Raging Art On

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.

Holiday Pop-up Series

Shop unique makers each weekend. Find the schedule of guests here. 5-8 p.m. Fri.; 1-5 p.m. Sat. through Dec. 16. Fair State Brewing, 2506 Central Ave. NE, Minneapolis.

Light Up the Night: Festivities & Merriment Art Market

Featuring live music, over 40 artists and makers, and beer. 5-10 p.m. Fri.; noon to 8 p.m. Sat. Solar Arts Building, 711 15th Ave. NE, Minneapolis.

Holiday Market

5-9 p.m. Jackson Flats, 901 18 1/2 Ave. NE, Minneapolis.

Uptown Mpls Holiday Market

Turquoise Vintage hosts this pop-up featuring vinyl, housewares, jewelers, maker items, and more. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fri.–Sun. Dec. 7-10 and Dec. 13-17. 2756 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis.

Midway Holiday Market

Shop from 10 local artists and makers. 5-9 p.m. Groundswell, 1340 Thomas Ave. W., St. Paul.

European Christmas Market, Union Depot

European Christmas Market

This huge holiday market event features local makers and crafters selling traditional gifts; entertainment including live music, and dance; visits from Krampus, sled dogs, Santa, and reindeer; tons of food; traditional hot beverages; beer and gluhwein; Santa’s post office; an extended holiday market called Santa’s Village; and more. Bonus: Score a free Metro Transit ride to the event at 4-9 p.m. Fri.; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sat.; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sun (11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 8). Union Depot, 214 Fourth St. E., St. Paul. Nov. 24-Dec. 17.

Dayton's Holiday Market 

Shop from nearly 80 local brands and makers. Free. Daily through Dec. 30. The Dayton’s Project, 700 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis.

Holidays on Nicollet

Minneapolis Craft Market hosts this locally-made retail popup experience, plus window displays, entertainment, and more through the holidays. 10 a.m. to 6p.m. Tue.-Sat. through Dec. 30. IDS Center, 747 Nicollet Mall (former Hubert White Menswear store), Minneapolis. 

NSCA Holiday Gift Market 

Featuring over 80 local makers. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thu.-Sun. through Dec. 17. North Suburban Center for the Arts, 110 77th Way NE, Fridley.

Rosalux's "Open Door"Bill Nagel, 'The Eclipse'


Open Door XVIII 

Open since 2002, Rosalux Gallery is Minnesota’s longest running artist collective space. Their annual event, “Open Door,” is a group show featuring gallery artists and more. This year’s installment will highlight a variety of works from 49 artists, including collage makers, painters, and quilters. “I was guided by joyful subjectivity, influenced by my personal preferences, the scale of the gallery, current events, the weather, and other completely unpredictable factors,” says artist Ellen Mueller, who was selected to curate this year’s exhibition. “The only guideline I set for myself was that I must make all my selections within 24 hours, which I did.” While the show opened last weekend, there will be an artists’ reception from 7-10 p.m. this Saturday, December 9. Otherwise, you can stop by during weekend hours (noon to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday). Rosalux Gallery, 315 W. 48th St., Minneapolis. Through December 31—Jessica Armbruster

Voltage Controller
3-5 p.m. 331 Club, 331 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis.

Curve, The Great Went, Do Not Crush
10 p.m. to 1 a.m. 331 Club, 331 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis.

Rat Castle Jazz Ensemble

With Lifestyle Shakes, Erratix. 1-4 p.m. White Squirrel Bar, 974 W. Seventh St., St. Paul.

Crash Cuddle, Little Lizard, Celica

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

Michael Birawer Holiday Show

New paintings. Noon to 8 p.m. 1618 Central Ave. NE, Minneapolis.

Dog Photos with Santa 

Photos are free, but donations will be collected for Ruff Start Rescue. 1-5 p.m. Headflyer Brewing, 861 E. Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis.

Inspired By a Lifetime 

Group show features 25 local artists aged 50 and up. 1-4 p.m. Cora McCorvey Health & Wellness Center, 1015 N. Fourth Ave., Minneapolis.

Backyard Boombox 

FJ tunes, a craft market, and more. 6 p.m. Lakes & Legends, 1368 Lasalle Ave., Minneapolis.

The Above Average Tuba Quartet 

It’s tuba Nutcracker time! 6-8 p.m. Boom Island Brewing, 5959 Baker Rd., Minnetonka.

Holiday Bake Sale

Holiday and Farmers Markets

Holiday Bake Sale 

Shop for sweet and savory treats from 30+ local bakeries and local vendors. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Union Depot, 240 E. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul.

California Building Holiday Market 

Featuring over 30 open studios, live music, kid-friendly activities, and free hot cider and cookies. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. California Building, 2205 California St. NE #514, Minneapolis.

Nine Lives Vintage Clothing Swap

Bring cool clothes you don’t need and take home items you do. Noon to 4 p.m. Center for Lost Objects, 957 Seventh St. W., St. Paul.

Open Studio Sale

9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Grain Belt Warehouse, 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis.

Sip & Shop Makers’ Market

Featuring a dozen makers, Santa Claus, and deals. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wild Grind Coffee, 6031 Pillsbury Ave., Minneapolis.

Black Forest Inn’s Christmas Market

Noon to 7 p.m. Sat.; noon to 5 p.m. Sun. The Black Forest Inn, 1 E. 26th St., Minneapolis.

Casket Arts Holiday Market

11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Casket Arts Building, 681 17th Ave. NE, Minneapolis.

Festive A.F. (as Friends)

Hosted by cross stitchers Third Daughter, Restless Daughter and Inner Vue Soaps. With 15+ makers. Noon to 4 p.m. Northrop King Building, Ste. 332, 1500 Jackson St. NE, Minneapolis.

The Makers’ Market

Tonkadale Greenhouse hosts its annual holiday Makers Noon to 4 p.m. Tonkadale Greenhouse, 3739 Tonkawood Rd., Minnetonka.

Saturnalia Saturdays

Featuring cool collabs, giftables, free astrological insights, and more. Noon to 6 p.m. Dec. 9 and 16. We the Starborne, 593 Hamline Ave. N., St. Paul.

Market Collective MN Makers Market
Shop from BIPOC and queer vendors and allies. Noon to 4 p.m. Modist Brewing, 505 N. Third St., Minneapolis.

Cake's Winter Market

Featuring 10 makers and vendors each day. Noon to 4 p.m. The Music Lab (right near Cake Plus Size Retail), 5161 Bloomington Ave., Minneapolis.

Winter Makers’ Market

Featuring a holiday beer release, beer poking, 20+ makers, a hot cocoa bar, and more. 1-7 p.m. Forgotten Star Brewing, 38 Northern Stacks Dr., Fridley.

The Black Market

The Black Market: BBIB Market

Shop clothing, beauty items, jewelry, food, and more from local BIPOC-owned businesses. Reserve a free ticket at 2-7 p.m. The Lab – Pilot Facility and Taproom, 767 N. Eustis St., Minneapolis. 

Holiday Market

Shop 11 vendors. Noon to 4 p.m. Unmapped Brewing Co., 14625 Excelsior Blvd., Minnetonka.

Palace Theatre Holiday Market

The First Ave gang have teamed up with the folks behind the Minnehaha Falls Art Fair and the Frightfully Early Holiday Market to host this unique market of 50+ vendors, some of which will be directly on the Palace’s stage. 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sat.; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sun. Palace Theatre, 17 W. Seventh Place, St. Paul.

Holiday Gift Market: Made in Tanzania

Shop unique Tanzanian art and gifts. All sales will benefit Project Zawadi. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Twin Cities Friends Meeting, 1725 Grand Ave., St. Paul.

Holiday Market 

Featuring over 20 local artists and makers. Free. 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Malcolm Yards Market, 501 30th Ave. SE, Minneapolis.

TC Record Show Hoppin’ Hudson Holiday Rock ‘n’ Roll Garage Sale Pop-up 

Shop 45s, CDs, memorabilia, and more. Free. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sat. Hop & Barrel Brewery, 310 Second St., Hudson.

11 Wells Holiday Market 

Shop from 40+ different vendors each week, plus tunes and cocktails. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 2, Dec. 9, and Dec. 16. Find the lineup here. 11 Wells Spirits, 704 Minnehaha Ave. E., St. Paul.

Holiday Makers’ Market

Two weekends of gift shopping. Noon to 6 p.m. Broken Clock Brewing Co., 1712 Marshall St. NE #100, Minneapolis.

Holiday Weekend Markets

A rotating group of makers and businesses will show up each weekend, and the Happy Land Tree Lot is open daily. Noon to 8 p.m. Sat.-Sun. through Dec. 23. Keg and Case Market, 928 Seventh St. W., St. Paul.

Holiday Saturdays

Yee-haw! Shop from hundreds of artists at this weekly holiday happening. Noon to 4 p.m. Saturdays through Dec. 23, as well as extended hours starting at 10 a.m. Northrup King Building, 1500 Jackson St. NE, Minneapolis.

The Artful Present 

This holiday pop-up features 27 artists. The opening party features bubbly and live jazz from 5-7 p.m. Otherwise, store hours are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fri.; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sat. through the holidays. Veronique Wantz Gallery, 901 N. Fifth St., Minneapolis.

Four Seasons Nordic Village

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 (except Christmas and NYE). Four Seasons Minneapolis, 245 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis.

A Handmade Holiday Market

Minneapolis Craft Market hosts local artists and makers. Noon to 5 p.m. Sat. through Dec. 10. Lakes & Legends, 1368 LaSalle Ave., Minneapolis.

The Santa Experience

Meet Santa and shop his merch, because everyone has merch these days. Through Dec. 24. Mall of America, Level 1, South.

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

Field and Festival Holiday Market

Another Minneapolis Craft Market jam, with local farmers, foodies, and artists. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sat.-Sun. through Dec. 17. Wagners Garden Center, 6024 Penn Ave. S., Minneapolis.

Minneapolis Farmers Market

Possibly the city’s largest and most popular market, with hundreds of vendors weekly. 9 a.m. to noon Sat.-Sun. through Dec. 30, plus 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;

Sensory Friendly Sunday


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.

Family Day Rainbows and Reflections 

Featuring hands-on fun in the galleries. 10 a.m. Minneapolis Institute of Art, 2400 Third Ave. S., Minneapolis.

Canadian Pacific Holiday Train 

Featuring a live concert by Tenille Townes and Breland. 5-8 p.m. Union Depot, 214 Fourth St. E., St. Paul.

Early Show R&R Sunday

With Jeff Ray, PK Mayo. 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.

The Warmup Beer Garden

Vikings pregame features draft beer from Indeed Brewing, food from Giulia, live music with appearances from DJ Mad Mardigan, a Bloody Mary bar, lawn games, and more. 9 a.m. to noon. Hotel Emery, 215 Fourth St. S., 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. 

Old St. Anthony Holiday Bazaar

Holiday and Farmers Markets

Old St. Anthony Holiday Bazaar 

Another local shopping banger from Minneapolis Craft Market. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Machine Shop, 300 Second St. SE, Minneapolis.

Fair Trade Holiday Market 

Shop fair trade items from Fair Trade Minneapolis, Elevat, Trade Winds, and Trades of Hope. Free. Noon to 4 p.m. The DREAM Shop, 3701 N. Fremont Ave., Minneapolis.

House of Mercy Anti-Capitalist Christmas Bizarre

Featuring festive items that are upcycled, recycled, and handmade. 4-6 p.m. House of Mercy, 436 Roy St. N., St. Paul.  

Happy Holigaze

A queer pop-up featuring five LGBTQ+ makers. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Caydence Records & Coffee, 900 Payne Ave., St. Paul.

Holiday Market at Toolbox 

Featuring 10+ makers. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Toolbox Collective, 3400 42nd Ave. S., Minneapolis.

Cloudland Market

Featuring custom vinyl record cutting, ceramics, leather goods, snacks, DJs playing tunes, and more. Noon to 6 p.m. Cloudland, 3533 E. Lake St., Minneapolis.

Odd Market

Odd Market

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

Jingle Market 

Featuring Mr. and Mrs Claus, artisan vendors, music, Drag-Santa-Barbie, and more. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dancing Bear Chocolate, 4367 N. Thomas Ave., Minneapolis.

Modus Locus’s Holiday Market

Featuring 30+ artists, live music, vintage vendors, and more. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Modus Locus, 3338 University Ave. SE, Minneapolis.

Holiday Market at NoHo 

Food, deals, festivities, and more in the neighborhood. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. 718 N. Washington Ave., Minneapolis.

Northeast Farmers’ Market’s Winter Market

10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Quincy Hall, 1325 Quincy St. NE, Minneapolis.

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