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Freeloader Friday: 111 Free Things To Do This Weekend

Art-A-Whirl, mega plant sales, Doors Open, and so much more!!!


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.




Now in its 29th year, Art-A-Whirl invites folks to explore northeast Minneapolis with an artsy lens. Over 80 venues are scheduled to participate this year, showcasing over 1,200 artists. If that sounds like too much, don’t let those numbers freak you out. Think of it a little like the Minnesota State Fair: You can’t do everything, even if you try, so just commit to two or three things and leave yourself a bit of wiggle room. Hop on a bus or your bike (Metro Transit offers free rides to the fest), hit up a studio (Northrup King Studios, Artblok, the California Building, or Casket Arts are all good places to start), and make your way to a beer garden, brewery, or nearby restaurant when you start to feel worn out. Find more info for AAW online. 5-10 p.m. Friday; noon to 8 p.m. Saturday; noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Through Sunday —Jessica Armbruster

AAW at Elias Metal Studio

Featuring art from Lisa and Oliver Elias, a vendor market, a food truck, and music. The lineup includes Soulflower, Yonder, Colin Bracewell, and Creeping Charlie Fri.; The Rockin' Socks, The Silverteens, The Mirrors, Uncle Katy, Liza, Moy Dukksen, Aiden Intro, Purple Funk Metropolis, Fe'nix Dion, and Lighter Co. Sat. Elias Metal Studio, 1129 NE Jackson St., Minneapolis. 

Journey Through the Cosmos: Unveiling Dakota Star Knowledge with Augmented Reality

Presented by the Mnisota Native Artists Alliance, this cool event uses augmented reality to explore the Dakota peoples’ understanding of the night sky. With smartphone installations, interactive models, a Native art market (at Northrup all weekend), and stories and teachings. 7:30 p.m. Northrup King Building Sculpture Garden, 1500 Jackson St. NE, Minneapolis.

Quincy Hall Artist’s Market

Lot’s a good jewelry makers here (45 makers!), including Larissa Loden. Fri.-Sun. Quincy Hall, 1325 Quincy St. NE, Minneapolis.

Moth Oddities 

Shop from 12 different local makers and artists. Fri.-Sun. Moth Oddities, 13 Fifth St. NE, Minneapolis.

Mercury Mosaics’ Spring Market

Shop this tile shop in the Thorp. With live demonstrations, over 30 makers,  deals, and special DIY kits. Fri.-Sun. Thorp Building, 1538 Central Ave. NE #125, Minneapolis.

Pryes Art & Crafts 

Shop 20 local artists and makers. Fri.-Sun. Pryes Brewing, 1401 W. River Rd. N., Minneapolis.

Kii Arens Poster Exhibit

Featuring a selection of the artist’s favorite posters and T-shirts, as well as live performances from Curtiss A, DGS, Dust of Suns Ensemble, Becky Kapell, Mother Banjo, Rich Mattson + Germaine Gemberling, Mayda, Slapdash Bluegrass, TerrelL X, Whale in the Thames, and Robert Wilkinson hosted by DEMO. Find the complete music lineup here. Fri.-Sun. Twin Ignition, 1317 Marshall St. NE, Minneapolis.

Studio Q Makers’ Market

Live music and 25 makers. Fri.-Sun. Studio Q, 1310 Quincy St. NE #1, Minneapolis.

Vampire Vintage Pop-up

Goth folks and the undead: This is your vintage shop. Fri.-Sun. Northrup King Building  #185, 1500 Jackson St. NE, Minneapolis. 

Indigenous Artists’ Market at AAW 

Fri.-Sun. Spyhouse Northeast, 945 Broadway St. NE, Minneapolis. 



The best Art-A-Whirl block party happens to be going down at Minnesota’s third and most recently unionized brewery. The absolutely stacked live-music lineup features a 97-year-old local legend (Cornbread Harris), a sitting state lawmaker (Maria Isa), rockers, rappers, DJs, and a whooooole lot more. Other big names include Marijuana Deathsquads, Gully Boys, Scrunchies, LAAMAR, Kevin Washington… it just keeps going; talented young musician/radio dude Eli Awada helped curate the roster of artists. Indeed will indeed be slingin’ all sorts of specialty beers and THC drinks. Food-wise you can expect grub from Revival, iPierogi, KCM Eggrolls, The Donut Trap, Aki's Pretzels, and Red Cow. This is what summertime in the city is all about, folks. Free. 3-11 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday. Indeed Brewing Co., 711 NE 15th Ave., Minneapolis; find more info and set times here. Through Sunday—Jay Boller

BUCH Gardens at AAW

Featuring live music from Cut Rate Clones, SMILE Like You Mean It (Killers Tribute), Pleezer, Poorwill, and Anastasiya Kadukov; vendors and artists; food trucks; and more. Fri.-Sun. BUCH Hard Kombucha Seltzer, 1121 Quincy St. NE, Minneapolis.

Hastings 3000 

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


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

Luke Bakken

1:30 p.m. Padraigs, 945 Broadway NE, Minneapolis.

Mill City Caravan

4 p.m. Padraigs, 945 Broadway NE, Minneapolis.

Jo Jo Green

6 p.m. Padraigs, 945 Broadway NE, Minneapolis.

Bonnie Drunken Lad

8 p.m. Padraigs, 945 Broadway NE, Minneapolis.

Erin McCawley’s Harrison Street Band

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


Outside. 6-10 p.m. Shaws Bar and Grill, 1528 University Ave. NE, Minneapolis.

Kung Foo Hippies

Inside. 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Shaws Bar and Grill, 1528 University Ave. NE, Minneapolis.

Beer Choir

Beer Choir

7-9 p.m. Fulton’s Taproom, 414 Sixth Ave. N., 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. 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. Apostle Supper Club, 253 Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul.

Rum River Shores Garage Sale

Click here for a map of participating homes. 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fri.-Sat.

Silverstar Car Wash Grand Opening 

Featuring free car washes, coffee, ZaZa Pizza, and donuts while supplies last. 7 a.m. Silverstar Car Wash, 9284 Baltimore St., Blaine.

Minneapolis Farmers Market

Featuring 50+ vendors. Find more info at 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wed.-Fri.; 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sat.-Sun. 312 E. Lyndale Ave. N., Minneapolis.

Ancient Waves

With Lady Bird, Crush Scene. 8-11 p.m. White Squirrel Bar, 974 W. Seventh St., St. Paul.

Fulcrum Market (formerly Bunside)

Vintage and handmade items. 2-7 p.m. Fri.; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sat.-Sun. 2756 Hennepin Ave. S., Minneapolis.

Friday Night Open Mic

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

Doors Open


Doors Open

Want to get to know our city a little better? Doors Open offers new ways to explore the nooks and crannies rarely open to the general public. For the next two days, nearly 100 restaurants, public institutions, bars, music venues, theaters, and other spaces will open up and invite you to explore, tour, and learn a little more about Minneapolis. You’ll be able to get up close to downtown’s Target Plaza lights, our city’s colorful beacon alerting us to things like Timberwolves games, Pride Month, and the Fourth. Head to the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis to gaze upon $4.7 million in cash, sit on a shredded throne of $1.7 million, and take a closer look at the money in your pocket to learn more about security features. Or gaze upon the 1.5 million books at Minnesota Library Access Center’s huge underground storage facility. Check out the green room at the Cedar, tour the Star Tribune’s newspaper printing facility (news printing presses really do look just like the ones in the movies), and visit the Foshay’s viewing deck/museum for free. Other fun to be had: Strolling through a post office’s office, watching a live camera under a sewer gate, and learning a little bit about The Lift Garage, a nonprofit auto repair shop that works to get people on a budget to keep their cars running. For a complete list of buildings and what they’ll be up to this weekend, check out Most events are free; some require tickets/RSVPs. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sat.-Sun.—Jessica Armbruster

Howard Luedke

Outside. 6-10 p.m. Shaws Bar and Grill, 1528 University Ave. NE, Minneapolis.

Pk Mayo

Inside. 8 p.m. Shaws Bar and Grill, 1528 University Ave. NE, Minneapolis.

The Crochet Gay: Studio Rouge

This queer/Black-owned crochet artist is celebrating AAW with an artist pop-up market, vintage sale, auction, and classes. Noon to 5 p.m. Sat.-Sun. Northrup King Building  #454, 1500 Jackson St. NE, Minneapolis. 

Vintage & Makers Market

See below for the live music schedule as well, which also includes a stop from Bands on Vans. Noon to 8 p.m. Sat.; noon to 7 p.m. Sun. 331 Club, 331 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis.


Turbo Tim’s Crush-A-Whirl

An afternoon spent at an automotive repair shop would normally be hell, but Turbo Tim’s is a legit good time, especially during Art-A-Whirl. Today’s festivities will be a mix of art, destruction, grilled meats, and cats. Junk cars will be smashed by smashing experts, and the annual car crush will go down at 4 p.m. Around 20 local artists will be setting up shop as well, and during the day there will be kid-friendly fun such as a magician and face painting. Burgers and other meats will be served from Angry Line Cook and Stan's BBQ, and evening tunes will be provided from Witch Tree, Aesha Minor, and Cloquet Valley Cosmonauts. Oh, and if you’re blessed, you might even spot one of the four shop cats hanging out, otherwise, know that donations and some proceeds will be going to a good cat cause: the Bitty Kitty Brigade. Free. Noon to 8 p.m. Turbo Tim’s Anything Automotive, 2823 NE Central Ave., Minneapolis. —Jessica Armbruster

Party at the Edge of the Whirl

Shop 20+ local artists and makers during this liquor store’s regular hours. Ombibulous, 949 E. Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis.


Lots of vintage will be here, plus yoga and other fun outside including a bar. Sat.-Sun. Earl Giles Distillery, 1325 Quincy St. NE, Minneapolis.

Whirl Weekend

Featuring over two dozen makers, vintage, live music, food trucks, and more. Noon to 8 p.m. Sat.; noon to 5 p.m. Sun. Sociable Cider Werks, 1500 Fillmore St. NE, Minneapolis.

All the Pretty Horses

All The Pretty Horses (Outdoors), DJ Still Phresh (Indoors)

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


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


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

Pop Wagner and the Tavern Trio

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

Creatures of Prometheus

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

Mill City Summer Farmers’ Market

The market moves outdoors for the warmer season. Featuring local farmers, artisans, makers, and artists. More info at: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mill City Museum, 704 S. Second St., Minneapolis.

Open Mic Comedy

7:30-10 p.m. The Joint, 913 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis. 

Matt Moberg: North Country

Paintings. 4 to 8 p.m. Douglas Flanders, 5025 France Ave. S,., Minneapolis.

Mainstreet Days

Mainstreet Day Arts & Craft Fair

Featuring 250 vendors, free entertainment, games for the kids, and food trucks. For more details, visit Downtown Hopkins (aim for Mainstreet and Ninth Avenue).

Lyndale Garage Sales Day

It’s garage-sale season! We’ve already highlighted events in the St. Paul and Lake Minnetonka areas; this week the big sales are in the south Minneapolis Lyndale neighborhood. This map of locations is being filled out each day, with handy descriptions on what people are selling. It looks like there’s already a good mix of stuff, including plus-size clothing, old-school video games, VHS tapes, books, glassware, kids’ toys, houseplants, and rubber stamps. If you live in the ‘hood and would like to engage in some neighborly commerce, you can register your place online here. Free. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.—Jessica Armbruster

Pets in the Park

Pets in the Park

Featuring pet vendors, free dog yoga, and more. 1 to 4 p.m. Keyes Park, 1345 45 1/2 Ave. NE, Columbia Heights. 

Billy Dankert Trio, Matt Caflisch Band

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

Irish Diplomacy

1:15 p.m. Padraigs, 945 Broadway NE, Minneapolis.

Mélange Trio

3 p.m. Padraigs, 945 Broadway NE, Minneapolis.

Shredding Flannel

5:30 p.m. Padraigs, 945 Broadway NE, Minneapolis.

Little Man

8 p.m. Padraigs, 945 Broadway NE, Minneapolis.

Hennepin County Plant Sale

Hennepin County Master Gardener Volunteer Plant Sale

Featuring over 22,000 plants, talks with plant experts, and more. Find more details online. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Hopkins Pavilion, 11000 Excelsior Blvd., Hopkins.

Fulton Farmers Market: Opening Weekend

Find more info here. 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturdays through Oct. 26. 4901 Chowen Ave., Minneapolis.

Ramsey County Master Gardeners Plant Sale

9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aldrich Arena, 1850 White Bear Ave. N., St. Paul.

The Ladies of the Lakes (LOL) Do Art 

Featuring art and pop-up performances by local members of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence (aka drag nuns who support LGBTQIA+ causes). 6-10 p.m. Fulton Taproom, 414 N. Sixth Ave., Minneapolis).

Twin Cities Record Show Mini Pop-up

Featuring albums, memorabilia, and more. Noon to 4 p.m. OMNI Brewing Co., 9462 Deerwood Ln., Maple Grove.

Big Barn Craft Fair

The Big Red Barn Folk Arts & Crafters Fair

Featuring over 100 booths of folk arts and more. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Bruentrup Heritage Farm, 2170 County Rd. D E, Maplewood.

Lowertown Farmers Market

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;

Carolyn Francis


Carolyn Francis

A gallery show for actor, model, and painter Carolyn Francis (1951-2023). Noon to 4 p.m. Sun.; noon to 6 p.m. Mon. I Nonni Italian Restaurant, 981 Sibley Memorial Highway, Lilydale.

Backyard Brewhousw at Liquid Zoo

Featuring an artist market and music from Lazenlow, Lustyr, Caiked Up, Tommy Hill, Bok Choi Boi, Slyter, Super10, Liam White, and Dirty Dan. Noon to 6 p.m. Bauhaus Brew Labs, 1315 Tyler St. NE, Minneapolis.

Jack Knife & The Sharps

3-7 p.m. Shaws Bar and Grill, 1528 University Ave. NE, Minneapolis.

Ben Cook-Feltz & Dan Gaarder

With Bev. 5-8 p.m. Dusty's, 1319 Marshall St. NE, Minneapolis.

Kingfield Farmers Market Opening Weekend

Find more info here. 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays through Oct. 27. 4055 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis. 

Game Night

Bring friends or join in on board games card games. 2 p.m. Broken Clock Brewing Collective, 3134 California St. NE, Minneapolis.

FLOP at Odd Mart


Featuring 30 small-press comics sharing, signing, and selling their work indoors and outside of the store, followed by an after party at LITT Pinball Bar starting at 6 p.m. Noon to 5 p.m. Odd Mart, 2520 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis. 

Art Beagle Backup Band

1 p.m. Padraigs, 945 Broadway NE, Minneapolis.

The Changeups

3 p.m. Padraigs, 945 Broadway NE, Minneapolis.

A Perfect World

5 p.m. Padraigs, 945 Broadway NE, Minneapolis.

Nova Pop-up Minneapolis

A pop-art market in the North Loop. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Neu Neu, 514 N. Third St., Minneapolis.

NE Farmers Market

9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays through October 12. St. Boniface Church, corner of University Avenue NE & Seventh Avenue NE, Minneapolis.

Linden Hills Farmers’ Market

Find more info here. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays through Oct. 29. Settergrens’s Parking Lot, 2813 W. 43rd St., Minneapolis.

The Beavers

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


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

The Early Show

With Fuzzy Math. 1-4 p.m. White Squirrel Bar, 974 W. Seventh St., St. Paul.


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

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