Skip to Content

Freeloader Friday: 30 Free Things To Do This Weekend

Festivus fun, last-minute holiday markets, and a bar that's open on Christmas.

Andreas Brun via Unsplash|

May your holidays be as wondrous as this cat in a Christmas tree.

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.



It’s that time of year again. It’s time to celebrate Festivus, a holiday born from a Seinfeld episode that originally aired in December of 1997. Twenty-five years later, it’s a legit thing that people do around town. One such celebration is at Fair State, which will take guests through all the traditional activities. There will be the airing of grievances, where you can vent about the way people and things failed you in 2022 (sign up here beforehand and you’ll get a free beer). There will be feats of strength, though what those feats are will be a surprise (event organizers claim there will be “no bodily harm, we promise”). The Festivus pole will be set up, and the newly released Vestivus Hazy IPA will be on tap. Free. 7 p.m. to midnight. Fair State Brewing Cooperative, 2506 Central Ave. NE, Minneapolis. –Jessica Armbruster

Holiday Lights Drive-Thru

Bring a new toy for  Toys for Tots. 5-10 p.m. daily through January 2. Find more info at Martin Luther Campus, 1401 E. 100th St., Bloomington.

Friday Night Music: Amanda Grace

6 p.m. Utepils Brewing, 225 Thomas Ave. N., Minneapolis.

"Shitter's full! Merry Christmas!"'Christmas Vacation'

Christmas Vacation

Christmas Vacation is the kind of movie that really gets the true vibes of the holidays. And by vibes, we mean stress. This is a movie that turns stress into comedy gold. The plot: An overambitious father of two (Chevy Chase) decides to host this year’s Christmas celebrations. But like a high school house party, more relatives show up than invited, things go very wrong, and hilarity ensues. This movie was made long before anti-vaxxers, QAnon nuts, or maga was even a thing, so the worst this fam gets up to is destruction of property, emptying an RV toilet into a storm sewer, accidentally setting a tree on fire, stressing out a squirrel, and kidnapping a CEO. The ‘90s: We really were living in simpler times back then. Free; RSVP here. 7 p.m. LUSH Lounge & Theater, 990 NE Central Ave., Minneapolis. –Jessica Armbruster

The Blend

21+. 9 p.m. 331 Club, 331 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis.


Miracle at Lawless

We love it when a cocktail bar goes fancy for the holiday, and Lawless never disappoints. This season, every square inch of the space will be packed with crap, including silvery tinsel, twinkling lights, bulbs galore, and tchotchkes, tchotchkes, tchotchkes. The drinks are also festive: The Christmapolitan, for example, is a fancy drink made with vodka, Creme de Flora, and spiced cranberry syrup, topped with a big hunk of rosemary. Prefer to sip on a non-alcoholic bevvy? The bar will be serving up two different mocktails as well. Stop by after work, after a day of shopping (Moon Palace is nearby!), or before a round of bowling at Memory Lanes–no reservations necessary. 5-11 p.m. Mondays through Wednesdays; 5 p.m. to midnight Thursdays and Fridays;  2 p.m. to midnight Saturdays; 2-11 p.m. Sundays. Lawless Distillery, 2619 28th Ave. S., Minneapolis. Through December 31 –Jessica Armbruster

The Festival of Trees 

Walk through a winter wonderland of 80 holiday trees decorated by various local businesses and organizations. Through January 4 at Mall of America.

Friday Night Open Mic

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

Third Daughter, Restless Daughter

Holiday Markets

Holiday Makers Popup 

Local letterpress studio and shop Bench Pressed hosts local makers Quiet Cat Bakery and Third Daughter, Restless Daughter. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Bench Pressed, 2010 26th Ave. S., Minneapolis.

Soo Art Mart 

Shop from a variety of colorful local artists. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays through Friday; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 30. Soo Visual Arts Center, 2909 Bryant Ave. S., Minneapolis.

ASI Jul Shop & Holiday Exhibit

Last call before the shop closes for the holidays. Giving gifts from a museum makes you look so classy. At the American Swedish Museum’s Jul Shop you’ll find a bunch of Scandinavian stuff, including dish towels emblazoned with arctic foxes, whimsical holiday gnomes, candles, vitamin C soap, aquavit accessories, and so much more. Stop by the museum and enjoy the holiday-themed galleries inside or shop online at American Swedish Institute, 2600 Park Ave., Minneapolis.

Textile Center’s Holiday Gallery Shop

Shop for wearable items, bags, DIY kits, ornaments, jewelry, and more. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays through Dec. 24. The Textile Center, 3000 University Ave. SE, Minneapolis.


The gallery becomes a gift shop for the holiday season, with 50+ local artists and makers. Now open through Dec. 23. Fresh Eye Gallery, 4238 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis.

Departments at Dayton’s Winter Maker’s Market 

Featuring 65+ makers and local businesses, including Red Wing Shoes, Faribault Woolen Mill, GiftyWrap (wrapping paper), Worker B beeswax skincare, Larissa Loden Jewelry, and Leather Works Minnesota. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays through December 23. The Dayton’s Project, 700 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis.

Keg & Case Holiday Market

This weekend market boasts 20 local artisans, as well as a tree farm. 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. through December 23. Keg & Case, 928 Seventh St. W., St. Paul.

Raging Art On at Gamut

11th Annual Raging Art On

This all-local mega-show features over 50 artists, including Bekah Worley, Rockin’ Octopus, Black Daze, Emily Forbes, Hello Cross Stitches, Linnea Maas, Malleus Pottery, Melissa Sisk, Pompa Goods, Russ White, Imaginary Conservatory, AND SO MANY MORE. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays, Dec. 2-Dec. 23. Gamut Gallery, 717 S. 10th St., Minneapolis; or shop online at

Six for Good Holiday Popup

Shop local from six local women-owned businesses: Thumbs Cookies, Urban Undercover, Essence One, Towel Topper, Baubles & Bobbies, and Hagen and Oats. Open through Christmas. Mall of America, Bloomington.

The Holiday Village

Roho Collective, Strive Publishing, and The Black Market present holiday gifts and more from 50+ local, Black-owned businesses. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday. 901 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis.


Minnesota Vikings vs New York Giants 

Watch the big game at these two bars which are open Christmas Eve. Festive sports! Day Block Brewing, 1105 Washington Ave. S., Minneapolis. Forgotten Star Brewing, 38 Northern Stacks Dr., Fridley. 


Open Today

Looking for a place to enjoy beer with some buds? 331 is open this evening. 5 p.m. 331 Club, 331 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter