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Freeloader Friday: 46 Free Things To Do This Weekend

Craft Coffee Fest, dance parties, karaoke with Skaterapolis, and viral video sensation the Northernettes hit the ice.


See the Northernettes on ice this weekend

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.



Featuring open skating (rental is $5 or bring your own), karaoke hosted by Jay B The R&B Sensation, and the return of Nosehair Bender IPA. 6:30-9:30 p.m. 56 Brewing, 3055 NE Columbia Ave., Minneapolis.

Battle of the Bands: Battle 3

Call Me Fritz, Empathy, The Gentlebrass, and QwQ battle to win the most votes at the end of the night. 8 p.m. Whole Music Club, 300 Washington Ave. SE, Minneapolis.

Barbie Party

Featuring RuPaul’s Drag Race, host Luna Muse, Barbie shots, and more. 9 p.m. LUSH Lounge & Theater, 990 Central Ave. NE, Minneapolis.

Space Fest 2024: Celebrating Our Star

The final frontier becomes fun and accessible for the whole family at Space Fest, the sixth annual intergalactic celebration at the U of M’s beautiful Bell Museum. Things launch (spaceship term) Friday night with a “Star Party” that’ll feature planetarium screenings of The Incredible Sun, a short film dedicated to everyone’s favorite star. The weekend’s worth of activities continues with appearances from an honest-to-god astronaut (Col. Tom Akers), an astrophysicist (Tatiana Niembro Hernández), and an author (Sun! One in A Billion writer Stacy McAnulty). Organizers encourage you to “Get creative by making your own aurora!” which honestly sounds like a Lana Del Rey lyric, but we’re sure promises kiddo fun IRL. Free Friday; regular admission applies Saturday and Sunday. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Bell Museum, 2088 Larpenteur Ave. W. St. Paul; find more info here. Through Sunday—Jay Boller


With Surrounded By Water, Lavalier (Remix EP-Release Show). 8-11 p.m. White Squirrel Bar, 974 W. Seventh St., St. Paul.

Kinda Kinky

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

The Crimson Boys, Blood Cookie, Grudd Wallace

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

Salsa Dance Night

Featuring lessons, activities, and tunes from Salsa del Sol. 7-9 p.m. Mall of America.

Haupt Antiek Market: French Countryside

A European-style flea market featuring vintage items and other finds. 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Haupt Antiek Market, 7570 147th St. W., Apple Valley.

Friday Night Open Mic

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

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

Mary Berg


Places Seen and Unseen

Works by Mary Berg. 6-9 p.m. NE Sculpture, Casket Arts Building, 1720 NE Madison St., Minneapolis.

Drag Speed Bingo

Hosted by Slaymantha Fox and Tomi Saint James. Noon to 2 p.m. Sociable Cider Werks, 1500 Fillmore St. NE, Minneapolis.

A Celebration of Black Artists: Black History Month

Featuring Mardi Gras fun and a costume contest. 6 p.m. to midnight. Artspace Jackson Flats, 901 18 1/2 Ave. NE, Minneapolis.

Decades Warehouse Dance Party

Featuring tunes through the decades from The High Flying Heads, themed drinks. 7-11 p.m. HeadFlyer Brewing, 861 E. Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis.

I <3 UK

All British tunes from the ‘60s to now with Jake Rudh. 8 p.m. Brit’s Pub, 1110 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis.

Too Broke Blokes

8 p.m. The Dubliner Pub, 2162 University Ave. W., St. Paul.

Life on a String

Life on a String

6:30 p.m. Padraigs, 945 Broadway NE, Minneapolis.

Community Connections Conference

Featuring workshops on renters’ rights, recycling basics, voting, local politics, and more, plus a community expo, info on local orgs, family activities, and more. Register here, and be sure to download a Metro Transit pass if you need a free ride. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Minneapolis Convention Center, Hall E, 1301 Second Ave. S., Minneapolis.

Craft Coffee Fest

You don’t have to be a U.S. Sen. Cory Booker-level java freak to appreciate what’s going down Saturday inside Lift Bridge’s jumbo taproom. At the first-ever Craft Coffee Fest, you can expect appearances from five local roasters and an assortment of artists/vendors/makers. Milly's Kitchen Madness from St. Paul will be slingin’ baked treats, plus Girl Scout cookies will be on-hand. The brewery is dialing up special beers (Fireside Flannel brewed with Big Watt Coffee, an Irish coffee stout, and espresso martini slushies), and singer-songwriter Clyde Hatch will provide live music later in the afternoon. Free. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Lift Bridge Brewing Co., 1900 Tower Dr. W., Stillwater; find more info here.—Jay Boller

'A Garden Wedding,' CC Mercer Watson

Untitled 18

Now in its 18th year, “Untitled” is a curated gallery show where any artist is welcome to submit, regardless of medium, career level, or experience. What results is a curious collection that’s a joy to explore. This year’s show will feature 30 artists, all selected by curator Danielle Krysa. “For me, the connecting element is this: Whether the work is on the floor, suspended from the ceiling, or hanging on the walls, everything in this show makes me want to touch it,” she says of her selection process here. “I won’t, but I want to. You’ll see what I mean—there’s just so much TEXTURE." There will be an opening reception this Saturday, February 17, from 6 to 9 p.m. Soo Visual Arts Center, 2909 Bryant Ave. S., Minneapolis. Through March 24—Jessica Armbruster

The Gated Community & The Beavers

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

Altruit & Friends

With Andy Fargo, Kiisu, nectar, Wild Dyl & a Sharpened Whisper. 8 p.m. White Squirrel Bar, 974 W. Seventh St., St. Paul.

Super Flasher, Lifestyle Shakes, Clidesfeld

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

Jay Walter & the Rectifiers

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

Cheryl LeClair-Sommer

Scents to Scenes

Landscape paintings by plein air artist Cheryl LeClair-Sommer, who uses fragrance to help set the tone and spark memory as she paints. (Yes, the scents will be available to sample at the gallery show.) 7-9 p.m. Kolman & Reeb Gallery, Studio 395 in the Northrup King Building, 1500 Jackson St. NE, 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;

MN FIRST Tech Challenge


High Tech Kids MN FIRST Tech Challenge and FIRST LEGO League Challenge State Championships 

There’s a lot of stuff going on during this daylong competition, and it’s free for you to watch. 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Return to Roy Wilkins Auditorium, 175 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul.


The viral video synchronized figure skating sensation performs a free show before heading to the US National Championships in Vegas. 3:45 p.m. Ridder Arena, U of M, 1815 Fourth St. SE, Minneapolis.

Mill City Reading Series 

Featuring U of MN MFA Program in Creative Writing students. 5 p.m. Magers & Quinn, 3038 Hennepin Ave. S., Minneapolis.

Odd Market

This indoor maker’s market features 12+ local artists and vintage sellers offering clothes, jewelry, paintings, prints, and bone terrariums. Noon to 4 p.m. Odd Mart, 2520 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis.

Mpls Vintage MarketDarin Kamnetz

Minneapolis Vintage Market

Noon to 4 p.m. Machine Shop, 300 Second St. NE, Minneapolis.

Music & Poetry: A Sunday Matinee

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


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

Robert Wilkinson

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


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

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