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Freeloader Friday: 62 Free Things To Do This Weekend

Store openings, an EDM food truck party, Mom's Day happenings, and raw oysters (no really!) in this edition.

Everyday Ejiji at Open Streets. This weekend, the store goes brick-and-mortar.

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.

A Sunken Ship Irony


Lulu & the Shoe, A Sunken Ship Irony

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

Adam Zahller’s Sick Eagle, Working, Toivo Band

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

the bed beside me

This group show features paintings, drawings, documented performances, videos, collages, sculptures, textiles, and photography–all created from or planned from bed. 6-8 p.m. Masks are required. Fresh Eye Gallery,  4238 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis.

Art 4 Shelter

Art 4 Shelter

Now in it’s 13th year, Art 4 Shelter invites patrons to buy original art for cheap while also supporting Simpson Housing Services. The premise is simple: check out pieces from thousands of artists. See something you like? Take it right off the wall and take it home with you. Works go for $35 for a 5”x7” image, $75 for an 8”x10” image (approximately the cost of housing a guest for one night via the program). Folks who sign up for the benefit luncheon get first dibs, but the free gallery reception tonight will still have plenty of options, as new work is added to the walls as items sell. Find more details about the event here. Free; $100 luncheon. 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. sneak peak; 6-9 p.m. main party. ​​Glass House, 145 Holden St., Minneapolis.—Jessica Armbruster

MCAD Summer Showcase

Work by student artists. 6-9 p.m. Vine Arts Center Gallery, second floor of the Ivy Arts Building, 2637 27th Ave. S., Minneapolis.  

DJ Beasey

21+. 10 p.m. Basement Bar, 511 N. Washington Ave., Minneapolis. 

Springtime & Sunshine Festival

Featuring over 90 crafters, boutiques, food trucks, fair food, mini midway, live music, games, and more. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday-Sunday. From more info at Anoka County Fair, 3200 St. Francis Blvd. NW, Anoka.

Friends School Plant Sale

Annual Friends School Plant Sale

Featuring over 2,100 varieties of plants. Find more details at 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. State Fair Midway/Grandstand parking lot, 1265 Snelling Ave., St. Paul. 

Grunge Unplugged 

4-6 p.m. 10K Brewing, 2005 Second Ave., Anoka.

Progressive Beer Tasting

It’s a beer progressive inside the tiny store! Join Minocqua Brewing Company for samplings of Extinct Elephant, AOC IPA, and Woke nitro infused coffee. 4-7 p.m. Ken and Norm's Liquor, 4801 Chicago Ave., Minneapolis.

Ladies Weekend 

Featuring giveaways, seltzer samples, live entertainment, casino-wide drink specials, a special Purse Bingo session, and more. Fashion from the ‘90s is encouraged. Find more info here. Friday and Saturday. Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, 2400 Mystic Lake Blvd. NW, Prior Lake.

Amber White

St. Croix Valley Pottery Tour

Make your way to eight different pottery sites in the area to shop from over 70 potters. Find a map of locations and more info at 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. 

The Get Up, Stand Up Comedy Open Mic

Sign up at 6 p.m. 21+. 6:30-8:30 p.m. Mortimers, 2001 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis.

Friday Night Open Mic

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

Doors Open


Doors Open Minneapolis

Nosey folks who like to snoop: Doors Open Minneapolis is the festival for you. Throughout the weekend, nearly 100 restaurants, public institutions, bars, music venues, theaters, and more will open up spaces rarely seen by the public, inviting you to explore, tour, and learn a little more about Minneapolis. Theaters hosting backstage tours and family-friendly activities include Orchestra Hall, the Woman’s Club, Theatre in the Round, and Music Box Theatre. If cityworks is more your thing, you can take a walk though Minneapolis’s main post office, Minneapolis Traffic Management Center, or Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board Water Works Pavilion. Stroll through a new fire department office, watch a live camera under a sewer gate, and learn 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, click here. Through Sunday—Jessica Armbruster

West STP Spring EDM & Food Truck Party

Tunes, food, drinks from MGM Wine, and a light show. 4-10 p.m. 1690 S. Robert St., West St. Paul.

Spoke & Weal One-Year Anniversary Party

Head to the salon inside the old Soap Factory for a bash with disco on vinyl with DJ Greenery, a photo booth, and free blowouts all day. Fashion from the ‘70s is encouraged. 7-10 p.m. Spoke & Weal, 514 Second St. SE, Minneapolis.

"Glaze Haze"

Glaze Haze 

This new exhibition showcases the work of 26 local ceramics artists living with disabilities. 4-6 p.m. Interact Gallery, 755 Prior Ave. N., St. Paul.

Lyndale Neighborhood Garage Sales Day

Garage sales rock. And, in an era of mindless consumerism made worse by planned obsolescence that clogs landfills at dizzying speeds? They rock even harder. Why just this past weekend I attended five with my inlaws, and lord did we score quite the haul: a bookshelf, a food processor, and a vintage Pizza Peddler (the monkey goofs around as his pizza cutter base glides across your pie!). That’s a lot of throat clearing to say: The Lyndale Neighborhood Association is organizing its annual mass garage sale, one of the largest such events in south Minneapolis. There’s still time to register if you’d like to set up shop in your garage or yard; maps will be available at the South Nicollet Action Center (3537 Nicollet Ave.) and, we’re told, online as well. Free. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; find more info here.—Jay Boller

Kung Fu Hippies

7 p.m. Followed by DJ Matty Matt at 10 p.m. 21+ Basement Bar, 511 N. Washington Ave., Minneapolis. 

Laura Stack

Laura Stack: Portals

Paintings and ink collages. 7-10 p.m. Rosalux Gallery, 315 W. 48th St., Minneapolis.

Armenian Spring Festival

Featuring kabobs, a bake sale, and other delicious eats. 3-5 p.m. St. Sahag Armenian Church, 203 N. Howell St., St. Paul.

Everyday Ejiji Opening 

The beloved vintage brand has a brick-and-mortar. With bubbles, new inventory, and more. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Everyday Ejiji, 4501 34th Ave. S., Minneapolis.

ArtJuice: A Morning Market

Paintings, plants, tarot cards, vegan treats, and more from 14 vendors. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Caydence Coffee + Records, 900 Payne Ave., St. Paul.

Big Red Barn Folk Art & Crafters Fair

Shop from 90+ local artists, crafters, farmers, makers, vendors, and more, plus food trucks at the Bruentrup Heritage Farm, hosted by Maplewood Area Historical Society. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Shuttle parking is available at Maplewood Mall in the lot between Macy's and Kohl's, and you can park and walk at Harbor Pointe Business Park (2079 County Rd. D E.).

Alice's Escape

M.A.Y., SWEETALK, Alice’s Escape

21+. 10 p.m. 331 Club, 331 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis.

voltage controller Vol. 17

21+. 3-5 p.m. 331 Club, 331 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis.

Errant Arrow, Siqveland, Honeymoon Madness 

Jazz, Americana. 3-4 p.m. 612 Brew, 945 Broadway NE, Minneapolis.

Second Saturday Open Studios

Featuring special receptions, sales, and more. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. California Building, 2205 California St. NE, Minneapolis.

May Second Saturday Open Studios

Explore the work of local artists in three buildings on the Casket campus. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Casket Arts Building, 681 17th Ave. NE, Minneapolis.

Cards, mugs, jewelry, and more at Craft-O-Rama

No Coast Craft-o-Rama

Long before makers’ markets were a common weekend occurrence, the folks at Crafters Local 612 were hosting biannual events at the the fairgrounds and MGM. Nearly 15 years later, they’re still going strong as the scene thrives. This weekend, guests can shop from over 30 vendors working in a variety of arts, including snarky mugs, handmade bar goods, recycled wood jewelry, and brightly colored UFO plushies. This is a good spot to last-minute shop for Mom, with plenty of food and drink options too. Free. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Midtown Global Market, 920 E. Lake St., Minneapolis.—Jessica Armbruster

Kids Yoga with Miss Lydia

In English and Spanish. 10:30 a.m. Midtown Global Market, 920 E. Lake St., Minneapolis.

Bruce Nygren and the Mumble Bugs

6-9 p.m. 11 Wells Spirits, 704 Minnehaha Ave. E., St. Paul.

Chris Cinque 

“A series of larger-than-life charcoal drawings that tell the story of a girl’s escape from the chaos of sexual trauma.” 7-9 p.m. Form + Content Gallery, 201 N. Second St., Minneapolis.

Mother’s Day Makers Market

Hosted by Market Collective MN Makers Market. Shop from BIPOC and queer vendors and allies. 2-6 p.m. Modist Brewing, 505 Third St. N., Minneapolis.

Mother's Day Popup 

Vintage vendors plus florals, sweets, and pottery/glasswork. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Haus Theory, 2182 Third St., White Bear Lake.

Mother’s Day Bonsai Show

Forgot to make Mother’s Day brunch plans, didja? Well here’s a great way to spend the day that’ll make it look like you put a lot of thought into it: the Mother’s Day Bonsai Show at the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory. If you’ve ever been to the conservatory, you’ve likely seen their delightful collection of bonsai trees; this weekend’s show is cool because it also brings in dozens of privately-owned trees trained by members of the Minnesota Bonsai Society, who’ll be around to answer your tree questions. Free. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Marjorie McNeely Conservatory, 1225 Estabrook Dr., St. Paul; find more info here.—Em Cassel

Last Call Saturdays

Weekly event features drink specials, DJ tunes, light shows, beer pong, bar games, and giant Jenga. 10 p.m. to midnight. Last Call MN, 26 N. Fifth St., Minneapolis. 

Nature Rocks! Outdoor Center Open House

Weekly events include free family-friendly activities such as hiking, hands-on interactions with live animals, craft projects and more. Through May 27. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Eden Prairie Outdoor Center, 13765 Staring Lake Pkwy, Eden Prairie.

Farmers’ Markets

NE Farmers Market Outdoor Season Kickoff 

Through October 14. 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. St. Boniface Church, 629 NE Second St. NE, Minneapolis.

Mill City Farmers Market

With over 40 local farmers, makers, and more. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mill City Museum, 704 S. Second St., Minneapolis.

Downtown Market 

9 a.m. to 1 p.m. St Paul Farmers Market, 290 East Fifth St., St. Paul.

Minneapolis Farmers’ Market

Fresh produce, plants, and locally made products. 9 a.m. to noon. 312 Lyndale Ave. N., Minneapolis.

Malcolm Yards



With 20 local makers, special menu items, and a free “Mom-osa” for moms at the Boxcar Bar (while supplies last). 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Malcolm Yards Market, 501 30th Ave. SE, Minneapolis.

Festival 5 de Mayo 2023

Featuring live entertainment for all ages, food, and more. Noon to 7 p.m. 207 E. Lake St., Minneapolis.

Family Day: Past, Present, Future

Featuring hands-on art making and storytelling honoring AAPI and Jewish Americans. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Minneapolis Institute of Art, 2400 Third Ave. S., Minneapolis.

Brookies and Baseball

Brookies Fish Market hosts a free oyster shucking station featuring over 200 oysters. 11 a.m. Fulton Taproom, 414 6th Ave. N., Minneapolis. 

Pints and Plants for Mom

With free plant cuttings, buy one get one free pints, and guest bartending appearances by the beertenders' moms. Noon. Forgotten Star Brewing, 38 Northern Stacks Dr., Fridley. 

Terry Mulally

Folk, jazz, rock, and blues on the patio. 1-4 p.m. 11 Wells Spirits, 704 Minnehaha Ave. E., St. Paul.

Twin Cities Writer & Artist Services Directory Launch Party

Meet local artists with services for hire. With demos and books for sale. 2-6 p.m. La Doña Cervecería, 241 Fremont Ave. N., Minneapolis.

Linden Hills Farmers Market

Featuring 40+ local growers, artisans, and more through October 29. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Settergren of Linden Hills, 2813 W. 43rd St., Minneapolis.

Squirrel Chess Club

Bring a board and your chess friends. 5 p.m. White Squirrel Bar, 974 W. Seventh St., St. Paul.

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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