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Freeloader Friday: 63 Free Things To Do This Weekend

BIPOC-focused holiday markets, beer b-days, and festive festivals, y'all.

Dusty Hoskovec Photography|

A dog hangs out at Holidazzle

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.



Poolboy, Val Son, Pleasure Horse

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


Holidazzle was once an illuminated parade that ran through downtown Minneapolis. But, like many things that have been around for decades, a few years ago it had to pivot and transform. These days, the event is a festival in Loring Park. Each weekend, there’s a ton of stuff to see and do. A few of their greatest hits include a carousel, a 17-foot-tall illuminated Yeti sculpture, and a beer garden, where you can enjoy wifi and brew and seltzers from Fulton. Kids can enjoy a playground area plus visits from Santa, while teens and grownups might get a kick out of weekly drag bingo. There will also be dog-friendly fun, live music, local artists and makers, and fireworks every Saturday evening. Find the complete schedule here. Free. 5-9 p.m. Fridays; noon to 9 p.m. Saturdays; noon to 6 p.m. Sundays. Loring Park, 1382 Willow St. S., Minneapolis. Through December 18–Jessica Armbruster

Tragic Hands, Street Hassle, Warcake

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

World Cup Quarter Finals

Watch the games via multiple rooms and screens plus surround sound. Croatia v. Brazil is at 9 a.m., Argentina v. The Netherlands is at 1 p.m. Brit’s Pub, 1110 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis.

Queer Voices Winter Reading

7 p.m. Quatrefoil Library, 1220 E. Lake St., Minneapolis.

Free Movie Night: 9 to 5

RSVP here to save a spot. 7 p.m. LUSH Lounge & Theater, 990 NE Central Ave., Minneapolis. 

Lakes & Legends 7th B-day Week

On Friday the pub is going fusion crazy on all their flagship brews. 10 a.m. to close. Lakes & Legends, 1368 Lasalle Ave., Minneapolis. 

European Christmas Market

Yeah, Americans know how to decorate a mall real fancy, but Europeans definitely trump us with their classy, old world-style markets. The best attempt at one of these in the Twin Cities is at the Union Depot, where the festive European Christmas Market offers wholesome fun each winter. Events take place indoors and outdoors each weekend, with plenty to see and do. Traditional eats available for purchase include baklava, raclette, pierogi, spätzle, brats, and Glühwein (aka mulled wine). Shop from local and international vendors selling wooden toys, glass ornaments, and other giftables. Traditional music, dance, and other entertainment rounds out the event. Check out for more info. 4-9 p.m. Fridays; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sundays. Union Depot, 240 E. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul. Through December 18–Jessica Armbruster

Burnet Gallery

Open Skies

New works by Bly and Rowan Pope. The opening reception runs from 5-8 p.m. Burnet Fine Art & Advisory, 775 Lake St. E., Wayzata.

WIld Vintage Collective Expansion Grand Opening

Explore the 5,000-square-foot expansion, plus the Wild Vntg Mrkt starts up around 6 p.m. 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Wild Vintage Collective, 7270 Commerce Circle E., Fridley. 

Live Music in the Tent

7-9 p.m. OMNI Brewing Co., 9462 Deerwood Ln., Maple Grove.

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.

Surelle Schewe, 'Jezebel'


Seventeenth Annual Open Door

This year’s group show is juried by Pao Houa Her. 7-10 p.m. Rosalux Gallery, 315 W. 48th St., Minneapolis.

Lakes & Legends’ 7th B-day

We’re a sucker for a brewpub birthday. On Saturday there will be two new beer releases: Party Starter, an Australian sparkling ale, and Drunk Gnome, a Belgian quad. Minneapolis Craft Market will be there from noon to 5 p.m. if you feel like doing a little shopping and drinking, and there will be live music and food. 10 a.m. to close. Lakes & Legends, 1368 Lasalle Ave., Minneapolis.

Whit, Riley Skinner, Bethany Larson & the Bee’s Knees

21+. 9 p.m. White Squirrel Bar, 974 W. Seventh St., St. Paul.

Voltage Controller 12

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

Dream of the Wild’s Holiday Special

Featuring Imaginary Friends. 7 p.m. 331 Club, 331 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis.

Total Gaze, Las Cruxes (Omaha), Loser Magnet

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

Kevin Gamble Trio. 

6:30-9:30 p.m. Number 12 Cider, 614 N. Fifth St., Minneapolis.

Santafest Free Holiday Event

Featuring free photos with Santa, a petting zoo, art and gift vendors, kids’ crafts, live music, and more. Noon to 4 p.m. Riverdale Village, 12709 Riverdale Blvd., Coon Rapids.

Tuba Nutcracker Holiday Show

Featuring The Above Average Tuba Quartet. 6-8:30 p.m. Boom Island Brewing, 5959 Baker Rd., Minnetonka.

Yoga at Union Depot

Hosted by Studio 9-to-5. Bring a mat and some water; sign up here. 9 a.m. Union Depot, 214 Fourth St. E., St. Paul.

Holiday and Farmers’ Markets

Arbeiter BIPOC Holiday Market 

Shop jewelry, apparel, art, candles, and more from makers celebrating a variety of cultures. Noon to 5 p.m. Arbeiter Brewing Co., 3038 Minnehaha Ave., Minneapolis. 

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.

The 4th Annual AZ Gallery Pop-Up Bookstore 

Books and Beer brings Minnesota authors and artists to this special event. Bonus: Alcohol will be available for purchase on site. 2-6 p.m. AZ Gallery, 308 Prince St., St. Paul.

Holiday Craft Market

Shop from 22 local business vendors. Noon to 5 p.m. Number 12 Cider, 614 N. Fifth St., Minneapolis.

Saturdays at Solar Arts Holiday Shop

Featuring two floors of merriment, including 40+ artists, a secret Prince Museum, live music from Soot and Scratch by Jesse Barstad (aka Lazerwulv). Also Dec. 17. Noon to 6 p.m. Solar Arts Building, 711 15th Ave. NE, Minneapolis.

Holiday Makers Market at Forgotten Star

With hot cocoa, beer poking, bonfires, and over 20 local crafters, makers, and vendors. 1 p.m. Forgotten Star Brewing, 38 Northern Stacks Dr., Fridley. 

Honest Studios Holiday Market

Featuring a variety of unique local vendors, snacks and sips, giveaways, interactive workshops, and a festive selfie booth. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Also Dec. 17. Honest Studios, 905 N. Washington Ave., Minneapolis.

Holiday Makers Market

Shop local artists, jewelry makers, and more. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. OMNI Brewing Co., 9462 Deerwood Ln., Maple Grove.

2022 Holiday Pop-Up Market

Shop for the holidays from resident artists plus 20-30 guest artists and vendors. Noon to 6 p.m. Sat.-Sun. ArT at 967 Payne, 967 Payne Ave., St. Paul.

Holiday Art & Crafts Fair

10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sat.; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sun. Hidden MN, 1975 Oakcrest Ave., Roseville. 

Lift Bridge’s Holiday Beertique 

Shop from local jewelry makers, artisans, and more. 1-5 p.m. Lift Bridge Brewery, Stillwater Taproom, 1900 Tower Dr. W., Stillwater.

Holiday Market 

Featuring over 20 local artists and makers showcasing, including Faribault Mill blankets, Double Take Salsa, and jewelry from Larissa Loden. 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Malcolm Yards Market, 501 30th Ave. SE, Minneapolis.

The Maker’s Market at Tonkadale 

Shop from local vendors in a greenhouse. Toasty! Noon to 4 p.m. Tonkadale Greenhouse Minnetonka, 3739 Tonkawood Rd., Minnetonka.

Supercharged Printmakers Holiday Bazaar

Featuring open studios and festive fun. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Casket Arts Building, 17th Ave. NE, Minneapolis.

The Black Market: BBIB Market 

Shop clothing, beauty items, jewelry, food, and more from local BIPOC-owned businesses. Reserve a free ticket at 2-6:30 p.m. The Lab – Pilot Facility and Taproom, 767 N. Eustis St., Minneapolis. 

11 Wells Holiday Market

Shop from 30+ different vendors each week, plus tunes and cocktails. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 10, and Dec. 17. Find the lineup here. 11 Wells Spirits, 704 Minnehaha Ave. E., St. Paul.

Holiday Saturdays at the Northrup King Building 

Featuring open studios, special sales, receptions, and more. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 10; noon to 4 p.m. Dec. 17. Northrup King Building, 1500 Jackson St. NE, Minneapolis.

A Handmade Holiday Market 

Minneapolis Craft Market returns for a weekly hang featuring beer and local artists and makers. Noon to 5 p.m. Dec. 10, Dec. 17. Lakes & Legends, 1368 Lasalle Ave., Minneapolis.

Field & Festival Fall Market

Featuring goods from local farmers, artisan foods, and makers. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through December 18. Wagner Garden Centers, 6024 Penn Ave. S., Minneapolis. 

Mill City Farmers’ Market

With local farmers, artisans, ceramics, giftables, food, and more. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mill City Museum, 704 S. Second St., Minneapolis.

Courtesy Mia


Family Day: Friends Forever

Featuring hands-on crafts, special events, and more for families. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Minneapolis Institute of Art, 2400 Third Ave. S., Minneapolis.

Literary Open Mic 

Bring your poems, short stories, or jokes. Sign up at 5:30 p.m.; show starts at 6 p.m. Disco Death Records, 721 W. 26th St., Minneapolis.

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.

Annual Chili/Curry Cookoff

Also with a cookie exchange. The best curry and chili will be determined by popular vote. 1:30-4 p.m. Forgotten Star Brewing, 38 Northern Stacks Dr., Fridley. 

Holiday Movie Trivia

With Trivia Mafia. 6 p.m. Brit’s Pub, 1110 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis.

Deep Pool, Pure Shifter, K.C. McKee

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

Open Mic Night

Music, poetry, comedy, whatever is welcome. Sign up at 4:30 p.m. The Cave at Keg and Case Market, 928 W. 7th St., St. Paul.

Holiday and Farmers’ Markets

Micro Business Winter Market

Featuring crystals, plants, jewelry, dog goodies, ceramics, and more, plus Tarot readings. Noon to 6 p.m. Also Dec. 18. Inbound BrewCo., 701 N. 5th St., Minneapolis.

Winter Maker’s Market at Sisyphus Brewing

Fret not, Vikings fans: The game will be on the TV in the taproom. Grab a beer and shop vendors making things like ornaments, candles, pottery, wreaths, and more. Noon to 5 p.m. Sisyphus Brewing, 712 Ontario Ave. W., Minneapolis.

Twin Cities Record Show Popup: Holiday Edition

Give the gift of music! Minneapolis-St. Paul Music Expo hosts this vinyl bonanza with thousands of items to peruse. Noon to 4 p.m. Forgotten Star Brewing, 38 Northern Stacks Dr., Fridley. 

Minneapolis Vintage Market 

Minneapolis Vintage Market hosts this two-floor shopping party featuring home goods, clothing, and more. As always, there will also be a cash bar, DJ tunes, and coffee from The Get Down Coffee Co. Admission is free, or pay $10 for early-bird admission at 11 a.m. via eventbrite. Noon to 4 p.m. Machine Shop, 300 Second St. SE, Minneapolis.

Holiday Pop-Up at Fair State 

This Sunday series features two unique makers each weekend. December 11 will feature Harvest Leather Goods and tallow and hemp soap from Circle Round Handcrafts. Noon to 3 p.m. Fair State Brewing Cooperative, 2506 A Central Ave. NE, Minneapolis.

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