Skip to Content

Freeloader Friday: 74 Free Things To Do This Weekend

Movies in the parks! Music in parking lots! Festivals in streets!

Grand Avenue Association|

We’re not ready for this quite yet.

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.

Flint Hills Family Festival


24th Annual Flint Hills Family Festival

Featuring tons of free entertainment outside the Ordway, food trucks, art-making activities, face painting, balloon artists, and more. (Events inside are ticketed.) Find more info at 6-9 p.m. Fri.; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sat. Find events at Rice Park, the Landmark Plaza, and the Ordway (aim for 109 W. Fourth St., St. Paul).

Conduit Presents: Minds on Fire

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

Al Dracului

With Fumbler, Trash Catties, Rachael G. 9 p.m. White Squirrel Bar, 974 W. Seventh St., St. Paul.

Yuhh, Cause For Concern

“Riff-heavy, fuzzed-up rock ‘n’ roll.” 7-9:30 p.m. Sociable Cider Werks, 1500 Fillmore St. NE, Minneapolis.

Benjamin Raye & The Empire Players

7:30 p.m. Lake Harriet Bandshell, 4135 W. Lake Harriet Pkwy, Minneapolis.

Waiting for Walter

Rock. 7 p.m. Minnehaha Falls, 4801 Minnehaha Ave., Minneapolis.

Edina Art Fair

Edina Art Fair

The Uptown Art Fair is downsizing and moving to Bachmann’s this summer thanks to construction-related snarls. That means added pressure on the mighty Edina Art Fair to pick up the summertime strolling, perusing, and chit chatting slack. We’re in good hands. The long-running fest, considered one of the country’s best, will yet again feature: dozens upon dozens of artists from around the country hustling their wares; food vendors galore, including beer gardens outside of Edina Grill and Red Cow; a culinary arts marketplace; a Kids’ Zone (capitalization theirs); and loads of live music. Pro tip: Don’t even attempt to park; us city slickers will be arriving to the tony ‘burb by bike. Noon to 7 p.m. Fri.; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sat.; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sun. 50th & France; find more info here.—Jay Boller

Tiger Blue, Or Does It Explode, Cobra Czar

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

Hazel Mood

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

Everett Smithson

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

Realm of Imagination Pop-up Event

Realm of Imagination Pop-up Event

In the ‘70s through the ‘80s, Realm of Imagination sold goods to gamers, including collectibles, video games, comic books, and all kinds of good stuff. This weekend, you’ll be able to shop the store once again, including still sealed inventory. Noon to 6 p.m. Fri.-Sat.; noon to 5 p.m. Sun. Heroic Goods, 3458 Minnehaha Ave., Minneapolis.

Shakopee Food Truck Festival

Featuring 30+ food trucks, live music, a vendor mart, beer. 4-8 p.m. Fri.; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sat. The Landing, 2187 County Rd. 101, Shakopee.

Penn and Kim Holderness 

The content creators celebrate the release of their latest book, ADHD Is Awesome: A Guide to (Mostly) Thriving with ADHD, with a reading and signing. 4 p.m. (check-in for wristbands begins at 2 p.m.). Mall of America, Huntington Bank Rotunda. 

Keith Haring Art Fest: Teen Takeover Night

In 1984, NYC-based artist Keith Haring came to Minneapolis for a Walker residency where he would create large- and small-scale pieces, host a few art-making sessions with kids, and demonstrate how art is for everybody. This week, the museum will celebrate his work and his time here with a free three-day festival for all. Friday is a Teen Takeover Night, where high schoolers can stop by for DJ tunes on the dance floor, a drag show, screenprinting, and friendship bracelet making (bring a student ID). 6:30-9:30 p.m.; teens only! Walker Art Center, 725 Vineland Place, Minneapolis. 

Dan Israel

Rock. 7-10 p.m. Badger Hill Brewing, 2805 Winners Circle Dr., Shakopee.

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.

Friday Night Open Mic

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

St. Anthony Park Arts Festival


St. Anthony Park Arts Festival

Featuring a plant and used book sales, over 50 juried artists, kids’ activities, food, and live music. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. St. Anthony Park Library, 2245 Como Ave., St. Paul.

KevFest: White Squirrel’s Three-Year Anniversary Show

With music inside and out, featuring the opening of the Magnolia Band Shell and a makers’ mini market. The music lineup includes Martin Devaney, Carolyn and the West Seventh Band, the Monday Club, K.E.V.I.N., Big Salt, and the Indecisions. 5 p.m. to midnight.  White Squirrel Bar, 974 W. Seventh St., St. Paul.

Pride Month Kick-Off Party

What, like we can wait until the end of June to celebrate Pride? The folks at 56 Brewing are getting the fun started on June 1, with a Pride Month kick-off featuring a free drag show from Mr. Mom’s Campgrounds and RuPaul's Drag Race-themed trivia courtesy of Trivia Mafia. And, of course, there’s also beer—in this case, Loud & Proud 2.0, a pineapple pale ale made in collaboration with the Pancake Batters, a queer and trans softball team sponsored by 56. All that plus the Parlour food truck? Let’s get this Pride Month started! Free. Noon to 3 p.m. 56 Brewing, 3054 NE Randolph St., Minneapolis; more info here.—Em Cassel

Art in the Hollow

Art in the Hollow

Now in its 15th year, Art in the Hollow encourages folks to enjoy nature and neighbors on the east side of St. Paul. This is a community organized event, with local artists, hobbyists, and organizations in attendance. Getting there is (hopefully) half the fun. If you’re going by car, you’re welcome to park at Saint Paul Brewery, which will have a special trail entrance open for the event (be prepared to make your way down a steep stairway!); other options include longer walking paths (slow and scenic!), bike access (take that Bruce Vento trail!), and a mobility-friendly option at Hope Community Academy (head on through that Drewry tunnel to find the fun). Find more details here. Free. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Swede Hollow Park, Minnehaha Ave. E., St Paul.—Jessica Armbruster

Cheers to Pride

Featuring drag speed bingo at 12:30 p.m., plus rainbow flights and $1 of drink sales benefitting TC Pride all day. Noon to 11 p.m. Sociable Cider Werks, 1500 Fillmore St. NE, Minneapolis.

Wildflyer Maker's Market

Wildflyer’s Makers’ Market

Featuring the launch of the coffeeshop’s summer menu, plus vegan treats, rugs, photography, vintage clothes, pottery, and more from locals. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wildflyer Coffee, 3262 Minnehaha Ave., Minneapolis. 

Freebike Block Party

This Saturday, Free Bikes 4 Kidz will host THE FREEBIKE Bike Ride, a fundraiser formerly known as the MN Ironman Bike Ride. The route starts at Target Field Station and ends at the Fulton taproom. No, it’s not just a ride across the street; you can register for the 25-, 50-, or 100-mile legs here ($75, under 18 free). Or—hear us out!—you can just show up to the free block party Fulton is hosting to celebrate the riders. During the day, they’ll have live music (Of the Orchard, the Kind City) and food (smashburgers, chicken tenders, and loaded fries). According to the event page, this is the first major block party on Sixth Street since 2019. That alone is worth celebrating. Free. Noon to 8 p.m. Fulton Beer, 414 N. Sixth St., Minneapolis; more info here.—Em Cassel

Cayo Connects

Cayo Connects: A Cuban Art Exhibition and Performance

Featuring a Cuban art exhibit, pop-up performances by the Havana Quartet, and Cuban treats and beverages. 10 a.m. Squirrel Haus Arts, 3450 Snelling Ave., Minneapolis.

Indigenous Food Lab Market One-Year Anniversary

Featuring a vendor market in central court space, a special lunch, music with Wathéča Records, and more. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Midtown Global Market, 920 E. Lake St., Minneapolis.


Featuring a Pride Month hard seltzer cocktail, a cornhole tournament, and tunes from B+ Brass and Amy Finch. 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Urban Growler Brewing Company, 2325 Endicott St., St. Paul.

Sound Wave 2024

Featuring tunes all day from the Silverteens, the Confused, Pleezer, Little Man, Innocent Reggae Band, and L.A. Buckner & BIG HOMiE. Noon to 11 p.m. Broken Clock Brewing Cooperative's Parking Lot, 1712 Marshall St. NE, Minneapolis.

Bohemian Rhapsody

Dusk. Lake Harriet Park, 4135 W. Lake Harriet Parkway, Minneapolis.

Mae Simpson

7:30 p.m. Lake Harriet Bandshell, 4135 W. Lake Harriet Pkwy, Minneapolis.

Lyndale Plant Sale

Hosted by the Lyndale Neighborhood Association (LNA). 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Painter Park, 620 34th St. W., Minneapolis.

Keith Haring works with children from the Alice Smith Elementary School in Hopkins, 1984. Photographer unknown. Courtesy Walker Art Center

Keith Haring Art Fest: Free First Saturday

Kid-friendly shenanigans include a breakin’ workshop hosted by BRKFST Dance Company, tons of hands-on Haring-themed crafts, family tours of the galleries, and a reading of Keith Haring: The Boy Who Just Kept Drawing  from his younger sister Kay. “Art Is For Everybody” will also be free to explore during festivities. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Walker Art Center, 725 Vineland Place, Minneapolis.

Train Days

Chugga, chugga—and we can’t stress this last part enough—choo, choo. From our exposé on rail safety to Keith’s upcoming travelog feature on the brand-spankin’-new Amtrak Borealis line, Racket is a train-pilled news outlet. (My toddler nephews are also very much train-pilled, thus proving the cross-generational appeal or the target reading-level demographic for this website.) In any event, this wholesome, family-friendly salute to the locomotive should satisfy all the train enthusiasts in your life. We’re talkin’ tours of bona fide train engines and rail cars; model trains for days; tours of the ol' semi-recently remodeled Depot; fleets of food trucks; a historic train photography retrospective; kiddo activities and games, including a bounce house; and a damn DJ. Choo choo, indeed. Free. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sat.-Sun. Union Depot, 214 Fourth St. E. St. Paul; find more info here. Through Sunday—Jay Boller

Bruce Bednarchuk

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

The Mumblebugs

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

FotoMatter Book Fair

Check out work from FotoMatter Artist Collective, a group of artists working with photography, installation, book arts, and time-based media. 1 p.m. Q.arma Building, 1224 Quincy St. NE, Minneapolis.

Jay Walter & the Rectifiers

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

Karaoke Crime Scene, My Kid Banana, Underground ‘til Sundown

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

Dan Israel

Rock. 7-10 p.m. Gambit Brewing, 141 Fourth St. E., St. Paul.

The Clifford Place Collection

The Clifford Place Collection

Featuring Brian and Teresa McMahon’s collection of Polish art and posters collected in the 1980s while living in Brooklyn. The show opens at noon on Sat.; otherwise, see gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fri.-Sun. through June. Vandalia Tower, 550 Vandalia St., St. Paul.

Karaoke Crime Scene, My Kid Banana, Underground ‘til Sundown

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

Dani Roach


New paintings by Dani Roach. 2-5 p.m. Groveland Gallery, 25 Groveland Terrace, Minneapolis.

That 70’s Dance Night Party

Featuring a disco-fueled dance floor, retro beers, and more. 7-11 p.m. Bald Man Brewing Company, 2020 Silver Bell Rd., Eagan.

The 10th Annual Midwest Kpop Festival 

Groups from the Midwest perform, meet fans, and compete in the K-Pop World Festival preliminary, where groups vie for the chance to perform in South Korea. 1-5 p.m. Mall of America, Huntington Bank Rotunda.

LTD Brewing

10-Year Anniversary Block Party

If you missed last month’s mega-block party out in Hopkins, you’ll have another excuse to grab a few beers after exploring the antique shops this Saturday when LTD Brewing turns 10. Local rock, blues, and soul bands will be onstage all day, while food trucks will line the street with eats including lobster rolls, empanadas, eggrolls, and BBQ. A special kids’ zone will feature foam toys, family-friendly stuff on a big screen, and hands-on crafts, while a grown-up play area includes beer pong, ladder golf, and bean bag games. Free. LTD Brewing, 2-10 p.m. 725 Mainstreet, Hopkins.—Jessica Armbruster

Broadway and Pops Unplugged

Presented by the Northeast Chorale. Free (there is a $10 suggested donation). 7 p.m. Sat.; 4 p.m. Sun. Gustavus Adolphus Lutheran Church, 1509 27th Ave. NE, Minneapolis. 

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. 

Fulton Farmers Market

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

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;

Grand Old Day returns


Grand Old Day

What is the most-attended one-day fest in the Midwest? Grand Old Day, baby! After taking a few Covid years off, the epic street fest returned in 2023. This year it will continue to offer a variety of things to see and do. That includes a parade in the morning, street vendors showcasing local businesses, food trucks galore, hands-on family activities, an artists’ zone, beer gardens, and live music stages. Be prepared to GTFO at the stroke of 5 p.m., though: This is St. Paul. They don’t do late nights over there so this event ends promptly on time. Find more details over at Free. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Grand Avenue, St. Paul.—Jessica Armbruster

City of Lakes Community Band

2 p.m. Lake Harriet Bandshell, 4135 W. Lake Harriet Pkwy, Minneapolis.

Ton Up Minneapolis Rockers Spring Social

Featuring motorcycles, freebies, art vendors, and tunes from Tiny Daggers, Super Modified, and Monica LaPlante. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eagles Club, 2507 25th St. E., Minneapolis.

Everything Ejiji Vintage Pop-up 

Size-inclusive vintage. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Cafe Ceres, 4603 Minnehaha Ave., Minneapolis.

Shades Vintage Market

Shop nearly two dozen vintage vendors. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Neu Neu, 514 N. Third St., Minneapolis.

Minneapolis Craft Market’s Old St. Anthony Spring Bazaar

Two full floors of local makers. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Machine Shop, 300 Second St. SE, Minneapolis.

Sounds Gay I’m In Queer Market

Fruitcake presents this Pride Month market. Noon to 4 p.m. Odd Mart, 2520 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis.

Kingfield Farmers Market

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

Brass Messengers

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

Sammie Jean Cohen

With Delicate Friend, Serpents of Serenity. 1-4 p.m. White Squirrel Bar, 974 W. Seventh St., St. Paul.

The Gated Community

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

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter