Skip to Content

Freeloader Friday: 93 Free Things To Do This Weekend

Movies in parks! Farmers markets! A giant pencil party! Grand Old Day returns!

Grand Old Day returns

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.

Jacob Z Wan


Vol. 2 Twogether: Jacob Z Wan Solo Exhibition

Wan that explores the intimacy and closeness of the relationship from the LGBTQ experience. 6-8 p.m. Friedli Gallery, 943 7th St. W., St. Paul.

23rd Annual Flint Hills Family Festival

Featuring two days of free entertainment outside of the Ordway, including food trucks, art-making, face painting, balloon artists, a family salsa dance lesson and dance party with Salsa del Soul (7 p.m. Fri.), and live music from Koo Koo Kanga Roo (3:15 p.m. Sat.). Find more info here. 6-10 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. 345 Washington St., St. Paul. 

Kajunga presents ☼ Choices

Featuring DJ sets from Scott Gusts, Elysium Alps, Miss Elaine Eos. 5-9:30 p.m. Sociable Cider Werks, 1500 Fillmore St. NE, Minneapolis. 

BATO BATO! Breck School's Marimba Band

7-8:30 p.m. Minnehaha Falls Bandshell, 4801 Minnehaha Ave., Minneapolis.

Movies in the Park: Kiki 

9:15 p.m. Washburn Fair Oaks Park, 200 E. 24th St., Minneapolis.

I Like You Employee Garage Sale

Shop second-hand homegoods and other stuff from employees. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday through Saturday. I Like You, 1955 Johnson St. NE, Minneapolis.

Clubhouse Market: Opening Weekend

Shop upcycled, vintage, secondhand clothing, collectibles, toys, plushies, denim, and more. Noon to 8 p.m. Friday through Sunday. Clubhouse Market, 2441 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis.

Southern Resident Killer Whales

Alternative rock with Joe Fahey and the K-Tels. 7 p.m. 612 Brew, 945 Broadway NE, Minneapolis.


Pop-rock and indie tunes. 7:30-9 p.m. Lake Harriet Bandshell, 4135 W. Lake Harriet Pkwy, Minneapolis.

Jim and Kathy Emery

Traditional country duets. Noon. Water Works at Mill Ruins Park, 425 W. River Pkwy., Minneapolis.

The Percolators

Dance rock from the ‘60s. 7 p.m. Loring Park, 1382 Willow St. S., Minneapolis. 

Nina Luna, Oak & the Woods, Jordan Carr

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

Edina Art Fair

2023 Edina Art Fair

Featuring 250+ artists and makers, a kids zone, craft beer gardens, food options, and a vintage clothing market. Noon to 7 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. 50th and France, Edina.

Vikings Cheerleader Auditions

Not so fun fact about NFL cheerleaders: Most make about $22.5K a year. 6:30 p.m. Mall of America, Bloomington. 

Lena's Swingin' Rockabilly 'N Brews

7:30 p.m. Excelsior Brewing Company, 421 Third St., Excelsior.

Art Opener

This self-guided studio tour takes folks to a variety of artists working in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Find more info at 4-8 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. 

Warehouse District Live

Enjoy a closed-off street open to pedestrians, with food trucks, tables and seating, activities, and added restrooms every Friday through Saturday through Halloween. Find more info on the official website, but in general events start around 7 p.m., with the street closed from 9 a.m. Friday to 10 a.m. Sunday. First Avenue North, between Fifth and Sixth streets, Minneapolis.

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.

Farmers Markets

Minneapolis Farmers Market

Possibly the city’s largest and most popular market, with hundreds of vendors weekly. 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily, EBT hours 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thu.-Sun. June through Oct. 312 E. Lyndale Ave. N., Minneapolis;

Minneapolis Parks Markets: Minnehaha Regional Park

4-8 p.m. Fridays through August. 4801 S. Minnehaha Dr., Minneapolis; more info here

Minneapolis Parks Markets: Water Works

This market showcases Indigenous artists. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fridays through August. Water Works, 425 West River Parkway, Minneapolis; more info here

St. Thomas More Friday Farmers Market

1:15-5:30 p.m. Fridays, June 2 through August 25. 1079 Summit Ave, St. Paul;

Audrey Rose Vintage


Audrey Rose Neighborhood Garage Sale 

It’s a sidewalk sale! With vintage clothing, home goods, and stuff. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Audrey Rose Vintage, 2237 E. 38th St., Minneapolis.

The SENA & Corcoran Annual Garage Sale 

9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Find the map here or at Sister’s Sludge, A Baker’s Wife, or Duck, Duck Coffee. 

Purple Day

This Prince-themed celebration includes host Smoke-N-Delite, tunes from DJ Dan Speak, live music from Maria Isa and BDOTCROC, food trucks, vendors, and more. Noon to 7 p.m. Wheatley Field, 1301 10th Ave. N., Minneapolis. 

No. 2 Pencil Sharpening Party

Over by the Lake of the Isles, a guy has decorated his lawn with a giant pencil sculpture, which will change over the years like a regular pencil would. For this event, he’s built a four-foot-tall pencil sharpener. Before the big moment, guests can enjoy trivia, live music, and ice cream. 1-3 p.m. 2217 E. Lake of the Isles Pkwy., Minneapolis.

Mineral Man, Dial Tone, Parachutes

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

Free Summer Publishing Institute

This free annual event focuses on poetry this year, and will feature workshops, panel talks, info on publishing in many different forms, plus talks with authors Sun Yung Shin, Leslie Miller, Chris Santiago, John Muellner, and Hayley Graffunder. Register here. 8:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. University of St. Thomas, 2115 Summit Ave., St. Paul. 

Manchester FA Cup Final

Soccer and beer specials at the buttcrack of dawn. 8 a.m. Brit's Pub, 1110 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis.

Free First Saturday

Free First Saturday: 10,000+ Lakes

Featuring art-making for kids in the Sculpture Garden, free gallery admission, and more celebrating Minnesota Lakes. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Walker Art Center, 725 Vineland Place, Minneapolis.

Loring Park Alley Party

Perhaps the demise of the Twin Cities music festival has been (ever so slightly) exaggerated. Consider this family friendly, booze-free park party that promises to celebrate "spring in the great city of Minneapolis and the rebirth of outdoor live music in 2023." We can get behind that! There’s a lot to like, lineup-wise, with the guitar theatrics of the Orange Goodness, the new-wavey spectacle of septet D'Lakes, and the Clinton-era indie-rock sounds of buzzy Creeping Charlie. Bonus: My favorite taco truck in the city, Taqueria Victor Hugo, will be on site. Get the carnitas; experience Peak Minnesota Summer vibes. Free. 2:30-8 p.m. Loring Park, 1382 Willow St. Minneapolis; find more info here.Jay Boller

Art in the Hollow 2023

Featuring a Plein Air Art contest, two stages of music, food, and over 100 artists. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saint Paul Brewing, 688 Minnehaha Ave. E., St. Paul.


Featuring hands-on learning about clean water, wildlife, and land and water conservation. With canoe and sailboat rides; paddle boats, canoes, and kayaks for checkout; fishing lessons; climbing walls; arts and crafts; lawn games; food trucks; and more. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Lake Phalen, 1400 Phalen Dr., St. Paul.

No Dog Left Behind

Aaaah! It’s a puppy adoption event! 1-4 p.m. Lakes & Legends, 1368 Lasalle Ave., Minneapolis.

Healing Hearts Dog Adoption Event

More dogs!!!! 1-4 p.m. Forgotten Star Brewing, 38 Northern Stacks Dr., Fridley. 

Twin Cities Record Show

Twin Cities Record Show June Summer Spectacular

Shop vinyl, LPs, posters, and more. 1-5 p.m. Broken Clock Brewing Collective, 3134 California St. NE, Minneapolis.

National Trails Pint Night

Featuring local nature orgs, folks planning trips, prizes, freebies, a free pint of beer (or root beer!), tacos for sale, free popcorn, and live music from Matt Yetter. 3-6 p.m. Midwest Mountaineering, 309 Cedar Ave., Minneapolis. 

Grunge Unplugged

6:30-9:30 p.m. Elm Creek Brewing Co., 11469 Marketplace Dr. N., Champlin.

Serpentina Arts: ART HAS NO RULES

This pop-up weekend gallery show features three Mexican artists–Ramsés Alarcón, Raul Palacios, and Alejandro Gazca–with no formal arts training. 6:30-9 p.m. Friday and Saturday (artists will be present Saturday); 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. Squirrel Haus Arts, 3450 Snelling Ave., Minneapolis.

The Good, the Bad, and the Funky

With special guest JayBee. 7:15 p.m. Dual Citizen Brewing Company, 725 Raymond Ave., St. Paul.

Belfast CowboysFacebook: Minneapolis Parks

The Belfast Cowboys

Horn-driven rock and blues group. 7:30 p.m. Lake Harriet Bandshell, 4135 W. Lake Harriet Pkwy, Minneapolis.


Electro-folk. With special guests the Histronic. 8 p.m. Pryes Brewing, 1401 West River Rd. N., Minneapolis.

Dirty Bottles 

8 p.m. Kieran’s Irish Pub, 85 N. 6th St., Minneapolis.

Textile Center Sale

Textile Garage Sale

Last call for the Textile Center’s mega textiles, yarn, thread, DIY bits-and-bobs, and more benefitting the space. Saturday’s admission is free. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. MSS, 900 Ocean St., St. Paul. 

Heal & Chill Wellness Event

Featuring local artist workshops, fitness demos, DJ tunes and live music, local wellness vendors, and freebies. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Midtown Global Market, 920 E. Lake St., Minneapolis.

Market Collective MN Makers Market
Shop from BIPOC and queer vendors and allies. 2-7 p.m. Urban Growler Brewing, 2325 Endicott St., St. Paul.

Burnsville Pride Fest

Featuring DJ tunes, yard games, corn dogs, and more. 1-4 p.m. Vista View Park, 1501 Circle Lane, Burnsville. 

Twin Cities West Metro Asian Fair

Featuring food, cultural performances, local vendors, music, and more. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Hilde Performance Center, 3500 Plymouth Blvd., Plymouth.

Early Show with Matt Caflisch and Band, Billy Dankert

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


With Sunshine + the Night Walkers, PSPYL. 9 p.m. White Squirrel Bar, 974 W. Seventh St., St. Paul.

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. 

Mill City Farmers Market

Farmers Markets

Apple Valley Farmers Market

8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays, June 4 through October 29. 7100 147th St. W., Apple Valley;

Fulton Farmers Market

Traditional and heirloom vegetables, fruits, breads, and pastries. 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturdays, through October 28. 4901 Chowen Ave. S., Minneapolis;

Lakeview Terrace Farmers Market

Formerly known as the Camden Farmers Market, this small market has teamed up with Robbinsdale to offer fresh produce and artisanal goods plus free fitness classes, chef cook-offs, and more. 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays through September 23. Find it on the northeast corner of Bottineau Blvd. (CR 81) and Lakeland Avenue in Robbinsdale, across from HyVee;

Lowertown Farmers Markets

Lowertown’s pride and one of the state’s largest markets. 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays; 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays. Through Nov. 19. 290 5th St. E., St. Paul;

Midtown Farmers Market

Urban market serving produce and more to Powderhorn, Phillips, and Longfellow. 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays through Oct.; 3 to 7 p.m. Tuesdays, through Oct. 2225 East Lake St., Minneapolis;

Mill City Farmers Market

Long running market in the shadow of Mill Ruins Park, featuring local, sustainable, and organic groceries and produce. 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays year round. 750 2nd St. S., Minneapolis;

Northeast Farmers Market

Seasonal market featuring food vendors, local produce, and artisanal goods. 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays, through Oct. 14. St. Boniface Church parking lot, 629 2nd St. NE (corner of University and Seventh Ave. NE), Minneapolis;

Grand Old Day returns


Grand Old Day

Billed as “the largest free festival in the Midwest,” Grand Old Day is returning after being mothballed in the early days of the pandemic. The 30-block event will be just like you remember since the ‘70s, with parades, car shows, fun runs, weiner dog races, beer gardens, kiddo activities, 150 food options, vendors, small-biz boosterism, and, of course, live music across seven stages. Headlining are alt-country staples the Jayhawks, indie-pop standouts Bad Bad Hats, and Lizzo’s talented DJ/buddy Sophia Eris. Free ($10 for beer garden wristbands; $50 for VIP passes). 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Grand Avenue, St. Paul;  find more info here.—Jay Boller

Twin Citizen

Tunes from a band living in recovery. 5:30 p.m. Lake Harriet Bandshell, 4135 W. Lake Harriet Pkwy, Minneapolis.

Crucifixion of Paul Bunyon

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

First Sunday Market 

This week ‘s vendors: Swirl Top Baking, Bake you Happy, Brock Dukhorn Pottery, Farm Of MN, PJW Racing Bike Repair Workshop. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dancing Bear Chocolate, 4367 N. Thomas Ave., Minneapolis.

Amy & Adams

Amy & Adams

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

Dog Days with Healing Hearts Rescue

2-4 p.m. Lakes & Legends, 1368 Lasalle Ave., Minneapolis.

2023 MN Qeej and Hmong Arts Festival

Featuring cultural performances, live music, dance, food, vendors, and more. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Landmark Center, 75 Fifth St. W., St. Paul.

Burn Boot Camp Pop Up Camp

11 a.m. Forgotten Star Brewing, 38 Northern Stacks Dr., Fridley. 

Society Brunch

Society Brunch

In a sea of twee, it’s nice to see a market for weirdos. This summer, the Society for the Strange & Unusual will be hosting a monthly makers’ market and brunch series for the elder goths, adult emo kids, friendly punks, and budding e-boys/e-girls. This month’s installment will be celebrating Pride, so expect to see some cool queer merch for all you spooky freaks out there. During the fun, folks can order cocktails at the bar, enjoy Southern comfort eats from High Society, and, if you’re feeling ambitious about your future, Pentacle Pursuits will be giving tarot readings in a tent outside. Free. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. 11 Wells Spirits, 704 Minnehaha Ave. E., St. Paul. —Jessica Armbruster

Minneapolis Vintage Market

Vintage clothing, home goods, and coffee. Noon to 4 p.m. St. Louis Park ROC, 3700 Monterey Dr., St. Louis Park. 

Early Show: An Acoustic Afternoon

With Spells and Curses. 1-4 p.m. White Squirrel Bar, 974 W. Seventh St., St. Paul.

Drum Machine Bonanza

With White Dune, AndAndEnd, Warp Whistle. 8 p.m. White Squirrel Bar, 974 W. Seventh St., St. Paul.

The Cigarden Summer Takeover: Day Party Series

Smoking and shopping outside in the garden with Allure Cigars. 3-7 p.m. Graze Provisions + Libations, 520 N. Fourth 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. 

Linden Hills Farmers Market

Farmers Market

Kingfield Farmers Market

Featuring a large selection of local produce, artisanal crafts, and prepared foods in a new location this year at MLK Park. 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays, through Oct. 29. MLK Park, 4055 Nicollet Ave. S., Minneapolis;

Linden Hills Farmers Market

Featuring ethical meats, baked goods, ready-to-eat items, locally grown veggies and fruits, and live music. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays, through Oct. 29. Settergrens of Linden Hills, 2813 W. 43rd St., Minneapolis;

Minneapolis Parks Markets: Lake Harriet

2:30-6:30 p.m. Sundays, right by the bandshell. Lake Harriet, 4135 W. Lake Harriet Parkway, Minneapolis; more info here

Savage Farmers Market

8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays, June 4 through October 29. 4800 W. 123rd St., Savage;

Woodbury Farmers Market

8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays, June 4 through October 29. 8595 Central Park Place, Woodbury;

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Racket

Sniveling, Debased Sycophant Kisses Ring of Man Who Mocked Him: ‘1 in 100-Year Leader’

Plus commentary on fraud, SD invades MN, and more Zorbaz debate in today's Flyover news roundup.

July 17, 2024

‘Everyone Knows Puppetry Lives Here’: Why is Minneapolis Such a Puppet Town?

From the founding of the Twin Cities Puppeteers Guild to the rise of new groups like Monkeybear’s Harmolodic Workshop, this town sure loves its puppets.

Big Court Win for Gun-Toting Minnesotans Who Are Too Young to Rent Cars

Plus libraries after dark, Icehouse finds financial footing, and picturing old schools in today's Flyover news roundup.

We Tried MN’s Zorbaz, Alleged Top 15 Worldwide Pizza Destination

The New York Times curiously hyped a peanut butter/pep/jalapeño delicacy from the chain of North Woods party bars.