Drag brunch, ArtCars, dance parties: 14 free things to do this weekend (mostly online)

Image courtesy Fashion Week MN

Image courtesy Fashion Week MN

Oh dang, guys. It's the freakin' weekend.

Here's some free things to do that can be enjoyed from your bubble. Many of these events are collecting donations, so if you can afford to send some money in the form of a $5-er (or less or more!), now's a good time to share the wealth.

Stay safe, everyone.

DJ Shannon Blowtorch and crew celebrate New Year's Eve at the VFW.

DJ Shannon Blowtorch and crew celebrate New Year's Eve at the VFW. Monica Hemdom


Y2K: That's What I Call 2000's


Live streamed living room dance party featuring DJ Shannon Blowtorch spinning the hits and deep cuts (and playing audience requests) from the 2000's. The celebrated Twin Cities DJ is keeping the good vibes going from the monthly dance party she hosted at the now closed Honey, but Blowtorch is now taking the festivities online so we can all keep dancing from the cozy confines of our own self-quarantine situations. Broadcast starts at 8 p.m. Fri., Mar. 27 via Facebook. Donations can be made via Venmo at @Shannon_blowtorch and cash app at $shannonblowtorch. 8 p.m.

Back Catalog Listening Party

Every Friday afternoon, hosts Mother Banjo and Anthony Ihrig bring in fellow musicians to chat about their music and the stories behind their favorite recordings. This week's guests are Quillan and Kim Roe of Roe Family Singers. The live stream is broadcast on the Back Catalog Listen Party's Facebook page, beginning at 4 p.m. every Friday afternoon. 4 p.m. March 27.

Glensheen Mansion Virtual Tour

One week after closing its doors due to COVID-19, the Glensheen Mansion has launched a 360-degree virtual tour experience led by director Dan Hartman, one of the few people allowed on the estate at the moment. Hartman explores favorite rooms on the grounds, popular locations with guests, and providing access to previously closed spaces and rare items from the collection. There is also a newly launched tour app that has maps and audio descriptions for nearly every room in the mansion, that can be found at Virtual tours will continue every weekday at 8 a.m. CST via Facebook Live. 8 a.m. Every Mon.-Fri. Free. 

Lydia Liza’s Live Script Readings

The past couple of days, Lydia Liza has gone live on Instagram at around 8 p.m. to read a movie script. She did The Cable Guy, then Goodfellas (complete with stage makeup). Scrolling endlessly through Netflix is already too much, so it’s nice to have something chosen for us. Just please no Contagion. Watch her every night very night (so far) at 8 p.m. on Instagram here. You can tip her on Venmo @lydia-hoglund. 8 p.m. daily. 

Mu-Tini Hour

Free virtual hangouts with award-winning playwright Leah Nanako Winkler ('Two Mile Hollow' and 'Hot Asian Doctor Husband'), Meghan Kreidler, and Eric Sharp, hosted by Theater Mu's Artistic Director, Lily Tung Crystal. Discussions range from the arts, social-distancing inspired games, and sharing survival tips for life in isolation. The hangout will be broadcast on Facebook Live, and you can register (and donate directly to Mu's artistic community) at 7 p.m. March 27.

Stay Home and Make Art

Local artist Amy Rice has uploaded free pieces to download for coloring sessions. 

Taylor James Donskey Live Stream

The folk, jazz, and bluegrass sideman plays songs from his new solo record, 'Paper Over It.' Donskey will also be playing listener requests. The live stream broadcast is available through Donskey's Facebook and Instagram pages. 7 p.m. March 27.




ArtCar Cruise

The Minnesota Art Cars are set to share their creative messages of hope and positivity with a drive around Minneapolis lakes. Beginning at the House of Balls at 2 p.m., the cruise of decorated automobiles will make their way around the chain of lakes, with artists remaining in their cars to adhere to the social distancing requirements. Confirmed participants include the Lipstick Car, Elmer Ford, the Hippy VW, the Cork Car, and more. 2 p.m. March 28; Free. House of Balls, 212 3rd Ave. N., Minneapolis.

Courtney Yasmineh Trio

The folk, rock, and Americana trio will be broadcasting a live performance from Uptown Sound in Minneapolis via Yasmineh's YouTube channel. 7-10 p.m. March 28.

The Virtual Women's Expo

Following the cancellation of the actual Women's Expo, the event organizers have transformed it into an online virtual experience. They have kept the same dates of the original expo (Mar. 28 and 29), and streaming the events live online and on cable channel 6 locally. They are also partnering with Springboard for the Arts to make the event a fundraiser for artists, small business owners, and independent contractors who have experienced financial losses due to the various cancellations throughout the Twin Cities. Visit the fundraiser page at and stream the event live via Facebook and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. March 28; 12-4 p.m. March 29.

Walking Shadow Presents: A Virtual Performance of Charlie Bethel's 'Beowulf'

The Minneapolis performance art theatre Walking Shadow is offering up a special virtual production of co-artistic director John Heimbuch's one-person adaptation of Beowulf. Six different performances will be live streamed at Walking Shadow's Facebook page, but you do not need a Facebook account in order to watch the event. Run time is approximately 60 minutes without an intermission. There will be a link provided where viewers can make a donation during the broadcast. 8 p.m. Every Thu. and Sat. from March 26-April 5; 2 p.m. Every Sun. from March 29-April 5; Free; donations requested. 

L-R: Hope Nordquist, Keke Boudreaux, Harrie Bradshaw

L-R: Hope Nordquist, Keke Boudreaux, Harrie Bradshaw Viral Variety Show


The Viral Variety Show

This special online variety show features performances by a wide array of artists affected by recent show cancellations. All donations made to the Viral Variety Show Paypal account will be distributed to the cast and crew of the show, providing some much needed financial support directly to the artists as they struggle to navigagate these turbulent times. 6-9 p.m. March 29.

Flip Phone Digital Drag Brunch

Even though the hugely successful drag brunches at Union's rooftop have been put on hold, the show simply must go on. The Flip Phone crew is now bringing their festivities online, where you provide your own brunch and bottomless mimosas and they will provide the entertainment. There will be a digital tip jar in place so viewers can help these hard working performers during these challenging times. The party starts at 1 p.m. at Flip Phone's Instagram, @FlipPhoneEvents. 1-4 p.m. March 29.

Mother Banjo Sunday 

Every Sunday, Mother Banjo will be streaming a performance on her Facebook page that is heavy on audience participation. Ellen Stanley will lead listeners in folk and gospel tunes that the whole family can sing together. A guaranteed great start to your Sunday morning. 11 a.m. Sundays.