Freeloader Friday: 30 free things to do this weekend

Art Shanties continue the fun this weekend.

Art Shanties continue the fun this weekend. Steve Cohen

This weekend in free things to do we have a handful of rock shows, a happy hour with tap dancing, and the Art Shanties. Come take a look.


There are worlds in the sculptures of Jennifer Merchant. In her pieces, stars are born, planets are formed, and constellations become dust. In addition to drawing inspiration from the outer realms of the universe, Merchant also plays with the shape of crystals and geometric patterns. Fitting, considering the artist is also a jewelry designer, working with chunky pieces both colorful and celestial. Her sculptures and wearable items will be on display at Public Functionary this weekend only. Friday’s reception will include a live soundscape by Ian Lehman from 7 to 11 p.m., and a trunk show will pop up during gallery hours on Saturday. Opening reception 7-11 p.m. Fri., Feb. 17. Feb. 17, 7-11 p.m. Feb. 18, 12-6 p.m. Feb. 19, 12-5 p.m. Free. Public Functionary, 1400 12th Ave. NE, Minneapolis; 612-978-5566.

Tappy Hour
Ellen Keane of Keane Sense of Rhythm teaches tap dancing. Don’t have shoes? No worries. They’ll have some you can borrow. 5 to 7 p.m. Can Can Wonderland, 755 Prior Ave. N., Ste 004, St. Paul.

Battle of the Bands Preliminary Rounds
Bands perform 30 minute sets, with winners determined by popular vote. For more info and lineups visit 8 p.m. Free. Whole Music Club, 300 Washington Ave. SE, Minneapolis; 612-625-2272.

With MURF, Octopede, and New Primals. Feb. 17, 9 p.m. Free. Hexagon Bar, 2600 27th Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-722-3454.

Corazón Eterno (Always In My Heart)
A love story inspired by the works of Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Every Fri. from Feb. 3-24, 7:30 p.m. Every Sat. from Feb. 4-25, 8 p.m. $25 reserved seating; rush tickets are free before show. Mixed Blood Theatre, 1501 4th St. S., Minneapolis; 612-338-6131.


Current Visions
Ceramic art by Andrea Leila Denecke and paintings by Mary Jo Van Dell. Opening reception 6-8 p.m. Fri., Feb. 17. Daily from Feb. 17-April 21. Free. Raymond Avenue Gallery, 761 Raymond Ave., St Paul; 651-644-9200.

Lady Lark
With Briefcase and Show. Feb. 17, 10 p.m. Free. 331 Club, 331 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis; 612-331-1746.

Lisa Wenger
Feb. 17, 9 p.m. Free. Schooner Tavern, 2901 27th Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-729-4365. 

Pour It Back for Still Kickin
$1 from each pint sold goes directly to Still Kickin, with live music from Matt Browne at 7 p.m., pop-up shop of Still Kickin merch, organization representatives, and Flagsmash food truck. RSVP and more info here. Feb. 17, 12-11:59 p.m. Free. Inbound BrewCo, 701 N. 5th St., Minneapolis; 612-615-8243.

Minneapolis WinterSkate
Free public skating rink with a warming house and complimentary skate rental. Daily. Free. Loring Park, 1382 Willow St., Minneapolis.

Outdoor Ice Rink
Free ice skating during mall hours through February 19. Daily from Nov. 19-Feb. 19. Free. Southdale Center, 10 Southdale Center, Edina; 952-925-7874.




Alternative Hybrids: Expressions from the Modern Experience
Artists Elise Hanson, Dana Potter, and Jenny Harp. There will be an opening reception on Saturday, February 18, from 6 to 9 p.m. Every Thu. and Sat. from Feb. 18-March 4. Free. Vine Arts Center, 2637 27th Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-728-5745.

Transmission Presents: I (heart) UK
Featuring DJ Jake Rudh. Feb. 18, 9 p.m. Free. Brit's Pub & Eating Establishment, 1110 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis; 612-332-3908.

Feb. 18, 9 p.m. Free. Schooner Tavern, 2901 27th Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-729-4365.

The Wayward McCoys
With the Way Out and Part Time Ex's. Feb. 18, 9 p.m. Free. Acadia Cafe, 329 S. Cedar Ave., Minneapolis; 612-874-8702.

12th Annual Volunteer Expo
Featuring more than 80 organizations to learn about and volunteer with. Feb. 18, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Free. Mall of America Best Buy Rotunda, 365 N. Garden, Bloomington; 952-883-8800.


Art Shanty Projects
Although it takes place during some of the coldest weeks in Minnesota, the Art Shanties Project is a warm-fuzzy experience. Each year, artists set up shanties on a frozen lake, offering weekend fun for everyone. Step inside this year’s shanties and you’ll find plenty to see, do, and learn, including dance parties, chef sessions, storytelling, and camaraderie. The event is kid- and adult-friendly, and encourages everything from quiet contemplation to rowdy interactions with new friends. For more info, visit Every Sat. and Sun. from Feb. 4-26, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Free. White Bear Lake, 5050 Lake Ave. N., White Bear Lake; 651-748-2500.

Bad Man
With Tree Fort. Feb. 18, 9 p.m. Free. Hexagon Bar, 2600 27th Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-722-3454.

CAFAC Presents: Christopher Harrison
Artist talk. Feb. 18, 1-2 p.m. Free. Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center, 3749 Chicago Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-294-0400.

Crystal Ball
Featuring psychics, palm readers, and tarot card readers. Feb. 18, 6-10 p.m. Free. Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, 2400 Mystic Lake Blvd., Prior Lake; 800-262-7799.

Ghost Replicant
With Floods and New Primals. Feb. 18, 10 p.m. Free. 331 Club, 331 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis; 612-331-1746.

Mary Losure
Launch party for the local author's new book, 'Isaac the Alchemist: Secrets of Isaac Newton, Reveal'd,' with prizes, cake, and the Ephemeral Wizards String Band. Feb. 18, 2 p.m. Free. Red Balloon Bookshop, 891 Grand Ave., St. Paul; 651-224-8320.




The History of the Midtown Greenway
Presentation by founder of the Greenway, George Puzak, with executive director Soren Jensen. Feb. 19, 12-4 p.m. Free. St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral, 519 Oak Grove St., Minneapolis; 612-870-7800.

75th Anniversary of the Japanese-American Incarceration
Remembrance ceremony featuring local survivors, theater readings, and music from Kogen Taiko. Registration and more info here. Feb. 19, 2-4 p.m. Free. Minnesota History Center, 345 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul; 651-259-3000.

Blues Jam
Every Sun. from Jan. 11, 7-11 p.m. Free. Schooner Tavern, 2901 27th Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-729-4365.

Boy Kisses Comedy Showcase
7:30 p.m. Free. Universe Games, 711 W. Lake St., Minneapolis; 612-825-4066.

Bridges Reading Series
Featuring Lynette Reini-Grandall, Michael Kiesow Moore, John Medeiros, LaDonna Sanders Redmond, Sequoia Nagamatsu, and Heidi Czerwiec, hosted/curated by Stan Kusunoki. Feb. 19, 7 p.m. Free. Barnes & Noble HarMar Mall, 2100 Snelling Ave. N., Roseville; 651-639-9256.

Comedy Open Mic
Featuring local and visiting standup comedians, hosted by Trish Cook. Sign up begins at 6 p.m. In the Poco Loco Lounge. Every Sun. from Feb. 12, 7 p.m. Free. Pepitos Tex-Mex Bar & Grill, 4820 Chicago Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-822-2104.

Jodi Livon
Author presents her new book, 'The Happy Medium: Speaking the Language of Intuition.' Feb. 19, 5 p.m. Free. Magers & Quinn Booksellers, 3038 Hennepin Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-822-4611.

Sunday School
Standup comedy followed by late night karaoke in the Library lounge bar. Every 3rd Sun., 8 p.m.-12 a.m. Free. Marin Restaurant & Bar, 901 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis; 612-252-7000.