Freeloader Friday: 31 free things to do this weekend


This week in free things to do we have a few Cinco de Mayo celebrations, a couple Kentucky Derby parties, and art parties where you might find a worthy Mother's Day gift or two. Come take a look and plan your weekend.


Free Admission for National Public Garden Day

(Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, 3675 Arboretum Dr., Chaska; 952-443-1400)

Take a walk through the gardens for free. 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.


Happy To Be Here

(Opening Night Framing Services & Gallery, 2836 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612-872-2325,

Work by Marcia Casey Cushmore. 5-7:30 p.m.

Crash Cuddle, Straya, the Favorite Child

(331 Club: 331 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis, 612-331-1746)

10 p.m.

Rocksteady Breakfast (EP Release Show)

(Hexagon Bar: 2600 27th Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612-722-3454)

With Verminoze, Disaggio, and Liquor Beats Winter. 9 p.m.


(Ordway Center for the Performing Arts, 345 Washington St., St. Paul, 651-224-4222,

Part of the Flint Hills International Children's Festival, with artwork on display in windows and storefronts of downtown St. Paul. Through June 5. More info at



(Kitty Cat Klub: 315 14th Ave. SE, Minneapolis, 612-331-9800)

With Jonathan Ackerman. 9 p.m.

Boom Boom Steve V & the Knockouts

(Schooner Tavern: 2901 27th Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612-729-4365)

9 p.m.


Elizabeth Simonson

(Bockley Gallery, 2123 W. 21st St., Minneapolis; 612-377-4669)

6 to 9 p.m.


(Northern Clay Center, 2424 E. Franklin Ave., Minneapolis, 612-339-8007,

Group ceramics show featuring floral imagery. 6-8 p.m.


Also at Norther Clay Center:


Multi-media installation by Jennifer Rogers. 6-8 p.m. 

200+ Garage Sales Blaine MN Johnsville Neighborhood

(12545 Ulysses St. NE, Blaine)

7 a.m.


First Thursday at NKB

(Gallery 425, Northrup King Building Northrup King Building, St. Paul, 612-250-6127)

Open studios throughout the building. 5-9 p.m.

Maifest 2016

(Excelsior Brewing Company, 421 3rd St., Excelsior, 952-474-7837,

Celebration of the Maibock release, with performances by Alpensterne, Tubby Esquire, Kirk Humbert Band, Dan Rodriguez Band, Trainwreck, Big Wu, and Kind Country. Fri. 4 p.m. to midnight; Saturday noon to midnight. 




(Minnesota State Fair Progress Center, 1621 Randall Ave., St. Paul, 651-288-4400)

Featuring makers of handmade items, workshops, and art activities. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. More info at

MacPhail Free Family Music Series

(MacPhail Center for Music, 501 2nd St. S., Minneapolis, 612-321-0100,


Open house for kids 10 and under, with class samples, and musical arts and crafts. 10 & 11 a.m. 

Free First Saturdays

(Walker Art Center, 1750 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis, 612-375-7600,

Featuring special activities for families themed with the current exhibits. This weekend's event is geared toward photography. 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Also at the Walker:

Jewelry Artist Mart


Featuring 25 area artists presenting hand-crafted designs, with chocolate samples, and discounts on purchases. 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

2016 Spring Open Studios

(Traffic Zone Center for Visual Art, 250 3rd Ave. N., Minneapolis, 612-247-1244,

Featuring a variety of local artists, with work available for sale. 5:30-9:30 p.m.

Black Widows, Monica LaPlante, Fiji-13

(331 Club: 331 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis, 612-331-1746)


7 p.m., 10 p.m.

Cinco de Mayo

(Cesar Chavez Street, between Robert Street and Highway 52, St. Paul)

Featuring a 5k run, parade, beer garden, live entertainment, food, drinks, and a car, truck, and bike show. For a full schedule and more information at 9 a.m.-6 p.m. 

Gretchen Marquette

(Uptown Church, 1219 W. 31st St., Minneapolis, 612-270-5333,


The poet presents her new collection, May Day. 7 p.m. 

Free Comic Book Day 2016

(Source Comics & Games, 2057 N. Snelling Ave., Arden Hills, 651-645-0386,

Featuring an appearance by Otis Frampton, with prizes, cosplay, wedding party, and photographer. 10 a.m.-9 p.m. 

All the Way Rider

(Hexagon Bar: 2600 27th Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612-722-3454)


With the Great Went, Deephaven, and Antiverse. 9 p.m.

Inside the Robot: Linnea Doyle

(Showroom, 615 W. Lake St., Minneapolis; 612-345-7391)

5 to 8 p.m.

Derby Day Party

(Canterbury Park Racetrack and Card Casino, 1100 Canterbury Rd., Shakopee)


Watch the race live indoors or outdoors. Admission is free, and VIP packages are available, call 952-496-6445 for more info. The first race at Churchill Downs is at 9 a.m.

Derby Day

(Running Aces Casino and Racetrack, 15201 Zurich St. NE, Columbus, 651-925-4600,

Featuring food and drink specials, Derby Hat contest, prizes, and viewing of race. 10:30 a.m.-9 p.m.

Derby Day Party

(Turf Club, 1601 University Ave. W., St. Paul, 651-647-0486,


Featuring mint juleps, food specials, contests, screening. 4 p.m.

Kentucky Derby Day Party

(Brit's Pub & Eating Establishment, 1110 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, 612-332-3908,

Featuring the race on TV and projection screens, a photo booth, cigar rolling, mint juleps, and a performance by Pocahontas County. 1-6 p.m.

Opening Day Food Truck Fest

(Midtown Farmers Market, 2225 E. Lake St., Minneapolis; 612-724-7457)

8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Blessing of the Maibock

(Minneapolis Town Hall Brewery, 1430 Washington Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612-339-8696,

Featuring blessing by Father Aron Kramer, a toast, and free Maibock. 5 p.m.


Cinco de Mayo on Lake Street

(Taqueria La Hacienda, 334 E. Lake St., Minneapolis, 612-822-2715)

Featuring food, drinks, children's activities, dancing, music, food, and drinks. Between Second Avenue and Portland Avenue. 11 a.m.-7 p.m.