The month of December is certainly not cheap. Between traveling expenses, Christmas parties, gift lists, and the ever-rising heat bill, the merriest season of all is not kind on the wallet.
Thankfully, Freeloader Friday is packed with stuff to do that won't cost you a dime. This week there's dance parties, craft events, ice skating, light shows, comic book expos and release parties, art celebrations, and other fun events to get you in good spirits (if not necessarily the holiday spirit). Check out our mega-list of freebies after the jump.
Toys in the Attic 2010: A Celebration of Toys
(Gallery 122 At Hang It, 122 8th St. SE, Minneapolis, 612.874.7222)
Check out hand painted toys by artists like Chuck U, DC Ice, and event organizer Steve Tenebrini; art view or purchase posters by artists inspired by toys of yesterday and today; and dance to live music. Sales benefit the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation. 6-10 p.m.
Holiday Art Sale
(Q.arma Building, 1224 Quincy St. NE, Minneapolis, 612.623.3782, www.artonquincy.com)
Shop locally here for some cool gifts for friends and the fam. 5-9 p.m. Fri., 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat.
Jim Proctor, Pat & Gage Kruse
(Bockley Gallery, 2123 W. 21st St., Minneapolis, 612.377.4669, www.bockleygallery.com)
(Pictured right). The opening reception is from 6-9 p.m.
Holiday Preview Party
(Fired Up, 1701 E. Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis, 612.852.2787, www.firedupstudios.com)
This event will feature pottery wheel demonstrations, wine and snacks, and silent charity auction. 6-9 p.m.
Lowertown First Fridays
(6th and Sibley, St. Paul)
This monthly event features open studios and galleries, food and drink specials, performances, music, more. For more info, visit lowertownfirstfridays.com. 6-9 p.m.
No Coast Craft-o-Rama
(Midtown Global Market, 920 E. Lake St., Minneapolis, 612.872.4041, midtownglobalmarket.com)
One of the coolest (and most crowded) crafts shows return for the holiday season. For more info, visit nocoastcraft.com. 3-8 p.m. Fri.; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat.
Holiday Art Sale
(College of Visual Arts Gallery, 173 Western Ave., St. Paul, 651.290.9379, www.cva.edu)
5-8 p.m. Fri.; 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat.; 12-4 p.m. Sun.
(Kitty Cat Klub, 315 14th Ave. SE, Minneapolis, 612.331.9800)
Jonathan Ackerman spins tunes while the drinks from the bar spin your head.
Prints on Ice
(Highpoint Center For Printmaking, 912 W. Lake St., Minneapolis, 612.871.1326, www.highpointprintmaking.org)
Cool art in a warm gallery. The opening reception is from 6:30-9 p.m.
Homes for the Holiday
(The Minneapolis Depot, 225 3rd Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612.375.1700, www.thedepotminneapolis.com)
Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity's Young Professionals hosts a party with drinks, a gingerbread house making contest, and ice skating. Be sure to pick up info on our to give beyond the holiday season. 5:30-8:30 p.m.
(Altered Esthetics, 1224 Quincy St. NE, Minneapolis, 612.378.8888, www.alteredesthetics.com)
Feeling cynical as you face the onslaught of holiday ads? Come to this show to be better, laugh, and criticize our age of advertising. The opening reception 7-10 p.m.
Dirty Horse, the Fontanelles, Nicole Howe, Shoveldance
(331 Club: 331 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis, 612.331.1746)
(Walker Art Center, 1750 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis, 612.375.7600, www.walkerart.org)
For ten hours the Walker hosts family activities, tours, art projects, film screenings, special dinners, pub treats, and more. 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
(Grand Avenue, from Dale to Fairview, St. Paul, 651.699.0029, www.grandave.com)
Featuring family activities, soup sampling, Santa, tree-lighting ceremony, animals, arts, more. 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
Three Cartoonists. Two Graphic Novels. One Night
(Big Brain Comics, 1027 Washington Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612.338.4390)
This book signing and meet-and-greet celebrates the release of two graphic novels by three Twin Cities cartoonists: Francis Sharp in the Grip of the Uncanny! Chapter One by Brittney Sabo and Anna Bratton, and Tonoharu: Part Two by Lars Martinson. Hop over to Grumpy's afterwards for a low-key afterparty. 4-7 p.m.
The Devil Came on Horseback
(St. Clement's Episcopal Church, 901 Portland Ave., St. Paul, 651.228.1164, www.stclements-stp.org)
Documentary follows U.S. Marine Capt. Brian Steidle efforts to raise awareness of the genocide in Sudan's Darfur region. 2 p.m.
1850s Holiday Party
(Ard Godfrey House, 50 University Ave. NE, Minneapolis, 612.870.8001, www.ardgodfreyhouse.com)
Enjoy refreshments, listen to musical entertainment, take tours, and more. 12:30-3:30 p.m.
Twin Cities Comic Book Convention
(Mermaid, 2200 Hwy 10, Moundsview, 763.780.2900)
Shop for the comic geek on your Christmas list (a.k.a. yourself). For more info call 309.657.1599 or visit www.epguides.com/comics. 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
(Nomad World Pub, 501 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612.338.6424)
Jim Walsh hosts this monthly series at 4 p.m. Cadillac vs. Cornbread follows at 10 p.m.
(Nicollet Mall, From 12th Street to 4th Street, Minneapolis)
What's the holiday season in Minnesota without an evening spent enjoying this parade of lights? For more info visit www.holidazzle.com. Thursdays-Sundays at 6:30 p.m. Through Dec. 19.
(Rice Park, 109 W. 4th St., St. Paul)
Flash your Wells Fargo check or credit card for a free skate rental. For times, visit www.wellsfargowinterskate.com. Through Feb. 6, 2011.