Puppy parties, art sleds, sports galore: 52 free things to do this weekend

Majestic canine royalty

Majestic canine royalty Courtesy of KME Photography

This weekend in free things to do we have a ton of sporting events, a few icy festivals, and an art sled rally sure to entertain all. Come take a look. 

Darrin Johnson

Darrin Johnson


2018 Saint Paul Winter Carnival
In Rice Park you’ll find a giant ice castle, ice sculpting competition, and more. At the Minnesota State Fairgrounds you’ll find snow sculpting, a snow slide, and other fun. For complete prices and event schedules, see the official website,, or call the main hotline at 651-223-7400 for details. Daily from Jan. 25-Feb. 10; Many events are free, some are ticketed. Rice Park, 109 W. 4th St., St. Paul.

Fire & Ice: A Winter Carnival Art Show
Group show featuring local artists. Artists reception 5-9 p.m. Fri., Jan. 26. Free. AZ Gallery, 308 Prince St., St. Paul; 651-255-6624.

Super Bowl Live
Ten-day fan festival along six blocks on Nicollet Mall, featuring life-size snow globes, kids' warm up zone, ice sculptures, live ESPN broadcasts, nightly drum and dance exhibitions at 5 p.m., and free live music performances curated by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis featuring Idina Menzel, the Revolution, Sheila E., Morris Day and the Time, New Power Generation, Bob Mould, Dessa, the Suburbs, Vocal Essence, Soul Asylum, the Jayhawks, Mint Condition, Sounds of Blackness, and the Jets. Visit for full lineups, showtimes, and locations. 4-10 p.m. Jan. 26; 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Jan. 27; 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Jan. 28; Free. Nicollet Mall, 700 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis.

Schwan’s Tailgate Truck Tower at Super Bowl Live
Interactive video trivia games with prizes, food, and create-your-own digital bobbleheads. 4-10 p.m. Jan. 26; 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Jan. 27; 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Jan. 28; Free. 800 Nicollet Mall (8th and Nicollet), Minneapolis.

Image courtesy event organizers

Image courtesy event organizers

U.S. Pond Hockey Championships 2018
For complete game schedules, see the official U.S. Pond Hockey website: 5 to 9 p.m. Thursday; 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday; 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Free. Lake Nokomis Park, 4955 W. Lake Nokomis Parkway, Minneapolis.

Wells Fargo WinterSkate
Hockey- or figure-skate rentals are $4, or free with a Wells Fargo credit or debit card. Rice Park, 109 W. 4th St., St. Paul; 651-632-5111.

Minneapolis WinterSkate
Free public skating rink with a warming house and complimentary skate rental. Daily from Nov. 15-March 10; Free. Loring Park, 1382 Willow St., Minneapolis.

Lovely Dark
With DIIE and Cave Light. 10 p.m. Jan. 26; Free. 331 Club, 331 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis; 612-331-1746.

Mashmaker: A Citizen Brewer's Guide to Making Great Beer at Home
Featuring presentation and Q&A with Mashmaker's Michael Dawson, with some brew samples. 7 p.m. Jan. 26; Free. Magers & Quinn Booksellers, 3038 Hennepin Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-822-4611.

Retox: Gin & Juice Night with Bittercube Bitters
Featuring panel discussion about craft distilling in Minnesota. 7-8:30 p.m. Jan. 26; Free. The Wedge Table, 2412 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis; 612-465-8844.

Chuck U Ungemach

Chuck U Ungemach

'Sota Pop
Interactive pop-up photo experience curated by Explore Minnesota and created by local artists. More info at 4-9 p.m. Daily from Jan. 26-Feb. 1; 12-10 p.m. Daily from Feb. 2-3; 12-3 p.m. Feb. 4; Free. 500 Nicollet Mall (5th and Nicollet), Minneapolis.

Water Bar Winter Social & Exhibition Party
Featuring food, a selection of local tap waters, the photography exhibition "River Relationships: Portraits of a River and Its People," and Fulton beer. 6-9 p.m. Friday. Water Bar & Public Studio, 2518 Central Ave., Minneapolis; 612-839-0810.

Hello Hello
Work of UNW’s senior graphic design majors. 5-7 p.m. Friday. Denler Gallery, 3003 Snelling Ave. N., St. Paul; 651-286-7570.

Olaf Otto Becker

Olaf Otto Becker

Vanishing Ice
Show covers arctic explorations and destruction. There will be an opening reception on Friday, January 26, from 7 to 10 p.m. Free admission; RSVP is requested for the opening party. Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum, 333 E. River Rd., Minneapolis; 612-625-9494.

Mizna Arab Film Fest: St. Paul
Screening of 'Those Who Remain,' with post-screening discussion and other programs, presented by the local Arab American Arts Organization. 7 p.m. Jan. 26; Free. Macalester College, Ruth Stricker Dayton Campus Center, 1600 Grand Ave., St. Paul; 651-696-6249.

8:30 p.m. Jan. 26; Free. Schooner Tavern, 2901 27th Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-729-4365.

Steve Kimmel
6:30 p.m. Jan. 26; Free. Vieux Carre, 408 St. Peter St., St. Paul; 612-332-5299.

James Galanos dress from 1965-1975, gift from Margot Siegal

James Galanos dress from 1965-1975, gift from Margot Siegal

Storied Lives: Women and Their Wardrobes
Exhibition focuses on the wardrobes of three working women in the 20th century. There will be an opening reception on Friday, January 26, from 6 to 8 p.m. Free. Goldstein Museum of Design, 1985 Buford Ave., St. Paul; 612-625-5000.

Group show featuring work about makers and their craft. Opening reception 7-10 p.m. Fri., Jan. 26. Free. Light Grey Art Lab, 118 E. 26th St., Minneapolis; 612-239-2047.

Can Can Wonderland Karaoke
Hosted by Silly Miss Tilly. All ages. 5:30 p.m.-8:30 a.m. Every Fri. from Aug. 4; Free. Can Can Wonderland, 755 Prior Ave. N., Ste. 4, St. Paul; 651-925-2261.

Tappy Hour
Group tap dance lessons. 4-6 p.m. Every Fri. from Aug. 4; Free. Can Can Wonderland, 755 Prior Ave. N., Ste. 4, St. Paul; 651-925-2261.

The Comedy Corner Open Mic Night
10 p.m. Every Fri.; Free. The Corner Bar, 1501 Washington Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-339-4333.

Vic Volare
6 p.m. Jan. 26; Free. Hell's Kitchen, 80 S. 9th St., Minneapolis; 612-332-4700.

Vinyl Club
All vinyl nights with variety of DJs. 10:30 p.m. Every Fri. and Sat. from March 9; Free. The Lexington, 1096 Grand Ave., St. Paul; 651-222-5878.

Dogs of MSP

Dogs of MSP


Dogs of MSP January Meet Up
Dog owner meet up with merch for sale, treats for the pups, photos, food, drinks, and shoe drive for Great Dane Rescue of MN. 12-3 p.m. Jan. 27; Free. Flat Earth Brewery, 688 Minnehaha Ave. E, St. Paul; 651-698-1945.

Doggie Depot
The Doggie Depot invites people to chat about pups with experts, shop from local vendors offering dog-themed wares, and meet with canines up for adoption. Dogs will also be taking the stage this afternoon for the crowning of the Saint Paul Winter Carnival Doggie Royal Court. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Jan. 27; Free. Union Depot, 214 E. 4th St., St. Paul; 651-202-2700.

Pupper Bowl
Featuring adoptable puppies from No Dog Left Behind and Pet Haven, with raffles and prizes. 3-6 p.m. Jan. 27; Free. Sisyphus Brewing, 712 Ontario Avenue W., Minneapolis; 612-321-8324.

The Bird House Shanty

The Bird House Shanty Jill Emmer

2018 Art Shanties Project
DIY art, Minnesota-style. For more info, visit 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Every Sat. and Sun. from Jan. 20-Feb. 11; Free. Lake Harriet, 43rd St. W. and E. Lake Harriet Parkway, Minneapolis; 612-230-6475.

17th Annual Kite Festival
Featuring horse-drawn wagon rides, snowshoeing, ice fishing, marshmallow roast, music, Wild Rumpus reading walks, fat tire bikes demos, and Minnesota Kite Society demonstrations. 12-4 p.m. Jan. 27; Free. Lake Harriet Bandshell, 4135 W. Lake Harriet Parkway, Minneapolis; 612-661-4785.

The Stress of Her Regard
With Valet and Better Years. 10 p.m. Jan. 27; Free. 331 Club, 331 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis; 612-331-1746.

Out There 30th Anniversary Party
Featuring free drinks, food, and a look back at three decades of experimental performance with Walker Curator Phillip Bither and the cast of Forced Entertainment. 10 p.m.-12 a.m. Jan. 27; Free. The Soap Factory, 514 2nd St. SE, Minneapolis; 612-623-9176.

Back Alley
8:30 p.m. Jan. 27; Free. Schooner Tavern, 2901 27th Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-729-4365.


City of Lakes Loppet
While some folks freak out over the Super Bowl, others get more excited over winter sports season. The annual City of the Lakes Loppet is for those in the latter category. This year, the festival has spread out over two weekends. There will be races testing endurance and speed at all skill levels, whether your preferred method of travel is dogsled, snowshoe, ice skates, fat tire, or skis. Take in the snow sculpting contest, or bring the kids to the SuperCarnival, where a variety of ski challenges await them. There’s also a beer and food-truck garden. Find the full schedule for this packed event at Most happenings take place on Saturdays and Sundays, but there are also a few things to see and do Monday through Wednesday. Many events are free, some are ticketed. Lake Bde Maka Ska (Lake Calhoun), 3000 Calhoun Parkway, Minneapolis; 612-230-6400.

16th Annual Candlelight Ski
Ski or hike through candlelit trails in Spirit River Nature Area, with refreshments, door prizes, and performance by Ken Krona and Rick Stener. 5:30-8:30 p.m. Jan. 27; Free. Anoka-Ramsey Community College Cambridge Campus, 300 Spirit River Drive S., Cambridge; 763-433-1100.


Powderhorn Art Sled Rally
Watch folks try to make their way down the western slops of the park via homemade art sleds. You can also sign up for free to participate (bring a helmet). Saturday, 2-4 p.m. Powderhorn Park, 3400 S. 15th Ave., Minneapolis;

Winter Ice Sculptures
Find your way to the fountain to see work by Rob Graham. With free coffee and hot cocoa. Saturday, 1-4 p.m. 50th & France, Edina.



Neighborhood Roots Winter Farmers Market
Head inside the greenhouses for produce, sweet treats, crafts, and more from local farmers, bakers, and artisans, including Bogart's Doughnut Co., Cosmic Wheel Creamery, Nokomis Knitting Company, 
Red Clover Herbal Apothecary Farm, Root To Rise, Sun Street Breads, and Wise Acre Farm. Saturday, 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Bachman's Floral, Gift, & Garden, 6010 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis.

Mill City Winter Market
Indoor marketplace featuring local food, ceramics, jewelry, art, music, and home products. More info at 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Jan. 27. Free. Mill City Museum, 704 S. 2nd St., Minneapolis; 612-341-7555.

North Metro Community Home and Garden Show
Featuring remodeling and landscaping exhibitors, contests, seminars, door prizes, and kids activity center. More info at 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Jan. 27; Free. National Sports Center, 1700 105th Ave. NE, Blaine; 763-785-5600.

Christina Tavera

Christina Tavera

Art and Identity Project
Check out new artworks featured in this new space on campus. Works include pieces from Ta-Coumba Aiken, Alyssa Baguss, and Amy Rice. The event includes music by Augsburg students, hors-d’oeuvres, and refreshments. 3:30-5:30 p.m. Jan. 27; Free. Hagsfors Center for Science, Business, and Religion, Seventh Street and 21st Avenue South, Augsburg College, Minneapolis; 612-330-1000.

Smashing the Invisible
Solo show by Mary Simon-Casati. Artist talk 1-3 p.m. Sat., Jan. 27; Free. Regis Center for Art, 405 21st Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-625-8096.

At 2 You’re at Abstraction: New Works by Anna Leigh Biedenbender
New paintings. Opening reception 6-9 p.m. Sat., Jan. 27. Free. Modus Locus, 3500 Bloomington Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-382-9477.

Bitter Roots Band
7-10:30 p.m. Jan. 27; Free. Bald Man Brewing, 2020 Silver Bell Road, Suite 28, Eagan; 651-600-3164.

Charlie Lawson
Monthly residency with a different featured artist each month. 9 p.m.-12 a.m. Every last Sat.; Free. Dubliner Pub, 2162 University Ave. W., St. Paul; 651-646-5551.

Phase Two
Public artwork that creatively re-presents the effects of climate change with an engaging spatial construction of melting ice. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Jan. 27; Free. Richardson Nature Center, 8737 E. Bush Lake Road, Bloomington; 763-694-7676.

Scott Graves
6:30 p.m. Jan. 27; Free. Vieux Carre, 408 St. Peter St., St. Paul; 612-332-5299.


The Welcome Shanty

The Welcome Shanty Jill Emmer


The Hub Art Shanty Group Ride
Take a chill ride to the Art Shanties on Lake Harriet. Sunday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Hub Bike Co-op, 3020 Minnehaha Ave. S., Minneapolis.

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

Civic Symphony: Winter Carnival Concert
2 p.m. Jan. 28; Free. Landmark Center, 75 W. 5th St., St. Paul; 651-292-3293.

Kill It! Comedy Open Mic
7 p.m. Every last Sun.; Free. Hexagon Bar, 2600 27th Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-722-3454.
Minnesota Chorale Presents: Sing-Along of the Fauré Requiem
4 p.m. Jan. 28; Free. Hamline United Methodist Church, 1514 Englewood Ave., St. Paul; 651-645-0667.

Shining the Light on Abilities
Interactive performance and exhibition led by Interact Center for the Visual and Performing Arts, as part of Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month. Registration and more info at 2-4 p.m. Jan. 28; Free; registration required. Beth El Synagogue, 5225 Barry St. W., St. Louis Park; 952-873-7300.

Steve Atkinson
Author presents his new book, 'In Liberating Strife: A Memoir of the Vietnam Years.' 5 p.m. Jan. 28; Free. Magers & Quinn Booksellers, 3038 Hennepin Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-822-4611.