Santas on bikes, 'Elf' at Union Depot: 60 free things to do this weekend

Santa's are raging on bikes this weekend.

Santa's are raging on bikes this weekend. FB Promo

This weekend in free things to do we have a light show, a screening of Elf, and a Santa-themed bar crawl. Come take a look.




CSE Winter Light Show Premiere
Student-designed 3D outdoor experience featuring more than 250,000 LED lights set to music designed, sequenced, composed, and performed by University of Minnesota students. The premiere party on Friday from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at Rapson Hall’s HGA Goldstein Gallery features free hot chocolate and cookies. Twenty-minute shows are at 5:30, 6, and 6:30 p.m. Also Sunday. Civil Engineering U of M Twin Cities, 500 Pillsbury Dr. SE, Minneapolis.

Brandon Lay
Pop-up performance in the lobby, with rooftop show at 7 p.m. for Hewing's Social Club members. 9 p.m. Dec. 1; Free. Hewing Hotel, 300 N. Washington Ave., Minneapolis; 866-501-3300.

Can Can Wonderland Karaoke
Hosted by Silly Miss Tilly. All ages. 5:30 p.m.-8:30 a.m. Every Fri.; 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. 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.

Image courtesy event organizers

Image courtesy event organizers

European Christmas Market
Once again, the Union Depot in Lowertown St. Paul will be a hub for holiday festivities. While this happening could be considered complementary to Minneapolis’ Holidazzle in Loring Park, St. Paul’s celebration offers more old-school charm. Things kick off on Friday, December 1, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. with a tree lighting ceremony. American Idol contestant Eric Gordon will serenade crowds, followed by fireworks. Inside, families can enjoy a free screening of Elf. The European Christmas Market runs through the 10th, and features traditional crafts, foods, mulled wine, and handmade gifts. The North Pole Express will also be coming to the Depot during the season, offering kids a chance to enjoy a ride on a vintage steam engine in the company of Santa and his elves. The ever-popular bake sale will offer treats from top Twin Cities bakeries on December 9. Most events are free; train rides and the bake sale require tickets. Find more info at 4-9 p.m. Dec. 1; 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Dec. 2; 12-6 p.m. Dec. 3. Free. Union Depot, 214 E. 4th St., St. Paul; 651-202-2700. -Jessica Armbruster

With Jonathan Ackerman 9 p.m. Every 1st Fri.; Free. Kitty Cat Klub, 315 14th Ave. SE, Minneapolis; 612-331-9800.

FeZtival of Trees
Presented by Zuhrah Shriners, featuring pictures with Santa, holiday marketplace, decorated trees, raffles, carnival games, music, concessions, and tour of lights. 5-9 p.m. Dec. 1; 12-9 p.m. Dec. 2; Free. Zuhrah Shrine Center, 5400 Main St. NE, Minneapolis; 612-871-3555.

Image courtesy event organizers

Image courtesy event organizers

Holiday No Coast Craft-O-Rama
Another weekend, another chance to shop local this holiday season. Things kick off with Holiday No Coast Craft-O-Rama, an uber-popular event featuring makers sharing wares running the gamut from twee to edgy. Check out prints, shop homemade coasters, pick up adorable onesies and Minnesota-themed home goods. This two-day happening is at Midtown Global Market; visit for more info. 3-8 p.m. Dec. 1; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 2; Free. Midtown Global Market, 920 E. Lake St., Minneapolis; 612-872-4041.

Holidazzle 2017
Once a glitzy holiday parade that ran down Nicollet Mall for 20 years, the Holidazzle has morphed and adapted over time, turning into a village and market on Peavey Plaza and eventually finding its way to its current location in Loring Park. The heart of the event remains the same: to bring some light and joy and entertainment to downtown Minneapolis. Holidazzle has plenty of attractions, including fireworks displays, Santa visits, movie nights, free skating, bonfires, and musical performances. There’ll be a chance to call the Santa Hotline with gift requests, and a Winter Open Streets will go from Loring Park to Fifth Street and Nicollet via Grant Street. Say hi to a lit-up Wolf and Moose created by Christopher Lutter-Gardella, and don’t forget to come hungry, as there will be plenty of roasted almonds, mini pancakes, pierogies, mulled hot cider, wild rice and cranberry sausages, and adult beverages. Score a free ride to the event from MetroTransit on Saturdays. More info can be found at 5-9 p.m. Every Thu. from Nov. 24-Dec. 23; 5-10 p.m. Every Fri. from Nov. 24-Dec. 23; 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Every Sat. from Nov. 24-Dec. 23; 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Every Sun. from Nov. 24-Dec. 23; Free. Loring Park, 1382 Willow St., Minneapolis. --Sheila Regan

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

Inside Out
Paintings by Bonnie Cutts. Artist talk 2-4 p.m. Sat., Dec. 2. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Every Mon., Tue., Wed., Thu., and Fri. from Oct. 1-Dec. 31; 10:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Every Sat. from Oct. 1-Dec. 31; Free. Opening Night Framing Services & Gallery, 2836 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-872-2325.

Lowertown First Fridays
Featuring open studios, gallery openings, more. For more info, visit (Pictured: Embers by Julie Keller) 6-9 p.m. Every 1st Fri.; Free. Lowertown, 5th St. E. & Sibley St., St Paul.

MN Sinfonia Holiday Orchestra Concert
7 p.m. Dec. 1; Free. First Covenant Church, 1280 Arcade St., St. Paul; 651-774-0344.

Lynette Black, 'When Darkness Comes'

Lynette Black, 'When Darkness Comes'

Prints on Ice: The 32nd Cooperative Exhibition
There will be an artists’ reception on Friday, December 1, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Free. Highpoint Center for Printmaking, 912 W. Lake St., Minneapolis; 612-871-1326.

Question the Buildup
Group show featuring mixed-media art. Opening reception 7-10 p.m. Fri., Dec. 1. 7-10 p.m. Dec. 1. Free. Q.arma Building, 1224 Quincy St. NE, Minneapolis; 612-623-3782.

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

Wells Fargo WinterSkate
Once again, downtown St. Paul will be turning into a winter wonderland for the season. That includes WinterSkate, a charming ice rink located right across the street from Rice Park. The space will be open daily, so you can bring the kids during vacation, woo a date in the evening, or kill time before dinner with friends. Free skating lessons will be offered on special dates. If you can’t make it to the rink during the holidays, fret not: Weather permitting, it will be open during the Saint Paul Winter Carnival on into mid-February. If you’re in Minneapolis and St. Paul is too far of a schlep, consider heading to Loring Park before Christmas Eve for free skating during Holidazzle. 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. --Jessica Armbruster

Santa's are raging on bikes this weekend.

Santa's are raging on bikes this weekend. FB Promo


5th Annual Santa Cycle Rampage
Costumed bike ride to a variety of breweries in Minneapolis. More info at 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Dec. 2; Free. The Freehouse, 701 Washington Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612-339-7011.

Stache Bash
Mustache competition with tapping of a keg of Magnum P.A. 8 p.m.-12 a.m. Dec. 2; Free. Fair State Brewing Cooperative, 2506 Central Ave. NE, Minneapolis; 612-444-3209.

Holiday Special: Art Cards and Vegan Bakery
Featuring handmade cards by RosiPati Cards and baked goods from Sweet Root Mpls., with photo booth and DIY cookie bar. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 2; Free. A-Mill Artist Loft Building, 315 SE Main St., Minneapolis; 612-339-1034.

Seward Winter Frolic and Art Crawl
A celebration of local arts and businesses with artists, receptions, specials, and live entertainment. The lighting ceremony at Triangle Park on Saturday runs from 5 to 6 p.m. with Bare Bones Production, hayrides around the park, and Santa. Maps can be found December 2-3 at Seward Co-op, Welna II, the Ivy Building, and other participating locations. Saturday and Sunday.

L-R: Work by Julie Liger-Belair, Jenny Brown, Shawna Gilmore

L-R: Work by Julie Liger-Belair, Jenny Brown, Shawna Gilmore

Open Door 13
There will be a public reception from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday, December 9. 12-4 p.m. Every Sat. and Sun. from Dec. 2-30; Free. Rosalux Gallery, 1400 Van Buren St. NE, Minneapolis; 612-747-3942.

Handmade Holiday Market
Featuring wares and gift items from local artists and makers, with live music and Belgian-style beers. 12-5 p.m. Every Sat. from Dec. 2-16; Free. Lakes & Legends Brewing Company, 1368 LaSalle Ave, Minneapolis; 612-999-6020.

Holiday Craft Hop
Holiday-themed craft show featuring handmade creations from over 60 Minnesota artists and vendors. 12-5 p.m. Dec. 2; Free. Grain Belt Brew House, 1224 Marshall St. NE, Minneapolis.

Winter Salon Group Exhibition
New work by Circa Gallery Artists. Opening reception 3-6 p.m. Sat., Dec. 2. Free. Circa Gallery, 210 N. First St., Minneapolis; 612-332-2386.

You and I Do Not Form a Number: Paintings by Sara Suppan
Public reception 7-10 p.m. Sat., Dec. 2; conversation with the artist 3-4 p.m. Sun., Dec. 3. Free. Yeah Maybe, 2528 E 22nd st, Minneapolis, Minnesota; 612-819-7154.

Image courtesy event organizers

Image courtesy event organizers

Whiskey Release Party
Bent unveils One-Twenty Barrel-Strength Single Malt Whiskey with a daylong party. 12 p.m.-12 a.m. Dec. 2; Free. Bent Brewstillery, 1744 Terrace Drive, Roseville; 844-879-2368.

10th Annual Holiday Sale
Featuring handmade jewelry, crafts, and gift items, with cookies, coffee, and tea. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 2; 12-5 p.m. Dec. 3; Free. Vine Arts Center, 2637 27th Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-728-5745.

14th Annual Holiday Craft Fair
Featuring wares from over 60 local crafters and artists, with bake sale by the Roseville Historical Society. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 2; 12-4 p.m. Dec. 3; Free. Roseville City Hall, 2660 Civic Center Dr., Roseville; 651-792-7000.

Anne Parker and Josie Winship
Collages, mixed media paintings, and wood sculptures. Opening reception 6-9 p.m. Sat., Dec. 2. Free. Artista Bottega, 937 7th St. W., St. Paul; 651-493-0861.

Art at Ramsey
Juried holiday art fair sponsored by Saint Paul Public Schools Community Education. More info at 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 2; Free. Ramsey Junior High School, 1700 Summit Ave., St. Paul; 651-293-8860.

Meg Ojala

Meg Ojala

From the Bog
Photography by Meg Ojala. Opening reception 2-5 p.m. Sat., Dec. 2. Daily from Dec. 2-Jan. 13; Free. Groveland Gallery, 25 Groveland Terrace, Minneapolis; 612-377-7800.

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. Every Sat. Free. Mill City Museum, 704 S. 2nd St., Minneapolis; 612-341-7555.

Cynthia Rust
Author presents her new book, 'It's Nice to Meet Me Too: The Laughter and Lessons Learned from Raising Randy, a Young Man with Tuberous Sclerosis.' 12 p.m. Dec. 2; Free. Common Good Books, 38 S. Snelling Ave., St. Paul; 651-225-8989.

Free First Saturdays
Featuring fun activities, art tours, film screenings, and more the first Saturday of each month. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Every 1st Sat.; Free. Walker Art Center, 725 Vineland Place, Minneapolis; 612-375-7600.

Image courtesy event organizers

Image courtesy event organizers

Grand Meander
Hop on the trolley: Grand Meander is here. The annual event, organized by the Grand Avenue Business Association, highlights the many locally owned businesses in the area by hosting holiday festivities. Hear carolers as they sing your favorite tunes, and make a date with Santa for breakfast to let him know you’ve been good this year. There’s also plenty of art shows and receptions, soup tastings, shopping, and activities for kids and adults alike. Pick up your Christmas tree, and enjoy the twinkling lights along beautiful Grand Avenue via the free trolley. Find the full schedule and more info at 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 2; Free. Grand Avenue, from Dale to Fairview, St. Paul; 651-699-0029. --Sheila Regan

Summit Avenue Artisan Festival
Featuring handcrafted jewelry, pottery, food items, and more, from local artists and artisans, with children's activities, appearance from St. Nick, silent auction, cafe, and bake sale. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 2; Free. St. Paul United Church of Christ, 900 Summit Ave., St. Paul; 651-224-5809.

Holiday Open Haus
The GAI's mansion is decorated for the season, with vendors featuring German crafts and goods, model trains, holiday food and drinks, and a visit from St. Nikolaus on Sunday. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Daily from Dec. 2-3; Free. Germanic-American Institute, 301 Summit Ave., St. Paul; 651-222-7027.

Holiday Open House
Featuring a visit from Santa, cocoa and hot apple cider, marshmallow roasting, and holiday craft making. 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Dec. 2; Free. Scott County Historical Society, 235 S. Fuller St., Shakopee; 952-445-0378.

Joshua Cunningham: Driftless
Paintings. Opening reception 2-5 p.m. Sat., Dec. 2. Daily from Dec. 2-Jan. 13; Free. Groveland Gallery, 25 Groveland Terrace, Minneapolis; 612-377-7800.

Author/artists signs copies of his 'Musnet' book series and draws charcoal portraits. Reservations are encouraged for portraits. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 2; Free. Boneshaker Books, 2002 23rd Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-871-7110.



Betty's Bizarre Bazaar
Featuring local crafters and makers working in jewelry, sculpture, textiles, and more. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Betty Danger’s Country Club,2501 Marshall St. NE, Minneapolis; 612-315-4997.

Not to be confused with:

MSDB's 18th Annual Bizarre Bazaar
Shop for fun sex toys, leather gear, and other items. With a silent auction ending at 3:30 p.m. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Geek Partnership Society, 1121 Jackson St. NE, Suite 106, Minneapolis.

The Island of Misfit Makers
11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Food Building, 1401 Marshall St. NE, Minneapolis; 612-545-5555.

Innovative performance series featuring Pancake7, DJ Mickey Breeze, Zen with Josh Salant, and an open mic. 7 p.m. Dec. 2; Free. Studio Z, 275 E. 4th St., Ste 100, St. Paul; 651-755-1600.

MN Sinfonia Holiday Orchestra Concert
2 p.m. Dec. 2; Free. Basilica of St. Mary, 88 17th St. N., Minneapolis; 612-317-3511.

Mary Dougherty
Author presents her new book, 'Life in a Northern Town: Cooking, Eating, and Other Adventures Along Lake Superior.' 2 p.m. Dec. 2; Free. Common Good Books, 38 S. Snelling Ave., St. Paul; 651-225-8989.

Mica Lee Anders
Presentation entitled 'How to Tell Stories with Photography.' 1-3 p.m. Dec. 2; Free. Sun Ray Library, 2105 Wilson Ave., Maplewood; 651-501-6300.

New Hope Community Farmers Market
8 a.m.-1 p.m. Every Sat. from June 21; Free. New Hope Farmers' Market, 4300 Xylon Avenue N., Minneapolis; 763-531-5196.

Open Studio
Work by Jeremy Szopinski, Jon Reischl, Garrett Perry, Ed Charbonneau, Suyao Tian, Mohamud Mumin, and Kaamil Haider, with snacks and beverages. 2-6 p.m. Dec. 2; Free. Rock9 Art Studio, 558 Vandalia St., St. Paul.




Dogs of MSP x Finley's Holiday Market Meet Up
Dog-friendly holiday market. Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. Lakes & Legends Brewing Company, 1368 Lasalle Ave., Minneapolis.

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

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

Linden Hills Holiday Market
Featuring over 60 different vendors selling local crafts, holiday gifts, artisan foods, and ready-to-eat meals.  9 a.m.-2 p.m. Every Sun. from Nov. 5-Dec. 17; Free. Sunnyside Gardens, 3723 W. 44th St., Minneapolis; 612-926-2654.

Cherry Moon

Cherry Moon

Cherry Moon Press Holiday Popup
Enamel pins inspired by the life and music of Prince. Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. Seen the Future, 2223 E. 35th St., Minneapolis.

Mumblin' Drew
7-9 p.m. Every Sun. from Nov. 5-Dec. 24; Free. Palmer's Bar, 500 S. Cedar Ave., Minneapolis; 612-333-7625.

Potions and Passions: Saint Paul Civic Symphony
3 p.m. Dec. 3; Free. King of Kings Lutheran Church, 1583 Radio Drive, Woodbury; 651-738-3110.

The Foreword Poets
Graduates from the Loft Literary Center present their new anthology, 'In the Company of Others.' 2 p.m. Dec. 3; Free. Common Good Books, 38 S. Snelling Ave., St. Paul; 651-225-8989.

Pam Orren
Palmer's Artist of the Month, selling her paintings and pendants. Opening reception 3-7 p.m. Sun., Dec. 3. Free. Palmer's Bar, 500 S. Cedar Ave., Minneapolis; 612-333-7625.