This week in free things to do we have an chance to see the awesome Guillermo del Toro exhibition for free, a fire arts party, and a little movie about returning to the future... in 1985.
Third Thursday: At Home with Monsters
Guillermo del Toro knows what scares us. The filmmaker -- whose work includes Crimson Peak, Pacific Rim, and Pan’s Labyrinth -- has brought his collection of horrors to Mia for an exhibition, and has received rave reviews from both fans and art critics alike. The show includes concept drawings, monster recreations, special-effect pieces, and other creepy items that have inspired him over the years. This Thursday, those who sign up for free tickets online can save themselves $20 and see everything for free. Even if you don’t score passes, there will be plenty of fun to be had. Darla Edin will be giving special-effect makeup demonstrations that may spark ideas for your next Halloween costume (cosplayers in attendance may do so as well). There will also be geeky gallery talks, live music from goth-pop group Graveyard Club, and plenty of creepy hands-on art activities. Order up a beer or wine from the cash bar and face your fears. Costumes are encouraged, but be sure to keep it museum-friendly. That means no masks, weapons, or tails. Book your tickets to the show online at bit.ly/GDTatMia or call 612-870-6323. You'll need to become a My Mia member first (which is also free!). Read our review of the show here. 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday. Free. Minneapolis Institute of Art, 2400 Third Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-870-3131.
Open (Hot) House
No matter what the weather is doing this week, it's going to be hot at this party at Chicago Avenue Fire Arts. Watch artists work in metal forging, coloring, neon, and other mediums that require hot temps, skill, and precision. See finished work on display, as new gallery shows are opening. Try your hand at metal stamping and other interactive offerings. Full Moon Fire Jams will be playing with fire outside as well. 6:30 to 9 p.m. Wednesday. Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center, 3749 Chicago Ave., Minneapolis; 612-294-0400.
Films at the Fitz: Back to the Future
You don’t have to wait until summer movies in the parks to watch retro flicks for free. In celebration of MPR’s 50th anniversary, the crew is hosting a handful of free movie nights at the Fitz. This installment features the iconic ‘80s classic Back to the Future, starring Michael J. Fox as a time-traveling teen who has to get his parents together, with the help of a kind-but-crazy scientist played by Christopher Lloyd, before zapping himself back to the future… in 1985. The cheesy but joyful flick also stars Crispin Glover in one of his few non-creepy roles, along with Minnesota’s own Lea Thompson. Audiences are encouraged to dress as their favorite characters from the trilogy, and beer, popcorn, and other treats will be available from the concessions. Sarah White will provide R&B/funk tunes for all. Registration and more info can be found at www.fitzgeraldtheater.org. 6 p.m. Thursday. Free; registration required. Fitzgerald Theater, 10 E. Exchange St., St. Paul; 651-290-1200.