Three free things to do this week


Yes, there are plenty of happenings today in honor of St. Patrick's Day. However, this installment of free things to do will be a holiday-free zone. If you're looking to celebrate out in the city on the cheap, you can check out our list of free events at the link below. Meanwhile, in this post we have an art party featuring the work of Matisse, a food blogger who does insanely beautiful things with cake, and an epic brewery b-day bash.

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Free and cheap stuff to do on St. Patrick's Day

Taproom 2-year anniversary week

(Harriet Brewing: 3036 Minnehaha Ave., Minneapolis, 651-225-2184)

Harriet Brewing is calling it a week-long celebration, but they're actually being modest, as their birthday schedule is closer to two weeks. The party kicked off last Tuesday, but is still going strong. Free happenings this week include music from Todd Menton and Brother Seamus (Monday) and the Dead Pigeons (Tuesday), a literary reading titled Worth Your Salt by Red Sofa Literary (Wednesday), more music from Cuttin' Grass with No Man's String Band and 5 Mile From Town (Thursday), comedy with the Windy City Comedy Tour (Friday), and a jam from the Fattenin Frogs, with special guest Trent Romens (Saturday). The beer list will also be expanded during these evening events, with 11 brews on tap, including Divine Oculust, Dark Abbey, West Side, East Side, Juhla Bru Elevator, Woluptuweiss, and four sour beers. Monday through Saturday. For more info and start times, visit

Third Thursday: Matisse Madness

(Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 2400 3rd Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612-870-3131,

For this installment of Third Thursday, the MIA is celebrating prolific painter Henri Matisse. The party will feature hands-on art activities for grownups, casual French lessons with the Alliance Francais, live music from the Atlantis Jazz Quartet, selfies with Matisse, and other fun activities. Beer and food will be available for purchase. Get there early, as the museum will be giving away tickets to its visiting Matisse exhibition while they last. 6-9 p.m. Thursday. 

Amanda Rettke

(Magers & Quinn Booksellers, 3038 Hennepin Ave. S., Minneapolis, 612-822-4611,

Amanda Rettke makes the kind of cakes that make Pinterest and Instagram explode with glee. We're talking about those awesome cakes with colorful designs inside and out. Rainbow hearts. Ombre icing. Secret messages spelled out in colorful letters hidden in vanilla cake. The blogger (I am Baker) and online personality will be in town to discuss her techniques and joy for baking in promotion of her book, Surprise-Inside Cakes. Does the thought of creating one of these things terrify you? No worries; the first chapter of her book covers basics, from baking level cake to frosting. The insanity -- vampire cakes! Hanukkah cakes! Zebra cakes! -- begins. 7 p.m. Thursday.