This weekend in free things to do we have some last-minute shopping parties, a bad Santa party (score a free beer), and the best holiday of all, Ludachristmas. Come take a look and plan your cheap weekend.
Ludachristmas Dance Party
Christmas can be a real bitch. Whether it’s draining your bank account, holding your tongue while your uncle shares his opinions on gun control, or coping with the hordes of assholes at your retail job during the holidays, this week can be brutal. Fortunately, Ludachristmas is coming. This Friday, Ludachristmas (or Chris “Ludachristmas” Bridges, as he’s known in the acting community) brings all of the yuletide hits of ATL’s favorite son to MSP. No matter what’s your fantasy or what area codes you live in, everyone is encourage to stand up, get back, and roll out to the Hexagon Bar for a pre-Christmas bash full of vitamin D. It’ll be a fast and furious night of Southern hospitality before braving the onslaught of family and Christmas music this weekend, so make sure your time and your clothes coordinate, and come shake your money maker and act a fool this Friday. 10 p.m.-2 a.m. Dec. 22; Free. Hexagon Bar, 2600 27th Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-722-3454. --Patrick Strait
With Collapsing Star and Jesse Revel. 10 p.m. Dec. 22; Free. 331 Club, 331 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis; 612-331-1746.
The Comedy Corner Open Mic Night
10 p.m. Every Fri.; Free. The Corner Bar, 1501 Washington Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-339-4333.
Featuring fireworks, Santa visits, movie nights, free skating, bonfires, music, food, beer, and craft vendors. Score a free ride to the event from MetroTransit on Saturdays. More info can be found at www.holidazzle.com. 5-10 p.m. Fri.; 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sat. Free. Loring Park, 1382 Willow St., Minneapolis.
Free public skating rink with a warming house and complimentary skate rental. Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas day. Daily from Nov. 15-March 10; Free. Loring Park, 1382 Willow St., Minneapolis.
9 p.m. Dec. 22; Free. Schooner Tavern, 2901 27th Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-729-4365.
8 p.m. Dec. 22; Free. Shaw's Bar & Grill, 1528 University Ave. NE, Minneapolis; 612-781-4405.
Last-Minute Holiday Shopping
Well, crap. You waited until the last moment to finish up Christmas shopping, didn’t you? Fortunately, you won’t have to gift anyone windshield wipers from the gas station or sift through the slim pickings at Target, as there are two pop-up events tonight. First, you can give the gift of delicious vegan sweets at Herbivorous Butcher’s holiday pop-up shop (507 First Ave. NE, Minneapolis; 612-208-0992). Friday from noon to 4 p.m. you can scoop up and purchase treats while they last. There will be cupcakes; choose from flavors like hot chocolate, chocolate candy cane, gingerbread with eggnog frosting, and cranberry with apple cider frosting. Or go for tiny joys with boxes of candies such as white chocolate peanut butter, maple buttercream, and chocolate-covered cherries. Meanwhile, Last Call in the FOOD Building (1401 Marshall St. NE, Minneapolis; 612-545-5555) will help you panic-shop in a party environment. Check out items from local makers, including jewelry, print art, meat, and makeup. If you buy something at the event, you’ll also score free wrapping. To add to the festivities, live music and tarot-card readings are also planned, and you’ll be able to drink while you shop (always a bonus). This market runs from 2 to 8 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 23; 12-4 p.m., 2-8 p.m. Dec. 22; Free. Food Building, 1401 Marshall St. NE, Minneapolis; 612-545-5555. --Jessica Armbruster
Last Call: A Holiday Market
Featuring gift ideas from local artists and artisans with free gift wrapping station, Fulton beer, street food, energy readings, acupuncture, music, and movies. 2-8 p.m. Dec. 22; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 23; Free. Food Building, 1401 Marshall St. NE, Minneapolis; 612-545-5555.
Holiday Pop-Up At Herbivorous Butcher
Featuring specials on cookies, cupcakes, and chocolates for sale. 12-4 p.m. Dec. 22; Free. Herbivorous Butcher, 507 1st Ave. NE, Minneapolis; 612-208-0992.
SooVAC Artists' Holiday Shop
Opening Friday is SooVAC’s holiday gift shop, where you can pick up paintings, prints, sculptures, and more from Twin Cities artists. The show and sale runs through Christmas Eve, and is open during gallery hours. 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Every Fri. from Dec. 1-24; 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Every Sat. and Sun. from Dec. 1-24; Free. Soo Visual Arts Center, 2909 Bryant Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-871-2263.
Peter Schimke Trio
7-11:30 p.m. Daily from Dec. 22-23; 7 p.m. Dec. 31; 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. Closed Christmas and New Years day. 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
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.
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.
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.
Christmas Eve Eve Party
You’ve got approximately 24 hours before the holiday family obligations kick in, so make the most of it. This Saturday night, Psycho Suzi’s will be hosting a holiday party filled with booze, tunes, and pu pu platters. Order up one of their charming—and super alcoholic—cocktails and hit the dance floor, where DJ Theology will spin a mix of house, trance, and tropical tunes (you are in a tiki bar, after all). Ugly sweaters and other festive gear is encouraged, but if all you have is a bit of holiday cheer, then that works, too. 21+. 9 p.m.-1 a.m. Dec. 23; Free. Psycho Suzi's Motor Lounge, 1900 Marshall St. NE, Minneapolis; 612-788-9069. --Patrick Strait
Bad Santa Party
Come dressed as a bad Santa for a chance to win prizes. Bring a non-perishable food donation for a free beer. All donations go to SACA Food Shelf & Thrift Store. Saturday, 6-10 p.m. Bent Brewstillery, 1744 Terrace Dr., Roseville; 844-879-2368.
Alma's Holiday Makers Market
Featuring gift ideas from local vendors, artists, artisans, and craft merchants, with holiday pies and tarts from Cafe Alma and craft cocktails from Bittercube. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 23; Free. Alma: Cafe, Hotel and Restaurant, 528 University Ave. SE, Minneapolis; 612-379-4909.
Net Neutrality Protest
Saturday, noon to 4 p.m. Capitol Plaza, 75 Rev Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul.
8 p.m. Dec. 23; Free. Shaw's Bar & Grill, 1528 University Ave. NE, Minneapolis; 612-781-4405.
Ross William Perry
9 p.m. Dec. 23; Free. Schooner Tavern, 2901 27th Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-729-4365.
7-11 p.m. Every Sun.; Free. Schooner Tavern, 2901 27th Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-729-4365.
Comedy open mic showcase hosted by Trish Cook. 7:30 p.m. Every Sun.; Free. Bunny's Bar & Grill NE, 34 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis; 612-545-5659.
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.
Zacc Harris Trio
7-9 p.m. Every Sun. from Sept. 24-Dec. 30; Free. Riverview Cafe & Wine Bar, 3745 42nd Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-729-4200.