Check out all the free happenings.
In days of yore, Holidazzle was a lighted parade that cruised through downtown, messing up traffic and confusing bus commuters. It had to go. Now the event has morphed into something more functional: a winter festival for families and barhoppers alike. Each week offers a handful of new things to experience and explore. There will be outdoor movie screenings, including classics like A Christmas Story, Elf, and Home Alone. In addition to pouring Fulton brews, the beer garden will offer board and card games to play, and nights include vinyl DJ sets (Thursdays) and bingo led by drag queens (Fridays). A kids’ play area will keep the little ones busy, and Santa will show up every day. Other wintertime fun to be had: ice skating on the open rink, tasty eats from local businesses, fireworks every Saturday night, and Yeti, a new twinkling light installation by Christopher Lutter-Gardella. Find the complete list of activities and schedules at holidazzle.com. 5-10 p.m. Fri.; 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sat.; 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Sun. Free. Loring Park, 1382 Willow St., Minneapolis. –Jessica Armbruster
Hotpants Dance Night
With DJ Brian Engel. 21+. 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. James Ballentine "Uptown" VFW - Post 246, 2916 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-823-6233.
With Battery ODC, Ghostlands, and Onion Bun. 9 p.m. Dec. 20; Free. Hexagon Bar, 2600 27th Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-722-3454.
Superheater (EP Release Show)
With Busey and Les Deux Magots. 10 p.m. Dec. 20; Free. Palmer's Bar, 500 S. Cedar Ave., Minneapolis; 612-333-7625.
With Butter Boys, Pinched, and Kat Kirschmann. 10 p.m. Dec. 20; Free. 331 Club, 331 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis; 612-331-1746.
When the Clock Turns Nine
Feature art from Mexican artist Gabriela Olvera. 6-8 p.m. Free. La Doña Cervecería, 241 Fremont Ave. N., Minneapolis; 612-315-4613.
Holiday Flower Show
Annual show which began in 1925, this year featuring Ice Punch Poinsettia along with Kalanchoe Cher, Eucalyptus, and Persian Shield. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Daily from Dec. 7-Jan. 12; Free. Marjorie McNeely Conservatory at Como Park, 1225 Estabrook Drive, St. Paul; 651-487-8200.
Destination Winter Saint Paul
Featuring an outdoor WinterSkate with skate rentals available, and a SuperSlide for kids and adults, with concession stands available for food and drink purchases, and heating lamps along the concourse. Daily from Dec. 6-Feb. 22. Free; $5 skate rentals; SuperSlide tickets are $10 for adults and $7 children. CHS Field, 360 N. Broadway St., St. Paul; 651-266-6400.
Skate the Star
Mall of America ice skating rink, located on the North Entrance. All proceeds from skate rentals go directly to the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities. Daily from Dec. 14-Feb. 2. Free; $5 skate rentals. Mall of America, 60 E. Broadway, Bloomington; 952-883-8800.
International group photography exhibition. Opening reception 6-8 p.m. Fri., Dec. 20. Free. Praxis Gallery and Photographic Arts Center, 2637 27th Ave S., Minneapolis; 612-728-5520.
Can Can Wonderland Karaoke
Hosted by Silly Miss Tilly. All ages. 5:30-8:30 p.m. Every Fri. Free. Can Can Wonderland, 755 Prior Ave. N., Ste. 4, St. Paul; 651-925-2261.
Erin Schwab and Jay Fuchs
8:30-11:30 p.m. Every Fri. Free. Birch's Lowertown, 289 Fifth St. E., St. Paul; 651-432-4677.
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.
Hub for the Holidays: European Christmas Market 2019
On the East Plaza, you’ll find the annual European Christmas Market. Shop for handmade items, enjoy traditional eats like sausages, mulled wine, and sweets, and take in live music and dancing. Santa, his reindeer, and Krampus will also be stopping by Fridays through Sundays each week. Find the complete schedule of events at uniondepot.org/holiday. 4-9 p.m. Fri.; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Sat.; 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sun. Free. Union Depot, 214 E. 4th St., St. Paul; 651-202-2700.
2019 Holiday Gallery Shop
Featuring handmade fiber arts and crafts from a variety of local and global artists, holiday gift ideas, demonstrations, hands-on activities, meet the maker fests every Sat., and work by featured artist Wendy Richardson. Daily from Nov. 1-Dec. 24; Free. Textile Center, 3000 University Ave., Minneapolis; 612-436-0464.
Arts of the Holidays Show & Sale 2019
Annual art sale featuring a gallery full of fine crafts and art by local artisans, perfect for holiday giving. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Fri., and Sat. Free. Minnetonka Center for the Arts, 2240 N. Shore Dr., Wayzata; 952-473-7361.
Holiday Artisan Market
Featuring holiday gift ideas and handmade goods from Minnesota makers and artisans. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Dec. 19-20; Free. Hotel Emery, 215 4th St. S., Minneapolis; 612-340-2000.
Keg & Case Holiday Market
11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fri.-Sun. Keg and Case Market, 928 7th St. W., St. Paul.
SooVAC Artists' Holiday Shop
Featuring art and gifts from Minnesota artists and makers. Dec. 6-29; Free. Soo Visual Arts Center, 2909 Bryant Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-871-2263.
Raging Art On 2019
Featuring work for purchase from over 40 Minnesota artists, DJs, and handcrafted gifts. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Fri.; 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sat. Free. Gamut Gallery, 717 S. 10th St., Minneapolis; 612-367-4327.
Christmas at the Haus
This Saturday Bauhaus celebrates Christmas, offering festivities throughout the day for folks of all ages. For the kids, Santa will be stopping by from noon to 2 p.m., sharing joy and taking any last-minute gift requests. There will also be coloring sessions for all who enjoy a calming moment with some crayons. Gerhard’s Brats will serve up eats during the day, and people who bring in a new toy to donate to families in need will score a free beer in return. Meanwhile, DJ Shane David Kramer will spin holiday hits starting at 7 p.m. 12-11 p.m. Dec. 21; Free. Bauhaus Brew Labs, 1315 Tyler St. NE, Minneapolis; 612-276-6911. –Jessica Armbruster
Pop-Up Pup Photobooth
A free holiday-themed photo booth for dogs and dog lovers alike. Noon to 3 p.m. Sisyphus Brewing, 712 Ontario Ave. W., Minneapolis; 612-444-8674.
Bring the Sing on the Solstice
Community celebration of the Winter Solstice, featuring performances by Cameron Kinghorn & Friends, Dan Newton, Jerry Rubino, and Kith & Kin Chorus, with a Beer Choir and Classical Kids Storytime. 4-8 p.m. Dec. 21; Free. Theodore Wirth Park, 1339 Theodore Wirth Pkwy., Minneapolis; 612-230-6400.
Darkest Day Celebration - Tap Takeover
The sun will set at roughly 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, the shortest day of the year. That’s about seven fewer hours of daylight than the Twin Cities saw each day in June. But Uptown Tavern will have everybody seeing darkness even earlier at its annual Darkest Day of the Year party. The tap takeover officially begins at 1 p.m., with all 30 taps dedicated to dark—often quite rare—beers that are the color of midnight. Find barrel-aged locals like Surly’s Darkness, Bent’s Double Shot Double Black, and Summit’s Dark Infusion, plus exciting national beers from Toppling Goliath (Morning Delight), Firestone Walker (Anniversary XXII), Dogfish Head (World Wide Stout), the Bruery (Bakery Coconut Macaroons), and more. If flights and pints aren’t enough, the heated patio will serve bourbons from Pappy Van Winkle and the Buffalo Trace Distillery’s Antique Collection. 12 p.m. Dec. 21; Free. Uptown Tavern & Rooftop, 1400 Lagoon Ave., Minneapolis; 612-824-3333. –Loren Green
9 p.m. Dec. 21; Free. Hexagon Bar, 2600 27th Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-722-3454.
The Party Crashers
With Alina Maira and Aldrich. 10 p.m. Dec. 21; Free. 331 Club, 331 13th Ave. NE, Minneapolis; 612-331-1746.
Yule Wanna Be Here
Pop-up shopping includes new Naughty & Nice Handmade Art & Gifts, Monica Helland Prints and Design, Emilia Luciano Bags and Jewelry, Vintage Jewelry by MB. Noon to 6 p.m. Duke Albert, 2516 Central Ave. NE, Minneapolis.
A Warm Winter Solstice at the Bookshop
Featuring last-minute gifts, warm wassail, cookies, ornament making, tarot readings, family-friendly storytime. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Irreverent Bookworm, 5163 Bloomington Ave., Minneapolis; 612-500-4339.
Plate & Parcel Holiday Market
Featuring over 60 different vendors selling local crafts, holiday gifts, artisan foods, and ready-to-eat meals. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sat.-Sun. Free. Wagners Garden Centers, 6024 Penn Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-922-6907.
6th Annual Festivus Celebration
Whereas the origins of most holiday rituals are shrouded in archaic mythologies, the anti-consumerist celebration known as Festivus can be traced to a contemporary source, the enduringly irreverent sitcom Seinfeld. Inspired by the actual family practices of Dan O’Keefe, one of the show’s writers, the mock holiday was memorably introduced to the world by the perpetually aggrieved Frank Costanza. Today, it serves as an antidote to the maddening pressures of the yuletide season. The holiday “for the rest of us” has long since transcended its satirical origins, having been embraced by the disenchanted. The annual Festivus Celebration at Fair State Brewing Cooperative possesses a cathartic quality, giving participants the chance to vent their holiday frustrations to a supportive audience, as part of the Airing of the Grievances. Should the repressed angst be strong enough to require a more physical outlet, the celebration also encourages participants to take on the Feats of Strength (usually presented as an arm or thumb wrestling challenge). For those who would rather hang back by the unadorned aluminum pole and cheer on the revelry, Fair State Brewing will offer a full array of delicious libations to accompany the anti-holiday shenanigans. 7-10 p.m. Dec. 22; Free. Fair State Brewing Cooperative, 2506 Central Ave. NE, Minneapolis; 612-444-3209.
Holidazzle Movie Night
5 p.m. Free. Loring Park, 1382 Willow St., Minneapolis.
Wee Willie Walker Celebration of Life Party
Featuring performances from Anthony and Christine Paule, Paul Metsa, Mari Harris, Sonny Earl, Bob Coates, the Butanes, Wilbur Cole with the Soul Mates, Maurice Jacox, and the We R Band. 3 p.m. Dec. 22; Free. Minnesota Music Cafe, 501 Payne Ave., St. Paul; 651-776-4699.
Weekly residency with a variety of special guests and opening acts. 7-9 p.m. Every Sun. Free. Palmer's Bar, 500 S. Cedar Ave., Minneapolis; 612-333-7625.
8 p.m. Every Sun. Free. Schooner Tavern, 2901 27th Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-729-4365.
Sounds to Cover Scars
Benefit for the Scars Foundation, featuring music from Booduhmuzik, Ron Onill, Syi Steelo, Auctavias Blanchette, Mpls Drew, Tuvok the Word, DJ Skywalka, DJ Joshuatree, and DJ Lady Sparxx. 1-6 p.m. Dec. 22; Free. Part Wolf, 501 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis; 612-338-6424.
Last Call: A Holiday Market
Well dang. So you waited until the last minute to pick up your final gifts, and now you’re panicking. Don’t head over to Target or the Mall of America yet; you may find what you need at a far more chill event this Sunday at the Food Building. Here you can shop local wares while enjoying cocktails, beer, and more. Gift foodie friends with items from Alemar Cheese, Red Table Meat Co., and Anton Wolf’s Hot Sauce. Score points with your goth cousin with a surprise from 3 Jag Designs, which sells rad knife-shaped necklaces. Your sassy friend should dig a variety of pins from Gigi’s Flair Emporium, and you can keep your mom cozy this winter with something from QuiltKween. Vintage clothing, handmade jewelry, and beauty products round out the lineup. 3-8 p.m. Dec. 22; Free. Food Building, 1401 Marshall St. NE, Minneapolis; 612-545-5555. –Jessica Armbruster
Miracle at Lawless
While many bars throw up a few decorations during the holidays, Lawless takes it to the next level, getting festive as shit. Now that winter has arrived, they’ve gone full North Pole, loading every inch of their ceilings and walls with twinkling lights, tinsel wreaths, and candy-colored ornaments. Their menu is changing to reflect the holidays, too; one whimsical concoction teased on Facebook features cotton candy in a gimlet glass. Sundays will be particularly festive, with Minneapolis Craft Market hosting the Hygge Holiday Market in the back room, where you’ll find a different variety of makers each week. 4-11 p.m. Mon., Tue., and Sun. from Dec. 1-Jan. 1; 4-11:55 p.m. Wed.-Sat. from Dec. 4-Jan. 1. Free. Lawless Distilling Company, 2619 28th Ave. S., Minneapolis, Minnesota; 612-276-1000. –Jessica Armbruster