May 16, 2024 - Things to Do

Twin Cities weekend events: Art-A-Whirl, Doors Open, live "Gong Show"

A woman painting in the middle of an art store.

Photo: Jerry Holt/Star Tribune via Getty Images

Over 1,300 artists will take over more than 100 Northeast Minneapolis galleries, businesses, breweries and more from Friday through Sunday for the 29th Art-A-Whirl, the largest open studio tour in the country.

  • Visitors can explore art studios, meet local artists, shop for a variety of artwork, enjoy live music, paint and experience glassblowing.

Notable happenings include Indeed Brewing's beer and music festival Whirlygig, which runs all weekend, and auto repair shop Turbo Tim's live car crushing on Saturday at 4pm.

🚌 Pro tip: Avoid a parking battle by taking the free Art-A-Whirl trolley, which loops through the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District every 30 minutes.

  • Find the full list of activities here. Open Friday 5pm-10pm, Saturday 12-8pm, Sunday 12-5pm.

In other things to do...

πŸ”Ž Doors Open Minneapolis returns! More than 100 venues that are often closed to the general public β€” like private clubs, churches and city buildings β€” will allow visitors this weekend only. Free

  • Venues include the Federal Reserve Bank, Star Tribune printing press, Scottish Rite Masonic Center and House of Balls. Find the full list and specific hours.

πŸ‡ΉπŸ‡­ The Minnesota Songkran Festival, one of the largest Thai festivals in the U.S., takes over the Minnesota State Capitol Saturday-Sunday. Expect a parade, plenty of food, cultural performances and a papaya eating contest. Free

πŸ’€ The Oddities and Curiosities Expo returns to the Minneapolis Convention Center Saturday-Sunday showcasing "all things weird," ranging from taxidermy to skulls to funeral collectibles. $10 in advance, $15 day-of

😱 Scream It Off Screen, the monthly short film festival similar to "The Gong Show" where the audience decides what plays by yelling at the screen, is holding a "Battle of the Best" competition at the Fitzgerald Theater on Saturday night. $30+

  • Audrey's thought bubble: If you've heard me yap about SIOS for the last two years but haven't been able to snag tickets, this show β€” which exclusively screens the winning films from 2023 β€” is a great introduction. Yes, there's a dress code.

πŸŽͺ Cirque du Soleil returns to the Big Top for the first time in over a decade, starting Saturday night. "Bazzar," a show exploring the origins of the world-famous circus company, will be held under the Big Top in the Mall of America parking lot through June 16. $49+ weekdays; $62+ weekends

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to show this will be the first time in over a decade that the Cirque du Soleil will be performing at the Big Top (not in all of Minnesota)

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