4 things to do this week on the cheap

Many of us enter the new year with a full stomache and an empty wallet. So here are a few things to do this week that will get your blood pumping, but are either free, or a steal.

1. The Shostakovich Quartet Cycle

Starting today at noon, and for the following three Thursdays, The Artaria Quartet will perform eight of Shostakovich's string quartets in the intimate space of a room in the Landmark Center in downtown St. Paul. Cost: FREE

2. Wells Fargo Winter Skate

As you exit the Landmark Center, let the music move you, and don a pair of ice skates for a refreshing spin around the rink on the Landmark Plaza. The skating is FREE, and you can rent skates for a mere $2.

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Mu Performing Arts presents Hmong Tiger Tales at the Walker Art Center

3. Fables and Fairy Tales

Enjoy free admission to the Walker Art Center this Saturday, and bring the kids. There they can be treated to a retelling of Hmong folk stories about tigers (as presented by Mu Performing Arts) and create their own fairy tale mash-ups with the Children's Theatre Company. Cost: FREE

4. Eye popping Edo-Pop

This is the last weekend you can see an impressive collection of Japanese woodblock prints at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Admission to the exhibit is $8, but the rest of the museum is FREE.