Twin Ports entertainment for $10 or less

Grab a scoop and a stroll, shoot archery and more in Duluth and Superior.

Pair your IPA or root bear with a game of Scrabble and other games at local breweries and pubs in Duluth. File / News Tribune

Whether it’s ax-throwing or hitting the roller rink, there’s promising entertainment for penny-pinchers in the Twin Ports. Here’s a glimpse of things to do for 10 bucks or less.

Get axed (not really)

For the Paul Bunyan or Gimli inclined, there’s competitive ax-throwing in downtown Duluth.

Ten bucks gets you 30 minutes whipping an ax over your head at a wooden target at Blacklist Artisan Ales. (One hour is $18 per person.) Equipment is provided, as is training on how to throw, score — and how to do it all safely.

If you're younger than 18, you need a guardian, and waivers are signed beforehand. They recommend booking a time slot, and keep those tootsies intact — no open-toe shoes.


Duluth's Lakewalk is a go-to for strolling the shore, people-watching and ice-cream eating. 2012 file / News Tribune

A scoop and a stroll

At the The Portland Malt Shoppe, you can have your view and eat it, too. Located at 716 E. Superior St., it overlooks Lake Superior, and you can grab a scoop, float or banana sundae for less than $8. From the malt shoppe, it’s just a few feet to a Lakewalk entrance, where you can stroll the shore, ship-watch and let the sugar and sounds of the waves lull you to bliss.

Good for group dates, regular dates and flying solo. Highly recommended at dusk.

Late-night laughs

In the vein of Upright Citizens Brigade, Duluth improvisers team up in a spontaneous, fast-paced game of make-the-audience-laugh-the-hardest. It’s $6 at the door and spoiler: Everybody wins. Catch shows at 10:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays at Teatro Zuccone.

Good for definite, consistent laughs and maybe-embarrassing moments with your folks.

Grab your skates

If you’re in for a junior high throwback or you wanna bone up for the hockey rink, hit up the World of Wheels Skate Center in Superior. If you BYO-skates, the cost is $6.50-$8 for admission. Flash your college ID from 7:30-10 p.m. Wednesdays for the lower rate. Rent skates for $3 and blades for $4.50.

Good for groups, laughs and side ponies.

Get your Katniss on

For $8, you can shoot as long as you want at Charlstrom’s Archery. That covers renting a bow and arrows, and if you’re new, a light lesson on technique, draw length and poundage.


Archery hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday; 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. No reservations required. Good for delusions of “Hunger Games” herodom.

Get a bev and play it out

Duluth is flooded with breweries, pubs and cideries, many with ample opportunities to pair an IPA or fancy lemonade with Scrabble, ping pong or Galaga. Here are a few Twin Ports locations with a solid selection of games with a side of bevs for $10 or less: 310 Pub, Sir Ben’s, Hoops Brewing, Ursa Minor, Taco Arcada, Duluth Cider.

Head to Nerd Nite for a low-key Ted Talk on everything Zelda to Viking magic. 2018 file / News Tribune

Nerd alert

If you wanna hear locals geeking out on everything from Zelda to Viking magic to Japanese toilets, head to Nerd Nite. The monthly event is like “a low-pressure Ted Talk.” The $5 event ends with free giveaways, there’s a good chance someone’s in costume. Next up: 7 p.m. Sept. 21 at Teatro Zuccone, 222 E Superior St.

At da movies

Check it. Once a week, that crumpled-up fiver in your pocket pays your way into a new movie.

Depending on the night, area theaters in Duluth, Hermantown and Cloquet offer discounted prices for all students of life. Tuesdays, it’s on at Duluth 10, Lakes 10 and Premiere Theatre; Wednesday is the day at Zinema 2.

Good for study breaks, groups and we’re-not-talking-to-each-other first dates.


UMD's Marshall W. Alworth Planetarium projector can simulate the starry night sky from almost anywhere on the planet. 2017 file / News Tribune

Spacing out

UMD’s Marshall W. Alworth Planetarium hosts everything from immersive films on cosmic colors and superhero stars to shows on solar system moons and Native American skies. There’s stuff for all ages, and tickets run $5; students with an ID pay $3.

Get personal at local Duluth story-share Gage Me with a Spoon. It's $5, and runs once a month at Teatro Zuccone. File / News Tribune


Expect hip-hop or folk performances, stories about near-death experiences or cockroach infestations. It’s all heart at Gag Me with a Spoon, a monthly Duluth story-share in the vein of The Moth. Nothing's off-limits, and the only rules: no -isms of any kind.

Get Laser-ed

Six bucks gets you two five-minute sessions in Adventure Zone’s multi-level laser tag arena — and time flies when you’re getting zapped by 11-year-olds. Expect nonstop laughter and creeping competitiveness against kids half your age.


Cafe Scientifique mixes science, art and local flavor for free. 2018 file / News Tribune


Find biology + zombies, funga and the future of humans in space at Cafe Scientifique. This free monthly event joins area scientists, artists and the like for an informal presentation and Q&As. It’ll probably be different than class. 7 p.m. the last Thursday of the month at varying locations. Free.

Dungeon's End is one of the local stores in the Twin Ports, offering free spaces for gaming. 2016 file / News Tribune

Let’s hear it for the gamers

The Twin Ports sports local gaming shops offering free spaces to play — along with an array of goodies to discuss and buy. Expect Magic the Gathering, Pokemon tourneys and miniature painting contests.

More than reads

Local libraries stack their offerings on both sides of the pond with movie screenings, Vegan Cookbook Club, guitar lessons, even a weaving class. Check out what’s on tap, and if it’s books you want, they have those, too.

Email your fave things to do on a budget to

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