For price, quality and selection, there isn't a better art sale in town than the annual sale at the Minneapolis College of Art & Design (2501 Stevens Av. S., Mpls., 612-874-3700, www.mcad.edu/artsale). More than 7,000 pieces by 400 students and alumni will be available, including paintings, prints, photographs, sculpture, furniture, clothing and jewelry. The maximum price increases this year to $1,250 from $1,000, the first increase in seven years. But the admission price on Friday night has decreased to $25 at the door. Hours are from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday (free admission). Nearly all proceeds go to the artist.
The selection is smaller and prices are generally less at the College of Visual Arts sale (173 Western Av. N., St. Paul, 651-757-4080). Hours are 5 to 8 p.m. on Dec. 2 ($30 admission), 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 3 (free) and noon to 4 p.m. Dec. 4 (free).
For my money, the most reasonably priced, high-quality gallery in the Twin Cities is Gallery 360 at 50th Street and Xerxes Avenue S. in Minneapolis. Everything in the gallery is discounted 20 percent during Shop & Stroll on Saturday and Sunday.
Other retailers offering the discount include Hunt & Gather, Loft Antiques, Vinaigrette, City Chic, UPS Store, Nash Frame Design, Piccadilly Prairie, 75% Salvaged and Vintage Studio. Call 763-229-0822.Candle sales (and more)
Candle manufacturers and distributors in Richfield, Edina, Shakopee and Vadnais Heights are all having a sale through the weekend. For unscented or lighter scents, try the sale at Acadian Candle (6412 Penn Av. S., Richfield, 612-861-1433). Thursday from 2 to 8 p.m. reps from Beanpod, Colonial, Tyler and Northern Lights will be on hand to help with ideas for centerpieces as well as free samples. Through Dec. 24, all Acadian brand candles are on sale. Sign up for the mailing list and get a coupon for 25 percent off any item, including Colonial and Yankee candles. Votive overruns are 10 for $4 or 20 for $7.
The Apres party supplies annual clearance sale (7401 Cahill Rd., Edina, 952-942-3399, www.apresparty.com) skipped a year last year but it's back. Deals include new and previously rented candles and candle holders under $10, discontinued/damaged table linens ($5 to $25), taffeta, satin and damask fabric bolts ($10 to $100), glassware-china-flatware (under $1 each), and chair covers $3 each. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday and 8 a.m. to noon Friday.
If you missed the sale at Dianne's Candles last weekend, there's one more opportunity through Sunday at America's Best Value Inn (1244 Canterbury Rd., Shakopee, 952-746-5530). Even though the candles are locally made, they're for national brands including Ralph Lauren, Vera Wang, Godiva and retailers such as Saks and Neiman Marcus. Candles that are $45 in the store are $15 at the sale. Most are heavily scented.
For European candles, try Europa Import (1360 E. County Rd. E, Vadnais Heights, 651-486-6860). Prices on ball candles, tapers, tea lights and holiday candles, mostly from Denmark and Germany, are 60 cents to $5.25 each from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.Fall/winter clothing sample sale
The Sample It sale (Days Inn, 7851 Normandale Blvd., Bloomington, 612-803-7414, www.sampleitsale.com) is the second-largest clothing sample sale for the whole family, after David Rubenstein's, but the Sample It sale offers an additional 25 percent discount on its last day.
Clothes includes items for board sports, women's boutique, activewear, accessories, purses, bags, backpacks and scarves from Nick & Mo, Billabong, Quiksilver, Element and Woolrich at or below wholesale prices. Hours are 2 to 8 p.m. Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.