I don’t do Elf-on-the-Shelf, and I couldn’t care less about the arrival of a certain soft-drink laden truck: for me it starts to feel like Christmas when Antwerp’s Christmas Market opens and Winter In A begins, which is does -this very weekend (on Saturday). Huzzah! (Also, if there are Belgian and/ or Dutch influences in your family, you don’t start to ‘do’ Christmas until The Good Sint has embarked on his return journey back to Spain).
Here’s the GOOGLE MAP for this weekend.
If you can’t wait until Saturday, Flying Pig will be holding a winter edition of an event you might have become familiar with during summer (outdoor drinks, snacks and music). This will take place at Napoleonkaai, starting at 5pm -that’s right by MAS.
So the Antwerp City winter festivities will kick off at 5pm. If you are not familiar with the Stad Antwerp winter offering -head down to the old town and you can’t miss it. The Christmas market can be found around Steenplein, Suikerrui and Grotemarkt, with gluhwein and hot chocolate aplenty. There’s skating on Groenplaats, a tubing slide on Steenplein and the ferris wheel by the Schelde. The atmosphere is friendly and festive, and it’s a great place to take visiting friends or family, and kids. The Nello & Patrache (A Dog of Flanders) statue will be unveiled at the Cathedral at 7pm, when there will also be a video projection on the Cathedral. Winter In Antwerp continues until the 8th January 2017.
(image from Daniel Ruiz-Cecconello)
Not far away, Markt van Morgen will also be having a double Christmas edition (on both days) of their usual fare of jewellery, design, accessories, stationery and clothing -made by local creatives and small businesses, providing the opportunity to buy Christmas gifts that you won’t find in high street stores. Find MvM on Lombardenvest on Saturday, from 10-6pm
Fans and photographers interested in nature and wildlife photography will enjoy The Lowland Photo Festival at Kinepolis Event Centre. This opens on Saturday, and is also on on Sunday. There is a program of talks which is paying, but it is free to see the photography which forms the wider exhibition, with a 2 euro entance cost for the Lowland exhibition. Download the info flyer HERE.
Markt van Morgen is on Kloosterstraat today, from midday until 6pm.
For a Victorian Christmas experience why not join the Victorian Christmas Walk, Antwerp? Assemble in your Victorian or Edwardian outfit at 1pm on Astridplein for a walk down to the Old Town and the Christmas Market.
Shops in the city centre will be opening today and next Sunday too, for Christmas shopping.
The weather is forecast to be dry, and not too horribly cold either -possibly going up to 9 degrees on Sunday.
Shopping centre Grand Bazar (Groenplaats) has various offers and activities on both Saturdays and Sundays remaining before Christmas between 1 and 5pm.
(image courtesy of Grand Bazar)
If you are looking ahead to the winter season and have kids to entertain, I recommend that you book Antwerp’s only traditional, old -school panto in English, for January in the Arendberg Theatre, by BATS theatre group. Another recommended from me -this time it’s Jack and the Beanstalk. (image courstesy of BARS Antwerp)
NEXT POST: Thursday 15th December