This weekend in Antwerp: 22nd, 23rd & 24th December

I am taking a break for Christmas now and will be posting again in the new year on the 11th January, so there are a couple of extra events in the miscellaneous section to take you beyond this weekend. Additionally, I am proud to share this post on the Visit Antwerpen site, all about Winter in Antwerp. Please read and share 🙂

Have a fantastic Christmas and a very happy new year!

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The Christmas Market

AKA – Winter In Antwerp. If you have lived in Antwerp for more than a year, then you will know that Winter in A means that the historic centre is lit up for the Christmas season. It’s a lot more than a Christmas market -you will find festive activities on Steenplein, Suikerrui, Grote Markt, Handschoenmarkt and Groenplaats. There are market stands on Grote Markt, Groenplaats, Steenplein and Suikkerui and the ice rink is on Groenplaats. There is also a big wheel, tubing and the Spiegeltent on Steenplein for the kids, and funfair activities along the riverside.

Friday
dewarmsteweek

De Warmste Week is a week of charity activities organised by Studio Brussels. It takes place between 17th- 24th December and on Friday there is a 2.7km Warmathon Run from 2pm in the Stadspark (Rubenslei entry). Sign up via the hyperlink in the ‘inschrijven’ section, or on the day itself, if places are still available. Your participation fee goes to a number of good causes supported by De Warmste Week.

Saturday

Go dancing for free courtesy of Meatpack and London Calling, from 10pm with all your favourite Britpop and Indie tunes. Meatpack (Samberstraat 40) is a new venue describing itself as an old warehouse where “art, food, fashion, crafts, music and nightlife will finally meet in a concrete labyrinth … the size of a football field”
meatpack

Sunday (Christmas Eve)

Last chance for Christmas shopping -yes, Antwerp shops are open on Christmas Eve.

This weekend looks likely to be dry and fresh, but without the freezing temperatures. Chances of a white Christmas are very low … sorry, snow lovers…

farewell-1188653_640Miscellaneous

I was delighted to learn that Nessascityblog was listed by Spotted by Locals in their list of Best Antwerp Blogs 2017. Spotted by Locals provides city tips from people who live in the 67 cities they feature.

Antwerp City museums are FREE on the last Wednesday of the month.

From the 28th December you can enjoy theatre, circus and music at Park Spoor Oost’s Wintervuur.

The New Year’s edition of Critical Mass will be on the 29th December -meet on Theaterplein at 6pm with your bike and round of 2017 with an 8km bike ride that will take you round the city and finish up on Grote Markt, right in the middle of the Christmas Market.

There will be fireworks on New Year’s Eve, as usual down by the river.

China Light has opened at Antwerp Zoo. It’s a little bit more expensive than the events I usually include here, but it has become something of an annual feature of the Antwerp winter scene, and -if it’s dry – it’s worth seeing. The colours and lights are pretty and magical. It’s on until the 14th January.

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China Light at Antwerp Zoo

 

And on Monday 12th I pressed a special Nessascityblog post about English speaking theatre in Antwerp, featuring a review of BATS performance of Dracula, and information about an upcoming BATS production which will please theatre-goers of all ages …

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Aladdin Panto
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diciembre -Colectivo Amorika

 

 

International families with Spanish speakers, in Antwerp -see the green poster (left) for the December program of Colectivo Amorika

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This weekend in Antwerp: 15th, 16th & 17th December

HERE’S THE GOOGLE MAP!

The Christmas Market

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Skating round Rubens on Groenplaats

AKA – Winter In Antwerp. If you have lived in Antwerp for more than a year, then you will know that Winter in A means that the historic centre is lit up for the Christmas season. It’s a lot more than a Christmas market -you will find festive activities on Steenplein, Suikerrui, Grote Markt, Handschoenmarkt and Groenplaats. There are market stands on Grote Markt, Groenplaats, Steenplein and Suikkerui and the ice rink is on Groenplaats. There is also a big wheel, tubing on Steenplein for the kids, and funfair activities along the riverside.

 
Saturday

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Art Market at Washboard Café

Het Roze Huis are showing the film The Danish Girl for free at 8pm

All day (from 9am- 5pm) there is an indoor fleamarket at Kinepolis Event Centre, which is free.

There’s also a free festive art market at the Washboard Art & Jazz cafĂ© (opposite the Justitie Palace) from 2pm -11pm. Thanks to Nessascityblog reader, Klio, for sending that one in.

Sunday

Shops are open in the centre of town for Sunday shopping this weekend, and also next weekend.

Permeke Library holds it’s regular monthly second hand book market on de Coninckplein from 10am

For something festive but a little off the beaten track, try Kerst in Boho (3pm -9pm) on the Krugerplein (Borgerhout). This is a nice local square with space for kids to play (and a bouncy castle). There will also be live music, food and drink and local creatives offering their Christmas wares for sale. And a ‘Geeftent’ where you can donate goods and clothes which are in good condition, and which you no longer need.

It’s likely to continue cold, with showers likely over the weekend. Sunday will be coldest when temperatures go down to zero.

Miscellaneous

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Spotted by Locals

I was delighted to learn that Nessascityblog was listed by Spotted by Locals in their list of Best Antwerp Blogs 2017. Spotted by Locals provides city tips from people who live in the 67 cities they feature.

China Light has opened at Antwerp Zoo. It’s a little bit more expensive than the events I usually include here, but it has become something of an annual feature of the Antwerp winter scene, and -if it’s dry – it’s worth seeing. The colours and lights are pretty and magical. It’s on until the 14th January.

WP_20171208_18_48_08_Rich
China Light at Antwerp Zoo

 

And on Monday I pressed a special Nessascityblog post about English speaking theatre in Antwerp, featuring a review of BATS performance of Dracula, and information about an upcoming BATS production which will please theatre-goers of all ages …

 

AladdinBATS

diciembre-02
diciembre -Colectivo Amorika

International families with Spanish speakers, in Antwerp -see the green poster (left) for the December program of Colectivo Amorika

 

Next week will be my last blog post for a few weeks while I take a break for Christmas. But look out for a Christmas post by me on another well-known Antwerp site … more info soon!

 

 

 
Find me on social media, where additional events and locations are also posted:

socialmediaFbPTw

Instagram

Facebook (Events in Antwerp: in conjunction with London Calling)

Twitter &

Pinterest

nessacityblogbannerbymaf

English speaking theatre in Antwerp: meet BATS!

BATS (British American Theatrical Society) has been bringing a wide variety of stage productions to English speaking audiences in Antwerp for over 60 years now. They have their own theatre (the “Little Theatre”) at Paardenmarkt 111 and recently I attended their production of Dracula. Here’s the review I wrote for them, and if that makes you think you should get tickets for their next show in January, then continue reading for all the info and links you need ….

A BLOODY GOOD NIGHT AT THE LITTLE THEATRE

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“Dracula” by Stephen Dietz, performed by  BATS vzw, at The Little Theatre, Paardenmarkt

Kids love Hallowe’en but for grown-ups, October and November can be a bit of a bleak time as the days get darker, yet Christmas cheer still seems a long way off.

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Getting with the program

This year, BATS production of Dracula (Dir: Robert Meyvisch) was -literally -just the ticket for anybody who shares my feelings of autumnal glumness. And it was most certainly not for children. I went to see it on Hallowe’en night and it was sold out, so I was pleased to have booked my seat.

I wasn’t familiar with this play version of the story by Stephen Dietz. Naturally as an English undergraduate, I’d read the novel, and also The Liz Lochhead play version, both of which I love.

BATS Little Theatre is a very small venue for a very big story, so the staging had to be cleverly done with characters frequently positioned on stage performing lines that also had a semi-narratorial function -for example, Jonathon’s accounts of his time at Dracula castle v. his fiancee’s experience back at home, at the point where she receives his letter. This really worked, and the feeling of the various settings -and the distance between them -was very successfully conveyed.

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Photo: Robert Meyvisch

Visually this production was very pleasing and stylish -again, this is an achievement in a smaller venue. The use of the bed as a central focus for much of the action was simple yet effective, emphasising -with its changing colour schemes of black/ red and black/ white – its association with illness, sex and death.

The combination of the traditional and the contemporary was spot on: the traditional elements were all there in the form of its Victorian feel, the madness, the inclusion of all the Vampire lore we would expect (plenty of garlic and unwitting invites to cross the threshold) and a satisfying quantity of blood, vampire-induced agonies and horrid red mouths. I delighted in the creepy hand shadow effect -a nod to traditional horror movies (especially Nosferatu, 1922). The more modern edge was provided by the costumes which I loved -these all had a steam-punk element: a carefully placed accessory on a boot or hat made all the difference.

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The enthusiasm, imagination and commitment of the cast to be faithful to the story was evident -it sometimes had the feel of a murderous pantomime because the story and characters are ones which as adults we feel as familiar with as children do about Cinderella or Peter Pan -but it was steam-punk, blood-bespattered panto for sure. For the grown-ups. I thoroughly enjoyed it and hope that BATS will consider doing something similarly macabre every Hallowe’en.

♦     ♦     ♦

AND NEXT …

Every year BATS stages a pantomime. If, like me you grew up with panto as an essential part of your childhood around Christmas and new year, you will be pleased to know that BATS delivers the traditional pantomime stories, in the traditional way, with plenty of corny jokes, songs, a Dame and lots of audience participation. If it’s not part of your childhood, well, I am willing to bet your kids will love it. This year’s production is the story of Aladdin, and will be shown at Theater ‘t Eilandje. You can order your tickets HERE, for one of three performances in January 2018.

AladdinBATS

This is just a taster of what BATS is all about. If you would like to find out more, you can go along to one of their Open Evenings, which will resume next year: the first is the Spring Open Evening on Saturday, 17th of March 2018.

Images courtesy of BATS VZW

(except program image which is from @nessascityblog insta)

 

bats

 

Find me on social media, where additional events and locations are also posted:

socialmediaFbPTwInstagram

Facebook (Events in Antwerp: in conjunction with London Calling)

Twitter &

Pinterest

 

This weekend in Antwerp: 8th, 9th & 10th December

HERE IS YOUR FESTIVE GOOGLE MAP!

Friday

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OLV Cathedral and Christmas Market

If you can’t quite wait for the Winter fare available at the Christmas market (see Saturday) then winter bar Aspen Bocadero has just opened at Waagnatie.
Saturday

It’s a big day in the Antwerp calendar:  today marks the start of Winter In Antwerp. If you have lived in Antwerp for more than a year, then you will know that Winter in A means that the historic centre is lit up for the Christmas season. It’s a lot more than a Christmas market -you will find festive activities on Steenplein, Suikerrui, Grote Markt, Handschoenmarkt and Groenplaats. When I walked through last weekend preparations were well underway, with the market stands in place on Grote Markt and the ice rink ready to go on Groenplaats. There will also be a big wheel, and tubing on Steenplein for the kids.

The full program for the opening can be found on the Stad Antwerp website, but basically at 11am on Saturday all the attractions which locals associate with #winterinA  will open. Let the glĂĽhwein flow …

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Tubing on Steenplein

 

At Costa Sint Andries there is a “Geefplein” -giving market. Bring your second hand items (in good condition) to give away for free from 11- 18h. The Geefplein is about recycling, freecycling and sharing in the community.

Sunday

If you have kids who like making things, trundle them along to the Permeke library from 11am to take part this craft activity, where they can make a Christmas star decoration.

Shops in Antwerp will be open for Sunday shopping today, and on Sundays throughout December in Antwerp -including on Christmas Eve.

Alternatively, shop for something local and a little bit different at the last edition of Markt van Morgen of 2017 on the Kloosterstraat from midday until 6pm. Jewellery, accessories, cool tees, stationery and household items which you won’t find in the high street stores. Also featuring Comfort Food Truck, DJs and gluhwein.

It’s the annual Victorian Christmas Walk -pull on your bonnet and your finest muffler and set off from the zoo at 1pm.

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It’s going to be really quite cold, so wrap up warm (or buy hats, scarves and gloves from the Christmas market!) and there may even be snow on Friday and Saturday. On Sunday showers are possible.

 

Miscellaneous

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Spotted by Locals

I was delighted to learn this week that Nessascityblog was listed by Spotted by Locals in their list of Best Antwerp Blogs 2017. Spotted by Locals provides city tips from people who live in the cities featured. There is also a Spotted By Locals app.

There’s currently a small fun fair on Sint Jansplein.

China Light has opened at Antwerp Zoo. It’s a little bit more expensive than the events I usually include here, but it has become something of an annual feature of the Antwerp winter scene, and -if it’s dry – it’s worth seeing. The colours and lights are pretty and magical. It’s on until the 14th January.

chinalightdragon
China Light at Antwerp Zoo

 And on Monday, look out for a special Nessascityblog post about English speaking theatre in Antwerp, and an upcoming BATS production which will please theatre-goers of all ages …

 

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Find me on social media, where additional events and locations are also posted:

socialmediaFbPTwInstagram

Facebook (Events in Antwerp: in conjunction with London Calling)

Twitter &

Pinterest