The Big Fat Summer Post 2019

Summer is underway!

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Well, I am taking some time off now, for a month or so, so here’s a grab-bag of useful links and information for a great Antwerp summer. I will be back in August. Until then, additional events will be posted on other social media, listed at the end of this post. For Antwerp pictures, don’t forget to follow me on Instagram!

Thank you for reading and following  Nessascityblog; do please keep sharing it with anyone who might find it handy to have this information in English, especially if they are arriving new in the city this summer -WELCOME!  -and have a fabulous summer 2019 in Antwerp.

Eat & Drink

… at Dokmarkt every Friday from 3pm until 8, and if you want to stay out later, you’re very close to summer bars like Jardim, Sommar and Bocadero -all of which are along the Schelde.

Check out Café Capital in the Stadspark if you haven’t already done so. It’s great if you IMG_20190718_174847_resized_20190718_054908004are taking kids to the play area; for an evening out try Bar Jeudi on Thursdays.

Fiesta Europa is a popular, diverse and accessible five day food festival on Groenplaats which is on until Sunday 21st July.

Flying Pig are on Steenplein on the 2nd August; drinks, music, food trucks and general revelry from 5pm.

Bollekesfeest is an annual Nessascityblog not-to-be-missed favourite, celebrating our local beer: de Koninck, or Bollekes as it is known once served in its distinctive bow-like glass. Bollekesfeest is on the 16th, 17th and 18th August, and like other Stad Antwerpen events will be cashless this year. As well as the local brew there will be lots of other foods and drinks to enjoy. If you have kids to entertain (or are hungry) then the Steenplein is the best location for you -there you will find the Kids’ Village and all the food stands.

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Bollekesfeest on Steenplein, next to the river

Visit

Experience the excitement of going around Antwerp’s best museums throughout the night on Museum Night on the 3rd August, and don’t forget that Stad Antwerpen museums are free on the last Wednesday of the month.

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MUHKA is Antwerp’s museum of contemporary art

Enjoy Lambermonmartre the largest open-air local art market: on Leopold de Waalplaats (in front of KMSKA) on the 28th July and the 25th August. For the other regular markets in Antwerp, here’s a useful list.

Take a stroll along the renewed Scheldekaaien – the banks of the river from Sint Andries to the south of the city have been renovated with open spaces, places to sit, stroll or for kids to play (pic below).

TzuidFKids

If you are scratching your head looking for something cheap and cheerful to occupy the kids on their summer holidays, then have a look at Speel-O-Rama at the Zuiderpershuis, starting next week: it’s on from 15th July -9th August and costs only 2 euros per day, per child. It’s for kids aged 7-13, and offers workshops, activities, creative play, theatre and water games.

These Antwerp Sports Activities are for children aged 6-13. You need to register your child for a place on an activity. These usually mean a week sport sessions (Mon- Fri) in your chosen sport.

Bookish and creative kids might enjoy Bibfabriek at the Permeke library, on Wednesdays at 2pm during July.

belgium-flag-1332904_640Neighbourhood parties and festivals

The 21st of July is Belgium’s national day. Here are a few places which will be marking the formation of our relatively youthful nation.

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Antwerp Library Cafe wearing Pride colours on De Coninckplein

You can find all you need to know about Antwerp Pride, which is celebrated in Antwerp from the 7th-11th August. Of course there will be loads of Pride-related events taking place around the city, but for many the most important is the Pride Parade which takes place on Saturday 10th August, starting with a pre-parade event at midday. See here for the details, including the route of the parade.

Also taking place during Pride week (and continuing until the 18th August) is the Antwerp Queer Arts Festival. For a great general guide in English to LGBT+ life in Antwerp see this guest post from last year by Timothy Junes.

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Linkerwoofer

Sfinks Festival (25th-28th July) and Linkerwoofer (2nd -3rd August) are two popular Antwerp music festivals. Sfinks is a free four day festival, Linkerwoofer is ticketed. Both events are child-friendly.


Browse, buy & sell

Antwerp regulars-  for those in search of a second hard bargain- include Goegekregen rommelmarkt (28th July) and Permeke Boekenplein (21st July)

You can go Sunday Shopping in the shopping areas of the city on the first Sunday of the month.

Handy summer links

The complete Antwerp summer programme (Zomer van Antwerpen) was released on 28th May at http://www.zva.be/. Helpfully, there are English and French versions of the programme in downloadable pdf form.

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Summerbars.com is a really useful link with the details of all the summer bars in Antwerp for this season.

And there are a couple of open-air swimming pools in Antwerp, which can be found here.

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10 must-knows if you’re having a baby in Antwerp

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Laura Soave

This is for you if you are going to have a baby and you live in Antwerp-
a few helpful things to keep in mind by Laura Soave (pic right), who has recently had her second child here in Antwerp.

1.The Mecca of Parenting

If you need advice about your baby or pregnancy, or about  breastfeeding; if you want to find a baby massage class, do yoga during pregnancy or if you just want a chat about your sleepless nights with your newborn you’ll find everything you need at the Kraamvogel.

Kraamvogel provides a variety of services and support: the website is very clear in terms of finding what you need: it’s divided into 3 sections: Zwanger (pregnancy), Bevallen (delivery) and Kinderwens (getting pregnant/ starting a family). In the Kraamvogel (Volkstraat 7 – 2000 Antwerpen) you’ll find lots of books about babies and pregnancy too

kraamvogel2. All you need is help

If you are in need of a consultation at home or you would like support in deciding  whether to deliver at home or at the hospital, you can go on the website Vroedvrouwen.be to look for a vroedvrouw, a midwife. These are independent professional women and they provide a phone number that you’ll be able to reach during the week or weekend if you have difficulty with breastfeeding or other newborn-related issues. You can also contact organizations like Solidariteit voor het Gezin to get the kraamzorg. This organisation, like many others, will be able to provide you, for a fair price, someone that can help you during your first days at home with your baby. They will prepare simple meals for you, you can send them on an errand to the pharmacy or the supermarket. They’ll even do some cleaning in the house, if needed

3. If this isn’t your first Rodeo…

First-time parents cannot wait to buy new clothes, lots of toys, a new stroller. When you’re having your second child, it’s a whole new vibe. You’ll try to recycle whatever you can and at some point you’ll want to get rid of things. Whenever you want to give away things (clothes, toys, crib, etc.) you can bring them to Moeders voor Moeders, a charity organization located in Borgerhout that works with 160 volunteers. I have done a tour of the place myself and believe me, when I tell you, it’s huge and well organized in departments, there’s even a cafeteria where people who cannot afford it, can get coffee for 10 cents.

moedersvoormoeders

 

You can also go to the Geefwinkel creandersregenboog in Berchem, where you’ll find clothes (men, women and children) and you’re allowed to bring things but also to collect what you like or need.

4. To pump or not to pump: that is the question!

NoordbabyNot a lot of people know that the public hospital Sint-Vincentius in Antwerp doesn’t rent electric breast-pumps any longer, nor will you find them at the pharmacies. I found Noord Baby as the only place in Antwerp city centre that rents breast-pumps. The owner is a midwife and also organizes workshops on different topics (pre-partum classes, breastfeeding, and so on).

You can also contact your mutualiteit (health care insurer) to rent the breastpump (generally for a very fair price).


5. When your baby is born

Shortly after the birth of your baby,  you’ll be contacted by an organization called Kind en Gezin, who will arrange an initial visit with you at home. During the visit, they’ll test hearing and monitor the baby’s weight. They’ll also get you an appointment for the baby’s first vaccinations. You can either go for a general consultation, or just to take the weight and measure your baby (no appointment needed for this). All of these services are for free.

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6. Home delivery and Shopping 

Orchestra and Dreambaby on the A12 are the cheapest big malls for toys, clothes, strollers, diapers, and more important items. But can also find lots of good deals at Kruidvat. Especially on baby products.

Personally I’ve always found practical to have diapers delivered home, together with other baby supplies. Parents do not always have time to rush to the supermarket to get the essentials (diaper disposal bags, wet napkins, diapers).

Let’s call it ‘peace of mind’: I only do this once a month via bol.com and get it delivered at home for free in 24h.

Don’t forget: if you have Mobile Viking as phone provider, you’ll receive a percentage of your purchases as phone credit. Pretty awesome!

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7. CPR for babies and toddlers

This can be a scary topic for new parents, but bear with me here, because it is important.

It’s a must for every parent. There are organisations which offer classes. It’s just one evening (4 hours- but you can also find longer courses that offer more detailed and developed training) during which an expert will teach you what to do in case you’ll have to manage a situation involving choking, drowning, burning, drinking poisoning substance or medications. There is also a practical session at the end with practice- mannequins. This is a specific class for CPR on babies and toddlers: Rode Kruis First Aid to babies and children in EN EHBO bij kinderen in NL

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8. Parental Leave (Ouderschapsverlof/ Congé Parental)

If you have a Belgian contract, once your insurance has terminated the payments for your moederschapsverlof (maternity leave) you can also apply for your Ouderschapsverlof (parental leave). You can do this easily by applying via RVA’s (ONEM) website. This website provides the paperwork you need only in NL and FR.


You’ll need to fill in the paperwork (to be downloaded on the website) and there is a part for the employee and a few pages for your employer. You’ll need to attach to your file a copy of your baby’s birth certificate too. This procedure usually takes about a month or so to get approved. You can also follow your file online, to see scheduled payments etc.


9. Find your Mary Poppins.

mary-poppins-2756841_640Use Bsit: this is a very handy app created in 2015 by two cool Belgian mums – Géraldine and Donatienne – who wanted to know more about their babysitters before meeting them for the first time. You set your price per hour; you choose for proximity or best reviews. The reviews are very helpful; you can read about other parents’ experiences with that same person. You also get to know things like: how much experience your babysitter has, how many sittings she has done, which languages she speaks, her age etc.

There are also a couple of other organisations that provide this kind of service: Kinderoppas and Nanny in Nood. These can be a little more expensive than Bsit, but helpful and professional in the same way.

10. If you’re going back to work…

You’ll find a very useful list of Crèches on this website. There is a section for people in immediate need of a spot, but usually finding a daycare that has a spot in Antwerp can take a while, so try to do it as soon as possible -many people in busy areas will get onto waiting lists after the 12 week scan. You can choose whether to opt for a Group daycare or apply for an Onthaalmoeder– these are mothers at home that take between 6 and 8 babies. This is a solution for parents who prefer a smaller environment for their child. But again, hurry!  There are often long waiting lists for any of these solutions.

About the blogger

LauraS
Laura Soave (nonnative blog)

Laura Soave is an Antwerp blogger and designer from Italy. Check out her blog: nonnative and find her on InstagramFacebook and Twitter  

Would you like to write a guest post about your experiences (or knowledge) of Antwerp? contact me on nessascityblog@gmail.com. I’d like to hear your Antwerp story.

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This weekend in Antwerp: 12th, 13th & 14th July

Hello! This is just a quick post, as I am about to go away for a few days. I’ll be back within the week, in time to write a summer post on July 18th, before taking a break until mid-August.

Here’s the post for this weekend:

Friday

Start your weekend with Aper’eau and some outdoor drinks on the Bolivarplaats from 5pm -11pm.

turntable-310450_640Or head to the Zomerfabriek for a vinyl bargain at this record fair from 4pm; retro music lovers can stay on to dance all night at the mod all-nighter (Northern soul, Ska, Latin Jazz) which starts at 10pm in the same venue, and continues to 4am.

Or – did you know that the Open Lucht Theater in Rivierenhof which has a  program of musical gigs and performances over summer, which are ticketed, also offers “Free Fridays” events -you need to turn up on time (because once full -that’s it). This week it’s Antwerp DJs Discobaar A Moeder -doors open at 7pm.

Saturday

From 10 -6pm on the Sint Jansplein there will be one of the regular second hand local markets over the whole square.

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Rukinzo Vibes

From midday – 9pm at Park Spoor Noord there will be a multicultural festival (Rukinzo Vibes), showcasing music, dance and percussion from Burundi, West Africa and Rwanda. There will also be food and drink to enjoy.

Sunday

Join in with The Big Jump -part of a campaign for clean local rivers. In Antwerp, the Big Jump will take place near the Droogdokken and will be organised in conjunction with Stormkop: be at the Kattendijkdok, Droogdokkenweg 4 to take part at 3pm, although there will be a number of activities taking place, and you can see the full Antwerp program on the Big Jump Facebook event page.

There’s a program of dance events next to the Schelde during summer: see Antwerpen Danst for details of the Sunday event, which includes contemporary dance for both adults and kids.

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Bocadero

Also by the Schelde there’s a Closet Cleaning market at Bocadero summer bar from 9-5pm
Weather should remain reasonably warm, dry and pleasant; although there could be a few summer showers on Friday.
 

Miscellaneous

If you are scratching your head looking for something cheap and cheerful to occupy the kids on their summer holidays, then have a look at Speel-O-Rama at the Zuiderpershuis, starting next week: it’s on from 15th July -9th August and costs only 2 euros per day, per child. It’s for kids aged 7-13, and offers workshops, activities, creative play, theater and water games.

 

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With the translation skills of Carlo Cinque of Italians ad Anversa I am delighted to offer Nessascityblog in Italian -see the new button at the top of the home-page, and don’t forget to tell your Italian friends all about it!
This week I published a guest post by Frederik Rombach, a glass blower in Antwerp, who makes his amazing creations from waste glass.

The complete Antwerp summer programme (Zomer van Antwerpen) was released on 28th May at http://www.zva.be/. Helpfully, there are English and French versions of the programme in downloadable pdf form.

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Guest blog post: Glass blower, Frederik Rombach

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Frederik Rombach

Hi, my name is Frederik and I am the owner of Rombachs Glass. I was born in Belgium, and raised in Benoni, Johannesburg until the age of 14 . From there, my parents and I moved to the Netherlands where I learned to speak Dutch. At aged 17 I decided to continue traveling the world and spent time living and working in San Diego, and later on in Puebla, Mexico. Leaving the warm Southern Hemisphere I spent time living and working in Bergen, Norway. About 6 years ago I moved to Antwerp and decided to settle down here (…for a while at least).

Rombachs glass studio is the first public glass studio in Belgium that works solely with waste glass. We host demonstrations where we make sculptures out of waste glass such as boxing gloves, scorpions and all kinds of other weird stuff! We also host team-building events for large and small companies looking to have some fun together and make a communal object out of glass. If you feel like do something fun after work then you can also check out the workshops that we do in the evenings!

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We are also setting up an exciting new experiment where we help people learn Flemish through glassblowing. If you are interested in this trimester program then please get in touch for more information!

But that’s not all we do: we also make company gifts. If you and your company are looking for a lasting memento, and want something truly unique then we will be able to help!

So, from sculptures to events, and a mix of products in between, that’s pretty much what we do -and we do it all with waste glass!

Please feel free to get in touch if you have any questions, ideas or projects you would like to pass on.

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a workshop at Rombachs Glass

Last but not least, on Sunday 14th of July we will be hosting our monthly Second Sunday, from 2pm – 5pm. We ask a 5€ contribution which is also your raffle ticket! At the end of the demo we will raffle off the pieces we made to a few lucky winners!

Check out our Facebook and Instagram pages and do come to see what we do LIVE!

Rombachs Glas GCV
Frieslandstraat 23,  2660 Hoboken BE
T  0032 4 86 95 96 54
www.rombachs.com

 

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This weekend in Antwerp: 6th & 7th July

 

feesteninhetstadspark2019Over both Saturday and Sunday there is a whole program of events in the Stadspark: Feesten in het Stadspark has something for revellers of all ages: music, food, kids entertainments, live acts, poetry and dance. On Sunday there will also be a big secondhand market, courtesy of Goegekregen.

Also over both days is the Amuse Food Festival on Operaplein from 1pm -10pm on Saturday and midday -9pm on Sunday. There will be about 15 food trucks, and a bar on the space in front of the Opera House. Update: Unfortunately this event has been cancelled.

Saturday

Den Hopsack are holding their 7th philosophy café at 2pm today -this event is in English; no prior knowledge of philosophy is necessary, and it’s free to attend but if you’re planning on going, drop them a line in advance.

Kraakvers farmers’ market is on Vincotteplein, Borgerhout from 10am- 3pm, selling local fresh and handmade food products.

And just as that one finishes, an evening market begins on Linkeroever (from 3pm -10pm) on the Wandeldijk.

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Amuse Food Festival is NOT on The Operaplein

Sunday

There’s a program of dance events next to the Schelde during summer: see Antwerpen Danst for details of the Sunday event, which includes contemporary dance for both adults and kids.

Swan Market will be on Grote Markt from 11am – 6pm, with their usual brand of locally crafted jewellery, accessories, household items, stationery and foods.

Take a free ride on the historic Antwerp poldertram to the recently re-opened tram and Autobus museum (VlaTAM): see the Facebook event for times of the rides, which are free (entrance to the museum on arrival, is paid).

Muziek in de Wijk is a part of the Zomer van Antwerpen programme which brings live acts to local squares and public places for free. This Sunday, you can catch Muziek in de Wijk on Krugerplein, Borgerhout.

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Shoppers on Meir

Join in a short run of around 3.5km at Middelheim Sculpture Park. It’s free but you need to register. Meet at the museum reception/ shop at 10am. Register by mail to sportantenne.antwerpen@antwerpen.be or by phone: +32 3 338 35 18

Between 2 and 6 there is a celebration down at the Schelde as a section of the building work is completed there. Join in with music, sport, food, creative activities, a rommelmarkt and Antwerp Ghostwalk will be there providing tours. You can see the full program here and you can find the party between Scheldestraat and Namenstraat, by the river.

It’s the first Sunday of the month, so shops will be open from midday in the shopping districts of the city.

The weather will continue warm, but not reaching the intense temperatures of the heatwave we had last week. Top temperatures will be around 23 degrees, and there will be some cloud at times.

Miscellaneous

 

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With the translation skills of Carlo Cinque of Italians ad Anversa I am delighted to offer Nessascityblog in Italian -see the new button at the top of the home-page, and don’t forget to tell your Italian friends all about it!

Screenshot 2019-07-03 at 18.03.00It’s your last chance to catch Sinksenfoor (funfair at Park Spoor Oost) this weekend -it finishes on the 7th. NB: there are some discount vouchers for Sinksenfoor in the June edition of Nieuwswijzer. There is a stand on the way in to the fair (near the big wheel) where you can pick up a copy.

On Monday look out for a guest post about a truly original Antwerp glass-blowing company, which uses waste glass to make beautiful glass objects and also holds workshops and events for the public.

It’s truly summer when Summer HQ opens in the form of the Zomerbar on Sloepenweg which it did on the 24th June. It’s a familiar and essential summer hangout that’s very relaxed and kid-friendly, with a play area and a summer library for readers of all ages. Note: Stad Antwerp summer bars will be cashless this year.

The complete Antwerp summer programme (Zomer van Antwerpen) was released on 28th May at http://www.zva.be/. Helpfully, there are English and French versions of the programme in downloadable pdf form.

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