This weekend in Antwerp: 23rd, 24th and 25th February

meugHERE’S THE GOOGLE MAP FOR THE LOCATIONS MENTIONED HERE.

I’m looking forward to tasting festival MEUG this weekend. It’s on both on Friday and Saturday at the Zuiderpershuis. I went last year with friends and we had a good time. It works really well in this spacious and airy venue and the atmosphere was friendly and laid-back, with a wide variety of stands to please both beer and whiskey enthusiasts. At time of writing, there are still tickets available.

 

Also over both days at Kinepolis, The 2018 International Minerals,  Precious Stones and Fossils Expo.

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ACAM

For this post, I’m doing something a little different by giving it a market focus, so there is an Antwerp Market on each of the three days below. I’ve chosen a different one for each day.

Friday

The Vrijdag Markt (Friday Market) takes place -unsurprisingly -on Fridays, and on the Vrijdagmarkt, a small square that you can get to by turning off either Reyndersstraat, Kammenstraat or Hoogstraat in the old town. You can find various types of jumble and bric-a-brac at this small weekly market. This square is not so well known to tourists, even though it is right by the Historic Centre. If you are on Vrijdagmarkt, it’s a good opportunity to hang out at any of the small bars which surround the square or to visit the Plantin Moretus museum.

Critical Mass are extending the Valentine love to this Friday. Their monthly bike ride will have a romantic theme: show your love for Antwerp and for cycling freely and safely in the city by showing up as usual at 6pm with your bike for an evening 8km bike ride, starting and ending at Theaterplein.

ghostwalkIf you like stories of phantoms, spirits and things that go bump in the night, you will be pleased to learn that Antwerp Ghost Walks have some tours coming up in English, including this one today: meet at the Lange Wapper statue (Steenplein) at 8pm. Cost: E12.50 pp.

Saturday

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Antwerp Market on Theaterplein

Antwerp’s largest weekly market (pic above) takes place on Theaterplein every Saturday. It is a regular fixture in the agendas of many locals. It’s a lot more than a place to pick up your weekly fruit and veg (although its great for that too!) as it is also a spot where locals stop and socialise and meet friends. Since the “roof” was installed on Theaterplein in 2008, rain no longer spoils the market experience. The food stands are hugely varied: Greek, Moroccan, Spanish, Italian… You can pick up fantastic cheeses, spices, fresh pasta tapenades and breads to take home, but should also take time to stop to enjoy oysters & cava, coffees and teas, mini- waffles, wraps or tapas at any of the stalls which have seating and standing areas. If you prefer to sit inside, there are some many bars and cafés all round Theaterplein: my favourites are Belgian Wines (great wine and cheese -all from Belgium), Nellies (coffee, ice cream, shakes and hopefully they still do that tasty poached egg and avocado toast) and Fabrik, a bistro-style bar/ restaurant which also often has live music on Friday night if you find yourself still in the area,

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Sint Nicolaasplaats

The ABC Market (Antiques, Books & Bricabrac, Curiosa) takes place on the last Saturday of the month. It’s mainly -but not solely – about the books, and takes place in a pretty courtyard (pic right, from Google streetview) towards the university district.

Gardeners and growers: the Ecohuis “Seed Library” is re-opening. You can take seeds to plant yourself, and are requested to bring seeds back in from your own harvest, to contribute to the library. From 1pm- 5pm.

 Sunday

Another well established Antwerp market is the Sint Jansvliet Sunday market offering bric-a-brac, small antiques, second hand homeware, jewellery, curiosa  and glassware. Again it is located in a square surrounded by bars, but it’s also right in front of Antwerp’s voetgangers tunnel (the square building on the Schelde side of Sint Jansvliet) The Pedestrian Tunnel goes under the river and is for those travelling by foot or by bike. If you haven’t been down there, you should take a look and cross over to Linkeroever on the other side of the river.

Miscellaneous

Temperatures are cooler than last weekend, but it should remain dry, and there will be some periods of sunshine.

Did you know about Ecce homo Antwerpen ?

Next Wednesday is the last of the month so that means that city museums are free. This link shows you which museums that includes.

If you are a runner, you can now register for the Antwerp Ten Miles which takes place on  the 22nd April.

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This weekend in Antwerp: 16th, 17th & 18th February

Yearofthedog
Dog figure from the Legends of Liondance expo at Permeke

HAPPY NEW YEAR to everyone celebrating Chinese New Year. Welcome to the Year of The Dog.

Here’s your Google Map with the locations mentioned for the events in this post.

If you have children who are budding film-makers, they might like to catch a film or workshop activity at Youth Film Festival (JEF) before they go back after the spring break.

Saturday

LiondancegreenAntwerp’s China town is located near the station in the streets between Astrid Plein and Permeke Library on Coninckplein. The Lion Dance will begin at 1pm (we caught it in previous years around the Wesenbekestraat). It is very noisy and fun, with lots of firecrackers (younger and more sensitive children may not like the noise). If you are planning to stick around and eat, here’s a review I wrote for Nonnative blog last October about our favourite restaurant in this district.

Free and no need to reserve, Het Roze Huis monthly film is  Departure (2015) starting at 8pm (Draakplaats 1)

Sunday

It’s Boekenplein on de Coninckplein (in front of Permeke Library) for lovers of secondhand books, magazines, graphic novels and comics. Free, 10am – 4pm

There’s more than one reason to visit MuHKA today -it’s family day at the museum, it’s also the last day of Krokuskriebels plus there is the AMVK exhibition. We enjoyed the last two this week during half term.

MUHKA
MuHKA

The weather looks likely to be dry, maybe even with some sunny patches, and not feeling quite so bitterly cold as has been the case at times recently (8 -9 degrees).

 
Miscellaneous

Next weekend is MEUG Beer & Whiskey festival – you can get tickets in advance here.

This month sees the start of some blog posts that I am writing for Visit Antwerp this year. Check out my FIVE FEBRUARY FAVOURITES

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At the Permeke Library the free exhibition Legends of Liondance is on until 25th February. I recommend this as I went last year with my kids. It’s also a good chance to see the relocated children’s section of the Permeke library.

 

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This weekend in Antwerp: 9th, 10th & 11th February

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Here’s your GOOGLE MAP to help you find the events listed in this post.

This weekend, it’s the Asia In Antwerp event which takes place over both Saturday and Sunday. Tickets can be reserved online here. There will be food and drink stands from all over Asia (as well as cooking and food preparation workshops) and performances of Asian music and dance from a variety of countries: Bali, Indonesia, Korea, China and Thailand. (Images courtesy of Azie in Antwerpen)Screen Shot 2018-01-30 at 19.52.20

Antwerp Pateekesweek continues until 11th February. During Pateekesweek, various bakeries, patisseries, coffee & tea houses take part, and the idea is to allow cake-lovers to sample a variety of treats at different places. To take part, you buy a Pateekes Pas for 10 euros which has 10 bonnetjes (vouchers) on it. These can be exchanged in the participating venues which are listed here and you can buy the Pateekes Pas at the tourist offices on Grote Markt or at Antwerp Central Station.

 

Friday


Hear a musical story in English at ‘T Werkhuys (Inter-Musikas – ‘Measure 23 of Life’): Adam Clarke, Canadian composer who studies here in Antwerp. Adam composes pieces for guitar, guitar duo, bagpipe and- for the first time- flute. He will tell his migration story and how it changed his way of thinking, and his style of composing. The story will be told totally in English.

Saturday

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Old City Wall visible on the Frankrijklei last year

This weekend you can view the foundations at Kipdorpbrug which are exposed as a result of the building work on the Noorderlijn in the centre of Antwerp. Last year, a similar opportunity occurred on the Frankrijklei, when the old city wall was visible and it was possible to go and see it. It’s worth doing as it is just for this weekend that the public are able to go this archeological site. You can visit the site from 1pm -10pm. This continues onto Sunday (10am -6pm). The pop-up café Opera Plein 1 will be exhibiting some of the objects found at the site. The site is likely to be muddy, so wear your sturdiest boots. A food archeologist will be around between 2 and 6pm, and DJ Barok will be playing very old-school hits, so you can party like it’s 1799.

More music at this free choral concertat 8pm at St Andries Kerk. “Inner Voices” is a youth choir from London established in 2011, and with a wide repertoire of different songs.

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If you have younger kids, you will know Het Steen Café. We have been here often since we moved here, for play facilities, workshops and even our son’s birthday party. Het Steen is closing this weekend and is holding a free closing party (from 3pm) to say goodbye. The kids facilities will move to Droogdokkensite (in the Eilandje area) and re-open in June under the new name “Stormkop”.

Sunday

Kipdorp archeological event -see above (Saturday)

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It’s the annual Rivierenhof Valentines Run with 5k and 10k runs, you can arrive from 9.30am and the starting pistol is fired at 11am. To take part costs five euros on the day itself, but is free if you register beforehand. 

It’s Goegekregen in the Parkloods (Park Spoor Noord) a secondhand/ retro/ vintage market with something for everyone -free.

It’s not exactly bikini weather. Friday looks particularly chilly (2 degrees) even with the possibility of some snow. It’s a little warmer on Saturday and Sunday, but Sunday could be showery.

 

Miscellaneous

This month sees the start of some blog posts that I am writing for Visit Antwerp this year. Check out my FIVE FEBRUARY FAVOURITES

Screen Shot 2018-01-31 at 12.20.31

 

 

At the Permeke Library the free exhibition Legends of Liondance is on until 25th February. I recommend this as I went last year with my kids. It’s also a good chance to see the relocated children’s section of the Permeke library.

Schools are off next week for the February break (aka Krokusvakantie). Museums across Belgium are putting on some special activities for kids. Here’s the selection from the Antwerp area.

Valentine’s Day is next Wednesday.

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This weekend in Antwerp: 20th & 21st January

Here’s the GOOGLE MAP for this weekend!

Saturday

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It’s National Tulip Day –really. It marks the beginning of the tulip season, and while this might be more of a big deal for our friends in the Netherlands, it will be marked here in Antwerp too, with a tulip garden on Astridplein where you may pick one bunch of tulips for free, between 1pm -4.30pm

It’s the annual Children’s Ball at Opera Vlaanderen (Frankrijklei 3) at 11pm. Tickets are 8 euros via the link

At Het Roze Huis it’s the regular free film night. Tonight showing the 1990 Madonna movie-  Strike a Pose at 8pm.

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Or head for the Little Theatre on Paardenmarkt for an evening of fun impro theatre (in English) courtesy of Swaajp at 8pm. Tickets are 9 euros (a mere 6 for students) and this week the special guest is Hila di Castro, from Israel.

 
Sunday

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Permeke Library and Café

Two events at Permeke library today: the first is the regular “boekenplein” (second hand books, graphic novels, magazines and more) which takes place on the third Sunday of every month on de Coninckplein from 10am -4pm) and the second is a read-aloud hour for kids aged 4-8 at 11am (Dutch). Both are free. I also really like the cafe at Permeke (that’s the glassy green cube by the library entrance).

If  your finances are looking a bit on the thin side after the festive season, you will be pleased to know it’s the first Goegekregen/ SNITT second hand market (‘rommelmarkt’ in Dutch) this year -at the Park Loods from 9am -6pm. Free.

And here’s a children’s opera-based show which caught my eye. There are two performances on Sunday (at 3pm and 5pm), for kids aged 8+ and tickets cost 8 euros (via the link).

Wrap up, Antwerplings! It’s been a chilly week and not going to be a warm weekend, and alas, both Saturday and Sunday are likely to be showery.

Miscellaneous

One week to go until BATS panto …. the last remaining tickets can be purchased here.

AladdinBATS

If you want to keep those winter warmth feelings going for as long as you can, winter bar Aspen Bocadero is still open (until January 21st)

If you are young and in a band and want to play live at the Antwerp 2018 Festival in May, check out this contest run at KAVKA -you need to register by the end of the month.

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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 café (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!

 

 

 
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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

DraculaBats

“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

 

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This weekend in Antwerp: 1st, 2nd and 3rd December

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HERE’S YOUR GOOGLE MAP (as used by Sinterklaas himself)

Friday

China Light opens 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

BATS (English speaking theatre) have their last Open Evening of 2017, so head along to the Little Theatre on Paardenmarkt if you would like to get involved. It’s a busy time of year for them, as they gear up for their annual panto -this year it’s Aladdin!

Saturday

Kids can come and see Sinterklaas at Grand Bazar shopping centre today.

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Band 110

For grown-ups: Band 110 are playing at Fabrik, near Theaterplein. They’re my complete and unbiased favourite.

Update: band 110 are sorry to announce that due to illness this event has been cancelled 😦

Oxfam shops around Antwerp are promoting fairly traded gifts today -at their store in town (Minderbroedersrui 33).

 

Sunday

Goegekregen are at Park Spoor Noord today, in the sheltered area by Bar Noord, from 9am -6pm, offering the usual array of second hand clothing, books, toys, antiques, vinyl, accessories, vintage & retro goods to suit every budget.

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Park Spoor Noord

Meanwhile, another Antwerp favourite – Markt van Morgen  -is on Kloosterstraat from midday to 6pm. This Christmas edition will include a food truck, DJs and Gluhwein.

Kids can come and see Sinterklaas on Meir and at Grand Bazar

At around this time of year, various neighbourhoods organise a communal winter event (look out for words like ‘wintervuur’, ‘XYZ Wintert’ etc). This one is on Schengenplein -a new development which opened in the Cadixwijk in summer (it’s right near the Kattendijkdok which you will know if you have ever hung out in Bar Paniek during warmer weather).

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

The weather will continue pretty chilly (4- 7 degrees). Saturday will be coldest. Showers are likely on Sunday.

 

Miscellaneous
sintchocola

 

Sinterklaas takes place on the 6th December and is VERY important to the children of Belgium. You can read about it here..

De Collectie is a means by which you can give away your second hand clothing, shoes, accessories (belts, scarves, gloves, hats) and bedding if they are in good condition. They will be passed to people who need them in Belgium and abroad. You can arrange to have them picked up or can bring them to a collection point. Very handy if you are planning a clear out before the festive season. You can find more information about how this works in Antwerp on De Collectie Antwerpen site.

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This weekend in Antwerp: 24th, 25th & 26th November

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Hello Kitty in Lego (Brickmania)

There’s a lot on this weekend so don’t let November blues keep you in -here’s your GOOGLE MAP with the locations mentioned in this post.

Over Saturday (10am -6pm) and Sunday (10am -5pm) it’s Brickmania at Waagnatie- an absolute must for Lego fans. We’ve been to this in the past and always had a good time, even though it can get really busy. It’s 5 euros in (free for kids under 6) and some of the Lego constructions are just amazing. There are all sorts of beautiful scenes and building recreated in Lego, as well as mechanised constructions with moving parts, as well as Disney and film characters in Lego. It’s also a chance to buy for Sinterklaas or Christmas, for the Lego-lovers in your life.

1WvdS_Vierkant beeld + logoFoodies – Week van de Smaak finishes up this weekend – various food-related activities, workshops and tastings are taking place in the Antwerp area, based around the theme of healthy eating and reducing food-waste. Here are the activities taking place in and around Antwerp.

 

Also over the whole weekend is the annual stock sale of books at Zuiderpershuis -De Markies book sale is free entry, and also a good tip for reduced books if you need to buy gifts for a reader. Most books are in Dutch, with some (e.g. non-fiction, art) in English, and there is usually a good range of kids’ books for your younger readers in Dutch. Doors open at midday.

bookfair2
Browsing at De Markies stock sale 

 Friday

It’s Black Friday in Antwerp. More than that I do not know and am not prepared to research, as anything that I have ever seen that is to do with Black Friday looks absolutely terrifying. Late night shopping on Kloosterstraat (many shops open until 22h) might be a lot less stressful.

kloosterstraatsoiree

Critical Mass has an important safety theme this month as recent cyclist casualties need to be kept in the spotlight of current traffic safety debates in Antwerp. Assemble on Theaterplein at 6pm -the theme is ‘light in the darkness‘, emphasising the importance for cyclists to be seen, and bikes to be lit -especially at this time of year, so wear your fluo and put your brightest bike lights on.

Saturday

Screen Shot 2017-11-22 at 08.11.15
Mission to Seafarers Christmas Bazar

Antwerp’s Mission to Seafarers holds its yearly Christmas Bazar this year on the Noorderlaan for the first time. Head to the Antwerp Harbour Hotel if you would like some British Christmas cards, festive foods and other Christmas goodies this year.

Markies Bookmarket & Brickmania continue (see above)

Sunday

Across Brussels and Flanders it’s Dag van de Wetenschap (Science Day) with lots of free and fascinating events in and around Antwerp. Last year, we spent most of the day in Kavka where they learnt about robots, had a go at taking blood and learned about bacteria on hands, but there are lots of other activities for kids and adults across the city.

In The Roma Theatre there’s a kids’ rommelmarkt -everything for kids: toys, games, books and clothes. The stands are also run by kids, and it’s just 1 euro in (50cts for children).

Markies Bookmarket & Brickmania continue (see above)

The weather continues to be typically Novemberish -quite cold with slight chance of showers throughout the weekend.

Miscellaneous

If you are looking for times to take your child/ren to see Sinterklaas, he is around at the following central locations over the coming days:
sintchocola

Mercado on Wednesday 29th from 1pm

Grand Bazar on the 2nd December 1- 5pm

Meir and Grand Bazar on the 3rd December

The last Wednesday of the month (29th) means the City of Antwerp Museums are free.

Shops will be open on Sundays throughout December in Antwerp.

If you have younger kids, they may like to write a letter to Sinterklaas. This is organised each year by Bpost. Post the letter(s) in special Sint letterboxes (there’s one in the Quellinstraat post office) before 29th November. Don’t forget to ensure that the child’s name and home address is clearly written on the outside of the envelope, so that the child can receive a letter back and a surprise from the Sint. You do not need a stamp. If your child doesn’t write, you can send a Babbel Brief!

If you are new to this tradition, be aware that it takes place on the 6th December and is VERY important to the children of Belgium. You can read about it here.

I was recently contacted by Sandra from Colectivo Amorika. This is a group which offers cultural and arts activities for Spanish speaking families in Antwerp, as well as conversation lessons for intermediate and advanced non-native speakers. They are based in Borgerhout and you can see their program below

Noviembre
Colectivo Amorika

De Collectie is a means by which you can give away your second hand clothing, shoes, accessories (belts, scarves, gloves, hats) and bedding if they are in good condition. They will be passed to people who need them in Belgium and abroad. You can arrange to have them picked up or can bring them to a collection point. Very handy if you are planning a clear out before the festive season. You can find more information about how this works in Antwerp on De Collectie Antwerpen site.

If you haven’t done so yet, have a read of this recently pressed guest post by Laura, the creator of the lovely Nonnative Antwerp blog, and do get in touch if you would like to contribute your own Antwerp story.

I have also guest-blogged for Nonnative. Read my restaurant review here .

Inspired to write a guest blog post telling your Antwerp story? Please get in touch via nessascityblog@gmail.com -I’d love to hear from you.

cropped-maf3.png

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

This weekend in Antwerp: 18th & 19th November

Such an exciting weekend (especially if you are a kid)!
HERE’S YOUR GOOGLE MAP!

It’s Eco Builders 2017 on both Saturday and Sunday -this is an event for you if you have a home-project underway or are planning one: sign up for tours around project homes (both new-build and restorations) to get ideas about how it is done in an eco-friendly and energy-efficient way.

Foodies -it’s Week van de Smaak over the weekend and continuing until the 26th November. Workshops, events, markets and readings for food lovers. Here’s the complete programme in Borgerhout.

Saturday

sinterklaassweets
Pepernoten and a chocolate letter (traditional Sinterklaas sweets)

Hij komt! Hij Komt!

Sinterklaas arrives in Antwerp! He is expected to arrive on his traditional Steamboat at Steenplein at 1pm and will make his way from Steenplein via Suikerrui to Grote Markt, accompanied by his usual jaunty entourage. This is usually a very busy event -expect crowds and possibly a fair bit of waiting to see the Sint. To be honest, I have found that the wait can be a bit challenging for the very youngest children, especially if the weather is not great (although this year it is predicted to be dry). His annual appearance and speech on the balcony of the Town Hall is expected at 14.45. This is the thrilling moment when the city learns if there are any naughty children in Antwerp, or whether they can all expect gifts this year. If you can’t make it, you can follow the action live on TV on Ketnet.

sintgrotemarktF
Crowds waiting for the Sint to appear on the balcony at Grote Markt

 

At De Roma theatre from 9am it’s Kraakvers#3 – a local market for fresh goods and locally made products.

There’s a Vinyl fair at Plein Publiek from 11am -4.30pm … perfect if you are a vinyl lover or need to shop for the vinyl lover in your life as the festive season approaches. 

Swaajp
Swaajp Impro. Photo: Armin Zarbock

For evening entertainment with a difference, head to Zaal Zirkus for some impro theatre with Swaajp! whose guests for this show are Inbal Lori and Tim Orr who take their inspiration from photographs provided by the audience, rather than verbal suggestions.

 

Sunday

It’s a day of arts activities for children: Kunstendag voor Kinderen. These take place across Flanders. Here are the events in the Antwerp area. Click on ‘meer info’ to find put the costs of participation (most are low-cost; some are free), age range and whether you need to reserve beforehand.

It’s the monthly secondhand book and comic fair on De Coninckplein -in front of the library- from 10am

Unsurprisingly, it’s pretty nippy out this weekend (max temperatures 8 degrees) but it should be dry, with the a slight possibility of some showers, especially around Sunday evening.

 sintletterboxMiscellaneous

If you have younger kids, they may like to write a letter to Sinterklaas. This is organised each year by Bpost. Post the letter(s) in special Sint letterboxes (there’s one in the Quellinstraat post office) before 29th November. Don’t forget to ensure that the child’s name and home address is clearly written on the outside of the envelope, so that the child can receive a letter back and a surprise from the Sint. You do not need a stamp. If your child doesn’t write, you can send a Babbel Brief!

If you are new to this tradition, be aware that it takes place on the 6th December and is VERY important to the children of Belgium. You can read about it here.

I was recently contacted by Sandra from Colectivo Amorika. This is a group which offers cultural and arts activities for Spanish speaking families in Antwerp, as well as conversation lessons for intermediate and advanced non-native speakers. They are based in Borgerhout and you can see their program below

Noviembre
Colectivo Amorika

De Collectie is a means by which you can give away your second hand clothing, shoes, accessories (belts, scarves, gloves, hats) and bedding if they are in good condition. They will be passed to people who need them in Belgium and abroad. You can arrange to have them picked up or can bring them to a collection point. Very handy if you are planning a clear out before the festive season. You can find more information about how this works in Antwerp on De Collectie Antwerpen site.

If you haven’t done so yet, have a read of this recently pressed guest post by Laura, the creator of the lovely Nonnative Antwerp blog, and do get in touch if you would like to contribute your own Antwerp story.

I have also guest-blogged for Nonnative. Read my restaurant review here .

Inspired to write a guest blog post telling your Antwerp story? Please get in touch via nessascityblog@gmail.com -I’d love to hear from you.

cropped-maf3.png

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