It is still Antwerp’s annual Pateekes Week (until Sunday) Lovers of cakes and pastries can sample them at a discounted rate at participating bakeries, cafés and chocolatiers. To enjoy pateekesweek, you need to get a sheet of 10 vouchers (Pateekespass) for 10 euros. You can get these from the Visit Antwerp outlets at Central Station and on Grote Markt. They are already on sale.
Over at Boomgaardsestraat, right near de Koninck Brewery (currently Wintar) there’s a Wild Jo’s Market on today and on Sunday too. It’s free in, opens at 1pm and there will be clothing, arts & crafts, jewellery, accessories, food, drink & more for sale. This is a kid-friendly event, with some music and entertainment.
UPDATE: It’s just been announced that unfortunately – on the very weekend that I do a focus on Rivierenhof, the Rivierenhof will be closed, due to a storm warning.
A focus on Rivierenhof for three Sunday activities today. Rivierenhof is a large, green estate, which includes Kasteel Rivierenhof, Sterckshof and a large pond. There are other recreational facilities in Rivierenhof, which is Antwerp’s largest park. Rivierenhof is in Deurne.
Every Sunday at 2pm at the “sprookjeshuis” there’s a fairy story read aloud (in Dutch) for children aged 6+. It’s costs 5 euros and you can register your children here, in advance. The Sprookjeshuis is near the Rivierenhof Kasteel and the playground.
As the weather improves, Rivierenhof is a handy place to know about (there’s also mini-golf, as well as ample space to run, exercise and play, and an open air-theatre for summer events and performances) and it’s easily reachable by tram (8 and 10) and bike.
As the UK drifted out of the EU with a whimper rather than a bang last week, British passport holders who are interested in retaining the advantages of European citizenship by becoming Belgian may find this recent article from The Brussels Times of use.
Critical Mass Antwerpen returns for monthly rides throughout 2020. Assemble on Theaterplein from 17.45 pm for an hour’s cycling en masse through the city. The theme for this month’s ride is reflection and visibility, so make sure you are there with your bike lights and reflectors working.
Today is the start of Antwerp’s annual Pateekes Week. Lovers of cakes and pastries can sample them at a discounted rate at participating bakeries, cafésand chocolatiers. To enjoy pateekesweek, you need to get a sheet of 10 vouchers (Pateekespass) for 10 euros. You can get these from the Visit Antwerp outlets at Central Station and on Grote Markt. They are already on sale.
For a philosophical discussion (in English) head down to Den Hopsack bar on Grote Pieterpotstraat for 2pm for their Philosophy Café. You can even email questions for discussion in advance: email@example.com
Chinese New Year celebrations may have concluded, but the Legends of Liondance expo is still on in Permeke library, and this weekend is your last chance to catch it (until Sunday)
This week I discovered this useful site: Toerisme voor autisme. This site helps you plan autism-friendly activities, visits and holidays in Belgium, to ensure full participation and inclusion of autistic visitors. The site includes destinations and activities which take into account the need for predictability and structure which visitors with autism often have.
As the UK drifts out of the EU with a whimper rather than a bang, British passport holders who are interested in retaining the advantages of European citizenship by becoming Belgian may find this recent article from The Brussels Times of use.
Where do you buy your groceries in Antwerp? This blog post is about two different types of grocery shopping in the city, and will be of interest to you if you are keen to reduce your carbon footprint when you make your shopping choices. By Vasco, Charlotte, Hendrik, Yumiko and Michelle
Antwerp International School Grade 10 students went on a trip on Wednesday the 8th of January by train to the BeO Versmarkt and a Delhaizegrocery store to contrast and compare them with one another: to study the pros and cons of both stores, and to also get a better understanding and learn new things based on what it’s like to shop in them. In this blog post, we will focus on the differences and similarities in looks, packaging, prices, and transport to, later on, conclude and give advice for more sustainable meal preparation. We are studying a sustainability unit in our language classes so this experience connects to that topic.
When we first walked into the BeO store (image left), it was noticeably different from the grocery stores we are used to. It was refreshing not walking into a store where you have to walk around for hours before finding the thing you were looking for. The store was really organized compared to normal grocery stores, partially due to the fact that there weren’t as many products and as big of a range of brands. The store wasn’t as big as Delhaize (grocery store) so there weren’t as many staff working, but that was no problem because it was easy to find staff if you needed help. the fact that almost nothing was wrapped in plastic and the food looked different from the processed food we are used to eating was a real eye-opener. You could tell that the food was organic by the way it was clearly not meant to look ‘perfect’, but instead looked like it came fresh from the farm. The boxes that the food was placed in indicate where the food came from blue if the food was Belgian-made and in a different box with the name of the country on the label if it wasn’t domestic. But still, 90% of the non-Belgian-made products were produced in Europe.
One of the bigger differences were the packaging: for the Beo store there were containers filled up with all kinds of nuts, seeds, grains, dried fruits, spices, and pasta but for the Delhaize store they were all in plastic bags. Which after visiting the Delhaize store seemed very unnecessary, as so many plastics were being used for proportions not everyone wants. The BeO store had an amazing self-service system, you could bring your own glass containers or buy one in the store and fill it up with oil, vinegar or honey. This way you don’t spend money on the extra packaging while also being sustainable. A lot of other products also had a self-service system, such as nuts, pasta, and seeds. It was a really innovative system, you can buy as much as you need and not waste any food.
We did pricing exercises for similar products in both the BEO V and the Delhaize. The products we’ve compared are simple and well-known, such as red tomatoes and eggs. We saw a big price difference between the tomatoes. The tomatoes in the BEO cost € 3.45/kg, which is € 1.14 more expensive than a kg of tomatoes in the Delhaize, which cost € 2.59 (pic left, by Charlotte). There is a big difference in price between tomatoes, but luckily it’s not the same for the eggs. A box of 6 eggs in the BEO cost € 2.28 as you can get the same amount in the Delhaize for € 2.35, that’s € 0.07 cheaper. So, the idea that eco-shops are always more expensive than regular ones is not true.
In the picture you can see both the difference between the tomatoes in the Delhaize and in the Beo store.
Did you know that food production is one of the main causes of CO2 releases in the world?
Most eco-friendly stores are spread out around the country than the normal stores. The number of eco-friendly shops is significantly smaller compared to the average supermarket. All these factors lead to fewer people going to these shops and when they go they might need to travel longer distances which produces more CO2 pollution.
If there is not an eco-friendly shop near you, you could go to the Exotic Market that opens on Saturdays from 8AM to 4PM in Theaterplein which offers natural products from nearby farms. The products in this market can sometimes be cheaper than in the eco-friendly store. All this contributes to not polluting our environment because the products don’t travel long distances and the customers that use that market can bike there.
We concluded that the Beo shop that we visited is more eco-friendly than the Delhaize; a regular supermarket. For some people, it might not be the most convenient for them, since it can take more time, money and transport to get to the few environmental stores depending on where you live in Antwerp. However, despite the challenges, a suggestion from us would be to do your groceries on a Saturday. You could look up ways on how to store and keep your products fresh for the week. You can prepare your meals so you don’t have to worry about having food on the table during weekdays. Also, you don’t have to do all your grocery shopping at an organic store, but every little step helps!
Could you take the time to make your shopping more eco-friendly?
Happy New Year to everyone who is celebrating the beginning of the Year of The Rat this weekend!
Saturday will be the busiest day for New Year celebrations in Antwerp’s Chinatown. The most popular part of the day is the Lion dance which takes place on van Wesenbekestraat. Come and enjoy the drama of the dance, and be prepared for the firecrackers, which are plentiful and LOUD. However, there are lots of accompanying events this year, so have a look at the full Chinese New Year programme as there is a lot going on in the Permeke Library, and in front of it on De Coninckplein, where there will be a new year’s market and a Tai Chi demonstration.
On Saturday evening Swaajp Invites (impro theatre) offers an evening of improvisational humour designed to delight all Potterheads. The evening’s entertainment is in English and begins at 8pm. Reserve your tickets here.
Enjoy a new year’s drink with the good people of Borgerhout on the Moorkensplein from 3pm. It’s a free neighbourhood event with soup, drinks, kids’ fun and even a chance to see a giant or two -for which Borgerhout is justly famous.
Alternatively, head back to Viggo’s on de Coninckplein for coffee and Sunday afternoon music from 4pm, with DJ and saxophonist, Eric Morel.
The weather this weekend is likely to remain quite cold, but mainly dry. There might be some showers on Sunday afternoon. Top temps of 8-9 degrees.
Don’t forget that some Antwerp museums are free on the last Wednesday of the month (next Wednesday, the 29th). These are the Museum Plantin Moretus, the Rockox Museum, the Museum Mayer van den Bergh, the MAS and the Red Star Line Museum.
Look out for a guest post on Monday – I am especially proud of this one as it has been written by my students at Antwerp International School. We are studying a sustainability topic, and their post is about sustainable shopping in Antwerp.
Summer is underway and it’s the last day of school on Friday. There are a lot of inexpensive events to enjoy, and new places to hangout. This is a great link which provides the names and locations of all the summer bars in Antwerp!
Music, food, DJs, performance and kids games and entertainment at the Sint Andries Feesten (pic right)from 3pm, in the square (Sint-Andriesplaats).
Circus Boelaere takes place over the whole weekend and has an extensive program of music, workshops, kids’ entertainment with a circus theme. It also comes with a reader recommendation from a local who got in touch to recommend that it be included in this week’s post!
Bar Oost also opens this weekend in Park Spoor Oost and they are holding their opening weekend (same venue as Sinksenfoor).
Take part in the monthly Critical Mass bike ride, starting as usual on Theaterplein at 6pm
Aper’eau are on Leopold de Waalplaats -that’s the square right in front of the fine arts museum (aka KMSKA) with summer cocktails, wines and beers, DJs, and al fresco drinking from 5pm -11pm
Down at the Seefbeer brewery and cafe, they’re holding a beergarden opening with festivities continuing over the weekend, starting at 3pm on Friday and including live music, a BBQ and a bouncy castle for the kids. Seef makes some really good beers and this is a lovely, slightly out-of-the way venue -recommended!
And there’s even more for beerlovers: all weekend on Groenplaats it’s the annual Bierpassie Weekend!
At Plein Publiek there’s another vintage Kilo Sale from 12 -5pm, where as the name suggests you make your vintage/ retro/ pre-loved clothing purchases by the kilo (20 euros per kilo).
Lovers of street art should head to the Permeke Library reading garden (leestuin) today where street art festival Colours of Antwerp is taking place; check the agenda on the link since some activities require pre-registration. Most of them are free, except the tour led by Antwerp’s most popular and knowledgeable street art guide, Tim Marschang.
The ZOO summer bar opens today at 4pm; it’s a real little oasis of a summer bar just next to the flamingos at the zoo entrance and a lovely place to hang out right in the centre, next to the station, with frequent live music performances on the bandstand. ZOOmerbar is open until 19th August.
Fabric and craft fans, today is your day: it’s the fabric market on Grote Markt brought to you by Stoffencircus from 10am -5pm, for all your stitching, sewing and fabric needs.
Around the St Pauluskerk area it’s the Utopia Festival -see the link for the full programme which comprises music, reading, guided tours and kids’ activities.
There’s an hour’s free zumba in the Harmoniepark from 4-5pm.
It’s the second Lambermontmartre of the season: Antwerp’s most relaxed and friendly art market, Lambermontmartre takes place in front of KMSKA on five Sundays over summer from midday until 5pm. It supports local artists in selling their work and is the perfect way to spend a stress-free summer afternoon. There’s always a band; snacks and drinks for sale and some kid-friendly art activities too.
Not only is Plantin Moretus an amazing place to visit because of what is inside the museums, but also because of what is outside and today is the day to go and find out about their historical gardens because it’s Open Gardens 2019 which is an annual event run by Open Tuinen VZW. This is an extra activity provided for visitors to the museum today (so you do need to pay the cost of visiting the museum, which is a must in itself)
The most important thing in this section this week is Bolt The Bearded Dragon! Just before term ended, I had the pleasure of guest-teaching a class of young bloggers at Antwerp International School who were improving their English skills by beginning blogs and writing blog entries. They all made amazing blogs, but this blog post was voted as the best one: it’s by Julian who blogs about looking after his fascinating and unusual pet -a very handsome bearded dragon who goes by the name of Bolt. Please have a look and give him a LIKE to encourage this young blogger -keep on writing, Julian!
On Monday last week, I published a helpful guest post by Jon Kemp all about how and where to learn Dutch in Antwerp
It’s truly summer when Summer HQ opens in the form of the Zomerbar on Sloepenweg which it did on the 24th June (last Monday) at 2pm. It’s a familiar and essential summer hangout that’s very relaxed and kid-friendly. Note: Stad Antwerp summer bars will be cashless this year.
There is so much on all of a sudden -Zomer van Antwerp has not yet officially started, but the sun should be shining this weekend and it is starting to feel like Antwerp is getting its summer on, so here is your GOOGLE MAP so you can catch some rays at all the locations mentioned in this post …
Diamond museum DIVA holds its grand opening weekend, starting Friday. If you have not been able to book one of the hour long slots, you might still want to swing by Suikerrui “and join in the festivities”
Until 6th May (Sunday) its Amateur Arts Week (Week Van De Amateurkunsten). Search the link for events in your area.
And it’s Belmodo Fashion Days , also until the 6th (Sunday). These are fashion and designer stocks sales taking place at participating outlets (listed on the Belmodo site). A chance to grab a designer bargain or pick up something unique from a local or Belgian designer …
Abelone Wilhelmsen (right) is a local designer based in Borgerhout, taking part in Belmodo Fashion Days.
Hungry? Picnic on Theaterplein between midday and 2pm. Organised by Broederlijke Delen and Oxfam Wereldwinkels, bring your own food and don’t waste what you have: the purpose is to raise awareness of food waste.
Antwerp locals will be familiar with Aper’eau, providers of alfresco summer drinks, music and food. On Friday from 5pm they begin their season with the summer kick-off event on Grote Markt
Shout out to our favourite international school, who hold their unmissable International Day event just once every two years, making it extra special (particularly as this year is the 50th anniversary of the school). Experience the countries and cultures that make up this diverse learning community of young people, families and staff, as they showcase food, activities, performances and music from around the world, from 10am -5pm on the school’s campus in Ekeren.
It’s Dag van de Gever in Antwerp’s second-hand stores, so a good time to make space and take down unwanted goods which are in good condition to one of the “Kringloopwinkels” in the city. Get a free potplant, and the chance to win a weekend away. There are 8 shops in the Antwerp area: Abdijstraat 104, 2020 Antwerpen-Kiel; Bredabaan 397, 2170 Merksem; Kapelsestraat 237, 2950 Kapellen; Kroonstraat 166, 2140 Borgerhout; Sint-Jorispoort 29, 2000 Antwerpen; Venstraat 153 b, 2900 Schoten; Vosstraat 305, 2100 Deurne and Bredabaan 651, 2930 Brasschaat
A choice of street parties back in town: it’s the Marnix Feest (pic below left) on Marnixplaats from 2pm, where there will be a street party, complete with kids’ entertainment, music, food and drinks until 10pm or the Twintig Achtien free festival (pic below right, courtesy of Twintig Achtien) along the Konijnenwei from 13.30.
It’s the first Sunday of the month, so … Sunday shopping in and around the city centre.
Go and discover creative Berchem at the Made In Berchem and learn why it is becoming a hotspot for innovative and artistic ventures taking place in these locations around the district. Map and brochure to download here.
Open Werven Dag opens up construction and development sites in and around Antwerp to the public. This is more interesting than it might sound (if you are someone who is often frustrated by the amount of construction which seems to take place around the city, you might feel averse to visiting an actual construction site). Last year, we went on a cool below-ground tour of the Noorderlijn works. This year, I’m thinking of seeing this building.
It’s to be a weekend of sunshine, with increasingly warmer temperatures – getting up to 23 degrees on Sunday!
I’m pleased to share this blog post: Three Great Spots For When The Sun Is Shining which was published last week on the Stad Antwerpen website and optimistically describes three places in the city you might want to check out if the weather holds out …
Open- air swimming pool De Molen is now open on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays from midday until 6pm.
It feels good to be moving in to March, with a few signs of spring to lift the spirits. Here’s the GOOGLE MAP for this weekend’s locations and venues.
You could start your weekend at one of two free-entry food and drink events: there’s this Warehouse Edition of Flying Pig at pop-up Contrair, which promises the usual fair of drinks, fingerfood and DJs from 5pm, or StrEAT (not far away) at Felix Pakhuis from 6pm.
It’s Retro Day from 10am -6pm in the eight Kringwinkels (thrift shops) of Antwerp. The Kringwinkel most central to Antwerp is at Jorispoort 29. It doesn’t look very eye catching from the outside but it has three floors of second hand household items, toys, books, furniture and clothes. On Twitter, Facebook and Instagram you could win a 25 euro voucher by sharing a picture of your own retro treasure(s) with the hashtags #retrodag and #dekringwinkelantwerpen
In a similar vein there is the regular, big secondhand and flea market on Sint Jansplein, starting at 9am.
Between 11- 5pm there’s a closet sale at Plein Publiek, held by Revive Collective.
For film fans, there is a festival of short films –Ciné Public)-at Cinema Zuid (that’s in the Photography Museum). It’s a fiver for a ‘block’ of short films (each block consists of about 7 films and last approximately 2 hours).
There’s a Breakdancing event on Saturday evening at Waagnatie. It doesn’t cost but you need to get your free ticket here beforehand. Doors open at 6.
It’s the 5th Antwerp Urban Trail, which leaves from Park Spoor Noord in ‘waves’ every 20 minutes from 9am. This year the route will run via the new Port of Antwerp harbour building.
Round off the weekend with this vernissage (“Life Will Be Great Soon”) at the Praetoria Gallery in Berchem, from 2-6pm. Until 22nd April.
The weather looks reasonably mild and bright (12- 13 degrees) but there could be some showers around.
And I’d like to make a special mention of Freddy, an Antwerp student, who has launched this fundraiser for orphans in Thailand where she used to live. Do click and donate if you have some spare euros for a good cause.
Finally – would you like to write a guest post for Nessascityblog? As you are probably aware, I post on Thursdays, weekly. I’d like to include a guest post for after the weekend is over, but before the new post is out (so Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday). I’d like posts in English which tell personal Antwerp stories -yours. Where are you from? What are you doing in Antwerp? Why? And what are your experiences of living and/ or working in Antwerp? What are the pleasures and challenges of adapting to life here? You don’t need to be Shakespeare and you don’t need to have English as your first language. I will proof-read and edit posts if necessary. Please get in touch via the About page if you would like to contribute. If you have a different idea for an Antwerp-related post I’d also love to hear it.
Don’t forget to find and follow Nessascityblog on:
This will be Nessascityblog’s last post for 2016 , so I am trying to include as much as possible to see you into 2017 in Antwerp.
NEXT POST: THURSDAY 5TH JANUARY 2017
As mentioned last week Stad Antwerp’s Winter Festivities have now started so head down to the old town and you can’t miss it. The Christmas market can be found around Steenplein, Suikerrui, Groenplaats 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 & Patrasche (A Dog of Flanders) statue was unveiled last weekend in front of the Cathedral. This beautiful piece is the work Batist Vermeulen of Studio Tist.
On social media, you can share your Antwerp festive pictures with the hashtag #WinterinA
Festive & Miscellaneous
If you are planning a clear- out of your home you might want to revisit this post for ideas about where to take still useable toys, books, household goods and wearable clothes, instead of throwing them out.You could also contact the EVA centre in Ekeren who often take items to assist the refugees that they welcome and care for. At the moment, there is also a drop- off for clothes, shoes and fabric in Het Steen Café -make sure all your items are bagged before bringing them there.
MAF is opening a new art space on Keistraat 1 on the 21st December. Head along at 8pm to find out about their approach and what they do.
A random recommendation from me for this time of year is to go to Antwerp Market on Theaterplein. It’s open on both on Saturdays and Sundays, but Saturday is better, in my opinion. If you are going to be cooking a lot over the Christmas period, then this is the place to get great food from all over the world at a really good price. I always get veg here, and if I can, cheeses too. Over the time that I have lived in Antwerp, the market has also become increasingly social, with cava stands, oyster bars and food trucks, adding to the more traditional food sellers here. You can also get fresh coffee and pasta on the market, and a huge range of the sort of food you would want to offer at a party or to Christmas guests, including many varieties of olives, dips and tapenades. The market on Sunday is less food orientated, with more clothes and household items -it also closes earlier. Since the Theaterplein gained a roof, rain no longer stops play.
China Light is an event that is slightly pricier (15 euros for an adult ticket) than the usual events and activities I post here, but it is a really nice tour if you want to do something a bit unusual this winter. The lights do look magical and the zoo is a great setting in which to display them. I would check the weather forecast before going as rain would spoil this tour.
The last Wednesday of the month means free museum entry for Stad Antwerp museums (Wednesday 28th December).
Next weekend is of course Christmas, and I am away for New Year, so I will be posting again on the 5th January. For New Year’s Eve in Antwerp head to The Schelde if you want fireworks. But if clubs and parties are more your thing, then I recommend that you keep an eye on This Is Antwerp who I am sure will be posting all the information you need as NYE approaches.
Thank you very much for reading and following Nessascityblog during 2016. Please comment and include links to any additional winter events which I have missed. If you have found this blog helpful, please share it with your friends, on social media and in groups where it may be useful.
*** Here’s the GOOGLE MAP with all the locations from this post for the specific Friday- Sunday events***
Street Art Antwerp has featured a few times on this blog, and earlier this year my son and I joined a tour which we both very much enjoyed. This Friday, Tim is finishing up for the year with a special Flame Edition of his tour: bring torches and flashlights, and wear luminous clothing. It starts at 8 at the entrance to Zomerfabriek, Minkelersstraat in Berchem and will conclude at a tba venue, with music and snacks. Check the Facebook event page to register and to be informed of final details. Tim does not charge for these excellent tours, but you can make a donation which will go to Music For Life
Special holiday wishes to everyone at the Antwerp International School which finishes today for the winter break – safe travels and have a wonderful festive season!
At 1pm at bar Bato Batu there’s a record fair -for last minute gifts for the vinyl freak in your life (or for yourself, or course!)
If you are at the Christmas market during the day and are an incomer from abroad to the city of Antwerp, and would like to meet other parents and their kids, then head to Café Den Engel on Groote Markt at 2.30 for this Expat Parents & Kids Party.
Fancy a short trip out of town? Cosplay on ice: Cosplayers of Antwerp will assemble at Antwerp central station at midday and take the bus to Antartica Ice Rink in Wilrijk, returning for 5.30pm. You need the cost of the bus fare + skate hire (don’t forget ID too) which in total comes to E7,25
Improtheatre on Saturday Night: Swaajp describe this as a theatre show full of new stories, surprising adventures with intriguing plot twists, sometimes emotional, frequently hilarious, always made up on the spot. Swaajp Improtheater presents the second episode of their new regular improv theatre show ‘Swaajp Invites’.
Our guest for this show is Flavien Reppert (France). As the director of the Strasbourg-based Cie du Théâtre de l’Oignon, this moustache-bearing Frenchman will astonish you with his many talents, one of which is a delightfully scraping Rrr in his English pronunciation.
When: Sat. 17 December 2016, 20:00
Where: BATS Little Theatre, Paardenmarkt 111, Antwerp
Tickets: €9 via: www.swaajp.be
If you are crafty and like making things, head to Little Brewers Winter Garden at 2pm to make Christmas decorations. There’s also kids’ entertainment and a kids’ play area. These activities take place between 2 -5pm and are free with no pre-registration necessary LBWG is the De Koninck Brewery winter bar which is open until February 19th (you might know the venue from its summer incarnation -Smokey Jo’s).
At 8pm Het Roze Huis will be showing the film The Imitation Game. Het Roze Huis has monthly film screenings for the LGBT community in and around Antwerp, and these are free. I saw The Imitation Game when it came out in cinemas in 2014, and it is well worth seeing.
There’s a Goedgekregen fleamarket down at Eilandje between 9 and 6pm. It’s indoors at ’t Kot (port employment centre), Kempischdok-Westkaai, and is free.
Design Market ‘Ieder Zenne Meug‘ holds a Christmas edition at Zuiderpershuis between 11 and 6pm, and because it is the third Sunday of the month, it’s the book market at de Coninckplein (Permeke library) from 10 until 4pm.
There’s read-aloud for kids aged 4-8 at Permeke library at 11am (free, no registration registration, in Dutch). This weekend the story will have a festive theme.
Shops in the city centre will be open today for Christmas shopping.
The weather is set to be mild and dry again this weekend, with some cloud and fog at times.
May your festive season be all sparkly and completely stress-free!
On the Grote Markt, MUHKA will be holding Acid Brass, presented by Jeremy Deller and the Festival Brass Band, 1.30- 3pm. In the event of bad weather this will be held on Theater Plein. It’s bass band music with a difference -I saw this once in Glasgow, many moons ago, and it was thoroughly entertaining to hear tracks like ‘What Time is Love?’ and ‘Voodoo Ray’ rendered by a full-on brass band. This is part of a MUHKA Exhibition on rave culture.
UEFA: The Belgium -Ireland game is going to be the big match of the day. I have mentioned already some venues which are showing the games on big screens (Plein Publiek, Cargo, Dageraadplaats and Chatleroi). This one will also be showing on Groenplaats -kick-off is at 3pm. Alternatively it’s sure to be very lively in the Irish bars in town (An Sibhin, Kelly’s and The Irish Times) for this one …
The International Day of Yoga(copyright image courtesy of AWDC) in Antwerp is a wee bit further out than most events I include but I am putting it in because it is a must for those who practice yoga. It’s a big event and it is totally free. Don’t forget to register if you would like to attend. The event is suitable for those aged 12+. The host of the event (Reetu Mehta) will also be teaching ‘Mudras’ this year (hand gestures, used in conjunction with breathing techniques and chanting).
Goegekregen fleamarket from 10am -6pm on the Kattendijkdok and Swan Market will be on Grote Markt again from midday until 6pm. Right near central station there is a second hand clothing sale on Van Leriusstraat starting at 10am.
It’s the third Sunday of the month, so there is the book and magazine fair in front of Permeke Library on De Coninckplein from 10am -4pm. Meanwhile, inside the library itself between 11-12 in the auditorium there is a read-aloud for kids aged 4-8, with a dinosaur theme.
Here is a unique type of tour of Middelheim Sculpture Museum: this tour is specifically designed for those with mild to moderate dementia (and their caregivers). It is free and you do not need to reserve. It is in Dutch. If you think you know someone who might benefit from this, do watch the film on the page, which is subtitled in English, and explains the purpose and style of the tour.
The weather is predicted to be mild/ warm, with light showers on Friday and Saturday. Sunday looks like being cloudy, but dry. (image: Pixabay)
Here’s the Google map showing all the locations for the events mentioned here.
Zomer van Antwerpen has officially started (even if the weather isn’t quite on board …yet) On this page you can find two .pdfs with info in English about events.
It’s the last chance to get to Sinksenfoor (funfair) at Spoor Oost this weekend.
Here’s a complete guide to all the big- screen venues for watching UEFA in and around Antwerp.
A shout out to the Antwerp International School whose school year finishes this week. Lots of love -and safe travels -to staff and students who will be heading to family and friends around the world over summer. And a special mention to wish all the best for those students who will receive IB and IGCSE exam results soon … especially the students from IB English B 😉
(image from Pixabay)
Check out Nessascityblog Instagram page with pictures from last weekend of Parkbrug, Markt van Morgen, football watching UEFA at Grand Bazar, views from The Antwerp Wheel, and Flying Pig on Steenplein. And of course the blog can also be found on Twitter and Pinterest.
There’s free live music at The Irish Times (Steve Jones) at 10pm, and if you are around earlier, you can see Augustana (currently supporting Dixie Chicks at Lotto Arena!) at Cafè Ami at 3pm for a matinée. If you are looking for after-work drinks, Gusta is serving from 5pm with music from Böky Bros. Gusta is also a useful address to know if you need gluten -free and dairy-free resources.
A big shout out to the Antwerp International School in Ekeren! Today is their International Day where all the various communities come together to show off their nation’s food, drink, and culture. There’s much to see and enjoy -both indoors and outdoors. It only happens once every two years and is a chance to see the school at its very best!
It’s a day to get planting, if you live in Antwerp. You can pick up a free sack of potting soil, courtesy of Stad Antwerpen, between 11 and 4pm today as part of Dag van de Potgrond -an initiative to encourage residents to add some greenery or flowers to their street. Pick up at Cargo Summer Bar (Park Spoor Noord) or at coStA.
It’s Flanders’ largest running event: The Antwerp 10 miles & Marathon! Good luck to everyone running today. Here’s the schedule if you would like to go and cheer the runners on. You can cross the river by free ferry on the day of the run, between 11.30 am and 7.30pm (Steenplein -St Annastrand)
If you prefer a less energetic type of recreation you could Travel The World in 80 Games (that’s board and table games) at Atlas on Carnotstraat for free. It’s not far from de Coninckplein where the book fair will be taking place right in front of the library between 10am and 4pm.
This week’s free flea market takes place at Skate Planet, near Sportpaleis between 10am and 6pm.
On Sundays at Rivierenhof, there are fairytale readings (in Dutch) for 5 euros from 2 -3.30pm. Reserve for your kid(s) via the link.
The weather is predicted to be mild (tops of 12 degrees) with the possibility of a some showers on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning. Some bright spells on Sunday too.
For beautiful Antwerp views …did you know that during the summer period the roof of MAS museum is free and open until midnight, Tuesday to Sunday?
… and the project Coming World Remember Me has started and will continue until the 8th May. At workshops at Steen, you can make a sculpture out of clay to honour one of the Belgian fallen of World War One. These sculptures will form an installation in Ypres which will be opened in 2018. Each one will incorporate a dog tag with the name of a soldier. You will be provided with the dog tag.
It is free to take part but you need to register by calling 03 292 36 51 or mailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Sporting A is offering free basketball coaching for kids aged 6- 14 years of age every Wednesday from 20th April until 25th May. It’s on in various locations from 2pm -4pm (except Sint-Jansplein where it’s 3-5pm). No need to register, just show up if you are interested.
If you follow the blog on Twitter, you will know that I spent some of my weekend trying to counter some misinformation that was being spread by a Belgian blogger who claimed that the police had issued a warning to stay away from Meir. I tweeted the police who confirmed that this was not true. Members of my own family were on Meir and were clear that all was well there: it was sunny, and packed with shoppers as usual. The police had extra security in some places because of information they had received.
It was a useful lesson in cross-referencing, as one Tweet and a bit of Googling demonstrated that the blogger in question was spreading misinformation and alarm. In times where it is not unreasonable to be anxious about such things, we tend to focus on information sources that seem to keep us up to date (especially if you require the information to be in English). Although I demonstrated that the content of the blog post was false in this regard, the blogger has unfortunately declined to alter it.
I will do my best to keep you informed about the official advice as best I can; here and on Twitter. I am happy to correct any information that is shown not to be correct, so don’t hesitate to let me know if you spot a factual error. However, Nessascityblog is for weekend event information and I’d like it to stay that way, so here are a couple of sources where you can check for yourself: if there are any precautions advised by the security authorities, I am sure that the Gazet van Antwerpen will report the news very quickly. If you need news in English, check out the very useful Flanders Today. Additionally, you can aways check the page of the Antwerp police, or follow them on Twitter. Another good source for security information in Belgium is the Crisis Centre, who are also on Twitter with tweets in Dutch, French and English. It’s always a good idea to check with sources like those before sharing anything that adds to the general anxiety or causes worry to our loved ones, especially those in other countries. The current situation is that the threat level is at 3, and there are no warnings to stay away from Antwerp city centre, or any other area around Antwerp.
There are a couple of events which start on Friday and continue over the weekend. Over Tijd is a music and arts festival comprising of new electronic music, art, installations and readings. Check the link to see what is on over five Antwerp locations.
Another is Calamartes (opening on Thursday) which is a cultural festival run in conjunction with the University of Antwerp and also coincides with Open Campus Day (see Saturday)
For younger, curious minds there is a Time Workshop for kids at Het Steen at 2pm.
Music in the evening in Den Beulebak (which is a folk venue, but this performer combines electronic sounds with traditional ones) and also in Kiebooms (Polly Goes Psycho) on De Coninckplein, and at Sound Design Festival(The Royal Academy) where 10 students will be exhibiting their musical and audiovisual work for free.
For something entirely different there is the Antwerp Ghost Walk departing from Steenplein at 6.30pm and costing 7,50.
A couple of things for kids -firstly at Permeke Library a story-telling show for kids aged 6+ at 11am -tickets are only 4 euros if you get them in advance or you could get lucky and win free tickets on their Facebook Page.
And if you can afford/ cope with a hangover on Friday this week, don’t forget that it is Saint Patrick’s Day on Thursday. An Sibhin, Kelly’s and The Irish Times being Antwerp’s best known Irish Bars, and no doubt all worthy venues for a St Paddy’s Day party.
The weather this weekend is looking pretty chilly and sometimes bright, with fairly low chances of rain (20-30%) on both days.
A talented Grade 12 student of mine is singing in this concert at Elzenveld -it promises a mixture of choral pieces, modern Flemish folk pieces and some acapella numbers!
A special shout out to staff and students of the Antwerp International School who finish up for the winter break this Friday! Happy holidays!
If you are ready for the weekend on Friday night and in immediate need of food, drink and music then head to the Flying Pig festival on the Napoleonkaai at 5pm (near MAS) when the fun begins and its winter bar opens.
Over the weekend …
As well as the main Christmas market in the old town, other smaller markets will also be happening, including ones like this one at Grand Cafe Le Roi on Kasteelpleinstraat. This will be on on both Saturday and Sunday.
Details of two Christmas church concerts can be found here.
If you are feeling sporty, Antwerp has its own Santa Run sponsored by the Gazet van Antwerpen. If you want to run you need to register here. Be quick -registration ends at midnight on the 11th. If you aren’t running, you can go along to Park Spoor Noord to cheer on those who are: the run starts at 5pm, and will follow a route through Meir and The Christmas market. This is how it looked last year …
After which you might feel inclined to head to the Festive Open Stage at An Sibhin on Nationalestraat for spontaneous performances of music, comedy and song.
And there is a second hand fashion market at Plein Publiek (Van Craesbeeckstraat 33). 10am -5pm.
It’s back to Park Spoor Noord for a Christmas edition of the Goedgekregen Fleamarket starting at 10am. Don’t be put off if it is raining -it will be under cover (where the Cargo bar is, during summer)
There also going to be a Christmas edition of the Markt van Morgen on the Kloosterstraat -food trucks, art, design, crafts and jewellery…. even a hairdresser who will be cutting and donating proceeds to cancer charity Music for Life.
For Christmas shoppers, shops around Meir (and in Stadsfeestzaal) will be open, as per the shopping Sundays (so that means a later start -in Stadsfeestzaal, it’s midday, and closing at 6pm).
Wednesday 16th December
A special midweek mention for the lovely Down to Earth Diva, Nicola Mills who will be singing Christmas songs at Vinoteka starting at 8, and promising to go full Christmas, complete with sing-along if you are feeling merry/ daring.