This weekend in Antwerp: 26th, 27th, 28th April (& May 1st).

There’s a three day festival over the whole of this weekend on the Moorkensplein (Borgerhout). The Fiesta Fortuna starts on Friday at 17.30h and continues until Sunday night. Here’s the full programme. This event is hosted by arts organisation Madam Fortuna which is based in Borgerhout and celebrates its 10th birthday this year.

Friday

The last Friday of the month means Critical Mass: assemble on Theaterplein with your bike at 6pm as usual for an hour’s cycling through the city.

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Bar Paniek

And perennial summer favourite Bar Paniek on the Kattendijkdok re-opens for summer 2019 at 11am.

Saturday

On Sint-Jansplein there will be a great big fleamarket from 10 – 6pm. I like this part of town and my favourite bar on this square is Rode 7 -check it out, for reasonably priced, tasty home-cooked food and a friendly atmosphere.

From 1pm community centre coStA Sint Andries celebrate their 25th birthday on Sint Andriesplaats with the Fiesta de San Andres -expect live music, food, and entertainment until 11pm (free).

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At Permeke Library there’s a story-telling festival from 10am – 6pm, which takes place every two years and has a programme for various age groups. Here’s a general overview of the programme, and here you can find links to programmes and events for the specific age groups.

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The Rubenshuis (on Wapper, off Meir; pic right) has renovated the museum garden and is open to the public from 12 -5pm for an Italian Garden Party. It’s free and there will be characters in costume, guided walks, games, workshops and music. The museum will also be free. You can bring your own picnic to enjoy in the newly restored gardens.

dance-310022_640If you are more of a dancer than a reader than check out Dag van de Dans which is today. Here’s a .pdf of all the events (Antwerp events can be found on pages 4-5). Four performances will be held in MUHKA.

Down at Eilandje on the Napoleonkaai, there’s a vegan street festival from 10am- 10pm: speakers, street-food, drinks and music.

swaajplogoAnd Swaajp offer their unique brand of improvised comedy and storytelling at BATS Little Theatre with Swaajp Invites -this time with a whole gang of guests for their two-hour show, starting at 8pm. Tickets here.

Sunday

Today is the Antwerp 10 Miles & Marathon -have a great run if you are taking part. Here a Google map of the route if you are planning on cheering on the runners, and there’s an NewLogooverview of times and info here.

If you need to relax after running, or a busy weekend, you might like to check out two workshops held at the Biologisch Dynamische Bakkerij Lapin on Mechelsesteenweg 72, run by Mindful Thinking at Play. Each workshop costs 10 euros, and is in English. To register, email Kym@mindfulthinkingatplay.com   

Screen Shot 2019-04-24 at 22.18.12And if you want more dancing -there’s free Salsa dancing at Bar Noord from 3- 10pm.

If you’d like to learn more about repairing and maintenance, head with your broken or faulty items to Plein Publiek at for FIXT!- Bike Maintenance & Repair Café -free from 11am- 4pm.

After last weekend’s tropical temperatures, the weather will be a bit of a disappointment. Friday should be nice but there are strong chances of rain on Saturday and Sunday (less so). Top temps of around 15 degrees. There will be some bright spells too though.

May 1st -Public Holiday

May 1st (Labour Day) is a national holiday in Belgium: there will be a Labour Day Parade, which starts on Leopold de Waalplaats (from 10am in front of KMSKA), and makes its way to Grote Markt for 1pm, where there will be music and kids’ entertainments on Grote Markt until 5pm.

Also on May 1st there will be an extra ‘Holiday Market’ (Feestmarkt) on Theaterplein from 8am -6pm.

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Whilst over at Park Spoor Oost, Goegekregen/ SNITT will be holding their usual brand of retro/ vintage/ secondhand rommelmarkt from 9am -6pm.

I was recently contacted by Sharifa from ITAKA language school. They are holding a fun open day on 1st May (see poster below). As it’s a holiday, it would be a good chance to go and find out about the work that they do offering language learning for people who are over 50 years of of age, including  Chinese, French, Italian, Portuguese, German, English, Spanish, Arabic, and Art History in Dutch. See the website for more information, of have a look at their Facebook page.

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Miscellaneous

Two recent special Nessacityblog posts are available now: one about The Chef’s Cut, for foodies, and one about the VZW Wwelcome, which has a variety of services for newcomers to the city, to help them settle in and integrate into local life.

tapwaterI recently saw this interesting campaign to encourage Belgian restaurants and cafés to serve tap water. Being forced to pay for bottled water in restaurants and cafés is something I resent: I consider it an unnecessary cost to both the environment and myself. The page offers these template letters in French and Dutch which you can C&P to establishments which refuse to serve tap water, and this Google map enables you to see which places do serve tap water, so that you can make a more economical and environmentally-friendly choice of watering-hole, should you wish to do so. You can also find them on Twitter and Instagram.

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This weekend in Antwerp: 5th, 6th & 7th April

There are two exciting annual events occurring this weekend to delight sports and fashion fans in Antwerp!

The Tour de Flandres/ De Ronde van Vlaanderen 2019 starts in Antwerp, which will mean that the city (including the old town) will be busy this weekend…

While Antwerp Fashion Weekend will mean that it will -as ever -be classy and elegant.

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Also over both Saturday and Sunday: the Antwerp Tattoo Convention at Waagnatie, where tattooist from Belgium and beyond show off their latest works and styles.

Friday

Good times! Summer must be in the air when Bar Noord opens its doors for the season, which it does this weekend, from Friday at 4pm … with DJs, VJs, cocktails, fire show, dancing and an open kitchen.

ghostwalkFIf you prefer something a little darker, then Antwerp Ghostwalk (pic left) are offering one of their spooky tours in English this evening, starting at 8.30pm at Steen (by the statue of Lange Wapper). Reservations via this link; pay (cash) on the tour.

Saturday

Before the pros take to the road on Sunday, the We Ride Flanders event will showcase the route on Saturday with keen, super-fit amateur cyclists racing enjoying the thrill of racing along the route that will be followed by the elite cyclists the following day. There are four races of differing lengths but the longest starts in Antwerp: an early start for this race- the starting gun will be fired between 7am and 8am on the Ernest van Dijkkaai (near Het Steen).

Here is the schedule for Saturday.

AFWprogramma2019A fun part of the Antwerp Fashion Weekend are the catwalk shows with take places regularly on the important shopping streets of Antwerp: Meir, Wilde Zee and Nationalestraat and also at The Fashion Exchange (see schedule right).

New this year as part of AFW will be the Fashion Sweep clothing swap on Kammenstraat -bring your clothes to exchange; make a donation to Kamiano- who work with the homeless in Antwerp- and take home a new-to-you, pre-loved piece.

Over at Stormkop you can help out with a clean-up on the banks of the Schelde. Explanation in English and sign-up doc can be found here.

Today is Slow Art Day.  MUHKA is marking the occasion with two tours (at 14h and 17h) and  a workshop (at 15h).

Sunday

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De Ronde on Grote Markt

The pros ride on Sunday: there will be a fan village on Groenplaats from 10am (including a big screen where you can follow the action once the race has departed Antwerp) and a stage on Grote Markt where the sporting slebs will mingle with the autograph hunters, and you can snap a selfie on the podium (see insta pic below).

New this year is the VeloFoor on the Gedempte Zuiderdokken, featuring stunt bikes, a parcours for kids and other fun biking activities to test your skills.

Here is the schedule for Sunday.

It’s the first Sunday of the month meaning shops are open in the afternoon for Sunday shopping, which happily coincides with the Ronde and with Antwerp Fashion weekend.

Escape to the Cathedral at 4pm for Sunday music -you just pay the usual entrance price, but don’t forget that if you can show you’re a local resident (use your ID card) then you are in for free.

This weekend’s rommelmarkt is at Waagnatie from 10am -6pm  and costs 3 euros to get in.

The weather should be mild to warm, with very low chances of showers -top temps around 16 degrees. Nice.

Miscellaneous

Screen Shot 2019-04-02 at 13.37.58Look out for two Nessascityblog special posts coming up featuring The Chef’s Cut and Wwelcome.

If you have an eye on summer already, you may wish to know that the Open Air Theatre  (OLT) in Rivierenhof has finalised its program which you can see here. Tickets go quickly for the popular acts so get in early.

Similarly, Zomer van Antwerpen are getting ready for 2019 and they’re hiring. If you’d like a summer job with them, see their ‘vacatures’.

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This weekend: 26th, 27th & 28th August

Friday

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Theaterplein

 

It’s the last Friday of the month, so Critical Mass takes place as usual -it’s the Back To School edition. Assemble on Theaterplein at 6pm, with your bike, as usual

Aper’eau (outdoor wine and beer bars) will be in the Stadspark for the 6th Antwerp edition, starting at 5pm and continuing until midnight.

Free Fridays at Openluchtheater offers a Lou Reed tribute act starting at 8.30 (doors open at 7 … first come, first served).

 

Saturday

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KAVKA/ Bar Cour

Biking again: if you have a bike needing fixed come to Kavka’s Fietskeuken (Bike Kitchen). You can get it fixed by learning how to do bike repairs.It’s free and starts at 7, and Bar Cour summer bar is in the same venue and open until 10pm.

It’s the end of the summer programme at Spoor Oost -they are closing with a party from 1pm -10pm

SKRÄP brings us today’s second hand market in Harmonie Park from 9am -8pm. There’s a summer bar in this park too (De Living) and this is SKRÄP’s last market for this year. There’s also one on St Jansplein from 9am.

The #redballproject (see last weekend’s post and nessascityblog instagram) will be in the Stadspark.

Sunday

If you still need more second-hand goodies, Goegekregen fleamarket is at Kattendijkdok/ Born in Antwerp from 10-6pm.

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Leopold de Waelplaats (Lambermonmartre)

And the local art market, Lambermonmartre,  is at KMSKA (fine arts museum) on the Leopold de Waelplaats from midday, where you can also enjoy drinks, music from a gypsy swing band (les Baptistes) and snacks.

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Cultuurmarkt flags on Meir

Also for culture vultures, Antwerp will be part of the Flanders Culture Market which takes place each year across various venues, but you will see much of it if you make your way down Meir from the station. The Cultuurmarkt van Vlaanderen which through performances and information stands enables you to explore a range of cultural programmes for the coming year. The programme is very extensive, and there are a range of theatres and museums opening their doors to be part of this event too. If you have kids, look for information, stands and activities with a fly symbol: kids under 12 can follow a route (vliegroute) which enables them to collect points by taking part in creative and fun activities. They can exchange these for a free gift.

Also for kids if you haven’t taken them yet, be aware that today is the last day of Sportopia at Parkloods, Park Spoor Noord. #redballproject will also be in PSN today.

… And there’s a Vintage market at Bocadero. [UPDATE: this event may be cancelled. I am checking and will try to update again soon, but I am getting no response to my enquiry]
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Temperatures are going to continue high, after a toasty week, but might fall off a bit on Sunday. Possible summer storminess late Saturday afternoon. Mostly sunny!

Miscellaneous

Find all the locations mentioned here on the Google Map for this post.

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Cargo Summer Bar, Park Spoor Noord

If you have been pining for more big screen football since the end of the Euros Cargo Summer Bar will be showing the World Cup qualifiers Belgium games, starting with Belgium- Spain on the 1st September (Thursday).

Belgian schools go back next week (Thursday) so expect roads and bike paths to be busier.

I was really happy last week to share the events of two readers who contacted me with details of events they were involved in. Please let me know if you are doing something that could be featured here. The main requirements for inclusion are that it is around Antwerp centre (I don’t have specific parameters but tend to include things that I could get to from the centre by bike in roughly 5- 10 minutes max) and that it is low-budget or free. Make contact via the social networks below, or via email at nessascityblog@gmail.com.

Find Nessascityblog on PinterestInstagram and Twitter!

Thanks for reading and following. Have a great weekend!

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This weekend: May 27th, 28th & 29th

(New Google Maps feature: this is in the Miscellaneous section at the bottom of this post)

Friday

From 5 at Theaterplein it’s Aper’eau promising summery food, drinks and music.

It being the last Friday of the month, Critical Mass bike ride takes place as usual -assemble with your bike -also at Theaterplein (6pm)

Saturday

A special mention to my Grade 12 IB students who are graduating from Antwerp International School. I am missing you already!

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Publicity image from BATS

Also a special mention for BATS whose 50s themed variety show opens tonight at their Little Theater on Paardenmarkt -with performances also on Sunday and Monday.

At 2pm at Kleine Hedonist there is a presentation and concert for this underground record release.

Saturday sees the arrival of a new market in Antwerp: an  Evening Market on the Vlaamsekaai (near the playground), starting at 3pm and continuing until 9pm, promising 100+ stands offering food, jewelry, leather goods & snacks.

On the same day, at the same location, is a second hand children’s toy market.

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Kelly’s on Keyserlei

 

At 4pm, footie fans might want to catch the Belgium -Switzerland friendly. This will be showing on the big screens at An Sibhin and Plein Publiek. It will also be showing at Kelly’s on Keyserlei and at  The Irish Times, who will additionally be screening Real Madrid v Athletico Madrid later on (as will An Sibhin, offering pitchers of Stella or Jupiler for just 8€ during the game). When UEFA 2016 starts in June, Cargo Summer Bar will be showing all games on the big screen there. Take your pick.

 

 

 

 

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Antwerp Stadspark

 

In the Stadspark, Klein Antwerpen will be holding walks, storytelling and a chance to try some Taiko (Japanese drumming) from midday -bring your picnic! I couldn’t see exactly where in the park they will be starting, but they usually meet at the large statue on the corner at Belgielei/ Van Eycklei.

 

 

Sunday

Den Hopsack is a small, friendly and diverse music bar in the old town -just a little off the beaten track (off Sint Jansvliet). On Sunday they are having a jam of traditional Irish music starting at 3pm. This is a monthly session, and is free.

SKETCHlmontmartre
SKETCH at Lambermontmatre

Lambermontmartre opens this weekend! This is a really nice monthly art market which takes place on the last Sunday of each month throughout summer, enabling local artists to sell their work, but also offering great snacks, a small bar and music. As well as checking out the art work on sale, you can take part by creating some art of your own, courtesy of SKETCH, and there is a space for children to paint too. You can find Lambermontmarte in the square directly in front of the Fine Art Museum from midday. Music from gypsy swing band Croque Manouche.

It’s also the last chance to catch this exhibition on the Mechelsesteenweg.

clouds-1293230_640Temperatures are going to be good this weekend (21 +) but with a chance of showers (some stormy) throughout the weekend. Enjoy the warm weather, but bring a brolly, just in case! (image: Pixabay)

 

Miscellaneous

I’m trying out a Google map facility this weekend: Click here to see all the locations mentioned in this post (plus central station to help you orientate yourself!) If you want directions from a specific starting point, click on the red pin of the location you want to find. Let me know what you think of this function and whether it is working properly for you.

Photos from last weekend (Swan Market and Antwerp Art Weekend) can be found on the Nessascityblog Instagram page. Look out for pictures of this weekend’s events, as they are posted.

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Second hand Antwerp: buying, selling, recycling & donating.

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Regular readers may have noticed that I frequently feature flea-markets on my blog posts.  (or “Rommelmarkten” in Dutch). I enjoy going to these markets -they are often sociable places to hang out, with snacks or drinks also on sale, or take place in a communal space like a local square. I believe that buying second hand, trading hand-me-downs with friends and borrowing are ways in which we can keep costs down and simultaneously reduce our carbon footprint. I often buy second hand clothes for myself and my kids, and I love to get a bag of hand-me-downs, from parents of bigger kids, rather than buy new. Here is a brief guide to some of the second- hand shops in Antwerp, as well as some suggestions about recycling and donating your own used items. Rommelmarkten.be lists secondhand markets all over Belgium and this site enables you to search by location and date.

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Oxfam books on Quellinstraat

Oxfam has two shops in Antwerp. One is at Quellinstraat 28 (off Keyserlei) and sells second-hand books. It is open from 10 -6 on Mondays to Saturdays and most (but not all books are in Dutch). The other Oxfam store is not a second hand store -it’s a “Wereld winkel” (world shop) and sells goods produced by people in developing countries, often as part of Oxfam initiatives. There is a Permekewide range of Fair Trade goods, and environmentally- friendly products such as those made by Ecover. Talking of books, don’t forget the Permeke Library on de Coninckplein (just through China Town) for borrowing books and DVDs. De Slegte on Wapper also sells (and will buy) second hand and antiquarian books.

My favourite second-hand shop is the “Kringwinkel” (recycling shop) at Sint-Jorispoort 29. It is really big and has four floors of second hand items, always in good condition. I have bought clothes, furniture and baby items at the Sint -Jorispoort Kringwinkel. It also sells toys, jewellery, kitchen and baby items. As well as buying from here, they will receive your used items at the front desk. For larger items, you can call them and they will take away your sofa or cupboard for free, if you arrange a time with them.

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There are a couple of great places for second- hand clothing in Antwerp. Perhaps best known is Think Twice which has three shops in Antwerp: on the Jezus Straat (off Meir), on Lange Klarenstraat (also off Meir) and on Kammenstraat (towards the old town, off Nationalestraat). The prices are more than you would pay at the Kringloopwinkel or at a flea-market, but the stock is in good condition, well chosen and often pretty hip.

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In a similar price range is Episode which also specialises in retro and vintage. It’s a roomy store with space to rummage and plenty of denim if you are looking for jeans, as well as fun fake fur, belts, shades … They are a chain  and also have stores in The Netherlands and in Copenhagen.

If you are buying new and have a reasonable budget Today Is A Good Day on Nationalestraat specialises in eco- friendly shoes and clothing, but as you can see from the website, it is not cheap. However, if you have eco-cheques, and want to use them for clothes or shoes, you can spend them here.

A little further down is the same street is Jutka en Riska selling vintage, retro and second hand clothing, accessories and shoes -this is also a bit more hip than a regular charity store and so some prices are a bit higher here. They do sell new clothes from their own label -these are not cheap, but you can get lucky, as they do good reductions. They will buy in your 60s, 80s & 90s clothing and accessories.

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Jutka & Riska, Nationalestraat

If you are looking for labels at second hand prices, cross Astridplein from the station and turn left, where you will find Pardaf on Gemeentestraat. It’s easy to miss and looks like a residence. Inside the rooms are small, but there is a good choice of second hand designer clothes, accessories and bags.

Pardaf
Pardaf

In need of a second hand bike? Try Abakri. They also do bike repairs. Also, if you are going to be living in Antwerp for a limited time, you can buy a bike, return it within a year and get half the cost of the bike back.

Alternatively, there are the now distinctive red and white Antwerp Velos available for a cheap price at lots of handy locations around the city.

Gamers can get second hand games and consoles at Game Mania which also takes your used games for cash or store credit.

Tuneup
Tune Up on Melkmarkt

Antwerp also has a few independent second hand vinyl stores – a couple of these are located not far from the cathedral, coming away from Grote Markt, such as Fat KatThe Vinyl Touch and Tune Up (above the International Magazine Store) which are all within a short walk of one another. Across the road from Vinyl Touch, at Wolstraat 1 is In’t Profijtelijk Boeksken (IBP books) which sells second hand books and vinyl.

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IBP Wolstraat 1

Head south along Volkstraat to Coffee and Vinyl which -as the name suggests -will provide you with caffeine also. Local artists also exhibit here.

Finally, don’t forget to recycle or donate your own used goods. As previously mentioned, the Kringwinkel will pick up larger goods for you, if you contact them and arrange a time. Clean, usable items which are smaller, can be taken directly to Sint- Jorispoort, or books to Oxfam.

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Some items you may just have to let go …

There are a number of selling pages on Facebook like this one or this one in English, but you might like to consider giving things away on Free & Recycled Antwerpen where you can also look at what others are giving away or post if there is something you need that someone else might be glad to get rid of (I once got rid of a bunch of old wood that had been hanging around on my balcony, but which some one else could put to good use). High street store  H & M is also accepting used clothes as part of a recycling initiative.

A really good cause in the Antwerp area is Moeders voor Moeders which supports parents and families in need by supplying clothing, baby items & equipment and food to those in need of it. On Thursday and Tuesdays between 9 and 4 you can drop off these items at Helmstraat 91, or on the first Saturday of each month between 10 and midday. They are also keen to receive school bags and equipment for local children who need them, as well as sheets and towels.

Antwerp is pretty good for second hand shopping, in my view. All these stores are just about within walking distance of one another, so it would be easy to plan an afternoon and browse them all. These are just a sample, I know there are some I have missed which I need to explore on Koepoortstraat and a couple more on Nationalestraat too, so I am sure I will have to do some updates to this post….

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2ndhandclothes

 

 

So here sporting a gold-knit top from Blanco, a skirt from Morgan de Toi, with coat from Miss Selfridge, bag from Mexx (all second hand; total costs approximately 12 euros). The black and white houndstooth bangle was also second hand, but I don’t know where it is from.

 

Hallowe’en Special!

halloween

Increasingly, Hallowe’en is a festival that adults like to make a night of, rather than being solely an opportunity for kids to dress up.

During the day, however, if zombies are your thing there will be a Zombie Walk. Assemble in appropriate attire on Kammenstraat at 2pm. The parade will conclude with a free drink courtesy of Cafe Congé.

If you are heading out  in the evening sans enfants, you may find that the Irish bars in Antwerp are the ones which are most keen to celebrate Hallowe’en. I’m hyperlinking to their webpages, but if you are on Facebook, you might find more up-to-date information on the page of each pub there.

As previously mentioned An Sibhin on the Nationalestraat will be holding their Hallowe’en Quiz on the 29th this year (Thursday), to make space for the Rugby Final on the 31st itself. This will be shown on the pub’s big screen and is a popular and lively place to watch games.

On Friday you can join the Critical Mass cycling movement for a Hallowe’en Themed Bike Ride. Assemble on Theaterplein at 6. The bike ride concludes at Park Spoor Noord where there will be snacks and hot drinks.

On the 31st,  The Irish Times on Grote Markt will be showing the game too, and also having a Hallowe’en Dress-Up night.

Kelly’s  on Keyserlei (the street leading up to the main entrance of Antwerp Central Station) always goes a bundle for Hallowe’en, and it will be a busy night there.

On the Rijnkaai for free you can dance until late to a indie/ rock/ Britpop at London Calling Hallowe’en Special.

The Highlander Café will also be having a Hallowe’en part, starting at 9pm.

If you are looking to buy a pumpkin, I recommend the Saturday market, on Theaterplein. They usually still have them, even if you have left it to the last minute!

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Antwerp Market

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Enjoy your Hallowe’en. If you are taking your kids Trick or Treating, have fun and stay safe.