This weekend in Antwerp: 13th, 14th & 15th December

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Winter in Antwerpen- Wishing Wall

Saturday & Sunday

Winter In Antwerp is now open: this is the highlight of the winter holiday season in Antwerp. If you are new to the city you have plenty of time to check out the various attractions which are on until 5th January. They key locations are Steenplein (especially if you have kids to entertain), Groenplaats and Grote Markt. Christmas market stands can be found in all of these places. There is always a winter bar (this year it’s called Bar Den and will be situated on Steenplein), a big wheel and the ice rink (Groenplaats).

There’s a smaller market on over both Saturday and Sunday at Wintar – the winter bar on Boomgaardstraat 17 (near the de Koninck brewery).

Screenshot 2019-12-11 at 13.58.47On Saturday the Vlaams Tram & Autobus Museum rides the Christmas tram to and from the Christmas Market for free. The route is Groenplaats – Bolivarplaats – via the new Line 1 to P+R Luchtbal – back to Nationale Bank – Groenplaats (for times see pic left; taken from the Vlatam website)

Book browsers can get away from the Christmas rush on Sunday by heading for de Coninckplein for the monthly second hand book market from 11am-4pm.

Also on Sunday this Arts & Crafts market called Winter Mart from 2pm -9pm at Koolkaai, near the river, in the old town.

Sunday shopping -because it’s December, the shops will be open on all Sundays throughout the month, and again on January 5th 2020.

It’s going to be a bit rainy this weekend unfortunately, although on Saturday and Sunday the rain should have cleared up by the afternoon.

DiscoveringBelgiumLogoMiscellaneous

If you are looking for Carol services in Antwerp (or even elsewhere in Belgium) over the Christmas season, see this post full of handy information on Discovering Belgium, which is always an absolute treasure trove of information for English speakers wishing to get to know Belgium better, whether as visitors or settlers.

And looking ahead to next year, why not finish the festive season with a trip to the annual BATS panto, which this year, is Sleeping Beauty? Tickets via the BATS website.

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Sleeping Beauty (image from BATS VZW website)

Screen Shot 2019-12-12 at 10.56.17Next week it’s the Warmste Week -a week of charity events and fundraising across Belgium. You can search for activities and good causes in your area here. Look out for the flame logo which accompanies De Warmste Week events (pic right taken from the Warmste Week website).

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This weekend in Antwerp: 14th, 15th & 16th December

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skating on Groenplaats

The Winter In Antwerp season has started, bringing you winter warmers and festive cheer at various locations around the city, until the 6th January. If you have been in Antwerp for over a year, you will be familiar with the regular features of Winter In Antwerp, and will recognise many of them again this year, in their usual locations: skating on Grote Markt; the Christmas Market on Grotemarkt, Suikerrui and Steenplein; The Big Christmas Wheel also on Steenplein, and the Winterbar on Groenplaats. This year the tubing (2 euros a ride) will be at a new venue: Astridplein. If you have kids, then the Spiegeltent and kids’ corner might be best for you -on Steenplein. The funfair stalls will be along the riverside as usual.

On the other side of the water, there’s Club Cabane Winter Edition, also with Christmas food & drink, a skating rink and a Christmas Market.

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Mekanik

Saturday

From 11-6pm at Mekanik store there is a Christmas sale of graphic artworks and illustrations by local graphic artists. Mekanik is Antwerp’s best-known store for . graphic novels, graphic series, animé, comics & more.

SNITT are at CostA on Sint Andriesplaats with a sale of second hand and vintage clothing from 11am- 4pm. This is part of the “Krijg de Klere” event:

Krijg de Klere is an event which asks questions about the textile industry and its impact. There will be activities which encourage and support a more environmentally friendly way of living, and of re-using what we already have. Come dressed in your favourite second-hand clothes, bring your second hand clothes for de Collectie and take part in workshops run by MoMU, a repair café run by Circuit Antwerpen, a speakers’ corner and more (music; drinks; food).

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At Het Roze Huis on Draakplaats, it’s a free film night, starting at 8pm and this month showing I Love You Phillip Norris.  Het Roze Huis holds free film nights on the third Saturday of every month.

Or if you’d like to be the star of the show (or even behind the scenes) head to BATS Little Theatre on Paardenmarkt from 8.30pm to find out more about English speaking theatre in Antwerp, at their Winter Wonderland Open Evening -also a great chance to find out about their upcoming panto: Snow White and the Seven Dwarves in January 2019.

If you are ready for a full-on Christmas service with a Cathedral choir, then head to St Walburgiskerk at 8pm and enjoy the singers of the Portsmouth Cathedral Choir at this Christmas Concert. It’s free, but if you are certain you will be attending, you can reserve a place via this link.

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Sunday

Regular book-lovers’ secondhand market on de Coninckplein in front of the library from 10am: books, comics, etc and (if you are in that area with children) in the Permeke itself, it’s the read-aloud story hour in the library at 11 (free) for kids aged 4-8 (in Dutch).

More secondhand goodies in the Parkloods, courtesy of Goegekregen and the Christmas edition of their successful secondhand, retro and vintage markets. Free in, from 9am -6pm.

For shoppers -the shops are open in Antwerp on Sundays throughout December.

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Alas, it looks likely to be rainy again this weekend, particularly on Saturday and Sunday, and temperatures slightly colder than last weekend -down to 2 degrees on Friday; up to 6-8 degrees over Saturday and Sunday.

Miscellaneous

Two recent special posts: this guest post all about an Italian home-run business called Whisk & Scoop. Have a look if you haven’t read it yet: it’s a must for lovers of authentic Italian food.

heart-1348870_640… and the previous week Nessascityblog also had a guestblog post: a super-handy A-Z of LGBT Antwerp, listing bars, clubs, festivals, community groups and more -by Timothy Junes of Be Out.

 

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De Warmste Week

De Warmste Week (The Warmest Week) is an annual week of fundraising and charity events taking place across Flanders. If you wish to organise an event or activity you can do so and register it via the website. For more fundraising events, look for the Warmste Week logo (left). Charity runs are a big part of De Warmste Week and you can now register for the Antwerp Run which takes place on the 21st December. The first step is to pick the cause you would like to run and raise money for. You can do this as a group or an individual, and will need to be able to make a minimum donation of 15 euros when you register to participate.

If you are looking for carol services in English (also beyond Antwerp) this is a very helpful link from Discovering Belgium blog

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This weekend: December 11th, 12th and 13th 2015

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Friday 11th December

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Antwerp International School

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 …

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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.

Saturday

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.

 

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pic courtesy of Leah Sheola, An Sibhin

And there is a second hand  fashion market at Plein Publiek (Van Craesbeeckstraat 33). 10am -5pm.

Sunday

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Park Spoor Noord

 

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.

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Christmas Cathedral by Daniel Ruiz-Cecconello

 

 

This weekend: 27th, 28th & 29th November

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It seems impossible to write a post without mentioning the security alerts that all residents of this part of the world have been living with this past week. The decision we made in our home has been to continue to going to events we enjoy, unless otherwise advised by the police. Security has been visible around Antwerp central station but last weekend, we went to the market as usual on Saturday, and on Sunday to the 50th Birthday celebrations at FOMU which were lots of fun. Everyone has to make their own decisions about the risks they want to take, but we prefer to try to keep calm and enjoy our free time as much as we usually do. If Madge isn’t cancelling her gig on Saturday at Sportpaleis, then I don’t see why we shouldn’t be out and about as usual ;-).  For updates on the situation, you can follow @crisiscenterBE on Twitter.

And so to the weekend ….

If you want to avoid the shopping hordes, Friday offers the perfect excuse because it is Buy Nothing Day . Alternatively, you could go along to Meir anyway, just to check out Antwerp’s own Diva, Nicola Mills who will (weather permitting) be getting into the festive spirit by carolling with a group of four singers between 2 and 4pm. You could head out later in the evening to join the Critical Mass Bike Ride at 6pm on Theaterplein.

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There are a couple of events which are occurring over both days: a book market  and a Kids’ Paradise promising toys, games, gadgets and clothes for sale. There are also some activities and workshops for kids. Both of these events are at the Zuiderpershuis on the Waalse Kaai. If you are feeling sporty, you can swim for free  at Antwerp swimming pools all weekend.

Saturday

Kids who want to see Sinterklaas, can do so at The Century Shopping Centre on Keyserlei between 10 and 6pm, where they can also take part in a Sinterklaas quest activity. Other than that, it seems rather quiet this Saturday, so I will probably be at the market as usual!

Sunday

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If you are someone who is looking forward to the opening of the winter bars, and the taste of Gluhwein, this Winter Terrace event will please you, if you can’t wait until the Christmas market in December.

If you have children aged 5+ to entertain, then you could take them to this production of Tom Thumb for just 4 euros a ticket or for the same price to a showing of this animated film at the Permeke library (for kids aged 3+).

 

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This weekend’s fleamarket is being held in Schijnpoort and costs 2,50 to get in.

 

Finally, Sunday is the last day of Week van de Friet, so if you have a voucher from De Zondag you can pick up freebies (like an extra beer or snack) at participating chippies. In Antwerp, that’s Frituur Max on Groenplaats.

Have fun and stay safe. 🙂