And if you have a young reader, then you should know that March is also “Jeugdboekenmaand” (Youth Book Month) which means that there’s plenty going on in Bib Permeke for children and young people throughout the month. The theme this year is ART. See the Permeke library website for events, activities and exhibitions taking place there, or the search the complete agenda on the Jeugdboekenmaand page.
Why not start your weekend at the pictures? De Cinema (at De Studio) is showing one of my favourites –The Big Lebowski (1998) – at 8pm. Tickets via the link. It’s conveniently located near a bar/ bistro I like too: Zeppos is just a few doors down and easily recognisable by its red exterior.
Proefkonijnen is a children’s theatre on Frankrijklei: maybe their show Drakenjacht (Dragon Hunt) at 2.30pm would be something for your 4+ year old(s) on a Sunday afternoon? If you want to check it out, find tickets here.
Now that the storms have (hopefully) passed, you might like to (re)visit Rivierenhof: 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 child(ren) here, in advance. The Sprookjeshuis is near the Rivierenhof Kasteel and the playground, and there’s a vegetable gardening workshop going on at the same time -click the link; and then on to the Eventbrite link in order to register for this.
The weather will continue to be cooler this weekend max temps 11 degrees), with Saturday likely to be the best day – dry and bright, and showers expected on Friday and on Sunday morning.
Runners: You can now sign up for the Antwerp 10 Miles on 26th April 2020. It costs less if you sign up before the 6th April.
How about a Picnic lunch on Theaterplein? If you didn’t order a lunch, you can just turn up with your own. There will be hot and cold drinks and musical performances -starts at midday. Proceeds to Studio Globo, Oxfam and Broederlijk Delen.
‘Curtis’ -a Joy Division tribute evening at 8pm at De Kleine Hedonist should get your weekend off to a cheery start.
Summer bar Bar Paniek opens tonight on the Kattendijkdok, Oostkaai 21B.
There is the 2018 festival on the Konijnenwei park, starting at 10am with a fleamarket, but also including musical performances from local bands, and entertainment for kids, throughout the day.
A festival of a different sort is on at ‘t Werkhuys in Borgerhout -for 3 euros fans of comics and cartoons can enjoy talks, expos and events at Klaxon Festival, starting at midday and continuing until 11.oo pm.
It’s the great big Antwerp Spring Clean! Enjoy – if you and your neighbours have registered for that. Don’t forget to take beer breaks.
More music -from the lovely and talented Down to Earth Diva who is fundraising for Urban Renewal at Café de Lijnstok at midday. Your donation will contribute to a good cause, and enable you to hear Nicola singing a variety of songs. There will also be a brunch.
At 3pm there is a folk jam in Den Hopsack which is a friendly little music bar tucked away on Grote Pieter Potstraat in the old town.
Sunday is Heritage Day across Brussels and Flanders. There’s lots going on in the Antwerp area. There are many events (readings, film, walking tours, dance performances) celebrating rituals and traditions of different types. Many activities are free but check the details carefully in case reservation is required.
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 email@example.com
… And not far away at Chatleroi there’s a record sale.
Swan Market comes to Antwerp. Previously having taken place at Grote Markt (and where it will be again, on 22nd May), but -NB- this time it’s at Park Loods, in Park Spoor Noord, from midday until 6pm. Food trucks, drinks and snacks, and lots of stands selling gifts, jewellery, accessories, antique and vintage items. It has a nice vibe and won’t break the banks. Always handy if you are looking for a special present (or want to treat the kids or yourself to a yummy homemade cupcake or two)….
The weather is due to be mild and cloudy with a fair chance of showers on Sunday.
Fashion fiends and label addicts might want to check out Belmodo Fashion Days 2016 which take place until the 24th April and promise to supply designer pieces at below their usual prices at various locations around Antwerp. Check this link for times and locations.
The 23rd of April marks the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare‘s death. I couldn’t find a great deal going on around Antwerp except in the bookshop De Groene Waterman where there will be a reading and talk (in Dutch) analysing why Shakespeare’s themes and plays continue to endure to this day. This is free and starts at 4pm.
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. My seven year old really enjoyed it this week.
If you have not noticed the festive feeling starting up in Antwerp, then you really need to get out and do so, if you can. For us -as a family resident in Belgium, with both Dutch and UK influences- this weekend is the one where Christmas overlaps with Sinterklaas, so this post will hopefully contain a bit of both ….
If you are ready to start the weekend immediately after work on Friday, I recommend Plein Publiek which opens at 4 for drinks, 5 for food and the dancing starts at 9. It’s a very attractive venue, placed in the middle of a now-disused social housing complex, near Nationalestraat..
If you have walked through the old town this week, you will have seen the stalls being set up for the Christmas Market which will dominate this part of the city from this Saturday when it opens. Stalls selling Christmas goods, foods and snacks will be found near the cathedral, on Grote Markt, Suikkerui, Groenplaats and Steenplein. The ice rink is usually on Steenplein, and the Christmas wheel is nearby. It’s the perfect place to meet friends, or take family. The market is on daily until 27th December.
For a smaller and more off-beat Christmas Market experience, head to the Vrijdag Markt at 4pm for music, DJs and food trucks.
BUT … If you have children who are in Sinterklaas mode, then he can be seen in various locations around the town centre and will be stopping in Grand Bazar; this is usually quite busy, with kids queuing, seeing Sint and being pictured with him. He is also believed to be visiting this fleamarket on the Sint Jansplein, at 2pm, with his Pieten.
I recommend the bookmarket at the Zuiderpershuis, which is still on. It’s a stock sale and the reductions are good. Most titles offered are in Dutch, but with some fashion, design and art books in English. Lots of books for children and toddlers, if you are buying gifts for kids and babies. It’s worth going just to see this attractive venue, if you don’t already know it, and it is a short walk from FOMU and Cinema Zuid, which are also worth knowing about.
If you like to donate and recycle at this time of year, why not take clothes, food and children’s items to Moeders voor Moeders on Helmstraat? They receive deliveries on the first Saturday of each month, between 10 and 12, and work to support families with children in need, in the Antwerp area.
It’s the first Sunday of the month, so there is Sunday shopping around the town centre (note that most shops open a little later, though, at around midday).
However, maybe you would like to get away from Sinterklaas, Christmas and shopping, to a vernissage (3pm) at this Gallery in Zurenborg curated by local artist, Eva Steynen?
There is a different type of Exhibition for fans of Tintin (and other Belgian comic book characters) which finishes up on Sunday.
Another way to take a break from the consumerist side of this season would be to donate clothing to The Empty Shop project, which is running until the 12th December at the Youth Hostel on Bogaardplein. Your clothing will be restyled and sold to raise funds for the Kamiano Restaurant which provides meals for homeless people in Antwerp.
Whether you are enjoying Christmas, Sinterklaas, shopping or something a bit different, have a great weekend. Alas, it might be a good idea to take an umbrella out with you so that the predicted drizzle doesn’t spoil your fun