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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
I am taking a break so that I can get ready for my own family Christmas now, so here are a few dates for your diary to see out 2019. Have a wonderful winter break, and a very happy Christmas -see you again in 2020. Thank you for reading and sharing Nessascityblog in 2019.
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).
From the 18th – 24th December 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 left, taken from the Warmste Week website).
Grand Cafe Capital in Stadspark are celebrating their first Christmas with a Christmas market on daily from the 19th -29th December.
Friday 20th December:BATS Open Evening starts at 5pm at The Little Theatre on Paardenmarkt. A chance to find out about the theatre group and maybe join in, as well as to enjoy some festive cheers, songs, soup and Gluhwein.
On Sunday 22nd DecemberGoegekregen are in the shelter at Park Spoor Noord once more -it a great space for this event and the shelter means that the second-hand market can’t be rained off, but it is a bit drafty at this time of year, so wear a good coat!
Friday 27th is the last Critical Mass ride of 2019, setting off as usual from Theaterplein at 6pm for an hour’s cycling through the city before finishing up at Winter in Antwerp.
The Jungle Book Light Festival is on at the zoo until 12th January. It is ticketed and enables visitors to see the colourful lights and figures supplied by the makers of China Light, which has taken place in previous years. It’s not the cheapest family evening out, but we have always enjoyed seeing the zoo this way in previous years and consider it a nice winter treat. Check the weather before you book, and wrap up warm if necessary!
Because it’s December, the shops will be open on all Sundays throughout the month, and again on January 5th 2020.
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? (pic below, from BATS website) Tickets via the BATS website.
There are three events over the whole weekend this weekend firstly – the Markies Stock Sale (of books) at Zuiderpershuis, which is definitely a nice way to get discounted gifts for bookish loved ones -although most books are in Dutch, there is also a selection of books in English (and coffee table books) as well as picture books for children. It’s free and takes place from 10am -6pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (if you don’t get the chance to go this weekend, it’s also on next weekend too).
Steez Festival is a free festival of urban arts, music, dance DJs and even a skate zone at de Studio on Maarschalk Gérardstraat 4 from 2pm on both Saturday and Sunday.
And for Lego lovers, there’s Brickmania at the Expo on Saturday and Sunday (ticketed).
At 6pm it’s the monthly bike ride with Critical Mass Antwerpen – assemble as usual on Theaterplein with your bike for a kid-friendly hour’s cycling en masse through Antwerp, returning to Theaterplein for 7pm.
If, like me you are somewhat averse to the whole concept of the annual grabfest horror that is Black Friday, you could head instead to the Kringloopwinkels (second hand shops) of Antwerp to check out their deals (there will be 50% reductions on many items), or to the Kammenstraat fleamarket (cash only).
The Jungle Book Light Festival begins at Zoo Antwerp this evening and runs until 12th January. It is ticketed and enables visitors to see the colourful lights and figures supplied by the makers of China Light, which has taken place in previous years. It’s not the cheapest family evening out, but we have always seeing the zoo this way in previous years and consider it a nice winter treat. Check the weather before you book, and wrap up warm if necessary! Saturday
Antwerp artist Sacha Eckes opens a new exhibition at Shoobil Gallery so why not take the opportunity to slip away from the increasing busy-ness of the town centre, to view works characterised by skill and humour inspired by the theme of reality TV? Love Island opens at 2pm with a vernissage (Museumstraat 4).
If you have children who want to see Sinterklaas, then you can find him at Grand Bazar shopping centre from 1.30pm, but be aware that this can be popular and there is sometimes a queue.
If you are more organised than me and ready to make some Christmas purchases (or just to enjoy a traditional British-style Christmas Bazaar) then head to the Antwerp Harbour hotel between 11am – 4pm and check out their Christmas goodies and treats, while also supporting the Mission to Seafarers in Antwerp.
If you’re still missing hanging out at Bar Noord in Park Spoor Noord, head to Goegekregen second hand market which takes place in the shelter there this Sunday from 9am -6pm.
For those who can’t get enough of the high street, there’s Sunday shopping in the city from midday. If you have little ones who are excited about Sinterklaas, you may well catch a glimpse of him on Meir this afternoon. And because it’s December, the shops will be open on all Sundays throughout the month, and again on January 5th 2020.
Sinterklaas (due to an uncanny ability to be in more than one place at a time) will also be at Wintar (see below) from 2pm enjoying waffles and other treats.
This weekend should be (mostly) dry, cold and bright with the possibility of some showers on Sunday morning.
Regular readers and wine- fans may remember this special blog post about Antwerp start-up Fine Wine Junkies. On Sunday they are holding a pop-up event to celebrate their first birthday and to invite wine lovers to taste and purchase some of the specially selected wines which they offer.
Winter bars are starting to open, including Wintar on Boomgaardstraat 17, near the Antwerp City Brewery (De Koninck) for drinks, food (especially cheese!) and events until the start of February.
Stad Antwerpen have released the Winter in Antwerp programme! #WinterinA starts on the 7th of December and will be featured on Nessascityblog in more detail next week.
De Grote Schijn looks nice and opens Thursday evening until 11th November – a special route (ticketed) through the Rivierenhof which sees the estate transformed into a magical fantasy land of light and colour. The route is about 2km long and you can walk through it at your own pace enjoying the spectacle. Tickets via the link.
Antwerp Ghostwalks also offer an extra walk in English as Halloween approaches. These are ticketed (obtain tickets via the link) and start at 8pm from Steenplein. Consistently well reviewed, these walks are known as much for their humour as their horror. There is also a walk on Hallowe’en itself – this one is in English too.
Critical Mass is joining in with the Hallowe’en theme: assemble on Theaterplein at 6pm (with yourself and your bike suitably attired for the occasion if you wish!) for the monthly hour’s ride en masse through the city.
For bargain hunters, the weekend’s fleamarket can be found on the Desguinlei (Antwerpse Singel) from 9am -5pm (free). Sunday
The Day of The Dead is marked at MAS museum with this free event (no reservation needed). The programme and exhibits were created in collaboration between Mestizo Arts Platform and the Mexican Embassy.
Why not head to beautiful Borgerhout for this Repair Café and ‘shared’ fleamarket from midday until 4pm. The fleamarket works by vouchers, not cash -each visitor receives three. You can also bring your own items to donate to the market (clothing, toys, household goods).
Beer lovers may wish to head to de Koninck brewery to mark the arrival and launch of the de Koninck winter beer for this year, which will take place in the brewery’s bar between 3pm and 7pm.
The weather will be typically autumnal again -not cold, but the possibility of showers from time to time on both Saturday and Sunday, although Friday is likely to be dry. Max temps around 18 degrees.
Next week is the autumn break for Belgian schools, happily coinciding with the last Wednesday of the months, when Antwerp City museums are free.
Over this weekend, it’s Water Rant: a festival of seamanship and water-faring, in the Eilandje area which starts on Friday evening at 4pm and continues until Sunday. There will be lots of boats and ships to see, and the chance to go on board and visit them. You can see the full programme here.
Also over two days this weekend it’s Open Ateliers at Zuiderpershuis: exhibitions and music from local artists
Water Rant (see above) starts at 4 as a fleet of ships prepare to sail from Kattendijkdok to Verbindings-, Willem- & Bonapartedokken. A good way to start the weekend might be a combination of enjoying this sight from Dokmarkt on the Napoleonkaai.
If you prefer bikes to boats then Critical Mass is for you: assemble at 6pm with your bike, on Theaterplein for the monthly one-hour ride en masse around the city
This weekend there’s an Antwerp Ghostwalk in English: start at 7pm at the Lange Wapper statue on Steenplein (E12,50 pp)
Giants love Antwerp, and this weekend they are in Borgerhout for the annual Reuzenstoet (Giant Parade). Antwerp’s giant figures appear now and then for city festivities and parades, and are always an impressive sight -the reason for Antwerp’s fondness for giants probably lies with the local legends of Druon Antigone and Lange Wapper.
Head to Harmonie Park for this weekend’s rommelmarkt between 10am- 4.30pm. It’s an attractive park undergoing some renovation at the moment. Harmonie is a nice area of the city, located near the De Koninck Brewery.
For your evening entertainment there’s Swaajp invites at BATS Little Theatre on Paardenmarkt at 8pm. Tickets here.
It’s the last edition of Lambermontmartre monthly art market at Leopold de Waalplaats today. Support local creatives, purchase a unique art work or enjoy the music and drinks available in front of the Fine Art Museum in the south (‘T Zuid) of the city between midday and 5pm. [UPDATE – helaas, this event has been cancelled, due to a forecast of rain]
The weather should be warm and mild this weekend, with the possibility of some light showers in the early afternoon, on both Saturday and Sunday.
ITAKA Zuidrand is a language, cultural studies, and art history school, with four campuses in and around Antwerp. It is for adult learners, particularly for those over 50 years old and seniors. The languages which are taught are English, Chinese, French, Italian, Portuguese, German, Dutch, Spanish, Arabic. There’s also Art History in Dutch, and Music History in Dutch. No exams, and no stress – registration is available now and into October www.facebook.com/itaka.zuidrand/ Tel: 03 457 59 22 (during the school year) . GSM: 0486/53 09 15 email: email@example.com
Next week I am away from Antwerp, in London for work reasons, so the post next week may be something of a mini-post, but I’ll do my best, dear readers.
The Mechelsepleinfeesten is a fairly new annual event, which unsurprisingly takes place on and around the Mechelseplein. It’s free and is on on Friday and Saturday. You can see the full programme for this kid-friendly neighbourhood party on the Facebook event page. Look out especially for the London Calling set at de Pallieter!
Part of Antwerp is also underway. It’s a five-week festival comprising of a variety of cultural events celebrating the port area of the city. Comedy, music, talks, tours, music, and food & drink are all Part of Antwerp: see the full agenda here.
There’s a special edition of Critical Mass this Friday -Kiddical Mass! Critical Mass is always a kid-friendly event, but this one particularly centres children. Small people should assemble with their bikes and their grown-ups at 6pm on Theaterplein, as usual, for an hour’s biking around the city.
Also on Theaterplein, it’s Antwerp favourite, Apereau, with their usual offering of DJs, food-trucks and summer cocktails to start your weekend.
Last weekend I made it to Friday Regular, Dokmarkt where Mr Nessascity and I ate delicious Pakistani and Indian food for 15 euros (yes, that was the bill for the two of us). at the Ballywood stand, which is definitely my recommendation if you are at Eilandje for Dokmarkt. They don’t serve beer, but have no problem with you bringing one from the guy serving beer on the stand just opposite.
Discobar Galaxie is this week’s “Free Friday” offering at OLT Rivierenhof, from 7pm.
Fans of street art should check out this Street Art Parcours. It’s one of the Part of Antwerp events (see above). Reserve your tickets for this guided walk here (€ 13).
Jazz fans should also head to the Eilandje area for Jazztemblieft 2019 -a free jazz festival on Goedfriduskaai taking place at two venues, from 2pm until midnight. See the fiull programme on the Facebook events page.
Head to Dageraadplaats (Zurenborg) for more second hand bargains at the Dageraad Rommelmarkt from 9am -6pm. If you’re newly arrived this summer this is a very nice square to discover.
Last chance to visit the Zomerbar: Zomer van Antwerpen wraps up this weekend.
Swan Market is another Antwerp regular, and it’s on Grote Markt this Sunday from 11am -6pm with the usual trendy stands offering clothing, accessories, jewellery, gifts and hand-made items, as well as food and drink and a kids’ area.
Shops are open, as per usual on the first Sunday of the month in Antwerp, for Sunday shopping.
It’s going to be really warm again, with top temperatures on Saturday (31 degrees) and then cooling off significantly on Sunday, when it will still be dry, but much milder.
Please read and share a special blog post which I pressed last Monday: it’s all about BATS VZW theatre society who are looking for a new home, and seeking local help to do so. Tickets to their last production (Agnes of God) in their current home on Paardenmarkt will go on sale very soon via their website.
For the last two years I have run Think Pink Race For The Cure Antwerpen with friends and with my son. It’s on Linkeroever and participants can choose between a 6km run, or a 3km walk. You can sign up here -it’s always a great day, and a very worthy cause (breast cancer awareness and research).
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’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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
Down at Eilandje on the Napoleonkaai, there’s a vegan street festival from 10am- 10pm: speakers, street-food, drinks and music.
And 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.
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
And if you want more dancing -there’s free Salsa dancing at Bar Noord from 3- 10pm.
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.
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.
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.
I 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.
Dokmarkt is back on Napoleonkaai, from 3pm -8pm. This is a local market which began last year and which sells food and drink products from local and small businesses, both to take home, and to eat on the spot with drinks.
It’s Critical Mass– bring your bike to Theaterplein at 6pm for an hour’s cycling en masse around the city of Antwerp. And -if you are really keen -see Sunday …
Rude Awakenings (theatre in English) opens at BATS Little Theatre -tickets via the link for the spring production of this one-act play, described as comprising “broad and subtle humour with truthful insights into the pain and pathos that can sometimes lie beneath the surface of village life”. The ticket price even includes cottage pie after the show (send a message if you want the veggie option).
If you are a bookworm who hasn’t checked out Café Boekowski (Bolivarplaats 4) yet, then tonight from 9pm would be a good time to do so, as they celebrate their second birthday with live music and dancing.
Feesten op Linkeroever is a food truck festival on the Boeienweide (Frederik van Eedenplein) just next to the bike/ pedestrian tunnel. From 2pm, and also on Sunday
And here’s a newcomer to the closet sale scene which seems to have become popular lately: Clean Out Your Closet.
Round off your Saturday with a little comedy impro theatre from Swaajp at BATS Little Theatre at 8pm. Tickets can be purchased in advance.
Swan Market is on Grote Markt from 11am -6pm. Swan Market hosts standholders offering products such as clothing, jewellery, stationery, household items, accessories, and home-made food. There’s usually some music and a kids’ area too.
Meet at Theaterplein at 9pm and cycle with Critical Mass all the way to Brussels for Rise For Climate! The group will keep a steady pace, suited to a reasonably fit cyclist. You need to bring enough water and a picnic lunch for on the way.
Antwerp Fashion Exchange is an event idea which enables you to swap your used clothes. Bring them along, clean and ironed, and they will be added to the collection. You will receive token for your contribution which you are then able to exchange for other clothes which have been contributed in the same way.
The weather looks set to be dry this weekend, and quite warm on Friday and Saturday (up to 17 degrees) with temps dropping on Sunday (down to 12-ish).
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’.
Friday It’s the last Friday of the months and it’s a special Critical Mass: it’s the sixth birthday of the Antwerp group. Assemble at 17.45 on Theaterplein (look out for The Hangover Bar).
Saturday JEF is an annual film festival for children and young people in Belgium, with events taking place in various locations across the country. There is of course, a JEF program in Antwerp featuring screenings, activities and workshops for all ages. Most of these take place in the Zuiderpershuis, with a few at the Ecohuis too. JEF runs from today until the 10th March and is well worth looking at if you have kids to entertain during the Spring half-term break (“Krokusvakantie”).
Now that the weather is cheering up, why not head to Plein Publiek and check out the upcoming Circulair Zuid area? There’s a Revive closet sale at Plein Publiek (now at D’Herbouvillekaai 19, 2000) from 10am -4am.
The seed library at the Ecohuis re-opens today, and is a great idea for green-fingered people and gardeners in the city: borrow seeds, and bring back more seeds from your own harvest. Open from 1- 4pm; this is a good time to go along and learn about the work (advice, exhibitions, workshops) of the Ecohuis if you do not already know it (the cafe is really nice too!)
It’s Dag Van De Academies; celebrating the work of those who attend arts academies and follow courses on a part-time basis, with a number of activities, performances and exhibitions in the Antwerp area, including an art trail for children (5-15), starting at Meechelseplein (by the Willem Elsschot statue) at 11am.
Finish your Saturday at BATS Theatre on Paardenmarkt, for a show (in English) from energetic impro group Swaajp, starting at 8pm (and this week hosting “de Boterbrigade“). Tickets here.
Cyclists – it’s the Noordkasteel Cross. It’s 10 euros to take part and forms part of the Ronde van District Antwerpen. Register via the email on the link. Men and women ages 15- 95 may take part.
Temperatures will be mild (13- 14 degrees) cooling off on a Sunday to around 10 degrees. It should be a dry weekend, with some sunshine.
The last Wednesday of the month means free city museums in Antwerp.
… and if that doesn’t provide you with enough cultural enrichment, why not check out this musical event in Merksem (also on Wednesday) which I head about this week, and includes a beautiful classical music set based on dance and fantasy. The second part of the evening there will be a guitar & piano duo playing chansons.
The event (pic right) is free entrance and if you would like a meal before the concert starts, there will be a Volxkeuken providing dinner for just €6.
Next month is Youth Book Month -encourage your young reader by checking out the agenda: there will be lots going on at Bib Permeke.
Are you, or do you know, a young person who has taken part in the Climate Marches recently? If so, he/ she can get a 20% discount on any purchases from any of Antwerp’s eight second hand stores. To get the discount -show a selfie of yourself on the march. It’s available until the 8th March.
If you are feeling in need of a bracing cycle ride to round off your week, join Critical Mass: assembling at 6pm on Theaterplein for an hour’s cycling en masse through the city (pic right, from Critical Mass Facebook page).
For those who prefer a stroll, explore the Borgerhout area through the lens of its art works: Borger #15 is an art event where participating galleries, within walking or cycling distance of one another open for the evening. The galleries open for Borger #15 are: Zeno X Gallery (Godtsstraat 15); DMW Art Space (Koolstraat 15) ;The Arts Institute (Kattenberg 93); Base-Alpha Gallery, Antwerp (Kattenberg 12); Eva Steynen.Deviations (Zurenborgstraat 28) and they are open between 6pm and 9pm.
Avoid the cold by heading to MAS museum for an afternoon of social game and game-playing. This a free event, aimed at families and kids, and it’s on from 10am -5pm.
Monthly show Swaajp Invites is on at BATS Little Theatre on Paardenmarkt. Beata Rozalska from Poland is the impro group’s guest performer this week. Tickets available here.
There’s a mega indoor rommelmarkt at Kinepolis Event centre, from 10am -6pm. 3 euros entry
After the snow this week, it’s going to continue to be cold, with the possibility of snow and showers over Saturday and Sunday
I recently went to DIVA Diamond Museum for the first time to catch the Axel Verwoordt exhibition: WonderKamer. It’s magical, so if you want to stay out of the cold and see some beautiful, eccentric, curious and elegant objects and art works, I thoroughly recommend it.
Last week I published a special post by Daniel McBrearty. If you haven’t seen it yet, it is a lively and fascinating account of the history, ideas and current expo behind the Plantin Moretus museum on the Vrijdag Markt: How An Antwerp Immigrant Changed The World In 1550.
Legends of Liondance continues at Permeke library as part of the approaching Chinese New Year festivities. This is a colourful display of the lions which lasts until 10th February, and is free.
BATS panto is now virtually sold out! … apart from Sunday EVENING (17:30pm) performance at Theater ‘t Eilandje. Tickets are available via the BATS VZW website.
All weekend: at Zuiderpershuis there’s the annual book stock sale over the whole weekend. It’s free in and there are some English books, as well as other books (e.g. children’s books) which make good presents if you are one of these organised people who is ready to do some Christmas shopping already. It’s free in, open from 10- 18h on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I went last weekend and picked up a few bargains.
Light up your bike for the dark nights and the festive season: it’s Critical Mass, as usual assembling on Theaterplein at 6pm for an hour’s biking through the city. This month with the theme of bike- lighting. Be seen!
China Light at Antwerp Zoo opens today, until the 13th January. It’s an event that my kids always enjoy -just make sure you wrap up warm and check the weather so that you go on a night when it won’t be raining! You can order tickets online via the hyperlink.
Offering local food products and a chance to start your weekend with a glass of Cava and a tasty locally produced snack – it’s Dokmarkt at Eilandje from 15h -20h.
Over on the other side of the water, the Linkeroever winter program is starting, with a variety of winter events, continuing until the 12th January.
Vinyl lovers can start their Christmas shopping at Het Bos (Ankerrui 5-7, 2000 Antwerp) Record Fair -it starts at 1pm and is free in.
It’s the first Sunday of the month, so shops will be open on Meir and other shopping areas in town (Kloosterstraat, Nationalestraat) for Sunday shopping; in fact, throughout December, shops are open every Sunday in Antwerp (9th, 16th, 23rd & 30th).
If your children are excited about Sinterklaas in Grand Bazar shopping centre (from 13h -15h) and on walkabout round Meir from 15.30 – 18h.
Weather might not be as cold as last weekend (11-12 degrees) but there is a high chance of showers on both Saturday and Sunday.
Surely you didn’t miss the Nessascityblog guest post earlier this week?! If so, have a look -it’s a super-handy A-Z of LGBT Antwerp, listing bars, clubs, festivals, community groups and more -by Timothy Junes of Be Out.
And hot on the heels of that one -next week another special post: all about a talented Italian lady who brings the authentic taste of her homeland to Antwerp – a must for lovers of real Italian food. And if you have been thinking about writing a post for Nessascityblog, do seize the day -I’d love to hear your Antwerp story, or hear about an aspect of Antwerp life that you know well. Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Don’t forget: for Sinterklaas -The Belgian postal service (Bpost) will deliver children’s letters and drawings to the Sint (until 29th November) -details and address here. NB -be sure to write the child’s name and address on the outside of the envelope, so that the Sint can reply and send a surprise.
Yes, it’s December already and that time of year is fast approaching and the Winter In Antwerp website is now up!