This weekend in Antwerp: 31st May, 1st & 2nd June

macaroons-1957310_640There’s a few two-three day events this weekend, and if you are a food and drink lover (that’s a polite way of saying GLUTTON)  it’s going to be a great (if expensive) weekend for you, as with a little planning you could eat and drink your way along the Schelde from Friday to Sunday (even from Thursday if you are already peckish).

Down on the Plantinkaai it’s Fiesta Europa – this is a fun mix of  on-the-spot eating, drink ing and socialising, and a market with plenty of stands selling food products to take home: European products are central, so plenty in the way of great cheeses, meats, olives, honeys and tapenades. Food and drink stands a-plenty throughout means it’s a fun hang-out if the weather is good, especially since the event is always kid-friendly (yes, there is the obligatory bouncy castle!). Thanks to reader, Arwin, for reminding me about this event!

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HAP Festival is another food festival, this one is more focussed on food trucks and hip street food. It’s on Steenplein and although can be pricey. It’s not kid-unfriendly, but Fiesta Europa is better if you have small people to consider.

Antwerp Wine Festival is also on Steenplein; this is more for the grown-ups for obvious reasons, and wines from 12 different countries form the centre of this event.

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And last, but by no means least, one of my absolutely favourite events of the year De Quaeye Werelt! In which the Rivierenhof is transformed into a bustling medieval community of  traders, knights, noblemen and ladies, and artisans of every type. Re-enactors hold a noisy battle. It’s the historical element which makes this event so special

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re-enactors at De Quaeye Werelt

(it’s 1477) as well as the good natured, enthusiastic and friendly atmosphere created by everyone who takes part. There’s loads of cheap, hearty food and affordable drinks -if the weather is nice bring a picnic blanket and settle in for the day. The kids will love the battle, the puppet show and the costumes (but the littlest ones might want ear-defenders if they are near the battle, which is very loud indeed).

Friday

If you’re worried about what all this will do to your waistline, why not join Critical Mass for their monthly bike ride through the streets of Antwerp? Assemble at 6pm at Theaterplein, with your bike as usual. I expect Critical Mass will still be riding high on the buzz created by last weekend’s fantastic Critical Mass Belgium ride, and party at Park Spoor Noord, which is captured in this footage made by Critical Mass riders from Brussels who looked as though they enjoyed themselves here in Antwerp!

 

Aper’eau will be on Antwerp’s newest outdoor party place: Operaplein from 5pm to start the weekend with their usual blend of outdoor drinking, summer cocktails and DJs.

Saturday

For a more local food experience, farmers’ market Kraakvers are in Borgerhout on the Vincottestraat from 10am-3pm.

Sunday

vegansstuffAnother healthy food option could be Vegan Vibes Picnic at Park Spoor Noord from 11am- 7pm. Food trucks and stands selling vegan only options – see the link for the exact location (it is near – but not right at – Bar Noord).

If you cannot eat another thing, maybe a browse round this vinyl market would suit you. It’s at Giraffenplein (behind of the zoo) and hosted by Vitesse Coffee & Cycling.

Finally a reminder that it’s Sunday Shopping in Antwerp, and the regular shops will be open too, in the main shopping areas of the city, like Meir, Nationalestraat Kammenstraat and Kloosterstraat.

A warm and dry (though sometimes cloudy) weekend is predicted, with possible top temps as high as 27 degrees (Sunday).

Miscellaneous

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The complete Antwerp summer programme (Zomer van Antwerpen) was released on 28th May at http://www.zva.be/ -get in early for ticketed events that you are interested in. Helpfully, there are English and French versions of the programme in downloadable pdf form.

nature-4202726_640You may remember Daniel McBrearty from his fascinating guest post on Nessascityblog all about the Plantin Moretus museum. Daniel has launched a campaign in Belgium to persuade the supermarket chain Colruyt to reduce plastic packaging and single-use plastics in their stores. Please support the campaign! You can listen to him explain its reasoning in this short film, and the links to the campaign are here (in English), here (in het Nederlands) and here (en Francais).

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It’s very nearly show time at BATS VZW don’t forget to order your tickets for their annual show via their website -this year’s extravanganza promises to be a riot of colour and fun.

Runners: you can now register for the Reuzenloop in Borgerhout (choose from runs of 4, 8 or 12 km; there is also a free kids’ run). This takes place on the 9th June: click on ‘schrijf hier in!’ to sign up.

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

HERE IS THE GOOGLE MAP WITH THE LOCATIONS FOR THIS POST

Saturday

MOMUfFashionistas will want to head down to Antwerp’s Fashion Museum on Nationalestraat where they are having a stock sale on both Saturday and Sunday this weekend from 10am. Up for grabs will be DVDs, books, mannequins, posters and postcards from previous exhibitions at MOMU on Nationalestraat.

Today is Slow Art Day -an annual international art event; the idea being that you take time to look at a selection of pieces for 10 minutes, and then discuss them.  In Antwerp, The Red Star Line Museum, St Paulus Kerk, MuHKA and  FOMU will be taking part. Click on the links of participating venues here.

Sunday

It’s the third Sunday of the month so it’s boekenplein  from 10am on de Coninckplein in front of Permeke library -browse second hand books, magazines, graphic novels and old picture postcards until 4pm

MoMu stocksale continues (see above)

There is a plant market for gardeners and other green-fingered individuals on  Klooster Straat (on the same square by the Peter the Great statue, where they hold Markt van Morgen) from 10 am until 5pm.eggs

If the kids need one more Easter activity before returning to school after the break, there is an Easter Egg Hunt on Paradeplein from 11 -3pm.

 

 

Miscellaneous

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Outdoor play at Permeke Library

Next Wednesday (18th April) it’s Buitenspeeldag (‘Play Outside Day’). Buitenspeeldag encourages children to play outside all afternoon (and no homework should be given!). Various activities and toys are provided in different locations: last year I took my kids to the reading garden (‘leestuin’) at the Permeke Library. You can search here for particpating venues in the Antwerp area.

If you are a runner, you can still register for the Antwerp Ten Miles which takes place on  the 22nd April. If ten miles is a bit too far for you then I can recommend The Race For The Cure which is now open for individual and team registrations. My son and I did this last year – it was a lovely event  down on the Kaaien, and a great cause.

The weather should be nice again this weekend -quite warm and dry, with top temperatures around 21 degrees. It is also predicted to be good next week (for buitenspeeldag on Wednesday).


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This weekend in Antwerp: 23rd, 24th and 25th February

meugHERE’S THE GOOGLE MAP FOR THE LOCATIONS MENTIONED HERE.

I’m looking forward to tasting festival MEUG this weekend. It’s on both on Friday and Saturday at the Zuiderpershuis. I went last year with friends and we had a good time. It works really well in this spacious and airy venue and the atmosphere was friendly and laid-back, with a wide variety of stands to please both beer and whiskey enthusiasts. At time of writing, there are still tickets available.

 

Also over both days at Kinepolis, The 2018 International Minerals,  Precious Stones and Fossils Expo.

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ACAM

For this post, I’m doing something a little different by giving it a market focus, so there is an Antwerp Market on each of the three days below. I’ve chosen a different one for each day.

Friday

The Vrijdag Markt (Friday Market) takes place -unsurprisingly -on Fridays, and on the Vrijdagmarkt, a small square that you can get to by turning off either Reyndersstraat, Kammenstraat or Hoogstraat in the old town. You can find various types of jumble and bric-a-brac at this small weekly market. This square is not so well known to tourists, even though it is right by the Historic Centre. If you are on Vrijdagmarkt, it’s a good opportunity to hang out at any of the small bars which surround the square or to visit the Plantin Moretus museum.

Critical Mass are extending the Valentine love to this Friday. Their monthly bike ride will have a romantic theme: show your love for Antwerp and for cycling freely and safely in the city by showing up as usual at 6pm with your bike for an evening 8km bike ride, starting and ending at Theaterplein.

ghostwalkIf you like stories of phantoms, spirits and things that go bump in the night, you will be pleased to learn that Antwerp Ghost Walks have some tours coming up in English, including this one today: meet at the Lange Wapper statue (Steenplein) at 8pm. Cost: E12.50 pp.

Saturday

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Antwerp Market on Theaterplein

Antwerp’s largest weekly market (pic above) takes place on Theaterplein every Saturday. It is a regular fixture in the agendas of many locals. It’s a lot more than a place to pick up your weekly fruit and veg (although its great for that too!) as it is also a spot where locals stop and socialise and meet friends. Since the “roof” was installed on Theaterplein in 2008, rain no longer spoils the market experience. The food stands are hugely varied: Greek, Moroccan, Spanish, Italian… You can pick up fantastic cheeses, spices, fresh pasta tapenades and breads to take home, but should also take time to stop to enjoy oysters & cava, coffees and teas, mini- waffles, wraps or tapas at any of the stalls which have seating and standing areas. If you prefer to sit inside, there are some many bars and cafés all round Theaterplein: my favourites are Belgian Wines (great wine and cheese -all from Belgium), Nellies (coffee, ice cream, shakes and hopefully they still do that tasty poached egg and avocado toast) and Fabrik, a bistro-style bar/ restaurant which also often has live music on Friday night if you find yourself still in the area,

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Sint Nicolaasplaats

The ABC Market (Antiques, Books & Bricabrac, Curiosa) takes place on the last Saturday of the month. It’s mainly -but not solely – about the books, and takes place in a pretty courtyard (pic right, from Google streetview) towards the university district.

Gardeners and growers: the Ecohuis “Seed Library” is re-opening. You can take seeds to plant yourself, and are requested to bring seeds back in from your own harvest, to contribute to the library. From 1pm- 5pm.

 Sunday

Another well established Antwerp market is the Sint Jansvliet Sunday market offering bric-a-brac, small antiques, second hand homeware, jewellery, curiosa  and glassware. Again it is located in a square surrounded by bars, but it’s also right in front of Antwerp’s voetgangers tunnel (the square building on the Schelde side of Sint Jansvliet) The Pedestrian Tunnel goes under the river and is for those travelling by foot or by bike. If you haven’t been down there, you should take a look and cross over to Linkeroever on the other side of the river.

Miscellaneous

Temperatures are cooler than last weekend, but it should remain dry, and there will be some periods of sunshine.

Did you know about Ecce homo Antwerpen ?

Next Wednesday is the last of the month so that means that city museums are free. This link shows you which museums that includes.

If you are a runner, you can now register for the Antwerp Ten Miles which takes place on  the 22nd April.

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This weekend in Antwerp: 18th & 19th November

Such an exciting weekend (especially if you are a kid)!
HERE’S YOUR GOOGLE MAP!

It’s Eco Builders 2017 on both Saturday and Sunday -this is an event for you if you have a home-project underway or are planning one: sign up for tours around project homes (both new-build and restorations) to get ideas about how it is done in an eco-friendly and energy-efficient way.

Foodies -it’s Week van de Smaak over the weekend and continuing until the 26th November. Workshops, events, markets and readings for food lovers. Here’s the complete programme in Borgerhout.

Saturday

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Pepernoten and a chocolate letter (traditional Sinterklaas sweets)

Hij komt! Hij Komt!

Sinterklaas arrives in Antwerp! He is expected to arrive on his traditional Steamboat at Steenplein at 1pm and will make his way from Steenplein via Suikerrui to Grote Markt, accompanied by his usual jaunty entourage. This is usually a very busy event -expect crowds and possibly a fair bit of waiting to see the Sint. To be honest, I have found that the wait can be a bit challenging for the very youngest children, especially if the weather is not great (although this year it is predicted to be dry). His annual appearance and speech on the balcony of the Town Hall is expected at 14.45. This is the thrilling moment when the city learns if there are any naughty children in Antwerp, or whether they can all expect gifts this year. If you can’t make it, you can follow the action live on TV on Ketnet.

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Crowds waiting for the Sint to appear on the balcony at Grote Markt

 

At De Roma theatre from 9am it’s Kraakvers#3 – a local market for fresh goods and locally made products.

There’s a Vinyl fair at Plein Publiek from 11am -4.30pm … perfect if you are a vinyl lover or need to shop for the vinyl lover in your life as the festive season approaches. 

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Swaajp Impro. Photo: Armin Zarbock

For evening entertainment with a difference, head to Zaal Zirkus for some impro theatre with Swaajp! whose guests for this show are Inbal Lori and Tim Orr who take their inspiration from photographs provided by the audience, rather than verbal suggestions.

 

Sunday

It’s a day of arts activities for children: Kunstendag voor Kinderen. These take place across Flanders. Here are the events in the Antwerp area. Click on ‘meer info’ to find put the costs of participation (most are low-cost; some are free), age range and whether you need to reserve beforehand.

It’s the monthly secondhand book and comic fair on De Coninckplein -in front of the library- from 10am

Unsurprisingly, it’s pretty nippy out this weekend (max temperatures 8 degrees) but it should be dry, with the a slight possibility of some showers, especially around Sunday evening.

 sintletterboxMiscellaneous

If you have younger kids, they may like to write a letter to Sinterklaas. This is organised each year by Bpost. Post the letter(s) in special Sint letterboxes (there’s one in the Quellinstraat post office) before 29th November. Don’t forget to ensure that the child’s name and home address is clearly written on the outside of the envelope, so that the child can receive a letter back and a surprise from the Sint. You do not need a stamp. If your child doesn’t write, you can send a Babbel Brief!

If you are new to this tradition, be aware that it takes place on the 6th December and is VERY important to the children of Belgium. You can read about it here.

I was recently contacted by Sandra from Colectivo Amorika. This is a group which offers cultural and arts activities for Spanish speaking families in Antwerp, as well as conversation lessons for intermediate and advanced non-native speakers. They are based in Borgerhout and you can see their program below

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Colectivo Amorika

De Collectie is a means by which you can give away your second hand clothing, shoes, accessories (belts, scarves, gloves, hats) and bedding if they are in good condition. They will be passed to people who need them in Belgium and abroad. You can arrange to have them picked up or can bring them to a collection point. Very handy if you are planning a clear out before the festive season. You can find more information about how this works in Antwerp on De Collectie Antwerpen site.

If you haven’t done so yet, have a read of this recently pressed guest post by Laura, the creator of the lovely Nonnative Antwerp blog, and do get in touch if you would like to contribute your own Antwerp story.

I have also guest-blogged for Nonnative. Read my restaurant review here .

Inspired to write a guest blog post telling your Antwerp story? Please get in touch via nessascityblog@gmail.com -I’d love to hear from you.

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This weekend in Antwerp: 10th, 11th & 12th November

Here is the GOOGLE MAP for this weekend …

ansibhin
An Sibhin

An Sibhin -one of Antwerp’s best loved Irish pubs -celebrates its 20th birthday with festivities over both Saturday (party from 8pm with live music, a free barrel & snacks) and Sunday (the comedy cure: stand-up at with Antwerp’s Nigel Williams & guests).

Antwerp Book Fair  continues. This is an annual, ticketed event which takes place at Antwerp Expo until Sunday. It’s a huge event with books and comics of every type, as well as additional events such as authors appearances and book signing sessions.

Also over both Saturday and Sunday (and next weekend too) it’s Eco Builders 2017 -this is an event for you if you have a home-project underway or are planning one: sign up for tours around project homes (both new-build and restorations) to get ideas about how it is done in an eco-friendly and energy-efficient way.

Belmodo Fashion Days takes place until Sunday -stock sales of designer pieces at various Antwerp fashion stores.

Friday

jazz&blueskroegentocht

The Jazz & Blues Kroegentocht takes place in nine bars around the old town -all within walking distance of one another, and located close to the Grote Markt. From 9.30pm, this event is free. Please note that I have putt ALL NINE of them on the Google map for you AND I DON’T EVEN LIKE JAZZ.

Screen Shot 2017-11-08 at 19.54.24Saturday

 

Band 110 are playing Papa Jos bar in the student area  -see this improvisational electro-rock trio for free at 8pm.

 

Sunday

MvMF
Markt van Morgen

 

Find Markt van Morgen on Kloosterstraat from midday until 6pm … ideal for early Christmas shoppers.

Catch a free movie  – Angry Indian Godesses -at 8pm at Het Roze Huis, as part of L-Week events and activities (8-19th November).

It is -helaas! -once again likely to be cloudy with showers this weekend.

 

Miscellaneous

If you haven’t done so yet, have a read of this recently pressed guest post by Laura, the creator of the lovely Nonnative Antwerp blog, and do get in touch if you would like to contribute your own Antwerp story.

I have also guest-blogged for Nonnative. Read my restaurant review here .

Inspired to write a guest blog post telling your Antwerp story? Please get in touch via nessascityblog@gmail.com -I’d love to hear from you.

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This weekend: 24th, 25th & 26th February

lbwg
LBWG

This weekend sees the close of winter bar Little Brewers Winter Garden. It will doubtless re-open in a summer incarnation later this year. Here’s the full program of weekend events to mark the end of its winter season.

JEFF (Youth Film Festival) is also on the whole weekend (and thoughout the holiday week). Films will be showing in Ecohuis and Zuiderpershuis. There are also workshops. See the full program here.

If you are not familiar with the Eilandje area of Antwerp (the port area where MAS museum is situated) then this is a good weekend to discover it, with events on both days for Welkom op Het Eiland.

Over the whole weekend there is an exhibition of minerals, fossils and precious stones at Kinepolis, for 4 euros.

Here’s your GOOGLE MAP for all the places mentioned in this weekend’s post.

Friday

It’s the last Friday of the month, and -according to Critical Mass -never to late to enjoy some Valentine’s Romance. Assemble on Theaterplein with your bike at 6pm for the Valentine’s edition of the monthly bike ride.

Saturday

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London Calling

Skool’s out! Why not kick off the krokus vakantie with London Calling’s Let’s Bowie! at Bar Venetie, Saturday night on the Turnhoutsebaan from 10pm.

Gardeners of Antwerp -the Ecohuis is offering a day of free gardening workshops from 1pm until 6pm. To take part costs nothing but you need to register by mailing or calling: ecohuis@stad.antwerpen.be or tel. 03 217 08 11

Or head to Sint Jansplein for another big second hand market from 9am -6pm

It’s the monthly free film at Het Roze Huis at 8pm: Tru Love.

Sunday

More gardening tips! This time it’s pruning the roses at Rivierenhof, with the gardners that keep the rose garden there. Register by calling 03 3605218 . Free.

Alas, the weather is not looking great -about 10-12 degrees, but feeling colder, with chances of rain and drizzle on both Saturday and on Sunday.

Miscellaneous

asunburntcountry
Maddi Goodwin & A Sunburnt Country

I was pleased to be contacted by musician Maddi Goodwin, creator of A Sun Burnt Country project. I am very much looking forward to attending this eclectic event at de Singel on Friday 19th May. It’s a must for internationally-minded people, and doubly so if they are from- or have an interest in – Australia and Australian culture. The evening will comprise of music, readings and dance, and I am including it here because there is a 20% discount on tickets if you order them before the 1st March, which is not far away!

If you have children (aged 8-14) interested in the Children’s University event on 19th March, you can register them from now. You might also want to know that March is Youth Book Month.

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Also for kids -the spring break (Krokus vakantie) is coming up in Belgium (starting 27th February). If you have kids who are off that week and would enjoy some sports activities check out this Stad Antwerpen Page. The activities on offer can be seen here and you need to go here to register. Stad Antwerpen museums also offer some ateliers during the Krokus vakantie, some of these involve signing up for more than one day.

Idee Kids also offers a variety of activities and workshops during the holiday week.

Also during the break, some swimming pools in the Antwerp area have extended opening hours.

If you took part in Lei Reijnder’s (Cloudknitters) Let Sky The Limit postcard mail-art project last year, you can now see all the entries on this film

We are fast approaching the very end of the Stadhuis 450 expo, which closes in March. If you have been meaning to go but haven’t, then time is running out ….

It’s Carnaval!

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Het Beleg van Antwerpen

 

And just for fun, thank Het Beleg van Antwerpen for offering on our behalf, this very special greeting from the city of Antwerp, to President Trump.

 

 

 

 

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.

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— NEXT POST: THURSDAY 2nd MARCH —

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This Weekend: 13th, 14th & 15th May

It’s Pentecost weekend, so maybe you have a long weekend due to Whit Monday, which is a public holiday in Belgium. Once again there are a few events occurring over the whole weekend (and some on Monday too). These include:-

BarriocantinaTRUCKpic– The Barrio Cantina Food Trucks Festival at Steen. This is a great location for this event, although some of the food is pricey -if you are planning on going with your family, it will be expensive if you are all eating the equivalent of a meal. However, it is OK for a snack, and there are usually some nice kids activities (last year they had cupcake decorating and face painting). Also on Monday.

– Five Years of MAS (also until Monday)- Follow the link to order tickets for the whole weekend which will get you access to all museum rooms for 3 days for 5 euros (free to under- 12s). There will be other events on the square around the museum. As you are probably aware, I am keen on recycling/ upcycling and eco events, so I am going to particularly draw your attention to an Upcycling Workshop from Het Vindingrijk at 5pm on the Saturday!

PPfromabove
Plein Publiek

 

funfair

– ‘Fierensweekend’ at Plein Publiek -DJs, exhibitions, brunch, music, second hand market….

– And Sinksenfoor – Antwerp’s annual funfair-held previously at the Zuiderdokken -which will be on until 19th June at Spoor Oost.

 

 

Friday

Do you need your bike fixed? Take it along to the  Repair Café at ‘t Werkhuys from 5pm.

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A-Tower

 

Klub Goud is opening on the 21st floor of the A-Tower (11pm) Tickets are 10 euros on the door or order online beforehand. Alternatively at the same location there is Bar Gloed on the 4th floor, which has been open for a couple of weeks now for food and drinks. It has a nice terrace (complete with sand pit for kids) with views of the station building and of Meir, and Pretbederf from 9pm.

 

 

Another summer bar, Bocadero opens today at midday (near Waagnatie) by the river, until the 4th September.

 

 

 

Saturday

STORMcafe
Café Storm & MAS

 

International Fair Trade Day will be marked in the Oxfam ‘Wereldwinkel’ on Minderbroedersrui and focuses on the sugar trade.

Concept store st vincents opens its doors at 3pm for a festival of food, design, fashion, music and gin on Kleine Markt.

This weekend’s fleamarket can be found on Sint Jansplein, 9am -6pm.

Café Storm at MAS (also celebrating its 5 year birthday, as previously mentioned) celebrates six years with a party -free entry before midnight.

 

 

Sunday

Permeke Library has its regular monthly Sunday book market on De Coninckplein and at the same time there will be a  piano marathon taking place (10am -6pm). Both the book fair and its musical accompaniment are free.

The PVDA have a full schedule on offer at their 2016 Diversity Festival in Park Spoor Noord from 2pm

 

sun-159378_640Alas, the weather is unlikely to be as good as last weekend. Friday likely to be warmest, but with a high chance of showers. Saturday and Sunday predicted to be mild and cloudy, with some sunny spells on Sunday. Showers possible.
(image: Pixabay)

 

 

Miscellaneous

Basketball
basketball on Sint- Andriesplaats

Still three more chances to get free basketball sessions for your 6+ kids in various squares around the city (2-4pm; 3-5pm on Sint Jansplein).

 

Born in Antwerp is a Stad Antwerpen supported creative initiative taking place until October of this year. An app will keep you informed of events, or you can follow the agenda online.

 

 

 

50If you’d like to see some free midweek stand- up comedy, then head to Kelly’s Irish Pub on Keyserlei on alternate Thursday nights (starting this week). They are starting a program of international comedy acts, starting with Jason Waddell, described as “straight outta Texas with jokes and a certain je-ne-sais-quoi. What that exactly is, is something for you to find out during the show!”

instagram-logo
…Yes, I know it has a new logo, but no one likes it!

 

!!! New for Nessascity: The blog is now on Instagram -Give us a follow for additional pictures of weekend events which are mentioned here- as they happen, or shortly afterwards.

 

…And of course, Nessascityblog is still on Twitter.

 

 

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This weekend: April 15th, 16th & 17th

Friday

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.

Saturday

AISintday
image from AIS

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!

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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.

Independent record stores celebrate Record Store Day today. In Antwerp, this will happen in Coffee & Vinyl from 10am and in Fatkat Records from midday with in-store performances.

Sunday

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)

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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.

 

 

 

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Rommel!

 

This week’s free flea market takes place at Skate Planet, near Sportpaleis between 10am and 6pm.

 

 

 

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fairytales at Rivierenhof

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.

 

 

 

Miscellaneous ….

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?

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Steen

… 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 info@vredescentrum.be

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.

And a special mention to BATS Antwerp who featured recently in Fans Of Flanders and whose play Three More Sleepless Nights opens today, until 24th April (tickets here). Break a leg, Batty Ones!

 

Finally …

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.

… So enjoy a peaceful, spring weekend in Antwerp!

 

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This weekend: April 8th, 9th & 10th

Friday

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Café Ami

This weekend, why not check out Café Ami? It’s on the Katelijnevest, just off Meir, and is a friendly, unpretentious bar where there is often free music. This Friday it’s live blues & folk from Johan Corthals, at 8pm. More folk at Ami at the same time on Saturday night too.

 

Saturday

Recycle your clothes at the indoor Revive Market. Note: Plein Publiek is still closed; this event will take place at Nassaustraat 38, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium -that’s the Monique Stam store on Eilandje.

From 1.30 -5.30 there are sporting activities aimed at young people on Groenplaats. Jespo VZW  offers kids and young people the chance to try out various sports and activities.

The Grand Bazar still have the kids’ farm -finishing up this weekend, though. I was there last weekend and while it is nice for children to see animals, I have to say I don’t think it was a very animal-friendly initiative, and personally, I agree with many of the points raised in this open letter to Grand Bazar Shopping Centre regarding the welfare of the animals.

Sunday

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This weekend’s best fleamarket option is Goegekregen in Park Loods on Park Spoor Noord. It’s a good venue to have it in (airy, lots of space) and when last there I thought that there was a great mix of goods, with something for every pocket (clothes for mere eurocents, or more costly retro chic for your home) and is free entry. There is also one at Kinepolis starting at 10 -that’s 2.50 to get in though.

 

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Stadspark

 

Klein Antwerpen are organising an egg hunt in Stadspark. Come to the King Albert Statue (that’s the big one on the Rubenslei – Van Eycklei corner) at 11am.

 

 

mmewollAfter an Easter break, Madam Woll is open again for her regular knitting and crochet café from 10am -12, costing 8 euros. Mail info@madamwoll.be to register.

 

 

 

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Kloosterstraat

Markt van Morgen is back and on Kloosterstraat this Sunday from 12-6. Markt van Morgen spotlights local creative talent (jewellers, artists, designers) as well as being a social and friendly place to hang out.

 

 

 

… Or how about a Tea Dance (free entry) down by the river from 6pm?

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Summer season activities/ miscellaneous

A sweet-toothed friend of mine reminded me of the Pancake Boat here in Antwerp, which is deeply popular with all three of my kids. This has just started up again for the holiday season. It’s fun to do with kids and is a great activity if you have visitors with children.

Don’t forget that the summer bars will begin opening up from this point on. Cargo is already open. Bar Paniek will open later this month. Others will open when Zomer van Antwerpen begins. But maybe I am getting a bit ahead of myself here … I am very much looking forward to summer already.

Did you know that if you live in Antwerp, you could get a free climbing plant? The idea is to offer these to home-owning neighbours who would like to grow them from one side of their street (up the wall and above the street) to the other. If you and your neighbour are interested apply here. You will receive information, and assistance in choosing the right sort of plant if you don’t know that much about gardening.

And a reminder that from this year the cathedral is free to enter if you live in Antwerp.

The weather is predicted to be mainly dry, with the possibility of some light rain/ drizzle on Saturday.

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Thanks for reading and following!

You can also keep in touch will all things Antwerp on Twitter and Pinterest. Have a great weekend!

 

This weekend: April 1st, 2nd & 3rd

I hope you have enjoyed a peaceful Easter so far. I can hardly believe it is April already.

Friday

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The first Friday of the month is always Opening Evening at BATS Antwerp. Go along to the Little Theatre on Paardemarkt, to find out what they are up to, enjoy a drink at their
friendly bar or get involved on or off-stage, if you are interested in being part of English-speaking theatre productions locally. This Friday is special as it coincides with World Theatre Day and so there will also be a quiz at 8.30!

 

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Image from Grand Bazar Shopping Centre

 

 

On Friday and over the whole weekend, there is going to be a kids’ farm in Grand Bazar and on Grote Markt, starting each day at 1pm and promising guineau pigs, bunnies, goats and piglets.

Saturday

This weekend’s fleamarket will be on Sint Jansplein and starts at 8am, if you are up early to catch a bargain.

For kids, on both Saturday and Sunday Het Steen have their free open atelier from 1pm -4pm -walk in with your 6+ offspring at any time during the session.

In the evening, if you are in the old town area, you could head to Café Cabron which is reopening after refurbishment, just off Grote Markt.

DIY enthusiasts can do this short workshop for free at the Ecohuis at 10am -just ensure that you register first.

Free art expo with a New York theme at the lovely Coffee & Vinyl from 11am.

Sunday

It’s the first Sunday of the month, so of course it’s Sunday shopping.

For a different kind of shopping, you could catch the last day of The Really Really Affordable Art Fair (also on Friday and Saturday)

There’s a food market at Felix Pakhuis on Eilandje, or a local neighbourhood Krugermarkt  in Borgerhout (food, drink, local products)

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Eilandje

If you are feeling energetic, go dancing on Draakplaats (right near Berchem station) courtesy of Den Draak café and their Tango Under The Bridge event starting at 3pm.

It is predicted to be a mild weekend, and even warm at times, with only low chances of showers.

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