The Big Fat Summer Post 2017

sun-159392_640This post covers the next month while I am on holiday (even bloggers need a break from time to time). The first section lists some ongoing activities, whilst the second section lists specific activities and events by date.

I’ll be back at the start of August -if you feel so inclined you can follow my #nessascityblogUSA adventures on Instagram

In the meantime, here are some Antwerp highlights which I am sorry to be missing   …

During or throughout July

ZVAflagFThe most useful thing to know is the Zomer van Antwerpen website, which lists all the special summer events provided by the City of Antwerp, including theatre performances, summer bars, live music and Cinema Urbana (outdoor cinema venue next to The Schelde, opens in August). You can also buy tickets for those events which are not free, but many are, as is access to the summer bars of course.  Zomerfabriek has a bit more of a clubby vibe to it, while the Zomerbar on Sloepenweg has a very broad appeal, and is probably better for younger kids -there’s a playground as well as an outdoor library there. Muziek in de Wijk is pretty much as the name (Music in the Neighbourhood) suggests -stages with live music on local squares or parks, and is free. Again, these are very much occasions for all ages and there are refreshments available. It’s a good chance to hear some local bands. Other summer bars which I really like are Bar Noord in Park Spoor Noord and Smokey Jo’s Cantina -both kid-friendly, also Bar Paniek right next to the water on the Kattendijkdok.

 

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Antwerp Summer Bars

Another special program of summer performances and music can be found at the Openlucht Theater (OLT) at Rivierenhof (Open Air Theatre) which is a really nice place to see a band on a summer’s evening. Order tickets via the site (some sell out quickly and more well known performers are already sold out) but there are also free shows on Fridays (search for Gratis Vrijdagen) .

And the View on The Zoo ferris wheel is on Astridplein throughout July

The Sinksenfoor (funfair) is open daily in Park Spoor Oost until 9th July.

For kids up to the age of 13, there is Speel-O-Rama in the Zuiderpershuis every week day for 2 euros per kid (17th July -11th August)

During summer Antwerp offers two open-air swimming pools which are now open! It is free to swim at Boekenberg, but there is a small entrance charge at the Linkeroever pool (it is also recommended that you have a 1 euro coin with you to use the lockers; and your A-kaart, if you have one).

Buurtpleintjes is an initiative from Stad Antwerpen offering free sporting activities on local squares around the city. Last year, my son really enjoyed a series of free basketball lessons on Sint Andriesplaats as part of this initiative. Start by checking here to see what’s on offer near you.

A grab-bag of events in order of date…

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Saturday July 1st You can join a ghostwalk for 7,50, starting at 7pm from Steen

Sunday 2nd July: Goegekregen in the Stadspark these are always big and very sociable. There’s pretty much nothing you can’t get on the cheap here -including- usually – a haircut.

Sunday 2nd July: First Sunday of the month means Sunday shopping in Antwerp

Weekend 1st & 2nd July: Opening of the Port of Antwerp water-bus route. Activities and entertainment on Steenplein from 9am

Weekend 1st & 2nd July: Ramblas ‘beach’ party on the Falconplein and nearby streets. Lots of sand, music, cocktails, kids’ fun, vintage & flea markets from 10 -6pm both days.

Friday July 7th: Aper’eau on Theaterplein, Drinks, snacks, DJs. From 5- midnight

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Saturday 8th July: Dancing in the Stadspark from 3pm – midnight. Fun, free, kid-friendly (at least for the earlier part of the party) Also Sunday 9th July

Sunday 9th July Muziek in de Wijk is on Krugerplein, Borgerhout from 2pm

Tuesday 11th July: Vlaanderen Feest Dag celebrating Flanders and the Flemish Community –check here for the program in Antwerp (note that there are also events in the days running up to the 11th of July itself). There are kids shows on Groenplaats from midday until 6pm (Studio 100). The Feest Dag finishes on Grotemarkt with a party at night from 7.30.

Saturday 15th July: Free Salsa dancing at Bar Noord (Park Spoor Noord) from 6.30pm

Sunday 16th July: Swan Market is on Grote Markt from 11am -6pm (accessories, food, music, clothes, jewellery, interiors) and Boekenplein (second hand books & graphic novels) is on de Coninckplein in front of the library from 10am.

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21st July Fete des Belges / Nationale feestdag van België/ Belgischer Nationalfeiertag

Friday July 21st:  It is Belgium’s National Day and a public holiday

Friday July 21st: Re:set fleamarket at Het Eiland from 11am -5.30. Last time I went to Het Eiland it was a little quiet in terms of the stands (I guess some stand holders are on their summer holidays) but even so, it is worth going to Het Eiland to see the location. A relaxed bar with a great view of MAS. This is a pop-up in the Port of Antwerp old harbour building.

and a (free) Roller Disco on Dageraadplaats from 11am -10pm, with food, music, yoga and art installations.

 

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Antwerp Museums

 

Wednesday July 26th -City of Antwerp museums are FREE on the last Wednesday of the month

and Brocantwerpen is on the Grote Markt (10am -6pm)

Friday 28th July -Critical Mass. Assemble 6pm on Theaterplein with your bike for an hour’s cycling round Antwerp and help reclaim the street for bikes.

Saturday July 29th You can join a ghostwalk for 7,50, starting at 7pm from Steen

Sunday 30th July –Lambermontmartre art market from midday

Lastly a random tip …botannicsF

If the activity and heat of summer in the city get a bit much, did you know that Antwerp has a Botanical Garden?  It’s a haven of green and peace. Sit on the lawns or benches, or wander through to the back and find De Serre

 

 

And so …

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Enjoy July in beautiful Antwerp! I hope this post serves as a useful pick ‘n’ mix for the time that there are no weekly posts. Feel free to add comments & ideas in the below. See y’all in August!

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JULY

And please don’t forget that I am still looking for guest posts -if you have some free time over the holiday period, you might like to think about telling YOUR Antwerp story on Nessascityblog. Don’t forget to find me on social media, where additional events and locations are also posted:

 

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Instagram

Facebook (in conjunction with London Calling)

Twitter

Pinterest

This weekend: 16th, 17th & 18th June

This weekend the Zomer van Antwerp officially begins! For those who don’t know, this is a program of venues and cultural events (cinema, theatre, circus and music) which are in place until the 3rd September. Many events are free, some are ticketed or have an entry cost. The ZVA website is the go-to place online for information and tickets. The Zomerbar on Sloepenweg is one of the hubs of ZVA and it is an ideal place to hang out for everyone really, as it is a great bar and location, but also has a play area for kids and plenty of sand. There’s also food (or you can bring your own), and an outdoor library. It’s also a place where you can pick up ZVA tickets and info.

location-162102_640Here’s the MAP!

Friday

The ZVA kicks off at the Zomerfabriek at 10pm but doors -and the bar- will be open from 5pm.

Those interesting people down at MAF have a vernissage …

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Saturday

At Bato Batu bar from 1.30- 6pm there’s a second hand vinyl sale in the side-street by the bar.

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… and regular rommelmarkts in Appelstraat, Borgerhout and in Berchem from 8am, for early birds…

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Other than that, Saturday seems a bit quiet -I would take the time to either check out one of the summer bars, or spend the day at Antwerp’s regular Saturday market on Theaterplein, which is much more than a place where you can just pick up your weekly fruit and veg: more and more stands are selling food and drinks for on the spot, and it is making the market an increasingly social place to hang out. There’s a busy cava and seafood stand in front of the theatre, but also worth a visit is a stand with a Spanish flavour, a little further along (usually almost parallel with Belgian Wines) which does decent tapas, or egg rolls for a late breakfast, which you can wash down with wine, coffee or Cava, depending on your levels of bon viveurism (or hangover).

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The evening, however, brings the perfect event for the jazz fan: The Sint- Andries Jazz Bar Tour: five bars, all within easy walking distance of one another, each offering a menu of live jazz, starting at 8, with the last band signing off at midnight. Check the link to plan your route (the venues are all marked on the map with the sax image, left).

 

Sunday

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Swan Market

Swan Market is on Grote Markt from 11am (design, accessories, clothing, food)

… and the usual strip & boekenplein (second hand books and graphic novels) is on de Coninckplein in front of Permeke Library.

There’s a rommelmarkt (second hand clothes and goods) on  Dageraadplaats from 9am. This is a very nice local square with plenty of cafés, bars and a playground so you can keep an eye on your kids while you have a drink or browse the stands.

Weather forecast: lovely.

Miscellaneous

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Antwerp has a new museum – Museum de Reede which casts a spotlight on the work of Goya, Munch and Rops. It is just opposite Steenplein near the river (Ernest van Dijckkaai 7).

Please note that during July I will be away. As was the case last year, there will be a Big Fat Summer Post (pressing on the 29th June) for the time that I am not here to write weekly posts.

Summer bar Smokey Jo’s Cantina (formerly Smokey Joe’s Garage) at de Koninck  Brewery is another summer bar (also with kids play area) which is now open.

Get your tickets for BATS Variety Show  (this weekend and next weekend) I hear they are selling out fast!

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If you are finding it a challenge to get around the various roadworks in Antwerp these days (especially since the Leien were closed off on the 5th June) then check slimnaarantwerpen.be to help you negotiate your way around town.

Don’t forget that the Sinksenfoor (funfair) is open daily in Park Spoor Oost until 9th July.

And the View on The Zoo ferris wheel (featured pic) is on Astridplein until August.

Buurtpleintjes is an initiative from Stad Antwerpen offering free sporting activities on local squares around the city. Last year, my son really enjoyed a series of free basketball lessons on Sint Andriesplaats as part of this initiative. Start by checking here to see what’s on offer near you.

During summer Antwerp offers two open-air swimming pools which are now open! It is free to swim at Boekenberg, but there is a small entrance charge at the Linkeroever pool (it is also recommended that you have a 1 euro coin with you to use the lockers; and your A-kaart, if you have one).

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This is actually me

 

Please note that during July I will be away. As was the case last year, there will be a Big Fat Summer Post (pressing on the 29th June) for the time that I am not here to write weekly posts.

 

 

Don’t forget to find and follow Nessascityblog on social media, where additional events are also posted:

socialmediaFbPTw

Instagram

Facebook (in conjunction with London Calling)

Twitter

Pinterest

 

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