A fairly brief post for today because it seems that the post-festive lull continues and it again feels like it’s not so busy in the city, and also because I will be away in beautiful Amsterdam all day on Saturday at the Women’s March.
Here is the GOOGLE MAP for the locations in this week’s post.
Het Roze Huis (‘The Pink House’ -Antwerp’s LGBTQ+ centre) shows a film each month for free. This month, starting at 8pm it’s The Summer of Sangaile.
Over near de Koninck Brewery, Little Brewers’ Winter Garden is offering a lantern making activity for kids, as Chinese New Year approaches. This takes place between 2 and 5pm, is free and does not require registration beforehand. My kids went on Wednesday. They enjoyed doing this and were very positive about the nice supervisor!
Goegekregen are back with a big second hand market in Park Loods -that’s in Park Spoor Noord -from 9am. It’s indoors, so don’t be put off by cold weather.
It’s been really cold this week, and it looks like it might remain so for the weekend with minimum temperatures at -1 to -3. Chances of rain are low over Saturday and Sunday but more likely on Friday.
Last week I was interviewed by Slovakian TV (RTVS news) about being a UK passport-holder resident in Belgium post-EU referendum. You can see that interview here (it starts at about 25 minutes in).
Don’t forget that next Wednesday (25th) is the last Wednesday of the month, so Antwerp City museums are free.
January sales continue in town (but shops are not open this Sunday)
And if you have enjoyed the Swaajp impro shows which have featured in this blog from time to time, you might be interested to know that you can now follow an impro course with them.
My random rec for this week is a bar called Rode Zeven on Sint Jansplein. It’s an attractive, unpretentious bar we sometimes like to go to on the way home from work, and is perfect whether you want a meal, or just a drink. The food is unfussy, tasty and home-made. The owner is friendly, and generally the place has an easy, informal atmosphere, and is also fine for kids (some toys are provided for them to play with).
Leo Reijnders of The Cloudknitters opens an exhibition on Thursday at 6pm at Museumstraat 4. The work is described as follows: ‘In his ongoing series, of figurative narrative paintings, Leo Reijnders investigates issues of desire. While basing the work in the subconscious desires of the artist, they also seek to involve the viewer, by allowing enough undefined space to consider our own motivations and desires. Completed in one day, they represent “(day)-dreamscapes” where anything is possible”. This exhibition continues until February 19th.
If you’ve struggled with early starts again, and your first days back at work, you might -like me – be inclined to spend the entire weekend sleeping. However, there are a few things definitely worth getting out of bed for, although I get the feeling there is a bit of a lull after the winter festivities.
***Here is the GOOGLE MAP with the places mentioned on this post***
MAF will be holding a vernissage for this exhibition starting at 8pm at their new location on Keistraat.
It’s already the third Sunday of the month so there will as usual be a secondhand book market on de Coninckplein, from 10am, right in front of Permeke Library, where you can also take the kids for a read-aloud (in Dutch) at 11 with the new year themes of wishes. This is free, suitable for kids aged 4-8, and you do not need to register beforehand. I took my kids on Wednesday and they both enjoyed the stories very much and wanted to stay in the library.
This Anton Corbijn photography exhibition is previewing at the Zeno x gallery in Borgerhout, from 3-6pm. If -like me -you enjoyed the film ‘Control’ you might be keen to see some of his pictures, many of which feature rock stars he has photographed over the years.
There is very stormy weather predicted for Friday, with likely flooding by the river.
Temperatures are predicted to be around 4-5 degrees, with the possibility of rain each day, but particularly on Saturday.
A heads-up for runners: if you want to take part in the Plan Belgium Run on Sunday, March 12, 2017 (Park Spoor Noord) sign up soon (Antwerp Urban Trail on the drop-down menu), as places are running out (no pun intended).
If you are planning a New Year, post-festive clear-out of your home you might want to revisit this post for ideas about where to take still useable toys, books, household goods and wearable clothes, instead of throwing them out.You could also contact the EVA centre in Ekeren who often take items to assist the refugees that they welcome and care for.
Last weekend I spent some of Saturday afternoon at Mercado on Groenplaats and was pleasantly surprised. Previously when I had been in it had been so busy that it wasn’t pleasant, but by 2.30 last Saturday it was busy enough to be fun, but we were able to get a place (if you are with small kids, or prams and buggies, you might want to choose your time carefully). The interior of what was the old Post Office has been nicely done and the prices were not as high as I thought they would be. In particular, if you are on a budget, head for the Lebanese stand (Yalla Yalla). These Lebanese sandwiches were tasty (as was the falafel), and cost 5-6 euros.
This will be Nessascityblog’s last post for 2016 , so I am trying to include as much as possible to see you into 2017 in Antwerp.
NEXT POST: THURSDAY 5TH JANUARY 2017
As mentioned last week Stad Antwerp’s Winter Festivities have now started so head down to the old town and you can’t miss it. The Christmas market can be found around Steenplein, Suikerrui, Groenplaats and Grotemarkt, with gluhwein and hot chocolate aplenty. There’s skating on Groenplaats, a tubing slide on Steenplein and the ferris wheel by the Schelde. The atmosphere is friendly and festive, and it’s a great place to take visiting friends or family and kids. The Nello & Patrasche (A Dog of Flanders) statue was unveiled last weekend in front of the Cathedral. This beautiful piece is the work Batist Vermeulen of Studio Tist.
On social media, you can share your Antwerp festive pictures with the hashtag #WinterinA
Festive & Miscellaneous
If you are planning a clear- out of your home you might want to revisit this post for ideas about where to take still useable toys, books, household goods and wearable clothes, instead of throwing them out.You could also contact the EVA centre in Ekeren who often take items to assist the refugees that they welcome and care for. At the moment, there is also a drop- off for clothes, shoes and fabric in Het Steen Café -make sure all your items are bagged before bringing them there.
MAF is opening a new art space on Keistraat 1 on the 21st December. Head along at 8pm to find out about their approach and what they do.
A random recommendation from me for this time of year is to go to Antwerp Market on Theaterplein. It’s open on both on Saturdays and Sundays, but Saturday is better, in my opinion. If you are going to be cooking a lot over the Christmas period, then this is the place to get great food from all over the world at a really good price. I always get veg here, and if I can, cheeses too. Over the time that I have lived in Antwerp, the market has also become increasingly social, with cava stands, oyster bars and food trucks, adding to the more traditional food sellers here. You can also get fresh coffee and pasta on the market, and a huge range of the sort of food you would want to offer at a party or to Christmas guests, including many varieties of olives, dips and tapenades. The market on Sunday is less food orientated, with more clothes and household items -it also closes earlier. Since the Theaterplein gained a roof, rain no longer stops play.
China Light is an event that is slightly pricier (15 euros for an adult ticket) than the usual events and activities I post here, but it is a really nice tour if you want to do something a bit unusual this winter. The lights do look magical and the zoo is a great setting in which to display them. I would check the weather forecast before going as rain would spoil this tour.
The last Wednesday of the month means free museum entry for Stad Antwerp museums (Wednesday 28th December).
Next weekend is of course Christmas, and I am away for New Year, so I will be posting again on the 5th January. For New Year’s Eve in Antwerp head to The Schelde if you want fireworks. But if clubs and parties are more your thing, then I recommend that you keep an eye on This Is Antwerp who I am sure will be posting all the information you need as NYE approaches.
Thank you very much for reading and following Nessascityblog during 2016. Please comment and include links to any additional winter events which I have missed. If you have found this blog helpful, please share it with your friends, on social media and in groups where it may be useful.
*** Here’s the GOOGLE MAP with all the locations from this post for the specific Friday- Sunday events***
Street Art Antwerp has featured a few times on this blog, and earlier this year my son and I joined a tour which we both very much enjoyed. This Friday, Tim is finishing up for the year with a special Flame Edition of his tour: bring torches and flashlights, and wear luminous clothing. It starts at 8 at the entrance to Zomerfabriek, Minkelersstraat in Berchem and will conclude at a tba venue, with music and snacks. Check the Facebook event page to register and to be informed of final details. Tim does not charge for these excellent tours, but you can make a donation which will go to Music For Life
Special holiday wishes to everyone at the Antwerp International School which finishes today for the winter break – safe travels and have a wonderful festive season!
At 1pm at bar Bato Batu there’s a record fair -for last minute gifts for the vinyl freak in your life (or for yourself, or course!)
If you are at the Christmas market during the day and are an incomer from abroad to the city of Antwerp, and would like to meet other parents and their kids, then head to Café Den Engel on Groote Markt at 2.30 for this Expat Parents & Kids Party.
Fancy a short trip out of town? Cosplay on ice: Cosplayers of Antwerp will assemble at Antwerp central station at midday and take the bus to Antartica Ice Rink in Wilrijk, returning for 5.30pm. You need the cost of the bus fare + skate hire (don’t forget ID too) which in total comes to E7,25
Improtheatre on Saturday Night: Swaajp describe this as a theatre show full of new stories, surprising adventures with intriguing plot twists, sometimes emotional, frequently hilarious, always made up on the spot. Swaajp Improtheater presents the second episode of their new regular improv theatre show ‘Swaajp Invites’.
Our guest for this show is Flavien Reppert (France). As the director of the Strasbourg-based Cie du Théâtre de l’Oignon, this moustache-bearing Frenchman will astonish you with his many talents, one of which is a delightfully scraping Rrr in his English pronunciation.
When: Sat. 17 December 2016, 20:00
Where: BATS Little Theatre, Paardenmarkt 111, Antwerp
Tickets: €9 via: www.swaajp.be
If you are crafty and like making things, head to Little Brewers Winter Garden at 2pm to make Christmas decorations. There’s also kids’ entertainment and a kids’ play area. These activities take place between 2 -5pm and are free with no pre-registration necessary LBWG is the De Koninck Brewery winter bar which is open until February 19th (you might know the venue from its summer incarnation -Smokey Jo’s).
At 8pm Het Roze Huis will be showing the film The Imitation Game. Het Roze Huis has monthly film screenings for the LGBT community in and around Antwerp, and these are free. I saw The Imitation Game when it came out in cinemas in 2014, and it is well worth seeing.
There’s a Goedgekregen fleamarket down at Eilandje between 9 and 6pm. It’s indoors at ’t Kot (port employment centre), Kempischdok-Westkaai, and is free.
Design Market ‘Ieder Zenne Meug‘ holds a Christmas edition at Zuiderpershuis between 11 and 6pm, and because it is the third Sunday of the month, it’s the book market at de Coninckplein (Permeke library) from 10 until 4pm.
There’s read-aloud for kids aged 4-8 at Permeke library at 11am (free, no registration registration, in Dutch). This weekend the story will have a festive theme.
Shops in the city centre will be open today for Christmas shopping.
The weather is set to be mild and dry again this weekend, with some cloud and fog at times.
May your festive season be all sparkly and completely stress-free!
Bit of a short post this week because I am away for most of this weekend. I think it’s also a fairly quiet weekend before the Antwerp winter and Christmas events open.
Over the whole weekend (again) is the De Markies stock sale of books at Zuiderpershuis. Most of the books are in Dutch but last year there were some art and travel books in English too. If you have Dutch- speaking kids to buy for (Sinterklaas or Christmas) the children’s book sections will definitely have good bargains.
BATS Theatre group hold their monthly open evening at their Little Theatre and bar on Paardenmarkt 111 from 8.30. This week there’s a music quiz and cocktails too.
Just a bit further out of town is the opening of Winter Festival Deurne Wintert. Most of the activities are free, but some require registration beforehand. The program include theatre, music and children’s activities.
A couple of options if you have a child or children who would like to see Sinterklaas: first on Meir; then there’s Grand Bazar between 1 and 3 (be prepared to queue for a bit, but it is generally fairly efficient) -no pre-registration needed; just show up.
This option in Schipperskwartier at 2pm at the Cultureel Ontmoetingscentrum Stadsmagazijnrequires pre-registration for each child and costs 3euros.
It’s the first Sunday of the month so shops will be open in and around the town centre (some open a little later -e.g. at midday)
For a thriftier and more eco-friendly way to acquire what you need head to de Roma Theatre for their Give-away & swap fleamarket. As well as being able to swap items or receive them for free from stand-holders, the Ecohuis will also be at the event running a repair café for clothing, and giving you the chance to sign up for the Apen op Wieltjes scheme, which enables you to borrow a bike for your child as they out of their existing bike, or to exchange the existing bike for a better fit. There will also be gift-making and upcycling workshops.
Weather looks not too bad for this time of year. Some cloudiness but it will also be bright at times. Top temperature of 10 on Friday. Should be dry.
Find Nessascityblog on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram -recent snaps include some of Science Day (Dag van de Wetenschap), a Sinterklaas activity in Grand Bazaar and some of the festive lights that are now being put up around town.
If you are looking ahead to the winter season and have kids to entertain, I recommend that you book Antwerp’s only traditional, old -school panto in English, for January in the Arendberg Theatre, by BATS theatre group. Another recommended from me -this time it’s Jack and the Beanstalk.
Opening on Friday evening at 5, and continuing over Saturday and Sunday too is The Image Generator II an art ‘happening’ comprising events, performances and talks at Extra City (Eikelstraat 31, 2600 Antwerpen).
Also on Friday night is BATS Antwerp monthly open evening (also with a quiz this Friday) so feel free to head along to Paardenmarkt 111 from 8.30pm if you enjoyed their recent panto and would like to know more about getting involved in English speaking theatre productions in Antwerp.
At Plein Publiek there is a design market from 11-5pm for a 2 euro entry cost.
On Krugerplein in Borgerhout the Krugermarkt is taking place from 4pm, offering food, drink and locally made products such as textiles and jewellry. It’s worth checking out this cute neighbourhood if you don’t already know it. The square where the market is taking place is socially the heart of the neighbourhood and has a play area for little ones. This blog post has some really nice pictures of previous markets held there.
Another neighbourhood event is taking place on Dageraadplaats: starting at two and continuing until midnight there is a winter festival including music, dance, DJs, kids’ entertainment, and food & drink stands.
There’s a food market (local produce, food trucks and kids’ entertainment) at Felix Pakhuis, down at Eilandje (near MAS).
And two reasons to visit Madam Woll today: a 2 hour kids’ knitting atelier at 10am (8 euros; register beforehand via email: firstname.lastname@example.org & bring your own materials) and a kids’ clothes exhibition at 12.30 from Titi and Paca.
Take your brolly -there is a high chance of showers on all days over the weekend, alas.
Finally, a reminder that next week is half-term holiday for all Belgian schools (Krokus Vakantie). If you haven’t done so already have a read of this post which contains links to a number of activities, workshops and camps which are running for kids at this time. There may be some spaces left on some of the activities.
Do comment, mail & Tweet your feedback and suggestions -are there events I am missing? Let me know.
Until next Thursday 🙂
For midweek updates and Antwerp related tweets, follow me on Twitter@nessascityblog