This weekend: 26th, 27th & 28th May

[Next post: 1st June]

Yasssss …. it’s a long weekend and the weather is going to be toasty. We will respond to this winning combination in the traditional Antwerpian fashion by sloping around in the sunshine, eating and drinking. What luck! For this weekend seems to hold many opportunities to do just that. Just watch out for a wee bit of drizzle or thunder on Sunday, but nonetheless temperatures are set to be high …

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HERE’S THE MAP!

A fun event which is fairly new to the Antwerp Summer scene is Vakantie op T’ Zuid
which describes itself as a holiday market. This event is very much focused on food or drink and it is fairly easy to tailor your consumption to your budget, as the food ranges from small snacks and sweets to larger meals. It has a truly international feel with stands from all over the world, as well as some performances (we saw some Indonesian dancing last year). It takes place down on the Vlaamse Kaai, so there is also a handy playground for kids, as well as a play area for the event itself. Starts Thursday at midday and continues until Sunday.

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Mercado on Groenplaats is also having a food festival that takes place over the whole weekend (25th -28th May) offering -in addition to their usual stands – outdoor stands, street musicians and magicians, and kids’ entertainment.

Friday

Update: No picnic today apologies for the error!

Critical Mass takes place as usual for the last Friday of the month, meeting at 6pm -also on Theaterplein. Bring your bike for the musical edition of this monthly communal bike ride

Aper’eau is back for the summer -their kick-off event takes place on Groenplaats from 5pm. Outdoor drinks and cocktails in the sun in Antwerp’s most famous square. Sounds like a good way to start the weekend…

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Groenplaats

Saturday

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Brick Boat in Stadspark   This plinth (where different exhibits are featured) is a project from Middelheim Museum

Middelheim -Antwerp’s free  sculpture museum is a beautiful place to visit, but even more so when the weather is good. So this weekend should be a good time to take advantage of the opening event of the Richard Deacon exhibition, complete with a free guided tour.

Or enjoy a browse round the ABC (Antiques Books Curiosa) market at Den Beulebak from 11- 5pm. Free.

Sunday

Snitt are holding a second hand market at a fun location today: at Stack (formerly Convoi)  the container village down by Waagnatie. It’s free and you can bring your own secondhand items to donate to local initiative ‘de Collectie’.

Lambermontmartre is another regular presence on the Antwerp summer scene. It’s not only a chance to browse or buy lots of art works by local and amateur artists, and to support their work, but there is always a band and some good, cheap food and drinks. The area has some lovely cafés (Finjan’s is a favourite of mine for great Falafel and middle-Eastern food) and there is usually a table where kids can paint a canvas of their own for a small price.

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Ascension is the reason for the long weekend. If you would like to enjoy some choral music, head to the Begijnhofkerk at 3pm, where for 5 euros you can hear the Cathedral Singers of Oxford with special music for Ascensiontide.

Reserve by calling 03 232 01 03

Miscellaneous

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.

Next week Wednesday is the last Wednesday of the month so Antwerp City museums are free (Plantin Moretus, Rockox, Mayer van den Bergh, The MAS and The Red Star Line Museum).

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).

Runners again -here’s a run with a difference: Silver Run takes you up and down towerblocks, on the 11th June, for which you can register now. It does cost to take part, unless you live in social housing, in which case it is free.

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I’m proud to share my first guest blog post on Nessascityblog! If you missed it, have a read of Dolrish’s personal story of coming to live and work in Antwerp, all the way from the Philippines. And if you’d like to contribute and tell your story, please get in touch via nessascityblog@gmail.com

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This weekend: 10th, 11th & 12th February

–Next post: Thur 16TH FEBRUARY  —–

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Greetings! I’m back in Antwerp after a great week in The Hague at THIMUN. Here goes for this, the Valentine edition, starting with the Google map for all the locations mentioned in this post.

Cake-lovers -it’s “Pateekesweek” until the end of the weekend: this means that for 10 euros you can pick up a set of tokens to be exchanged for pastries and cakes in participating bakers, food sellers and cafés. The offer assures that you get twice your money’s worth by taking part this way, and you can get the tokens at the tourist offices on either Grote Markt or central station, along with details of participating outlets.

Saturday

There’s what looks like a posh jumble sale at Plein Publiek at 2pm in the form of a Blogger Closet Sale.

Or the opening of this photography exhibit It’s Not About Cars at Gallery 51 at 2pm. If you prefer painting, there’s this one, starting at the same time.

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A music loving child might find this event will be perfect for them. It’s for kids aged 6-12 and offers a choice of 30 minute workshops focused on different instruments. Note that parking is described as ‘difficult’, so come by bike or public transport (trams 2/3/5/6. Stops -Handel or Elisabeth). Register your kid(s) from 1pm on the day.

If you are shopping with your beloved, there is the offer of a free photo at Grand Bazar shopping centre between 10 and 6pm.

Sunday

Runners – there’s the choice of a 5km or 10 km run at Rivierenhof which is free, although you need to register by email. It has a Valentines theme and starts at 11. Make sure you register before the 10th.

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Het Steen

I’ve not mentioned these for a while, but if you are getting short on ideas about what to do with the smalls during this lousy weather, there are workshops at Het Steen for kids aged 6+. It’s a nice venue, where accompanying adults can get a decent beer, and where supervisors are used to working with kids of various nationalities and will take an inclusive approach if your child is not a native Dutch speaker.

Also with a Valentines theme is this free 2 hour creative workshop at Permeke library for kids aged 6-12 from 11am.

The weather looks pretty chilly, but bright at times. Should be dry.

Miscellaneous

This week I took the kids to the indoor playground at Mercado on Groenplaats. It was 5 euros in (for accompanying adults also) which included a drink jeton. Kinds under 3 are free. Plus points were that the kids loved it -it’s a very big, airy space with a wide range of activities (climbing, triking, ball pit, arts and crafts). My kids did not want to leave

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Indoor play above Mercado on Groenplaats

For the accompanying adults, it’s not bad although I thought it could have been better heated (this is not an issue at for the kids who are constantly on the move) and I  was disappointed that there is no wifi available. Also despite getting a jeton along with each entrance, there aren’t any drinks on the menu that only cost a single jeton. The bar is nice, service was fine and there are plenty of seats and tables. Even on Wednesday afternoon (when Belgian schools are out) it was not too crowded by any means.

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Don’t forget that actual Valentine’s Day is next Tuesday. That’s not specific to Antwerp, but just a general reminder in case you have a partner who goes batshit if you forget.

 

For an old school date at the pictures, try  Cinema Cartoons in the old town, and then maybe spend some time in the bars around Vrijdagmarkt. I like Bar 2  for reliably tasty, well-made and reasonably priced dishes, or just for a drink.

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additional images this week from Pixabay

 —– BACK ON THE 16TH FEBRUARY  —–

 

 

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This Weekend: 14th- 15th November 2015

This weekend, there are a lot of activities on of interest to children (and the grown-ups who seek to keep them entertained) …. I’ve also tried to seek out events for those of us who don’t want the entire weekend dominated by the arrival of a certain robed and bearded old gentleman from Spain …. You could start the weekend and precede kiddie-orientated mayhem on Friday at Little Brewers Winter Garden which opens as a winter bar at 8pm this Friday, having formerly been the summer bar, Bar Josephine’s.

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Bar Josephine will become Little Brewers Winter Garden

Saturday

INTREDE SINTERKLAAS!

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Scenes from the arrival of Sinterklaas

(Groote Markt 2014)

This is the kiddie mayhem part….

Saturday is pretty much the most important day of the year for you if you are a kid in Antwerp. At 1pm or thereabout Sinterklaas will arrive on his steam boat. He will alight at Steenplein and with his travelling companions (Pieten) will make his way to Groote Markt, where he will address the crowds (read: lots of children overdosing on cheap confectionary) from the Town Hall, relaying his important findings re: whether there are any naughty children in Antwerp this year. There is music and entertainment to keep kids occupied on Grootemarkt while they wait. You may wish to avoid Groote Markt like the plague, if you are either not a child or are kiddie-free.

If you prefer something more gruesome, you may enjoy a Ghost Walk through Antwerp’s darker sidestreets on Saturday night, costing 10 euros, starting at 8.30pm. You may need to reserve for this.

Sunday

foodtrucks

On Sunday there is a Food Market at the Felix Pakhuis, featuring food trucks, culinary demonstrations and kids’ entertainment. Felix Pakhuis is on the Godefrieduskaai which is at Eilandje, near MAS.

All around Antwerp at various locations there are activities for children as part of Kunsten Dag Voor Kinderen (Arts Day for Children).

… And there’s a book and comic book fair at the Permeke Library

Saturday, Sunday & beyond

For a week, starting on the 12th November, there are going to be a series of film showings, taking place at the Permeke Libray and at Filmhuis Klappei. The films are in a variety of languages, and the ticket price is just 4 euros (3 euros for students) so much cheaper than a trip to mainstream cinemas. For details of the agenda, check here.

Fleamarkets on both days at Antwerp Expo

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Brickmania for Lego-lovers, this weekend.

A MUST for Lego fans! It’s Brickmania at Waagnatie on both days. At only 4 euros in (free for kids under 6) this is a lot cheaper than many Lego events I have heard about.

… And if you are need of something more contemplative and restful after a manic time with the kids at Brickmania or at the Intrede, there is a free art exhibition both days, down at Noorderterras, “Kunst aan de Schelde” and another one here.

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Publicity poster from Swenson Art