Happy New Year to everyone who is celebrating the beginning of the Year of The Rat this weekend!
Saturday will be the busiest day for New Year celebrations in Antwerp’s Chinatown. The most popular part of the day is the Lion dance which takes place on van Wesenbekestraat. Come and enjoy the drama of the dance, and be prepared for the firecrackers, which are plentiful and LOUD. However, there are lots of accompanying events this year, so have a look at the full Chinese New Year programme as there is a lot going on in the Permeke Library, and in front of it on De Coninckplein, where there will be a new year’s market and a Tai Chi demonstration.
On Saturday evening Swaajp Invites (impro theatre) offers an evening of improvisational humour designed to delight all Potterheads. The evening’s entertainment is in English and begins at 8pm. Reserve your tickets here.
Enjoy a new year’s drink with the good people of Borgerhout on the Moorkensplein from 3pm. It’s a free neighbourhood event with soup, drinks, kids’ fun and even a chance to see a giant or two -for which Borgerhout is justly famous.
Alternatively, head back to Viggo’s on de Coninckplein for coffee and Sunday afternoon music from 4pm, with DJ and saxophonist, Eric Morel.
The weather this weekend is likely to remain quite cold, but mainly dry. There might be some showers on Sunday afternoon. Top temps of 8-9 degrees.
Don’t forget that some Antwerp museums are free on the last Wednesday of the month (next Wednesday, the 29th). These are the Museum Plantin Moretus, the Rockox Museum, the Museum Mayer van den Bergh, the MAS and the Red Star Line Museum.
Look out for a guest post on Monday – I am especially proud of this one as it has been written by my students at Antwerp International School. We are studying a sustainability topic, and their post is about sustainable shopping in Antwerp.
Hello! This is just a quick post, as I am about to go away for a few days. I’ll be back within the week, in time to write a summer post on July 18th, before taking a break until mid-August.
Here’s the post for this weekend:
Start your weekend with Aper’eau and some outdoor drinks on the Bolivarplaats from 5pm -11pm.
Or head to the Zomerfabriek for a vinyl bargain at this record fair from 4pm; retro music lovers can stay on to dance all night at the mod all-nighter (Northern soul, Ska, Latin Jazz) which starts at 10pm in the same venue, and continues to 4am.
Or – did you know that the Open Lucht Theater in Rivierenhof which has a program of musical gigs and performances over summer, which are ticketed, also offers “Free Fridays” events -you need to turn up on time (because once full -that’s it). This week it’s Antwerp DJs Discobaar A Moeder -doors open at 7pm.
From 10 -6pm on the Sint Jansplein there will be one of the regular second hand local markets over the whole square.
From midday – 9pm at Park Spoor Noord there will be a multicultural festival (Rukinzo Vibes), showcasing music, dance and percussion from Burundi, West Africa and Rwanda. There will also be food and drink to enjoy.
Join in with The Big Jump -part of a campaign for clean local rivers. In Antwerp, the Big Jump will take place near the Droogdokken and will be organised in conjunction with Stormkop: be at the Kattendijkdok, Droogdokkenweg 4 to take part at 3pm, although there will be a number of activities taking place, and you can see the full Antwerp program on the Big Jump Facebook event page.
There’s a program of dance events next to the Schelde during summer: see Antwerpen Danst for details of the Sunday event, which includes contemporary dance for both adults and kids.
Also by the Schelde there’s a Closet Cleaning market at Bocadero summer bar from 9-5pm
Weather should remain reasonably warm, dry and pleasant; although there could be a few summer showers on Friday.
If you are scratching your head looking for something cheap and cheerful to occupy the kids on their summer holidays, then have a look at Speel-O-Rama at the Zuiderpershuis, starting next week: it’s on from 15th July -9th August and costs only 2 euros per day, per child. It’s for kids aged 7-13, and offers workshops, activities, creative play, theater and water games.
With the translation skills of Carlo Cinque of Italians ad Anversa I am delighted to offer Nessascityblog in Italian -see the new button at the top of the home-page, and don’t forget to tell your Italian friends all about it!
This week I published a guest post by Frederik Rombach, a glass blower in Antwerp, who makes his amazing creations from waste glass.
It’s international Yoga Day today and if you enjoy yoga or would like to try it, the Permeke library might be a good place to be. They have a programme of events for the day, taking place in their Leestuin (reading garden) which is a lovely secluded courtyard at the back of the library. Check out the Permeke Flow Yoga workshops for the day
Flying Pig are down on the Zuiderdokken ready to help you kick off your weekend with their usual blend of summer outside drinking, food trucks and DJs from 5pm.
If there is a more colourful carnival event than Borgerrio in Antwerp, then I’d love to hear about it -in the meantime this streetparty is the queen of Antwerp street parties, bringing -as it’s name suggests -a taste of the Rio carnival spirit to Borgerhout. From 13h – 18h there will be a splendid parade, music, kids activities and lots of stands offering food and goods from the various communities that live in this richly diverse part of Antwerp. For those ready to party way into the night there’s the Borgerrio Afterparty at Pekfabrik
For something a little more low key there’s the ABC (Antiques, Bric-a-brac, Books, Curiosa) Market den Beulebak from 11am-5pm in the University area.
Govinda is an annual Indian festival in Antwerp (organised by the Hare Krishna movement) which takes place on Groenplaats.
Sunday doesn’t seem like a day of rest at all this weekend. Firstly here are a couple of sporty events for you. The Antwerp Triathlon welcomes supporters at Eilandje: it will be a warm busy day as athletes take part in three events around the Eilandje and port area of the city, featuring swimming, cycling and running.
For those wanting to enjoy some outdoor exercise themselves, head to this free zumba event at Harmonie Park at 4pm. These hour-long sessions are on until 25th August.
For bargain hunters and browsers check out one or two of these markets today: from 9am-6pm there’s a secondhand market on Dageraadplaats.
Brocantwerpen is on Grotemarkt from 10am -6 (this is more an antique and curiosa market)
Stulp (11am-6pm) at Costa Sint Andies (Sint Andriesplaats) is a market with an emphasis on recycling and upcycling pre-loved clothes, books, plants and other items.
It’s set to be warm and dry this weekend, with temperatures of around 21-22 degrees on Friday and Saturday, rising to 25 degrees on Sunday.
It’s truly summer when Summer HQ opens in the form of the Zomerbar on Sloepenweg which is does on the 24th June (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.
As usual at the end of the month Stad Antwerpen museums are open for free on Wednesday
And don’t forget the Buurt Pleintjes which are on over summer and offer sporting activities and classes for very low prices. You need to register for some of these but sometimes that is not directly possible via that link: click on “meer lezen” where there will be info about registering for the activity you are interested in (eg. via email). In some cases it’s not necessary (where it says “Inschrijven is niet nodig”) and you can
Antwerp’s biggest annual funfair has opened at Park Spoor Oost: Sinksenfoor 2019 – a traditional funfair with all the rides, colour, noise and high-carb food you could wish for! Sinksenfoor is on daily until the 7th July.
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.
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.
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.
If 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.
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,
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.
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.
Temperatures are cooler than last weekend, but it should remain dry, and there will be some periods of sunshine.
This weekend in Antwerp will be dominated by Antwerp Pride! You can’t have missed the rainbow flags fluttering high above the main streets in the centre of Antwerp. This is the 9th time that Antwerp has held a Pride event.
The main Pride parade takes place today, starting at 2pm. At the same time, the free afterparty (WAVE) starts on Steenplein, and continues until 11.30pm. The parade route is as follows:
Start : Waterpoort, 2000 Antwerpen Extended Route : Verschansingsstraat, Leopold de Waelplaats, Karel Rogierstraat, Marnixplaats, Scheldestraat, Scheldekaaien. End point : Sint Pietersvliet, 2000 Antwerpen
The first parade float is expected to arrive at Steenplein at 4. In the past, I have watched the parade from near St Jansvliet and always been able to get a good view, and enjoy the great atmosphere that Pride brings to the city.
Markt van Morgen is on Kloosterstraat from midday until 6pm – perfect for a last-minute Mother’s Day gift (see miscellaneous).
From 4pm -7pm at Rivierenhof, it’s Yoyogi again -an open performance opportunity for anyone who would like to come along and demonstrate their music, dance or performance skills, or to watch others. It’s free and there are also various workshops (e.g. kungfu, acro-yoga, ropeskipping, tai chi).
SNITT is a vintage and second hand clothing market where you can swap or sell your items.
Highest chance of showers is on Friday, but it’s looking likely to be warm over the whole weekend, and dry on Saturday and Sunday.
Here’s the map of all the places mentioned in this post, so you can find your way.
On Monday 15th, Antwerp celebrates its own Mother’s Day. There’s a Rubens Market in the old town (around the Cathedral area) for the day.
Bollekesfeest(4-day beer festival, plus local food products) starts on Thursday evening at Steenplein and Grote Markt. This is fast become a very important and enjoyable annual fixture on the Antwerp calendar, even though the event only began in 2007. Great fun, also for kids, with activities and entertainment for younger ones on the Steenplein part of the festival.
Thursday is Ascension Day (‘Hemelvaartsdag’ in Dutch) with Belgian schools also taking Friday off to make a long weekend. There is going to be a big fleamarket on Theaterplein, one from Skrap on the Gedempte Zuiderdokken (10am -10pm) and a fabric market on Groenplaats.
Also worth knowing is that another summer bar –Bar Gloed -has just opened. The kitchen is open from 9am -9pm daily. It’s on the 4th floor of The Antwerp Tower.
(A night club -Klub Goud- will be opening on the 21st floor soon …)
There are a couple of events which take place over all four days:
Antwerpen Proeft is a food and drink festival at Waagnatie which is near Eilandje. You can get tickets per day, or for all four days. It takes place inside the events venue, but also outside at Bocadero, – a summer bar at this location, which opens officially next weekend on the 13th.
Another four day event is the Zeezichtfeesten on Dageraadplaats, with performances and activities for all ages.
BATS have their regular opening evening on the first Friday of every month from 8.30pm. Go and join them at their theatre bar if you would like to find out more about being involved in English speaking theatre productions in Antwerp.
Grand Bazar is open for Mother’s Day treats and offers from 13.30 -5.30pm (also on Saturday)
Another edition of Handgemaakt (handmade) market in Kavka (on the Oudaan, opposite the big police station building) from 1pm -6pm. Free entry. I got some very pretty little pieces of jewellery here as Christmas gifts at the end of last year. Get a last minute Mother’s Day gift with a difference (see Sunday).
There’s a record fair at the bar Bato Batu on Lange Nieuwstraat, 12 -6pm, and MARTA (farmers’ market) takes place on Kattendijkdok between 9 and 4. MARTA is going to be a regular fixture on the first Saturday of each month.
Sunday is Mother’s Day in Belgium and in various countries around the world (not to be confused with the specifically Antwerp Mother’s Day on August 15th each year. Because we like to be different).
Bouger bouger is a nice neighbourhood event in Borgerhout on the Krugerplein food drink, DJs, a fleamarket and lots of space to play for kids.
Did you know that the roadworks on the Leien have unearthed a section of the Antwerp city wall built by the Spanish in the 16th?
On Sunday between 11 and 5pm you can go and see it (on the corner where Maria-Theresialei meets Frankrijklei).
There’s a Markt van Morgen from midday on Kloosterstraat -a market for local designers and creatives selling art, jewellery and accessories. There will also be food and DJs. Should you perchance have neglected to buy mum a gift, this would be a good place to put that right.
SKETCH is back, in Plein Publiek -its mission is to engage everyone in drawing and it provides the materials for you to join in, and local artists to inspire you. Even if you don’t want to draw you can come and watch the artists sketch and have a drink.
It’s the final chance to be involved in the Coming World Remember Me project at CWRM @ Het Steen where 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.
The weather is promising to be great -no, really, it is! No showers forecast this weekend, and a possible max of 25 degrees on Saturday, so get out and enjoy all the outside events without packing a bunch of raincoats and umbrellas. It might even be time to break out the sunscreen – especially for kids. Have a sunny weekend! (image from Pixabay)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
After an Easter break, Madam Woll is open again for her regular knitting and crochet café from 10am -12, costing 8 euros. Mail firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
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?
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.
I hope you have enjoyed a peaceful Easter so far. I can hardly believe it is April already.
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!
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.
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.
Please note, this is the information I have about weekend events at the moment. If any are cancelled or rescheduled due to the recent raising of the security threat level, I will update the post as soon as I can and will Tweet additional info. Please comment here, or mention @nessascityblog in your own Tweet if you get information yourself, so that I can RT you, and edit this post. Thank you.
Tonight (Thursday) there will be a requiem mass at MAS and a chance to sign a book of condolence from 7.30pm
A Silent Vigil is planned for Friday, at 6pm on Grote Markt.
Brussels Airport remains closed at least for today and tomorrow. For train information about the Brussels area you can check here.
Here are the weekend’s events, as usual, which as far as I presently know, are still on course to take place over the Easter weekend.
Assemble on Theaterplein with your bike at 6pm for the Easter edition of Critical Mass. After which you could cycle on to Park Spoor Noord where the Cargo Summer Bar is opening for 2016 from 7pm, with music, drinks and food. Unfortunately, the big-screen showing of the football match which was due to take place at Cargo have been cancelled in the light of the attacks in Brussels, as Belgium will not be playing against Portugal on Tuesday.
There’s a new bar and bookshop opening on Grote Markt. Come and check out Kobalt from 7pm.
Head to the Spoor Oost Opening Party which kicks off at 11am and promises food, drinks, kids entertainment, playground, sport, fleamarket, BBQ and graffiti art space. Park Spoor Oost is going to serve as an huge public space and events venue for the Borgerhout/ Schijnpoort area of the city. Festivities will go on all day, and on into the night with an after-party starting at 9pm in Bahnhof (event venue/ bar).
For a traditional Antwerp experience, take part in the Semini Celebrations starting at 10am on Grote Markt, with traditional music and dance.
Who is is Semini? From Wikipedia: “At the entrance to Het Steen is a bas-relief of Semini, above the archway, around 2nd century. Semini is the Scandinavian God of youth and fertility (with symbolic phallus). A historical plaque near Het Steen explains that women of the town appealed to Semini when they desired children; the god was reviled by later religious clergy. Inhabitants of Antwerp previously referred to themselves as “children of Semini”. An organization concerned with the historic preservation of Het Steen and Semini, Antwerp Komitee Semini in Ere (AKSIE), formed in 1986, holds annual celebrations at Het Steen as cultural events.”
By “reviled by later religious clergy” what is actually meant is that the Jesuits chopped his phallus off. Prior to that, fragments of it had been supposedly chipped away by the women of Antwerp who believed they would help them conceive. Unlucky, Semini. He is a well known figure here and the people of Antwerp once referred to themselves as “Semini’s Children”.
Nonetheless, it’s still a special day to get married, if you are an Antwerp couple, and after the celebrations on Grote Markt, the procession will make its way to Sint Andriesplaats (coStA) arriving at around 1pm, for free musical performances and folk singers.
Not far away at the St Anna Tunnel -AKA Voetgangers (pedestrians) Tunnel- there will be a free urban dance event, The Antwerp Battle taking place just in front of the tunnel entrance, where there is a basketball court (St Jansplein). There’s a vintage/ antique market here each Sunday, but also one today.. If you have never been in the tunnel, it is really worth seeing. You can cross to Linkeroever, under the Schelde, by foot or by bike. The Antwerp Battle is one a a number of different dance events happening as part of Dans Promenade ,all of which are free.
Near Astridplein there is a free art market at the Afrikaans Cultureel Centrum, from midday.
If you are feeling sporty or need to run off an excess of chocolate, then head for Rivierenhof at 11am (meet at the lake in the centre of the estate) where you can join runners training for the Antwerp 10 miles & Marathon taking place this year on the 17th April.
It’s the last chance to see Le Bruit des Choses exhibition Middelheim Museum. Middelheim is free.
Note that most shops in Antwerp will be closed on Easter Monday.
I suggest eating some chocolate.
Tip for Wednesday: On the last Wednesday of the month, the permanent collections of the following museums are FREE. It’s worth noting that this Wednesday (30th) is a school holiday and taking the kids at this time will save you quite a bit. It’s useful to know that The Red Star Line museum is often particularly busy though, so have a Plan B if that is is full of visitors taking advantage of the free entrance.
Temperatures for the Easter weekend look fairly fresh and mild, but there is a distinct chance of rain on both Good Friday and Easter Day. Saturday and Monday are likely to be dry.
The attacks in Brussels at the start of this week cast a shadow over Easter for everyone living in Belgium. Perhaps you have changed your travel plans as a result. I know we are all thinking of those who lost their lives and were injured in the explosions. Let’s stay calm and not lead lives driven by fear. Wishing you a peaceful and happy Easter. X
There are a couple of events which start on Friday and continue over the weekend. Over Tijd is a music and arts festival comprising of new electronic music, art, installations and readings. Check the link to see what is on over five Antwerp locations.
Another is Calamartes (opening on Thursday) which is a cultural festival run in conjunction with the University of Antwerp and also coincides with Open Campus Day (see Saturday)
For younger, curious minds there is a Time Workshop for kids at Het Steen at 2pm.
Music in the evening in Den Beulebak (which is a folk venue, but this performer combines electronic sounds with traditional ones) and also in Kiebooms (Polly Goes Psycho) on De Coninckplein, and at Sound Design Festival(The Royal Academy) where 10 students will be exhibiting their musical and audiovisual work for free.
For something entirely different there is the Antwerp Ghost Walk departing from Steenplein at 6.30pm and costing 7,50.
A couple of things for kids -firstly at Permeke Library a story-telling show for kids aged 6+ at 11am -tickets are only 4 euros if you get them in advance or you could get lucky and win free tickets on their Facebook Page.
And if you can afford/ cope with a hangover on Friday this week, don’t forget that it is Saint Patrick’s Day on Thursday. An Sibhin, Kelly’s and The Irish Times being Antwerp’s best known Irish Bars, and no doubt all worthy venues for a St Paddy’s Day party.
The weather this weekend is looking pretty chilly and sometimes bright, with fairly low chances of rain (20-30%) on both days.
A talented Grade 12 student of mine is singing in this concert at Elzenveld -it promises a mixture of choral pieces, modern Flemish folk pieces and some acapella numbers!
It seems to be a weekend of endings and ‘last-chance-to-sees’, as February draws to a close …
A second hand sale with a difference on Friday at the Oxfam shop on St Jacobsmarkt: they are moving, and so will be having a furniture sale of all office, meeting and kitchen furniture. Go along and make them an offer, is their message.
This is the last weekend of winter pop-up bar Little Brewers Winter Garden. For their “Slotweekend” there are a few different things on, including Gin Day on Friday.
Green fingered individuals may be pleased to hear that the Ecohuis is re-opening its seed library today, offering free seeds and workshops to visitors. There are similar events in Ekeren, Wilrijk and Berchem. Get involved, if you want to know more, and even if you live in the city without a gardening space of your own.
There’s a funfair (kermis) opening on Sint Jansplein for the next few weeks.
A little bird tell me that this garage sale is worth checking out if you are looking for vintage furniture, particularly if you favour a Scandinavian style.
It’s the last day of the year long celebration of Antwerp’s Town Hall. In the evening, there will be free admittance to a wedding celebration, on Grote Markt, of 450 couples for who will renew their vows (from 17h).
Another second hand sale with a difference: Het Paleis theatre are selling off theatre costumes from 10am until 5, in the theatre foyer.
Artists’ collective Sketch are scheduled to be holding a drawing event in Plein Publiek from 4pm, but I was called by a friend to say that it is cancelled and that Plein Publiek is closing until mid-March … no idea why, as yet. Stay tuned for updates.
UPDATE: The GVA confirms that Plein Publiek is indeed closing temporarily as they did not renew their permit. Tut! tut!
For kids aged 2+ there is a music show at cultureel ontmoetingscentrum Sint Andries (coStA) for 4 euros (tickets in advance) where children will have the chance to try some musical instruments after the show.
For kids aged 5+ there’s a film showing at the library at 11am. Tickets are only 2 euros if you get them in advance.
MAS is free this Sunday from 2pm, as it closes its Wereld Stad expo after five years. The finissage will include a number of additional activities (drawing, poetry, music, readings).
The weather is predicted to be chilly but dry, with some bright spells. Could spring be on the way…?
If you fancy starting your weekend with cocktails, head to the Zeppelin Bar on Damplein for a cocktail evening starting at 9pm.
If you are in the Borgerhout area, have a look at the schedule for Borger#8 -an annual collection of art events in galleries around Berchem, Zurenborg and Borgerhout, starting at 6pm. The best way to get from gallery to gallery is by bike. If you don’t have one, you might want to think about getting a pass or year card for an Antwerp Velo.
During the afternoon between 1 and 5pm there is a free “Winterfeest” on de Coninckplein
For your evening entertainment: free cinema at Het Roze Huis on Draakplaats in Berchem. You can see Mary Marie (no entrance cost) starting at 8pm.
If you want to be outdoors, have kids to entertain and the weather is not too cold, you might be interested to know that the children’s farm at the Rivierenhof Estate in Deurne is open again after a short winter closure.
Music lovers may want to head to Wally’s Groove World which is holding a new stock sale of “’80s funk, soul, disco, Hip Hop, 90’s house, rave, acid, Retro,techno, tech-house” and promises prices starting at just 1 and 2 euros.
If you are thinking of your holidays then head over to Expo for Vakantiesalon Vlaanderen which will help you decide where to go, and continues over the whole weekend.
For children who like to move and dance you might want to take them to Little Brewers Winter Garden for Dansen Met Lotte at 2pm (all kids) and for children aged 6+ from 4.30pm. LBWG is a large, airy, pop-up bar, which is going to be open until the end of February. It’s a really nice space, with some great beers (although personally I recommend avoiding the Gin Fizz which I had a couple of weeks ago, and is made with beer and raw egg white, and most definitely an acquired taste…) Other than that, a really nice hang- out for chilled weekend afternoons, with or without kids.
On Saturday afternoon there is a free classical concert at Het Steen for anyone who might enjoy a bit of Brahms, Schumann or Haydn. It is free and starts at 5pm, but reserving is recommended by calling 03 202 83 80.
Back to Het Steen: for kids 6+, again there is a workshop and activities based around the theme of Time, at Het Steen. I took my 7 year old son to this last weekend and he really liked it.
The space used for the activities is above the café, and is roomy and attractive. There is no need to register or reserve -you simply walk in and out as you wish from 1pm. It is completely accessible to English speaking children, as well as Dutch speakers.