This weekend in Antwerp: 22nd, 23rd and 24th November

For Kunstendag voor Kinderen last weekend the smallest and I ended up in Museum van der Bergh and then Plantin Moretus Museum; these are beautiful Antwerp museums and well worth a visit. Coincidentally, these same two museums are together holding a Breugel Weekend this weekend so this would be an opportunity to visit both.

Foodies -it’s Week Van De Smaak, which continues until the 24th November: food related events taking place across Flanders which centres colour as its theme for this the 13th edition of the event, so there’s a food photography contest for those who can capture #kunstopmijnbord [“art on my plate”] on social media – tag @weekvandesmaak. Here’s the  program which comprises workshops, tastings, reading and more.

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Saturday

There’s an ABC (Antiques Books Curiosa) market in the lovely setting of Den Beulebak from 11am -5pm for bookish browsers.

Sunday

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Today is Dag van de Wetenschap (Science Day) across Flanders: see up-to-the-minute science in action via workshops, readings, activities and demonstrations for young and old. Our family have really enjoyed Dag van de Wetenschap in the past and I recommend it.

Here’s a selection of events taking place in and around Antwerp.

At De Roma theatre there’a special children’s rommelmarkt (fleamarket) just for kids’ toys and clothes. It starts at 1.30 and it’s just 50 cents in for kids, and a euro for grownups.  The theatre’s café will also be open throughout.

Miscellaneous

Stad Antwerpen have released the Winter in Antwerp programme! #WinterinA starts on the 7th of December and will be featured on Nessascityblog in more detail over the coming weeks

WallsofBohoStreet art fans will be interested in the Walls Of Boho project (pic left from Walls of Boho Facebook page) which was unveiled last week: five striking new murals on display in Borgerhout. Look out for them when you are in the area, or get on your bike and see them all.

Belgian children like to write letters or send their pictures to Sinterklaas -each year Bpost enables kids to do this, and this year is not exception: your kid(s) can send a letter to The Sint  until 29th November. Write the sender’s name and address clearly on the back of the envelope, in order to receive a gift in return.

It should be slightly less cold this weekend (10-11 degrees) and dry with bright spells.

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This weekend in Antwerp: 16th & 17th November

This is a VERY important weekend for the children of Antwerp, particularly the ones who are good and never naughty- which is basically all Antwerp children, of course.

Yep –Sinterklaas arrives from Spain this weekend and will be in the area until 6th December, distributing gifts and sweets to believers.

Saturday

Screenshot 2019-11-13 at 16.50.12The arrival (aka intrede or intocht) takes place at Eilandje (Verbindingsdok-Westkaai at 2pm). Sint arrives on a steamboat and will be welcomed by the Mayor of Antwerp (Bart de Wever) and TV presenter, Bart Peeters. The Sint will proceed to the MAS via the Napoleonkaai, the Nassaubrug en the Oostendekaai, and will address children on the Hanzestedenplaats at around 14.50. This is an important moment where the waiting crowd will be informed about whether there are any children in Antwerp who have been naughty this year.

Belgian children like to write letters or send their pictures to Sinterklaas -each year Bpost enables kids to do this, and this year is not exception: your kid(s) can send a letter to The Sint  until 29th November. Write the sender’s name and address clearly on the back of the envelope, in order to receive a gift in return.

If you need something fixed being it to this repair cafe at Twee Netenstraat 13a (Den Dam) and have it mended for free between 10am -4pm. If you like fixing things for others, then this event is also for you.

It’s “Dag van de Smaak” in the Kringwinkels (second hand/ thrift stores) of Antwerp today. Cooking utensils and recipe books will be centred in this activity where there will also be lots of tasty international treats for customers throughout the day.

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On Saturday night there’s a BATS benefit night at their current home: The Little Theatre, Paardenmarkt 111. It’s a night of musical entertainment (tickets via the link) whose proceeds go to support the work of BATS as Antwerp’s best known creators of English speaking theatre, shows, entertainment and pantos, as they prepare to move to a new venue!

Sunday

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Vintage postcards on Boekenplein

It’s the monthly Boekenplein on de Coninckplein in front of Permeke library -second hand books, magazines, graphic novels and comics from 10am -4pm

It’s Kunsten dag voor kinderen (Arts for children) today -an annual event across Flanders (and Brussels) with plenty of activities for youngsters to enjoy in and around Antwerp too.

The weather will continue to be pretty chilly this weekend, with temperaturs as low as 7 degrees, and the possibility of showers on both Saturday and Sunday (especially Saturday). Brr!

Miscellaneous

Last week I published a special post featuring photographs taken by people like myself who are not Antwerp born-and-bred but who have made their home in Antwerp: check out these beautiful images of the city.
WallsofBoho
Street art fans will be interested in the Walls Of Boho project (pic left from Walls of Boho Facebook page) which was unveiled this week: five striking new murals on display in Borgerhout. Look out for them when you are in the area, or get on your bike and see them all.

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This weekend in Antwerp: 1st, 2nd & 3rd November

Thursday 31st is Hallowe’en of course – for Hallowe’en fun you will find plenty going on at Antwerp’s Irish bars, all of which like to celebrate this date, with drinks promos & gamesdress-up parties and quizzes.

The Antwerpen Boekenbeurs 2019 is underway in Antwerp Expo and continues over the weekend. This is a vast bookfair whose history stretches back to 1932. Most books are in Dutch, but there are stands with English and French books.

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Dia De Los Meurtos (Mexican Day of The Dead) is also marked here in Antwerp: last weekend I went to see the beautiful altars on display in MAS museum, and this weekend parts of that exhibition move to Permeke Library. You can see the programme here.

Friday

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Day of the Dead in Antwerp

Friday is a public holiday in Belgium (All Saints Day) so most shops will be closed, but Goegekregen are holding a holiday Rommelmarkt on Theaterplein.

For kids interested in Day of The Dead festivities there is a programme of events at Zuiderpershuis for children from midday until 5pm. This costs 5 euros (family discounts available) and there are workshops, make-up, snacks and activities throughout the afternoon.

In the afternoon/ evening (3pm-8pm) it’s the last chance to catch Dokmarkt at Eilandje for this year.
Saturday

If you are interested in trying vegan food and products, or would like to get information about including less meat, fish and dairy in your diet, the health-food shop Natuurhuis on Otto Veniusstraat are holding an in-store info day in conjunction with Try Vegan and EVA, from 10am -4pm.

Look out for the Royal British Legion selling poppies on Meir between 11am- 4pm. Poppies are worn annually as an act of remembrance of those who have lost their lives in conflicts around the world and those who have been killed as a result of terrorism. Additionally the poppy represents the contribution of families and of the emergency services.

Sunday

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Antwerp Cathedral seen from Suikerrui

On the first Sunday of the month you can hear music for free in the Cathedral at 4pm. NB: it’s only free for locals, or kids aged 0-11, so bring your ID to show that you are an Antwerp resident, otherwise it’s the same price as the usual entry cost to the Cathedral (6 euros; 4 euros concession).

It’s the first Sunday of the month, so shops are open from midday on various Antwerp shopping streets.

Weather is not looking great this weekend -bring an umbrella with you, as rain is expected on and off over the whole weekend. It’s not going to be very warm either, with top temperatures of around 13- 14 degrees.

Miscellaneous

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De Grote Schijn takes place each evening until 11th November (ticketed) – it’s a special route through the Rivierenhof which sees the estate transformed into a magical fantasy land of light and colour. The route is about 2km long and you can walk through it at your own pace enjoying the spectacle. Tickets via the link.
Look out for a special Nessascityblog post on Monday – a picture post featuring photos taken by people who have come from all over the world to live in Antwerp.

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This weekend in Antwerp: 18th, 19th & 20th October

Friday

There is still time to catch the latest BATS production at the Little Theatre on Paardenmarkt: Agnes of God (image below; source BATS on Facebook) is a dark, mystery drama about an investigation taking place in a convent, following the discovery of a murdered infant. Tickets available via online booking for Friday and Saturday night

agnesofgod

Saturday

kringloopwinkelDag van de Kringwinkel takes place across Flanders today, with various events and promos in the second hand shops (Kringwinkels) of Antwerp. There are a number of these across the city and it is a well-organised day in that each store has a different type of product focus -eg. if you are looking for a secondhand bike, head to the Kringwinkel in Borgerhout. You can see what each Antwerp store is offering in the first column of this .pdf.

As the weather turns a bit, parents might be looking for indoor activities and events to keep little ones occupied. Boekstart at Permeke is a read-aloud (in Dutch) for kids aged 0-4, starting at 11pm -it’s free -just turn up with your small person at the kids’s section of the library.

It’s the event that for many of us means summer is truly done Bar Noord in Park Spoor Noord is closing this weekend – you can enjoy the last party from 4pm.

Antwerp Art Book Fair is an annual art book fair event (this is the 6th year) taking place at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp (Mutsaardstraat 31) from 10am- 6pm. It is the largest event of this kind in the Benelux region

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Permeke Library & Cafe

Sunday

More book-love at the library with the monthly second hand book fair on de Coninckplein: Boekenplein takes place from 10am -4pm.

This weekend should be mild (15-16 degrees with sunny spells) but there will be chances of light showers over on Saturday and Sunday afternoon.

Miscellaneous

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This weekend in Antwerp: 4th, 5th & 6th October

I am away in London (follow #nessascityblogLondon for pics if you are interested) at the moment, so it’s just a mini-post this week.
Screenshot 2019-09-26 at 19.15.35It’s Antwerp Fashion Weekend 2019 ! The city that brought the world The Antwerp Six enjoys a full weekend of fashion shows and catwalks at various locations around the city, in-store events and offers, a fashion run, evening shopping and a Fashion Sweep on Kammenstraat – this last one to be particularly recommended for lovers of secondhand fashion and given that the fashion industry is the second most polluting industry in the world. Bring your clean, pre-loved clothing to Kammenstraat and get the change to go home with a new-to-you piece, or pieces.

Screen Shot 2019-09-30 at 15.27.44A fortnight of culinary treats and events opens on Saturday: it’s Smaakmeesters 2019 but if you’re only here for the beer this weekend then Modeste Beer Festival at de Konninck Brewery on Saturday and Sunday is for you

Over at Rivierenhof, on Sunday it’s the annual Ecodroom Event – from 1pm -6pm, featuring a fleamarket, stalls and a repair café.

This animal festival (also on Sunday) called Beestig! (beastly) will please all animal lovers, and offers lots of child and family friendly activities.

Shops are open on Sunday -coinciding with Fashion Weekend.

The weather may continue to feel autumnal, with top temperatures (18 degrees) on Saturday, which should also be dry.Some showers on Sunday.

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This weekend in Antwerp: 20th, 21st & 22nd September

consciencepleinfestThis weekend is the final weekend of Part of Antwerp festival.

Art lovers can enjoy Open Ateliers at Zuiderpershuis: exhibitions and music from local artists (also on next weekend see: http://www.openateliers.be/).

Down on the Conscienceplein, restaurant owners BOHM en Berkel are organising a festival of drinks, performances and whirling dervishes, in the form of Turkish dancing on this pretty square on both Saturday and Sunday (pic right).

 Friday

Beestenbos is a bar on Sint Andriesplaats celebrating its first birthday this Friday from 5pm with food and music: there’s a square where kids can play while their grown-ups get a beer in this relaxed neighbourhood.

Saturday

Today is World Clean Up Day. If you’d like to help out you can find details of Antwerp Clean Ups of the Schelde (on the Nieuwe Zuid and at Stormkop) on this Facebook event page.

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This is Molly. Honest.

Beer lovers will be pleased to learn that over in Borgerhout, microbrewery Cabardouche opens its doors today with an opening party starting at 3pm.

Molly’s Oktoberfest is on from 3pm -music, food, general good cheer and of course pitchers of beer will be available in this friendly and popular Irish bar in the old town (Jesuitenrui). Because we all need an Oktoberfest in September (just like they do in Munich).

For kids, there’s a day of fun on de Coninckplein in front of the Permeke library: Coninckskinderen children’s festival starts at midday and continues until 5pm: games, dress-up, outdoor play and even a climbing wall.

 

Sunday

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Baby Pinoy

There’s a small Rommelmarkt on Giraffenplein behind the zoo, courtesy of the cycling and coffee bar, Vitesse. Just round the corner the lovely Baby Pinoy restaurant is selling up a bunch of stuff too (its furniture, plus some vintage clothing) as it prepares to move on to pastures new. We are sorry to see this eaterie leave.

Bouger Bouger on Krugerplein, Borgerhout is a fun local vintage and fleamarket, which always has a few extras in terms of food and music, and a great neighbourhood feel. It’s on from 10am -6pm.

And why not round off your weekend by enjoying the last Bar Salsa of the season at Bar Noord, Park Spoor Noord from 3pm – 10pm.

It’s going to be another warm weekend- especially on Saturday when temperatures might get up to 26 degrees. Sunday will be warm too, but take your umbrella as there could be some showers.

Miscellaneous

On the last Wednesday of the month (next week), these city of Antwerp museums are free.

ITAKA Zuidrand is a language, cultural studies, and art history school, with four campuses in and around Antwerp. It is for adult learners, particularly for those over 50 years old and seniors. The languages which are taught are English, Chinese, French, Italian, Portuguese, German, Dutch, Spanish, Arabic. There’s also Art History in Dutch, and Music History in Dutch. No exams, and  no stress – registration is available now and into October  www.facebook.com/itaka.zuidrand/ Tel: 03 457 59 22 (during the school year) . GSM: 0486/53 09 15 email: info@mijnitaka.be

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

There are a three fun festivals taking place over the whole weekend this weekend. They are Ramblas AntwerpenZuiderburen and Part of Antwerp. Las Ramblas in particular is lots of fun and very family friendly -the food, street theatre, and music which form this big neighbourhood event reflect the variety of communities which can be found around this part of town, and it’s really a great street party. It starts at 6pm on Friday, and the full list of events and performances can be found on the site if you click on “programma”.

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Ramblas Antwerpen

Zuiderburen takes place on the other side of town, in the area in front of the Gallery of Fine Art (aka. KMSKA). It’s on over Saturday and Sunday. The full programme is on their site under “Timetable”.

Screenshot 2019-09-11 at 18.24.41Part of Antwerp is a five week festival celebrating the harbour, and Antwerp’s status as a port city. It’s a mix of free and paying events and continues until next weekend.

And Comic Con Antwerp 2019  takes place on Saturday and Sunday (this is a ticketed event) for lovers of sc-fi, manga, comics, fantasy and cosplay.

 Friday

Start the weekend at Antwerp’s most sky-line altering building: it’s Aper’eau on Zaha Hadidplein from 5pm, or not far away at Dokmarkt near MAS (from 3pm).

Saturday

Saturday seems to be market day in Antwerp this weekend: as Part of Antwerp, there’s this retro and vintage market from midday until 6pm (again on the Zaha Hadidplein) and also offering food trucks and live music -all with a retro feel.

Over in the Dam area of the city from 8.30am Damsefeesten Rommelmarkt will be one enormous second-hand trading area, as this market takes up a number of streets: Twee Netenstraat, Lange Lobroekstraat, Rupelstraat, Demerstraat, Dijlestraat and Weilandstraat -all car-free -until 5.30pm

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Rommelmarkt in the Dam area

Kraakvers is a local food market for fresh and homemade produce. Find them on Sint Andriesplaats between 10am and 3pm, and if you are recently arrived in Antwerp, you will want to know about the biggest weekly food market in Antwerp, weekly on Saturdays on the Theaterplein and Oude Vaartplaats.

If dancing and coffee are more your thing, check out this Antwerp Underground festival organised by Viggo’s coffee car on de Coninckplein. I like this coffee shop, so this might be fun -mainly electronic music, and some food, from 2pm -10pm
Mollys30

There’ll be another fun party happening at Molly’s -one of Antwerp’s Irish bars (on the Jesuitenrui) as the pub celebrates its 30th birthday from 2pm. Swing by if you are in the old town; the Jesuitenrui is always car-free, which means space for revellers on the street. Enjoy plenty of music and food: the party continues until the taps run dry.

 

Sunday

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de langste veggie tafel

Every year, Antwerp holds a car-free Sunday (it should hold more of these) when locals can claim the streets for their own activity, and also explore alternative forms of personal transport in a fun way. There is a variety of events and activities on around the city, including on Groenplaats, Operaplein, and the Kaaien. Do not try to drive into the city between 10am and 6pm. If you have kids to entertain the Schedekaaien will be the best destination for you; cyclists will enjoy the bike based activities on Operaplein, but there are many, many additional activities which are listed hereI definitely recommend the veggie table (pic left) on Grote Markt for foodies.

There’s more street theatre and entertainment for children from Sinjor Circo: this weekend on Sint Andriesplaats from 1pm -6pm.

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Antwerp City Park (stadspark)

There’s also the monthly second hand book and magazine market on de Coninckplein from 10am until 4pm, or another enormous second hand market as Goegekregen bring their usual neighbourhood mix of selling and socialising to the Stadspark from 9am- 6pm.
The weather is not looking too bad; after a week which saw some distinctly autumnal temperatures, it should be mild and dry, with Sunday seeing an upturn in sun and warmth with top temps of 25 degrees.

 

Miscellaneous

 

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Bike path on Linkeroever

Last weekend I rode my bike with my daughter, simultaneously with women riding in the UK (a female peloton), to support The NIA Project -an organisation which provides essential support and services to women and girls who are victims of violence. The Ride For Murdered Women was organised by UK feminist and campaigner Jean Hatchet. We rode from Opera Plein in a circular route which took in Linkeroever and we saw some surprising sights on the way (see the Instagram shot below). Violence against women and girls is a problem all over the world. I do not ask for any donations to this blog, not do I make money from it but if you have some spare euros I would encourage you to donate to this to support the services we rode for last weekend, via Jean’s Just Giving page .

The peloton might become annual; give us a shout if you are a woman aged 18+ and you’d like to help make the Antwerp branch of the ride grow, by joining us next year.

 

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This weekend in Antwerp: 6th, 7th & 8th September

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commemorative peace doves made by Antwerp school children

This weekend Antwerp Commemorates as the city marks the 75th anniversary of its liberation at the end of the Second World War. Cities in Belgium join with other cities to remember, and there are liberation events across Europe on both Saturday and Sunday this weekend.

Belgian kids went back to school this week after summer holidays, so will no doubt be ready for the weekend. On de Coninckplein there are street theatre and circus activities for free from Sinjoor Circo XL on Saturday and Sunday. We took ours to a similar event on Falconplein not long ago, and they enjoyed it.

Part of Antwerp continues. It’s a five-week festival comprising of a variety of cultural events celebrating the port area of the city. Comedy, music, talks, tours, music, and food & drink are all Part of Antwerp: see the full agenda here.

ABCTaproom
ABC Taproom

Friday

Start your weekend at this Flying Pig event at the Café Seefhoek (aka ABC Taproom) courtyard from 5pm – food trucks, DJs, cocktails and local beer.

Saturday

Here’s the Saturday Programme for the Liberation Commemoration events. The Liberation Ball from 6pm on Groenplaats is a particular highlight and is free – dress code retro, if you can!

From 1pm -6pm there’s this vinyl sale at Bar Bato Batu. It takes places in the small side street next to the bar, and is a chilled way to spend the afternoon for lovers  and browsers of second hand vinyl bargains.

Sunday

Here’s the Sunday Programme for the Liberation Commemoration events.

 

openmonumentendag2019-volledig campagnebeeld-1000x14x14 (1)It’s Open Monument Day across Flanders. This is an annual heritage event which sees museums and other sites of cultural and historical interest open to the public for free. Naturally, many of the venues are in and around Antwerp and you can see them all listed by doing an Antwerp search on the website. Last year, we went to the Groen Kwartier and discovered the Military Hospital, and PAKT. This is a really nice area to hang out in and there is also a rommelmarkt, which will be held again this year too.

I also received a top tip from a reader, recommending De Sterrenkijker School, Durletstraat 8-10: it was originally an orphanage for boys and was designed by the architects who also designed the magnificent Districtshuis Borgerhout – it arose out of a competition 1875, organised by the forerunners of the OCMW (its siblings from the same competition were a girls orphanage in Albert Grisaarstraat (now apartments) and a home for the elderly in Lange Lozanastraat (but destroyed in WWII)).

Durletstraat is named in honour of renowned city architect, Frans Andries Durlet …..Come and discover more of the story! Dip into the past- there will be a small exhibition of posters,  original drawings, photos and articles (retrieved from the archives and some private collections) a timeline, artworks, and photos by current pupils, inspired by the building. This is a great example of the sort of local stories and histories you can unexpectedly stumble upon on Open Monument Day.

sterrenkijker
De Sterrenkijker. Photo: Torsten Louland

Markt van Morgen is on Kloosterstraat from midday until 6pm. Around 30 stands where local designers and entrepreneurs show and sell their fashion, jewellery, graphic and interior design products – DJs and a drinks truck take care of the music and refreshment.

Record lovers are spoiled this weekend: there’s another Vinyl Market on Giraffenplein (behind the zoo) hosted by Vitesse Coffee & Cycling, from 10am -5pm.

cycling-312533_640Cycling fans will enjoy the Antwerp Port Epic – a one day annual cycling event which starts on the Schengenplein, with competitors taking to the stage at around 10, before the race starts, just after 11.

Helaas, the really summery weather is going to fall away this weekend, although it won’t be too chilly, with top temps of around 17 degrees. However, it could be showery now and then, especially on Friday.

Miscellaneous

Please read and share a special blog post which is all about BATS VZW theatre society who are looking for a new home, and seeking local help to do so. Tickets to their last production (Agnes of God)  in their current home on Paardenmarkt are on sale now via their website.

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image courtesy of Think Pink

For the last two years I have run Think Pink Race For The Cure Antwerpen with friends and with my son. It’s on Linkeroever and participants can choose between a 6km run, or a 3km walk. You can sign up here -it’s always a great day, and a very worthy cause (breast cancer awareness and research).

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This weekend in Antwerp: 30th & 31st August, 1st September

mechelsepleinfeesten
Mechelsepleinfeesten. pic by Stephanie Hughes

The Mechelsepleinfeesten is a fairly new annual event, which unsurprisingly takes place on and around the Mechelseplein. It’s free and is on on Friday and Saturday. You can see the full programme for this kid-friendly neighbourhood party on the Facebook event page. Look out especially for the London Calling set at de Pallieter!

Part of Antwerp is also underway. It’s a five-week festival comprising of a variety of cultural events celebrating the port area of the city. Comedy, music, talks, tours, music, and food & drink are all Part of Antwerp: see the full agenda here.

Friday


There’s a special edition of Critical Mass this Friday -Kiddical Mass! Critical Mass is always a kid-friendly event, but this one particularly centres children. Small people should assemble with their bikes and their grown-ups at 6pm on Theaterplein, as usual, for an hour’s biking around the city.

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Theaterplein

Also on Theaterplein, it’s Antwerp favourite, Apereau, with their usual offering of DJs, food-trucks and summer cocktails to start your weekend.

Last weekend I made it to Friday Regular, Dokmarkt where Mr Nessascity and I ate delicious Pakistani and Indian food for 15 euros (yes, that was the bill for the two of us). at the Ballywood stand, which is definitely my recommendation if you are at Eilandje for Dokmarkt. They don’t serve beer, but have no problem with you bringing one from the guy serving beer on the stand just opposite.

Discobar Galaxie is this week’s “Free Friday” offering at OLT Rivierenhof, from 7pm.

Saturday

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The famous Zaha Hadid Port of Antwerp building

Goegekregen/ Snitt brings you the Rommelmarkt (second hand market) for the day, at The Market on Scheldestraat from 11am- 6pm

Fans of street art should check out this Street Art Parcours. It’s one of the Part of Antwerp events (see above). Reserve your tickets for this guided walk here (€ 13).

Jazz fans should also head to the Eilandje area for Jazztemblieft 2019 -a free jazz festival on Goedfriduskaai taking place at two venues, from 2pm until midnight. See the fiull programme on the Facebook events page.

Sunday

More free music, but of a different sort on Sint Jansplein at this free open-air classical music concert from the Antwerp Symphony Orchestra, starting at 6pm.

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Dageraadplaats

Head to Dageraadplaats (Zurenborg) for more second hand bargains at the Dageraad Rommelmarkt from 9am -6pm. If you’re newly arrived this summer this is a very nice square to discover.

Last chance to visit the Zomerbar: Zomer van Antwerpen wraps up this weekend.

Swan Market is another Antwerp regular, and it’s on Grote Markt this Sunday from 11am -6pm with the usual trendy stands offering clothing, accessories, jewellery, gifts and hand-made items, as well as food and drink and a kids’ area.

Shops are open, as per usual on the first Sunday of the month in Antwerp, for Sunday shopping.

It’s going to be really warm again, with top temperatures on Saturday (31 degrees) and then cooling off significantly on Sunday, when it will still be dry, but much milder.

Miscellaneous

BATS1Please read and share a special blog post which I pressed last Monday: it’s all about BATS VZW theatre society who are looking for a new home, and seeking local help to do so. Tickets to their last production (Agnes of God)  in their current home on Paardenmarkt will go on sale very soon via their website.

For the last two years I have run Think Pink Race For The Cure Antwerpen with friends and with my son. It’s on Linkeroever and participants can choose between a 6km run, or a 3km walk. You can sign up here -it’s always a great day, and a very worthy cause (breast cancer awareness and research).

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This weekend in Antwerp: 23rd, 24th & 25th August

Friday

ghostwalkAntwerp Ghostwalks are a well reviewed Antwerp city walk to the darkest and spookiest streets of the city, although they are known for their humour as much as for the horror, and this week you can catch a ghostwalk in English -sign up via email (info@ghostwalk.be) for 12.50 per adult and 7.50 per child.

IMG_20190625_211259_resized_20190627_091432217Just in case you didn’t get enough beer at the Bollekesfeest last weekend, the ABC Taproom (Seefbier brewery) is launching a new one. How considerate! Come and taste the new summer beer from 4pm at the brewery on Indiestraat in the Cadixwijk.

Zomer van Antwerpen’s Muziek in de Wijk goes jazzy this evening on Dageraadplaats from 7.30pm (free).

Saturday

It’s the summer edition of  Left Festival on Linkeroever -a large open-air flea market, plus some music, kids’ ents and a bar to enjoy while browsing. Free, 9am -5pm

ABC (Antiques, Books Curiosa) at Den Beulebak is a monthly market in the university area, from 11am- 5pm. Free.

‘T Waagstuk is a lovely old bar serving a wide variety of Belgian beers on Waagstuk. It has been closed for refurb since 2016 and many will be delighted to see that it is opening its doors again this weekend, on Saturday at 4pm.

Sunday

cultuurmarktF
Cultuurmarkt flags on Meir

It’s the annual Cultuurmarkt all around Antwerp today. Meir (museums, heritage, literature), Steenplein (dance, circus, movement), Groenplaats (theatre & musicals), Grotemarkt & Kaasrui (music, arts centres, film) as well as other locations, will all be busy with 100s of local cultural organisations showing off their performances, workshops, courses, activities and other opportunities to become involved in the artistic and cultural life of the city, as well as their programmes for the upcoming season (eg. theatre, dance, and exhibition programmes). Many organisations from beyond Antwerp come to the city to share what they do.

It’s a massive programme and there are many activities for all ages which can be tried out at various stands. Activities and organisations with kids’ activities will be indicated with the familiar “vlieg” symbol. You can either plan what you’d like to find out about, or just head in to town and see what you come across!

Lambermonmartre is another popular Antwerp regular summer event: an outdoor artmarket where local artists sell and promote their creations in front of KMSKA (Leopold de Waelplaats) from midday until 5pm. There’s always a small bar, and a stand selling fresh cake and sandwiches too, as well as some live jazz/ swing music.

It’s going to be a very warm weekend -especially on Saturday and Sunday when temperatures could reach 30 degrees. Bring your sun screen and your water bottle!

Miscellaneous

Next Wednesday is the last of the month, so you can visit Antwerp museums for free. You can see which ones are free here.

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Race For The Cure Antwerpen
(pic courtesy of Think Pink Belgie)

For the last two years I have run Think Pink Race For The Cure Antwerpen with friends and with my son. It’s on Linkeroever and participants can choose between a 6km run, or a 3km walk. You can sign up here -it’s always a great day, and a very worthy cause (breas cancer awareness and research).

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

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The Big Fat Summer Post 2019

Summer is underway!

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Well, I am taking some time off now, for a month or so, so here’s a grab-bag of useful links and information for a great Antwerp summer. I will be back in August. Until then, additional events will be posted on other social media, listed at the end of this post. For Antwerp pictures, don’t forget to follow me on Instagram!

Thank you for reading and following  Nessascityblog; do please keep sharing it with anyone who might find it handy to have this information in English, especially if they are arriving new in the city this summer -WELCOME!  -and have a fabulous summer 2019 in Antwerp.

Eat & Drink

… at Dokmarkt every Friday from 3pm until 8, and if you want to stay out later, you’re very close to summer bars like Jardim, Sommar and Bocadero -all of which are along the Schelde.

Check out Café Capital in the Stadspark if you haven’t already done so. It’s great if you IMG_20190718_174847_resized_20190718_054908004are taking kids to the play area; for an evening out try Bar Jeudi on Thursdays.

Fiesta Europa is a popular, diverse and accessible five day food festival on Groenplaats which is on until Sunday 21st July.

Flying Pig are on Steenplein on the 2nd August; drinks, music, food trucks and general revelry from 5pm.

Bollekesfeest is an annual Nessascityblog not-to-be-missed favourite, celebrating our local beer: de Koninck, or Bollekes as it is known once served in its distinctive bow-like glass. Bollekesfeest is on the 16th, 17th and 18th August, and like other Stad Antwerpen events will be cashless this year. As well as the local brew there will be lots of other foods and drinks to enjoy. If you have kids to entertain (or are hungry) then the Steenplein is the best location for you -there you will find the Kids’ Village and all the food stands.

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Bollekesfeest on Steenplein, next to the river

Visit

Experience the excitement of going around Antwerp’s best museums throughout the night on Museum Night on the 3rd August, and don’t forget that Stad Antwerpen museums are free on the last Wednesday of the month.

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MUHKA is Antwerp’s museum of contemporary art

Enjoy Lambermonmartre the largest open-air local art market: on Leopold de Waalplaats (in front of KMSKA) on the 28th July and the 25th August. For the other regular markets in Antwerp, here’s a useful list.

Take a stroll along the renewed Scheldekaaien – the banks of the river from Sint Andries to the south of the city have been renovated with open spaces, places to sit, stroll or for kids to play (pic below).

TzuidFKids

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, theatre and water games.

These Antwerp Sports Activities are for children aged 6-13. You need to register your child for a place on an activity. These usually mean a week sport sessions (Mon- Fri) in your chosen sport.

Bookish and creative kids might enjoy Bibfabriek at the Permeke library, on Wednesdays at 2pm during July.

belgium-flag-1332904_640Neighbourhood parties and festivals

The 21st of July is Belgium’s national day. Here are a few places which will be marking the formation of our relatively youthful nation.

BibpermekePride
Antwerp Library Cafe wearing Pride colours on De Coninckplein

You can find all you need to know about Antwerp Pride, which is celebrated in Antwerp from the 7th-11th August. Of course there will be loads of Pride-related events taking place around the city, but for many the most important is the Pride Parade which takes place on Saturday 10th August, starting with a pre-parade event at midday. See here for the details, including the route of the parade.

Also taking place during Pride week (and continuing until the 18th August) is the Antwerp Queer Arts Festival. For a great general guide in English to LGBT+ life in Antwerp see this guest post from last year by Timothy Junes.

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Linkerwoofer

Sfinks Festival (25th-28th July) and Linkerwoofer (2nd -3rd August) are two popular Antwerp music festivals. Sfinks is a free four day festival, Linkerwoofer is ticketed. Both events are child-friendly.


Browse, buy & sell

Antwerp regulars-  for those in search of a second hard bargain- include Goegekregen rommelmarkt (28th July) and Permeke Boekenplein (21st July)

You can go Sunday Shopping in the shopping areas of the city on the first Sunday of the month.

Handy summer links

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

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Summerbars.com is a really useful link with the details of all the summer bars in Antwerp for this season.

And there are a couple of open-air swimming pools in Antwerp, which can be found here.

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10 must-knows if you’re having a baby in Antwerp

Lauraandbaby
Laura Soave

This is for you if you are going to have a baby and you live in Antwerp-
a few helpful things to keep in mind by Laura Soave (pic right), who has recently had her second child here in Antwerp.

1.The Mecca of Parenting

If you need advice about your baby or pregnancy, or about  breastfeeding; if you want to find a baby massage class, do yoga during pregnancy or if you just want a chat about your sleepless nights with your newborn you’ll find everything you need at the Kraamvogel.

Kraamvogel provides a variety of services and support: the website is very clear in terms of finding what you need: it’s divided into 3 sections: Zwanger (pregnancy), Bevallen (delivery) and Kinderwens (getting pregnant/ starting a family). In the Kraamvogel (Volkstraat 7 – 2000 Antwerpen) you’ll find lots of books about babies and pregnancy too

kraamvogel2. All you need is help

If you are in need of a consultation at home or you would like support in deciding  whether to deliver at home or at the hospital, you can go on the website Vroedvrouwen.be to look for a vroedvrouw, a midwife. These are independent professional women and they provide a phone number that you’ll be able to reach during the week or weekend if you have difficulty with breastfeeding or other newborn-related issues. You can also contact organizations like Solidariteit voor het Gezin to get the kraamzorg. This organisation, like many others, will be able to provide you, for a fair price, someone that can help you during your first days at home with your baby. They will prepare simple meals for you, you can send them on an errand to the pharmacy or the supermarket. They’ll even do some cleaning in the house, if needed

3. If this isn’t your first Rodeo…

First-time parents cannot wait to buy new clothes, lots of toys, a new stroller. When you’re having your second child, it’s a whole new vibe. You’ll try to recycle whatever you can and at some point you’ll want to get rid of things. Whenever you want to give away things (clothes, toys, crib, etc.) you can bring them to Moeders voor Moeders, a charity organization located in Borgerhout that works with 160 volunteers. I have done a tour of the place myself and believe me, when I tell you, it’s huge and well organized in departments, there’s even a cafeteria where people who cannot afford it, can get coffee for 10 cents.

moedersvoormoeders

 

You can also go to the Geefwinkel creandersregenboog in Berchem, where you’ll find clothes (men, women and children) and you’re allowed to bring things but also to collect what you like or need.

4. To pump or not to pump: that is the question!

NoordbabyNot a lot of people know that the public hospital Sint-Vincentius in Antwerp doesn’t rent electric breast-pumps any longer, nor will you find them at the pharmacies. I found Noord Baby as the only place in Antwerp city centre that rents breast-pumps. The owner is a midwife and also organizes workshops on different topics (pre-partum classes, breastfeeding, and so on).

You can also contact your mutualiteit (health care insurer) to rent the breastpump (generally for a very fair price).


5. When your baby is born

Shortly after the birth of your baby,  you’ll be contacted by an organization called Kind en Gezin, who will arrange an initial visit with you at home. During the visit, they’ll test hearing and monitor the baby’s weight. They’ll also get you an appointment for the baby’s first vaccinations. You can either go for a general consultation, or just to take the weight and measure your baby (no appointment needed for this). All of these services are for free.

kindengexin

6. Home delivery and Shopping 

Orchestra and Dreambaby on the A12 are the cheapest big malls for toys, clothes, strollers, diapers, and more important items. But can also find lots of good deals at Kruidvat. Especially on baby products.

Personally I’ve always found practical to have diapers delivered home, together with other baby supplies. Parents do not always have time to rush to the supermarket to get the essentials (diaper disposal bags, wet napkins, diapers).

Let’s call it ‘peace of mind’: I only do this once a month via bol.com and get it delivered at home for free in 24h.

Don’t forget: if you have Mobile Viking as phone provider, you’ll receive a percentage of your purchases as phone credit. Pretty awesome!

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7. CPR for babies and toddlers

This can be a scary topic for new parents, but bear with me here, because it is important.

It’s a must for every parent. There are organisations which offer classes. It’s just one evening (4 hours- but you can also find longer courses that offer more detailed and developed training) during which an expert will teach you what to do in case you’ll have to manage a situation involving choking, drowning, burning, drinking poisoning substance or medications. There is also a practical session at the end with practice- mannequins. This is a specific class for CPR on babies and toddlers: Rode Kruis First Aid to babies and children in EN EHBO bij kinderen in NL

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8. Parental Leave (Ouderschapsverlof/ Congé Parental)

If you have a Belgian contract, once your insurance has terminated the payments for your moederschapsverlof (maternity leave) you can also apply for your Ouderschapsverlof (parental leave). You can do this easily by applying via RVA’s (ONEM) website. This website provides the paperwork you need only in NL and FR.


You’ll need to fill in the paperwork (to be downloaded on the website) and there is a part for the employee and a few pages for your employer. You’ll need to attach to your file a copy of your baby’s birth certificate too. This procedure usually takes about a month or so to get approved. You can also follow your file online, to see scheduled payments etc.


9. Find your Mary Poppins.

mary-poppins-2756841_640Use Bsit: this is a very handy app created in 2015 by two cool Belgian mums – Géraldine and Donatienne – who wanted to know more about their babysitters before meeting them for the first time. You set your price per hour; you choose for proximity or best reviews. The reviews are very helpful; you can read about other parents’ experiences with that same person. You also get to know things like: how much experience your babysitter has, how many sittings she has done, which languages she speaks, her age etc.

There are also a couple of other organisations that provide this kind of service: Kinderoppas and Nanny in Nood. These can be a little more expensive than Bsit, but helpful and professional in the same way.

10. If you’re going back to work…

You’ll find a very useful list of Crèches on this website. There is a section for people in immediate need of a spot, but usually finding a daycare that has a spot in Antwerp can take a while, so try to do it as soon as possible -many people in busy areas will get onto waiting lists after the 12 week scan. You can choose whether to opt for a Group daycare or apply for an Onthaalmoeder– these are mothers at home that take between 6 and 8 babies. This is a solution for parents who prefer a smaller environment for their child. But again, hurry!  There are often long waiting lists for any of these solutions.

About the blogger

LauraS
Laura Soave (nonnative blog)

Laura Soave is an Antwerp blogger and designer from Italy. Check out her blog: nonnative and find her on InstagramFacebook and Twitter  

Would you like to write a guest post about your experiences (or knowledge) of Antwerp? contact me on nessascityblog@gmail.com. I’d like to hear your Antwerp story.

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