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.

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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.

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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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This weekend in Antwerp: 12th, 13th & 14th July

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:

Friday

Start your weekend with Aper’eau and some outdoor drinks on the Bolivarplaats from 5pm -11pm.

turntable-310450_640Or 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.

Saturday

From 10 -6pm on the Sint Jansplein there will be one of the regular second hand local markets over the whole square.

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Rukinzo Vibes

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.

Sunday

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.

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Bocadero

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.
 

Miscellaneous

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.

 

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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.

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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This weekend in Antwerp: 14th, 15th & 16th June

Friday

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Atlas op het plein is an event organised by Atlas, integratie & inburgering Antwerpen, which provides help, support and information for those arriving from other countries to settle in Antwerp. Atlas op het Plein is a chance to socialise with people from a wide variety of backgrounds and cultures, and to have a good time: there will be a conversation café, music, workshops and child-friendly activities -starts at 4pm.

Jazz fans – check out this free Jazz Bar Tour: eleven Antwerp bars offering live Jazz music across the course of the evening. Most are in the Sint Andries area of the city, but some are a little further afield, however I think with a little planning, the walking distance is not too great, and a bike would make this even easier.

This week’s addition to the Antwerp summer bar scene can be found at Plein Publiek where they open their Congé Summer bar from 5pm.

Saturday

62307314_560860957653533_2036524160045285376_oThere’s a lot going on in the Dam area of Antwerp:-

You can come and enjoy some Basketball on Damplein …

Or browse local fresh produce at Kraakvers Farmers’ Market

or join in the Trottinettenkoers (fun bike race) and neighbourhood street party.

Back in the town centre Beerlovers Bar (de Coninkplein) turns three. Lovers of Belgian and craft beer should head to Beerlovers Bar 3rd birthday.

And if you didn’t get enough Jazz at the Friday night event, there’s a mini-jazz festival starting at 6pm in Borgerhout, hosted by Madame Fortuna VZW.

On Groenplaats, look out for vintage trams, music and vintage costume (from 1pm) as the tram museum prepares to open to the public tomorrow (see Sunday). The re-opening will also be celebrated at the Zomerfeest Groenenhoek 2019 neighbourhood party which is nearby the new museum, from 11am.

Sunday

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images courtesy of Kleur je Oma

Kleur je Oma is an event that’s a little further away than those I usually include, but what is not to like about this great idea? It’s an art project for anyone who has a beloved grandparent who is gone but not forgotten. You can submit a photo of your grandparent (Oma or Opa) to the project which makes colouring pages of your picture. You can email the photo to foto@kleurjeoma.be or attend the event (from 2pm -5pm) in Park Sorghvliedt and bring your picture with you. The images and stories will become part of an exhibition, taking place in July. The event is the brainchild of artist Elske van Lonkhuyzen, and Antwerp’s very own city poet Maud van Hauwaert.

Strip en Boekenplein takes place on de Conninckplein as is usual for the third Sunday of the month. Cheap books and graphic novels for all lovers of book browsing.

Thanks to Stephanie for getting in touch to let me know that on Sunday the Vlaams Tram en Autobus Museum in Berchem (pic below, courtesy of VlaTAM Facebook page) is reopening (following a period of closure for rennovation) at 2pm. On Sundays throughout July, vintage trams will be riding between Groenplaats and the museum at 1.45pm, 3pm, 4.15pm and 5pm.

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Markt van Morgen with it’s local, cheerful selection of creatives offering fashion, jewellery, stationery and accessories for sale is on Kloosterstraat from midday until 6pm.

The weather should become nicer after a drizzly week at times -top temps of 22 degrees, though there could still be showers on Saturday.

Miscellaneous

On Monday on Nessascityblog I am publishing a guest post by Jon Kemp who has experience of various different language courses available to those who wish to learn Dutch in Antwerp. Don’t forget to check in if you think it’s time to brush up on your Dutch language skills -there will be tips about how and where to find a course that’s right for you.

Sinksenfoor has opened at Park Spoor Oost! The traditional Antwerp fair will be open daily until the 7th July.

Screen Shot 2019-05-14 at 19.28.55It’s show time at BATS VZW! don’t forget to order your tickets for their annual Variety Showhow via their website -this year’s extravaganza is a riot of colour and fun, and there are still a few tickets available (particularly for Sunday night).

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

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This weekend in Antwerp: 7th, 8th & 9th June

OXOtia! is a free festival taking place in and around Sterckshof Castle (Rivierenhof; you may know it from the recent de Quaeye Werelt event) over the whole weekend. It’s a weekend of arts, music, dance, performances and workshops. Some activities require registration beforehand via the contact form.

Stormkop logoAnother whole weekend option is the STORMKOP Festival: five days of kids’ activities centred around protecting the environment and living creatively in an eco-friendly way. Documentaries, science, food, workshops, cycling, eco-activism, music and even a parent-creche where kids can drop off their burdensome grown-ups, to be safely looked after while they enjoy the festival.

Friday

I’m going to give Dokmarkt another mention as it is set to be really warm on Friday afternoon and evening, and this location is a nice one for outdoor drinks (Napoleonkaai, near MAS) from 3pm -8pm, as well as for buying locally made food products to take home.

NB: Unfortunately, Flying Pig on Operaplein has been cancelled 😦

beerloversFMy personal recommendation for a good replacement would be to head along to the lovely Beerlovers Bar instead, where you are sure to discover a delicious beer that you haven’t tried or even heard of before.

Saturday

Antwerp’s biggest annual funfair opens at Park Spoor Oost: Sinksenfoor 2019 starts today – 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.

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Sinksenfoor

Over in the Green Quarter, there will be a day of music and circus action with Circus Marcel from 2pm. This is a lovely area of Antwerp and a great place to take kids.

In Park Spoor Noord it’s the  200 Festival -celebrating 200 years of schools and learning in Antwerp, the day will be marked with talks, workshops, music, performance, activities, demonstrations and of course plenty of food and drink. Plenty going on for kids and their grown-ups. From 11am -8.30pm

Theatre fans: it’s the Flemish Impromarathon hosted by Swaajp and taking place at the Theater Het Klokhuis. It’s a 12 hour marathon, with performances in both English and Dutch (Dutch shows between 10am -4pm). Tickets here for either the full day or a half day.

vlaamseimpromarathon

Sunday

Screen Shot 2019-06-04 at 16.03.32Gardeners and lovers of flowers in Antwerp always speak highly of the beautiful blooms at the annual Rivierenhof Rozenfeest -it’s not just a chance to see the roses but also to get gardening advice, and enjoy other activities such as performances, music, a picnic and yoga. Rozenfeest takes place from 11am- 6pm, and is free.

Circus seems to be very much in this summer: catch Sinjor Circo on Falconplein from 1pm- 6pm.

Swan Market is on Grote Markt from 11am- 6pm, with their usual brand of locally crafted jewellery, accessories, household items, stationery and foods.

Good luck to you if you’re running in the Borgerhout Reuzenloop (urban run), which occurs at the same time as the Terlopleinfeest, a free neighbourhood street party offering food, drinks, performances, facepainting and of course a bouncy castle. Both events start at 1pm; the festival continues until 8pm.

The weather will continue warm -especially Friday (up to 23 degrees)- cooling off a bit on Saturday. There may be some showers.

Miscellaneous

Cafe Capital has opened in Stadspark (on the spot where the nightclub Cafe Capital once stood, until it burned down in a fire in 2010) and this week we took the kids along for lunch. I totally recommend it, as I have often sat in the park while the kids played, wishing that there was a terrace where I could get a glass of wine or a coffee and now there is. They also serve food (I am vegetarian and really enjoyed the roasted carrot salad). Watchful parents have a good view of pretty much the whole playground from the terrace -perfect!

Monday (10th June) is a public holiday in Belgium (Whit Monday). Goegekregen will be on Theaterplein for a holiday edition of their retro/ vintage/ second hand markets

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

nature-4202726_640You may remember Daniel McBrearty from his fascinating guest post on Nessascityblog all about the Plantin Moretus museum. Daniel has launched a campaign in Belgium to persuade the supermarket chain Colruyt to reduce plastic packaging and single-use plastics in their stores. Please support the campaign! You can listen to him explain its reasoning in this short film, and the links to the campaign are here (in English), here (in het Nederlands) and here (en Francais).

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It’s show time at BATS VZW! don’t forget to order your tickets for their annual show via their website -this year’s extravaganza promises to be a riot of colour and fun.

Break a leg, BATS!

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This weekend in Antwerp: 31st May, 1st & 2nd June

macaroons-1957310_640There’s a few two-three day events this weekend, and if you are a food and drink lover (that’s a polite way of saying GLUTTON)  it’s going to be a great (if expensive) weekend for you, as with a little planning you could eat and drink your way along the Schelde from Friday to Sunday (even from Thursday if you are already peckish).

Down on the Plantinkaai it’s Fiesta Europa – this is a fun mix of  on-the-spot eating, drink ing and socialising, and a market with plenty of stands selling food products to take home: European products are central, so plenty in the way of great cheeses, meats, olives, honeys and tapenades. Food and drink stands a-plenty throughout means it’s a fun hang-out if the weather is good, especially since the event is always kid-friendly (yes, there is the obligatory bouncy castle!). Thanks to reader, Arwin, for reminding me about this event!

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HAP Festival is another food festival, this one is more focussed on food trucks and hip street food. It’s on Steenplein and although can be pricey. It’s not kid-unfriendly, but Fiesta Europa is better if you have small people to consider.

Antwerp Wine Festival is also on Steenplein; this is more for the grown-ups for obvious reasons, and wines from 12 different countries form the centre of this event.

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And last, but by no means least, one of my absolutely favourite events of the year De Quaeye Werelt! In which the Rivierenhof is transformed into a bustling medieval community of  traders, knights, noblemen and ladies, and artisans of every type. Re-enactors hold a noisy battle. It’s the historical element which makes this event so special

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re-enactors at De Quaeye Werelt

(it’s 1477) as well as the good natured, enthusiastic and friendly atmosphere created by everyone who takes part. There’s loads of cheap, hearty food and affordable drinks -if the weather is nice bring a picnic blanket and settle in for the day. The kids will love the battle, the puppet show and the costumes (but the littlest ones might want ear-defenders if they are near the battle, which is very loud indeed).

Friday

If you’re worried about what all this will do to your waistline, why not join Critical Mass for their monthly bike ride through the streets of Antwerp? Assemble at 6pm at Theaterplein, with your bike as usual. I expect Critical Mass will still be riding high on the buzz created by last weekend’s fantastic Critical Mass Belgium ride, and party at Park Spoor Noord, which is captured in this footage made by Critical Mass riders from Brussels who looked as though they enjoyed themselves here in Antwerp!

 

Aper’eau will be on Antwerp’s newest outdoor party place: Operaplein from 5pm to start the weekend with their usual blend of outdoor drinking, summer cocktails and DJs.

Saturday

For a more local food experience, farmers’ market Kraakvers are in Borgerhout on the Vincottestraat from 10am-3pm.

Sunday

vegansstuffAnother healthy food option could be Vegan Vibes Picnic at Park Spoor Noord from 11am- 7pm. Food trucks and stands selling vegan only options – see the link for the exact location (it is near – but not right at – Bar Noord).

If you cannot eat another thing, maybe a browse round this vinyl market would suit you. It’s at Giraffenplein (behind of the zoo) and hosted by Vitesse Coffee & Cycling.

Finally a reminder that it’s Sunday Shopping in Antwerp, and the regular shops will be open too, in the main shopping areas of the city, like Meir, Nationalestraat Kammenstraat and Kloosterstraat.

A warm and dry (though sometimes cloudy) weekend is predicted, with possible top temps as high as 27 degrees (Sunday).

Miscellaneous

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

nature-4202726_640You may remember Daniel McBrearty from his fascinating guest post on Nessascityblog all about the Plantin Moretus museum. Daniel has launched a campaign in Belgium to persuade the supermarket chain Colruyt to reduce plastic packaging and single-use plastics in their stores. Please support the campaign! You can listen to him explain its reasoning in this short film, and the links to the campaign are here (in English), here (in het Nederlands) and here (en Francais).

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It’s very nearly show time at BATS VZW don’t forget to order your tickets for their annual show via their website -this year’s extravanganza promises to be a riot of colour and fun.

Runners: you can now register for the Reuzenloop in Borgerhout (choose from runs of 4, 8 or 12 km; there is also a free kids’ run). This takes place on the 9th June: click on ‘schrijf hier in!’ to sign up.

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This weekend in Antwerp: 17th, 18th & 19th May

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Antwerp Art Pavilion, Hanzestedenplaats

It’s Antwerp Art Weekend over the whole weekend. Galleries -both large and small- around the city open their doors to spotlight and celebrate contemporary art. Over 80 venues are participating and you can find a list of them here. This is the fifth edition of Antwerp Art Weekend.

 

 

Friday

Friday evening should be dry and mild, so here’s three possible options for starting the weekend with a few outdoors drinks:

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Sommar

Sun-lovers will be pleased to know that another summer bar is opening for the season. Sommar under Hangar 27 (near Eilandje) opens at 5pm.

 

Aper’eau is on Grote Markt from 5pm with its usual brand of drinks, summer cocktails, food trucks and DJs until 11pm

And regular Dokmarkt is on Napoleonkaai (Eilandje). If you’re out the office early that starts at 3pm and combines music, outdoor drinks with stands which sell a variety of quality, small-batch products from local businesses.
Saturday

For kids: encourage your smallest ones to begin enjoy books and reading at Bib Festival Voor Kleintjes: read aloud, creative fun, workshops and activities based around books, stories and reading for babies and toddlers from

On Sint Jansplein there’s the regular mega grote openlucht rommelmarkt (huge second hand market) from 10am -6pm
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Plein Publiek

And at Plein Publiek it’s the revive market from 10am- 4pm, which is a classy closet sale of vintage and sustainable fashion, where there’s also a bar, and bites available. NB: most stands are cash only

Why not jump on your bike and head to Park Spoor Oost for Festa Primavera? Music and food from 5pm. It’s free but the buffet costs 15e (8e for kids) and it’s advisable to reserve via parkspooroost@outlook.com

On the other side of the water, you can also enjoy festival feelz at Left Festival on Linkeroever: food, music, games and a rommelmarkt from 10am until midnight. This event is free, kid-friendly and takes place on Thonetlaan 133, 2050 Antwerpen

Sunday

Goegekregen are in Park Spoor Noord from 9am with their usual vast array of second hand good, antiques, curiosa, vinyl and second hand & vintage fashion.

Bouger Bouger is a nice neighbourhood party on Krugerplein in Borgerhout from 10am -5pm and features music, food and again, a second hand market.

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Piano Marathon 2018

Openwervendag gives members of the public the chance to go and see building projects which are currently underway in various regions. Here are the sites which will be open in the Antwerp area.

A Piano Marathon will take place alongside the usual second-hand book market on de Conninckplein today from 10am-4pm

And if that isn’t enough secondhand eco-friendly goodness for you, head to nightspot Ampere and get your vintage fashion by the kilo from 10am -6pm.

The weather should continue to be pleasant (20-21 degrees over Saturday and Sunday) with the possibility of a bit of stormy weather on Sunday afternoon.

Miscellaneous

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Pint of Science

Pint of Science is coming to Antwerp to explain some cutting-edge scientific ideas and developments, and some of their presentations and discussions will be in English. Here is their program for Antwerp venues – events take place next week from 20th- 22nd May in bars around Antwerp.

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This week on Monday I published an extra post: meet Sylwia, a life coach from Poland who has lived in Antwerp since 1996.

And tickets go on sale for the 2019 BATS Variety Show in June. This is a popular annual event, so get in early if you’d like to catch this fun show!

And here’s another option for theatre in English from Antwerp based theatre and impro group Mixed and United: Loads is a play written by Sebastian Badarau. It’s about student actors preparing a Chekhovian play and you can order tickets online here.

loads

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This weekend in Antwerp: 10th, 11th & 12th May

 

Friday

There’s a good choice of Antwerp places and events where you could kick off your weekend this Friday evening:

Another summer bar opens up today at midday: Bocadero at Waagnatie, by the River Schelde.

And for another option for drinks by the river, head to Flying Pig on Steenplein, where they are starting their summer season from 5pm, with wine, summer cocktails, DJs and street-food.

Meanwhile, there’s an evening market in Borgerhout, starting at 4pm on the Gitschotellei, Borgerhout. Open until 9pm

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Saturday

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It’s the Twintig Achttien (2018) Festival on the Konijnenwei (pic right) from midday until midnight: music, bands and DJs will be performing over the 12 hours of this free festival, which is also kid-friendly and will offer spaces and activities for children.

Antwerp Museum the Letterenhuis, is an exhibition space and archive housing Flanders’ largest literature collection (texts, pictures, documents, manuscripts, letters, magazines and other publications relevant to the history of Flemish texts and publishing from the last 200 years).

Today in various locations close to the Letterenhuis, a Letterenhuisfestival is taking place for the third time, bringing together writers, poets, artists, musicians and story-tellers. See the hyperlink and in particular the Programmakrant to find out what is going on, for free between 2pm and 6pm in this neighbourhood.

Fans of the Permeke’s monthly secondhand book market will be pleased to lean that as part of the Letterenhuisfestival, there will be an extra bookmarket on the Conscienceplein from 2pm.

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Antwerp’s farmers’ market – Kraakvers– takes places on the Sint Andriesplaats, from 10am- 3pm. Definitely check out this market if you are one of the many people who would like to eat more locally sourced food and products.

Sunday

Markt van Morgen returns to the Kloosterstraat (Antwerpen-Zuid) today from midday until 6pm, with it’s local, cheerful selection of creatives offering fashion, jewellery, stationery and accessories for sale.

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Dageraadplaats

A rommelmarkt is taking place on the Dageraadplaats today too, from 9am- 6pm. A nice chance to check out this relaxed, kid-friendly, pretty local square in the Zurenborg area if you don’t already know it.

Come and enjoy the Damse Pijl (bike races) on the Damplein from midday. This used to be part of the Damsefeesten, but is now a separate event in its own right -you can also register on the page if you would like to take part in one of the three events.

The weather will be mild (13- 14 degrees) with the possibility of showers on Friday and Saturday. Sunday will be a little brighter and dryer.

Miscellaneous

Guest post on Monday! read the story of Sylwia, from Poland who has made Antwerp her home since 1996.

If you’re a runner enthused by the Antwerp 10 Miles at the end of April, you may want to sign up for the annual Silver Run but be warned -this is no ordinary run: it consists of running up and down 1-3 tower blocks. Think you’re up to it? You can register here.

Why not have a look at this exhibition on Markgravelei? Offering painting, graphic work, ceramics, photography and jewellery, it’s hosted by Collegium Artificium which promotes the work of artists of various disciplines in the area. It’s on until 12th May. Screen Shot 2019-05-01 at 20.51.36

Featured Photo (summer drink) by Monika Grabkowska on Unsplash

Other photos courtesy of Twintigachttien (festival goers) and Antwerpse markthandelaars vereniging  (evening market publicity poster)

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This weekend in Antwerp: 19th, 20th & 21st April

Just a short post as I am out of town this week, but I hope you have a great Easter weekend in Antwerp. If you are celebrating Easter, here is a list of the services at Antwerp Cathedral over the Easter weekend.

And here are a few possible highlights …

Friday

Bollyfit offers Bollywood dancing lessons in Antwerp and on Friday there are two free trial lessons at Parkloods; the first at 5pm, and the second at 6pm.

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And don’t forget Dokmarkt down at Eilandje from 3pm -8pm.

Saturday

If you’re a vinyl lover who didn’t quite get enough of Record Store Day last weekend, then head to the bar Bato Batu for their second hand record fair from 1pm -6pm.

GroenplaatsTake the kids to play outside on Groenplaats (pic right) from 1.30pm with Jespo on TourJespo is a non-profit organisation aiming to bring sporting activities and opportunities to kids aged 3-18 at an affordable price. Kids will have the chance to try out different sports activities at this event.

Alternatively they may enjoy this Easter Egg Hunt at BATS Little Theatre at 2pm (Paardenmarkt 111). It’s only 2 euros per child and you can register via email: theatre@batsantwerp.be

 Sunday

It’s the monthly secondhand book, magazine and comics market on de Conninckplein in front of Permeke Library from 10am.

If you prefer to celebrate your easter with an afternoon/ evening dance session, then head to Bar Noord in Park Spoor Noord where Soulshakers will be playing some Dancehall, reggae and Afrobeats from 4pm (free)

Miscellaneous

Two recent special Nessacityblog posts are available now: one about The Chef’s Cut, for foodies, and one about the VZW Wwelcome, which has a variety of services for newcomers to the city, to help them settle in and integrate into local life.

There will be a Goegekregen secondhand market on Theaterplein for Easter Monday.

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Buitenspeeldag!

24th April is Buitenspeeldag (play outside day) from 1pm -5pm. There are a number of areas where kids can join in with this and where outside toys and games are provided for them. Last year mine enjoyed this day in the reading garden at Permeke Library, and on de Coninckplein (left), but elsewhere in and around town there are other places too: Kielpark, Agorapark, Stuivenbergplein, Sint-Andriesplaats, Koning Albertpark and Boeienweide.

Brocantwerpen is an antiques and bric-a-brac market held on Grotemarkt over the summer months: the first one is next Wednesday (24th) from 10am -6pm.

Also on the last Wednesday of the months, these Antwerp City Museums are free.

Runners! There is still time to sign up for The Antwerp 10 miles and marathon. This event takes place on the 28th April.

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This weekend in Antwerp: 12th, 13th & 14th April

Friday

My two favourite start-the-weekend options are now both open. Both are kiddie-friendly and very enjoyable as the weather improves. There’s Dokmarkt on Eilandje every Friday from 3- 8pm; or Bar Noord in Park Spoor Noord which opened for the summer season last week.

Swap Language are holding another meet up at The Irish Times pub at 8pm. No experience necessary -just an informal chance to share your language and culture, with others who in turn will share theirs with you.

swaplanguage

Saturday

Vinyl lovers – it’s your day: Record Store Day. Record shops celebrate this day with special offers, promos and live in-store appearances. Fatkat, The Rocking Bull, Tune Up, Warrecords and Wally’s Groove World will all be taking part and hoping to welcome vinyl fans in their stores.

Last chance to catch this free exhibition of nature-related graphic art in Mekanik: Naturama.

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Nature-lovers may also want to help out at this clean- up activity: an hour picking up the cigarette end around Grote Markt (starting at 11am; meet at Café Den Engel on the Grote Markt).

Sunday

Markt van Morgen is on Kloosterstraat from midday until 6pm. It’s a small market offering goods made by mainly local creatives such as household items, jewellery, stationery, accessories.

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MUHKA

It’s Family Day at MUHKA -a good day to take the kids to Antwerp’s Gallery of Modern Art. Here is the programme, listing the activities for kids of different ages (note that you need to register your child for the first one -a guided walk around the gallery for kids aged 4 and below).

Palm Sunday will be celebrated at Antwerp Cathedral, with the schedule for the day as follows:

9h Holy Mass.
10h Holy Mass with the bishop. High Mass starts with a procession in the cathedral.
12h Holy Mass.
17h Vespers in the choir stalls.

The weather will be a bit cooler this weekend: 9 -11 degrees, and likely to be dry.

Miscellaneous

If you didn’t already see it, have a read of the special post about The Chef’s Cut which I published at the start of the week. There’s another special post next Monday, of particular interest if you are a new or recent arrival in Antwerp -all about Wwelcome and the services they offer which can help you feel at home here.

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Brocantwerpen is an antiques and bric-a-brac market held on Grotemarkt over the summer months: the first one is Wednesday (24th) from 10am -6pm.

Week van de Provincie Domeinen promotes the great outdoors through workshops, walks, conservation activities and outdoor sports. These cater for both adults and children and some are free. The week coincides with the second week of the Easter school holidays. Here are the activities available in the areas surrounding Antwerp.

Runners! There is still time to sign up for The Antwerp 10 miles and marathon. This event takes place on the 28th April.

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