This weekend in Antwerp: 29th, 30th November, and 1st December

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book browsing at Zuiderpershuis

There are three events over the whole weekend this weekend firstly – the  Markies Stock Sale (of books) at Zuiderpershuis, which is definitely a nice way to get discounted gifts for bookish loved ones -although most books are in Dutch, there is also a selection of books in English (and coffee table books) as well as picture books for children. It’s free and takes place from 10am -6pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (if you don’t get the chance to go this weekend, it’s also on next weekend too).

Steez Festival is a free festival of urban arts, music, dance DJs and even a skate zone at de Studio on Maarschalk Gérardstraat 4 from 2pm on both Saturday and Sunday.

And for Lego lovers, there’s Brickmania at the Expo on Saturday and Sunday (ticketed).

 Friday

At 6pm it’s the monthly bike ride with Critical Mass Antwerpen – assemble as usual on Theaterplein with your bike for a kid-friendly hour’s cycling en masse through Antwerp, returning to Theaterplein for 7pm. 

If, like me you are somewhat averse to the whole concept of the annual grabfest horror that is Black Friday, you could head instead to the Kringloopwinkels (second hand shops) of Antwerp to check out their deals (there will be 50% reductions on many items), or to the  Kammenstraat fleamarket (cash only).

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Antwerp Zoo

The Jungle Book Light Festival  begins at Zoo Antwerp this evening and runs until 12th January. It is ticketed and enables visitors to see the colourful lights and figures supplied by the makers of China Light, which has taken place in previous years. It’s not the cheapest family evening out, but we have always seeing the zoo this way in previous years and consider it a nice winter treat. Check the weather before you book, and wrap up warm if necessary!
Saturday

LoveislandAntwerp artist Sacha Eckes opens a new exhibition at Shoobil Gallery so why not take the opportunity to slip away from the increasing busy-ness of the town centre, to view works characterised by skill and humour inspired by the theme of reality TV?  Love Island opens at 2pm with a vernissage (Museumstraat 4).

If you have children who want to see Sinterklaas, then you can find him at Grand Bazar shopping centre from 1.30pm, but be aware that this can be popular and there is sometimes a queue.

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If you are more organised than me and ready to make some Christmas purchases (or just to enjoy a traditional British-style Christmas Bazaar) then head to the Antwerp Harbour hotel between 11am – 4pm and check out their Christmas goodies and treats, while also supporting the Mission to Seafarers in Antwerp.

Sunday

If you’re still missing hanging out at Bar Noord in Park Spoor Noord, head to Goegekregen second hand market which takes place in the shelter there this Sunday from 9am -6pm.

For those who can’t get enough of the high street, there’s Sunday shopping in the city from midday. If you have little ones who are excited about Sinterklaas, you may well catch a glimpse of him on Meir this afternoon.  And because it’s December, the shops will be open on all Sundays throughout the month, and again on January 5th 2020.

Screenshot 2019-11-27 at 16.01.36Sinterklaas (due to an uncanny ability to be in more than one place at a time) will also be at Wintar (see below) from 2pm enjoying waffles and other treats.

This weekend should be (mostly) dry, cold and bright with the possibility of some showers on Sunday morning.

Regular readers and wine- fans may remember this special blog post about Antwerp start-up Fine Wine Junkies. On Sunday they are holding a pop-up event to celebrate their first birthday and to invite wine lovers to taste and purchase some of the specially selected wines which they offer.
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Miscellaneous

Winter bars are starting to open, including Wintar on Boomgaardstraat 17,  near the Antwerp City Brewery (De Koninck) for drinks, food (especially cheese!) and events until the start of February.

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 next week.

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

Lego
Brickmania

At Zuiderpershuis there’s the annual book stock sale over the whole weekend. It’s free in and there are usually some English books, as well as other books (e.g. children’s books) which make good presents if you are one of these organised people who is ready to do some Christmas shopping already. It’s free in, open from 10- 18h on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and is also on next weekend too.

Also over both Saturday and Sunday, it’s another popular annual event: Brickmania – a must for Lego fans of all ages. Note, it’s at a different venue this year; not Waagnatie but Antwerp Expo. You can get tickets for 5 euros in advance (they are 7 euros if you buy them on the door) and kids up to 6 years old go free.

Friday

Buurthuis t’Pleintje is holding an Autumn Market  for the first time. On sale will be local handmade and craft products and foods, from 15h -20h. Syrian food is on the menu while you browse the stands which will offer products such as local honey, scarves and accessories, soaps, household items, candles, stationery and more.

Also offering local food products is Dokmarkt at Eilandje from 15h -20h.

Saturday

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Swaajp guest: Jacintha Damstrom. Photo by Quentin Le Gall

After Brickmania, or a day at the book sale, you might like to head to BATS Little Theater on Paardemarkt for an evening of impro theatre with Swaajp. Their guest this week is Jacintha Damstrom, who will bring an element of circus excitement to the show.

Sunday

It’s Dag van de Wetenschap today (Science Day) and Antwerp has a wide and varied programme of activities in various locations.

At De Roma Theatre there’s a kids’ rommelmarkt from 13.30h -17.30h. The kids themselves are the stallholders, and will be selling all sorts of children’s toys and books, so go and support them and pick up a bargain. It’s only 50 cents in for kids, and a euro for grownups.

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Dag van de Wetenschap

 

Another second hand market by Goegekregen will take place at Park Spoor Noord (in the shelter where Bar Cargo is). It will be on from 9h -18h and also promises street-food and drinks.

More second hand bargains at Plein Publiek (now up and running at its new location) with this Closet Sale from 10h- 16h.

Weather is mixed -Friday might be quite bright and pleasant (9 degrees), but there may rain on Saturday, and both Saturday and Sunday will be colder (only 5-7 degrees)

Miscellaneous

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

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I am really delighted to let you know that a special guest-blog post is on the way. Watch this space -especially if you’d like to know more about LGBTQ+ life in Antwerp: an LGBT+ special; posting on Monday! And if you have been thinking about writing a post for Nessascityblog, do seize the day -I’d love to hear your Antwerp story, or hear about an aspect of Antwerp life that you know well. Drop me a line at nessascityblog@gmail.com.

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De Warmste Week

De Warmste Week (The Warmest Week) is an annual week of fundraising and charity events taking place across Flanders. If you wish to organise an event or activity you can do so and register it via the website. For more fundraising events, look for the Warmste Week logo (left). Charity runs are a big part of De Warmste Week and you can now register for the Antwerp Run which takes place on the 21st December. The first step is to pick the cause you would like to run and raise money for. You can do this as a group or an individual, and will need to be able to make a minimum donation of 15 euros when you register to participate.

 

 

Don’t forget: for Sinterklaas -The Belgian postal service (Bpost) will deliver children’s letters and drawings to the Sint (until 29th November) -details and address here. NB -be sure to write the child’s name and address on the outside of the envelope, so that the Sint can reply and send a surprise.

I am interested in doing a post about Antwerp Apps. Do you use one? What does it do? Which devices is it compatible with and what do you think of it?

Bargain hunters -did you know that Antwerp has a Last Minute Ticket Shop? Well you do now. You can buy last-minute reduced cost tickets from 12- 5pm on Fridays and Saturdays, for shows, concerts, theatre performances etc.

Yes, that time of year is approaching and the Winter In Antwerp website is now up!

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This weekend in Antwerp: 24th, 25th & 26th November

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Hello Kitty in Lego (Brickmania)

There’s a lot on this weekend so don’t let November blues keep you in -here’s your GOOGLE MAP with the locations mentioned in this post.

Over Saturday (10am -6pm) and Sunday (10am -5pm) it’s Brickmania at Waagnatie- an absolute must for Lego fans. We’ve been to this in the past and always had a good time, even though it can get really busy. It’s 5 euros in (free for kids under 6) and some of the Lego constructions are just amazing. There are all sorts of beautiful scenes and building recreated in Lego, as well as mechanised constructions with moving parts, as well as Disney and film characters in Lego. It’s also a chance to buy for Sinterklaas or Christmas, for the Lego-lovers in your life.

1WvdS_Vierkant beeld + logoFoodies – Week van de Smaak finishes up this weekend – various food-related activities, workshops and tastings are taking place in the Antwerp area, based around the theme of healthy eating and reducing food-waste. Here are the activities taking place in and around Antwerp.

 

Also over the whole weekend is the annual stock sale of books at Zuiderpershuis -De Markies book sale is free entry, and also a good tip for reduced books if you need to buy gifts for a reader. Most books are in Dutch, with some (e.g. non-fiction, art) in English, and there is usually a good range of kids’ books for your younger readers in Dutch. Doors open at midday.

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Browsing at De Markies stock sale 

 Friday

It’s Black Friday in Antwerp. More than that I do not know and am not prepared to research, as anything that I have ever seen that is to do with Black Friday looks absolutely terrifying. Late night shopping on Kloosterstraat (many shops open until 22h) might be a lot less stressful.

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Critical Mass has an important safety theme this month as recent cyclist casualties need to be kept in the spotlight of current traffic safety debates in Antwerp. Assemble on Theaterplein at 6pm -the theme is ‘light in the darkness‘, emphasising the importance for cyclists to be seen, and bikes to be lit -especially at this time of year, so wear your fluo and put your brightest bike lights on.

Saturday

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Mission to Seafarers Christmas Bazar

Antwerp’s Mission to Seafarers holds its yearly Christmas Bazar this year on the Noorderlaan for the first time. Head to the Antwerp Harbour Hotel if you would like some British Christmas cards, festive foods and other Christmas goodies this year.

Markies Bookmarket & Brickmania continue (see above)

Sunday

Across Brussels and Flanders it’s Dag van de Wetenschap (Science Day) with lots of free and fascinating events in and around Antwerp. Last year, we spent most of the day in Kavka where they learnt about robots, had a go at taking blood and learned about bacteria on hands, but there are lots of other activities for kids and adults across the city.

In The Roma Theatre there’s a kids’ rommelmarkt -everything for kids: toys, games, books and clothes. The stands are also run by kids, and it’s just 1 euro in (50cts for children).

Markies Bookmarket & Brickmania continue (see above)

The weather continues to be typically Novemberish -quite cold with slight chance of showers throughout the weekend.

Miscellaneous

If you are looking for times to take your child/ren to see Sinterklaas, he is around at the following central locations over the coming days:
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Mercado on Wednesday 29th from 1pm

Grand Bazar on the 2nd December 1- 5pm

Meir and Grand Bazar on the 3rd December

The last Wednesday of the month (29th) means the City of Antwerp Museums are free.

Shops will be open on Sundays throughout December in Antwerp.

If you have younger kids, they may like to write a letter to Sinterklaas. This is organised each year by Bpost. Post the letter(s) in special Sint letterboxes (there’s one in the Quellinstraat post office) before 29th November. Don’t forget to ensure that the child’s name and home address is clearly written on the outside of the envelope, so that the child can receive a letter back and a surprise from the Sint. You do not need a stamp. If your child doesn’t write, you can send a Babbel Brief!

If you are new to this tradition, be aware that it takes place on the 6th December and is VERY important to the children of Belgium. You can read about it here.

I was recently contacted by Sandra from Colectivo Amorika. This is a group which offers cultural and arts activities for Spanish speaking families in Antwerp, as well as conversation lessons for intermediate and advanced non-native speakers. They are based in Borgerhout and you can see their program below

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Colectivo Amorika

De Collectie is a means by which you can give away your second hand clothing, shoes, accessories (belts, scarves, gloves, hats) and bedding if they are in good condition. They will be passed to people who need them in Belgium and abroad. You can arrange to have them picked up or can bring them to a collection point. Very handy if you are planning a clear out before the festive season. You can find more information about how this works in Antwerp on De Collectie Antwerpen site.

If you haven’t done so yet, have a read of this recently pressed guest post by Laura, the creator of the lovely Nonnative Antwerp blog, and do get in touch if you would like to contribute your own Antwerp story.

I have also guest-blogged for Nonnative. Read my restaurant review here .

Inspired to write a guest blog post telling your Antwerp story? Please get in touch via nessascityblog@gmail.com -I’d love to hear from you.

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This weekend: 11th, 12th & 13th November

***NEXT POSTING ON THURSDAY 17TH NOVEMBER***

Things are a little quieter at the moment -a bit of down time until the Christmas and winter events get going at the start of December, but I found a few low- budget/ free options for this long weekend…

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Firstly, here’s the GOOGLE MAP with all the locations from this post.

 

Friday

It’s a public holiday for Armistice Day. Schools are off. There will be a big second hand market courtesy of Goegekregen and Snitt on Theaterplein from 9am -6pm.

Het Roze Huis -HQ for activities, events, lobbying and information for Antwerp’s LGBTQ+ community launches L-week  today, kicking off a programme of events, workshops, film and socialising for lesbians in Antwerp.

It’s the last day of the Antwerp Book Expo 2016.

Saturday

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Antwerp kids await the arrival of the Sint on Grote Markt

Today is a big day for all Antwerp children who have been well- behaved of late: Sinterklaas is arriving on Antwerp and will be in the area until 6th December. He will arrive on his boat from Spain and make his way to Grote Markt to address crowds from the Stadhuis. It’s a traditional, local occasion; kids are in awe to see the Sint and there is always an upbeat kiddie-friendly atmosphere, but be prepared for a fair amount of waiting around, and quite dense crowds. Take waterproofs and umbrellas. Sint is expected at Steenplein at 13.30 and will make his way to the Town Hall for 2.45. For couch potatoes -it will be on TV (Ketnet).

An alternative, indoor event takes place at Waagnatie: Brickmania which is a MUST for Lego enthusiasts -don’t worry if your kids want to do both though, because Brickmania is takes place over Saturday and Sunday.

It’s five euros in, but free for under 6s. We went last year and the kids really loved it. Some of the creations are really remarkable: complex and detailed. Kids get a goodie bag, and if you are already thinking of Christmas shopping for the Lego fans in your family, you can get that done here too.

Also over both days is the 30th Festival of Japanese Culture at Zuiderkroon on the Vlaamsekaai.

Sunday

legoBrickmania  contd.

Japanese Culture Festival contd.

On Krugerplein there is a food event: Food in The Hood.

 

 

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Weather will be quite wintry, with temperatures of about 6 degrees and highest chances of showers on Saturday. Sunday should be more pleasant, and dry.

Miscellaneous

Find Nessascityblog on TwitterPinterest and Instagram!

Nessascityblog Brexit posts are here (part 1) and here (part 2).

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Nessascityblog also featured in Den Triangel recently. If you would like a .pdf of that interview, send me a message at nessascityblog@gmail.com

Sinterklaas sweets & cloud pics from Pixabay

 

*** NEXT POST: THURSDAY 17TH NOVEMBER ***

 

 

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This Weekend: 14th- 15th November 2015

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

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Bar Josephine will become Little Brewers Winter Garden

Saturday

INTREDE SINTERKLAAS!

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Scenes from the arrival of Sinterklaas

(Groote Markt 2014)

This is the kiddie mayhem part….

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

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

Sunday

foodtrucks

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

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

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

Saturday, Sunday & beyond

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

Fleamarkets on both days at Antwerp Expo

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Brickmania for Lego-lovers, this weekend.

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

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

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Publicity poster from Swenson Art