This weekend in Antwerp: 21st, 22nd & 23rd September

All weekend

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Antwerp Port Area

Part of Antwerp is a 10 day festival which started last weekend and finishes this weekend. It is focussed on the area from Eilandje, taking in Schengenplein, Sloepenweg, Red Star Line Museum … up to the Zaha Hadidplein (at the new port of Antwerp building). Expect events which celebrate the city’s status as a major port, as well as food, music and parties in this much gentrified and historic area of the city. See the full program here. There’s lots on but personally I am especially pleased to see the reopening of the wonderful Red Star Line Museum which has been closed over summer for some improvements, and which is also celebrating its 5th birthday.

Round the Grote Markt area you can catch the UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) World Cup Trials. My kids and I have been impressed by the stunts and skills on display by the sportsmen and women who compete in this event -definitely a fun watch.

If skating is more your thing, head to the Jordaenskaai for the Nokia Antwerp Skate Contest 2018 taking place on Saturday & Sunday.

 

Friday

TheaterpleinColourPopFlying Pig  will be on Theaterplein to start your weekend with their usual line-up of drinks, DJs and food.

UPDATE: Alas this event has been cancelled 😦

Saturday

Come and have a uniquely local Antwerp experience at the Reuzenstoet (“Giant Parade”) in Borgerhout. This is a very old and annual tradition, involving a procession of giant puppet-like figures. The details (and map) are here. The parade starts at 1pm and takes the following route: Gitschotelhof, Vosstraat, Gitschotellei, Bacchuslaan, Berchemlei, K. De Preterlei, Lt. Lippenslaan, Morckhovenlei, Griffier Schobbenslaan, Collegelaan, Stenenbrug, Turnhoutsebaan, Helmstraat, Groenstraat, Laar. Tournhoutsebaan would be a good place to see the parade (from around 3ish). There will be other activities in the area around the Roma Theater, and many people like to follow the giants on their journey.

And while you are in the area, you might want to pick up some fresh and local produce at Farmers’ market Kraakvers.

If you have kids to entertain, head to de Coninckplein at midday for a day of fun activities for the smalls: “ConincksKinderen” will have outdoor play, a bouncy castle, henna and other activities for them to enjoy.

 

Sunday

Music, food stands and a market on Krugerplein: It’s Bouger Bouger from 10am -6pm in this attractive, family oriented square in Borgerhout. Good for kids.  UPDATE: bad weather expected so alas this event has also been cancelled.

It’s the last chance to enjoy a drink and some live music on Flamingoplein (zoo entrance) at the zoo summer bar from 5 – 7pm.

Weather …. hmmm, it should remain mild (and possibly dry) so we can continue to pretend that it’s still summer, but there may be some showers on both Saturday and Sunday

Miscellaneous

Antwerp Art Fair is coming to Antwerp Expo in October and I will have 5 pairs of tickets to give away to Nessascityblog readers, so watch this space for more info and a chance to win soon!

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Runners! still time to register for the 6km Race For The Cure (there’s also a 3km walk if you don’t fancy running). A lovely event, and a very important cause, organised by Think Pink: the National Breast Cancer Campaign in Belgium. I will be running again this year, having had a great experience last year  Come and support survivors, runners and supporters of this cause.

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Race For The Cure

Click here for Bats Variety show info & tickets. “Around The World” on this weekend: Friday, Saturday & Sunday night.

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Next Wednesday is the last Wednesday of the month which means free access to city museums:  Plantin Moretus,  Rockox, Museum Mayer van den Bergh, & the MAS.

 

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The Big Fat Summer Post 2018

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Here is the Nessascityblog Big Fat Summer post for 2018 -a bumper post to keep you informed and equipped to enjoy summer in Antwerp while I take my own summer holiday.

Regular weekly posts for the weekend will be back on 16th August!

The first information source you need to plan your Antwerp summer is the Stad Antwerpen Zomer Van Antwerpen website!

Summer Bars

Pop-up summer bars are at the heart of the Antwerp Summer experience, and are always an excellent go-to option for simply getting out in the city with friends or family. I can’t list them all but here is a breif guide to some I have been to. For a full list of all the summer bars in Antwerp (and beyond) this site is very useful and has an English version now too.

The Zomer van Antwerpen summer bar on Sloepenweg is the mother of all summer bars and is completely all-purpose, providing affordable food, drink, an outdoor library, ZVA info-booth, circus tent, and loads of space for kids to play. Professional loafers (like myself during the summer holidays) think of it as ZVA HQ.

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Bar Noord (Park Spoor Noord)

In Park Spoor Noord, Bar Noord is similarly all-purpose if you are entertaining kids for the warm summer days (the fountains in which children can play are a big draw when temperatures rise). Bar Noord is open until late with more events and music for when it’s grown-up time.

Another huge bar is Bocadero at Waagnatie. It’s got a great location right by the water and is a pretty hip place to see and be seen. Kids will like the sand but Bocadero is definitely more of a venue for those sans enfants, as is Jardim just a little further along the river. There is more of a cocktail atmosphere at these two bars

Bar Paniek is another bar we have enjoyed: it’s got a more quirky and somewhat arty vibe, and is located on the Kattendijkdok with an industrial waterside feel and a standard drink selection: come for a glass of wine or a Seefbeer, rather than to hang with the cocktail crowd. Bar Paniek has also served as a nice location for food and second hand markets in the past. I get the impression that the Cadix Wijk in this area is an up-and-coming one.

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Antwerp summer bars

Also part of ZVA, the Zomerfabriek -is a spacious urban- style bar in Zurenborg, with a busy programme of regular events (e.g. urban sports, dance workshops) aimed mostly at a younger crowd, but the bar itself is a really nice place for anyone wanting a food and drink.

Right in the centre of the city is Strandhof at Kavka. Kavka is a youth-club but even as a crumbly middle-aged person, I really liked being able to go to a summer bar here, two years ago, in the courtyard of this attractive building on Oudaan. It was missed last summer. It’s a perfect location if you are shopping or running errands in the centre and want to get away from busy shops or sticky streets.

A Dozen Dates For Your Summer Diary:

1) On the 11th July, head to Groenplaats for Vlaanderen Feest (the kids entertainments start at midday, courtesy of Ketnet) and the evening entertainment begins on the Grote Markt at 17.45. Both squares will have stages, music, drink, activities and dancing. This is the Day of the Flemish Community, not to be confused with Belgium’s National Day (see number 5, below)

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Groenplaats

2) On the 15th July, it’s the usual second hand book market on de Coninckplein in front of Permeke Library, starting at 10am.

3) Food and Drinks Festival Fiesta Europa is on Groenplaats for five days from the 18th July

4) On 20th -21st July it’s Borgerwood Musical festival at Trix music venue and Spoor Oost

5) 21st of July is a national holiday in Belgium, it being Belgian National Day What better way to celebrate than by going to Roller Disco Dageraad ? It’s on all day from 1pm on Dageraadplaats: bring your skates if you have them (there will be a limited number for hire if you don’t) and dress as per roller disco style!

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The 21st July is Belgium’s National Day

6) Staying on Dageraadplaats for the 22nd July for Rommelmarkt Dageraad. These second hand markets are pretty good as many of the local residents are quite well-heeled…

7) Art Lovers: on 29th July it’s Lambermontmartre -support local artists, photographers and creatives while enjoying outdoor food, drinks and music. Free, from midday -in front of the museum of modern art (aka KMSKA).

8) On the 3rd August Flying Pig is at Antwerp’s Theaterplein. Outdoor evening drinks, DJs and music from 5pm.

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Sommar

9) Also on the 3rd August and continuing on to the 4th it’s annual music festival Linkerwoofer. Tickets here – this is a kid-friendly event.

10) Stay up late and visit your favourite Antwerp museum on the 4th August because it’s the annual Antwerp Museum Night

11) The next day (5th August) you can sing your heart out at Antwerp Zingt. This is a super-friendly, kid-friendly event based around the simple idea that it is fun for a community to get together in song. As well as local songs, there are usually plenty of well-known tunes that everyone can join in with, and a song sheet to help you along. Free, on the Gedempte Zuiderdokken from 6pm

16) And last, but never least, it is the rainbow jewel in the crown of the Antwerp summer: from 8th-12th August it’s Antwerp Pride. The Parade is on the Saturday, starting at 2pm and taking this route: Route: Vlaamse Kaai (start) – Verschansingsstraat – Leopold De Waelplaats – Karel Rogierstraat – Marnixplaats – Scheldestraat – Scheldekaaien – Sint-Pietersvliet (end). For the full program (including pre- and post Pride events) see here.

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Pride Parade

Five For The Rugrats

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1) For just 2 euros per day per kid there’s Speel -O- Rama at Zuiderpershuis

2) Time your drinking to coincide with kids’ read-aloud: daily stories at the outdoor library in the Zomerbar.

3) Check out these sport programs and activities (you need to register for these and pay a fee when you do so). Choose your activity and click on “inschrijven”. Here is the full list For other types of workshops, it is worth looking at the websites of local museums such as MUHKA who have additional holiday workshops for kids.

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Sportopia

4) For cheap indoor play there is Sportopia at the Park Loods building (Park Spoor Noord)

5) The kids’ workshops and activities which have previously been held at Cafe Het Steen have moved to a new venue further along the river on the Drogendokkenweg, and is now called STORMKOP. Here’s their program.

Ongoing

Baroque Antwerp season continues until January 2019.

The OLT (Open Air Theatre) concert season program is here. To go for free, see events entitled “Gratis Vrijdagen” (Free Fridays).

Over summer, Stad Antwerp offers two outdoor swimming pools (Boekenberg and de Molen)

Follow Nessascityblog on Instagram for pictures of summer 2018 in Antwerp!

I hope you have a lovely Antwerp summer and I am very grateful to everyone who reads the blog, and who takes the time to contact me with events, information or a positive comment.

Don’t forget that if you would like to write a special post for Nessascityblog or do a short interview (in person, or via email) then please get in touch: nessascityblog@gmail.com or via the other social media in the Find & Follow section. I’d love to hear and share your Antwerp story!
Nessascityblog weekly posts will return on 16th August.

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

Here is the GOOGLE MAP  for this weekend

Friday

It’s the monthly free film night at Antwerp’s LGBT+ Het Roze Huis. This month showing romcom Zot van A at 8pm.

Saturday

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Rubenshuis Museum on Wapper

After extensive restoration work, Ruben’s self portrait returns to the Rubens House on Wapper. From 10 am -8pm you can go and have a look for free. Look out for the appropriately costumed figures on stilts around Meir to point you in the right direction. The Rubenshuis is a real treasure, and worth seeing, including the gardens which are very pretty. When you are done there, come out and turn left to go shopping at the market … or right to go shopping on Meir.

It’s Record Store Day, vinyl lovers! I found three Antwerp vinyl stores which are marking this annual international event with special offers and live music in store: Tune Up on Melkmarkt, Fat Kat on Vleminckstraat,  and Coffee & Vinyl on Volkstraat.

If you know someone who is interested in studying in Antwerp, The University of Antwerp and it university colleges (Artesis Plantijn, Karel de Grote) are holding an open day today (you need to register in advance) and you can see the different campus locations and subjects here, so you know where to go. Open Day takes place from 9.30am -4.30.

affiche-wereldkeuken-2018 2Head to Chiro Lore youth group (left) for their “Wereld Keuken” (World Kitchen) from 4pm. A great way to try dishes from around the world for very low prices (a euro per dish!) and you can pick up a free recipe book.

Chiro Lore is a youth group for young people aged 6-18 who organise and enjoy a variety of activities in Antwerp, and who meet each Sunday.

Sunday

It’s Erfgoeddag (Heritage Day) all over Flanders meaning that various sites and insututions are making a special effort to open their doors. Many of Antwerp’s museums (e.g. MUHKA and The Red Star Line) have special activities or guided tours. Use this search to find out what is going on in an area near you -be aware that some activities require you to register beforehand. There is also an Erfgoed App.

Antwerp 10 Miles takes place today. The 19th (Thursday) is the last chance to register if you want to run. If you are a supporter and want to watch the runners here is a map of the route that the run will take, including information about entertainment along the way. Today is also the Antwerp Marathon which starts on Linkeroever, and finishes on The Grote Markt, so expect a lot of runners around town!

This weekend’s second hand joy for bargain hunters is brought to you by SNITT vintage & second hand clothing market which will be held at HAAR from 10am -7pm.

Miscellaneous

Yet again, the weather outlook is very good -warm and dry, if a bit cloudy at times. Top temps as high as 24 degrees are predicted!

Last Wednesday of the month (25th April) means free city museums (Museum Plantin Moretus, the Rockox Museum, Museum Mayer van den Bergh, MAS and The Red Star Line Museum)

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

HERE IS THE GOOGLE MAP WITH THE LOCATIONS FOR THIS POST

Saturday

MOMUfFashionistas will want to head down to Antwerp’s Fashion Museum on Nationalestraat where they are having a stock sale on both Saturday and Sunday this weekend from 10am. Up for grabs will be DVDs, books, mannequins, posters and postcards from previous exhibitions at MOMU on Nationalestraat.

Today is Slow Art Day -an annual international art event; the idea being that you take time to look at a selection of pieces for 10 minutes, and then discuss them.  In Antwerp, The Red Star Line Museum, St Paulus Kerk, MuHKA and  FOMU will be taking part. Click on the links of participating venues here.

Sunday

It’s the third Sunday of the month so it’s boekenplein  from 10am on de Coninckplein in front of Permeke library -browse second hand books, magazines, graphic novels and old picture postcards until 4pm

MoMu stocksale continues (see above)

There is a plant market for gardeners and other green-fingered individuals on  Klooster Straat (on the same square by the Peter the Great statue, where they hold Markt van Morgen) from 10 am until 5pm.eggs

If the kids need one more Easter activity before returning to school after the break, there is an Easter Egg Hunt on Paradeplein from 11 -3pm.

 

 

Miscellaneous

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Outdoor play at Permeke Library

Next Wednesday (18th April) it’s Buitenspeeldag (‘Play Outside Day’). Buitenspeeldag encourages children to play outside all afternoon (and no homework should be given!). Various activities and toys are provided in different locations: last year I took my kids to the reading garden (‘leestuin’) at the Permeke Library. You can search here for particpating venues in the Antwerp area.

If you are a runner, you can still register for the Antwerp Ten Miles which takes place on  the 22nd April. If ten miles is a bit too far for you then I can recommend The Race For The Cure which is now open for individual and team registrations. My son and I did this last year – it was a lovely event  down on the Kaaien, and a great cause.

The weather should be nice again this weekend -quite warm and dry, with top temperatures around 21 degrees. It is also predicted to be good next week (for buitenspeeldag on Wednesday).


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This weekend in Antwerp: 23rd, 24th and 25th February

meugHERE’S THE GOOGLE MAP FOR THE LOCATIONS MENTIONED HERE.

I’m looking forward to tasting festival MEUG this weekend. It’s on both on Friday and Saturday at the Zuiderpershuis. I went last year with friends and we had a good time. It works really well in this spacious and airy venue and the atmosphere was friendly and laid-back, with a wide variety of stands to please both beer and whiskey enthusiasts. At time of writing, there are still tickets available.

 

Also over both days at Kinepolis, The 2018 International Minerals,  Precious Stones and Fossils Expo.

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ACAM

For this post, I’m doing something a little different by giving it a market focus, so there is an Antwerp Market on each of the three days below. I’ve chosen a different one for each day.

Friday

The Vrijdag Markt (Friday Market) takes place -unsurprisingly -on Fridays, and on the Vrijdagmarkt, a small square that you can get to by turning off either Reyndersstraat, Kammenstraat or Hoogstraat in the old town. You can find various types of jumble and bric-a-brac at this small weekly market. This square is not so well known to tourists, even though it is right by the Historic Centre. If you are on Vrijdagmarkt, it’s a good opportunity to hang out at any of the small bars which surround the square or to visit the Plantin Moretus museum.

Critical Mass are extending the Valentine love to this Friday. Their monthly bike ride will have a romantic theme: show your love for Antwerp and for cycling freely and safely in the city by showing up as usual at 6pm with your bike for an evening 8km bike ride, starting and ending at Theaterplein.

ghostwalkIf you like stories of phantoms, spirits and things that go bump in the night, you will be pleased to learn that Antwerp Ghost Walks have some tours coming up in English, including this one today: meet at the Lange Wapper statue (Steenplein) at 8pm. Cost: E12.50 pp.

Saturday

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Antwerp Market on Theaterplein

Antwerp’s largest weekly market (pic above) takes place on Theaterplein every Saturday. It is a regular fixture in the agendas of many locals. It’s a lot more than a place to pick up your weekly fruit and veg (although its great for that too!) as it is also a spot where locals stop and socialise and meet friends. Since the “roof” was installed on Theaterplein in 2008, rain no longer spoils the market experience. The food stands are hugely varied: Greek, Moroccan, Spanish, Italian… You can pick up fantastic cheeses, spices, fresh pasta tapenades and breads to take home, but should also take time to stop to enjoy oysters & cava, coffees and teas, mini- waffles, wraps or tapas at any of the stalls which have seating and standing areas. If you prefer to sit inside, there are some many bars and cafés all round Theaterplein: my favourites are Belgian Wines (great wine and cheese -all from Belgium), Nellies (coffee, ice cream, shakes and hopefully they still do that tasty poached egg and avocado toast) and Fabrik, a bistro-style bar/ restaurant which also often has live music on Friday night if you find yourself still in the area,

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Sint Nicolaasplaats

The ABC Market (Antiques, Books & Bricabrac, Curiosa) takes place on the last Saturday of the month. It’s mainly -but not solely – about the books, and takes place in a pretty courtyard (pic right, from Google streetview) towards the university district.

Gardeners and growers: the Ecohuis “Seed Library” is re-opening. You can take seeds to plant yourself, and are requested to bring seeds back in from your own harvest, to contribute to the library. From 1pm- 5pm.

 Sunday

Another well established Antwerp market is the Sint Jansvliet Sunday market offering bric-a-brac, small antiques, second hand homeware, jewellery, curiosa  and glassware. Again it is located in a square surrounded by bars, but it’s also right in front of Antwerp’s voetgangers tunnel (the square building on the Schelde side of Sint Jansvliet) The Pedestrian Tunnel goes under the river and is for those travelling by foot or by bike. If you haven’t been down there, you should take a look and cross over to Linkeroever on the other side of the river.

Miscellaneous

Temperatures are cooler than last weekend, but it should remain dry, and there will be some periods of sunshine.

Did you know about Ecce homo Antwerpen ?

Next Wednesday is the last of the month so that means that city museums are free. This link shows you which museums that includes.

If you are a runner, you can now register for the Antwerp Ten Miles which takes place on  the 22nd April.

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This weekend in Antwerp: 9th, 10th & 11th February

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Here’s your GOOGLE MAP to help you find the events listed in this post.

This weekend, it’s the Asia In Antwerp event which takes place over both Saturday and Sunday. Tickets can be reserved online here. There will be food and drink stands from all over Asia (as well as cooking and food preparation workshops) and performances of Asian music and dance from a variety of countries: Bali, Indonesia, Korea, China and Thailand. (Images courtesy of Azie in Antwerpen)Screen Shot 2018-01-30 at 19.52.20

Antwerp Pateekesweek continues until 11th February. During Pateekesweek, various bakeries, patisseries, coffee & tea houses take part, and the idea is to allow cake-lovers to sample a variety of treats at different places. To take part, you buy a Pateekes Pas for 10 euros which has 10 bonnetjes (vouchers) on it. These can be exchanged in the participating venues which are listed here and you can buy the Pateekes Pas at the tourist offices on Grote Markt or at Antwerp Central Station.

 

Friday


Hear a musical story in English at ‘T Werkhuys (Inter-Musikas – ‘Measure 23 of Life’): Adam Clarke, Canadian composer who studies here in Antwerp. Adam composes pieces for guitar, guitar duo, bagpipe and- for the first time- flute. He will tell his migration story and how it changed his way of thinking, and his style of composing. The story will be told totally in English.

Saturday

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Old City Wall visible on the Frankrijklei last year

This weekend you can view the foundations at Kipdorpbrug which are exposed as a result of the building work on the Noorderlijn in the centre of Antwerp. Last year, a similar opportunity occurred on the Frankrijklei, when the old city wall was visible and it was possible to go and see it. It’s worth doing as it is just for this weekend that the public are able to go this archeological site. You can visit the site from 1pm -10pm. This continues onto Sunday (10am -6pm). The pop-up café Opera Plein 1 will be exhibiting some of the objects found at the site. The site is likely to be muddy, so wear your sturdiest boots. A food archeologist will be around between 2 and 6pm, and DJ Barok will be playing very old-school hits, so you can party like it’s 1799.

More music at this free choral concertat 8pm at St Andries Kerk. “Inner Voices” is a youth choir from London established in 2011, and with a wide repertoire of different songs.

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If you have younger kids, you will know Het Steen Café. We have been here often since we moved here, for play facilities, workshops and even our son’s birthday party. Het Steen is closing this weekend and is holding a free closing party (from 3pm) to say goodbye. The kids facilities will move to Droogdokkensite (in the Eilandje area) and re-open in June under the new name “Stormkop”.

Sunday

Kipdorp archeological event -see above (Saturday)

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It’s the annual Rivierenhof Valentines Run with 5k and 10k runs, you can arrive from 9.30am and the starting pistol is fired at 11am. To take part costs five euros on the day itself, but is free if you register beforehand. 

It’s Goegekregen in the Parkloods (Park Spoor Noord) a secondhand/ retro/ vintage market with something for everyone -free.

It’s not exactly bikini weather. Friday looks particularly chilly (2 degrees) even with the possibility of some snow. It’s a little warmer on Saturday and Sunday, but Sunday could be showery.

 

Miscellaneous

This month sees the start of some blog posts that I am writing for Visit Antwerp this year. Check out my FIVE FEBRUARY FAVOURITES

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At the Permeke Library the free exhibition Legends of Liondance is on until 25th February. I recommend this as I went last year with my kids. It’s also a good chance to see the relocated children’s section of the Permeke library.

Schools are off next week for the February break (aka Krokusvakantie). Museums across Belgium are putting on some special activities for kids. Here’s the selection from the Antwerp area.

Valentine’s Day is next Wednesday.

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This weekend in Antwerp: 22nd, 23rd & 24th December

I am taking a break for Christmas now and will be posting again in the new year on the 11th January, so there are a couple of extra events in the miscellaneous section to take you beyond this weekend. Additionally, I am proud to share this post on the Visit Antwerpen site, all about Winter in Antwerp. Please read and share 🙂

Have a fantastic Christmas and a very happy new year!

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The Christmas Market

AKA – Winter In Antwerp. If you have lived in Antwerp for more than a year, then you will know that Winter in A means that the historic centre is lit up for the Christmas season. It’s a lot more than a Christmas market -you will find festive activities on Steenplein, Suikerrui, Grote Markt, Handschoenmarkt and Groenplaats. There are market stands on Grote Markt, Groenplaats, Steenplein and Suikkerui and the ice rink is on Groenplaats. There is also a big wheel, tubing and the Spiegeltent on Steenplein for the kids, and funfair activities along the riverside.

Friday
dewarmsteweek

De Warmste Week is a week of charity activities organised by Studio Brussels. It takes place between 17th- 24th December and on Friday there is a 2.7km Warmathon Run from 2pm in the Stadspark (Rubenslei entry). Sign up via the hyperlink in the ‘inschrijven’ section, or on the day itself, if places are still available. Your participation fee goes to a number of good causes supported by De Warmste Week.

Saturday

Go dancing for free courtesy of Meatpack and London Calling, from 10pm with all your favourite Britpop and Indie tunes. Meatpack (Samberstraat 40) is a new venue describing itself as an old warehouse where “art, food, fashion, crafts, music and nightlife will finally meet in a concrete labyrinth … the size of a football field”
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Sunday (Christmas Eve)

Last chance for Christmas shopping -yes, Antwerp shops are open on Christmas Eve.

This weekend looks likely to be dry and fresh, but without the freezing temperatures. Chances of a white Christmas are very low … sorry, snow lovers…

farewell-1188653_640Miscellaneous

I was delighted to learn that Nessascityblog was listed by Spotted by Locals in their list of Best Antwerp Blogs 2017. Spotted by Locals provides city tips from people who live in the 67 cities they feature.

Antwerp City museums are FREE on the last Wednesday of the month.

From the 28th December you can enjoy theatre, circus and music at Park Spoor Oost’s Wintervuur.

The New Year’s edition of Critical Mass will be on the 29th December -meet on Theaterplein at 6pm with your bike and round of 2017 with an 8km bike ride that will take you round the city and finish up on Grote Markt, right in the middle of the Christmas Market.

There will be fireworks on New Year’s Eve, as usual down by the river.

China Light has opened at Antwerp Zoo. It’s a little bit more expensive than the events I usually include here, but it has become something of an annual feature of the Antwerp winter scene, and -if it’s dry – it’s worth seeing. The colours and lights are pretty and magical. It’s on until the 14th January.

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China Light at Antwerp Zoo

 

And on Monday 12th I pressed a special Nessascityblog post about English speaking theatre in Antwerp, featuring a review of BATS performance of Dracula, and information about an upcoming BATS production which will please theatre-goers of all ages …

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Aladdin Panto
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diciembre -Colectivo Amorika

 

 

International families with Spanish speakers, in Antwerp -see the green poster (left) for the December program of Colectivo Amorika

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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Find me on social media, where additional events and locations are also posted:

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This weekend in Antwerp: 21st & 22nd October

Feels like a post-summer lull is upon us a bit, but there are still a few things on. Here’s the map for this weekend’s picks.

dkbeerfWild Jo’s Market takes place over Saturday and Sunday at de Koninck Brouwerij It’s a nice market if you have time on your hand and like design, but it does cost 4 euros to get in, which I personally think is a bit steep (although it’s free for under 16s) as an entry charge to a place where you are likely to be spending further. There is both an inside and an outside area, and there will be local creatives and entrepreneurs selling clothes, design and household items, art, crafts, food, clothing and more. There will also be live music.

Saturday

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Over in Park Spoor Noord, Bar Noord is closing, which confirms that summer is over and it’s definitely autumn. SNITT and Goegekregen are holding a second hand market in the shelter from 9am -6pm and over the weekend there is a program of events from Bar Noord to mark the end of their summer 2017 season.

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It’s also Kringwinkel Day – a good day to get a bargain in any one of Antwerp’s second hand stores. I like the one at St Jorispoort as it is very big -three floors of furniture, household goods, clothes, toys and well, anything, really. Here’s the program for the day (scroll down for De Kringwinkel Antwerpen -page 3/ 5- where you can see the specific themes/ specialties for each of the stores).
Sunday

There is a running event at Park Spoor Noord from 10.30 (go to the Loods Sport hall to register at 10.30). Take part in  5km, 10km or 15km run. Here’s the program for the whole day.

WP_20171018_14_42_46_RichAnd from 10am -5pm Brilliant Foodies – a food festival organised by Antwerp World Diamond Centre at Felix Pakhuis (Eilandje, near MAS). Free entry.

Miscellaneous

Temperatures are likely to be pleasant this weekend (reaching 17 degrees) but there are chances of showers on both Saturday and Sunday.

Coming Soon: I’m looking forward to pressing another guest post this time from Laura, an Italian who lives in Antwerp and is the the writer of Nonnative blog

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Don’t forget to get in touch via nessascityblog@gmail.com if you would like to write a post telling your Antwerp story.

Next Wednesday (25th) is the last Wednesday of the month so don’t forget that Stad Antwerp museums are free on that day, which is handy to know if you have kids to occupy. Also handy to know if you have kids, is that Filmhuis Klappei is showing children’s films on Wednesday afternoons, starting at 2.15. This coming Wednesday it’s Viana (in Dutch): cost -2.50 for kids and 3.50 for adults (reserve via the email link).

And one more for the kids: you may be pleased to know that the indoor playground above Mercado (Groenplaats) is reopening this weekend. It will be open on Saturdays and Sundays (and during school holidays) from 10am- 6pm and on Wednesdays from 1pm -6pm.

If you use public transport a lot in Antwerp, you may be interested in the City Pass Antwerp from De Lijn.

Good news if you want to fly from Antwerp – London

Don’t forget to find me on social media, where additional events and locations are also posted:

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This Weekend: 25th, 26th & 27th August

It’s a busy weekend to finish the month of August, and before Belgian schools go back at the start of September. Here’s your GOOGLE MAP!

 

Friday

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The Mechelseplein

The Mechelsepleinfeesten take place on both theFriday and Saturday this weekend. This is a kid-friendly neighbourhood event, offering music, food, drinks and dance. The full list of events and happenings can be found on the event page on Facebook. On Friday it starts at 4pm.

Critical Mass holds their usually monthly cycle ride, starting from the Theaterplein at 6pm, so assemble then with your bike for this month’s Africa edition of the bike ride.

Also on Friday, Aper’eau is on Bolivarplaats from 5pm, with their usual offering of beers, wines and aperitifs – until midnight.

Saturday

The Mechelsepleinfeesten continue -again, from 4pm.

Jazztemblieft is a free Jazz festival taking place on the Godefrieduskaai, at the MAS museum, starting at 2 and continuing until midnight. It’s free and kid-friendly.

Sunday

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Cultuurmarkt flags on Meir

You may have noticed some red, white and blue flags hanging on Meir -these are for Cultuurmarkt which takes place in Antwerp today, in various locations around the city centre. There is a very varied and wide program for this day, including many exhibitions at city museums (most of which are open from 10 -5pm) as are other venues, including bars, theatres and businesses. Groenplaats, Meir, Grote Markt, Steenplein, Suikerrui and Wapper will all be busy with cultural activities, free performances and information. Check the Google map which indicates which arts area you can find out about at each of these locations. It is a chance to find out about the upcoming agendas of a huge number of musea, clubs, societies, theatres, music venues and organisations offering creative activities and performances in the coming months. There’s usually a lot to keep kids amused, including a trail to follow called Vliegroute -go to the hyperlink to download the card, which kids can get stamped as they go along, and eventually win a prize when they have collected stamps from completing fun activities.

Also for kids – Bar Noord is offering this free cooking workshop at 3pm for budding chefs aged 6-12. Mail lotte@dagvers.org to register your child.

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Lambermontmartre

Lambermontmartre will be holding their monthly art fair from midday, at Leopold de Waelplaats (near the Fine Art Museum) from midday, also with live music and food.

Yoyogi (part of ZvA) is back for Sundays in August -not just yoga, but music, games, workshops and other activities are on offer for free between 2- 7pm on the green at Rivierenhof.

The weather should be warm, and sometimes sunny with top temperatures of 24 – 25 degrees.

Miscellaneous

Wednesday 30th: don’t forget that on the last Wednesday of the month there is free museum entry.

Runners! You can register now for Race For The Cure which is a 6km run taking place on 24th September, in aid of Breast Cancer research and awareness.

Sportopia (Park Spoor Noord, in the Loods building) finishes this weekend (on the 27th)

Don’t forget to find me on social media, where additional events and locations are also posted:

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This weekend: 4th, 5th & 6th August

Back as promised, although still readjusting to the CET zone and the superior beer, so bear with me…. Hope you had a great July, whether you were in Antwerp or elsewhere. Here is the GOOGLE MAP to help you find your way this weekend and here are the events of interest:

Friday

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Linkerwoofer festival takes place on the other side of the water on Friday and Saturday. It’s not a free festival, but not too pricey at 10 (if you arrive before 3 on the Saturday) -12 euros. It’s also kid-friendly (and free for kids shorter than 1m). This year all tickets are available on entry, rather than online beforehand.

 

Flying Pig is on Sint Andriesplaats from 5pm for outdoor drinks, music and snacks. This is a local square that I like -away from the better known squares like Grote Markt and Groenplaats -and offers a chance to explore some smaller bars along nearby Kloosterstraat (check out Heilig Huisken or Dansing Chocola).

At 2pm the Free Friday at Openlucht Theater Rivierenhof comprises French chanson by Liliane Saint Pierre and Marijn Devalck.

Saturday

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It’s the annual Museum Night in Antwerp: 24 museums which are open throughout the night, offering special expos and performances, as well as their permanent exhibitions. A shuttle bus service (included in your ticket) operates to take you from one museum to the next and costs 12 euros, or 9 euros if you buy online in advance. Kids under 12 go free, and it’s 6 euros if you are under 26.

 

Sunday

First Sunday of the month means it’s Sunday shopping in the city centre. For more frugal shoppers, head to Park Spoor Noord for a Goegekregen rommelmarkt  (secondhand market) between 9am and 6pm. The Bar Noord area is also family friendly, and the weather is predicted to be warm, so you might want to take a towel and swim things if you have children who are likely to want to play in the water there.

Yoyogi (part of ZvA) is back for Sundays in August -not just yoga, but music, games, workshops and other activities are on offer for free between 2- 7pm on the green at Rivierenhof.

At 3pm you can get a free guided tour of St Andries Church

Miscellaneous

The weather looks to be nice this weekend -warm, but not scorching at around 22 degrees – and likely dry, with some clouds.

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Antwerp Pride kicks off on the 9th August (next Wednesday -more in next week’s post) but check here for a number of pre-pride events, and Den Draak will also be kicking off Pride on Thursday in what they describe as their “biggest party of the year!!”.

Watch out for a guest post on Nessascityblog on Monday!

Don’t forget to find me on social media, where additional events and locations are also posted:

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The Big Fat Summer Post 2017

sun-159392_640This post covers the next month while I am on holiday (even bloggers need a break from time to time). The first section lists some ongoing activities, whilst the second section lists specific activities and events by date.

I’ll be back at the start of August -if you feel so inclined you can follow my #nessascityblogUSA adventures on Instagram

In the meantime, here are some Antwerp highlights which I am sorry to be missing   …

During or throughout July

ZVAflagFThe most useful thing to know is the Zomer van Antwerpen website, which lists all the special summer events provided by the City of Antwerp, including theatre performances, summer bars, live music and Cinema Urbana (outdoor cinema venue next to The Schelde, opens in August). You can also buy tickets for those events which are not free, but many are, as is access to the summer bars of course.  Zomerfabriek has a bit more of a clubby vibe to it, while the Zomerbar on Sloepenweg has a very broad appeal, and is probably better for younger kids -there’s a playground as well as an outdoor library there. Muziek in de Wijk is pretty much as the name (Music in the Neighbourhood) suggests -stages with live music on local squares or parks, and is free. Again, these are very much occasions for all ages and there are refreshments available. It’s a good chance to hear some local bands. Other summer bars which I really like are Bar Noord in Park Spoor Noord and Smokey Jo’s Cantina -both kid-friendly, also Bar Paniek right next to the water on the Kattendijkdok.

 

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Antwerp Summer Bars

Another special program of summer performances and music can be found at the Openlucht Theater (OLT) at Rivierenhof (Open Air Theatre) which is a really nice place to see a band on a summer’s evening. Order tickets via the site (some sell out quickly and more well known performers are already sold out) but there are also free shows on Fridays (search for Gratis Vrijdagen) .

And the View on The Zoo ferris wheel is on Astridplein throughout July

The Sinksenfoor (funfair) is open daily in Park Spoor Oost until 9th July.

For kids up to the age of 13, there is Speel-O-Rama in the Zuiderpershuis every week day for 2 euros per kid (17th July -11th August)

During summer Antwerp offers two open-air swimming pools which are now open! It is free to swim at Boekenberg, but there is a small entrance charge at the Linkeroever pool (it is also recommended that you have a 1 euro coin with you to use the lockers; and your A-kaart, if you have one).

Buurtpleintjes is an initiative from Stad Antwerpen offering free sporting activities on local squares around the city. Last year, my son really enjoyed a series of free basketball lessons on Sint Andriesplaats as part of this initiative. Start by checking here to see what’s on offer near you.

A grab-bag of events in order of date…

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Saturday July 1st You can join a ghostwalk for 7,50, starting at 7pm from Steen

Sunday 2nd July: Goegekregen in the Stadspark these are always big and very sociable. There’s pretty much nothing you can’t get on the cheap here -including- usually – a haircut.

Sunday 2nd July: First Sunday of the month means Sunday shopping in Antwerp

Weekend 1st & 2nd July: Opening of the Port of Antwerp water-bus route. Activities and entertainment on Steenplein from 9am

Weekend 1st & 2nd July: Ramblas ‘beach’ party on the Falconplein and nearby streets. Lots of sand, music, cocktails, kids’ fun, vintage & flea markets from 10 -6pm both days.

Friday July 7th: Aper’eau on Theaterplein, Drinks, snacks, DJs. From 5- midnight

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Saturday 8th July: Dancing in the Stadspark from 3pm – midnight. Fun, free, kid-friendly (at least for the earlier part of the party) Also Sunday 9th July

Sunday 9th July Muziek in de Wijk is on Krugerplein, Borgerhout from 2pm

Tuesday 11th July: Vlaanderen Feest Dag celebrating Flanders and the Flemish Community –check here for the program in Antwerp (note that there are also events in the days running up to the 11th of July itself). There are kids shows on Groenplaats from midday until 6pm (Studio 100). The Feest Dag finishes on Grotemarkt with a party at night from 7.30.

Saturday 15th July: Free Salsa dancing at Bar Noord (Park Spoor Noord) from 6.30pm

Sunday 16th July: Swan Market is on Grote Markt from 11am -6pm (accessories, food, music, clothes, jewellery, interiors) and Boekenplein (second hand books & graphic novels) is on de Coninckplein in front of the library from 10am.

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21st July Fete des Belges / Nationale feestdag van België/ Belgischer Nationalfeiertag

Friday July 21st:  It is Belgium’s National Day and a public holiday

Friday July 21st: Re:set fleamarket at Het Eiland from 11am -5.30. Last time I went to Het Eiland it was a little quiet in terms of the stands (I guess some stand holders are on their summer holidays) but even so, it is worth going to Het Eiland to see the location. A relaxed bar with a great view of MAS. This is a pop-up in the Port of Antwerp old harbour building.

and a (free) Roller Disco on Dageraadplaats from 11am -10pm, with food, music, yoga and art installations.

 

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Antwerp Museums

 

Wednesday July 26th -City of Antwerp museums are FREE on the last Wednesday of the month

and Brocantwerpen is on the Grote Markt (10am -6pm)

Friday 28th July -Critical Mass. Assemble 6pm on Theaterplein with your bike for an hour’s cycling round Antwerp and help reclaim the street for bikes.

Saturday July 29th You can join a ghostwalk for 7,50, starting at 7pm from Steen

Sunday 30th July –Lambermontmartre art market from midday

Lastly a random tip …botannicsF

If the activity and heat of summer in the city get a bit much, did you know that Antwerp has a Botanical Garden?  It’s a haven of green and peace. Sit on the lawns or benches, or wander through to the back and find De Serre

 

 

And so …

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Enjoy July in beautiful Antwerp! I hope this post serves as a useful pick ‘n’ mix for the time that there are no weekly posts. Feel free to add comments & ideas in the below. See y’all in August!

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JULY

And please don’t forget that I am still looking for guest posts -if you have some free time over the holiday period, you might like to think about telling YOUR Antwerp story on Nessascityblog. Don’t forget to find me on social media, where additional events and locations are also posted:

 

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