This weekend in Antwerp: 11th, 12th & 13th January 2019

theaterpleinfHAPPY NEW YEAR! Here’s the first of the regular posts for 2019. January can be a quiet time but there are a few things on to ease you into the new year.

Friday

Start your weekend with New Year’s Drinks on Theaterplein (pic right), courtesy of Aper’eau.

Saturday

I went to see the “de Wolkenbreier’s” (The Cloudknitter’s) pictures at the bar Rode 7 on Sint Jansplein last weekend. Well worth a look, and a good chance to get acquainted with this lovely Antwerp bar (which also serves good food) if you do not already know it. The finissage will take place from 7pm -11pm

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De Wolkenbreier at Rode 7

There’s the annual Kerstboomverbranding (Christmas tree burning) from 5pm on Frederik van Eedenplein.  You can warm yourself by the fire with a glass of Cava or gluhwein or a snack. This signals the end of all the Winter In Antwerp festivities.

Sunday

Head to De Roma Theatre to spend the day browsing this Film and vinyl expo.

It’s the last chance to catch China Lights  at Antwerp Zoo.

Miscellaneous

January in Antwerp wouldn’t be complete without the BATS panto! This year it’s Snow White (oh, yes it is!)  at Thetaer ‘t Eilandje and tickets are available via the BATS VZW website.

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After some controversy regarding the date this year, Monday 14th January is “Verloren Maandag” (“Lost Monday”) -a Belgian tradition explained in this recipe post which I found. Expect sausage rolls and appelbollen at your local baker.

Although this is the first what’s-on post for 2019, Nessascityblog did publish this special post/ interview with Leandro from Hard Rock Cafe Antwerp.  You should also look out for another special post coming to Nessascityblog on Monday – all about the Plantin-Moretus museum, detailing Antwerp’s special place in the history of publishing, and reviewing of the current exhibition.

Need a productive new year’s resolution that doesn’t involve giving up something you enjoy? Let 2019 be the year you write your Antwerp story for Nessascityblog! Please get in touch with your idea. I’d love to have more guest posts, reviews, tips, personal stories and accounts connected to the city of Antwerp.

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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
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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: 6th, 7th & 8th January 2017

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***  Happy New Year and welcome back to Nessascityblog for 2017!  ***

Here’s the GOOGLE MAP with locations for this post.

There are a few events to take us into the New Year as the Christmas festivities in the town draw to a close this weekend.

tubingwinterinaStad Antwerp’s Winter Festivities conclude this weekend. The Christmas market can be found around Steenplein, Suikerrui, Groenplaats and Grotemarkt, with gluhwein and hot chocolate aplenty -but the 8th is the last day. There’s skating on Groenplaats, a tubing slide on Steenplein and the ferris wheel by the Schelde. The atmosphere is friendly and festive, and it’s a great place to take visiting friends or family and kids. The Nello & Patrasche (A Dog of Flanders) statue was unveiled at the opening of the Christmas market, in December, in front of the Cathedral. This beautiful piece is the work Batist Vermeulen of Studio Tist.

On social media, you can share your Antwerp festive pictures with the hashtag #WinterinA

Friday

There’s a Winter Festival over at Spoor Oost, starting at 4pm and continuing until 9pm, including a ‘Burning Dragon’ spectacle, and activities for kids.

BATS (English Speaking Theatre in Antwerp) hold their usual Friday Open Evening at their Little Theatre on Paardemarkt at 8.30pm -go along to meet members of BATS, have a drink at the bar, or to find out more about being part of the productions they do. Their pantomime is coming soon to Arenberg Theatre!
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Saturday

For a different type of guided walk, you may enjoy an Antwerp Ghost Walk – again a good way to get to know the city if you are new. The full agenda can be seen on the site; it costs 12,50 and starts at 20.30 on Steenplein (by the statue of Lange Wapper).

Het Roze Huis holds its New Year’s reception at Den Draak starting at 8pm -enjoy dancing, and the tombola which will be raising money for their current project: LGBT youth suicide prevention & awareness.

Sunday

If you are new to Antwerp, this New Year’s walk might be a great way to get to know the town. It is organised by Walk Antwerp and costs 18 euros (including a drink). It starts at 2pm from TeaKoff coffee shop (Grote Pieter Potstraat) and lasts about hours. You need to register beforehand by mailing walkantwerp@telenet.be and the walk will take you round the historic centre of Antwerp, with a local guide.

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Stadsfeestzaal Shopping Centre

And if you really haven’t had enough of shopping, you can head into town for the January sales -it’s the first Sunday of the month, so shops are open.

Alternatively, from 11am at de Roma theatre there is a vinyl & film expo all day until 17.30 for 4 euros in -tickets at the door.

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There’s a New Year’s BBQ at the Scheldekaaien by the pedestrian tunnel from midday until 5pm.

 

The weather will be cold, but hopefully not freezing (around 3 degrees). There could be some light rain and drizzle, especially on Saturday.

 

 

Miscellaneous

Monday the 9th of January is “Verloren Maandag” (“Lost Monday”). It’s a tradition to eat sausage bread (worstenbrood) and  appelbollen (fried apple cakes) on Verloren Maandag, which is always the first Monday after the 6th January (“Driekoningen”). There seem to be varying stories about this day, but it is celebrated in Antwerp province and was traditionally a day when no one worked and therefore lost a day’s salary (hence, “Lost” Monday). The city was supposed to provide during this day, and a cost-effective way of doing so was with the sausage bread and apple beignets. Some cafés and bars will observe the tradition by serving these foods.

If you have had a real Christmas tree in your home over the festive period, it can be put out with your regular rubbish in Antwerp throughout January for collection. Some will be burned to mark the end of the Winter In A season on Linkeroever next weekend.

A heads-up for runners: if you want to take part in the Plan Belgium Run on Sunday, March 12, 2017 (Park Spoor Noord) sign up soon (Antwerp Urban Trail on the drop-down menu), as places are running out (no pun intended).

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8th, 9th & 10th January 2016

signpostsWelcome to 2016 on the Nessascity Antwerp blog!

Here are the first suggestions for the new year!

Friday 8th

A new year’s reception  in the evening at the Zuiderpershuis, including a theatrical performance, suitable for kids 5+. I don’t see a price on this one, so am assuming that it is free. Organised by Stad Antwerpen and Groen Antwerpen.

Saturday 9th

The Antwerp Opera opens it doors to children today, for a dance costing 8 euros for kids aged 6+ who would like to dress in their best finery and learn a few classical moves from a dance teacher. For 6 euros at 2pm and 3.30 children aged 4+ can get a guided walk through the world of opera.

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Antwerp Opera

 

Acroyoga, as the name suggests, combines yoga and acrobatic moves. If you would like to try it out, or are already familiar with it then this free event in Borgerhout could be for you. You can also do a trial class for 5 euros at the same location, in the morning (10am).

On Saturday night Het Roze Huis welcomes LGBT party-goers for a New Year’s Reception starting at 8pm on the Draakplaats near Café den Draak.

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publicity photo: Het Roze Huis

Starting at 2pm and going on until 10pm at night is a Food Truck Festival around The Crowne Plaza Hotel to the south of Antwerp. Admission free.

For something more low-key, a photography exhibition opening at 6pm

Sunday 10th

There will be some live music, drinks and snacks at this New Year’s Reception on Sint Jansplein at 2pm.

Plein Publiek offer winter cocktails, music, and brunch from 2pm for an entrance fee of 8 euros.

For children aged 6+ there is a free workshop at 1pm based around the theme of TIME at Het Steen (affiliated to Het Paleis).

Also worth knowing for 2016, is that the cathedral will be free for city dwellers from 1st January 2016. It was extensively renovated during 2015, and previously cost 6 euros to visit.

Have a great weekend. I’m looking forward to keeping you up-to-date with Antwerp happenings in English throughout 2016, and to hearing your suggestions and tips for the best places to hang out in Antwerp!

*In the coming weeks, I am planning to do a post for stay-at-home parents who have toddlers and pre-schoolers at home during the week, so if there is something you do in town with your little ones on Mondays -Fridays, please let me know about it. It might be really useful for other stay-at-home-parents, or those people who have some time off during the week with their children. Thanks!