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

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

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

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Saturday

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

Sunday

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

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

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

Miscellaneous

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

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

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

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

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This weekend in Antwerp: 16th & 17th November

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

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

Saturday

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday

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Vintage postcards on Boekenplein

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

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

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

Miscellaneous

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

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Email: nessascityblog@gmail.com

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This weekend in Antwerp: 8th, 9th &10th November

The Antwerpen Boekenbeurs 2019 is on for the second (and last) weekend for 2019 in Antwerp Expo. This is a vast bookfair whose history stretches back to 1932. Most books are in Dutch, but there are stands with English and French books.

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The Irish Times pub on Grote Markt is the venue for this Language Swap Event Hosted by The Irish Times and by swaplanguage.com it’s a chance for international people from all walks of life, to meet, network, socialise and broaden their understanding of other cultures and languages. Swap Language starts at 7.30pm.

Saturday

Local producers’ market Kraakvers is on Sint Andriesplaats today from 10am -3pm. Kraakvers also locally made food products -including beers, preserves, honey and bread – as well as fresh fruit and vegetables.

Along similar lines, there is more good news for local, organic and sustainable shoppers in Antwerp: The Bio Barn (pic below, courtesy of Bio Barn) opens its doors for the first time, on Verlatstraat at 10am this weekend. The Bio Barn already has branches in Brussels, and is coming to Antwerp too -it’s a covered market selling fresh and local sustainably- sourced produce, with less packaging.

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Sunday

Full Circle Antwerp is a one day and night festival in Antwerp. It is ticketed and there are still some tickets remaining which you can order here. With day and night programmes, Full Circle hosts events at 12 venues across the city. This vinyl market at de Studio is a free event, however.

Brrrr …. it’s definitely getting chillier now that we are into November. Temperatures will be no higher than 10 degrees this weekend, BUT at least it looks like it will be dry this weekend.

Miscellaneous

This week I published a special post featuring photographs taken by people like myself who are not Antwerp born-and-bred but who have made their home in Antwerp: check out these beautiful images of the city.

Monday 11th November (Armistice Day) is a public holiday in Belgium and Goegekregen vintage and second-hand market will be on Theaterplein.

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De Grote Schijn takes place each evening until 11th November (ticketed) – it’s a special route through the Rivierenhof which sees the estate transformed into a magical fantasy land of light and colour. The route is about 2km long and you can walk through it at your own pace enjoying the spectacle. Tickets via the link.

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This weekend: 10th, 11th & 12th February

–Next post: Thur 16TH FEBRUARY  —–

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Greetings! I’m back in Antwerp after a great week in The Hague at THIMUN. Here goes for this, the Valentine edition, starting with the Google map for all the locations mentioned in this post.

Cake-lovers -it’s “Pateekesweek” until the end of the weekend: this means that for 10 euros you can pick up a set of tokens to be exchanged for pastries and cakes in participating bakers, food sellers and cafés. The offer assures that you get twice your money’s worth by taking part this way, and you can get the tokens at the tourist offices on either Grote Markt or central station, along with details of participating outlets.

Saturday

There’s what looks like a posh jumble sale at Plein Publiek at 2pm in the form of a Blogger Closet Sale.

Or the opening of this photography exhibit It’s Not About Cars at Gallery 51 at 2pm. If you prefer painting, there’s this one, starting at the same time.

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A music loving child might find this event will be perfect for them. It’s for kids aged 6-12 and offers a choice of 30 minute workshops focused on different instruments. Note that parking is described as ‘difficult’, so come by bike or public transport (trams 2/3/5/6. Stops -Handel or Elisabeth). Register your kid(s) from 1pm on the day.

If you are shopping with your beloved, there is the offer of a free photo at Grand Bazar shopping centre between 10 and 6pm.

Sunday

Runners – there’s the choice of a 5km or 10 km run at Rivierenhof which is free, although you need to register by email. It has a Valentines theme and starts at 11. Make sure you register before the 10th.

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Het Steen

I’ve not mentioned these for a while, but if you are getting short on ideas about what to do with the smalls during this lousy weather, there are workshops at Het Steen for kids aged 6+. It’s a nice venue, where accompanying adults can get a decent beer, and where supervisors are used to working with kids of various nationalities and will take an inclusive approach if your child is not a native Dutch speaker.

Also with a Valentines theme is this free 2 hour creative workshop at Permeke library for kids aged 6-12 from 11am.

The weather looks pretty chilly, but bright at times. Should be dry.

Miscellaneous

This week I took the kids to the indoor playground at Mercado on Groenplaats. It was 5 euros in (for accompanying adults also) which included a drink jeton. Kinds under 3 are free. Plus points were that the kids loved it -it’s a very big, airy space with a wide range of activities (climbing, triking, ball pit, arts and crafts). My kids did not want to leave

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Indoor play above Mercado on Groenplaats

For the accompanying adults, it’s not bad although I thought it could have been better heated (this is not an issue at for the kids who are constantly on the move) and I  was disappointed that there is no wifi available. Also despite getting a jeton along with each entrance, there aren’t any drinks on the menu that only cost a single jeton. The bar is nice, service was fine and there are plenty of seats and tables. Even on Wednesday afternoon (when Belgian schools are out) it was not too crowded by any means.

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Don’t forget that actual Valentine’s Day is next Tuesday. That’s not specific to Antwerp, but just a general reminder in case you have a partner who goes batshit if you forget.

 

For an old school date at the pictures, try  Cinema Cartoons in the old town, and then maybe spend some time in the bars around Vrijdagmarkt. I like Bar 2  for reliably tasty, well-made and reasonably priced dishes, or just for a drink.

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additional images this week from Pixabay

 —– BACK ON THE 16TH FEBRUARY  —–

 

 

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This weekend: 13th, 14th & 15th January

 —–NEXT POST THURSDAY 19TH JANUARY—–

If you’ve struggled with early starts again, and  your first days back at work, you might -like me – be inclined to spend the entire weekend sleeping. However, there are a few things definitely worth getting out of bed for, although I get the feeling there is a bit of a lull after the winter festivities.

***Here is the GOOGLE MAP with the places mentioned on this post***

Friday

MAF will be holding a vernissage for this exhibition starting at 8pm at their new location on Keistraat.

Later from 9pm there is a free mod all-nighter at Bar Gloed.

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Saturday

The first ‘rommelmarkt’ (second hand market) of the year will be at St Jansplein from 9am

It’s the yearly Christmas tree burning just over the water on Frederik van Eedenplein. Starts at 6.30, and there will be drinks, and live music from cover band Uncle Phil.

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Impro group Swaajp are doing their thing over at BATS Little Theatre on Paardenmarkt at 8pm. This week the guest is “Queen of Improvisation” Australian, Patti Stiles.

Sunday

Another secondhand market at Plein Publiek, starting at 1pm, and a fashion & vinyl market (Black Market) at Bar Gloed from midday.

It’s already the third Sunday of the month so there will as usual be a secondhand book market on de Coninckplein, from 10am, right in front of Permeke Library, where you can also take the kids for a read-aloud (in Dutch) at 11 with the new year themes of wishes. This is free, suitable for kids aged 4-8, and you do not need to register beforehand. I took my kids on Wednesday and they both enjoyed the stories very much and wanted to stay in the library.

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Off to the library

This Anton Corbijn photography exhibition is previewing at the Zeno x gallery in Borgerhout, from 3-6pm. If -like me -you enjoyed the film ‘Control’ you might be keen to see some of his pictures, many of which feature rock stars he has photographed over the years.

Miscellaneous

There is very stormy weather predicted for Friday, with likely flooding by the river.

Temperatures are predicted to be around 4-5 degrees, with the possibility of rain each day, but particularly on Saturday.

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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).

If you are planning a New Year, post-festive clear-out of your home you might want to revisit this post for ideas about where to take still useable toys, books, household goods and wearable clothes, instead of throwing them out.You could also contact the EVA centre in Ekeren who often take items to assist the refugees that they welcome and care for.

Last weekend I spent some of Saturday afternoon at Mercado on Groenplaats and was pleasantly surprised. Previously when I had been in it had been so busy that it wasn’t pleasant, but by 2.30 last Saturday it was busy enough to be fun, but we were able to get a place (if you are with small kids, or prams and buggies, you might want to choose your time carefully). The interior of what was the old Post Office has been nicely done and the prices were not as high as I thought they would be. In particular, if you are on a budget, head for the Lebanese stand (Yalla Yalla). These Lebanese sandwiches were tasty (as was the falafel), and cost 5-6 euros.

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Thanks to MAF and SWAAJP for the use of their images.

This weekend: 9th, 10th & 11th December

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Lights on Keyserlei

I don’t do Elf-on-the-Shelf, and I couldn’t care less about the arrival of a certain soft-drink laden truck: for me it starts to feel like Christmas when Antwerp’s Christmas Market opens and Winter In A begins, which is does -this very weekend (on Saturday). Huzzah! (Also, if there are Belgian and/ or Dutch influences in your family, you don’t start to ‘do’ Christmas until The Good Sint has embarked on his return journey back to Spain).

Here’s the GOOGLE MAP for this weekend.

Friday

If you can’t wait until Saturday, Flying Pig will be holding a winter edition of an event you might have become familiar with during summer (outdoor drinks, snacks and music). This will take place at Napoleonkaai, starting at 5pm -that’s right by MAS.

Also on Friday, Aspen Bocadero Winter Bar (Waagnatie) opens its doors at 6pm. It has a variety of events taking place over the winter season, until mid January.

Saturday

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Christmas on Grote Markt (2015)

So the Antwerp City winter festivities will kick off at 5pm. If you are not familiar with the Stad Antwerp winter offering -head down to the old town and you can’t miss it. The Christmas market can be found around Steenplein, Suikerrui and Grotemarkt, with gluhwein and hot chocolate aplenty. 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 & Patrache (A Dog of Flanders) statue will be unveiled at the Cathedral at 7pm, when there will also be a video projection on the Cathedral. Winter In Antwerp continues until the 8th January 2017.

(image from Daniel Ruiz-Cecconello)

 

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Markt van Morgen on Lombardenvest

Not far away, Markt van Morgen will also be having a double Christmas edition (on both days) of their usual fare of jewellery, design, accessories, stationery and clothing -made by local creatives and small businesses, providing the opportunity to buy Christmas gifts that you won’t find in high street stores. Find MvM on Lombardenvest on Saturday, from 10-6pm

Fans and photographers interested in nature and wildlife photography will enjoy The Lowland Photo Festival at Kinepolis Event Centre. This opens on Saturday, and is also on on Sunday.  There is a program of talks which is paying, but it is free to see the photography which forms the wider exhibition, with a 2 euro entance cost for the Lowland exhibition. Download the info flyer HERE.

Sunday

Markt van Morgen  is on Kloosterstraat today, from midday until 6pm.

For a Victorian Christmas experience why not join the Victorian Christmas Walk, Antwerp? Assemble in your Victorian or Edwardian outfit at 1pm on Astridplein for a walk down to the Old Town and the Christmas Market.

Shops in the city centre will be opening today and next Sunday too, for Christmas shopping.

The weather is forecast to be dry, and not too horribly cold either -possibly going up to 9 degrees on Sunday.

Miscellaneous

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Shopping centre Grand Bazar (Groenplaats) has various offers and activities on both Saturdays and Sundays remaining before Christmas between 1 and 5pm.

(image courtesy of Grand Bazar)

 

 

 

 

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If you are looking ahead to the winter season and have kids to entertain, I recommend that you book Antwerp’s only traditional, old -school panto in English, for January in the Arendberg Theatre, by BATS theatre group. Another recommended from me -this time it’s Jack and the Beanstalk. (image courstesy of BARS Antwerp)

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NEXT POST: Thursday 15th December

April 29th, 30th & 1st May

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Image from Vakantie op’t Zuid Facebook page


Vakantie op’t Zuid takes place over the whole weekend on the gedempte Zuiderdokken, and promises four days (it opens today, Thursday, at 10am) of speciality food stalls, drinks, entertainment, music and kids spaces (think bouncy castles).

Friday

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Sacha Eckes

Just back from exhibiting in Detroit, Antwerp artist Sacha Eckes opens her Imposter exhibition at 7pm. This is on at the Life Is Art gallery on Sint-Jorispoort until mid-June. You may be familiar with her weekly cartoons in Week Up. The works exhibited will be available to buy.

 

 

There’s also a vernissage at Design Center Winkelhaak. It’s free and starts at 7pm and features the photography of Jasper Léonard and his Antwerp Resized exhibition.

It’s the last Friday of the month so bike riding advocates Critical Mass assemble on Theaterplein at 6pm for a bike ride through Antwerp.

Plein Publiek reopens, following a hiccup with its license. It is open over the whole weekend, starting on Friday night at 8pm with aperitifs and a DJ.

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Plein Publiek

Saturday

30th April is World Tai Chi and Qigong Day. If you are interested in taking part, head to Steenplein between 10am and 4pm for the Antwerp event.

Park festival (free) takes place in Koning Albertpark from 2pm -11pm, and there is an afterparty at Het Bos.

If you have a bit more cash to spare, then beer, whiskey and wine lovers should head to the Zuiderpershuis today for the Meug festival starting at 2pm. It’s 10 euros to get in (+ drink costs) and promises over 120 different beverages to taste. Tip: you can get an 8 euro ticket using the promo code Meug2016 via this link. (NB -this is a temporary offer, for the first 100 tickets only).

 

Sunday

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image courtesy of ABVV

The 1st May is International Workers’ Day (AKA Labour Day) and is a public holiday in Belgium and in many countries around the world. In Antwerp there is a May Day Parade, going from Leopold De Waelplaats (that’s just in front of the Fine Arts Museum) to Grote Markt. It will depart at 11.15 and proceed through Leopold De Waelstraat, Volkstraat, Lange Vlierstraat, Kloosterstraat, Den Oever, Sint Jansvliet, Ernest Van Dijckkaai and Suikerrui, before arriving at Grote Markt around 1.30, where there will be bands, and rides for the kids.

There is a fleamarket on Sint Jansplein from 10- 5pm. And Krugermarkt is on in Borgerhout on the Krugerplein.

… And a holiday market at MAS.

 

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A-Tower

 

 

You must know the Antwerp tower on the crossroads between Keyserlei and Meir. On the 1st May it opens it doors until October with a series of summer events, expos and pop-ups. A roomy bar on the 4th floor will be a fixture throughout.

It’s the first Sunday of May, so many shops are open for  Sunday shopping.

 

 

 

 

 

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Moderate/ cool temperatures expected this weekend with the possibility of light rain on Friday, and heavier showers on Sunday. Hopefully no hail …  :-/

 

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Finally, thanks for reading.

I have had loads of positive responses to the blog lately, which is really rewarding. If there is anything you would like to suggest or contribute, please comment (I have adjusted settings to make commenting easier). I also very much appreciate a like, share or retweet :-).

 

(image & weather image: https://pixabay.com/)

And don’t forget the other ways to follow Nessascity -on Twitter and Pinterest.

Next post, next Thursday.

Have a great weekend!

 

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This weekend: 18th, 19th & 20th March

Happy St Patrick’s Day to Irish followers of this blog! St Paddy’s will be celebrated in Antwerp’s Irish bars tonight …

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An Sibhin                                           The Irish Times                                        Kelly’s

 

And it’s the last weekend to catch the small fun-fair on Sint-Jansplein, which finishes on Sunday.

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Friday

Two art exhibitions open today: one in Gallery Sofie van de Velde (Arnulf Rainer) at 6pm, and the other (photography) at the Ingrid Deuss Gallery,  at 7pm.

If you are interested in seeing  Revolutionary Road and enjoying a  meal of Syrian and vegetarian food for a mere 5 euros (+donation of choice for the movie) the head to ‘T Werkhuys at 6.30pm for their Filmavond + Volxkeuken. ‘T werkhuys are also currently looking for volunteers to help out with their Friday evening program.

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Het Geluk on Theaterplein is usually a kid-friendly café but this Friday night it has a more grown-up offering of music, DJs and dancing. It’s free but once it’s full, there’s no further admittance.

Saturday

During the day on Groenplaats and Meir, there are a number of activities aimed at young drivers intended to develop considerate driving habits. These activities take place between 12 and 5 and are free.

De Kleine Hedonist is an immensely likeable  and friendly, small venue, and their Saturday night ‘Gothic Fairytale Party 6: Snow White’s Revenge‘ looks like a fun night if you are looking for something a little different or dark for your evening entertainment.

And there’s more free film at Het Roze Huis at 8pm, when they will be showing Anni Felici.

Sunday

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Strip & Boekenplein

On De Conninckplein (in front of Permeke Library), it’s the monthly “Strip- & Boekenplein” which takes place on the third Sunday of every month and is a good place to snap up a bargain if you are into second hand books, collector’s books and graphic novels.

In the library itself, story reading for kids aged 4- 8 (free) starting at 11am for an hour.

On Sint Andriesplaats there’s a second-hand flea market and antique market. This is a pleasant local square to hang out on. There’s a little play area for kids and there’s a nice bar/ bistro called Het Missverstand with outdoor seating where you can enjoy a beer and keep an eye on your kids. I like this place in summer -it’s just slightly off the tourist track and a good place to enjoy good weather.

On a smaller scale The Cappucino Club (Klapdorp 37) is celebrating its second birthday with a party and flea-market from 11am if you are around the old town.

Temperatures are coolish, with reasonably low chance of rain on both Saturday and Sunday.

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Picture post: snaps from 2016 so far …

 

I get asked if I go to all the places I mention on my blog… well, no. With three kids and a (virtually) full-time job, that would be pretty difficult, but here -in no particular order – are some things that I have done, either by myself or with friends and family -so far this year:

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My son and I went to the Ecohuis for the JEFF film festival, made a robot and had lunch at the Ecohuis café.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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We stopped at Krugerplein on a crisp February afternoon…

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… Checked out some vintage design at Winkelhaak …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A vernissage at Artelli Gallery.

 

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Enjoyed some snacks at HAP food trucks festival, Park Spoor Noord.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Ceiling at Antwerp Central Station
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…and I blogged!

Thank you for following and reading this blog. Thank you also to my clever daughter, Hannah, who is techie and artistic, and who helped me edit some of the pictures using Pixelmator. Other pictures were edited using Picmonkey.

The photos were taken by me -just on my Nokia Lumia phone. But I’d love to include readers’ photos -especially if you have a talent for photography – so if you would like to contribute to a future photo post, please email pictures to nessascityblog@gmail.com, stating your permission to use them and how you would like them to be credited to you.

Keep following -here, and on Twitter @nessascityblog

 

 

 

This weekend: February 13th & 14th

 

Saturday

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Park Spoor Noord

 

Over both Saturday and Sunday HAP food festival will be at Park Spoor Noord from midday until 10pm.

 

 

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LBWG

 

 

Also over both days at Little Brewer’s Winter Garden is Wild Jo’s Market also free entry. Wild Jo is a relatively new beer from Antwerp’s De Koninck brewery which is very close by LBWG.

Young photographers might be interested in these free workshops from Stamp Media. Register by mail or their Facebook page. Saturday’s workshop is about online tools.

 

 

 

Sunday (Valentine’s Day)

If you are feeling a love of running this Valentine’s Day, head to Rivierenhof for the Valentine’s Day Run. It is free, but pre-registration via Antwerp Athletics (scroll down for the form).

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Groenplaats

Fitness seems to be a Valentine’s Day theme this year as Think Pink host a free Zumbathon on Groenplaats from 2pm

MAS seems pretty busy this weekend, with activities and guided tours for visitors of all ages.  Some activities need to be booked in advance and a couple are fully booked already. In particular, the “Wereldstad” exhibition is closing after 5 years at the end of this month, with the last guided tours for this now taking place on Sundays.

And from 5pm Fabriek Noord are holding a multi-cultural food evening which is free.

For more costly eating, there seem to be a number of brunch events occurring, if you are in the mood to splash the cash on your beloved, such as this one at Plein Publiek, this one at Local Store or this one at Umami. For a Scottish take on the Valentines Brunch, contact The Highlander Café (for details and reservations) who are also holding one.

This week’s fleamarket is at Kinepolis , starting at 10am and costing 2,50 in.

Weather looks not to bad, with temperatures of around 6 degrees, and some light showers expected on Saturday afternoon and Sunday evening.

For fans of second-hand, vintage & retro (clothes, books vinyl) I published an extra post this week on the subject of second- hand shopping, recycling and donating in Antwerp. Please check it out if you haven’t already done so, and give me a follow on Twitter @nessascityblog for midweek updates and Antwerp- related Tweets.

 

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!

 

 

 

 

This Weekend: December 5th & 6th 2015

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Lights on the Keyserlei

If you have not noticed the festive feeling starting up in Antwerp, then you really need to get out and do so, if you can. For us -as a family resident in Belgium, with both Dutch and UK influences- this weekend is the one where Christmas overlaps with Sinterklaas, so this post will hopefully contain a bit of both ….

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Plein Publiek -Van Craesbeeckstraat

If you are ready to start the weekend immediately after work on Friday, I recommend Plein Publiek which opens at 4 for drinks, 5 for food and the dancing starts at 9. It’s a very attractive venue, placed in the middle of a now-disused social housing complex, near Nationalestraat..

Saturday

xmaswheel

groenplatsXmas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you have walked through the old town this week, you will have seen the stalls being set up for the Christmas Market which will dominate this part of the city from this Saturday when it opens. Stalls selling Christmas goods, foods and snacks will be found near the cathedral, on Grote Markt, Suikkerui, Groenplaats and Steenplein. The ice rink is usually on Steenplein, and the Christmas wheel is nearby. It’s the perfect place to meet friends, or take family. The market is on daily until 27th December. sintgrandbazar

For a smaller and more off-beat Christmas Market experience, head to the Vrijdag Markt at 4pm for music, DJs and food trucks.

BUT … If you have children who are in Sinterklaas mode, then he can be seen in various locations around the town centre and will be stopping in Grand Bazar; this is usually quite busy, with kids queuing, seeing Sint and being pictured with him. He is also believed to be visiting this fleamarket on the Sint Jansplein, at 2pm, with his Pieten.

I recommend the bookmarket at the Zuiderpershuis, which is still on. It’s a stock sale and the reductions are good. Most titles offered are in Dutch, but with some fashion, design and art books in English. Lots of books for children and toddlers, if you are buying gifts for kids and babies. It’s worth going just to see this attractive venue, if you don’t already know it, and it is a short walk from FOMU and Cinema Zuid, which are also worth knowing about.

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book sale at Zuiderpershuis.

If you like to donate and recycle at this time of year, why not take clothes, food and children’s items to Moeders voor Moeders on Helmstraat? They receive deliveries on the first Saturday of each month, between 10 and 12, and work to support families with children in need, in the Antwerp area.

Sunday

It’s the first Sunday of the month, so there is Sunday shopping around the town centre (note that most shops open a little later, though, at around midday).

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Eva Steynen (photo courtesy of Eva Steynen)

However, maybe you would like to get away from Sinterklaas, Christmas and shopping, to a vernissage (3pm) at this Gallery in Zurenborg curated by local artist, Eva Steynen?

There is a different type of Exhibition for fans of Tintin (and other Belgian comic book characters)  which finishes up on Sunday.

Another way to take a break from the consumerist side of this season would be to donate clothing to The Empty Shop project, which is running until the 12th December at the Youth Hostel on Bogaardplein. Your clothing will be restyled and sold to raise funds for the Kamiano Restaurant which provides meals for homeless people in Antwerp.

Whether you are enjoying Christmas, Sinterklaas, shopping or something a bit different, have a great weekend. Alas, it might be a good idea to take an umbrella out with you so that the predicted drizzle doesn’t spoil your fun

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Grote Markt on a winter’s night by Daniel Ruiz- Cecconello