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

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

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

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

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

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

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re-enactors at De Quaeye Werelt

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

Friday

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

 

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

Saturday

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

Sunday

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

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

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

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

Miscellaneous

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

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

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

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

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

Here’s the map!

Screen Shot 2018-06-20 at 19.31.34Good times! It’s Bier Passie Weekend over the whole weekend on Groenplaats. Bier Passie opens on Friday at 5. The opening hours for Saturday 1pm -midnight; and for Sunday – 11am -8pm. Sample many different beers by buying and picking up a glass and your jetons (2 euros each) before you make your way around the selection of 200+ different beers.

 

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Over both days in the Klapdor- Paardemarkt- Falconplein -Varkensmarkt area it’s Ramblas Antwerpen rest assured this event is ON, despite confusion caused by an online announcement that Ramblas 2017 would be the last one. I am assured that this one will be a great edition of this busy neighbourhood street party, and many streets in the area will be car-free, to make way for the live performances, kids’ activities and food & drink.

Friday

Atlas  is an organisation which helps newcomers and non-natives to feel at home in Antwerp. They can help you integrate, understand Belgian culture, access services and find out where to learn Dutch.

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Atlas op het Plein is an event on Theaterplein which showcases their work, and the theme of making connections in the community. The idea is to go along, meet people of different cultures while additionally enjoying something very Belgian: frietjes! (fries). There will also be drinks, kids’ entertainment (baking fortune cookies together; children’s theatre on a bus; face painting and henna (NL: ‘Kindergrime en henna-tattoo’); arts & crafts (NL: ‘tekenen en knutselen’); Rollerdisco for kids 8+). There will be DJs & music until 10pm.

Beerlovers Bar on de Coninckplein is a bar which I really like and this weekend it celebrates its second birthday. Enjoy an extra 8 beers on draught on Friday night, and/ or come along for further festivities (and World Cup football) from 13.30pm on Saturday. Beerlovers is definitely an Antwerp bar worth knowing about.

Saturday

borgerriocollageBorgerrio takes over the Turnhoutsebaan today! Streets will be cordoned off to keep this event traffic free and things will be busy from 11am at the heart of this most multi-cultural of neighbourhoods. The highlight is the hugely colourful parade which takes place from 3.30pm, but there’s also food, music, local selling & info stands, plus a special program of kids activities to enjoy all day. This year is the added bonus of the Belgium -Tunisia World Cup game showing in the evening. Borgerrio is free, and festivities continue until 8pm.

Sunday

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Lambermontmartre

It’s Lambermontmartre, down by KMSKA. This monthly art market showcases and offers for sale the work of local artists, painters and photographers. There’s a Ricard bar, as well as other drinks and snacks. There’s also always live music (2.30pm and 5pm) and a relaxed atmosphere: just right for a Sunday afternoon.

Port of Antwerp are holding a picnic in the harbour – register via the link for a family event with a varied menu (including fruit, sandwiches, chocolate, salads, cookies, coffee)  for just 5 euros pp. Half of the money raised will go to Mercy Ships: a hospital boat which provides treatment and care to people in sub-saharan African nations (including children) who cannot afford it.

Miscellaneous

Tickets for the ticketed events on the Zomer van Antwerpen agenda are now for sale via the program page of  the ZVA website.

The OLT (Rivierenhof) has a summer music program. Info and tickets here.

The Baroque Antwerpen program is underway.

Next Wednesday is the last of the month, so Antwerp city museums are free on that day.

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Last chance to visit Sinksenfoor (annual funfair) in Park Spoor Oost and it is HUGE. We went  and had a great time. It’s on until Sunday. And you can print out some vouchers for deals and reductions on rides & food here.

For World Cup Big Screen action try the Irish Bars (An Sibhin, Molly’s, Irish Times & Kelly’s). Games are also being shown on the big screen at Dagerraadplaats, The Hyundai Fan Village, Bar Nord, Bar Leon and at de Koninck brewery. Here is the schedule of World Cup matches. Do you know of other fun venues to watch the games? Let us know in the comments below.

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Photo by Fauzan Saari on Unsplash

I’m publishing an extra post about Casa de Sonny on Monday -keep an eye out for that if you are interested in the Antwerp music scene.

I will be taking a month off from mid July- mid August. There will be a summer post with some key links and events to cover this period.

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This weekend in Antwerp: 4th, 5th & 6th May

There is so much on all of a sudden -Zomer van Antwerp has not yet officially started, but the sun should be shining this weekend and it is starting to feel like Antwerp is getting its summer on, so here is your GOOGLE MAP so you can catch some rays at all the locations mentioned in this post …

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Diamond museum DIVA holds its grand opening weekend, starting Friday. If you have not been able to book one of the hour long slots, you might still want to swing by Suikerrui “and join in the festivities

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Until 6th May (Sunday) its Amateur Arts Week (Week Van De Amateurkunsten). Search the link for events in your area.

And it’s Belmodo Fashion Days , also until the 6th (Sunday). These are fashion and designer stocks sales taking place at participating outlets (listed on the Belmodo site). A chance to grab a designer bargain or pick up something unique from a local or Belgian designer …

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Abelone Wilhelmsen/ Belmodo Fashion Days

Abelone Wilhelmsen (right) is a local designer based in Borgerhout, taking part in Belmodo Fashion Days.

 

 

Friday

Hungry? Picnic on Theaterplein between midday and 2pm. Organised by Broederlijke Delen and Oxfam Wereldwinkels, bring your own food and don’t waste what you have: the purpose is to raise awareness of food waste.

Antwerp locals will be familiar with Aper’eau, providers of alfresco summer drinks, music and food. On Friday from 5pm they begin their season with the summer kick-off event on Grote Markt

 

Saturday

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Shout out to our favourite international school, who hold their unmissable International Day event just once every two years, making it extra special (particularly as this year is the 50th anniversary of the school). Experience the countries and cultures that make up this diverse learning community of young people, families and staff, as they showcase food, activities, performances and music from around the world, from 10am -5pm on the school’s campus in Ekeren.

It’s Dag van de Gever in Antwerp’s second-hand stores, so a good time to make space and take down unwanted goods which are in good condition to one of the “Kringloopwinkels” in the city. Get a free potplant, and the chance to win a weekend away. There are 8 shops in the Antwerp area: Abdijstraat 104, 2020 Antwerpen-Kiel; Bredabaan 397, 2170 Merksem; Kapelsestraat 237, 2950 Kapellen; Kroonstraat 166, 2140 Borgerhout; Sint-Jorispoort 29, 2000 Antwerpen; Venstraat 153 b, 2900 Schoten; Vosstraat 305, 2100 Deurne and Bredabaan 651, 2930 Brasschaat

A choice of street parties back in town: it’s the Marnix Feest (pic below left) on Marnixplaats from 2pm, where there will be a street party, complete with kids’ entertainment, music, food and drinks until 10pm or the Twintig Achtien free festival (pic below right, courtesy of Twintig Achtien) along the Konijnenwei from 13.30.

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Sunday

It’s the first Sunday of the month, so … Sunday shopping in and around the city centre.

Go and discover creative Berchem at the Made In Berchem and learn why it is becoming a hotspot for innovative and artistic ventures taking place in these locations around the district. Map and brochure to download here.

It’s the annual PVDA Divercity Festival at Park Spoor Noord from 2pm -8pm. Music, food and a footie tournament. Also in Park Spoor Noord it’s the Pink Ladies Games.

Open Werven Dag opens up construction and development sites in and around Antwerp to the public. This is more interesting than it might sound (if you are someone who is often frustrated by the amount of construction which seems to take place around the city, you might feel averse to visiting an actual construction site). Last year, we went on a cool below-ground tour of the Noorderlijn works. This year, I’m thinking of seeing this building.

Goegekregen are holding a Vinyl Sale at HAAR from 10am -5pm and Swan Market are on Grote Markt from 11 -6pm.

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It’s to be a weekend of sunshine, with increasingly warmer temperatures – getting up to 23 degrees on Sunday!

 

 

Miscellaneous

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Stad Antwerp website

I’m pleased to share this blog post: Three Great Spots For When The Sun Is Shining which was published last week on the Stad Antwerpen website and optimistically describes three places in the city you might want to check out if the weather holds out …

Open- air swimming pool De Molen is now open on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays from  midday until 6pm.

Summer bars now open: Bar Jardim and Bar Paniek.

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nessacityblogbannerbymaf Continue reading “This weekend in Antwerp: 4th, 5th & 6th May”

This weekend: 26th, 27th & 28th May

[Next post: 1st June]

Yasssss …. it’s a long weekend and the weather is going to be toasty. We will respond to this winning combination in the traditional Antwerpian fashion by sloping around in the sunshine, eating and drinking. What luck! For this weekend seems to hold many opportunities to do just that. Just watch out for a wee bit of drizzle or thunder on Sunday, but nonetheless temperatures are set to be high …

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HERE’S THE MAP!

A fun event which is fairly new to the Antwerp Summer scene is Vakantie op T’ Zuid
which describes itself as a holiday market. This event is very much focused on food or drink and it is fairly easy to tailor your consumption to your budget, as the food ranges from small snacks and sweets to larger meals. It has a truly international feel with stands from all over the world, as well as some performances (we saw some Indonesian dancing last year). It takes place down on the Vlaamse Kaai, so there is also a handy playground for kids, as well as a play area for the event itself. Starts Thursday at midday and continues until Sunday.

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Mercado on Groenplaats is also having a food festival that takes place over the whole weekend (25th -28th May) offering -in addition to their usual stands – outdoor stands, street musicians and magicians, and kids’ entertainment.

Friday

Update: No picnic today apologies for the error!

Critical Mass takes place as usual for the last Friday of the month, meeting at 6pm -also on Theaterplein. Bring your bike for the musical edition of this monthly communal bike ride

Aper’eau is back for the summer -their kick-off event takes place on Groenplaats from 5pm. Outdoor drinks and cocktails in the sun in Antwerp’s most famous square. Sounds like a good way to start the weekend…

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Groenplaats

Saturday

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Brick Boat in Stadspark   This plinth (where different exhibits are featured) is a project from Middelheim Museum

Middelheim -Antwerp’s free  sculpture museum is a beautiful place to visit, but even more so when the weather is good. So this weekend should be a good time to take advantage of the opening event of the Richard Deacon exhibition, complete with a free guided tour.

Or enjoy a browse round the ABC (Antiques Books Curiosa) market at Den Beulebak from 11- 5pm. Free.

Sunday

Snitt are holding a second hand market at a fun location today: at Stack (formerly Convoi)  the container village down by Waagnatie. It’s free and you can bring your own secondhand items to donate to local initiative ‘de Collectie’.

Lambermontmartre is another regular presence on the Antwerp summer scene. It’s not only a chance to browse or buy lots of art works by local and amateur artists, and to support their work, but there is always a band and some good, cheap food and drinks. The area has some lovely cafés (Finjan’s is a favourite of mine for great Falafel and middle-Eastern food) and there is usually a table where kids can paint a canvas of their own for a small price.

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Ascension is the reason for the long weekend. If you would like to enjoy some choral music, head to the Begijnhofkerk at 3pm, where for 5 euros you can hear the Cathedral Singers of Oxford with special music for Ascensiontide.

Reserve by calling 03 232 01 03

Miscellaneous

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.

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

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).

Runners again -here’s a run with a difference: Silver Run takes you up and down towerblocks, on the 11th June, for which you can register now. It does cost to take part, unless you live in social housing, in which case it is free.

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I’m proud to share my first guest blog post on Nessascityblog! If you missed it, have a read of Dolrish’s personal story of coming to live and work in Antwerp, all the way from the Philippines. And if you’d like to contribute and tell your story, please get in touch via nessascityblog@gmail.com

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This Weekend: 28th, 29th & 30th April & May Day.

Here is THE GOOGLE MAP for this weekend

Friday

It’s the start of Antwerpen Proeft a yearly foodie event, at Waagnatie (Eilandje). Tickets start at 7 euros (or there are other multi and combi tickets) and include a welcome drink.  Under 15s go free and the event is advertised as kid-friendly. Restaurants, food trucks and chefs will be offering signature dishes and cooking demonstration over the weekend (continues until Monday).

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There’s a picnic between midday and 2pm organised by Broederlijke Delen. Bring your picnic to Theaterplein. You will also be able to buy warm and cold drinks there.

Critical Mass also assembles at Theaterplein at 6pm as usual -join them for an hour’s evening biking around the city.

Saturday

 

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Bar Paniek, Kattendijkdok

If you spent a goodly proportion of last summer sloping around Bar Paniek and the Kattendijkdok, you will be pleased to hear that it is re-opening this weekend, with an event hosted by artist collective Time Circus starting Saturday at 11am, which -as anyone who regularly goes to the market knows- is a perfectly respectable time to start drinking.

Over in Koning Albert Park, there is also a start-the-summer vibe happening with Park Festival 2017.  Offering urban and ethnic music, art, and food, Park Festival is a free-entry event starting at 1pm.

 

Round off the day at Bar Venetië where London Calling celebrates its second birthday. It’s a mere 6 euros in if you tag yourself and your friends on the Facebook event page. Starts at 10pm.

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Sunday

Swan Market (Dutch/ Belgian Lifestyle market, offering handmade goods & fashion, as well as jewellery, kids items, food, accessories) returns to Antwerp and will be on Grote Markt from 11-  5pm

And the garage sale at Steegsken 6 continues; Sundays throughout April (11am- 6pm) until May 7th.

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It’s going to get warmer this weekend on Sunday and Monday, with temperatures going up to 17 or 18 degrees, although there could be some showers on Monday. Saturday should be dry, but not quite so warm (around 14 degrees, max).

Miscellaneous

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Monday is Labour Day (International Workers’ Day) -a public holiday. Shops will be closed, so head to Park Spoor Noord (shelter)  for a large covered second-hand market hosted by SNITT and Goegekregen.  There is one on the Veemarkt too, also starting at 9am.

Labour Day will also be celebrated on Grote Markt from 1pm with performances and entertainment for kids. The parade will go through the old town beforehand, having gathered at Leopold De Waelplaats from 10am, departing at 11.

Brocantwerpen has started: on the last Wednesday of the month, until the end of September, from 10 -6pm. Bric-a-brac, accessories, clothes and furnithings for sale on the Grote Markt.

And thanks to the reader who provided the info in the comments, re: MUHKA re-opening this weekend (MUHKA is the modern art gallery on the kaaien).

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This weekend: April 22nd, 23rd & 24th

Friday

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Theaterplein

How about a Picnic lunch on Theaterplein? If you didn’t order a lunch, you can just turn up with your own. There will be hot and cold drinks and musical performances -starts at midday. Proceeds to Studio GloboOxfam and Broederlijk Delen.

‘Curtis’ -a Joy Division tribute evening at 8pm at De Kleine Hedonist should get your weekend off to a cheery start.

Summer bar Bar Paniek opens tonight on the Kattendijkdok, Oostkaai 21B.

It’s time for the free monthly film at Het Roze Huis (The Pink House). This Saturday showing Saint Laurent at 8pm. In French and English, it tells the story of famous fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent during the years when he was at the height of his success.

Saturday

There is the 2018 festival on the Konijnenwei park, starting at 10am with a fleamarket, but also including musical performances from local bands, and entertainment for kids, throughout the day.

A festival of a different sort is on at ‘t Werkhuys in Borgerhout -for 3 euros fans of comics and cartoons can enjoy talks, expos and events at Klaxon Festival, starting at midday and continuing until 11.oo pm.

It’s the great big Antwerp Spring Clean! Enjoy – if you and your neighbours have registered for that. Don’t forget to take beer breaks.

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… And they will be having a clear-out in Berchem too, with a second hand sale on  Woeringenstraatstreet.

 

If you’re tired out from spring cleaning, head to An Sibhin on Nationalestraat for some acoustic indie-folk with Dries at 8pm.

Looking for a course of study in Antwerp? Artesis Plantijn Hogeschool of Antwerp are holding their Info Markt on Meistraat (that’s right by Theaterplein) from 11am -4pm.

Sunday

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Nicola Mills, The Down to Earth Diva

More music -from the lovely and talented Down to Earth Diva who is fundraising for Urban Renewal at Café de Lijnstok at midday. Your donation will contribute to a good cause, and enable you to hear Nicola singing a variety of songs. There will also be a brunch.

 

 

 

At 3pm there is a folk jam in Den Hopsack which is a friendly little music bar tucked away on Grote Pieter Potstraat in the old town.

Sunday is Heritage Day across Brussels and Flanders. There’s lots going on in the Antwerp area. There are many events (readings, film, walking tours, dance performances) celebrating rituals and traditions of different types. Many activities are free but check the details carefully in case reservation is required.

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Steen

The project Coming World Remember Me has started and will continue until the 8th May. At workshops at Steen, you can make a sculpture out of clay to honour one of the Belgian fallen of World War One. These sculptures will form an installation in Ypres which will be opened in 2018. Each one will incorporate a dog tag with the name of a soldier. You will be provided with the dog tag. It is free to take part but you need to register by calling 03 292 36 51 or mailing info@vredescentrum.be

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Poster

From 10.30am at Cinema Zuid there are 5 short films for children (6+) for 5 euros, including Oscar winning The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore.

… And not far away at Chatleroi there’s a record sale.

Swan Market comes to Antwerp. Previously having taken place at Grote Markt (and where it will be again, on 22nd May), but -NB- this time it’s at Park Loods, in Park Spoor Noord, from midday until 6pm. Food trucks, drinks and snacks, and lots of stands selling gifts, jewellery, accessories, antique and vintage items. It has a nice vibe and won’t break the banks. Always handy if you are looking for a special present (or want to treat the kids or yourself to a yummy homemade cupcake or two)….

 

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A previous edition of Swan Market in Antwerp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The weather is due to be mild and cloudy with a fair chance of showers on Sunday.

Miscellaneous

Fashion fiends and label addicts might want to check out Belmodo Fashion Days 2016 which take place until the 24th April and promise to supply designer pieces at below their usual prices at various locations around Antwerp. Check this link for times and locations.

 

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William Shakespeare

 

The 23rd of April marks the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare‘s death. I couldn’t find a great deal going on around Antwerp except in the bookshop De Groene Waterman where there will be a reading and talk (in Dutch) analysing why Shakespeare’s themes and plays continue to endure to this day. This is free and starts at 4pm.

image from Photobucket.

 

 

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Sporting A is offering free basketball coaching for kids aged 6- 14 years of age every Wednesday from 20th April until 25th May. It’s on in various locations from 2pm -4pm (except Sint-Jansplein where it’s 3-5pm).  No need to register, just show up if you are interested. My seven year old really enjoyed it this week.

 

Enjoy the weekend!

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