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.
There’s an ABC (Antiques Books Curiosa) market in the lovely setting of Den Beulebak from 11am -5pm for bookish browsers.
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.
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
Street 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.
At Zuiderpershuis there’s the annual book stock sale over the whole weekend. It’s free in and there are usually some English books, as well as other books (e.g. children’s books) which make good presents if you are one of these organised people who is ready to do some Christmas shopping already. It’s free in, open from 10- 18h on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and is also on next weekend too.
Also over both Saturday and Sunday, it’s another popular annual event: Brickmania – a must for Lego fans of all ages. Note, it’s at a different venue this year; not Waagnatie but Antwerp Expo. You can get tickets for 5 euros in advance (they are 7 euros if you buy them on the door) and kids up to 6 years old go free.
Buurthuis t’Pleintje is holding an Autumn Market for the first time. On sale will be local handmade and craft products and foods, from 15h -20h. Syrian food is on the menu while you browse the stands which will offer products such as local honey, scarves and accessories, soaps, household items, candles, stationery and more.
Also offering local food products is Dokmarkt at Eilandje from 15h -20h.
After Brickmania, or a day at the book sale, you might like to head to BATS Little Theater on Paardemarkt for an evening of impro theatre with Swaajp. Their guest this week is Jacintha Damstrom, who will bring an element of circus excitement to the show.
It’s Dag van de Wetenschap today (Science Day) and Antwerp has a wide and varied programme of activities in various locations.
At De Roma Theatre there’s a kids’ rommelmarkt from 13.30h -17.30h. The kids themselves are the stallholders, and will be selling all sorts of children’s toys and books, so go and support them and pick up a bargain. It’s only 50 cents in for kids, and a euro for grownups.
Another second hand market by Goegekregen will take place at Park Spoor Noord (in the shelter where Bar Cargo is). It will be on from 9h -18h and also promises street-food and drinks.
More second hand bargains at Plein Publiek (now up and running at its new location) with this Closet Sale from 10h- 16h.
Weather is mixed -Friday might be quite bright and pleasant (9 degrees), but there may rain on Saturday, and both Saturday and Sunday will be colder (only 5-7 degrees)
Next Wednesday is the last Wednesday of the month, so city museums are free (the Plantin Moretus, the Rockox, the Museum Mayer van den Bergh, the MAS and the Red Star Line Museum).
I am really delighted to let you know that a special guest-blog post is on the way. Watch this space -especially if you’d like to know more about LGBTQ+ life in Antwerp: an LGBT+ special; posting on Monday! And if you have been thinking about writing a post for Nessascityblog, do seize the day -I’d love to hear your Antwerp story, or hear about an aspect of Antwerp life that you know well. Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
De Warmste Week (The Warmest Week) is an annual week of fundraising and charity events taking place across Flanders. If you wish to organise an event or activity you can do so and register it via the website. For more fundraising events, look for the Warmste Week logo (left). Charity runs are a big part of De Warmste Week and you can now register for the Antwerp Run which takes place on the 21st December. The first step is to pick the cause you would like to run and raise money for. You can do this as a group or an individual, and will need to be able to make a minimum donation of 15 euros when you register to participate.
Don’t forget: for Sinterklaas -The Belgian postal service (Bpost) will deliver children’s letters and drawings to the Sint (until 29th November) -details and address here. NB -be sure to write the child’s name and address on the outside of the envelope, so that the Sint can reply and send a surprise.
I am interested in doing a post about Antwerp Apps. Do you use one? What does it do? Which devices is it compatible with and what do you think of it?
Bargain hunters -did you know that Antwerp has a Last Minute Ticket Shop? Well you do now. You can buy last-minute reduced cost tickets from 12- 5pm on Fridays and Saturdays, for shows, concerts, theatre performances etc.
Antwerp Wine Festival is on all weekend at the times stated on the days/ times below. You can get tickets here and the event is held in the Park Loods sport hall in Park Spoor. Noord. As well as wines from around the world, the event promises music, wine workshops/ masterclasses and a kids’ space.
Molly’s Irish Pub are warming up for St Patrick’s day with a pre- St Paddy’s Night promising live music & Irish food, plus Guinness & Jameson Promos from 7pm. Then they will be starting up again with more of the same at 11am on the day itself (Saturday)
Happy St Patrick’s Day!
An Sibhin on Nationalestraat will kick off at 11am with an Irish Breakfast, and there will be Oysters, Irish Stew, Guinness, and Irish Music all day long. Punters are urged to dress up in your finest green and put your dancing shoes on!
Also at The Irish Times they will be celebrating; music, promos and the Six Nations games on the Big Screen.
Closer to the station there is Kelly’s on the Keyserlei, where they will also be partying, and where the Red Hackle Pipe band will put in an appearance.
Check the Google Map -if you are determined, you can do all four of Antwerp’s Irish bars (Kelly’s, Molly’s, Irish Times and An Sibhin).
BATS vzw (British American Theatre Society) are revamping their open evenings which used to be held monthly. They are now seasonal, so if you are interested in any aspect of theatre production head along to the Little Theatre on Paardenmarkt from 5pm to find out more about what they do, take part in the quiz, hang out at the bar or even do a workshop on stage lighting.
Antwerp Wine Festival from midday -midnight
It’s Boekenplein as is usual for the third Sunday of the month in Antwerp. Come and browse second hand books, magazines and graphic novels on de Coninckplein from 10am, just in front of Permeke library.
There are still some places left in workshops and activities for the Children’s University at the University of Antwerp. See what’s available for free for kids aged 8+ and enrol here.
Antwerp Wine Festival from midday – 22h.
The weather could be quite changeable, with a mild (but possibly showery) Friday, and temperatures dropping for Saturday (also showery) and Sunday (cold, but dry & bright)
Youth Book Month (Jeugd Boekenmaand) continues until the 25th March and has a science & tech theme this year. Here’s the information for related events in Permeke Library.
Check out this month’s agenda for Colectivo Amorika for March (left). They provide cultural and language activities for Spanish speaking families in the Antwerp area, and those with an interest in understanding Spanish culture and language.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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:
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
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.
Cafe Kiebooms is a bar I really like and on Friday evening they will be starting the weekend with a some Swing Jazz music at 9.15.
If you are looking for a regular music night to start your weekends on Fridays, the The Irish Times on Grote Markt has music every weekend. This weekend Irish musician Steve Jones will be playing from 10pm.
And BATS has its monthly Open Evening at its venue on Paardenmarkt 111, starting at 8.30 -an opportunity to enjoy their bar and find out about upcoming productions, or even getting involved in some dramatics yourself!
If you are interested in volunteer work in Antwerp and not sure where to look in order to find the right work for you, then this exhibition between 1pm and 5pm at Kinepolis Event Center looks like a good place to start. Volunteers Week 2016 runs until the 6th March.
Registration for the Antwerp Urban Trail is full, but you can see the runners off from Park Spoor Noord on a 12km route that will take them through the city and back to PSN. Runners will depart in groups of 100 from 9am. This year the 10,000 runners will actually pass through Sportpaleis as part of the route.
On Krugerplein, Borgerhout, there is a spring edition of the Krugermarkt for drinks, snacks, general hanging out and bargain hunting. Entertainment for kids also promised, but not yet specified.
From the 5th- 20th March it’s Children’s Book Week(s) and there will be various events at libraries around Antwerp, such as this one for kids aged 4-8 in De Poort library, Berchem (2-3pm) which is free. The theme of this year’s events is “Weg van de Stad” (away from the city). Here’s the agenda, but note that some activities are for school classes.
Personally, I am falling out of love a bit with the current trend for Food Trucks, as I find that it often ends up being a lot more expensive than I anticipate (especially if you are en famille) given that it is usually marketed as ‘Street Food’, however for those who are still keen there is Dimange at Felix Pakhuis, in Eilandje.
There is an exhibition opening at Zeno X gallery in Borgerhout (Johannes Kahrs) -the preview for this exhibition takes place between 3 and 6pm..
BATS (British American Theatrical Society) begin preparing for their annual variety show. This year it has a 50s theme, so if you would like to be involved, I have been told that you must put on your blue suede shoes and hot-foot it to Paardenmarkt 111 for 7pm in order to be part of the show, which will take place at the end of May/ beginning of June, and will include music and sketches.
For kids aged 8 -14 with an interest in science, the Children’s University is taking place at the University of Antwerp (Prinsstraat 13, 2000 Antwerpen). Children can attend lectures, workshops, quizzes and experiments and need to register here. All activities are free.
Although the temperatures aren’t predicted to be freezing cold this weekend, there is a chance of rain on both Saturday and Sunday, especially during the afternoons. Hope you have fun anyway, and thanks as ever for following and sharing- here, on Twitter @nessascityblog, and elsewhere.
Also for the culturally minded a Zine Fest which is also taking place over the whole weekend as is “Veterans Day” , a symposium of events celebrating 1960s Antwerp (fashion, design, art and music). You can find the full program here.
Festive shoppers may be in luck at the handcrafted market where creatives will be selling their own home-made products. I like the Berlin bar which is nearby, if you are stopping for a drink.
… and a new bar is opening in Antwerp Saturday evening.
If, like me, you are shopping for kids in the near future (in our home we celebrate Sinterklaas, Christmas and the birthdays of all three children during winter!) then you may want to head to a second hand toy market at De Roma Theatre.
Science Day is taking place in various locations around Antwerp on Sunday. All activities are free, but you need to register for some of them. These activities will be in Dutch, although for some activities language might not be so significant -like the exhibits and activities around Astrid Plein and Central Station.