The Big Fat Summer Post 2018

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

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

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

Summer Bars

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

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

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Bar Noord (Park Spoor Noord)

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

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

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

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Antwerp summer bars

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

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

A Dozen Dates For Your Summer Diary:

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

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Groenplaats

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

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

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

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

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The 21st July is Belgium’s National Day

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

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

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

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Sommar

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

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

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

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

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Pride Parade

Five For The Rugrats

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

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

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

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Sportopia

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

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

Ongoing

Baroque Antwerp season continues until January 2019.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Aper’eau in Stadspark

Friday

It’s the last Antwerp Aper’eau event of the season at Eilandje (Napoleonkaai, near MAS). Drinks and snacks from 5pm.

Saturday

The Damsefeesten is a neighbourhood party taking place in the Damwijk area of town -the area just to the north of the city, and bordering Park Spoor Noord. There will be music on Twee Netenstraat and contests and races around the Langelobroekstraat -see the link for the race course and starting point. There will be rommelmarkten (second hand markets) in the streets around this area. The area will be closed off to cars between 9am and 5pm.

If you’d like to do some volunteering check out this 10 Minutes A Day event -litter collecting around the centre of the city. Meet at the gates of the zoo, on Astridplein, at 10am.

A Rommelmarkt (fleamarket)  will be taking place on Sint Jansplein from 9am.

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Permeke Library/ de Coninckplein

And this week on de Coninckplein there is a rommelmarkt (and kids’ activities) just for youngsters aged 6-15. Kids can sell (max. 5 euros) or swap their items, or things they have made themselves. Bring your things, and a blanket to put them on, and register here -click on ‘inschrijven’ on the right hand side. There will be other activities available for kids to enjoy between 12 and 5 -all with a supernatural/ ghoulish theme. Perfect if you feel like an early Hallowe’en…

Sunday

In the Permeke library, which is also on de Coninckplein, there will be a showing of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at 11am for 6 euros (only 4 euros if you get your ticket in advance). This is part of a series of events for children (and the young-at-heart) marking 100 years of Roald Dahl throughout September.

Sunday is Open Monumentendag (Heritage Day) throughout Flanders. This means that Heritage sites in the area will be open and a number of activities (tours, bike rides, exhibitions and readings) will be on offer. Check the Antwerp area for specific details, but -for example – it will be open-doors at the beautiful  Roma Theatre from 10am, following extensive restoration work which can now be seen by the public. It’s also a chance to see a 1950s projector cabin and check out their program for the coming season. Drinks and refreshments will be served, including free chocolate milk for kids.

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If you are looking on the site for family-friendly or kids activities on this day, click on the fly graphic (Uit Met Vlieg) which you might recognise from the kids’ activities which took place a couple of weeks back (Cultuur Markt van Vlanderen).

And there’s a Rommelmarkt (‘Pavement Sale‘) on Walvisstraat, which is near Dageraadplaats (Zurenborg area).

Markt van Morgen (jewellery, accessories, gifts -all made by local creatives) will be on Kloosterstraat from midday.

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This weekend should be dry and warm, with top temperatures occurring on Saturday afternoon evening -possibly up to 26 degrees. Huzzah! Like I said, summer is NOT OVER YET.

Miscellaneous

Click here for the Google map featuring all the locations in this post.

There seem to be quite a few second- hand events this weekend, and coming up, around Antwerp. If you are interested in recycling and buying second-hand goods then here’s a previous post about that from this blog.

SINGERS! BATS choir will be taking place throughout September and October.

ABChoir

And a reminder to artists about this project, which is not yet over:

If you would like to try something creative and think that starting small would be the best way to begin, this project, which is the brainchild of Antwerp-based artist Leo Reijnders is perfect for you:

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Image by Leo Reijnders

To mark its 10th birthday, CLOUDKNITTERS is organising a MAIL ART PROJECT “Let Sky The Limit” and is inviting every artist we know to participate and make a Mail Art Work, the size of a postcard. We also should like each artist to invite all his/ her artist friends and colleagues to do the same:

Our aim is to make an ‘artistic footprint’ of the Cloudknitters network.

These small pieces of art will be exhibited during the CLOUDKNITTERS 10- YEAR festival that lasts from 30th September until 23rd October in the Old Bourse, Hofstraat 15, 2000 Antwerp (Belgium)

This Old Bourse is the oldest stockmarket of Antwerp for international trading. The Pagadder Tower (1533) was a watch-tower whose purpose was to spot ships so they could be compelled to pay excise duties. This happened during the Spanish occupation, and the tower was manned by officers who were considered too small to fight. Pagador means paymaster in Spanish, but here in Antwerp they still use the word ‘pagadder’ (affectionately) for a small girl or boy.

See the Toren here.

Each of the little Mail Art works will be used for a video and will be exhibited on the internet.

On the last day of the exhibition, all of the works will be sold for 20 euros each and this money will be used to fund the Cloudknitters festival.

Thus, all the works that I receive before 23rd October can be part of this project. It starts from the moment you read this …until 23 October 2016.

The theme is “THE CLOUDKNITTERS”.
Please send your postcard-sized artwork to:

Leo Reijnders , Bouwensstraat 9, 2140 Borgerhout  (Belgium)

Let’s make the biggest MAIL ART PROJECT ever!

Further links:
http://www.thecloudknitters.be

Kunstproject “The Cloudknitter At Vauban’s House”

https://thecloudknitteratvaubanshouse.wordpress.com

And …

Storytime slide

Don’t forget: Story Time in English will start September 14 and will be every Wednesday from 1:00- 2:30pm, for children aged aged 4-11. Each week will have a different theme/story, and there will also be activities, music and snacks based around that theme. The cost is 5 euro and the max number of kids is 25. Contact Kay via the Facebook page to register your child.

Location: Centraal Cafe, Sint-Pietersvliet 11, Antwerp 2000

And don’t forget to find Nessascityblog on Instagram  Pinterest and Twitter.

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