This weekend in Antwerp: 13th, 14th & 15th September

There are a three fun festivals taking place over the whole weekend this weekend. They are Ramblas AntwerpenZuiderburen and Part of Antwerp. Las Ramblas in particular is lots of fun and very family friendly -the food, street theatre, and music which form this big neighbourhood event reflect the variety of communities which can be found around this part of town, and it’s really a great street party. It starts at 6pm on Friday, and the full list of events and performances can be found on the site if you click on “programma”.

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Ramblas Antwerpen

Zuiderburen takes place on the other side of town, in the area in front of the Gallery of Fine Art (aka. KMSKA). It’s on over Saturday and Sunday. The full programme is on their site under “Timetable”.

Screenshot 2019-09-11 at 18.24.41Part of Antwerp is a five week festival celebrating the harbour, and Antwerp’s status as a port city. It’s a mix of free and paying events and continues until next weekend.

And Comic Con Antwerp 2019  takes place on Saturday and Sunday (this is a ticketed event) for lovers of sc-fi, manga, comics, fantasy and cosplay.

 Friday

Start the weekend at Antwerp’s most sky-line altering building: it’s Aper’eau on Zaha Hadidplein from 5pm, or not far away at Dokmarkt near MAS (from 3pm).

Saturday

Saturday seems to be market day in Antwerp this weekend: as Part of Antwerp, there’s this retro and vintage market from midday until 6pm (again on the Zaha Hadidplein) and also offering food trucks and live music -all with a retro feel.

Over in the Dam area of the city from 8.30am Damsefeesten Rommelmarkt will be one enormous second-hand trading area, as this market takes up a number of streets: Twee Netenstraat, Lange Lobroekstraat, Rupelstraat, Demerstraat, Dijlestraat and Weilandstraat -all car-free -until 5.30pm

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Rommelmarkt in the Dam area

Kraakvers is a local food market for fresh and homemade produce. Find them on Sint Andriesplaats between 10am and 3pm, and if you are recently arrived in Antwerp, you will want to know about the biggest weekly food market in Antwerp, weekly on Saturdays on the Theaterplein and Oude Vaartplaats.

If dancing and coffee are more your thing, check out this Antwerp Underground festival organised by Viggo’s coffee car on de Coninckplein. I like this coffee shop, so this might be fun -mainly electronic music, and some food, from 2pm -10pm
Mollys30

There’ll be another fun party happening at Molly’s -one of Antwerp’s Irish bars (on the Jesuitenrui) as the pub celebrates its 30th birthday from 2pm. Swing by if you are in the old town; the Jesuitenrui is always car-free, which means space for revellers on the street. Enjoy plenty of music and food: the party continues until the taps run dry.

 

Sunday

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de langste veggie tafel

Every year, Antwerp holds a car-free Sunday (it should hold more of these) when locals can claim the streets for their own activity, and also explore alternative forms of personal transport in a fun way. There is a variety of events and activities on around the city, including on Groenplaats, Operaplein, and the Kaaien. Do not try to drive into the city between 10am and 6pm. If you have kids to entertain the Schedekaaien will be the best destination for you; cyclists will enjoy the bike based activities on Operaplein, but there are many, many additional activities which are listed hereI definitely recommend the veggie table (pic left) on Grote Markt for foodies.

There’s more street theatre and entertainment for children from Sinjor Circo: this weekend on Sint Andriesplaats from 1pm -6pm.

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Antwerp City Park (stadspark)

There’s also the monthly second hand book and magazine market on de Coninckplein from 10am until 4pm, or another enormous second hand market as Goegekregen bring their usual neighbourhood mix of selling and socialising to the Stadspark from 9am- 6pm.
The weather is not looking too bad; after a week which saw some distinctly autumnal temperatures, it should be mild and dry, with Sunday seeing an upturn in sun and warmth with top temps of 25 degrees.

 

Miscellaneous

 

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Bike path on Linkeroever

Last weekend I rode my bike with my daughter, simultaneously with women riding in the UK (a female peloton), to support The NIA Project -an organisation which provides essential support and services to women and girls who are victims of violence. The Ride For Murdered Women was organised by UK feminist and campaigner Jean Hatchet. We rode from Opera Plein in a circular route which took in Linkeroever and we saw some surprising sights on the way (see the Instagram shot below). Violence against women and girls is a problem all over the world. I do not ask for any donations to this blog, not do I make money from it but if you have some spare euros I would encourage you to donate to this to support the services we rode for last weekend, via Jean’s Just Giving page .

The peloton might become annual; give us a shout if you are a woman aged 18+ and you’d like to help make the Antwerp branch of the ride grow, by joining us next year.

 

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This weekend in Antwerp: 7th, 8th & 9th June

OXOtia! is a free festival taking place in and around Sterckshof Castle (Rivierenhof; you may know it from the recent de Quaeye Werelt event) over the whole weekend. It’s a weekend of arts, music, dance, performances and workshops. Some activities require registration beforehand via the contact form.

Stormkop logoAnother whole weekend option is the STORMKOP Festival: five days of kids’ activities centred around protecting the environment and living creatively in an eco-friendly way. Documentaries, science, food, workshops, cycling, eco-activism, music and even a parent-creche where kids can drop off their burdensome grown-ups, to be safely looked after while they enjoy the festival.

Friday

I’m going to give Dokmarkt another mention as it is set to be really warm on Friday afternoon and evening, and this location is a nice one for outdoor drinks (Napoleonkaai, near MAS) from 3pm -8pm, as well as for buying locally made food products to take home.

NB: Unfortunately, Flying Pig on Operaplein has been cancelled 😦

beerloversFMy personal recommendation for a good replacement would be to head along to the lovely Beerlovers Bar instead, where you are sure to discover a delicious beer that you haven’t tried or even heard of before.

Saturday

Antwerp’s biggest annual funfair opens at Park Spoor Oost: Sinksenfoor 2019 starts today – a traditional funfair with all the rides, colour, noise and high-carb food  you could wish for! Sinksenfoor is on daily until the 7th July.

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Sinksenfoor

Over in the Green Quarter, there will be a day of music and circus action with Circus Marcel from 2pm. This is a lovely area of Antwerp and a great place to take kids.

In Park Spoor Noord it’s the  200 Festival -celebrating 200 years of schools and learning in Antwerp, the day will be marked with talks, workshops, music, performance, activities, demonstrations and of course plenty of food and drink. Plenty going on for kids and their grown-ups. From 11am -8.30pm

Theatre fans: it’s the Flemish Impromarathon hosted by Swaajp and taking place at the Theater Het Klokhuis. It’s a 12 hour marathon, with performances in both English and Dutch (Dutch shows between 10am -4pm). Tickets here for either the full day or a half day.

vlaamseimpromarathon

Sunday

Screen Shot 2019-06-04 at 16.03.32Gardeners and lovers of flowers in Antwerp always speak highly of the beautiful blooms at the annual Rivierenhof Rozenfeest -it’s not just a chance to see the roses but also to get gardening advice, and enjoy other activities such as performances, music, a picnic and yoga. Rozenfeest takes place from 11am- 6pm, and is free.

Circus seems to be very much in this summer: catch Sinjor Circo on Falconplein from 1pm- 6pm.

Swan Market is on Grote Markt from 11am- 6pm, with their usual brand of locally crafted jewellery, accessories, household items, stationery and foods.

Good luck to you if you’re running in the Borgerhout Reuzenloop (urban run), which occurs at the same time as the Terlopleinfeest, a free neighbourhood street party offering food, drinks, performances, facepainting and of course a bouncy castle. Both events start at 1pm; the festival continues until 8pm.

The weather will continue warm -especially Friday (up to 23 degrees)- cooling off a bit on Saturday. There may be some showers.

Miscellaneous

Cafe Capital has opened in Stadspark (on the spot where the nightclub Cafe Capital once stood, until it burned down in a fire in 2010) and this week we took the kids along for lunch. I totally recommend it, as I have often sat in the park while the kids played, wishing that there was a terrace where I could get a glass of wine or a coffee and now there is. They also serve food (I am vegetarian and really enjoyed the roasted carrot salad). Watchful parents have a good view of pretty much the whole playground from the terrace -perfect!

Monday (10th June) is a public holiday in Belgium (Whit Monday). Goegekregen will be on Theaterplein for a holiday edition of their retro/ vintage/ second hand markets

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

Break a leg, BATS!

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