This weekend in Antwerp: 17th, 18th & 19th January 2020

 

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Cafe Capital, Stadspark

Friday

Café Capital in Stadspark are starting the weekend with a fundraiser night to help wildlife organisations currently working to save animals affected by the fires in Australia, and also organisations which are fighting the fires. Sister events will be held in other cities in Europe and beyond.

Celebrate the birthday of Art itself at MUHKA’s Art’s Birthday event from 5pm. This is the 12th year that this has been marked in Antwerp; it was established in 1963 by the artist Robert Filliou: “Filliou first proposed “Art’s Birthday” in 1963. He suggested that 1,000,000 years ago, there was no art. But one day, on January 17 to be precise, Art was born. Filliou says it happened when someone dropped a dry sponge into a bucket of water. He also proposed a public holiday to celebrate the presence of art in our lives. Art’s Birthday was first publicly celebrated in 1973 in Aachen (i.e., Aix-la-Chapelle), Germany and at the same time in Paris, France.” (from Wikipedia)

At the Irish Times Bar it’s Swap Language Night and a chance to brush up your language skills for aspiring polyglots -from 8pm.

Saturday

Screenshot 2020-01-15 at 13.56.08On Astridplein there’s the chance to go tulip picking from 1pm – 4.30. The tulips on Astridplein looked beautiful last year (pic left), but you might have to be prepared to queue a bit to pick your own bunch.

It’s free movie night again at Het Roze Huis (Den Draak) at 8pm. This evening it’s Loving Annabelle. If you are new and not familiar with Het Roze Huis -it’s your first port-of-call for all things LGBTQ+ in Antwerp.

Sunday

Screenshot 2020-01-15 at 14.00.37It’s the monthly second hand book market on de Coninckplein in front of the Permeke Library. Books, comics, graphic novels, postcards and more for very reasonable prices. 10am -4pm.

It should be dry this weekend – with the possibility of light showers on Friday afternoon. There could be some bright spells, but it’s going to be quite cold with top temps of 11 degrees on Friday, and 8 degrees on Saturday and Sunday.

Miscellaneous

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image from: Legends of Liondance Facebook page

Don’t forget to book your tickets to the annual BATS panto, which takes place this weekend: Sleeping Beauty? (pic below, from BATS website) Tickets via the BATS website.

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Need a productive, achievable new year’s resolution that doesn’t involve giving up something you enjoy? Let 2020 be the year you write your Antwerp story for Nessascityblog! Please get in touch with your idea. I’d love to have more guest posts, reviews, tips, personal stories and accounts connected to the city of Antwerp.

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Nessascityblog Winter Holiday Post

edf_softI am taking a break so that I can get ready for my own family Christmas now, so here are a few dates for your diary to see out 2019. Have a wonderful winter break, and a very happy Christmas -see you again in 2020. Thank you for reading and sharing Nessascityblog in 2019.

Winter In Antwerp is now open: this is the highlight of the winter holiday season in Antwerp. If you are new to the city you have plenty of time to check out the various attractions which are on until 5th January. They key locations are Steenplein (especially if you have kids to entertain), Groenplaats and Grote Markt. Christmas market stands can be found in all of these places. There is always a winter bar (this year it’s called Bar Den and will be situated on Steenplein), a big wheel and the ice rink (Groenplaats).

From the 18th – 24th December it’s the Warmste Week -a week of charity events and fundraising across Belgium. You can search for activities and good causes in your area here. Look out for the Screen Shot 2019-12-12 at 10.56.17flame logo which accompanies De Warmste Week events (pic left, taken from the Warmste Week website).

Grand Cafe Capital in Stadspark are celebrating their first Christmas with a Christmas market on daily from the 19th -29th December.

Friday 20th December: BATS Open Evening starts at 5pm at The Little Theatre on Paardenmarkt. A chance to find out about the theatre group and maybe join in, as well as to enjoy some festive cheers, songs, soup and Gluhwein.

On Sunday 22nd December Goegekregen are in the shelter at Park Spoor Noord once more -it a great space for this event and the shelter means that the second-hand market can’t be rained off, but it is a bit drafty at this time of year, so wear a good coat!

Friday 27th is the last Critical Mass ride of 2019, setting off as usual from Theaterplein at 6pm for an hour’s cycling through the city before finishing up at Winter in Antwerp.

For carol services and Masses in English, see the calendar page of St Boniface Anglican Church.

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Antwerp Zoo

The Jungle Book Light Festival  is on at the zoo until 12th January. It is ticketed and enables visitors to see the colourful lights and figures supplied by the makers of China Light, which has taken place in previous years. It’s not the cheapest family evening out, but we have always enjoyed seeing the zoo this way in previous years and consider it a nice winter treat. Check the weather before you book, and wrap up warm if necessary!

Because it’s December, the shops will be open on all Sundays throughout the month, and again on January 5th 2020.

To see in the new year, here is an overview of different parties and ideas for 31st December.

And looking ahead to next year, why not finish the festive season with a trip to the annual BATS panto, which this year, is Sleeping Beauty? (pic below, from BATS website) Tickets via the BATS website.

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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.

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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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This weekend in Antwerp: 6th, 7th & 8th July

If you live in or close to the centre, you don’t need to go far for a full weekend of entertainment this weekend. Feesten in het Stadspark is a free event in the Stadspark over both days. There’s food, drink, kids entertainment, live music, performances and dancing to be had. On Sunday, things kick off quite early with a big second hand market from Goegekregen (from 9am).

The hot weather is going to continue, so there is nothing to spoil your fun at this event: as ever don’t forget water-bottles, sun hats, shades and plenty of sunscreen for the whole family, especially kids.

Here is your GOOGLE MAP for this weekend!

 Saturdaystjansplein

There’s a huge second hand market on Sint Jansplein from 10am -6pm.

 

 

Sunday

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Hungry? head to Brilliant Foodies at Felix Pakhuis (this is near MAAS museum, Eilandje). Felix Pakhuis is a beautiful venue for this free multicultural food event. In addition to the amazing food, there will be live music, diamond and jewelry workshops and fun activities for the whole family. Brilliant Foodies is hosted by Diamonds and Antwerp.

Another really nice part of the Zomer van Antwerpen is the “Muziek in de Wijk” events, which bring local bands to the local squares and parks of the city. This weekend on Sunday Muziek in de Wijk is on Krugerplein from 2.30pm with the main program beginning at 4pm.

Miscellaneous

On Wednesday 11th July Vlaanderen Feest will be held on Grote Markt with a busy party program that starts at midday. This is a fun local event, and definitely one to enjoy if you are recently arrived and want to enjoy an authentic part of Antwerp cultural life. You can read about why this is celebrated as an important day for Flanders here.
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Have you noticed the life-sized statues of zoo animals (pic right) around the town? These commemorate 175 years of Antwerp Zoo. Happy birthday, Antwerp Zoo!

Also from the zoo: every evening on the Flamingo Plein  (zoo entrance) live music and -yes, you guessed it – a summer bar, between 5pm -7.30pm. A perfect summer after-work for when you step off the train -until 23rd September.

 

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bumper summer post coming on the 11th July

The Big Fat Summer Post is coming out on the 11th July, while I take a break for about a month for my own summer holidays, and to enable me to get out and enjoy some of the events and places I blog about!

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!

Recently I have shared guest posts from Timo: Five Places to Read & Relax in Antwerp and Sonny: Take Five With Sonny Dhanowa.

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