I am going to be away from Belgium for the next two weekends, so forgive me for producing this 3-in-1 post. As I am not returning until Thursday 20th October, it’s difficult to blog in detail for the next three weekends.
Normal weekly service will resume before November. Until then, here is a brief October guide – please add to it by posting links, suggestions and information in the comments.
The first Friday of the month is always Opening Evening at BATS Antwerp. Go along to the Little Theatre on Paardenmarkt, to find out what they are up to, enjoy a drink at their
friendly bar or get involved on or off-stage, if you are interested in being part of English-speaking theatre productions locally.
8 & 9th October
Street Art Antwerp comprises of Tim who will show you the hidden street art and graffiti work in Antwerp. Make a donation of your choosing and join the tour, starting at 11. Max 15 people so mail email@example.com to enrol. The tour is in Dutch, but I hear that if there is sufficient interest, there may be tours in English too later (image courtesy of Street Art Antwerp).
Maybe we finally have to face up to the end of summer, because Cargo Summer bar closes this weekend, with events on both Saturday night (18h start) and Sunday (brunch).
Markt van Morgen is on Kloosterstraat (just round the corner from Sint-Andriesplaats) from 12 -6pm.
It’s also the first birthday of this very blog. Happy birthday to me! (image: Pixabay)
Mercado Grand opening (see above)
The Ecohuis opens its doors for an Eco House Fest starting its program at 11am. There is a focus on creating and maintaining a roof garden as well as other activities and information on offer -e.g. a climbing wall. There is a supervised area for kids aged 0- 6. The Ecohuis also has a really good café, also with some toys and games for kids.
At the Permeke library is the regular book sale on de Coninckplein (10am -4pm)
22nd & 23rd October
Well, the name of this event makes me think it might be something for me…
Please check out a Nessascityblog post of a different kind: our post EU referendum story so far. Might be of particular interest to UK passport holders applying for Belgian nationality in the wake of Brexit, but hopefully to others too.
Also over the whole weekend is the Linkerwoofer festival. It’s 10 euros per person (kids less than a metre tall go free). Alongside the music, there is plenty of kids’ entertainment, as well as a market) and begins on Friday night at 6pm. Take the Sint Anna tunnel under the river and you are there. Great views of the Antwerp skyline from the other side of the water! (pic from Linkerwoofer)
Flying Pig (music, food trucks, drinks) is on Sint Andriesplaats this Friday evening from 5pm.
There’s a choice of free (world) music on Dageraadplaats and kids’ entertainment at 7.30 as part of Muziek in de Wijk or at Rivierenhof Openlucht Theater at 8.30. Folk music fans should head to Bar Ami for their usual Friday night fayre at 8.30.
And for those swept up in the Pokemon Go craze … head to Antwerp Zoo at 7pm for a Zoo Pokehunt until 8.30. It’s free, but participants are encouraged to donate 3 euros (image from Pixabay).
The Antwerp Queer Arts Festival opens today and continues until the 14th August. The free opening event takes place at Gallerie Verbeeck-VanDyck (near MAS/ Eilandje) and coincides with Museum Night (see below)
Loads of Antwerp museums will be open until 1am for Museum Night on Saturday night. 10 euros will get you into them all – a mere 8 euros if you reserve beforehand. It’s only 5 euros if you are under 26, and free if you are under 12.
During the day, from 10am there’s a second hand market on St Jansplein.
Today’s second hand/ fleamarket is in Park Spoor Noord, from 9am -6pm, courtesy of Goegekregen.
From 4pm -7pm at Rivierenhof, it’s Yoyogi -an open performance opportunity for anyone who would like to come along and demonstrate their music, dance or performance skills, or to watch others. It’s free and there are also various workshops (e.g. kungfu, acro-yoga, ropeskipping, tai chi).
Antwerpen Zingt! is a fun event at 6.30 at the Gedempte Zuiderdokken/ Vlaamse Kaai. It’s basically a great big sing-a-long. It’s free and you will be provided with a song sheet -there is usually a mix of well-known popular songs and some Flemish ones. The singing is lead from a large stage, and there are some additional performances.
After a disappointingly drizzly week, this weekend looks set to be largely dry (some possibility of showers on Saturday) and cloudy, with warmest temperatures (24- 26 degrees) on Sunday, which could also be sunny…. Fingers crossed!
Bibfabriek at Permeke Library is keeping kids entertained for free on every Wednesday afternoon throughout August (from 2- 4pm).
Cargo Summer Bar is also providing kids entertainment on Wednesdays at 2 (games, face-painting, workshops, dance.) Keep an eye on their Facebook page in case activities are cancelled or rescheduled due to weather.
Speel-O-Rama is on daily (Mon- Fri) at Zuiderpershuis for kids aged7-13, from 10am- 4.30pm for 2 euros per child. For the week 08/08 -12/08 the theme is Street Theater. There are other ongoing activities and workshops too.
Kids will enjoy being taken to the summer edition of Sportopia in Park Loods (Park Spoor Noord) which returns on July 20th. The winter version of this was good -my kids enjoyed it on more than one occasion, although it can get busy. It costs 6 euros per session, but is less than that if you have an A-Kaart and free to under 4s, or those with 10 points on their A-Kaart. Open 10- 6pm Wednesdays- Sundays.
Get Involved In An Interesting Art Project…
If you would like to try something creative this summer, 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:
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.
(New Google Maps feature: this is in the Miscellaneous section at the bottom of this post)
The first Friday of the month is always Open Evening at the Little Theatre at BATS. Go along and meet the crew if you are interested in being involved in English speaking theatre in Antwerp. It’s also a good chance to pick up tickets for their famous Variety Show, which has a 1950s theme this year.
From 6pm it’s Streat XXL at Felixpakhuis on Eilandje -free entry.
Also over the whole weekend, opening today is a stock sale of books at Zuiderpershuis -open from 10am -6pm each day (and next weekend too). It’s a good place to pick up bargains and gifts, with a wide selection of books for kids. Most books are in Dutch.
Today and Sunday it’s the moment to time-travel back to 1477 and De Quaeye Werelt which is a thoroughly enjoyable event for people of all ages, and takes place at Sterkshof, part of the Rivierenhof domein. It’s on from 10am – 6pm both days. Many re-enactors travel from all over Europe to pitch their heavy canvas tents and set up home, or a stall for
the weekend. There are demonstrations, re-enactments, music, market stands and a big noisy battle to watch (14.30pm). There is a lot for kids to enjoy, and the beer and snacks are always excellent.
MARTA, the famers’ market takes place on Kattendijkdok today, near the summer bar Bar Paniek and Born In Antwerp HQ, from 9am.
Head along to Sint Andriesplaats for Brasspartij at 2pm: six cafés in the area are going to be hosting this event and there will be brass bands from Belgium and The Netherlands, as well as food and beer trucks on the square.
There’s another big fleamarket on Sint-Jansplein from 8am -6pm.
For runners, it is the Deurne 10 miles (with shorter parcours for those who don’t want to run the full 10). It costs 10 euros to register and starts at the Bosuilstadion.
If you have any energy left after that, head to Club Het Geluk for the night which starts at 10 and is free until it’s full.
And a special shout-out to the best basisschool in Belgium: De Bunt who are having their school fête today!
Have lots of fun!
Ongoing events (see Friday and Saturday) Book market at Zuiderpershuis, Strangelove & De Quaeye Werelt.
It will be your last chance to Tango Under The Bridge at Draakplaats at 3pm, with an extra long final edition of this event that includes live music starting at 8pm.
It’s the first Sunday of the month, so the shops in the city centre will be open for Sunday shopping.
More for runners: describing itself as ‘not the longest, but certainly the nicest’ the Sint Andries Run takes place today, with additional entertainment all day on the Sint Andriesplaats -be there at 11am to register at the tent. The first run begins at 1, and it is free to take part.
If you are on Instagram and attend an event in the area (or snap a beautiful Antwerp location) -especially if you read about it on this blog -please hashtag it #nessascityblog to contribute to a stream! I’d love to see your images, as it is impossible for me to make it to everything that I feature on the weekend posts. I usually try to get to 2-3 of them though.
It’s Pentecost weekend, so maybe you have a long weekend due to Whit Monday, which is a public holiday in Belgium. Once again there are a few events occurring over the whole weekend (and some on Monday too). These include:-
– The Barrio Cantina Food Trucks Festivalat Steen. This is a great location for this event, although some of the food is pricey -if you are planning on going with your family, it will be expensive if you are all eating the equivalent of a meal. However, it is OK for a snack, and there are usually some nice kids activities (last year they had cupcake decorating and face painting). Also on Monday.
– Five Years of MAS (also until Monday)- Follow the link to order tickets for the whole weekend which will get you access to all museum rooms for 3 days for 5 euros (free to under- 12s). There will be other events on the square around the museum. As you are probably aware, I am keen on recycling/ upcycling and eco events, so I am going to particularly draw your attention to an Upcycling Workshop from Het Vindingrijk at 5pm on the Saturday!
Klub Goud is opening on the 21st floor of the A-Tower (11pm) Tickets are 10 euros on the door or order online beforehand. Alternatively at the same location there is Bar Gloed on the 4th floor, which has been open for a couple of weeks now for food and drinks. It has a nice terrace (complete with sand pit for kids) with views of the station building and of Meir, and Pretbederf from 9pm.
Another summer bar, Bocadero opens today at midday (near Waagnatie) by the river, until the 4th September.
Café Storm at MAS (also celebrating its 5 year birthday, as previously mentioned) celebrates six years with a party -free entry before midnight.
Permeke Library has its regular monthly Sunday book market on De Coninckplein and at the same time there will be a piano marathon taking place (10am -6pm). Both the book fair and its musical accompaniment are free.
Alas, the weather is unlikely to be as good as last weekend. Friday likely to be warmest, but with a high chance of showers. Saturday and Sunday predicted to be mild and cloudy, with some sunny spells on Sunday. Showers possible. (image: Pixabay)
Still three more chances to get free basketball sessions for your 6+ kids in various squares around the city (2-4pm; 3-5pm on Sint Jansplein).
Born in Antwerp is a Stad Antwerpen supported creative initiative taking place until October of this year. An app will keep you informed of events, or you can follow the agenda online.
If you’d like to see some free midweek stand- up comedy, then head to Kelly’s Irish Pub on Keyserlei on alternate Thursday nights (starting this week). They are starting a program of international comedy acts, starting with Jason Waddell, described as “straight outta Texas with jokes and a certain je-ne-sais-quoi. What that exactly is, is something for you to find out during the show!”
!!! New for Nessascity: The blog is now on Instagram -Give us a follow for additional pictures of weekend events which are mentioned here- as they happen, or shortly afterwards.
…And of course, Nessascityblog is still on Twitter.
Thursday is Ascension Day (‘Hemelvaartsdag’ in Dutch) with Belgian schools also taking Friday off to make a long weekend. There is going to be a big fleamarket on Theaterplein, one from Skrap on the Gedempte Zuiderdokken (10am -10pm) and a fabric market on Groenplaats.
Also worth knowing is that another summer bar –Bar Gloed -has just opened. The kitchen is open from 9am -9pm daily. It’s on the 4th floor of The Antwerp Tower.
(A night club -Klub Goud- will be opening on the 21st floor soon …)
There are a couple of events which take place over all four days:
Antwerpen Proeft is a food and drink festival at Waagnatie which is near Eilandje. You can get tickets per day, or for all four days. It takes place inside the events venue, but also outside at Bocadero, – a summer bar at this location, which opens officially next weekend on the 13th.
Another four day event is the Zeezichtfeesten on Dageraadplaats, with performances and activities for all ages.
BATS have their regular opening evening on the first Friday of every month from 8.30pm. Go and join them at their theatre bar if you would like to find out more about being involved in English speaking theatre productions in Antwerp.
Grand Bazar is open for Mother’s Day treats and offers from 13.30 -5.30pm (also on Saturday)
Another edition of Handgemaakt (handmade) market in Kavka (on the Oudaan, opposite the big police station building) from 1pm -6pm. Free entry. I got some very pretty little pieces of jewellery here as Christmas gifts at the end of last year. Get a last minute Mother’s Day gift with a difference (see Sunday).
There’s a record fair at the bar Bato Batu on Lange Nieuwstraat, 12 -6pm, and MARTA (farmers’ market) takes place on Kattendijkdok between 9 and 4. MARTA is going to be a regular fixture on the first Saturday of each month.
Sunday is Mother’s Day in Belgium and in various countries around the world (not to be confused with the specifically Antwerp Mother’s Day on August 15th each year. Because we like to be different).
Bouger bouger is a nice neighbourhood event in Borgerhout on the Krugerplein food drink, DJs, a fleamarket and lots of space to play for kids.
Did you know that the roadworks on the Leien have unearthed a section of the Antwerp city wall built by the Spanish in the 16th?
On Sunday between 11 and 5pm you can go and see it (on the corner where Maria-Theresialei meets Frankrijklei).
There’s a Markt van Morgen from midday on Kloosterstraat -a market for local designers and creatives selling art, jewellery and accessories. There will also be food and DJs. Should you perchance have neglected to buy mum a gift, this would be a good place to put that right.
SKETCH is back, in Plein Publiek -its mission is to engage everyone in drawing and it provides the materials for you to join in, and local artists to inspire you. Even if you don’t want to draw you can come and watch the artists sketch and have a drink.
It’s the final chance to be involved in the Coming World Remember Me project at CWRM @ Het Steen where 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.
The weather is promising to be great -no, really, it is! No showers forecast this weekend, and a possible max of 25 degrees on Saturday, so get out and enjoy all the outside events without packing a bunch of raincoats and umbrellas. It might even be time to break out the sunscreen – especially for kids. Have a sunny weekend! (image from Pixabay)
Please note, this is the information I have about weekend events at the moment. If any are cancelled or rescheduled due to the recent raising of the security threat level, I will update the post as soon as I can and will Tweet additional info. Please comment here, or mention @nessascityblog in your own Tweet if you get information yourself, so that I can RT you, and edit this post. Thank you.
Tonight (Thursday) there will be a requiem mass at MAS and a chance to sign a book of condolence from 7.30pm
A Silent Vigil is planned for Friday, at 6pm on Grote Markt.
Brussels Airport remains closed at least for today and tomorrow. For train information about the Brussels area you can check here.
Here are the weekend’s events, as usual, which as far as I presently know, are still on course to take place over the Easter weekend.
Assemble on Theaterplein with your bike at 6pm for the Easter edition of Critical Mass. After which you could cycle on to Park Spoor Noord where the Cargo Summer Bar is opening for 2016 from 7pm, with music, drinks and food. Unfortunately, the big-screen showing of the football match which was due to take place at Cargo have been cancelled in the light of the attacks in Brussels, as Belgium will not be playing against Portugal on Tuesday.
There’s a new bar and bookshop opening on Grote Markt. Come and check out Kobalt from 7pm.
Head to the Spoor Oost Opening Party which kicks off at 11am and promises food, drinks, kids entertainment, playground, sport, fleamarket, BBQ and graffiti art space. Park Spoor Oost is going to serve as an huge public space and events venue for the Borgerhout/ Schijnpoort area of the city. Festivities will go on all day, and on into the night with an after-party starting at 9pm in Bahnhof (event venue/ bar).
For a traditional Antwerp experience, take part in the Semini Celebrations starting at 10am on Grote Markt, with traditional music and dance.
Who is is Semini? From Wikipedia: “At the entrance to Het Steen is a bas-relief of Semini, above the archway, around 2nd century. Semini is the Scandinavian God of youth and fertility (with symbolic phallus). A historical plaque near Het Steen explains that women of the town appealed to Semini when they desired children; the god was reviled by later religious clergy. Inhabitants of Antwerp previously referred to themselves as “children of Semini”. An organization concerned with the historic preservation of Het Steen and Semini, Antwerp Komitee Semini in Ere (AKSIE), formed in 1986, holds annual celebrations at Het Steen as cultural events.”
By “reviled by later religious clergy” what is actually meant is that the Jesuits chopped his phallus off. Prior to that, fragments of it had been supposedly chipped away by the women of Antwerp who believed they would help them conceive. Unlucky, Semini. He is a well known figure here and the people of Antwerp once referred to themselves as “Semini’s Children”.
Nonetheless, it’s still a special day to get married, if you are an Antwerp couple, and after the celebrations on Grote Markt, the procession will make its way to Sint Andriesplaats (coStA) arriving at around 1pm, for free musical performances and folk singers.
Not far away at the St Anna Tunnel -AKA Voetgangers (pedestrians) Tunnel- there will be a free urban dance event, The Antwerp Battle taking place just in front of the tunnel entrance, where there is a basketball court (St Jansplein). There’s a vintage/ antique market here each Sunday, but also one today.. If you have never been in the tunnel, it is really worth seeing. You can cross to Linkeroever, under the Schelde, by foot or by bike. The Antwerp Battle is one a a number of different dance events happening as part of Dans Promenade ,all of which are free.
Near Astridplein there is a free art market at the Afrikaans Cultureel Centrum, from midday.
If you are feeling sporty or need to run off an excess of chocolate, then head for Rivierenhof at 11am (meet at the lake in the centre of the estate) where you can join runners training for the Antwerp 10 miles & Marathon taking place this year on the 17th April.
It’s the last chance to see Le Bruit des Choses exhibition Middelheim Museum. Middelheim is free.
Note that most shops in Antwerp will be closed on Easter Monday.
I suggest eating some chocolate.
Tip for Wednesday: On the last Wednesday of the month, the permanent collections of the following museums are FREE. It’s worth noting that this Wednesday (30th) is a school holiday and taking the kids at this time will save you quite a bit. It’s useful to know that The Red Star Line museum is often particularly busy though, so have a Plan B if that is is full of visitors taking advantage of the free entrance.
Temperatures for the Easter weekend look fairly fresh and mild, but there is a distinct chance of rain on both Good Friday and Easter Day. Saturday and Monday are likely to be dry.
The attacks in Brussels at the start of this week cast a shadow over Easter for everyone living in Belgium. Perhaps you have changed your travel plans as a result. I know we are all thinking of those who lost their lives and were injured in the explosions. Let’s stay calm and not lead lives driven by fear. Wishing you a peaceful and happy Easter. X