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

Screenshot 2019-11-27 at 15.49.40The  Markies Stock Sale (of books) at Zuiderpershuis, which is definitely a nice way to get discounted gifts for bookish loved ones -although most books are in Dutch, there is also a selection of books in English (and coffee table books) as well as picture books for children. It’s free and takes place from 10am -6pm on FridaySaturday and Sunday.

It is Sinterklaas avond in Belgium on Friday.

Saturday

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Christmas wheel

Winter In Antwerp starts today with a special opening celebration from noon. 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).

Before the Noorderlijn events  on Sunday, come and see the Kipdorp Nocturne . The programme starts at 6pm and it will be the last chance to see this archaeological site, which will be specially illuminated with lights and projections.  There will also be a food truck selling hot snacks and drinks.

operaplein
Operaplein

Throughout December, look out for local winter festivities such as this one in Deurne: Deurne Wintert, which starts at 4pm – and which take place in different neighbourhoods around the city.

Sunday 

On Sunday the first trams will run on the Noorderlijn and the metro station Opera will re-open after four years of intensive construction works.  You can check out the pdf programme for the opening party here. There will be entertainment for the opening on and around Operaplein (also at Kinepolis and the Haven huis)  from 10am -6pm and a chance to ride the new tram routes (1 and 24).

On Kloosterstraat there’s a special Christmas edition of Markt van Morgen from midday until 6pm: locally and hand made fashion, jewellery interior and graphic design goods plus hot soup and glühwein for added warmth.

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Markt van Morgen (image from Facebook)

From 11am -7pm at Plein Publiek there’s a vegan Christmas market featuring food trucks, and a market of 40 stands of vegan and eco-friendly products.

This weekend should be (mostly) dry, cold and bright again with the possibility of some light showers on Friday evening.

Stadsfeestzaal
Stadsfeestzaal Shopping Centre

Miscellaneous 

Test your festive knowledge skills at the An Sibhin Quiz Night next Friday -participants should pre-register. It’s a general knowledge quiz for teams of maximum 5. Entry 5€ per person. Prizes for winners, fun for all! Reservations a must -via the Facebook page.

Throughout December, the shops in the city will be open on Sundays , and again on January 5th 2020.

Winter bars are starting to open, including Wintar on Boomgaardstraat 17,  near the Antwerp City Brewery (De Koninck) for drinks, food (especially cheese!) and events until the start of February.

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This weekend in Antwerp: 8th, 9th & 10th February

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“Pateekes [patisserie] Week” is underway in Antwerp already, and continues until the 10th. Pateekes Week is perfect for sweet-toothed Antwerp-dwellers and their guests: you buy your ‘Pateekes Pass’ at the tourist info on Grote Markt, for a tenner and the 10 vouchers enable you to get a patisserie and/ or a drink at participating bakeries and cafés, which are listed here.

 

Saturday

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The Chinese New Year is already underway, but do not worry if you missed out on celebrating: here it Antwerp there will be a celebration in the streets of Chinatown on Saturday, with a program of events to for all ages, and including the colourful and exciting dragon parade which takes place every year (Van Wesenbekestraat).  If you have kids, they can be kept busy in the Permeke Library from 11am, where the film ‘Mulan’ is being shown (at 11). This film is free, but you need to register your child(ren) here beforehand.

There will also be a New Year’s Market with food stands from 11.30am.

Legends of Liondance continues until Sunday 17th (it has been extended!) at Permeke library, as part of the Chinese New Year festivities. This is a colourful display of the lions used in Chinese Lion Dances, and is free. The New Year Parade features both dragons and lions (but mostly lions).

It’s the Year of The Pig this year and we wish a very Happy New Year to all  of those celebrating!

Sunday

Cafe Kamiel is holding a Winterfeest   from 3-8pm. Get your gluhwein, hot chocolate and warming soup. This is a nice café, and in good weather is very kid-friendly as there is a leafy park and playground (Hof van Leysen) in front of the café’s terrace.

hearts-37308_640At Rivierenhof, there is a Valentine’s run  which starts at 11am  on Rivierenhof Parkweg / Ruggeveldlaan in 2100 Deurne (facilities open from 9.30am at Sportpark Ruggeveld, Ruggeveldlaan 480 in 2100 Deurne). You can register in advance here, and run for free, or turn up on the day itself and join in for 5 euros.

Also with an outdoorsy theme there is this tree walk at 2pm starting at the Panamarenko statue on Sint Jansplein at 2pm. You can register in advance here: wandeling@natuurpuntantwerpenstad.be
The walk ends with drinks and a Q&A about plants and trees.

Temperatures this weekend will reach a blistering 8 -9 degrees. It should be mostly dry, but there is a chance of showers on Saturday around midday, and Sunday afternoon.

Miscellaneous

wine-1543170_640This week I published a special post by Bart Meeus of Fine Wine Junkies -an local start-up, sure to be of interest to readers who enjoy unusual wines, not available from the supermarket.

 

Strikes are set  to affect transport on 13th February (also some flights at Brussels Airport) so check your travel plans in advance.

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