From playing with Lego to walking through a museum: our must-have top tips for this week

Discover the very best events, exhibitions and activities near you. Free and paid, virtual and live, alone or with children.

1/Joke Van Leeuwen is on stage during Arts Day for Children

Joke Van Leeuwen. © Wim Kempenaers

On 20 November, it is the eleventh edition of the Children’s Art Day, which is devoted exclusively to ‘nature’ and ‘natural talents’. Spread over Flanders, there are more than three hundred activities for children and their families on the program on Sunday. In CC Zwaneberg in Heist-op-den-Berg, youth writer Joke Van Leeuwen is makingher performance as narrator in the book and play she wrote have you seen my sister (2+) In Antwerp, in the Rubens House, children can sign up for a tailor-made tour, while in Amuz they can sing along with their parents and grandparents.

Turnhout also goes all out during Art Day for Children. In the Playing Card Museum, children can create their own tattoo design by combining laser-cut wooden shapes into a small design on tattoo paper.

2/The Cure stops at Sportpaleis


In 1980, singer Robert Smith and his band The Cure had their international breakthrough with the single A forest. The group became the symbol of the new wave era, but managed to renew itself over the years. No wonder that popular bands like Editors or The Smashing Pumpkins mention the ‘black bags’ as a great source of inspiration. During their tour of 44 shows through 22 countries, The Cure also lands at the Sportpaleis on Wednesday.

Even more international stars are stopping in Merksem this week: On Thursday, Lotto Arena is getting ready for a concert with Bryan Adams. The Canadian rocker selects tracks from his new album So happy it hurts.

3/Beurs Grafixx has already put out the lines ten times

© Tom Champ

Grafixx will visit De Studio for the tenth time from November 25 to 27. It is therefore logical that the participating illustrators will, for once, work around a central theme this year: celebration. New talents and established names from the international comics and illustration world present their work in exhibitions, workshops and lectures. For example, Tom Schamp, a well-known children’s book illustrator with already 35 picture books to his name, will speak on November 26. Olivier Schrauwen, who gained fame with innovative comics such as Arsène Schrauwen and The man who let his beard grow, will address the public on November 27.

4/ Tchaikovsky was homosexual

Vic De Wachter. © DBA

In late 19th century Russia, Tchaikovsky was popular because he managed to connect the Russian soul with Western European classical music. Beyond his success and glory, Tchaikovsky also carried a secret: a part of himself that he tried to keep hidden as long as possible. He knew only too well that the country of his birth did not accept people of a different orientation.

IN Tchaikovsky’s Secret Vic De Wachter crawls into the soul of the Russian composer as narrator. The Desguin String Quartet brings compelling melodies that everyone recognizes, assisted by pianist Florestan Bataillie. Exhibited in Lier (19/11), Lokeren (2/12), Kapellen (18/12) and Beveren (8/1).

5/Do you read to a dog? In the library in Berchem they start the Reading Week

Reading Week is held from 19 to 27 November with reading sessions in libraries and schools throughout Flanders. With this annual campaign, Alle Læser focuses on the importance and pleasure of reading aloud. Some children feel uncomfortable when they have to read aloud, and therefore they can try to ‘wiggle’ in Berchem library this afternoon between 1.30 and 4.30 pm. In addition, they read for fifteen minutes to one of the therapy dogs. The cute animal will never point out mistakes to the child. At the library in Nijlen, they combine a reading on Wednesdays with a craft activity and pancakes.

6/Wallet full of games

Lego is still the favorite toy of many young and old children. Brickmania takes place in the Antwerp Expo on November 19 and 20. You can buy new and used Lego sets, but also admire spectacular buildings made of Lego bricks. You can also work with the stones yourself or help build a mega-sized mosaic of Tintin.

Elsewhere in Antwerp Expo, you can also visit Spel 2022 on Saturday and Sunday. Divided by category, you can participate in board games that can be bought at the same time – new or used. With fairs on photography, multimedia and computers, miniature cars, military trinkets and records and CDs, hobbyists will also be at the apple of the Antwerp Expo on Sunday.

7/Urban Trail runners run through KMSKA


Are you working on your fitness or enjoying culture? During the Liantis Urban Trail Antwerp on Sunday 20 November you can combine the best of both worlds. Over a 12 km or 7 km route, the 8,000 runners pass important Antwerp buildings, past or through them. This crosses the Zuiderpershuis, but also the Play Zuid studio, from which the talk show The table of four is broadcast. Participants will also find the beautifully renovated KMSKA on their way. First they walk around the museum and then go through the catacombs and stairs to the back exhibition room. The renovated town hall also welcomes runners.

8/Artisans show their skills

In an age of uniformity, craftsmanship pays off. Across the country, craftsmen open their doors on Sunday during Handicrafts Day. On a map on the page you can see where you can take a look on Sunday. In Antwerp, you can see ceramics from Katja Van Breedam or discover how Ludwig Geudens makes his classical guitars. Raymond Meeus has been restoring branded watches for over 30 years. You can see how dials are customized. At De Ratelaar in Geel you can discover how baskets are woven. Are you curious about what an authentic iron forge looks like? Then you are welcome at the ‘iron emperor’ Yannick Jacobs in Kalmthout.

9/ ‘Swan Lake’ on a real water surface

Swan Lake set to music by Tchaikovsky remains one of the great ballet classics. In the Lotto Arena, the ballerinas dance on a real water mirror on Friday. Picked up in Hangzhou, China during the G20 summit, Classicall Productions is bringing this special version of the ballet to Europe. No sinecure for a classical corps de ballet and for soloists to suddenly dance under these circumstances. Acrobatics in water involves several physical risks. Lotto Arena will be decorated with water troughs and a large pool on 25 November. Fountains, water walls and projections provide a unique experience of this ballet classic.

10/Low Country Songs with Tine Embrechts

Tine Embrechts. © Frank Abbeloos

For years, Hans Primusz has had amateur choir members sing with a well-known artist. After Bart Peeters Deluxe’s ​​concert series with pop-up choirs in the Lotto Arena, the conductor embarks on a new adventure: He gathers a large amateur choir for a top 20 of De Lage Landen songs. Actor and singer Tine Embrechts speaks between the songs. When her favorite song comes on, she takes over the solo from the choir. Primusz made choral arrangements of works by artists such as Boeijen, Shaffy, Van het Groenewoud, Verminnen, Yevgueni, Bart Peeters and Gorki. Exhibited in, among others, Sint-Anna-ten-Driënkerk (25/11) on Antwerp’s left bank.

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