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What’s on this week: 29 March to 4 April

12:07 28/03/2024
The Easter weekend is filled with family-friendly activities, while spring celebrations abound in the form of festivals and new exhibitions

The Easter bunnies are scampering around BELvue museum, and for children to track down precious chocolate treats, they need to unlock a code by completing a series of missions all around the museum. Don’t forgot to bring your basket for the activity, which is in English, French & Dutch. (Suitable for children from three to 12 years with adult accompaniment; €1 per child; museum entrance ticket for adult). 31 March 11.00-18.30; 1 April 9.30-16.30


Coudenberg Palace stages its family Underground Treasure Hunt, a multilingual activity (Fr/NL/Eng/Sp) suitable for five to eight year-olds accompanied by an adult. It’s an opportunity for all ages to explore the capital’s unique medieval site. The Charles V-themed hunt for the golden fleece collar sees every child equipped with a backpack containing all they need to complete the missions: treasure map, fancy dress, puzzle and flashlight. And there’s a gift for each one at the end of the game. 30 March to 14 April, Place des Palais 7


Calling all gourmets! Renowned Saint-Gilles deli Fernand Obb hooks up with regular artisan partners, Laurent Gerbaud chocolatier and the Brasserie Cantillon, plus new local businesses, for the 4th edition of its Croquette Hunt. One hundred golden tickets are hidden around 10 landmark spots in the capital. Find one to get shrimp or cheese croquettes, pralines, beer and sauce. This year, one Super Maxi Golden Ticket can be found in each location, too, which comes with even more goodies. Register on Fernand Obb’s Instagram account or Facebook page to obtain the pre-hunt clues. 31 March from 12.00, city-centre and Saint-Gilles

Smurfs at Train World

Get your picture taken with a real-life Smurf on Easter Sunday in Train World. Receive your sweet treat before joining in on the Smurf Quest. Find the Smurfs hidden among the carries and locomotives and enter the contest to take one home. Should you need to take the train to get to Train Word, the special Discovery Ticket gets you a discount. Get your code when buying your tickets to Train World. 31 March to 12 May, Place Princesse Elisabeth 5 (Schaerbeek)

PLanet ExperienceImmersive experiences are all the rage and this latest one, Planet Happiness, offers a journey into space designed to spark the imagination and improve your sense of wellbeing. The family-friendly exhibition invites everyone to fasten their seatbelts and explore the Milky Way via illuminated installations, immersive spaces and AI and AR exhibits. The 60-minute experience draws on a series of specialist advisers, including  former Belgian astronaut Frank De Winne. From 26 March, Palais à Dynastie, Plein Publiek BXL, Mont des Arts

Magritte Experience

‘This is not an exhibition like the others,’ claims Magritte: The Immersive Experience, which is dedicated to Belgium’s surrealist master as part of the programme marking the 100th anniversary of the pioneering literary and art movement. Discover some 300 of Magritte’s works that have been transformed into digital and animated displays. They ae designed to offer an alternative retrospective of the artist's most famous and emblematic paintings as well as lesser-know aspects of his oeuvre. The exhibition includes special VR zones. From 29 March, Galerie Horta, Rue du Marché aux Herbes 116

Ambacht in Beeld 2Make your own sheet of paper, learn the fine art of glass blowing or craft your own jewellery at Ambacht in Beeld (Craft in the Spotlight), a celebration of craftsmanship and the creativity of traditional trades. There are master classes for those who have a bit of experience but also workshops for the whole family, including eco-dyeing (also known as plant printing), Turkish ceramic tile painting and Kumiko, a Japanese woodworking technique. Every session requires a ticket; you are advised to book ahead. 30-31 March, Tour & Taxis, Rue Picard 11


Retro vibes fill Brussels’ famed jazz club for its Sounds Zwing Festival. A bevy of local and international musicians and artists take to the stage, including Canadian singer Lily Thibodeau (pictured). She performs a celebration of the early swing era that revolutionised jazz and dance from the 1920s to 40s. Note: Sounds Jazz Club has launched an appeal for a new venue; it has to leave its current premises on 22 June. Until 30 March, Rue de la Tulipe 28

Maria Malibran

The Instituto Cervantes celebrates the life, work and Brussels connections of Spanish singer and composer María Malibran in a concert on Saturday evening. The diva of European Romantic opera, who died in 1836, is honoured in a series of recitals centred on the musical output of three generations of the García Sitches family. It’s performed by soprano Cecilia Lavilla Berganza, accompanied by pianist Miguel Ituarte (pictured). Book tickets here. 30 March 19.00, Théâtre Mercelis, Rue Mercelis 13 (Ixelles)

D Festival

Dive into the world of contemporary dance at the D Festival, organised and hosted by Marni and Senghor cultural venues. A total of six performances, including five new works, explore different aspects of the human experience. Various journeys, from migratory to emotional and identity are interpreted by a series of engaged artists. They include Youri de Gussem, Fanny Brouyaux, Léa Vinette and Maria Eugenia Lopez. 3-13 April, Rue de Vergnies 25 (Marni) & Chaussée de Wavre 366 (Senghor)

Reve party

“Immerse yourself in the mystery of a disused space, where the ephemeral breeds the unexpected.” Sounds intriguing, no? Find Jardin Musical down an alley – the Rue du Nom de Jésus – and step inside to see how an abandoned industrial site has been transformed into a space for magical musical interludes. The Rêve Party is a great introduction to the project, with several days of classical music, sand painting and a special concert for kids. 4-7 April, Rue du Nom de Jésus

FLB24 - Visuel 16-9

The annual francophone book fair, Le Foire du livre de Bruxelles, offers more than 350 encounters with writers, designers, artists and publishers. While love is the theme of this year's edition, the event also honours the upcoming EU elections in a nod to Belgium's currenct presidency. Anyway, the buzzing literary gathering at Tour & Taxis is a must-attend event for fans of French-language books, whatever the genre or theme. Novelist Amélie Nothomb is among the guest literary stars, along with Quebec author Andrée Poulin and a slew of political writers. 4-7 April, Gare Maritime, Sheds 1 & 2, Rue Picard 3


Alias (c)Coutesy Galerie Thomas Fischer, photo by Anthony Hobbs

Some artists use assumed names to free themselves from gender bias or cultural assumptions, while others are looking to bypass art world rules and a capitalist system that turns names into brands. Check out the exhibition Alias, which brings together the work of 80 international artists – some using aliases, some who created alter-egos and some who just suddenly disappeared from view. The show not only illustrates the power of anonymity, but also how a blend of fiction and reality can reveal ultimate truths. Until 1 September, Museum M, Leopold Vanderkelenstraat 28, Leuven

Ghent International Festival (c)Michiel Devijver

Ghent is this year’s European Youth Capital, so the Ghent International Festival puts work by, for or about young people in the spotlight. The festival features performance, interventions, talks and fine arts, including some fabulously quirky stuff like the all-night party DeeWee – an immersive experience with dance, performance, music and a Countdown Clock as the master of ceremonies – or German Staatstheater, where slapstick meets stress culture (pictured). 4-21 April, across Ghent

Rebel Echoes

Gaasbeek Castle re-opened last summer after a three-year renovation project. Now its sumptuous collection is all back in place, and the exhibition Rebel Echoes: 800 Years of Stories sees contemporary artists entering into dialogue with various parts of it. Their choices take our minds to all kinds of places when it comes to comparing the past with the present. In what ways has the world changed for the better, or for the worse? What would we say to people living in the 17th century if we got the chance? What would they think of us? Until 3 November, Kasteelstraat 40, Lennik

Hoofdafbeeldingen WIN fiches 878x659 (2)_1

The 8th edition of Triennial by the Sea Beaufort24 invites 18 new monumental artworks by Belgian and international artists to the Belgian coastline. Joining 42 permanent installations from previous editions, they create the most impressive and largest display of outdoor contemporary art in the country. Each artist and work has been carefully selected for each location, inland sites as well as seafront. Many can be viewed from the coastal tram that plies the region. Pictured: Gazing Ball – Reflective Dialogues by Lucy + Jorge Orta (Middelkerke). Until 3 November, multiple locations along the Belgian coast


Can design turn us into superheroes? That’s the bold premise of the new exhibition at the Center of Innovation and Design (CID) at Grand-Hornu. Superpower Design takes a timely look at the ethical role of the digital world in the cult of improving performance. After shaping the world around us, how are designers expected to respond in a society in pursuit of the super-human... The exhibition presents a diverse series of design works. Until 25 August, CID, Site du Grand-Hornu, Rue Sainte-Louise 82, Hainaut


In response to today’s super-fast pace of life, the notion of slow tourism continues to appeal. Le Relais des Voyageurs is a fair dedicated to the alternative and sustainable form of travel. It’s an opportunity to meet specialists, pick up advice, participate in workshops, test out kit and try plenty of outdoor activities. Sited at Namur citadel’s Terra Nova, visitors can also explore the historic site with its unbeatable panoramic views of the Walloon capital. Free entrance. 30-31 March, Terra Nova, Route Merveilleuse 64, Namur

Discover more upcoming events at The Bulletin's events page.

Photos: (main image) Easter activity for families ©Belvue Facebook page;  ©Sounds zwing fest Lily Thibodeau; Alias (c)Coutesy Galerie Thomas Fischer, photo by Anthony Hobbs; Ghent International Festival ©Michiel Devijver; Paul Gong Human Hyena ©Andrew Kan; relais23 ©Guillaume Ansseau

Written by Sarah Crew and Lisa Bradshaw