How to learn to love February in Brussels – Eight things to do this month
Share article:
Share article:

How to learn to love February in Brussels – Eight things to do this month

How to be a Brussels local: The February List – Eight things to do this month  
SEE THE BRIGHT SIDE OF BRUSSELS

Escape the winter gloom in downtown Brussels later this month when the Bright Brussels Festival brings light art to locations in the Dansaert and Sainte-Catherine districts. Take a look at the Rue Léon Lepage where trees are lit in different colours and shops turn their windows into art displays. Or squeeze down the little lane Rue du Nom de Jésus where Mathilde Lemesle is creating playful art on the wall of an old Brussels house. From 22 to 25 February, from dusk to midnight.

visit.brussels/en/sites/bright/

LOVE IS BLIND

howfevalis28onim2vadaydebly

Most people celebrate Valentine’s Day with a box of chocolates or a bunch of flowers. Nothing wrong with that. But you could maybe be a bit more imaginative. The BELvue museum has come up with an unusual idea for the night of 14 February which involves a visit in the dark. They plan to turn down the lights and hand out torches so you can discover the troubled history of Belgium in a new way. And it’s not just for couples, they insist. From 17.00 to 22.00.

www.belvue.be

LEARN A NEW SKILL

hotobxlodeblat3lenskis28onim3

As a city of one million people, Brussels is teeming with experts who can teach you a new skill.  You might think about learning to make furniture at one of the sessions organised by Atelier 365 in its Ixelles workshop. They offer an inexpensive four-hour session on the basics of woodworking, along with extended courses that will teach you furniture-making skills.  

Or you might decide to spend an evening learning how to create a terrarium in the hip downtown venue Urban Therapy. A cross between a NGO and a concept store, Urban Therapy sells terrariums from Green Factory in Paris. But they also organise workshops on creating one of these miraculous ecosystems. 

atelier365.be
urbantherapy.be

HONEY, WHAT DO WE DO WITH THE KIDS?

hotobxldebwhtowikicomuris28onim4

School’s out, so what do you do with the kids during Carnival holiday. It falls in the middle of February, which is not the best time of year to have kids at home, especially if you are an expat parent with no relatives around to help you out. You might sign your kids up for a language class, or, if you feel energetic, you could wander with your children around the old streets of Brussels looking out for the comic strip murals on the sides of houses.

Pick up a €1 map of the comic book trail at the tourist office to find out what lies in the neighbourhood. Kids enjoy the Rik Hochet mural in Rue de Bon Secours, the Tintin mural in Rue de l’Etuve and the Nero cartoon on Place St Géry. On the way, stop for lunch in one of the child-friendly cafés in downtown Brussels, such as Chicago or De Markten.

For more inspiration, get hold of the latest issue of the Kids Gazette, a free magazine in three languages that lists events in Brussels for children, including plays, dance, concerts and other events.

kidsgazette.be

SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL SHOPS

hotofebdeblsuloshis28onim5

It doesn’t always have to be Ikea. You can find interesting shops in town to give your Brussels home a stylish look. For furniture, head to Depot Design on the canal waterfront. Founded in 1985, this huge store stocks contemporary furniture by Italian and Nordic designers. The owner has an eye for smart pieces that you don’t find anywhere else, often made by small firms that produce limited editions. So if you want a unique sofa, a stylish lamp or a quirky bookcase, this could be the place.

For kitchenware, you can pick up everything you need at Dishes Factory on the pretty Quai aux Briques. This friendly store is crammed with stylish plates, kitchen equipment and cool Italian coffee pots.

To add some green to your living space, head to Agave in the multicultural Matonge where three young locals have turned a small shop into an urban jungle where they sell exotic house plants, retro terrariums and hanging baskets. The friendly owners offer useful advice on keeping your plants alive. They also organise plant workshops.

The Brussels retail agency Atrium has created a useful website that pinpoints about 10,000 independent shops in the city, listed by category, district and name. It might persuade you that shopping locally can be a lot more fun than a trip to a suburban megastore.

www.depotdesign.be
www.dishesfactory.be
www.agave-boutique.be
www.shopinbrussels.be

GET YOUR TICKETS FOR MUSEUM NIGHT

hotoblodeblfelimuniis28onim6

Find out what lies hidden in some of the city’s secret collections by joining the Museum Night crowd on 3 March. It’s a fun way to visit museums after closing time on a Saturday night with dozens of events staged in 27 venues involving more than 500 of the city’s most creative people. The programme includes exhibitions, art installations, indie bands, DJ sets, dance, film and unusual guided tours. From 19.00 until after midnight.

museumnightfever.be

HELP, I DON’T SPEAK BRUSSELS

hofeblikbfeblideblis28onim7spbr

Brussels can be a confusing place. Just ask any Belgian. You have to understand the 19 communes, communicate in French or Dutch, figure out how the transport system works, and sign a complicated rental agreement. It’s not the easiest place to settle down. But the regional government has come up with a solution. For more than 25 years, the multilingual staff at the Welcome Desk have been sitting down with expats to talk them through the system. The office is close to Schuman, while a second office opened recently inside the European Parliament.

commissioner.brussels 

CAST YOUR VOTE

hotbxlfedeblvibrawis28onim8

Now is your chance to have a say in shaping your city. The tourist office Visit Brussels wants locals to vote for the best tourist initiatives of last year. You can support new ideas in eight different categories, ranging from fast food concept Stoempdog launched by Be My Stoemp to an escape game that takes you through the streets of Brussels. It’s a way of helping to create the kind of city you want. Vote can be cast online until 4 March.

visit.brussels/en/sites/awards/   

By Derek Blyth

Latest news

England now accepting cheaper Covid tests from fully vaccinated travellers
Fully vaccinated travellers who enter England from non-red countries will only be required to book a lateral flow test to take following their ...
Re-introducing face masks indoors considered as Covid-19 situation worsens
Belgium's council of ministers will hold an emergency meeting on Monday to discuss the worsening epidemiological situation, and reintroducing face ...
Federal museums to receive €2.9 million booster shot
Federal museums will receive an additional €2.9 million in support from the government for the fiscal year 2021, of which the first payouts will be ...
European Parliament emphasises healthy food and animal welfare in EU Farm to Fork Strategy
The European Parliament adopted this week a resolution on the EU Farm to Fork Strategy calling for a fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly food ...
Threats of strike action could affect Brussels’ STIB network from Monday
Brussels public transport operator STIB's trams, buses and metros could be affected from Monday 25 October onwards as the union representing the ...
Number of international adoptions in Belgium continues to drop
The number of regulated international adoptions authorised by Belgium further dropped in 2020, continuing an ongoing decreasing trend. Last ...
Disaster drill with emergency services held at Brussels Airport
Around 300 people took part in a disaster drill held was organised on Saturday by Brussels Airport in collaboration with external emergency services ...
Austria presents bill to legalise euthanasia
Austria’s government on Saturday presented its proposals for legalising assisted suicide, in response to a Constitutional Court ruling that the ...
Brussels’ Museum Night Fever draws in some 12,000 visitors
Some 12,000 participants took part in the 14th edition of Museum Night Fever in Brussels, with the 29 participating museums filled to the maximum ...
Relaunch of 10,000 steps campaign to get Flemish people moving
The Flemish government is breathing new life into its 10,000 steps campaign to get people in the region moving after a recent survey found that a ...
‘No scientific basis’ for giving everyone third dose, vaccine expert says
The head of Belgium's Vaccination Taskforce has argued that there is not enough scientific evidence to support the Flemish government's decision to ...
Brussels bars linked to alleged sexual assault vouch to improve women’s safety
The management of the two bars in Ixelles, which made headlines in recent days after several young women reported that they had been drugged then ...