What’s on: Brains, robots and … Christmas lights? Anything goes on Science Day

Summary

Flanders’ annual ode to all things science is our top pick of this weekend’s activities, while Antwerp is a hotbed of art, both old and new

Science Day

Flanders’ annual Dag van de Wetenschap (Science Day) can not only interest kids in technology, chemistry and the natural world, but adults, too. So don’t think you need a kid to check out one of its cool activities, which take place all over Flanders and Brussels and are largely free.

Learn all about robot surgery in a Kortrijk hospital, for instance, programme Christmas lights in Antwerp or attend a brain festival in Ghent. There are more than 100 events to choose from, and some cities have a shuttle bus to get you from one to another. 24 November, across Flanders and Brussels

Grafixx

This festival is great fun for those with an appreciation for contemporary illustration. It is expertly curated, bringing in graphic artists of all stripes from around the world. Whether they produce graphic novels, campaign posters, children’s books or illustrations for newspapers and magazines, their work is revealing, distinct and cutting edge. Along with an exhibition of works, you’ll find readings, film screenings, performances and a zine festival. 22-24 November, De Studio, Maarschalk Gérardstraat 4, Antwerp

The Circle ’19

The Brussels Writers’ Circle is hosting a few launch events for its new anthology of poetry and short stories. What all the pieces in The Circle ’19 have in common is that they are in English and were written by a Brussels expat. Many of the contributors are British, but they come from across the planet, including Greece, Bangladesh, Russia and Canada. They will read from the work and sign copies at Waterstones and Muntpunt next week. 26 November 17.30-19.00, Waterstones, Adolphe Maxlaan 71; 30 November 19.00, Muntpunt Café, Leopoldstraat 2

Madonna meets Mad Meg

It’s unthinkable now that Pieter Bruegel’s “Dulle Griet” (“Mad Meg”) would ever have been gathering dust in an auction house – and worse to think it might not have ended up in Belgium, where the Flemish master painted it. It’s here only because of the sharp eye of wealthy Antwerp art collector Fritz Mayer van den Bergh, who picked it up in 1894 Cologne for 448 Belgian francs. Chump change for Van den Bergh. The museum located in his former home has put other masterpieces he recognised in the spotlight together with now celebrated works acquired by collector Florent van Ertborn, borrowed from the city’s Fine Arts Museum. The exhibition shows how two collectors who were ahead of their time put the port city of the world map of culture. Until 31 December, Museum Mayer van den Bergh, Lange Gasthuisstraat 19, Antwerp

Photos, from top: ©Frederik Beyens; ©Alice Wietzel, courtesy Grafixx; ©Tunart/Getty; detail “Dulle Griet”, 1563, courtesy Museum Mayer van den Bergh, photo courtesy Kik-Irpa Brussel