What’s on: Light trails slightly off the beaten path


If you’re looking to avoid the crowds at light festivals in Bruges and Brussels, try a lesser-known alternative in another city

Light Art

One of Knokke-Heist’s festive favourites returns to light up the winter skies during the holiday season. Light Art is a multi-sensory illuminated promenade through the city’s golden shopping triangle of Lippenslaan, Dumortierlaan and Kustlaan.

The dazzling installations are inspired by artistic masters, such as Keith Haring and Vincent Van Gogh, and include a fun quest for kids. The Light Art trail isn’t switched on every day: Check the website for dates and times, where you can also download the free app to guide you on your way. Until 3 January

Leuven Short Film Festival

Flanders’ big short film festival is going online this year, offering much at-home entertainment this month. There are a couple of options for accessing screenings, which consist of several short films along certain themes, like Animation, Focus on Hungary or Women for the Win. Some of these screenings are offered via a livestream and include talks with the director. Others are offered via video-on-demand. Many of these movies of 30 minutes or less can’t be seen anywhere else right now, especially the locally made productions. English subtitles are available for every film. So grab your popcorn and settle in. 5-12 December

Sint-Truiden by Lights

Concerned about the crowds in Bruges and Brussels? Get off the beaten path in Sint-Truiden, which is bathed in a warm glow of light. Starting at sundown, the lights come on, and a five-kilometre trail takes you through installations staged by light artists. The walking map is available to download online and in a printed version that can be picked up in the tourist office. The map can also be found after hours in the entryways to city hall and the Bogaard Culture Centre. Until 14 February

Cindy Wright: Eye to Eye

Flemish painter Cindy Wright is well known for her still-lifes and vanitas – portraits of death and decay – that recall popular trends of centuries past. Rather than avoiding what links every living thing on earth together – our ultimate demise – she faces it head on, exploring themes of transience, fragility and how we deal with death. This intimate exhibition of charcoal drawings in Mechelen is focused on skulls, putting us indeed eye to eye with the inevitable. Until 17 January, Museum Hof van Busleyden, Sint-Janstraat 2a

Photos, from top: Courtesy Stad Knokke-Heist, ©Meyran Fabien, courtesy stad Sint-Truiden, ©Cindy Wright