BelgiumUp to 40,000 dogs will take over the Brussels Expo this weekend for the annual Brussels Dog Show. Spectators can watch breeds from Afghan hounds to Zwergspitz Pomeranians strut their stuff in the judging area, then pick up Christmas goodies for their own dog (and themselves) at the doggy market.

The show is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is 8 euros for adults and free for children up to age 12. Not all breeds are shown on both days, so check the schedule at, if you are interested in seeing a particular one.

NetherlandsDeventerEnter the magical world of a Victorian Christmas this weekend at Deventer’s annual Dickens Festival. More than 900 characters from Charles Dickens’ 19th-century books, including “A Christmas Carol” and “Oliver Twist,” will fill the city’s historic center. Surrounding streets have been decorated with lights and Christmas trees and filled with stands selling English mulled wine and roasted chestnuts.

The festival is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free. To find more details, go to, then “Dickens Festival Deventer.”

AmsterdamAmsterdam’s Christmas Canal Parade Charity continues through Jan. 1, with decorated and illuminated boats traveling nightly through the city’s famous canals. Two of the highlights are on Saturday and next Thursday.

The first is a caroling cruise that ends at Rembrant Square in the center of town with a huge Dutch sing-along (that organizers vow will include English versions).

The second is the Christmas Canal Parade past art installations and singing groups along the canals’ banks. This year’s theme, “Lights of the World,” reflects the residents and religions of the 178 nationalities that live in the city. Setting off at 7 p.m. from Browersgracht, 40 boats decked out with lights and decorations will sail through the Prinsengracht canal and finish on the Amstel river at 9 p.m. See for more information.

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