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How well-equipped is this city for those raising infants/toddlers? Specifically, are there public places to change diapers, maintained playgrounds, etc?

Brussels is equipped similarly to other large cities in Europe.

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Where can I get a list of reliable childcare providers/nannies?

Every commune is responsible for childcare services for infants through the network of communal crèches. You can contact your commune to request a list of communal crèches on its territory. Additionally you can contact the Office de la Naissance et de l'Enfance (O.N.E) or Kind en Gezin for a list of accepted baby minders.

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Discuss any safety issues for children in this city.

There aren’t any issues that are out of the ordinary for a town such as Brussels. As always, you can’t go wrong with exercising caution around traffic and being aware of your children’s activities.

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What are the most popular kid-friendly attractions in the area?

Antwerp:

  • Antwerp Zoo

Brussels:

  • Comic Strip Museum
  • Museum of cocoa and chocolate
  • Musical Instruments Museum
  • Natural Sciences Museum

Océade

Mechelen:

  • Planckendael Animal Park
  • Technopolis

Wavre:

  • Walibi

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What are the most popular activities for kids after school or on weekends?

Children are often part of a sporting or other club. Schools tend to be very well informed on the various types of activities that children can participate in after school or on weekend.

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What's it like to be a teenager in this city? Are there any particular challenges I should be aware of as a parent?

There shouldn’t be any special challenges. Note that the legal drinking age for alcoholic beverages such as beer and wine is 16 and for distilled alcohol (spirits) 18.

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Are there any organizations/social groups in the area that cater exclusively to young people ages 12-17?

There are plenty of activities for young people to take part in. Every commune of the Brussels-Capital Region has its own youth service and youth advisers, who organize a range of activities. Apart from the local culture centres, a lot of international groups also have a cultural centre where activities take place.

The Brussels-Capital region is home to a large number of youth organizations and clubs. They are usually either Flemish- or French-speaking. There are also several scouts clubs in Belgium. Some options for those who prefer English-speaking organizations are:

  • 1st Brussels Scouts: a scout group for children and teenagers between the ages of 6 and 18 who attend an English-Speaking school or have English as their mother tongue,
  • 1st Waterloo Scouts: a scout group for children and teenagers between the ages of 6 and 20,
  • Girl guiding Brussels (British guides in Foreign Countries): organizes activities for children and teenagers between the ages of 5-25.

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I want my child to get the most out of our stay in this country. Are there any specific opportunities to teach young people about the local culture?

As for learning one of the local languages, young people can learn it at school or take languages courses. There are several organizations in the Brussels area that offer language courses for children. However, the best way of familiarizing oneself with a language is to interact with people who speak it. Taking part in local activities or joining a local leisure club is a good idea to achieve this and it has the added bonus that children get to know the local culture.

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Useful Links

 

Attractions:

Antwerp Zoo

www.zooantwerpen.be

Comic Strip Museum

www.comicscenter.net

Museum of cocoa and chocolate

www.mucc.be

Musical Instruments Museum

www.mim.be

Natural Sciences Museum

www.naturalsciences.be

Océade

www.oceade.be

Planckendael Animal Park

www.planckendael.be

Technopolis

www.technopolis.be

Walibi

www.walibi.com/belgium

 

General information:

Brussels-Capital Region – Brussels for young people

www.brussels.irisnet.be/living-in-brussels/culture-tourism-leisure/brussels-for-young-people

Language courses for children

www.expatica.com/be/education/school/languages-childrens-courses-1417_8446.html

 

Organizations:

1st Brussels Scouts

www.1stbrussels.be

1st Waterloo Scouts

www.1stwaterlooscouts.com

Girl guiding Brussels

Girlguidingbrussels@gmail.com

 

IMPORTANT NOTE:

Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Please contact your closest embassy or consulate for confirmation.

 

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