How well-equipped is this city for those raising infants/toddlers? Specifically, are there public places to change diapers, maintained playgrounds, etc?
Sadly, there is not much in Kolkata specifically for children, but the locals manage just fine. Since there aren't any designated areas to change diapers, it is very common to see parents do this in public. There are many parks throughout the city and these are popular places to spend the day and get some fresh air.
Where can I get a list of reliable childcare providers/nannies?
Word of mouth is a remarkable and effective way to obtain a reliable list of childcare providers. Check with your neighbors, coworkers, and/or friends you meet. Another way to obtain a list of reliable childcare providers or nannies is by contacting your local embassy or Crown Kolkata.
Discuss any safety issues for children in this city.
Kolkata is a very busy city and some areas are polluted. It is recommended that you speak to your local school representative to find out whether there are any particular concerns specific for your area.
Children should always be accompanied and supervised by an adult and should never talk to strangers.
What are the most popular kid-friendly attractions in the area?
Below are a few popular places to spend the day with your kids:
Nicco Park - This park is the Disneyland of West Bengal and is located at Salt Lake. There are many different and fun rides, as well as shows and exhibits. Food is not allowed to be carried inside, but there are many places to get a bite to eat, whether it be a meal or just a snack.
Science City - This unique museum is located on the east side near Dhapa. Here you will find lot of attractions, including the Space Odyssey, Dynamotion, Life Science Corners, Science Park, Toy Train and Ropeway. One of the most fun is the Space Time Rocket, which takes you to the cavity of an erupting volcano and back to the days of pyramids.
Aquatica - This is one of the most popular water theme parks. It is a great place to spend the day and cool off!
Indian Museum - This Calcutta Museum is a high-tech storytelling museum, based on recreated events of historic importance, animated with sound and light. It leaves a lasting impression.
The Nehru Children's Museum - This cool museum exhibits a good collection of dolls from all over the world, including the epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata.
Victoria Memorial Hall - First opening in 1921, this is a beautiful monument built as a memorial to Queen Victoria. Built of white marble brought from Jodhpur, it stands in the southeast corner of the Maidan. There are enormous oil paintings in the Royal Gallery, illustrating episodes from Queen Victoria's long, eventful life and reign; an impressive collection of the British colonial period.
Birla Planetarium - This planetarium is one of the largest in Asia and was inaugurated on September 29, 1962. The internal diameter of the tomb is 82 feet and has an air-conditioned auditorium with really fun chairs that can be inclined backwards to have a heavenly view. Shows are in Hindi, English and Bengali.
Other Fun Spots
The Alipore Zoological Garden - This garden is one of the most ancient zoological gardens in
India and is comprised of an area of 16 hector. The garden also has a large collection of animals.
Magabowl Gaming Arcade - This is a super bowling alley and the kids love it!
What are the most popular activities for kids after school or on weekends?
Sports are particularly popular with the local kids. Additionally, the local schools offer many sports activities in which kids participate. Kids also enjoy going to the movies, theatre and shopping with friends.
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 aren't many expat teenagers here, but being a teenager in Kolkata is similar to other places. As mentioned above, they love to spend time with their friends and do fun things. Adjustment to any new place takes time, but we feel once they get settled in and meet new friends, they are going to love it here!
Are there any organizations/social groups in the area that cater exclusively to young people ages 12-17?
Most of the organizations and social groups for young people are offered through the schools.
Complete lists are available at your local school or contact Crown Kolkata for further assistance.
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?
Kolkata is famous for her festivals, which showcase the diversity of the country. Attending these, particularly the Durga Puja, Guru Nanak's birthday and Kali Puja, is an excellent way to learn about the flavors and facets of Kolkata's culture.
Additionally, there are many local educational institutions where you can learn different languages.
Some prominent institutions are Ramkrishna Mission, Max Mueller Bhavan, Gorky Sadan, British Council and the YMCA.
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. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.