How well-equipped is this city for those raising infants/toddlers? Specifically, are there public places to change diapers, maintained playgrounds, etc?
Raleigh is very well equipped and child friendly. Most shops and restaurants provide rest-room facilities that have diaper changing stations. There are also plenty of well-maintained parks designed with kids in mind, plenty of playground equipment and sand boxes for children to enjoy, and a lot of open grassy spaces for them to run to their heart's content.
The best way to find reliable child-care providers is to ask your neighbors, co-workers and already established expats who also have children. These are normally the best resources for such information.
Unfortunately, the city of Raleigh does not at this time provide a list of approved people /agencies that they would recommend as nannies or for on-going child care.
As with any city, keeping a mindful eye on your little ones is very important. Children should always be accompanied and supervised by an adult and should never talk to strangers.
Raleigh is a super place to visit for Children. It has many activities to engage them during their stay in the area. Some of the more popular attractions are (but not limited to):
More than 150 parks dotted throughout Raleigh with some 8,800 acre of land and 1,300 acres of water. You can canoe, hike, bicycle ride, disc golf (golf using a frisbee) and picnic.
Museums such as the African American cultural museum where you can learn about the contribution of African Americans to the development of Raleigh and North Carolina. Marbles Kids Museum and IMAX theatre; North Carolina museum of natural sciences; the southeast largest natural history museum as well as the fun North Carolina Railroad Museum.
During the month of October, the North Carolina State fair where the country comes to the city.
The school system provides a wide range of extracurricular activities for children: sports, music, languages, dance, and computer fun. Due to the weather, activities performed during the weekend vary by season. Kids here also enjoy going to the movies, game arcades and shopping with friends. They like to just hang out with their friends at each other’s homes.
What's it like to be a teenager in this city? Are there any particular challenges I should be aware of as a parent?
Life for teenagers in the Raleigh area is similar to teenage life anywhere else. Since a driver's license is available at age 16, U.S. teenagers tend to be more mobile (and independent). Parents need to be aware of what their teenager(s) are doing as they would be in their home country.
Are there any organizations/social groups in the area that cater exclusively to young people ages 12-17?
Most young people get involved with school clubs, sports, church youth groups, or other activities they find fun.
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?
The best way for anyone to learn the culture is to jump in and live it. There are always festivals going on that the whole family can enjoy. Cultural diversity is also taught in the school system as well as at any public library. Additionally, there are several local events that occur on a weekly basis that teach young people all about the different local cultures. Check with your local library for up-to-date happenings in each area.
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