How well-equipped is this city for those raising infants/toddlers? Specifically, are there public places to change diapers, maintained playgrounds, etc?
Some major department stores, shopping malls and large retail chains offer child care with certified nannies, as well as playgrounds.
In many parks located in the residential areas, you will find maintained playgrounds. Some of the nicer playgrounds for children are Károlykert, Szent István Park, the playgrounds in the City Park
(Városliget) and on Margaret Island (Margitsziget).
Where can I get a list of reliable childcare providers/nannies?
Recommendations from friends and co-workers can be good. Also, please contact Crown Budapest for ideas.
Discuss any safety issues for children in this city.
Nothing out of the ordinary.
What are the most popular kid-friendly attractions in the area?
First of all is the Zoo (Allatkert), which neighbors Vidampark (the oldest permanent amusement park in Hungary), and the Great Circus (Nagy Cirkusz). In City Park (Varosliget), the largest park in the heart of Budapest, you'll find a large lake. You can row boats during spring and summer, and the lake also turns into an ice skating rink for the winter. You will find all of it behind Hero's Square (Hosok tere).
Another attraction is the Castle of Wonders (Csodák Palotája), which is an interactive science center featuring dozens of fun, educational exhibits.
The Skatepark (Gorzenal) is ideal if your kids enjoy in-line skating, skateboarding and trampolining.
Children's Railway (Gyermekvasut) is operated by specially-trained Hungarian children who are under adult supervision. Riding this scenic narrow-gauge railway is exciting for youngsters.
The Hungarian Puppet Theatre (Babszinhaz) has a worldwide reputation. Although the shows are in
Hungarian, they are enjoyable even for foreigners. There are special programs for children with a lot of music, singing and spectator involvement in the show. These programs usually take place on Saturday and Sunday mornings.
What are the most popular activities for kids after school or on weekends?
In the summer, kids visit pools. Hiking in the Buda side hills is also very nice.
What's it like to be a teenager in this city? Are there any particular challenges I should be aware of as a parent?
Teens under 18 won't be allowed to buy alcoholic beverages and cigarettes. They also are not allowed in any clubs. Teenagers usually go to shopping malls to hang out with friends. They also go to see movies.
Are there any organizations/social groups in the area that cater exclusively to young people ages 12-17?
International schools in Budapest provide extra-curricular activities for children. These activities include band club, sporting clubs and drama club.
Also, scouting became popular again in Hungary after changes in the early 1990s.
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?
Take them out to the Open-Air Folk Museum (Szabadteri Museum - also known as SKANZEN) in
Szentendre. It is 25 kilometers north of Budapest.
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