How well-equipped is this city for those raising infants/toddlers? Specifically, are there public places to change diapers, maintained playgrounds, etc?
Good public playgrounds can be found throughout the city, with accommodations for both infants and older children. All major shopping malls are equipped with parent and baby rooms that offer facilities for feeding and changing. Most large restaurants have highchairs for babies to use while parents are dining.
Where can I get a list of reliable childcare providers/nannies?
The local Plunket group, Citizens Advice Bureau or the local telephone book
Discuss any safety issues for children in this city.
Christchurch is known for its many beach suburbs, safe for swimming and for surfing. Parents need to be aware of the dangers of swimming outside patrolled areas at surf beaches. If in doubt and a beach is not patrolled, ask at the local store regarding the safety of any beach.
What are the most popular kid-friendly attractions in the area?
Christchurch has a wealth of activities for young people, starting with its excellent parks and numerous free swimming pools. Other popular activities and places to go include the Orana Park Zoo, the Willow Bank Animal Sanctuary, the Christchurch Museum and Botanical Gardens, the New Brighton Pier and the QE2 sports complex, featuring a swimming pool, a pirate ship and a wave pool.
What are the most popular activities for kids after school or on weekends?
Sports play a huge part in the lives of most New Zealanders. Most children are involved in some sporting activity, either with their school or individual clubs. Games and practices often take place after school. During the summer, going to the beach with friends and family is the most popular activity.
Brownies, Girl Guides, Boy Scouts and Boys' Brigade are also popular clubs for children. Rugby is the most popular sport in New Zealand followed by netball, soccer and cricket. The schools provide an array of clubs, from band and music to dance and drama plus sports.
What's it like to be a teenager in this city? Are there any particular challenges I should be aware of as a parent?
Sports play a big part in young people's lives and most are on some sort of team. Teenagers are involved in many groups through their school. The city provides a range of activities for teenagers form shopping to museums, etc. Christchurch is a safe place for teenagers.
Are there any organizations/social groups in the area that cater exclusively to young people ages 12-17?
There are many clubs for teenagers to join, including a variety of sporting clubs, Girl Guides, Boy
Scouts, Church groups, theatrical and dance organizations to name a few. Lists are available from the local Citizens Advice bureau, your school or telephone book.
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?
A visit to the Christchurch Visitor and Information Center will give you a list of things to do and “What’s on” currently in Christchurch.
A visit to Christchurch Museum will also provide a greater understanding to the local history and culture. Visitors are welcome to visit any Maori marae to learn more about our Maori culture.
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