How well-equipped is this city for those raising infants/toddlers? Specifically, are there public places to change diapers, maintained playgrounds, etc?
Rotterdam is equipped similarly to many large cities in Europe.
Where can I get a list of reliable childcare providers/nannies?
Crown Rotterdam can assist you in finding reliable child care providers or nannies.
National day care center listings
- Stichting Kinder Opvang Nederland (SKON) - 034 655 9500
- KidsConcern - 010 414 9777
Au pair agencies
- Juno Au Pairs - 010 471 5431
- Tulip Au Pair Service Holland - 023 526 9898
- World Wide Au Pair and Nanny - 020 411 6010
- Landelijke Oppascentrale - 050 313 3535
Rotterdam day care centers offering 24-hour care
- De Toekomstbouwers - 010 466 9611
- Dolfijn - 010 429 2404
Discuss any safety issues for children in this city.
Nothing special to discuss. Just keep in mind that Rotterdam is a busy city with a lot of traffic.
What are the most popular kid-friendly attractions in the area?
- Blijdorp Zoo and Oceanium
- Euromast Space and Adventure - panoramic tower
- Spido - boat trip around the port
- Children's farm/petting zoo - kinderboerderij
- Tropicana - subtropical water fun park
- Madurodam - miniature town highlighting the Netherlands' pretty historical sights
- Rotterdam Maritime Museum
- Youth Theaters
- Circus Rotjeknor - youth circus
What are the most popular activities for kids after school or on weekends?
Most international schools organize activities after school or during lunchtime. Examples of these activities include art, bookmaking and paper craft, dance, drama, tennis, country dancing, football, board games, sewing, clay modeling and chess.
One very important extra-curricular activity (one that is often also arranged through schools) is swimming.
During the summer, there are traveling circuses and fairs to go to. For rainy days, there are the covered playgrounds, such as Ballorig, Play City or Kidz City. These are huge covered areas with an incredible amount of things to do.
Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts are also very popular in Rotterdam. Mostly on Saturday afternoons, activities are arranged for the kids that involve all sorts of learning, interacting and having fun. Occasionally, this keeps kids occupied over the entire weekend.
What's it like to be a teenager in this city? Are there any particular challenges I should be aware of as a parent?
Please note the legal drinking age is 16 (18 for liquors) and the legal age for smoking tobacco is 16.
Also, keep in mind that a coffee shop in Amsterdam is not a place where you can only drink coffee. Marijuana and hash are sold and consumed at such establishments.
Are there any organizations/social groups in the area that cater exclusively to young people ages 12-17?
For addresses and telephone numbers of boy and girl scouting and other social groups for young people, please check in the "gemeentegids." Also, schools should be well informed about these organizations.
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?
Much more than a model town, you can see all of the Netherlands' major cities and landmarks in miniature at Madurodam in The Hague.
And every year, Sinterklaas arrives on his steamboat from Spain together with his Zwarte Pieten (helpers) around the middle of November. He celebrates his birthday on December 5 with all children in the Netherlands!
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