Children Guide Brussels
- The home of Tintin, the Smurfs and more, Brussels is a very child-friendly city. Generally considered safe, there are many activities and children-minded museums, parks and other attractions in the city that are world-class. The city of Brussels goes to great lengths to ensure children are well looked after, emphasizing the value of family life and excellent education. For children between the ages of 4 and 18, education is mandatory, regardless of the parents’ or children’s status in the country, and homeschooling is an option. The public schooling system begins at pre-primary school, with children ages 2.5 yrs to 6 years old, from 6 to 12 yrs children attend primary school, and from 12 to 18 yrs children attend secondary school, all of which is free of charge.The city has a comprehensive activities guide for children and expats will find the city compares favorably on its family-consciousness to most other cities. The quality of life is one of the highest and children grow up exposed to the standard of life, culture and art that typifies the country.In general, Brussels is relatively safe for children and a comfortable place to raise them. Every day thousands of children take the metro, buses, and trams unsupervised to get to school, emphasizing the safety of the city.For nights out, children are not only accepted but catered for in most restaurants, from highchairs to child-friendly menus. Of course, many fast-food outlets such as McDonald’s and Quick have playgrounds, as well, to entertain their young patrons. There are many activities in which children of different ages can participate including scout groups, children’s camps, and extracurricular activities either through schools or private facilities. There are several theme parks within striking distance of Brussels, including EuroDisney in Paris which is less than 3 hours drive by Brussels, or a one-and-a-half-hour direct high-speed train into the park.