Putting down roots in a new city can be a challenging task. You have to actively search for the places and people that will make your new surroundings truly feel like home. And when you have children, you have to figure out where the best playgrounds are, and research things like schools, libraries, doctors, and dance programs. In short, you have a lot of information to collect.

Here's where you need to look to find it.

1. The Chamber of Commerce or Visitor's Bureau

Most cities — especially those that rely heavily on tourism dollars — have marketing pamphlets and brochures highlighting all that their city has to offer. Local businesses frequently advertise in these materials, so you're likely to find many phone numbers and websites to aid you in your research.

2. Regional Parenting Publications

Look for copies of regional parenting publications in places like libraries, grocery stores, and coffee shops. These print magazines are usually filled with parenting tips and news, almost always with a local slant. And many have websites too, where you'll uncover even more details.

3. Google

You can't beat Google — or whichever search engine you choose — as a source of information. These days, almost everything you want to know is just a click away.

4. Local Parenting Blogs

Bloggers are in the know, and many post reviews and lists of area attractions that will help you find your way. These folks also tend to be easily approachable online, so getting to know them virtually can lead to some great insights and possibly a few real-life friendships.

5. Social Media

If you use Facebook, look for parenting groups to join in your area. Twitter can also be a great way to meet people virtually; type in your city's hashtag and you'll start to recognize which influencers are worth following. And as more and more businesses become active on social media, you have the potential to learn more about schools, doctor's offices, and dance lessons there too.

6. Word of Mouth

As helpful as other resources can be, nothing beats word of mouth (or plain, old-fashioned gossip) for helping you learn the things you really need to know about your new hometown. For this reason, networking and making new friends and contacts is essential after a move.

  • Get to know your neighbors.
  • Look for groups that share your interests. Meetup.com is a good place to start.
  • Get involved at school so you can meet other parents.
  • Host playdates. Invite the parents to stay and chat.
  • Sign your kids up for classes at the community center.

7. The Local Library

Books aren't the only resources in your local library. Talk to other parents at story hour. Grab brochures for community organizations. Ask one of the children's librarians to tell you about the area. Your new city probably won't feel like home overnight, but when you make the effort to adapt and learn what you need to know, you'll start to feel like you fit in just that much sooner.