Picking a place to raise your family in is a big decision. There are many factors that play a role in having a happy family life. Safety, quality of schools, daycare affordability, transportation options and cost of living are just some things to consider. The more safe routes there are to schools, playgrounds, parks and libraries the better.
A good place to start is deciding what is important to you and what would make the best place for you to raise your family. What matters to you may be different than what matters to your neighbor. Is it important that you live within walking distance to your child’s school? Or is it more important that the cost of daycare is affordable? Coming up with a list of criteria that is important to you will help you narrow down your options.
To help kick-start your research, check out this list of the best cities to raise a family in for 2019.
#5 Arlington, Virginia
Arlington is the sixth largest county in Virginia with the fifth highest income in the U.S. The county is in Northern Virginia (also known as NOVA) and is located directly across from the District of Columbia. There are several national landmarks located in Arlington which makes this area truly historic and full of family-friendly things to do.
You can take a visit to the Robert E. Lee Memorial with the whole family and explore the historic mansion while learning about Lee’s role in promoting peace after the civil war. Another unique activity you can do with your family is visiting Gravelly Point, a place where you can watch airplanes up close as they descend into the Washington National Airport. Now that’s a family outing you won’t forget!
#4 Ann Arbor, Michigan
Ann Arbor is situated about 40 miles west of Detroit. It’s home to the University of Michigan Wolverines, which is the top-rated public university in the country for the third year in a row by the QS World University Rankings. Ann Arbor is known for its many parks, over 150 in fact! They also have many great kid-friendly restaurants and hangouts.
Locals rave about the Matthaei Botanical Gardens. It’s easily walkable and has a year-round indoor exhibit. They also put on different seasonal events for kids, such as their Eco-Kids camp to help children learn how to reduce their environmental impact. Another attraction is the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum which specializes in interactive exhibits to help children and adults learn about science.
#3 Plano, Texas
Plano is approximately 20 miles north of downtown Dallas. It’s the 9th most populated place in the state of Texas and was deemed the safest city in the nation by Forbes in 2011. Plano is home to the headquarters of many of the country’s largest and most recognizable companies. It also has more than 82 miles of recreational trails that are open to the public. That means that no matter where you live, chances are they’ll be one near you and your family.
The Downtown Plano Arts District has a variety of family-friendly activities. You can eat, shop and learn about history while you’re there. Plano also has several free exhibits, including one at the Interurban Railway Museum which details Plano’s transportation history. You can visit several other attractions while you’re there along with live music and other events throughout the year.
#2 The Woodlands, Texas
The Woodlands is part of the Houston Metropolitan area, located about 28 miles north of Houston. It has a suburban feel with an abundance of parks, pools and places to shop and eat. Their public-school system is also highly-rated, receiving an A+ grade.*
A great place for a family outing is The Woodlands Children’s Museum. With interactive exhibits and imaginative play areas, this museum is designed for young children who want to have fun and learn.
Another fun activity for the whole family is a visit to the Rob Fleming Aquatic Center. With features such as a lazy river, water slide and lap lanes, there is sure to be something fun for everyone.
#1 Naperville, Illinois
Naperville is located about 30 miles west of Chicago. It’s the fifth largest city in Illinois and ranked as one of the safest cities by both USA Today and Business Insider. Naperville is home to many popular restaurants and shopping centers and has a fun, kid-friendly downtown area.
Naperville is home to the DuPage Children’s Museum, a play and education center for young children. There are numerous family-friendly and fun activities for kids to help them learn about art, math and science. Another fun attraction for families is the Ball Factory Indoor Play and Café where there are a variety of themed areas for kids to explore plus a dedicated toddler zone. Locals rave about how clean and well-kept it is.
If you choose to move to one of these 5 places to raise with your family, you won’t be disappointed! If you’re ready to start searching for homes you can check out the latest listings in your area of choice here. You can also learn more on how to make your move to another state smooth. Happy searching!
*These results were released from the Niche 2018 Best Places to Raise a Family rankings. based on data analyzed from the U.S. Census, FBI, CDC and Department of Education.