School district: Lower Merion
Average SAT scores: 574 math / 589 reading / 576 writing
Crime rate: 1.49 violent crimes per 1,000; 13.86 nonviolent per 1,000
Median home price: $382,000
Flanked by bustling Montgomery and Wynnewood avenues, Narberth—a half-square-mile borough nestled in the middle of Lower Merion Township—is easy to miss. Which is just fine by self-professed “Narbs”; after all, that’s what makes the town a magnet for kid-raising, even if there’s no place to park. The über-private and clannish should keep moving, but if you’re looking for over-the-fence chitchat and a plethora of playdates, this is the burg for you: Everyone here knows everyone else. Despite its postage-stamp size, the town boasts its own government and police force. Kids can walk to the old-school movie house, and the town offers diversions both active (a sprawling park that hosts countless sports leagues) and creative (the Handwork Studio organizes workshops to teach knitting and other crafty skills). Parents come for the vaunted Lower Merion schools but stay for the family-friendly vibe, reflected in a calendar of events whose highlight is a legendary annual Dickens fete that transforms downtown into 1840s London.
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