Best Places to Raise Kids: The 15 Most Family-Friendly Philly Suburbs

If you are forgoing city for ‘burbs, as a parent you want two things: safe streets and good schools. But after that, the choices vary: A touch of urbanity? Wide-open spaces? A charming downtown? We crunched the numbers, analyzed the data and forayed out into the field. No matter your preference, we found a locale worth moving to


Population: 4,422
School district: Jenkintown
Average SAT scores: 565 math / 574 reading / 579 writing
Crime rate: .93 violent crimes  per 1,000; 3.49 nonviolent per 1,000
Median home price: $160,000

For the car-averse, the organic, the financially squeezed and, most of all, the urban-obsessed, the options for raising a family once that family starts growing can seem troubling: Stay in the funky, gentrifying city ’hood (NoLibs, Bella Vista, Grad Hospital), down the street from the PBR-strewn vacant lot where the hipsters play their weekly games of ironic kickball? Or pull up stakes for the ’burbs, only to try to forget you’re in the ’burbs? What you need is a house—multiple bedrooms with a touch of greenery that you can call a yard, a town with good schools and no crime that still feels like you’re in the city. Enter Jenkintown (factoid: hometown of Bradley Cooper), the inner ’burb with the urban flavor, where the median home is a steal at $160,000 (which can mitigate the higher-than-average tax rate). The housing stock does tend to skew a bit older (character!), so the same $250K you’ll pay for that 800-square-foot cement-fronted one-bedroom “condo” in Queen Village will get you a three-bed, two-bath house with almost three times the space and an actual yard. Yes, you’re going to take a hit when it comes to good restaurants, bars, clubs, nightlife and cultural diversions (the exception being the awesome, member-supported Hiway movie theater, right there on Old York Road), but you’re two roads and 10 miles away from Center City—still close enough to make the occasional kickball game.

To read about East Marlborough, click here.

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  • Mark

    …they have Renato, which is the best place anywhere for a cheesesteak or a hoagie.

  • Sally

    Definitely a great place to raise kids!!!

  • Bid

    What a nice view of our town and residents!

    Sadly, the property owners in the Jenkintown Business Improvement District (BID) voted to eliminate the our Festival of the Arts, and any other efforts designed to bring people and new businesses into into our lovely community. By failing to re-authorize the BID, these short sighted barons killed marketing of our town and a business recruitment program. They also eliminated the distinctive holiday decorations that lined the streets AND Santa’s annual visit.

    For a perspective from a resident, BID supporter and volunteer, please read this letter printed in Times-Chronicle:

    To view the “No Votes” see:

  • colton

    Why is PHILADELPHIA magazine encouraging people to move out of the city? This is the problem in the first place w/ Philly, people keep moving out and that causes loss of population, loss of tax base, higher vacancy rates, etc… all leading to worse schools, less stability, less “eyes on the street” and thus more crime. You should be highlighting the best neighborhoods IN Philly for families, not the best places to escape Philadelphia for.

    • Tara

      Right underneath the title it says: “If you are forgoing city for ‘burbs, as a parent you want two things: safe streets and good schools.” … This was written for people who WANT to move out of the city.

  • Jamison

    Thanks for the list, most of these I can agree with, but there are some glaring omissions, most notably Doylestown. I don’t know how it doesn’t make this list as it meets and exceeds most of the criteria set.

  • Beth

    Does anyone have any details about Mullica Hill, NJ. Is that a great place to live. I heard it has a very good school and quaint town atmosphere.

  • Leave it to Philly mag to keep making the word “best” synonymous with “white and rich.”

    • Jane Yavis

      May I correct part of your “Best” synonyms – “White and NEW Rich”???

    • Broyal

      Despicable comment from an idiotic and despicable person. Go spread your nazi crap elsewhere.

    • Tony b

      Fuck you.

    • Vald Bagina

      true. the philly area is pretty racially segregated. now that I said this, people will get sensitive and try to say that it isn’t but in reality it is.

  • Kelly

    Ummmm….more like the richest and highest housing prices outside of Philadelphia. You missed the mark on so many towns.