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

East Marlborough

Population: 7,026
School district: Unionville-Chadds Ford
SAT scores: 573 math / 591 reading / 567 writing
Crime rate: Zero violent crimes per 1,000; 2.08 nonviolent per 1,000
Median home price: $390,000

If you’ve ever seen one of those TV commercials where the mom, the dad and the two kids laugh and smile as they zoom around on bicycles or go hiking or just generally emphasize your personal couch-potato-ness by being relentlessly active, you may have wondered: Where are people like that? The answer: East Marlborough, where we’re surprised they don’t make you do drills to obtain a mortgage. As local father-of-three and relentless recreationist Brian Ladd describes it, EM is “a small, quiet rural community that’s also full of activity and life.” With almost a quarter of its population under age 18, the Chester County township caters to its kids, who mostly attend schools in the top-achieving Unionville-Chadds Ford district and fill the area’s teeming rec-sports leagues. But parents don’t just cheer on the sidelines: Families cruise the township’s 4,000 open acres on foot or bike, while the Don and Betty Draper set plays golf and tennis at the sleek Kennett Square Golf and Country Club. While you’ll find typical community-calendar fare (5K’s, art shows, a famed mushroom festival), the hamlet’s proximity to family-fave Longwood Gardens and its historic pedigree (a Revolutionary War battleground, several stops on the Underground Railroad) make it a bucolic-yet-active (and safe, with one of the lowest crime rates anywhere) alternative for child-rearing. And the milkshakes at Landhope Farms entice at any age.

 To see how we selected the towns, 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.

  • Susie Madrak

    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.