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: 31,531*
School district: Radnor Township
Average SAT scores: 567 math / 606 reading / 568 writing
Crime rate: .64 violent crimes per 1,000 residents; 10.66 nonviolent per 1,000 Median home price: $456,500**

The perennial worry of city-dwellers has been that moving to suburbia risks landing in a place that isn’t really a place—no middle, no center, no soul. Out in Wayne, yes, the schools are great. We know it’s safe. “But for a while, Wayne had a stigma as older and upper-class,” says Pattie Lamantia, owner of the Wedding Shoppe. “It’s gotten much younger now.” And when Beau Moffitt of Out There Outfitters describes what he calls “Walk to Wayne” as if it’s an official event, you understand why: Once you’re about 11 years old, Moffitt says, you can make the trek downtown from, say, half a tree-lined mile away. And you do, often, to hang out with other kids at Gumdrops & Sprinkles or the old Anthony Wayne Theater or maybe the art center. Or you stroll down with your parents: They’ll have a latte at Gryphon, you’ll hang at Bravo Pizza, everyone rendezvousing at Christopher’s for a proper family dinner. Downtown Wayne beckons. It’s friendly and easy and warm, and sometimes dramatically old-time Americana: The lighting of the town Christmas tree. The soap-box derby. Only one problem: not enough parking. So … walk. Into smart suburbia with a soul.

*Population of Radnor Township; includes Wayne and other neighborhoods.
**Data for Wayne, Lafayette Hill, Narberth and Huntingdon Valley from, between May 2011 and July 2011. All other home-price data courtesy of Prudential Fox & Roach, from June 2011.

 To read about Moorestown, click here.

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