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

Wayne


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 Trulia.com, between May 2011 and July 2011. All other home-price data courtesy of Prudential Fox & Roach, from June 2011.


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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: http://tinyurl.com/jenkintownbid

    To view the “No Votes” see: http://www.opposedthebid.com

  • 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.

  • http://susiemadrak.com 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.