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

 

Medford Lakes


Population: 4,146
School district: Medford Lakes
SAT scores: 547 math / 524 reading / 520 writing
Crime rate: Zero violent crimes per 1,000; 15.84 nonviolent per 1,000
Median home price: $268,000*

In its original incarnation, Medford Lakes was a log-cabin resort, and much of it still feels more summer camp than hometown. The pine-tree-studded Burlington County borough is tiny, stretching just 1.2 square miles, and includes 22 lakes and 150 cedar-log cabins that were part of its identity as a vacation spot in the 1930s. Today, there are 1,500 anti-McMansion-y homes connected by trails—no streets here—plus five beaches (beaches!), a country club, a rec center, and a vibrant network of community groups that organize events like the Mr. and Miss Medford Lakes Pageant and the annual canoe carnival. Families like the quaint, small-town feel; the “downtown” consists precisely of a music shop, where neighborhood kids come to take lessons, and the Sand Stand, an adorable-if-pricey ice-cream parlor that even has a flavor for vegans. Because there’s no bus service to the Medford Lakes public schools, kids get around on bikes, which, in summer, head to the town’s summer camp, open only to Medford Lakers. If Abe Lincoln’s hometown had been in Jersey instead of Illinois, this would have been it.




*Data from May 2011

To read about Upper Providence, 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: 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.