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

Upper Providence

Population: 21,219
School district: Rose Tree Media
Average SAT scores: 527 math / 543 reading / 526 writing
Crime rate: .27 violent crimes per 1,000; 2.17 nonviolent per 1,000
Median home price: $293,000

For modern parents who want it all—domesticity and woodsy open space, great schools and great restaurants—we say: You can’t have everything. But in unassuming Upper Providence, you can come really close. And you’ll be in good company—of the almost 3,000 families in the last census, nearly a third had children under age 18. That families are flocking here is no surprise: With 2,600 acres of woodland next door at Ridley Creek State Park and the Delaware County seat of Media nestled in its bosom, Upper Providence offers a heady mix of both nature and culture. “My only complaint is the deer,” jokes Patricia Giardinelli, a librarian at the Media-Upper Providence Library and mother of two. She goes on to praise the Rose Tree school district—a Department of Education Blue Ribbon Award nominee (“So diverse”)—and the quiet safety of the streets. Still, “There’s so much going on in the borough,” she says. “We moved here because of Media.” We moved here because of Media? Uh, yes. Where else do the perks range from free Reiki sessions to an annual Christmas lights display worthy of Bedford Falls? Here, it’s a wonderful life.


To read about Warwick, 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.