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


Lafayette Hill

Population: 17,349*
School district: Colonial ∆SAT scores: 526 math / 549 reading / 522 writing
Crime rate: .51 violent crimes per 1,000; 12.02 nonviolent per 1,000**
Average home price: $295,000

Location, location, location: It’s the real estate seller’s mantra. And while parents don’t pick a place to raise a family based solely on commuting, if they did, they might pick Lafayette Hill. For those whose jobs and responsibilities take them back and forth between city and ’burbs, the town offers perhaps the region’s best location—an idyllic burg with great schools and community can-do spirit sitting snugly between the Pennsylvania Turnpike, the Blue Route and the Schuylkill Expressway. A cheaper alternative to living on the Main Line, it’s also well framed, surrounded by Morris Arboretum, a state park, and six golf courses (including one rated in the top hundred by Golfweek magazine), as well as Chestnut Hill and Mount Airy, infusing city vibes without city problems. Still, it has “a very small atmosphere,” in the words of Linda Pudles, manager of Down 2 Earth Kids and a mother of two. That translates into an informal network of playdate-making parents who could run a Fortune 500 company with their organizing skills, as manifested in everything from the packed annual Whitemarsh Township Day in April (think The Music Man’s River City sans the 76 trombones) to the summer entertainment series, with free movies and concerts staged in Miles Park. And the library is currently undergoing a $4.4 million renovation, cementing its status as the ersatz town square.

*Population data for Whitemarsh Township; includes Lafayette Hill and other areas.  **Crime rate for Whitemarsh Township

To read about Jenkintown, click here.