Many factors contribute to a great place to raise a family, but a great education system, a safe environment and diverse activities are common elements to family-friendly cities. With that in mind, consider these four stellar sites to bring up your brood.
1. NEWTON, MA:
Located just seven miles from Boston, Newton has no single city center but consists of a patchwork of 13 villages. Newton offers classic New England architecture, beautiful parks and provides its students with educational partnerships with Boston College and nearby Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The cost of living in Newton may be on the high side, but the services and proximity to a rich historical, educational and cultural heritage is included.
2. MIDDLETOWN, NY:
Perhaps you can have your cake and eat it too. Middletown is located in the Hudson Valley region of New York, providing the quiet life of an earlier era, and is still only 90 minutes away from New York City. So you can spend a Saturday with the family in the Big Apple visiting the Natural History Museum or taking in a Broadway show, and on Sunday you can hike and picnic in one of the 34 state parks in the region.
3. APPLETON, WI:
Located on the Fox River, Appleton offers a low cost of living without the sacrifice of amenities. The city has 24 neighborhood parks and four community parks, the largest of which is 139 acres. It offers small-town living at its finest with a release-fish pond, indoor ice skating rink, outdoor hockey rink, summer concerts, fireworks on the Fourth of July and an annual Christmas parade. Adults can enjoy the annual Art in the Park event and the yearly Appleton Old Car Show and Swap Meet.
4. OMAHA, NE:
Though better known for Warren Buffett and great steaks, Omaha has a wealth of culture and history for all ages. It is home to the largest community theater in the U.S., a robust offering of performing arts, and the Omaha Black Music Hall of Fame. Children may prefer the Children’s Museum or Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, considered one of the finest in the world. Its vibrant downtown is anchored by the historic Old Market, which is populated by shops, restaurants, bars and art galleries.