Raising a family in New York City can be both an exciting and daunting prospect. With its hustle and bustle, iconic attractions, and diverse neighborhoods, NYC is an attractive option for families.
But with so much to choose from, it can be difficult to determine which neighborhoods are best for raising a family. In this article, we will discuss the best New York City neighborhoods for raising a family, from those with more affordable housing options to those with plenty of family-friendly attractions.
When looking for a family-friendly neighborhood in New York City, we suggest looking outside the downtown area. While this part of the city might be more appropriate for young singles, families tend to enjoy quieter surroundings.
Still, it’s important to note that all families have different needs. Choosing the right neighborhood depends on the number of members, daily habits, and interests.
What makes a neighborhood family-friendly?
There are five boroughs in NYC: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, and Staten Island. Every borough is unique, with a different overall energy and vibe.
There are a few ways in which family-friendly neighborhoods differ from all the other ones. Generally, families with children need specific amenities for a peaceful and organized everyday life.
Good schools close by are essential when you have children. That is why good school districts are predominantly family-friendly.
There’s nothing worse than sirens blasting and neighbors shouting when you’ve finally put your child to bed. Families mostly choose quiet, peaceful neighborhoods to make their homes.
Whether pushing a stroller around or just walking with your kids, you need enough space. All the best NYC neighborhoods for raising a family have wide sidewalks that are safe for family outings.
Car accessibility is also a big deal. Neighborhoods with enough parking spots, wide roads, and access to major highways win here.
Finally, it needs to be safe for the neighborhood to be family-friendly. Make sure to do your research before choosing to buy a home in a specific area.
What are the best NYC neighborhoods for raising a family?
Choosing the right NYC neighborhood to raise your little ones is an individual process. Still, some just rank higher than others, so we’ve put together this guide for you.
The northernmost borough of NYC is best known for being home to the Yankees Stadium, but it’s also so much more than that. The Bronx area has many neighborhoods perfect for simple family living.
The Bronx is an excellent place to raise a family. It has plenty of green spaces, parks, and other recreational activities for children to enjoy. The Bronx Zoo, the New York Botanical Garden, and the Bronx Museum of the Arts are all within easy reach. The area also boasts excellent public transportation, making getting around the city a breeze. The Bronx also has plenty of educational opportunities, with a variety of public and private schools available. Finally, the Bronx has a strong sense of community and culture, making it a great place to raise a family.
Baychester is a perfect mix of an urban atmosphere and a family-friendly suburb. It belongs to a very good school district, so your little ones will get an excellent education.
It is a fairly green neighborhood with many parks and beautiful outdoor spaces for family outings. Also, it is very well connected, both by car and five different trains.
Both families love this upper-middle-class neighborhood with young children and the elderly. Everyone knows each other, so if you decide to move here, know that locals are at your disposal with everything you need.
It’s located in Eastchester Bay, so there’s access to a beach, and a marina for water lowers. Keep in mind that you’ll need a car to get around, as there’s no access to the subway anywhere in the neighborhood.
Riverdale is on the north end of the Bronx and New York City area, like a small town. It’s a very affordable area, so it’s a great option for families who need three or more bedrooms to living comfortably.
Riverdale offers a bunch of options for outdoor activities like swimming and biking, so your children will never be bored. However, be aware that nightlife is non-existent here.
Queens is a great place for raising a family. With its diverse neighborhoods, families can find a neighborhood that fits their lifestyle. Queens is home to some of the best public and private schools in the city, and there are plenty of recreational opportunities for children.
The borough is well-connected to the rest of the city, making it easy for families to get around. There are also plenty of parks and green spaces for children to enjoy. And with the affordability of housing, it’s easy for families to find a home that suits their budget. All of these reasons make Queens a great place for raising a family.
If you’re looking for a peaceful neighborhood with a suburban feel, Forrest Hills is one of the best NYC neighborhoods for raising a family. There are no high rises here; instead, tree-lined streets with family homes make it perfect for family life.
This neighborhood has 12 schools, so you’ll have options. Also, with many families with children living here, you and your little ones are bound to make new friends.
Moving to a family-friendly neighborhood doesn’t mean that you have to give up nice restaurants and cafes. Many local attractions can be fun for kids and adults, such as Astoria Park and many vivid farmer’s markets.
This area offers all the benefits of family-friendly neighborhoods while being very close to LaGuardia airport and Manhattan. If you need to go there frequently for work daily, it’s just across the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge.
Staten Island has a small-town vibe, with plenty of parks and green spaces to explore and plenty of safe, family-friendly neighborhoods to choose from.
The schools are highly rated, and the commute to nearby Manhattan and Brooklyn is easy with the Staten Island Ferry and multiple public transportation options. The cost of living is relatively low, and the island is home to a variety of cultural attractions, shopping malls, and restaurants. Whether you’re looking for a safe, suburban atmosphere or the convenience of a big city, Staten Island is a great place to call home.
Located on the South Shore, Huguenot is a reasonably calm neighborhood without much commotion. If safety’s your priority, consider this area for moving with your family.
The lack of traffic is not the only thing that has motivated many families to move here. Staten Island’s best public schools are located in Huguenot, making it perfect for families.
Being one of the most sparsely populated neighborhoods in the whole of NYC, Great Kills is one of the best neighborhoods for raising a family if you like your space and privacy.
Most households are owner-occupied, meaning that pretty much everyone who’s been around for a while knows each other. Consider this neighborhood if close-knit communities are what you’re looking for.
Manhattan is probably the first place that comes to anyone’s mind when they think of New York City. Even though it’s the epicenter of entertainment and business, a few neighborhoods still are suitable for raising a family.
This picture-perfect NYC neighborhood is filled mainly with low-rise living, making it great for families. The great Washington Square park is relatively close, so your little ones will have enough outdoor space to run around and have fun.
If you’re a modern family that doesn’t want to give up city life, Chelsea is the place for you. There are many excellent private and public schools in the area, so your kids will be in good hands.
There are various activities organized all the time that the whole family can participate in and have fun. No one’s ever bored in Chelsea!
Many people say that Brooklyn is the new Manhattan. We can’t exactly say if that’s right, but the fact is there are still a bunch of family-friendly neighborhoods there.
This incredibly safe neighborhood with excellent schooling is every family’s dream. There are also various communities you can join and activities you can participate in, so it’s one of the best NYC neighborhoods for raising a family.
Keep in mind that the prices can get up quite a bit here. It is beautiful, but it’s not the most affordable neighborhood.
This neighborhood perfectly encapsulates the energy of Brooklyn. It’s full of cultural amenities such as libraries, galleries, and museums, so you’ll have no trouble planning family activities.
Another great thing about it is the so-called slow zones. The traffic is a concern for many families with children, so this should put your mind at ease.
When looking for the best NYC neighborhoods for raising a family, it’s essential to consider your lifestyle and preferences. Everyone has many different options, so you’re guaranteed to find what you’re looking for.
Born and raised amidst the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple, I’ve witnessed the city’s many exciting phases. New York is not just a city to me; it’s a living, breathing entity. When I’m not exploring the city or penning down my thoughts, you can find me sipping on a cup of coffee at my favorite local café, playing chess or planning my next trip. For the last twelve years, I’ve been living in South Williamsburg with my partner Berenike.