New Jersey is an excellent place for people of all ages to live and work. It’s close proximity to both New York City and Philadelphia means you have access to two amazing cities. Of course, you don’t even have to leave New Jersey to experience a bustling city or a quiet countryside. There are plenty of wonderful places to visit and live. With that said, if you’re raising a family (or plan to) you might have different requirements than a young, single professional. Luckily, there are plenty of amazing family-friendly neighborhoods in New Jersey.
New Jersey might be one of the smallest states, but it is one of the largest in terms of population and that’s because it has a lot to offer. So if you’re considering a move, read below for some of the best neighborhoods in New Jersey for families.
Madison, New Jersey
Located about 25 miles west of downtown Manhattan, Madison is considered one of the best places to live in New Jersey. While it might be close to New York City, the city itself offers a more suburban feel and the majority of residents are homeowners. While you might not get that bustling city vibe of Jersey City or Newark, the downtown area is super cute and offers plenty of shops and restaurants to keep you busy. It also offers everything you expect when moving to the suburbs such as: yards, neighborhood barbecues, farmer’s market, bike paths, and a commuter-rail station.
Of course, that’s not all it offers. Madison also has a relatively low crime rate with the majority related to property crime. Thanks to the close-knit community and civic-minded
people, Madison is able to keep its ranking as one of the safest areas in New Jersey and even the United States.
Perhaps one of the biggest reasons why many families move to Madison is because of the school system. There are a total of three public elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school within Madison’s school district. It also is home to two colleges: Drew University and Fairleigh Dickinson University. So if you really want to save on college expenses, your child can get a great education from kindergarten up to their PhD. Surprisingly, Madison also has a relatively low tax rate when factoring in the great educational system, low crime rate, and general amenities.
As you might expect, houses are in high demand. The average home price in Madison is close to $700,000 with some going for as much as $1 million. With everything Madison has to offer, it’s no surprise that houses are flying off the market. If you’re not sure you want to live in Madison permanently, you can rent an apartment for around $1700.
Situated between the two ridges of the Watchung Mountains, New Providence is a quaint town that is only 28 miles west of New York and has two nearby train stations and weekday buses for easy access to NYC. If you don’t want to deal with public transportation, you can always opt for a car as the area offers easy access to the New Jersey Turnpike.
New Providence has a ton of character and charm. The area is home to more than 13,000 people and consistently ranks as one of the best neighborhoods in New Jersey. This small 3.65 square mile borough is home to more than 13,000 people and growing. The charming downtown offers plenty of amenities including the cute Salt Box Museum that is home to a number of artifacts and memorabilia dating back to before the American Revolution.
Besides its quaint charm, New Providence is also incredibly safe with only a handful of property crimes that happen each year. When compared to the national average, New Providence consistently ranks as one of the safest areas in the country.
If you’re looking to raise kids, New Providence is a great place to move. It is home to several highly-rated public schools serving pre-k through 12th grade. There are a total of 2 elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school. Class room sizes are small with a 13-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio. It’s no wonder that households with children make up around 40 percent of the town’s population.
For those who want to move here, make sure you have a good income. The median home value is around $607,000. While the majority of residents do own their home, keep in mind that the median household income is around $145,000. There are rentals, but you’ll end up paying around $1,700 for one-bedroom.
Located in Essex County, Livingston has long been considered one of the best places to live in NJ whether you’re raising a family or not! With a population of around 31,000 this is by no means a small town. Yet despite the population, it is considered one of the safest places to live with crime numbers well below the national average for both violent and property crimes.
While mainly considered a bedroom town, it’s only about 40-45 minutes by car from NYC, Livingston offers a fairly large downtown area with plenty of shops, restaurants, and other amenities. If you can’t find something you want downtown, there’s always Livingston Mall!
As you might expect, Livingston has an amazing school system. In fact, it is ranked in the top 10 locations with best public schools in the entire state. There are several top-ranked public schools available and a variety of private schools that provide education from elementary to high school. Whatever option you choose, you can rest assured that your child will be getting a great education that will prepare them for college and/or the workforce.
If you’re interested in moving your family to Livingston, NJ you’ll want to save up a lot of money. While most residents are homeowners, the cost of houses has skyrocketed and you can expect to pay at least $500,000 on a house. While definitely on the higher end, if you want to live in a quiet location that’s still close to NYC and offers amazing schools, then you should brace yourself for high home prices.
Living in a major city like New York or San Francisco might be exciting because there’s always something to do, but it can get a bit lonely since everyone is so focused on their own life. If you’re yearning for a community, look no further than Glen Rock. This small borough is home to around 12,000 people and really emphasizes that tight-knit vibe. The community looks out for one another and the residents are very friendly and helpful. Plus, households with children make up almost 50 percent of the population, so your kids and you, will definitely be able to make some friends.
Glen Rock is consistently praised for their outstanding schools with a total of four public elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school and, of course, a few private schools. School class sizes tend to be small, which means every child gets the attention they need in order to succeed. In addition to a great school system, the town boasts the Thielke Arboretum, an education center that invites authors to talk about their books to the residents.
Like the other towns, Glen Rock is also very safe with crime rates well below the national average. Residents really look out for each other and go out of their way to be helpful. The community is very active and there are plenty of events that bring together the entire town, thus curtailing a lot of crime. Of course, that doesn’t mean it’s crime free. Most of the crime tends to fall into property crime and there is very little violent crime that happens in the area.
As a small town, you shouldn’t expect big city amenities. However, there are a few restaurants and shopping areas in the downtown area. If you can’t find what you need, you can generally drive 10-20 minutes away. Making the trip to NYC will take a little over an hour by train or car so you might want to factor this into your calculations, especially if you plan on commuting to NYC.
Becoming a homeowner in this area doesn’t come cheap. The median home value hovers around $650,000 though the majority of residents do own their home. You might be able to find a deal in this amazing NJ neighborhood so long as you are patient.
Nestled within the Raritan Valley and Rahway Valley regions, Summit is home to around 22,000 residents. Originally incorporated as Summit Township back in 1869, it became its own city in 1899. This is a perfect spot for families who love the outdoors as it is next to the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, Hidden Valley Park, and Briant Park. Located around 24 miles from New York City, you can easily have the best of suburban living and city living.
Summit has consistently been called one of the best cities to live in New Jersey and for good reason. It offers an eclectic collection of parks, recreational facilities, delicious restaurants, and unique shops. It’s also home to the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey which is the largest institution in the state dedicated to contemporary art. If you are more into theater, you can visit the Summit Playhouse, one of the oldest community theaters in the United States. It offers up to three plays a year including a children’s program. If you want to get your kids away from the computer screen, there are plenty of family-friendly activities at the Reeves-Reed Arboretum.
When it comes to schools, Summit gets an A on their report card. They have five public elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school in the district. Students and parents rate schools highly in every department from academics to clubs and activities to college preparation. It boasts a 98 percent graduation rate and is ranked in the top ten best school systems in New Jersey.
Despite its larger size, Summit still remains very safe with very few incidences of violent and property crimes. Residents are very vigilant and more than happy to lend a helping hand to those in need.
If you want to live in Summit, you should be prepared to pay the price. Housing is extremely expensive as the median home value hovers close to $900,000. Taxes are also quite high, but in return you get amazing schools, a safe neighborhood, and wonderful family-oriented amenities.
There are dozens of other amazing cities and towns in New Jersey, but these four locations consistently rank as the best family-friendly neighborhoods in New Jersey. If you’re looking to make the move, make sure to hire a professional moving company like NJ Great Movers. We’ll be able to help get your belongings quickly and easily from your old place to your new home in a matter of hours. Whether you’re moving to Summit or Madison, we’ve got you covered.
Do I need a car to get around in these locations
While some parts of these towns/cities do have sidewalks, it’s not quite as walkable as places like Manhattan, Hoboken, or Jersey City. If you want some more freedom to explore New Jersey, you should get a car.
How much will it cost to move from NYC to New Jersey
Your cost will depend on how much you’re moving and how far away your new home will be from your current home. All of this will factor in the final cost. If you’d like to hire us for your move, make sure to reach out to us to get a quote.
What should I consider before moving to these areas?
There’s a lot to consider. You should first think about what is most important to you whether that’s school systems, amenities, diversity, housing costs, proximity to a major city, or other features. From there, you can find a few neighborhoods that suit your parameters. Make sure to visit each area to get a feel for the location before making your decision.