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The 20 Best Places to Live in New York for Families


At different stages of your life, you will have different needs in terms of where you live, and this means you will consider various factors when choosing a location. For example, you may find that some criteria you were not concerned about previously suddenly become your priorities when you start a family. For example, you may want to live in an area with good schools, plenty of family-oriented activities, some outdoor spaces to enjoy, and low crime rates. However, it is likely that you will also have some practical factors to consider, such as proximity to amenities, transport links, employment opportunities, and affordability. Here are the 20 best places to live in New York for families to give you some inspiration for where to start looking.

Forest Hills, Queens

20. Forest Hills, Queens

While not the cheapest place to live, Forest Hills is still relatively affordable, with average rental costs at just under $1,500 and the median home price a little more than $444,000. There are diverse options on the housing market, ranging from pre-war apartments to large Tudor-style homes. In this quaint neighborhood, there are some excellent schools, which is one of the main reasons the area attracts families. It is also an attractive place to live with plenty of outdoor spaces to explore, including Flushing Meadows Corona Park and Forest Park.

Park Slope, Brooklyn

19. Park Slope, Brooklyn

Families who choose to live in Park Slope can take their pick of outstanding public schools, which is great news for parents who prioritize their children’s education when looking for somewhere to live. The area has a quiet atmosphere and tree-lined streets. There are plenty of restaurants and cafes in Park Slope, and the neighborhood is home to attractions such as the Brooklyn Museum, Prospect Park, and Prospect Park Zoo.


18. Altamont

Altamont is in Albany county, with a population of 1,665 people. While the schools and family activities are a clear draw to this location, it has many other features that offer a comfortable and enjoyable lifestyle. There is a diverse property market with homes to suit various tastes and budgets, and the general cost of living is reasonable. It is also a safe area to live in as there are very few crimes reported. Altamont’s biggest downfall is the lack of nightlife, but that is not an issue if you usually stay home in the evenings.


17. Hamilton

Hamilton is a small town in Madison County that is home to 3,814 people. The range of family-oriented activities and the highly-rated public schools are a draw to parents who want a good location in which to raise their families. This town has a dense suburban feel, and there are plenty of amenities, including restaurants, shops, and bars. Other plus points of this location include lively nightlife, low crime rates, a strong job market, and community diversity. The only downside to the area is the high cost of living, which is only to be expected due to the area’s desirability.

East Aurora

16. East Aurora

Its location next to Knox Farm State Park and close to Orchard Park means that East Aurora is a popular place to live for those who enjoy an outdoor lifestyle. Additionally, families are attracted by some of the best schools in New York and the range of activities that are suitable for families. It is also a safe place to live with a reasonable cost of living. East Aurora is in Erie County, and it has a population of 6,184 people.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn

15. Williamsburg, Brooklyn

If you want to live in the borough of Brooklyn in New York City, then Time Out recommends finding somewhere to live in Williamsburg. Families flock to the area as there is an abundance of activities for families to enjoy, including McCarren Park, which has a pool and an ice rink. It is also a safe area with excellent schools and a diverse range of eateries.


14. Fairport

While the excellent schools are one of the best features of Fairport, there are many more reasons why families should consider living in this Rochester suburb. It suits families because there are outdoor spaces to enjoy and activities for all the family. Fairport is also a good place to find employment, as there are jobs in many sectors and strong transport links for commuting. Other great features of Fairport include its safety and the reasonable cost of living.


13. Menands

Like many of the most desirable places, the downside to living in Menands is the high cost of living. Other than that, there are only positive points to make about this location. The most important points relating to family life are that this area has outstanding schools, virtually no crime, and many activities for families. Other positive features of Menands include community diversity, job opportunities in many industries, and vibrant nightlife.

Great Kills, Staten Island

12. Great Kills, Staten Island

Great Kills in Staten Island has a suburban vibe and a tight-knit community. The low crime rates in this neighborhood mean it is in the top six percent of the safest places to live in New York City. Those who live in Great Kills enjoy spending days at the beach or taking walks through Great Kills Park. It is an affordable place to live, and there are some top-performing schools in this area.

Riverdale, The Bronx

11. Riverdale, The Bronx

Extra Space recommends Riverdale in The Bronx as a family-friendly place to live. It is in the top 15 percent of safe places to live, as crime rates are low. Riverdale is also an affordable option, as the median home price is under $360,000, and the median monthly rent is just over $1,300. It is hard to believe that Riverdale is part of New York City, as it has leafy streets and open spaces to enjoy. The community is very friendly, and Riverdale is in the catchment area of several outstanding schools. Furthermore, there are multiple family-oriented activities in this neighborhood.

Country Knolls

10. Country Knolls

Located in Saratoga County, Country Knolls is a suburb of New York City. Due to the rural feel of the suburb, the area is ideally suited to those who need access to the city but do not want to live in an urban area. Despite the rural feel of this suburb, there is not a lack of things for people to do in their spare time, as there are outdoor spaces to enjoy and various family-oriented activities. Thanks to the good transport links, it is also easy to access the activities and amenities of New York City. One of the most appealing features of this suburb to families is the highly-rated public schools.

Gang Mills

9. Gang Mills

Gang Mills is a town in Steuben County, New York, with a population of 4,553 residents, says Niche. Like many places that are considered good areas for families to live in, Gang Mills has highly rated schools. While moving to the catchment area of the best schools often means sacrificing other aspects of your lifestyle, that is not the case if you move to Gang Mills. The community is diverse, there are plenty of job openings, the cost of living is reasonable, and the crime rates are low. Furthermore, there are many options for enjoying your leisure time, ranging from open spaces and outdoor activities to a decent nightlife scene and dining out options.


8. Eggertsville

The highly-rated schools are one of the main attractions of Eggertsville for families, but they are not the only reason why this Buffalo suburb in Erie County is a fantastic place for families to live. Some of the other positive features of this location include the excellent transport links, community diversity, and a reasonable cost of living. Also, there are various activities to enjoy, there is very little crime, and the employment market is strong.

East Ithaca

7. East Ithaca

East Ithaca is a town in Tompkins County, and it is considered one of the best places to live in New York because of its many plus points. Some of the features that appeal to those raising a family are the top-notch schools, the low crime rates, the outdoor spaces, and the family activities available in the area. This town offers multiple job opportunities in various industries, and the transportation links to the surrounding area are good. The only downside to living in East Ithaca is the relatively high cost of living, but that is the price that you may have to pay to live in such a desirable location.

Battery Park City, Manhattan

6. Battery Park City, Manhattan

Those who dream of living in Manhattan but want a nice area to raise their family should consider Battery Park City, as it is one of Manhattan’s safest neighborhoods. New York Family says that Battery Park City sits between the Hudson River and the West Side Highway, and it is within walking distance of Lower Manhattan and the Financial District. There are many highly-rated schools in this neighborhood, so your kids getting a top-rate education is not a concern. Not only does Battery Park City host multiple events throughout the year, but there is also a vast array of family-oriented activities to enjoy. These include The Battery, Rockefeller Park, The Rink at Brookfield Place, and Central Park.

Astoria, Queens

5. Astoria, Queens

If you want to live in New York City, the New York Family says that the top family-friendly neighborhood in the city is Astoria, Queens. Unofficially, Astoria is known as the Greek capital of New York, and there are multiple Greek restaurants along with restaurants serving other cuisines. It is a fantastic place to live for families who want everything on their doorstep, as the area has outstanding schools, shops, restaurants, attractions, parks, and job opportunities.

Clarence Center

4. Clarence Center

Clarence Center is a small suburb of Buffalo that is home to fewer than 3,000 people. Although there is very little nightlife in this area, that is often not a concern for those who are raising a family, and there are plenty of things to enjoy during the day. Clarence Center has a rural feel, so it will suit those who want to live in a quiet area away from the buzz of cities. The primary reason this area is so appealing to families is the area’s outstanding schools.


3. Fayetteville

Home to 4,095 people, Fayetteville is a suburb of Syracuse in Onondaga County. The largest demographics in this location are retirees and families, as there are features of the area that appeal to both groups. Outdoor spaces are plentiful, and there are activities for both young and older people to enjoy. Housing is varied for both renters and buyers, with everything from apartments to large family homes.


2. Williamsville

Williamsville is a suburb of Buffalo that is home to 5,269 people. If you have a limited budget, then looking for a home in this area is a good idea, as the median home value is a mere $164,000. It is also one of the best options if providing your children with a good education is high on your list of priorities, as Williamsville has some of the top-rated schools in New York. Furthermore, crime rates are low, employment opportunities are varied, the community is diverse, and there are activities and attractions for people of all ages.


1. Kensington

According to New York Upstate, the best place to live in New York for families is in Kensington, which is a suburb of New York City. One of the main reasons that it is such a great place to raise a family is that crime is virtually non-existent, so it is a safe place to live. The residents of this area enjoy having parks, family-oriented activities, excellent schools, and many restaurants right on their doorsteps.

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Liz Flynn

Written by Liz Flynn

Liz Flynn has worked as a full-time writer since 2010 after leaving a career in education. She finds almost all topics she writes about interesting, but her favorite subjects are travel and food. Liz loves the process of researching information, learning new things, and putting into words what others who share her interests might like to read. Although she spends most of her time writing, she also enjoys spending time with her husband and four children, watching films, cooking, dining out, reading, motorsports, gaming, and walking along the beach next to her house with her dog.

Read more posts by Liz Flynn

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