Clients moving to the Boston area often ask our advice on the best Boston suburb for families. While I can't really say one town is more family friendly than another, I can share some towns that have those coveted features many of our clients with children look for:
* Highly rated public schools
* Lots of fun activities for children
* Great neighborhoods to play in
Here are several that I love:
Sherborn. The Town of Sherborn is a peaceful wooded community with one of the highest rated public high schools in the state. Dover-Sherborn High School was ranked #1 in Boston Magazine's coveted list of top public high schools in the state and earned a Gold Medal standing multiple times from U.S. News & World report. Sherborn's High School, Middle School, and the Pine Hill Elementary School all earned a 10 out of 10 ranking at Greatschools. But beyond the schools, there's also a wonderful community. Many families participate attend Sherborn Social Club events, volunteer at the school, engage in civic activities, support the local CSA, and have lots of fun in this great little community of 4,100. The library is planning a major renovation to include a treehouse-style children's wing.
Farm Pond is one of my favorite gems in Sherborn. This sparkling pond is a special place where many Sherborn children learn to swim and sail.
Some of my favorite neighborhoods in town are Harrington Ridge (just a short stroll from wooded trails and a pick-your-own blueberry place) and Ivy Ln (walking distance to town center).
Wellesley. The Town of Wellesley is also home to a top 10 rated public high school and benefits from much parental involvement in the schools. Upham Elementary School, Hunnewell Elementary School, John D. Hardy Elementary School, and Joseph E. Fiske Elementary School earned a 8 out of 10 and Katharine Lee Bates Elementary School, Sprague Elementary School, and Wellesley Middle School 9 out of 10 from Greatschools.org based on school performance and parent reviews. Wellesley High School also earns high marks from U.S. News & World report for college readiness.
The town has a lovely walkable center with plenty of shops, cafes, and restaurants to enjoy. The Wellesley has a very robust recreation department offering summer camp, arts & crafts, and many youth sports, music, and other enrichment programs. The Wellesley Free Library has truly flourished into a community gathering place, offering hundreds of children's programs throughout the year.
Wellesley also has many hidden treasures, including the wonderful Wheesies Garden for children at Elm Bank, walking trails along the Charles River, and fun family concerts by the Wellesley Symphony Orchestra.
From any of Wellesley's three train stations you're a short ride to Fenway Park, Boston Children's Museum, the Frog Pond at Boston Common, Swan Boats at Boston Public Gardens, and all that Boston has to offer.
Concord. The Town of Concord is a quintessential historic New England community complete with a quaint yet bustling town center. The Concord-Carlisle school district is consistently ranked among the top in the state, and all schools received at least a 9 out of 10 ranking from Greatschools.org.
It seems like there's always something fun going on in Concord. The town hosts many community activities in its walkable town center. Residents enjoy live music, art festivals, a wealth of outdoor activities, such as hiking around Walden Pond & the town's many trails, bike tours, kayak tours, and more. Young readers may also enjoy a trip to the home of author Louisa May Alcott. Steeped in history, Concord has many educational opportunities for people of all ages.
Children can participate in all kinds of recreational programs, including swimming lessons, basketball, tennis, volleyball, skiing, and much more. The town is also home to a terrific swim and fitness center. In addition, Concord's Recreation Department offers before and after-school programs.
Looking for more information about the best places to live in Boston? Give us a ring! (508-904-4967 or firstname.lastname@example.org). We'd be glad to be of assistance!
[photo courtesy of Parker Knight]