Many people picture New York City as a place for young professionals or people who enjoy the hustle and bustle of a big, loud city.
But, NYC is also a great place for families. There are many neighborhoods in the city that are great for raising kids with good schools, lots of parks, and low crime rates.
We compiled a list of the best neighborhoods in NYC for families so you can easily search for one that is perfect for you and your family.
What to Look for in a Family Friendly Neighborhood in New York
There are many aspects of a neighborhood that make it family friendly.
These are some of the most important factors to consider before choosing an NYC neighborhood for your family.
Family Friendly Activities
You want your kids to have fun, so make sure there are local activities for them. Look for a place near playgrounds, museums, or a community center with events for your family.
Education is a big factor in deciding where to live with your family. Local public schools are a convenient place to send your kids, but they might not provide the best education depending on the schools.
If you think that private schools are a better option, do your research before moving so you can pick the one that is best for your kids. And, make sure your family lives close enough to the school, so the commute is not a major inconvenience.
Safety is a huge consideration for parents who raise their children in cities. Look at NYC crime data, so you know that your neighborhood is safe.
Cost of Living
One of the major expenses that people living in cities face is their rent. Rent can be significantly higher for your family living in NYC since you need extra space for more people. Manhattan has a few top notch neighborhoods for families, but it is also the most expensive place to live in the city.
You should also consider your food costs. Food can cost more in cities, especially in nicer neighborhoods. And food out at restaurants in your neighborhood can add to your expenses.
Finally, consider your location. Living in a cheaper neighborhood may save you money on rent, but if you are too far from work or school, you will lose a lot of free time on your daily commute.
Best Neighborhoods in NYC for Families
Finding the best location in NYC for your family can be daunting, but we made it easier for you with this list of some of the best neighborhoods in New York for families.
There are a few neighborhoods are in Manhattan. The cost of living in Manhattan can be high, especially for larger families, so we also have the best neighborhoods for families in Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Queens. The neighborhoods are listed with the best one first.
#1 Battery Park City, Manhattan
Battery Park City is one of the most popular residential neighborhoods for families. The neighborhood is on the southwest tip of Manhattan, next to Battery Park to the east and the Hudson River to the west and south.
As for education, there are four public schools in Battery Park City. One is an elementary school, one is a middle school, one is an elementary and middle school combined, and one is a high school.
The Battery City Park residents have a high graduation rate, with ninety-six percent of students graduating on time. Additionally, only six percent of students have a high rate of absences than the New York City average of twenty percent.
There are many parks in the area, including Battery Park to the east of Battery City Park. There is also Teardrop Park, a large park with a natural themed playground and children’s area.
Battery City Park is one of the safest neighborhoods in Manhattan, with one of the lowest per-capita crime rates. While the neighborhood is one of the most expensive in the borough, the public safety and high-quality education can easily make the cost worth it for parents, especially those with young children.
#2 Upper West Side, Manhattan
If you’re thinking on moving to the Upper West Side, it’s also a good Manhattan neighborhood to raise a family in New York.
It spans the entire length of Central Park on its east side, and the Hudson River is on the west.
The neighborhood has a homey, suburban feel, but it still offers all the benefits of living in the middle of a large city.
There are also many options for places to live in the neighborhood. Many of the buildings are historic. You can find smaller buildings, as well as high-rise apartments.
As for education in the neighborhood, children are less likely to have a high number of absences from school compared to the rest of Manhattan. There are many public schools on the Upper West Side, with more than twenty for students in various grades between Kindergarten and eighth grade.
Furthermore, there are four public high schools, one of which is a specialized school and two educational campuses with multiple divisions of schools within the campuses.
There are also nearly thirty private and charter schools located in the area. These schools are for kids in grades ranging from between pre-K and high school age. Between the public and private schools, parents have a lot of options for their kids’ school.
If you have a family with older children, there are also seventeen colleges and universities in the area that specialize in different areas of education.
Central Park is a huge benefit for families with kids. On the west side of the park that borders the neighborhood, there are many parks for kids to play in.
There are also many restaurants and local shops on the Upper West Side that families will find fun. You can find all types of food, and
As for crime in the area, the rates are low relative to the city’s average, and two police precincts cover the neighborhood. The crime rates in the area have also declined over the past three decades, so the neighborhood is getting safer.
#3 Astoria, Queens
Astoria is the neighborhood in northwest Queens that is closest to Manhattan. It is a family friendly neighborhood that offers the best proximity to the center of New York City without living there.
Astoria has the highest rent prices in the Queens borough. The highest prices are in the South Astoria area, which also has the easiest access to other areas of NYC. (Source: Rent Cafe: Queens)
Astoria has more than ten private schools in the community, so the neighborhood is best for families who want their kids to have a private school education.
Located on the East River and the north part of the neighborhood is Astoria Park. The park is the largest in the area, and it has the most community pools in NYC. There are also playgrounds, so it is one of the best places for family fun in Astoria.
#4 Forest Hills, Queens
Finally, Forest Hills is another great neighborhood in New York for families. It has mostly residential buildings, with some shops and restaurants as well.
Forest Hills is in the center of Queens, so it does not have the best proximity to other boroughs, but you can still get to the city center by train.
The benefit of this is that, compared to Astoria, apartments in Forest Hills have lower rent prices. (Source: Rent Cafe: Queens)
The neighborhood is one of the safest in NYC, with very low crime rates.
As for education, there are twelve public schools in the neighborhood and four private schools. A few of the private schools have religious affiliations.
There are also many green spaces near Forest Hills. The neighborhood is bordered by Forest Park and Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, two of the largest parks in Queens. There are also smaller playgrounds and parks throughout the area for kids to play in.
#5 Park Slope, Brooklyn
Park Slope is in Brooklyn, and its name comes from the sloping edge of the neighborhood that borders a neighboring park.
It is one of the most popular neighborhoods in New York City, and it is a great neighborhood for raising kids, especially for families who want to live in Brooklyn.
It is located in the northwestern part of Brooklyn. From Park Slope, it is easy to get into Manhattan by car and public transportation.
On the east side of the neighborhood is the family friendly Prospect Park. Prospect Park covers over five hundred acres, and it is Brooklyn’s second-largest park. Within the park, there are multiple playgrounds, gardens, picnic areas, and trails.
Rent costs are just over three thousand dollars on average. A single family will find their rent to be around the average, with larger families paying more.
The rent in Park Slope is higher than the average Brooklyn rent cost of two thousand eight hundred dollars. But, compared to rent in other areas of NYC, especially Manhattan, Park Slope is an affordable neighborhood for families. (Source: Rent Cafe: Brooklyn Neighborhoods)
The neighborhood also has fewer violent crimes than New York City as a whole and is one of the safer areas in Brooklyn.
There are many good schools in Park Slope. There are more than ten public schools in the neighborhood, including one educational campus with three high schools and one high school and middle school combination. There are also eleven private schools if families prefer them over a public school.
#6 Riverdale, Bronx
The neighborhood of Riverdale is a family friendly area in the Bronx, New York. It is in the northwest area of the Bronx, and the most northern part of NYC is located in the area.
There are three of the best private schools in NYC in Riverdale. There are also public school options, including multiple elementary schools and a middle and high school combination.
There are also some nearby schools outside of the neighborhood where kids in the community attend and a high school campus with four separate schools.
Wave Hill is a park in the neighborhood that combines a botanical garden and an outdoor art gallery. It is a fun place in the community to spend time with your family.
Also, Riverdale has one of the lowest crime rates in NYC, making it a great, safe place for families.
#7 Harlem, Manhattan
Harlem is in the northern part of Manhattan, across the Harlem River from the Bronx. Central Park borders the southern end of the neighborhood.
According to Rent Cafe, compared to rent in Battery Park City and the Upper West Side, Harlem has lower rent costs. Harlem’s average rent is $2,822 per month, which is much less than the more than four thousand dollars per month that residents of the other two neighborhoods pay. The rent price will vary depending on the size of your family and the size of your home, but it will be relatively cheaper to live in Harlem for a family.
There are thirteen public elementary schools, four combination middle and high schools, and one high school in Harlem. Despite the many public schools, more than a third of kids in Harlem attend charter schools.
In addition to Central Park on the neighborhood’s southern border, there are many other parks and playgrounds for kids to play on. The parks are scattered throughout the neighborhood, so there will be one close by your home, making it easy for your kids to play outside.
The one downside to Harlem is the higher rate of crime compared to the rest of the borough. The average crime rates are higher than the city averages as well. The crime does depend on what area of Harlem you are in, so you can find safe areas for you and your family.
There are great neighborhoods in the Big Apple to raise a family. You should consider education, safety, cost, and nearby family friendly NYC activities when choosing a place to live with your family.
The seven neighborhoods in this article are some of the best in New York for families, and you and your kids alike will love living in the city.
Are you thinking on relocating soon to one of the aforementioned neighborhoods, be sure to hire a New York moving company to help you pack and transfer your family belongings.