Best Philadelphia Neighborhoods for Families

Best Philadelphia Neighborhoods for Families

Are you preparing for an upcoming move to (or within) the City of Brotherly Love? Choosing where to live is not always an easy decision. Choosing where to raise your family can be even more difficult. From quality education and activities to safety and affordability, there are several factors to consider when planning your family’s relocation. To help you out we have asked some of our local Philadelphia movers to share their favorite family-friendly Philly neighborhoods.

1. Chestnut Hill: A Quaint Oasis for Philly Families

Nestled in the northwestern part of Philadelphia, Chestnut Hill is ideal for families in search of a small-town feel close to the city. Known locally as Philadelphia’s ‘Garden District’ because of its expansive green spaces, Chestnut Hill offers plenty of outdoor activities where the kiddos can burn off energy.

Several spacious parks are located in and around the neighborhood, including Pastorius Park, Cooke Park, and Wissahickon Valley Park. Wissahickon Valley Park has a playground and picnic area, providing the perfect location for weekend activities. 

Chestnut Hill is also home to some of the city’s top-ranked schools, making it an ideal location for parents prioritizing their children’s education. The public Central High School and private Springside Chestnut Hill Academy consistently rank among Philadelphia’s best schools. This also means enrollment competition is higher, so keep that in mind when planning your move.

Fun fact: Chestnut Hill is known for its historic architecture and is home to the Chestnut Hill Historic District, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The area features charming cobblestone streets and well-preserved 19th and early 20th-century buildings, giving it a unique and picturesque character.

2. Mount Airy: A Diverse Philadelphia Community with Welcoming Neighbors

Situated in the northwestern part of Philadelphia, Mount Airy stands out for its diverse community and welcoming atmosphere. Families are drawn to the neighborhood’s tree-lined streets, walkability, and strong sense of community. Here, neighbors tend to look out for and help one another. The result is a safe environment perfect for raising a family.

Mount Airy is a walkable neighborhood that offers family-friendly activities, including farmers’ markets, cultural festivals, and community events. The Mount Airy Main Street Farmers’ Market runs from June to September yearly and features fun events like Music at the Market and MAMSFM Kids! Club. Kids 5 – 15 are invited to join the club and engage in the local food system through ‘educational games and demonstrations.’

The neighborhood is also close to the Awbury Arboretum. The arboretum is free and open to the public, with grounds featuring curated gardens, AdventureWoods, and the Farm at Awbury.

Fun fact: In Colonial times, Mt. Airy was Philadelphia’s original summer resort. The neighborhood is named after its first “vacation home”: Mount Airy, the summer estate built by local merchant William Allen. The name was inspired by the refreshing breezes that blew past his hilltop home.

3. Manayunk: Family-Friendly Space with Urban Convenience

Located along the banks of the Schuylkill River, Manayunk strikes a perfect balance between nature and urban convenience. Families in Manayunk enjoy easy access to many parks, including Fairview, Boone, and Pretzel parks. Meanwhile, Kendrick Recreation Center has a local public pool called the ‘bathie’ where children can practice paddling or cool down in the summer heat. For outdoor enthusiasts, Manayunk is also a gateway to the Schuylkill River Trail, ideal for biking, picnics, and family strolls.

Like Mount Airy, the neighborhood is celebrated for its strong sense of community and is reportedly safer than 86% of Philadelphia Neighborhoods, per U.S. News. Gather the family and enjoy local events like Stroll the Street, Streat Food Festival, and Dog Day of Summer. MNYK Events also hosts Halloween in Manayunk, a spooky kid-friendly Halloween celebration along Main Street, and Holidays in Manayunk, which includes a tree lighting festival and festive fun run for all ages.

Fun fact: Manayunk is best known for Manayunk Wall. Located by Jerry Casale and David Chauner when they were laying out the Manayunk Bike Race course in 1985, the wall is infamous for its challenging 17 percent incline. Sadly, the popular bike race is no more.

4. Queen Village: Historic Charm and Contemporary Living in this Philly Gem

Queen Village, one of Philadelphia’s oldest neighborhoods, seamlessly combines historic charm with contemporary living. While the area may be best known for its cobblestone streets, colonial-era architecture, and Instagram post-worthy coffee shops, it is also an ideal place to raise a family.

For one, Queen Village features many parks and playgrounds, like Mario Lanza Park and Weccacoe Playground, providing ample space for games of tag and hide-and-seek. Its residents are also within walking distance to excellent public and private schools including Meredith Elementary School, St Peter’s School, and Bethel Baptist Academy.

Like other neighborhoods on this list, Queen Village has a reputation for being safe and community-driven. The Queen Village Neighbors Association is very active and welcoming, and even has its own Instagram account where residents can easily access information and resources. QVNA-organized family-friendly events include the South Street Pumpkin Fest and LOVE YOUR PARK Service Day. There are also frequent town halls where residents are invited to share opinions and voice concerns about their community.

Fun fact: Queen Village played a role in the filming of the iconic movie “Philadelphia,” starring Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington.

5. Fitler Square: A Tranquil Community for Philadelphia Families

Looking to keep your kids active and educated? Look no further because Phildelphia’s Fitler Square neighborhood is perfect for you. This Philly gem is home to Greenfield Elementary School, the Lombard Swim Club, Schuylkill River Park, and tons of family-friendly events. And, once your children have graduated from elementary, they won’t have to go very far to find quality middle and high-school education. The highly regarded Franklin Benjamin High School and The Philadelphia School are both located close to the area.

Fitler Square is mainly a residential neighborhood and features a plethora of single-family homes that are perfect for growing families. As of November 2023, the average home value here is $759,993 with values decreasing about 0.4% from the previous year.

Fun fact: This peaceful neighborhood is named in honor of former mayor of Philadelphia, Edwin Henry Fitler. 

Choosing the right neighborhood is a crucial decision for any family, and Philadelphia’s diverse offerings make it an excellent city for those seeking a family-friendly environment. Whether you prefer the historic charm of Queen Village, the diversity of Mount Airy, or the perfect blend of nature and urban convenience in Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia has a neighborhood to suit every family’s unique needs and preferences.

Are you planning a local or long-distance Philly move? Hire professional Philadelphia movers like Gentle Giant to take away the stress of the move! Check out our moving checklist for further information on how to prepare and use our free move estimate tool to determine the cost of your relocation.