We all know Chicago’s the perfect place for singles and young professionals to thrive — its neverending list of entertainment, shopping, food, education, and career options (among many other things) is virtually unbeatable. But is Chicago a good place to raise a family? Absolutely! Take, for example, the fact that it’s teeming with art, culture, diversity, and plenty of green spaces to go around — not to mention top-notch attractions — and it’s clear that the Windy City is an excellent place to raise a family, as well. 

Are you and your family thinking about a move to Chicago? Or are you already proud residents but you want to check out another part of the city as your family grows? Either way, you have plenty of options when it comes to family-friendly neighborhoods in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. 

But when you’re thinking about a move with your family, there are a lot of things to consider. First, you’ll need to address the elephant in the room: crime in Chi-Town. Chicago is a big city (with a big reputation for crime), but the crime statistics seem to be concentrated in certain neighborhoods. You’ll likely be just fine in the area you’re looking in, but it’s important to do your research. Determine if the neighborhood you’re interested in is one of the safest Chicago neighborhoods by checking out crime rates and statistics.

You have plenty of options when it comes to family-friendly neighborhoods in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. 

Another factor to consider when looking for the best family neighborhoods in Chicago is the availability of schools in the area. Do you want your kids to go to a Chicago Public School or a private school? Charter school or magnet school?

And, finally, what’s in the area that makes it great for families? For example, you’ll want to make sure there are easily accessible parks, playgrounds, and shopping nearby. 

Seems overwhelming? Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered! Check out who makes our list of top 12 family-friendly neighborhoods in Chicago — plus 3 family-centered suburbs — (in no particular order) right here!

The best neighborhoods for families in Chicago

1. Greektown

• Typical Home Value:
• Crime and Safety:
• Family Attractions:
• Best Schools: Northside College Prep High School, Skinner Elementary School

Greektown not only has some fantastic foodie destinations, but it’s also a great neighborhood to get out and explore with the kids. Millennium Park is one of the best areas to take the family for a day out, but you can also also check out Mary Bartelme Park, which has an extensive area for kids to play. This neighborhood is a great place for families to spend time together, either outdoors or inside!

2. Lincoln Square

• Typical Home Value:
• Crime and Safety:
• Family Attractions: Small businesses,
• Best Schools: Payton College Prep High School, Hawthorne Scholastic Academy (Elementary/Middle)

Lincoln Square is a leafy Chicago neighborhood that’s great for growing families. There are plenty of options when it comes to houses or condos, and the neighborhood is easy to get around. There are lots of family-friendly events in the community, and residents love how centrally located this neighborhood is.

A light-colored, two-story brick home in the Edison Park neighborhood of Chicago.

3. Edison Park

• Typical Home Value:
• Crime and Safety:
• Family Attractions:
• Best Schools: Whitney M. Young Magnet High School, Decatur Classical School (Elementary)

If your family likes to spend time outdoors, Edison Park has got you covered. There are all kinds of green spaces and parks to explore, which include lots of fun play areas for kids. This tight-knit community is a great place to raise kids because it’s affordable, safe, and very friendly.

Q: What is the safest place in Chicago to live?
A: If safety is top of mind and you want to live in the city, try out neighborhoods like Lincoln Square, Rogers Park, or Edison Park.

4. Rogers Park

• Typical Home Value:
• Crime and Safety:
• Family Attractions: , ,  
• Best Schools: Jones College Prep High School, Skinner North Elementary School

If your family has always wanted to live near the beach, Rogers Park is the place to be. With access to the lakefront, it’s easy to spend a day in the water or picnicking on the beach. If you have some budding bikers in the family, there is also easy access to the Lakefront Trail, which is ideal for walking with a stroller too.

Brick residential buildings in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago, seen from above.

5. Lincoln Park

• Typical Home Value:
• Crime and Safety:
• Family Attractions:
• Best Schools: Payton College Prep High School, Abraham Lincoln Elementary School

Lincoln Park is a family-friendly Chicago neighborhood that is a joy to explore. Kids will love being in easy walking distance of the zoo, as well as the nature boardwalk and museum. In addition, this area is close to North Avenue Beach. Don’t forget about all the summer festivals that take place each year, which are fun for the whole family!

6. West Loop

• Average Home Sale Price:
• Crime and Safety:
• Family Attractions:
• Best Schools: Lindblom Math and Science Academy High School, Skinner Elementary School

The West Loop is a bustling area where you’ll always see families out strolling around the neighborhood. Whether it’s playdates at the parks, catching a basketball or hockey game at the United Center, or even participating in kid-friendly exercises (like superhero training and kickboxing) at POW! Kids West Loop, this place has easy access to fun and engaging activities. 

7. Forest Glen

• Average Home Sale Price:
• Crime and Safety:
• Family Attractions:
• Best Schools: Westinghouse College Prep, Keller Regional Gifted Center (Elementary/Middle)

Forest Glen is a great area to raise a family, full of single-family homes and easy-to-navigate streets. In addition to a walkable neighborhood, your family can also explore the beautiful green areas close by, such as Caldwell Woods. The nearby North Branch Trail is great for bike rides, walks, and getting glimpses of local wildlife and birds.

Insider Tip: If you’re moving to a new downtown Chicago neighborhood, consider checking out PODS City Service — a service specifically designed for the intricacies that accompany moving to the big city.

8. Avondale

• Average Home Sale Price:
• Crime and Safety:
• Family Attractions:
• Best Schools: Jones College Prep High School, Lenhart Elementary Regional Gifted Center

Avondale is a Chicago neighborhood that’s safe and affordable for families. It’s an easy commute to most of the city, but you’ll have plenty to do in your own backyard! Whether it’s cooling off at the pool, picnicking in the park, or taking in story time at the Avondale Coffee Club, there’s a whole lot to do with young ones in this welcoming neighborhood.

9. Near South Side

• Average Home Sale Price:
• Crime and Safety:
• Family Attractions: , ,
• Best Schools: DeVry University Advantage Academy High School, STEM Magnet Academy Elementary School

This family neighborhood in Chicago is close to all kinds of family-friendly activities. Have a day at the Field Museum, or take some time to explore the popular Shedd Aquarium. Near South Side is also conveniently located near shopping and transit, so you can take the family out to explore Chicago! 

10. Andersonville

• Typical Home Value:
• Crime and Safety:
• Family Attractions:
• Best Schools: Northside College Prep High School, Keller Regional Gifted Center

Andersonville is full of beautiful old homes, charming local businesses, and lots of space for growing families. Here you can indulge in sweet shops like George’s Ice Cream and Sweets, or take in Story Hour at the Women and Children First Bookstore, then check out all the toys at the local Toys et Cetera. Enjoy getting outside for a stroll or a bike ride, or a day at the nearby Foster Beach!

11. Logan Square

• Typical Home Value:
• Crime and Safety:
• Family Attractions:
• Best Schools: Westinghouse College Prep, Decatur Classical School (Elementary/Middle)

Enjoy walking down the beautiful streets of Logan Square, full of trees and lovely green space. You can also check out the runners track with your jogging stroller that borders all that lovely green space. There are plenty of play areas in Palmer Square Park, and when you’re done, head over to the *play store that houses toys, games, books, sweets, and more.

11. Hyde Park

• Typical Home Value:
• Crime and Safety:
• Family Attractions:
• Best Schools: Whitney M. Young Magnet High School, Poe Elementary Classical School

This bustling and family-friendly neighborhood is only seven miles from The Loop, which means you and your family are centrally located to almost everything! Have a day at the 57th St. Beach, check out Jackson Park and the cherry blossoms, or get Insta-worthy photos at Promontory Point. There are plenty of local shops nearby, as well, and this walkable community is known for its friendly atmosphere.

Family-friendly neighborhoods in Chicago suburbs

1. Libertyville

• Typical Home Value:
• Crime and Safety:
• Family Attractions: , ,
• Best Schools: Vernon Hills High School, Oak Grove Elementary School

Libertyville is north of the city and has all kinds of hiking and biking paths that connect to the larger Lake County System for a fun day outdoors in this quiet suburb. You can also head over to Libertyville’s parks for playtime during any season and try out ice skating, sledding, picnicking, and athletic fields with the kids. 

Q: What is the best Chicago suburb to raise a family?
A: There are lots of great Chicago suburbs where you can raise a family. Among the top (and depending on your budget) are Libertyville, La Grange, and Riverside, but Naperville is definitely worth checking out, as well..

2. La Grange

• Typical Home Value:
• Crime and Safety:
• Family Attractions: ,
• Best Schools: Lyons Township High School, Spring Avenue Elementary School

This family-friendly Chicago suburb extends midwestern vibes and welcomes anyone who makes their home here. The downtown area is full of busy, local businesses, including coffee shops and boutiques great for spending a day out and about. You can also enjoy time outside with your family on the over 200 miles of trails at the nearby Forest Preserve District of Cook County!

3. Riverside

• Typical Home Value:
• Crime and Safety:
• Family Attractions: Big Ball Park, , Harrington Park
• Best Schools: Riverside Brookfield Township High School, A.F. Ames Elementary School

Families love the suburban feel of this neighborhood that’s still close enough to the big city. With lots of outdoor areas to enjoy, including access to the Des Plaines River, you’ll be busy taking the kids for walks or bike rides. The Brookfield Zoo is also nearby, which is a great idea for a family day out!

A family of four is loading their PODS portable moving container as they prepare for their move to Chicago.

Move your family to Chicago with PODS

No matter what Chicago neighborhood or suburb you choose, PODS is there to help you with the big move. The best part? That includes flexibility. Sometimes the best way to learn what neighborhood is best for your family is to rent first and buy later. And when you use PODS moving and storage containers, you can always store your belongings at a local storage center until you find your dream home. It’s simple: When you’re ready, PODS will deliver your container to your door, where you can unpack at your convenience.

For more about what to expect moving to and living in The Second City, check out The PODS Blog!


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