If you’ve got kids, you’ll know that your home town or city has to appeal to them as much as it appeals to you. If you’ve lived somewhere with very few amenities, then their cries of boredom will quickly have taught you that it’s time to move house.
Whether you’re looking for somewhere to live long-term, or somewhere to stay for a summer, these six places will guarantee that the kids can find things to do: Orlando, Florida What child wouldn’t want to live in Orlando? You’ll have dozens of theme parks right on your doorstep, and there are low-cost annual passes that give you unlimited access to keep the kids occupied whenever you’ve got free time. Orlando’s great if you’re an on-the-go family, and will always want something to do. Your family will never get bored of all the places to eat, play and shop.
Arlington, Nebraska Arlington’s a rural community where families can enjoy farming events, county fairs and outdoor sports. It’s considered a particularly safe place to live, but it’s definitely more suited to residents that enjoy a slower pace. Walks in the park and days at the swimming pool should be enough to keep your kids occupied, when they’re not busy learning in some of America’s best schools.
Celebration, Florida Celebration is a hit-and-miss place to live. Some people love it, and some consider it to be ‘creepy’. Why? Because Celebration is a master-planned census designated place (CDP), with every aspect of the town carefully planned and with resident’s subject to rules and regulations about everything from the colors of their curtains to the length of the grass on their lawns. In exchange for obeying those regulations, residents get to live in a picture-perfect town with year-round events, and hundreds of different activities.
Celebration is intended to be a place where residents thrive with a focus on health, education and community spirit – there are various parks and public sport facilities, and the people of Celebration really know how to celebrate events like Halloween and Christmas. In fact, even the Downtown lampposts throw out fake snow and Christmas music throughout the festive season. If you’re happy to live in a town that’s been described by some as ‘the fifth Disney theme park’, and if you’re prepared to strive for physical and mental perfection, then Celebration has plenty to offer.
Belle Plainer, Kansas Belle Plainer is an old-fashioned Kansas town where a sense of community spirit is fostered, and where people are particularly proud of their schools and their parks. If you live in Belle Plainer then you’ll probably get involved in a whole host of community activities, and you’ll no doubt grow some of your own fruit and vegetables to put on the kitchen table. Almost 40% of Belle Plainer households have kids under the age of 18, and being close to Wichita has provided the people of Belle Plainer with plenty of job opportunities.
Collinsville, Connecticut Collinsville has a reputation for being ‘cool’, which puts it amongst the best places not just to raise a family, but to raise happy teenagers. You’ll have no trouble finding parks and open spaces, but your kids can spend their time kayaking, eating pizza with their friends and enjoying live music events and festivals.
Peachtree City, Georgia Peachtree City’s one of the safest cities in America for kids that want independence. Narrow, car-free streets all around the city make it easy to get around on foot, and restrictions also allow for anyone wanting to get around on roller blades, skateboards or bikes. On top of that, anyone over the age of 12 can travel those same streets by driving golf carts limited to a maximum speed of 20 mph. Those golf carts can be seen all over Peachtree, with teenagers and adults using them as alternatives to cars. Between the ages of 12 and 15, kids must be accompanied by adults but can be in control of the vehicle.
Once they reach the age of 16, they can get around the city without a driving license. Kids and teenagers will thrive on the extra freedom, and will have no trouble making use of Peachtree’s amenities and leisure facilities. That’s great news, because the city has some incredible lakes and biking trails as well as fantastic shops and restaurants.
Peachtree prides itself on ‘resort living’, where residents can spend time outdoors and enjoy a world-class sporting facilities and a varied calendar of events. Do you have anywhere to add to our list? Share your thoughts on the best family-friendly places to live in America. David Wilson writes for Area Vibes, the specialists in the best places to live in America.