There are many reasons why thousands of families relocate to Chicago each year.
The Windy City has something for everyone, from its world-class museums and attractions to its vibrant nightlife and dining scene.
Families can also find affordable housing in safe neighborhoods with good schools, and there are plenty of parks and recreational activities to keep kids busy.
Plus, Chicago is centrally located which makes it easy to travel to other parts of the country.
This article explores a few useful tips for finding a family-friendly neighborhood in this city.
Let’s jump straight in!
Research the neighborhoods
For this step, you can use online resources, such as the City of Chicago’s website, to find information on each neighborhood.
You can also talk to friends and family who live here or visit the city yourself to get a feel of the different areas.
A few questions to ask yourself include:
What kind of schools are in the area?
If you have school-age children, you’ll want to make sure they have access to quality education. Check out test scores and read reviews from parents to get a sense of the schools in the area.
Is the neighborhood safe?
This is a top priority for many families. Look up crime statistics for the area and read local news stories to find out what’s going on in the neighborhood.
What are the housing options like?
If you’re looking for a family-friendly home, you’ll want to make sure there are plenty of options available in your price range.
Use an online search tool like Zillow to see what’s on the market.
For temporary housing, we highly recommend Blueground, one of the best providers of furnished apartments in Chicago.
What are the nearby amenities?
When you have kids, it’s important to have things like parks and playgrounds nearby.
You’ll also want to make sure there are grocery stores, pharmacies, and other conveniences close to you.
Consider your budget
Think about what you can afford especially in terms of rent and the cost of living and use that as a starting point when searching for a new neighborhood.
For starters, housing costs can vary significantly depending on the area you pick. For example, places like the West Loop and River North tend to be more expensive than say Hyde Park and Pilsen.
The same applies to the cost of living. Neighborhoods like Lincoln Park and Lakeview have higher prices for things like groceries and dining out compared to the likes of Armory Park and Bridgeport.
Safety should be a top priority
Making sure your family is safe should be your number one priority when moving to a new neighborhood. To find out more about how safe (or unsafe) an area is, consider taking the following steps:
Research the crime statistics for different neighborhoods
The Chicago Police Department’s website is a good resource for this.
Talk to people who already live in the neighborhood
Most will be happy to give you first-hand information about what it’s like to live there.
Pay attention to your gut feeling
If a neighborhood doesn’t feel safe, it probably isn’t.
This is particularly crucial if you have young children or have to commute to work every day. A great family-friendly neighborhood will have plenty of things to do for families.
When looking, consider aspects and features like the availability of playgrounds, parks, museums, and other attractions. You should also look for neighborhoods with good restaurants and shopping options.
Also, if you’re going to be commuting into the city for work or school, you’ll want to make sure your commute is manageable.
Look for neighborhoods that are close to public transportation or highways to make getting around town easier.
If you’re keen on combining both the city’s entertainment with a comfortable stay, some areas are known for their proximity to famous landmarks and quality accommodations.
For example, there are several Sonesta hotels near the famous Chicago Theatre. This not only offers a chance for a memorable night out but ensures you’re never too far from the heart of the city’s cultural scene.
Remember, balancing convenience with recreational options can make your urban living experience truly fulfilling.
Don’t forget to check noise levels
Noise levels can be a determining factor in how comfortable you feel in your own home.
If you live in a neighborhood with lots of traffic, honking horns, and sirens, it can be difficult to get a good night’s sleep or concentrate on work from home.
You may want to look for a neighborhood that has relatively low traffic noise or is located away from busy streets.
Additionally, take into account the types of businesses and schools near your potential new home – loud nightclubs, for example, can make it difficult to live peacefully.
With its abundance of amenities, cultural diversity, and family-friendly activities, it is no wonder that Chicago is so popular among families.
Whether you’re looking for quality schools or just a safe neighborhood with plenty of green spaces and playgrounds nearby, the Windy City has it all.
Even so, be sure to do your research before making any decisions—talk with locals in the area, and consult city crime statistics if needed—so that you can find the perfect Chicago neighborhood that’s right for your family. Good luck!