You may have thought that suburban life would be best for the kids, but find yourself longing for an urban setting again. You're not alone -- there's an increasing trend for people to leave the suburbs for city dwelling instead -- or to suburbs that immediately ring the urban center. However, that trend mainly is among young adults who don't yet have kids and older adults who are empty nesters.
Consider the advantages of urban life for children and features to look for in family-friendly city apartments and neighborhoods. This can help you decide whether this is the best choice for your own family.
Three Advantages Of Urban Life For Youngsters
Living in a far-flung suburb means having to travel many miles to urban amenities such as museums and art galleries. Many suburban residents never bother. In contrast, when you're only a short distance away, you have better motivation to bring your kids to these places. Even children's museums tend to be located in urban settings. It's a rich educational environment for children and teenagers.
Some suburbs are characterized by diverse populations, but they usually can't compete with the city. There, children grow up with people from many different countries and cultural backgrounds. They meet kids of different religious faiths. They hear a variety of languages and see people in unusual attire. In addition, it's easy to bring your children to a myriad of ethnic restaurants where they can try numerous types of food.
These multicultural experiences tend to make kids more worldly. They become more sensitive to individuals from diverse backgrounds. They feel more confident when they head off to college or a work setting where they might interact with people from all over the globe.
A Shorter Work Commute For The Parents
If you work in the city, it's no wonder you would like to move there. When you only need a few minutes instead of a half hour or full hour to get to work, you get more time with your children. That's an advantage for the entire family.
Three Features To Look For
Access To An Excellent School
Even if you've dramatically decreased your work commute, you probably don't want to substantially increase your child's distance from school. Investigate the public and private school options in neighborhoods that appeal to you before committing to a rental.
A Nearby Park Or Other Green Space
Many parents want a backyard for their kids, but other green spaces can be just as beneficial. Look for apartment communities near parks or a school playground. You may be able to find an apartment complex with a courtyard that has plenty of green space where kids are welcome to play. There may be playground equipment for the little ones.
You may even find a place to live that's near an urban community garden -- perhaps one you could become a member of and where your kids could participate in fun activities.
If you visit an apartment for rent and the surrounding neighborhood and see very few youngsters, you may want to look elsewhere. Children thrive in a community of other kids their age. They'll appreciate having continuous opportunities to socialize outside of a school or other structured setting.
What You Can Do Now
You may not be totally sure whether city life is right for your family, even though you feel a strong attraction to the idea. Discuss your idea with parents you know personally who live in an urban environment. Start browsing online for apartment possibilities and spend some time in neighborhoods you find appealing. Talk to people you encounter there. If you do decide to make the move, you'll know you're making a well-informed decision.