What towns/areas have the best parenting networks?

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from ml2620-2. Show ml2620-2's posts

    What towns/areas have the best parenting networks?

    Some friends have announced they are expecting a baby, their first - and are in the process of house hunting right now.

    They both have family far away, and are planning to move to a totally new area (for them), and DH and I strongly recommended they find an area that has a great parenting network/mom's group.

    We can certainly speak to our area, Newburyport Mom's Club has been so helpful to us in getting us settled and in the know in our area, not to mention all the friends we have made and the hand-me-downs we have traded. But I don't know about other areas.

    They have a l budget for the new house of under $350K, and are looking at communities with that price point. Can anyone recommend a good area with a strong parenting network that will help get them settled in a new area as a new family?

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: What towns/areas have the best parenting networks?

    Where will they be working, and what kind of commute is acceptable?  home price and proximity to jobs need to be the first considerations then add-on wish list things can be discussed within those constraints...for the least complicated approach, anyway, IMO.

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from ml2620-2. Show ml2620-2's posts

    Re: What towns/areas have the best parenting networks?

    They understand they are facing a 1.5 hour commute each way into their jobs in Cambridge and will eventually find work closer to home, once they know where home will be.

    It's actually more of a general question - what areas and towns have the best parent networks?

     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from Winter2011Bride. Show Winter2011Bride's posts

    Re: What towns/areas have the best parenting networks?

    Not sure of parent networks, but they could afford a house in Stoneham, Wakefield, and Reading with that budget and all have very good school systems. Also the commute wouldn't be near an 1.5 ride. 

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from Winter2011Bride. Show Winter2011Bride's posts

    Re: What towns/areas have the best parenting networks?

    I see you said 350K budget. I still think they could do it. 

     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from GoneToTheDogs39. Show GoneToTheDogs39's posts

    Re: What towns/areas have the best parenting networks?

    Sharon, they can find a nice starter home in that price range, it is a very family oriented town and the school system is excellent.   Also you have commuter rail to Boston/Providence.

     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from GoneToTheDogs39. Show GoneToTheDogs39's posts

    Re: What towns/areas have the best parenting networks?

    If your friends decide to look in the Sharon area, I highly recommend

    • Marc Cohen Real Estate
    • Phone: 781-784-8822
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from GoneToTheDogs39. Show GoneToTheDogs39's posts

    Re: What towns/areas have the best parenting networks?

     

     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from kiwigal. Show kiwigal's posts

    Re: What towns/areas have the best parenting networks?

    Personally, I think there are great parent networks almost everywhere, so that one factor shouldn't drive their choice. Everyone here is talking about the burbs, but we live in the city and can't imagine not living here. There are tons of things to do, and many of them are both free and walkable. But, the truth is, most of our parent network is our neighbors and the other parents from daycare. They will presumably get that in many places.

    For me, I would look at commute (because that's valuable time not spent with family), community feel (suburban vs urban, diversity, local amenities--we can walk to a bunch of restaurants with lots of different cuisine choices, school and daycare options, proximity to friends and family (if applicable), proximity to major routes if they travel a lot or have frequent guests, etc. 

     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: What towns/areas have the best parenting networks?

    The other thing to consider is a town's likemindedness or lack thereof with you.  Pick a community that is politically and socially your cup of tea and the parents group in that community will be people you identify with. A parenting group/network that is a perfect fit for one family can be far too liberal or conservative for another.  

     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

    Re: What towns/areas have the best parenting networks?

    Honestly, I think they need to determine what kind of commute they can handle and then decide what town they can afford to live in within that radius, and then what town they want to pick from that group.  If you are spending hours commuting in traffic every day, you aren't going to have any time to spend going to parenting events or socializing.  Also, if they are totally new to the area, why wouldn't they rent before buying to decide if  they want to stay there permanently?  Renting is not limited to apartments -there are townhouses and single family homes for rent [many more than you would think].  You can get the experience of living in a neighborhood in any town without being tied there if your make a wrong choice.  It's much easier to pick and move when your lease is up than it is to sell a house and buy a new one in another town if you decide that your first choice was wrong for your family.  While the services available to new parents may be important to a family deciding to buy a house, I think it would be pretty low on the list compared to length of commute and affordable towns. 

     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from ajuly09. Show ajuly09's posts

    Re: What towns/areas have the best parenting networks?

    Yes I also ditto the commuting comments.   Dealing with a smaller house is much easier than the toll that commuting long distances (especially with children).   Long commutes can cause lots of stress in a family.  

     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from ml2620-2. Show ml2620-2's posts

    Re: What towns/areas have the best parenting networks?

    I know, our friends aren't basing their home purchase on my one little tidbit of advice, obviously commute is paramount. I wasn't really asking for home buying advice.

    I should have reframed the question but the edit function is not available, even on a PC!

    What I was really asking was to give a shout out to any of the parenting networks or Mom's groups that you are a member of, that you find very helpful.

     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from Trouble30. Show Trouble30's posts

    Re: What towns/areas have the best parenting networks?

    ML, I get what you are asking.  DH and I are sort of debating moving because we live in a town (Sherborn) where the houses are far apart and everyone goes up their long driveways and there are no sidewalks for kids to play on.  We chose it before we had kids because of the excellent reputation of the schools here, but I don't think that we would have chosen it if we had small children at the time.   

    I'd love to know about other towns where there is a great community feel and things are walkable.  Where I don't have to pack my kids in the car whenever I want to leave the house.  Places like Natick Center (I think they have a great Moms group) or Newton or East Arlington - what are some more with that kind of feel?  Oh, and being on a train line is important too.

     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from am1028. Show am1028's posts

    Re: What towns/areas have the best parenting networks?

    Dedham has a great parenting network.  And would have a decent commute and some affordable homes.  The elementary schools are for the most part good as well.

    https://www.bigtent.com/groups/dedhampt

     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from Daisy75. Show Daisy75's posts

    Re: What towns/areas have the best parenting networks?

    My mother takes my 3 yr. old twins 4 days/week.  She lives in Medford and the Medford Family Network is amazing.  They have FREE playgroups--at the high school in fall/winter, and at various playgrounds in the summer (different playground each day).  The people who run the playgroups are fantastic and really do a lot with the kids and provide A LOT of toys and arts and crafts materials, do stories and singing, etc.  I'm amazed that it's available for free.  My mother always passes the MFN newsletter on to me and it's several pages of activities, workshops, events, etc.  Medford is also very close to Boston and generally more affordable than the surrounding communities.  It has commuter rail access and I think it's eventually supposed to get the green line.  Not to mention the incredible recreational opportunities at the Middlesex Fells.  All this being said, I don't know a lot about the school system, but I think the community as a whole is nice and we looked at a lot of houses there, but didn't find what we wanted and ended up farther north.

     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: What towns/areas have the best parenting networks?

    Love the Medford suggestion, daisy.  if they have super long commutes they won't have time or energy for these groups...or anything else.  Commuting sucks!

     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from nell98. Show nell98's posts

    Re: What towns/areas have the best parenting networks?

    Hamilton Wenham Mother's club is wonderful... Warm welcome and freshly baked scones upon moving to the neighborhood... Meals when our baby was born... Tons of activities for parents and kids, free playgroups, ways to meet other families etc.

     

     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from LiveLoveLearnEnjoy. Show LiveLoveLearnEnjoy's posts

    Re: What towns/areas have the best parenting networks?

    I would recommend Melrose.  There is the babycafe when she has the baby and wants to nurse.  You can meet a lot of new moms right off the bat.  There is also the north suburban family network that has infant groups, toddler groups, just general play times as well as a lot of additional stuff.  Melrose has a really nice downtown where you will find lots of families on weekends walking around and enjoying the area even in the winter.  There are a lot of things for kids in general.  I'm pretty sure they could find something in that price range and commuting to cambridge is not bad by T at all; my husband currently does it and he drops off our two kids at daycare at 8am and gets into the city by 9:15. 

     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from KAM2007. Show KAM2007's posts

    Re: What towns/areas have the best parenting networks?

    I think Trouble pointed out the main thing-the neighborhood structure. If there are long driveways and houses spaces far apart then the community connection will be more difficult to find.

    Trouble-I live two towns away from you (let me know if you're up for playdates), and half of my town the houses are spaced far apart, but our neighborhood we can all see each other, see the kids playing in the quiet street-much more sense of community here.

    One thing to look at when deciding on the town is the recreation department & Library. Look at the classes offered and you'll get a sense of what there is to do for families, singles, aging community. Our town rec dept will post the parent's network play group times. There are always a lot of courses for young kids every seaons. Unfortunately they are mostly offered during the week. These two sources will give a good indication of what's easily available to new families.  

     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from kiwigal. Show kiwigal's posts

    Re: What towns/areas have the best parenting networks?

    Since we are now plugging specific areas, I'll put in my plug for the West Roxbury/Roslindale area. It's a great balance of urban and suburban (we are on the commuter rail and bus lines, can walk to most things, but also have a yard and lots of playgrounds). There are lots of kids/family activities through the Y and the Roche Family Center. If you add JP into the mix, there are a ton of parent and child meet-ups and activities.

     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from clc51510. Show clc51510's posts

    Re: What towns/areas have the best parenting networks?

    I think most towns have something to offer if you're willing to participate.  For me, the new moms group at Cape Cod Hospital was amazing.  It's free and offered every Friday from 10-12.  I went every week that I could over the summer while on leave.  I was able to make friends with 6 other new moms and now that we are all back to work we are meeting once a month or so on a Saturday.  We've also started our own message board and keep in touch every day.  On the other hand, my coworker who had her baby two months after me hasn't been to that group at all.  She's just not interested. 

    I think your friends could find the community feel they are looking for in most towns if they are willing to be proactive.

     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from medfordcc. Show medfordcc's posts

    Re: What towns/areas have the best parenting networks?

    yeah, Medford!  Daisy, maybe I've seen your mom and twins at some of those outdoor playgroups.  I agree that they're pretty great.  Also, there are tons of kids at the playground all the time.  And the Somerville Moms yahoo group pretty much covers a lot of Medford dwellers as well.

    People worry about schools in Medford, but I think they're fine.  People have to remember that test scores correlate to family income, and Medford does have some lower income areas.  I spend a lot of time in the schools and I always come away thinking they're no different than anywhere else.

    That said, we're thinking about looking for a single family (we have a condo) and I'm not sure if we will stay in Medford.  It's definitely more affordable than some of the other "close" suburbs (Arlington, Somerville), but we might be able to get more a little farther out.  I'm really torn about this.  It would be great to have more space and a little yard, but I don't want to leave behind our walks, playgrounds, et cetera.

     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from GoneToTheDogs39. Show GoneToTheDogs39's posts

    Re: What towns/areas have the best parenting networks?

    Something you may want to take into consideration when choosing a town or city to live in.

    http://www.cityrating.com/crime-statistics/massachusetts/

     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from Trouble30. Show Trouble30's posts

    Re: What towns/areas have the best parenting networks?

    KAM: Too funny!  Totally!  My DS and your DD are just a month or so apart, right?  Let's do it! :)

     
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