Kids in the City – Raising a Family Without the White Picket Fence

According to 2010 Census Bureau data, 6.3% of New York City residents are children under age five. That means that more than 1 in every 20 people living in the city is a young child. Families that in the past would have chosen to move to the suburbs to raise their children are deciding with ever increasing frequency to stay in New York City. Apartments in the city are notoriously small and lacking in outdoor space. So, how are families managing to live and even thrive without the suburban yard with a white picket fence?

In the outer boroughs, it’s possible to have a single family house with a yard, and even in Manhattan it’s possible to find apartments with outdoor space of some sort, be it a patio, a common green space, or a rooftop deck. For those without access to outdoor space of their own, according to New York City’s Department of Parks and Recreation, “New York City has more than 1,700 parks, playgrounds, and recreation facilities across the five boroughs. Parks properties range from swimming pools to wetlands and from woodlands to skating rinks.” There is no shortage of opportunity for outdoor play for city kids.

Many of New York City’s neighborhoods are filled with families, making it easy to connect with other people in the same life stage, and providing ample opportunity for play dates and friendships close to home. There are also multiple parent/child groups and organizations which provide support and camaraderie. In many of these neighborhoods, businesses are also family friendly, and it’s common to see parents and children dining together in restaurants, visiting museums and attending events. New York City is also a wonderful and welcoming place for non-traditional families.

Though the competitiveness of getting your child into the “right” NYC school has been the subject of many jokes, the fact is, there are hundreds of choices, both public and private, allowing parents to find the right fit for their children. There are French language schools, science schools, schools for the arts, and more. In terms of educational options, if you can imagine it, New York City probably has it.

Developers also recognize that many families are choosing to stay in the city and accounting for this in their building plans. It is possible to find a building with kid friendly amenities like a swimming pool or a play room. Even some older buildings are reworking amenities to create family friendly spaces like rec rooms and lending libraries. With everything that the city has to offer, it really has become an excellent first choice for families.

Image via edenpictures

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