50 Reasons to Raise Kids in Philadelphia


With so many friends considering moving to the suburbs, especially considering the current school district situation, I want to remind myself (and anyone else on the fence) all of the rewarding things about raising a family in the city. Despite the problems that I surely vent about, we couldn’t be dragged from our home by wild horse-and-carriages. While I totally respect everyone’s right to do what is best for their family, whether it be urban, suburban, rural or traveling the world in an RV, here are just a few reasons why we love it here and think you might, too!



  1. I’m convinced that city kids (not to mention the parents) get more exercise. We walk, bike and scoot everywhere.
  2. Free public pools and sprinkler parks
  3. Enough realistic diversity in culture, race and sexual orientation that our children never even question the differences.
  4. Arts, history and culture galore – from zoos to children’s museums, we are never at a loss for things to do and see.
  5. Amazing restaurants and bars within walking distance. No drinking and driving and no date nights at Olive Garden.
  6. Almost every day hosts another festival, fair or special family-friendly event. And we never have to worry about parking to see parades!
  7. Less driving – I can’t even imagine piling the kids in a minivan just to go to the grocery store. Plus you really only need one car, if that. Saves a ton of money on gas and possibly avoids hours of commuting.
  8. Who needs a swingset when there are so many playgrounds in walking distance with built-in playmates?
  9. Insomnia Cookies
  10. While the burbs may seem to have more greenery, it’s actually much more eco-friendly to live in a smaller space.
  11. Far less snow shoveling
  12. Superaffordable parent-coached T-ball
  13. Living in smaller spaces also fosters more family togetherness. Mansions can feel like caverns where everyone is separated.
  14. Authentic ethnic food and culture always nearby from Chinatown to the Italian Market
  15. Smith Playground
  16. Fresh Direct Grocery Delivery
  17. Close access to the very best doctors and hospitals
  18. Phenomenal preschools like Moonstone Preschool
  19. With a bike share system on the way and plenty of bike lanes, Philly is quickly becoming one of the most bikable cities. If you are brave, you can even strap your baby on a bike carrier!
  20. Sister Cities Park
  21. Urban gardens. Sure, you probably have farmers’ markets and maybe even farms in the burbs. But what is cooler than an amazing garden growing in the middle of Fishtown like Greensgrow or the phenomenal pop-up garden by the Horticultural Society?
  22. Nest playspace and classes
  23. Universities mean access to plenty of babysitters.
  24. Food trucks – and night markets!
  25. Recycling rewards so you can get free tickets to the Please Touch Museum, Franklin Institute, Academy of Natural Sciences and more just for curbside recycling!
  26. No lawns to mow. We have plenty of grass – we just don’t have to cut it ourselves.
  27. Chances are, if you live in the Center City area your property values are going up even during the worst economic downturns. There is so much growth in this area, you can barely cross a street without walking past a construction site. The drilling and hammering is annoying, yes, but those expensive townhomes, office buildings and shops are only going to improve the quality of life and the value of your home.
  28. We live in close proximity of two Whole Foods and hear there is a Wegmans coming in 2015!
  29. Less than $10 to Bolt Bus to NYC. Plus super close to train station and airport to go anywhere in the world!
  30. They shoot movies and TV shows here! Maybe your kid will end up on camera or have a chance encounter with Robert De Niro.
  31. Click here for Reasons 31 – 50.

Plus, you get to be a close, personal neighbor of ours. And we are pretty rad.

Paige Wolf is a Philadelphia mom and author of Spit That Out! The Overly Informed Parent’s Guide to Raising Children in the Age of Environmental Guilt. This post is adapted from her blog, Spit That Out!


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