The 10 Best Chicago Neighborhoods for Families Chicago is a world-class city that sprawls along the southwest edge of Lake Michigan, stretching toward a mass of suburbs. Chicago’s vast footprint creates a number of different pockets and neighborhoods, each of which provides its own unique take on Second City living. But what are the best neighborhoods for families? Families are generally looking for something just a little bit different than other buyers. Schools are of the utmost importance, space is paramount and affordability is key. With those key factors in mind, here’s a look at 10 of the best Chicago neighborhoods for families, in alphabetical order. Beverly On Chicago’s South Side, you’ll find a big-city neighborhood that still provides a small-town feel — which is perfect for most families. Beverly is known for its safety, as well as for its many school options. Find quality public schools, or choose from among several nearby private options — St. Barnabas, Ridge Academy and Beverly Montessori included. You also enjoy ample options when it comes to looking for a house in Beverly. There’s a mix of both new construction and older homes, and you can even find a few Frank Lloyd Wright designs, as well. You’ll discover a little bit more in square footage with the new construction versus older homes, but, in general, homes in Beverly offer plenty of space for families. Expect to pay around $300,000 to $350,000 for a house in this area. Bucktown Bucktown is an emerging area for families. If you had recommended Bucktown to a couple with young kids 20 years ago, you might have gotten a funny look. Things have certainly changed in the 21st century for this upcoming neighborhood. However Bucktown isn’t for all families. It’s a little bit funkier and a little bit more cultured than other options on this list. Great shops and restaurants line Damen Avenue, and the 606 walking trail provides the perfect way to explore the neighborhood on foot. While you get access to boutiques, locally owned shops and interesting restaurants, you can also find suburban comforts like chain restaurants and big-box stores.
Located on Chicago’s near North West Side, Bucktown offers homes that are a little more expensive than other areas. Expect to pay between $600,000 and $800,000 for a 3- or 4-bedroom condo, or closer to $1 million for a single-family home in Bucktown. Edgewater Edgewater is located directly north from the Loop, but that distance from the city center means more affordable housing options. You can find spacious condos in the $500,000 range, as well as nice, single-family homes in the 700s and 800s. What makes Edgewater such a dream community for families? It offers quality school options, including Nicholas Senn High School and private institutions such as Northside Catholic and Sacred Heart. Choosing Edgewater as home also provides plenty for you and your family to do. This area is known for its parks, proximity to the lake, historical sites, theaters, antique markets, ethnic restaurants and much more. When you’re looking for mid-priced options that features great schools with lots to do, look no further than Edgewater. Edison Park Edison Park is one of Chicago’s neighborhoods that borders the Northwest Suburbs. When you live here, you’re really straddling the line between city and suburban living. But there’s much to love about Edison Park for you and your family. This neighborhood has earned a reputation as quiet and safe. Crime is low here, and the schools are good enough — though you can find neighborhoods that offer higher performing academic options. Perhaps the best part about Edison Park is its affordability.
Spacious, single-family homes go on the market here for prices in the 400s. You can also find nice condo options for even less. While Edison Park isn’t as bustling with activity as some other neighborhoods on this list, it does provide access to areas that offer much to do, including Wrigleyville. Lincoln Park Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood is another great option for families, and it’s one area that is closer to the center of the city than others on this list. Plus, you enjoy access to some of the best activities in Chicago, including North Avenue Beach, the Lincoln Park Conservatory, the Lincoln Park Zoo and much more. This area is entirely walkable, too, which most families appreciate. Because of its proximity and because of its activities, Lincoln Park is a little more expensive than other options. You’ll find plenty of listings for well over $1 million. But there are pockets of more affordable townhomes and condos available in the 700s. Lincoln Square Lincoln Square is located just a little bit northwest of Lincoln Park, though it’s an equally as attractive area for families. What’s to like about Lincoln Square versus other options? You tend to get a little more square footage, and you’ll find plenty of single-family homes with yards — which is more rare in areas closer to the Loop like Lincoln Park. Lincoln Square also offers an appealing community feel that not all neighborhoods have. It’s not unusual to see kids playing and families walking together throughout the area. Organizations like the Old Town School of Folk Music, which provides regular concerts and even music classes for kids and adults, is just one example of the strong community Lincoln Square has.
You can find single-family homes for as little as $450,000, as well as more spacious housing in more desirable parts of the neighborhood for $800,000 and up. River North If you’re determined to live with your family in the heart of the city, look at homes in River North. The River North area gives you fast and easy access to Navy Pier, Millennium Park, the Magnificent Mile shopping, restaurants and more. The housing in River North mostly includes condos in high-rise buildings. Buying in River North can be prohibitively expensive for some families that need lots of space. But, if you’re open to renting, you may be able to find a three-bedroom condo that is relatively affordable and that still gives you access to everything there is to love about River North. Sauganash/Forest Glen Located on the northwest side of the city, Sauganash and Forest Glen may be the ideal locations for families to look for housing with extra space. The area is safe, and it also offers some of Chicago’s best public school options — including Sutherland and Sauganash Elementary Schools, which have both earned outstanding marks on GreatSchools.org. Sauganash and Forest Glen are also relatively affordable given the amenities they offer. Expect to pay in the ballpark of $500,000 for a single-family home that is move-in ready, though you can also find more and less expensive options, depending on what you’re looking for and what types of updates you’re willing to invest in. This area is quiet and offers a slower pace of life. The one drawback to that slowness, though, is that you’ll need to head to other parts of town if you want great restaurants, shopping and entertainment.
But that’s a trade-off most families are willing to make. West Loop The West Loop is another area that has been transformed in recent years by new development and investment. This is where the Chicago Bulls play, which also means you enjoy access to activities and performances held at the United Center. There’s also no shortage of family-friendly restaurants nearby. While the West Loop is a good place for families, one of the challenges is affordability. The West Loop includes mostly condos, and many of them are pricey — at least the ones that are large enough for growing families. If you’re interested in being close to the city center, and if you can afford to buy or rent a condo in the area, West Loop is a great place to live with your family. Need Help Finding the Perfect Chicago Neighborhood? When you’re searching for the best Chicago neighborhoods for families, you need experience and knowledge on your side. At KlopasStratton, we work each day with families who are exploring Chicago and searching for the ideal place to raise their kids. If you have questions about Chicago and neighborhoods for families, or if you’re actively searching for a home, let us provide the expert guidance you need. Contact us today for help in finding the perfect family neighborhood for homes in Chicago.