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Chicago is a bustling city known for its rich culture, diverse neighborhoods, and endless opportunities. While the city center has its own unique appeal, the surrounding suburbs offer a different kind of allure, especially for families. If you’re planning to relocate with one of the moving companies Chicago, choosing one of the family-friendly neighborhoods surrounding Chicago is vital. It can make all the difference in your family’s quality of life, affecting everything from safety to education to recreational activities.

Criteria for evaluating family-friendly neighborhoods

When choosing a family-friendly neighborhood, several factors come into play that can significantly impact your family’s well-being and happiness. It’s essential to keep these aspects in mind:

  • Safety: The most crucial factor for any family is the safety of the neighborhood. Low crime rates and active community policing can make you feel more secure in your new home.
  • Schools: Quality of education is another big concern. Look for neighborhoods with highly-rated schools, after-school programs, and other educational opportunities.
  • Parks and recreation: Access to green spaces and recreational facilities can greatly enhance your family’s quality of life. Parks offer a safe place for children to play and for families to bond.
  • Amenities: Proximity to essential services like healthcare, grocery stores, and public transportation can make daily life much easier and more convenient.

Best family-friendly neighborhoods surrounding Chicago

Chicago is often celebrated as a family-friendly city, boasting a range of cultural activities, museums, and parks that families can enjoy together. However, the focus of this article is not on the city itself but on the neighborhoods that surround it. These suburbs offer their own unique blend of family-friendly features, often providing a quieter and more suburban atmosphere than you’ll find in downtown Chicago. From excellent schools to safe streets and plentiful recreational areas, these outlying neighborhoods offer families the perfect blend of urban convenience and suburban tranquility. So, while Chicago has much to offer, don’t overlook the exceptional qualities of its surrounding areas when considering the best place for your family.

Chicago downtown
Chicago downtown has so much to offer, but also there are many family-friendly neighborhoods surrounding Chicago


Glenview is located just 20 miles north of downtown Chicago, offering a charming suburban setting with easy access to big-city amenities. One of the highlights of relocating with Glenview movers here is the feeling of safety. The neighborhood boasts a low crime rate and active community policing, with regular neighborhood watch meetings to keep residents informed. When it comes to education, Glenview excels with its top-rated schools. For example, Glenview District 34 offers excellent educational resources, including state-of-the-art science labs and extracurricular programs like robotics and arts. These resources ensure a holistic learning experience for your children.

Happy kids in the school
Rest assured that your kids will get a proper education in Glenview

For recreation, Glenview doesn’t disappoint. The Grove, a National Historic Landmark, offers 145 acres of preserved prairie land perfect for family hikes. Gallery Park provides a picturesque lake and walking trails, and the Park Center has indoor pools suitable for family swimming all year round. With these features, Glenview proves itself as a harmonious blend of suburban life and modern conveniences.

Des Plaines

Des Plaines is situated about 17 miles northwest of Chicago, and it offers an ideal environment where both nature and community thrive. One of its standout features is the focus on community safety. The local police department regularly collaborates with the community through initiatives like coffee-with-a-cop, creating open lines of communication that foster a sense of security. In terms of education, Des Plaines schools consistently receive high marks. Maine West High School, for instance, offers a variety of AP courses and has an excellent athletics program, providing a well-rounded educational experience for teens.

But what truly sets Des Plaines apart is its emphasis on natural beauty and outdoor activities. The Des Plaines River Trail runs through the community, offering miles of scenic paths for biking and hiking. For family outings, Lake Opeka features paddle boat rentals, a playground, and even a small beach. This makes Des Plaines a haven for families who are thinking of hiring Des Plaines movers. It offers both a close-knit community and the great outdoors.


Evanston sits just north of Chicago, along the beautiful shores of Lake Michigan. It’s known for its cultural diversity, hosting a range of festivals and community events that celebrate various backgrounds and traditions. A testament to its safety is the relatively low crime rate and community programs such as “Evanston Own It,” which aims to build stronger relationships between residents and the police. Education is a strong point in Evanston, home to Northwestern University and excellent public schools. Evanston Township High School, for example, offers over 20 AP courses and a rich array of extracurriculars, from music to sports. There are also several enrichment programs for younger kids, such as the McGaw YMCA’s Children’s Center.

Family in the park in one of the family-friendly neighborhoods surrounding Chicago
Evanston is one of the best family-friendly neighborhoods surrounding Chicago

Once you use Evanston movers and relocate here, you will notice that recreational options are plenty. Dawes Park offers a playground, lagoon, and even a bird sanctuary. If you’re a beach-going family, Evanston has several beaches along Lake Michigan, perfect for a day of sun and surf. This blend of cultural richness, educational excellence, and recreational variety makes Evanston a top choice for families.

Elmwood Park

Elmwood Park is a cozy suburb located just 12 miles west of downtown Chicago. What makes it special is its small-town charm combined with the convenience of being near a big city. Safety is a priority here, as evidenced by its low crime rates and vigilant community policing. The neighborhood watch programs and well-patrolled streets make residents feel secure. The school district in Elmwood Park is commendable, with schools like Elmwood Park High School offering a variety of extracurricular activities and advanced placement courses, ensuring a quality education for your children.

A family having picnic in one of the family-friendly neighborhoods surrounding Chicago
Elmwood Park offers plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy with your family

After relocating with movers Elmwood Park IL, families will have a lot to enjoy in terms of activities and parks. For example, Central Park provides a playground, walking paths, and a pond for casual fishing. In the summer, the park hosts outdoor movie nights that are perfect for family bonding. Moreover, Elmwood Park is home to the famous Annual Taste of Elmwood Park, which features live music and an array of delicious foods. This harmonious blend of small-town comfort and easy access to urban amenities makes Elmwood Park a fantastic place for families to call home.

Mount Prospect

Mount Prospect is a thriving suburb located approximately 22 miles northwest of Chicago. It has seen steady growth in recent years, making it an increasingly popular choice for families. Safety is paramount here, with local authorities often organizing community events such as the “National Night Out” to foster trust among residents. Education is another pillar of Mount Prospect’s appeal. Schools like Prospect High School not only have strong academic programs but also offer a variety of extracurricular activities, from drama clubs to sports teams, ensuring a balanced education for your children.

When it comes to recreational options, Mount Prospect stands out. The Big Surf Wave Pool is a popular summer attraction for families. For those who are relocating with movers Mount Prospect and prefer quieter activities, the Mount Prospect Public Library offers various family-friendly programs and events. Meanwhile, Melas Park provides ample green space for picnics and features playgrounds and baseball fields. The combination of safety, education, and recreational amenities makes Mount Prospect a well-rounded option for families looking for a suburban lifestyle without sacrificing modern conveniences.


Niles, situated about 15 miles northwest of Chicago, is known for its affordability and strong sense of community spirit. After using the services of movers Niles IL, and relocating here, you’ll find a safe environment with one of the lowest crime rates in the region. The police department is proactive, often engaging with the community through outreach programs like bicycle safety workshops for kids. On the educational front, Niles schools are part of various districts that provide a quality education. Niles West High School, for example, has a high graduation rate and offers a range of AP courses, making it an excellent place for academic growth.

Aerial view of the neighborhood
Niles is one of the safest, family-friendly neighborhoods surrounding Chicago

Recreational activities are abundant in Niles. The village offers numerous parks, including the popular Tam O’Shanter Golf Course and Learning Center for budding golf enthusiasts in your family. You’ll also find a range of family-friendly activities throughout the year, such as the Summer Concert Series and the Niles Holly Jolly Market during the winter. Niles combines affordability with a robust community spirit, making it a fantastic place for families to settle.


Northbrook, located about 25 miles north of Chicago, offers an upscale living experience that’s perfect for families. Therefore, if you decide to hire movers Northbrook IL, and relocate here, rest assured that you will not make a mistake. Safety is a prominent feature of this suburb, with low crime rates and community initiatives like the “Safe Routes to School” program, which helps children get to school safely by designating well-monitored walking paths. Educational quality is high in Northbrook. The Glenbrook North High School is nationally recognized for its academic excellence, offering extensive AP courses and robust extracurricular activities like competitive debate and robotics teams.

When it comes to recreational opportunities, Techny Prairie Park and Fields offers something for everyone, from skate parks to walking trails to fishing ponds. For winter sports enthusiasts, the suburb features the Northbrook Sports Center, an indoor ice rink that offers skating lessons and hockey leagues. There are also numerous family-friendly events year-round, like the annual Northbrook Days Festival, which includes games, rides, and live music. With its upscale amenities, safe streets, and excellent schools, Northbrook stands out as an ideal location for families seeking a higher quality of life.

Morton Grove

Morton Grove is a balanced suburban community located about 16 miles north of downtown Chicago. The area is characterized by its focus on safety, demonstrated by low crime rates and active community policing programs like the Citizen Police Academy, which educates residents about law enforcement. Educationally, Morton Grove is served by multiple school districts that offer an array of opportunities for children. Schools such as Park View Elementary School boast high test scores and various extracurricular activities, making them conducive to academic and personal development.

Man and a kid hiking
In Morton Grove, you will enjoy hiking with your family

When it comes to family activities, after your relocation with movers Morton Grove IL, you will not be disappointed. The suburb is home to the popular Morton Grove Farmer’s Market, a hit among families for fresh produce and homemade goodies. St. Paul Woods is another local gem, offering scenic trails for hiking and spots for picnicking. Additionally, the Oriole Pool is a summer favorite for families, featuring slides and a diving pool. With its balanced blend of safety, quality education, and family-oriented recreational activities, Morton Grove is a wonderful place for families to thrive.

Park Ridge

Park Ridge, located about 15 miles northwest of downtown Chicago, offers a well-rounded family experience. The suburb is notably safe, with community programs like Neighborhood Watch helping to maintain low crime rates. Police also engage with the community through events like Coffee with a Cop, where residents who have relocated here with movers Park Ridge IL, can voice their concerns and get to know local officers. Education is a strong suit in Park Ridge. Maine South High School, for example, offers a wide range of AP courses and extracurricular activities, from drama to sports, providing children with opportunities for a balanced education.

When it comes to family activities, Park Ridge has plenty to offer. Hodges Park is the site for various community events throughout the year, including a farmers market and outdoor concerts. The Centennial Aquatic Center, with its water slides and lap pools, is a summer haven for families. The suburb even hosts an annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony, bringing the community together during the holiday season. Park Ridge’s emphasis on safety, quality education, and community events make it an ideal place for families to enjoy a well-rounded lifestyle.

Pick the right neighborhood for you and your family

Choosing one of the best family-friendly neighborhoods surrounding Chicago is a crucial decision that will impact your family’s daily life. From safety and education to recreational activities, each suburb surrounding Chicago offers a unique set of advantages. Whether it’s the upscale living in Northbrook, the affordability in Niles, or the balanced suburban life in Morton Grove, there’s a place for every family’s needs and preferences. Take time to evaluate what’s most important for you and your loved ones, be it educational resources, community programs, or parks and recreational areas. Making an informed decision will pave the way for a fulfilling, well-rounded family experience in a community that feels like home.

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