The Top 10 Best Suburbs to Raise a Family in Boston (2024)

The Top 10 Best Suburbs to Raise a Family in Boston (2024)

Raising a family in Boston can be a delightful experience, but choosing the right suburb to call home is so important. As with any city, there’s always the pros and cons that you need to consider. The city is home to many different suburbs, each boasting unique qualities that can cater to all types of families’ preferences, from top-notch schools to open parks. In this article, we’ll go through the top 10 best suburbs to raise a family in Boston. We’ll introduce you to neighborhoods that combine quality education, family-friendly atmosphere, and opportunities for outdoor fun, all while maintaining easy access to the bustling city life.

Overall top 3?

  • Brookline: A family-friendly gem offering great amenities, schools and recreation.
  • Newton: Suburban oasis with excellent education, activities and transportation options.
  • Arlington: Charming suburb near Boston for well-rounded suburban life.

Brookline – A Family-Friendly Gem

Tucked away a stone’s throw from downtown Boston, Brookline exudes the essence of family living. Its top-rated schools, lush parks, and a wealth of local amenities make it a suburban haven for families in search of a harmonious blend of city life and small-town charm.

Schools and Education

Brookline’s commitment to academic excellence is evident through its highly-rated public schools and access to esteemed private institutions. The suburb’s public schools, such as:

  • Heath
  • Edith C Baker
  • John D Runkle
  • Pierce
  • Lawrence

are conveniently located near family-friendly attractions, ensuring a well-rounded education for children.

Parents seeking private school options can explore Bay Cove Academy and other private educational programs in the Beacon Hill area, all while enjoying the vibrant community and excellent resources available in Brookline, near Boston College.

Parks and Recreation

Outdoor enthusiasts will revel in the abundance of green spaces and parks in Brookline, which provide picturesque backdrops for family activities. Some of the parks in Brookline include:

  • Larz Anderson Park
  • Griggs Park
  • Corey Hill Outlook
  • Chestnut Hill Reservoir

These parks offer a variety of activities such as nature programs, sports, swimming, and fitness facilities.

Brookline’s parks are a testament to the town’s dedication to providing families with ample opportunities to unwind, exercise, and connect with nature.

Local Amenities

Beyond its excellent schools and tranquil parks, Brookline boasts a variety of shopping, dining, and entertainment options for families. The bustling Coolidge Corner, a popular central square, is home to independent businesses such as the Coolidge Corner Theater, Brookline Booksmith, and Eureka Puzzles.

The suburb, known as the seaport district in South Boston, is also a foodie’s paradise, boasting an array of top-rated restaurants, including Shan-A-Punjab Boston, Taberna de Haro, and Zaftigs Delicatessen, to name a few.

With its convenient location and array of local amenities, Brookline is an ideal choice for families seeking a well-rounded suburban experience.

Newton: A Suburban Oasis

Located amidst the best neighborhoods in one of the Boston neighborhoods, specifically the North End and the Boston neighborhood of Newton, this suburban oasis offers a harmonious blend of high-quality education, captivating community activities, and accessible transportation options, all just a short distance from the bustling Newbury Street.

Families will find Newton’s local schools and abundance of family-friendly activities to be an attractive combination for a well-rounded suburban lifestyle.

School System

Newton’s highly-regarded school system is a testament to the suburb’s commitment to quality education. With top-rated public schools such as:

  • John Ward
  • Mason-Rice
  • C C Burr
  • Peirce

Newton’s schools are known for their devoted staff, excellent academic performance, and wide range of clubs and activities.

The suburb’s strong focus on education makes it an ideal choice for families seeking a community that prioritizes their children’s learning.

Community Activities

Beyond the classroom, Newton offers a variety of unique community activities that cater to a diverse range of interests. Some of these activities include:

  • Exploring the picturesque Hemlock Gorge Reservation
  • Visiting the historic Jackson Homestead and Museum
  • Participating in craft fairs and nonprofit events throughout the year

These activities provide opportunities for families to engage with the community and create lasting memories.

With a strong emphasis on community engagement, Newton fosters a supportive and inclusive environment for families to thrive.

Transportation Options

Newton residents find commuting to Boston easy with a variety of public transportation options at their disposal. The suburb is served by:

  • Senior services for door-to-door transportation
  • Pre-scheduled rides to medical appointments
  • Public transit options, including the Green Line subway service and various bus routes.

With a 14 to 15-minute average commute time and affordable fares, Newton’s convenient transportation options ensure that residents can easily access the bustling city life in Boston, all within walking distance.

Arlington: A Charming Suburb

Situated in Boston, near the Charles River, the charming suburb of Arlington presents families with a harmonious blend of top-tier educational opportunities, alluring outdoor spaces, and a vibrant cultural scene. With its welcoming community and picturesque setting, Arlington is an ideal choice for families seeking a well-balanced suburban life.

Educational Opportunities

Arlington’s commitment to education shines through its highly-rated public schools, including Arlington Traditional, Arlington Science Focus, Glebe Elementary, and Tuckahoe Elementary.

In addition to its outstanding public schools, Arlington also offers access to private institutions, ensuring that all children have the opportunity to receive a top-quality education.

Outdoor Spaces

A multitude of parks and outdoor spaces in the suburb provide numerous opportunities for families to enjoy nature and partake in outdoor activities. Arlington boasts numerous parks such as Menotomy Rocks Park, Robbins Farm Park, and Spy Pond Park, offering picnic areas, playgrounds, walking trails, and stunning natural surroundings for families to explore.

Cultural Attractions

Arlington’s vibrant cultural scene is yet another reason why families love this charming suburb. Some of the cultural attractions in Arlington include:

  • The Cyrus Dallin Art Museum
  • Spy Pond Park
  • The Russell House
  • The Old Schwamb Mill

These tourist attractions offer a diverse array of cultural experiences that cater to a wide range of interests.

With its strong focus on arts and culture, Arlington provides a stimulating environment for families who value a well-rounded suburban experience.

Lexington: Rich in History and Education


Lexington, a historic suburb known for its emphasis on education, makes a perfect choice for families seeking a community steeped in history and brimming with learning opportunities. With its numerous historic sites, top-rated schools, and variety of local events, Lexington offers families:

  • A unique and engaging suburban lifestyle
  • Access to rich historical sites
  • High-quality education options
  • Opportunities for community involvement and engagement

Historic Sites

Steeped in history, Lexington is home to numerous historic sites and landmarks that provide a glimpse into the town’s storied past. Families can explore the following historic sites and landmarks in Lexington:

  • Lexington Battle Green
  • Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library
  • Hancock-Clarke House
  • Buckman Tavern
  • Munroe Tavern

Each of these locations offers unique opportunities to learn about the town’s rich history.

School District

Lexington’s strong emphasis on education is evident through its highly-regarded school district, offering excellent educational opportunities for children. The suburb is home to top-ranked schools such as:

  • Lexington High School
  • Joseph E Fiske Elementary School
  • John D Hardy Elementary School
  • Mary Lee Burbank Elementary School

These schools ensure that children receive a well-rounded education.

Local Events

In addition to its rich history and educational focus, Lexington hosts various local events and activities for families to enjoy. From the annual carnival and community garden plots to the pumpkin decorating contest, Lexington’s events foster a strong sense of community and provide opportunities for families to connect and have fun together.

Belmont: A Quiet Retreat

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Belmont, a tranquil retreat amidst Boston’s top neighborhoods, provides families with a serene environment, emphasizing academic excellence, verdant green spaces, and active community engagement. With its top schools, picturesque parks, and strong emphasis on community involvement, Belmont is an ideal choice for families seeking a tranquil suburban experience.

Academic Excellence

Belmont’s commitment to academic excellence is evident through its top-rated public schools, including Belmont High School, Winn Brook, and Mary Lee Burbank, which consistently rank highly within Massachusetts.

With a strong emphasis on education, Belmont ensures that children receive the best possible start in life.

Green Spaces

Boasting numerous parks and outdoor spaces, Belmont provides ample opportunities for families to enjoy nature and outdoor activities. Some of the parks in Belmont include:

  • Twin Pines Park
  • Burton Park
  • O’Donnell Park
  • Crestview Park

These parks offer various activities such as hiking, biking, fishing, and more.

With its picturesque green spaces, Belmont offers a serene environment for families to unwind and connect with nature.

Community Engagement

Fostering a strong sense of community, Belmont hosts various events and activities for families to engage in and enjoy. From the annual Halloween Craft & Vendor Fair and the Latin festival at Robert F. Stephens, to the Lexington Fine Arts and Crafts Festival, Belmont offers a wide range of events for families to participate in and create lasting memories together.

Wellesley: An Upscale Suburb

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Wellesley, an affluent suburb, delivers a luxurious lifestyle to families, complete with revered schools, upscale amenities, and a vibrant arts and culture scene.

With its excellent educational opportunities, beautiful homes, and vibrant cultural events, Wellesley provides an unparalleled suburban lifestyle for families seeking the best of the best.

Prestigious Schools

Wellesley is renowned for its top-notch educational opportunities, with highly-rated public schools such as:

  • Wellesley High School
  • Joseph E Fiske Elementary School
  • John D Hardy Elementary School
  • Hunnewell Elementary School

In addition to its outstanding public schools, Wellesley also offers access to prestigious private institutions, ensuring that all children receive a top-quality education.

Luxurious Living

Offering a luxurious living experience, Wellesley boasts upscale homes with high-end features and amenities, as well as modern luxury apartment living at The Nines in Wellesley.

From stylish and modern touches to upscale neighborhoods and top-notch services, Wellesley provides an exquisite living experience for families seeking the best of the best.

Arts and Culture

Wellesley’s thriving arts and culture scene is yet another reason why families love this upscale suburb. Some of the cultural attractions in the town include:

  • Fine arts events organized by the Massachusetts Horticultural Society
  • Events put on by the Wellesley College Art Department
  • Free events featuring renowned musicians, actors, and public figures at Wellesley College

These events offer a diverse array of cultural attractions that cater to a wide range of interests.

Needham: Family-Oriented Community

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Needham, a community with a family-centric approach, provides families with the ideal mix of robust education, compelling recreational opportunities, and easy commuting options. With its top-rated schools, variety of family-friendly activities, and easy access to public transportation, Needham is an ideal choice for families seeking a well-rounded suburban experience.

Education System

With its highly-rated public schools, including Needham High School, Broadmeadow Elementary School, and Pollard Middle School, Needham’s education system provides an excellent foundation for children’s learning and development.

The suburb’s strong emphasis on education ensures that children receive the best possible start in life.

Recreational Opportunities

Boasting a variety of recreational opportunities, Needham provides ample options for families to engage in outdoor activities and enjoy the area’s parks and sports facilities. Some of the activities families can enjoy in Needham include:

  • Visiting the Needham Dog Park
  • Exploring the Metropolitan Waterworks Museum
  • Participating in kid-friendly activities at Fresh Pond Ballet and My Gym Boston

Commuting Options

Commuting to Boston is a breeze for Needham residents, thanks to the suburb’s easy access to public transportation. With four MBTA Commuter Rail stops and various bus routes available, residents can enjoy a convenient, affordable commute to the city, averaging just 36-38 minutes.

Melrose: A Cozy Suburb

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Melrose, a cozy suburb near Boston, extends a warm welcome to families with its strong school district and an array of outdoor activities for enjoyment. With its highly-rated schools and picturesque parks, Melrose is an ideal choice for families seeking a close-knit suburban community.

School District

Melrose’s highly-regarded school district provides children with a quality education, ensuring their academic success. With top-rated schools such as Melrose High School, Horace Mann Elementary School, and Winthrop Elementary School, Melrose’s schools are known for their strong academic performance and dedicated teachers.

Outdoor Activities

With its numerous parks and outdoor spaces, Melrose offers ample opportunities for families to engage in outdoor activities, such as hiking, biking, and fishing. Families can enjoy the beauty of Ell Pond Park, Middlesex Fells Reservation, and Pine Banks Park, providing picturesque settings for quality family time and outdoor fun.


In conclusion, Boston’s suburbs offer a diverse range of experiences for families, from the tranquil retreats of Belmont and Melrose to the prestigious schools and upscale living in Wellesley. Each suburb presents unique qualities, ensuring that families can find the perfect community to call home. With their strong focus on education, beautiful outdoor spaces, and vibrant community events, these suburbs are the top choices for raising a family in the Boston area.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the nicest suburb in Boston?

Brookline is widely recognized as the nicest suburb in Boston, consistently ranking among the best suburbs to live in the US. Tom Brady famously lived here, and it’s known for its greenery and affluence. Best Suburbs of Boston, Massachusetts, based on a recent study, ranked Brockton highest, followed by Framingham, Quincy, Lowell and Newton.

Is Boston a good place to raise a family?

Boston is a great place to raise a family, as evidenced by its ranking on the list of best places to live and reader responses about their experiences. Despite the high cost of living, families who make the move to this bustling East Coast metropolis are sure to find many rewarding aspects.

Where do 30 year olds live in Boston?

30 year olds in Boston typically reside in neighborhoods like Allston, Fenway, Brighton and the North End; a majority of whom rent their homes rather than own.

How much money do you need to make to live comfortably in Boston?

To live comfortably in Boston, you need to have a household income of at least $120,900 per year. This number will cover the cost of basic living expenses, as well as any wants and savings or debt repayments.

Which suburbs have the best school districts?

Brookline, Newton, Arlington, Lexington, Belmont, Wellesley, and Needham all have excellent school districts, making them the best suburbs for education.


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