If you and your spouse have a young family, or you are thinking about starting one, you might be looking for a town that is good for the whole family. What qualities would be considered as part of what makes a town good for a family? Access to a quality education system, quality healthcare, fun family-oriented events, and, of course, relative affordability because, hey, young children can be expensive and parents with those young children are not always so established in their careers that they are making large incomes.
There tends to be a few commonalities about all of the towns that made the list. They tend to have plenty of farmer's markets, small but busy downtowns, plenty of museums, parks, and trails, and, if you want cheap, you'll probably have to deal with cold and snow during the winter. So, to delve deeper, let's look at some of the best places to raise a family, without breaking the budget.
To start, let's take a look at the cold but cheap. Places like Rochester, MN and Noblesville, IN top the list on this one. Rochester is small enough that it can feel like you know the town, but it also has some major companies that provide plenty of quality jobs to the area, such as the well-renowned Mayo Clinic and IBM. Rochester is also large enough that it has plenty of things for the family to do on the weekend, such as apple picking and a trip to the Children's Museum. Or, if you'd like to take a quick weekend getaway, at about an hour and a half's drive away, you could easily visit the larger cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis.
Noblesville, IN is another city that is a little on the cold side for a few months out of the year, but it also has many of the advantages of a larger city, but at a discounted price. The town of about 52,000 has a small but event-filled downtown and the taxes are about half the price of the neighboring town's taxes.
Madison, WI is another place that fits the bill for cheap and family-oriented, albeit bitingly cold for four months of the year. As Wisconsin's capital, the city of about 250,000 has plenty of things to do with the kids, both within city limits and in the surrounding area. Like many great places to raise a family, Madison also has a children's museum, but it has so much more. Madison is home to the University of Wisconsin, so there are always sporting events that the whole family can enjoy together. Also, if you prefer to be close to a larger town, but find that you prefer a smaller-town atmosphere, there are many neighboring towns with great school districts. There are also many activities to do with the kids on a day trip. An unexpected site is Cave of the Mounds, a cave with unique geological features that you and your family can visit and learn together. There are also many other day trip attractions in the area such as famous architect, Frank Loyd Wright's Taliesin, one of his homes that was turned into a museum.
If you aren't willing to have the bitingly cold winters of places like Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Ohio, you can also opt for some towns in states such as Virginia including Charlottesville, Fairfax, and Arlington. These towns are all a nice compromise between cheap and warm.
If warmer weather really is your priority, there are also great places to raise a family in the south, such as Bentonville, AR. This town is still quite cheap to live in, and it has many attractions both for the family and for a sophisticated parent's date night. The Amazeum is a great place for kids and adults alike and, you might not have known this, but Bentonville is also the headquarters of a little store called Walmart which also has a museum. For that parents allowed only night, you can try the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.
There are many places that you can build a family and provide your kids with a safe and stimulating childhood that will prepare them for the future. Most of them tend to be in the Midwest and a bit on the cold side, but the benefits can sometimes outweigh the negatives if you are a young family on a budget.
The holiday season is a tricky time for consumers. From Thanksgiving to Christmas retailers start offering steep, frequently changing discounts to try and bolster their holiday sales. However, t...Read More