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Moving to Philadelphia, PA with toddler(4 Posts)
We are moving from Yorkshire to Philly in spring with our 2yo.
We know nothing about the place, anyone has any suggestions on family friendly neighborhoods - preferably quiet ones?
My partner will be working in UPenn and I am still in search of a job. what is it like raising a child in Philly? is a car necessary? how do you socialise with other kids and parents if the child is not in nursery?
Thanks in advance.
I don’t know Philadelphia that well but based on my experience of moving to Chicago- we found a car was necessary as toddler car seat + taxi wasn’t feasible. This will likely depend on how close to downtown you end up living. If you’re not a citizens/green card holders you’ll need to apply for your EAD once you arrive in the US. Mine took 3.5 months. Daycare wait lists can be long so prioritise that if you’re planning on returning to work. Park district (parks and rec) classes are great low cost options for meeting other parents. Otherwise the usual groups like tots gymnastics, swim lessons, soccer, music etc. are a good starting point. We’ve made most of our local friends by just talking to people in the playground though! Good luck with the move
Not currently in Philly but used to live in the suburbs (we have moved several times)
With a child who is not yet school age you have a lot of options. Chestnut Hill/Mt. Airy/Germantown is a bit further from Center City/University City, bigger houses, parks, quieter but still in the city. Keep in mind that as kids hit school age families in Philadelphia face difficult choices so you may find that friends move out.
As University City has gotten expensive, gentrification has spread west, but you need to have someone to guide you in exact locations. I have friends with kids in that area and it would be exceptionally convenient.
It also depends on what sort of housing you are looking for. Philadelphia is a rowhouse (terrace house) city for the most part, but there are also twins (semidetached) and of course apartments. The size of a typical row house varies quite a bit depending on neighbourhood--there are sections with blocks and blocks of identical houses. So if you are looking, say, for a larger house (I've been in a couple where I could spread my arms and almost touch both walls) they'll be in short supply in some locations. A lot of the houses in South Philadelphia (near the Italian Market and to the south) are very small but that area has tons of restaurants and stores and some people love it.
I would recommend a car but it is possible to do without if you live in the city. SEPTA (local transit) is decent, it's just hauling a toddler around that is tiring. If I didn't have a car I would want to live on a train/trolley line, though, and not rely entirely on buses. I can't think of any neighborhoods I think are really family unfriendly--there are ones I wouldn't recommend, but even Center City has families.
Thank you both for the tips
Knitnerd90 for start we are looking for something affordable and easy to maintain, maybe a 2 bed rowhouse, maybe around 1500 per month? What areas would you not recommend?