Becca, I am from the Middlesex County area and I live right outside East Brunswick. If you have a family, Middlesex County is better for you. They have the better schools...you should look into Edison, Highland Park, Metuchen, East Brunswick, North Brunswick, South Brunswick, or Piscataway. Even South Plainfield. The actual commute from East Brunswick to NYC via bus is really 40 mins (there are 2 bus transportation centers within 7 mins of each other - NJTransit & Coach service Midtown, Downtown, & Jersey City/Hoboken areas). Even coming out of of NY, bus ride is 40 mins (I take it all the time). New Brunswick train station is really 10 mins away, but with traffic (on Tuesdays & Wednesdays) can take you 20 mins (I also do this option as well...for anyone who works in NY, you need a wide range of transportation to get you to work). They have trains leaving every 10 mins into NY Penn. The Northeast Corridor line is busiest line in Northeast and has the most express & local trains going in/out of NY. Metropark station is also 20 mins drive. East Brunswick also has easy access to NJ Turnpike, Garden State Parkway, Routes 1, 9, 27, 287, etc. My advice is to look at central Jersey (either Middlesex or Mercer counties - Princeton, West Windsor area) before you look North...Hoboken & Jersey City areas are identical to living in NYC, but it's overpriced & cost of living is high...plus it's not really ideal for families..really for singles or people starting out (or couples). That part of Jersey is great, but you say you have a family, so you're better off looking at more family oriented areas.