In MetroWest Boston, what are the best towns to raise kids in? Why?

Asked by Ek, Boston, MA Mon Aug 6, 2007

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Andrea J. Me…, , 02481
Mon Aug 6, 2007
Hello EK. I think that while there are many great towns in the metro west area, Wellesley, Needham, Sherborn and Weston are great towns in which to raise kids. My bias is towards Wellesley or Needham, not only because I live in that area, but because of how I want my kids to grow up. I want them to be in a neighborhood where they can play with the kids on the street, walk to a convenience store and so on. While I do not know exactly what you are looking to find for your children, I hope some of the following is helpful.

Wellesley and Needham have good schools, which is the initial draw for families. Both towns also have neighborhoods so that you get to know your neighbors and kids can play with the other kids on the street. While schools in other towns such as Dover, Sherborn and Weston are also very good, there are fewer traditional neighborhoods because in these towns, minimum lot sizes are generally much larger.

In both Needham and Wellesley, the school districts for the grammar schools are mapped out geographically so that your children become friends with the other children in the immediate area. There are great parks in both towns, particularly in Wellesley, for smaller children. Warren Park on Washington St. in Wellesley is a draw for people from all surrounding towns for its new play structures and its shade in the summer and the sledding hill in the winter. There are family friendly activities sponsored by both towns year round including parades, concerts, street fairs, open houses at fire stations and more. The towns are generally very safe with serious crime being very infrequent (details are readily available from local police departments). Amenities such as quality child care facilities (for working parents) are available as are organized recreational programs (the Y in Needham has great programs and the town of Wellesley offers programs for adults and kids year round ranging from T-Ball to cooking to yoga).

From a practical perspective, both towns offer local shopping areas and several restaurants that are kid friendly, and they are also easy access to larger malls and commercial areas as well (Route 9 in Natick/Framingham and Highland Ave. in Needham are both accessible).

Both towns also offer easy access to Route 128, the Mass Pike and thus to Boston and other areas so that working parents can get back to town for appointments or other engagements without too much difficulty.

Again, I hope that some of the foregoing is helpful. Please let me know if there is any other information in particular that you would like to know. Andrea
2 votes
Vesta Real E…, Agent, Holliston, MA
Sun Mar 16, 2008
When buying a home I think most Buyers find that it becomes a process of "trade-offs". I think most parents would put their kids as one of the top areas where the trade-offs may be unacceptable. The good news is that there are an awfully good amount of towns in Metrowest that are great to raise kids.

I combining your homes search with family friendly communities, I am biased towards Holliston. Even though the downside is that it is off-the-beaten-path, that is also one of its strengths. This town is the same community I remember growing up in.

Now if you need to work in Boston, and you have the ability to afford a Wellesley, Needham or Weston, they are great options. But if you have a smaller budget, Holliston offers a great community for half the money.

Holliston schools win great recognition, score well on tests, are reasonable sizes, and have unique programs like a French Immersion program. There are about 5 parades that my family attended last year, as well as a model train show, an antique show, a senior class auction, Friday night football games, and neighborhood block parties.

All religions seem to coexist in town, with several strong churches/synogogues of different faiths. Downtown has barely enough stores for a walking tour, but it also keeps the traffic down to a minimum.
This community is small enough to be fitting the phrase "it takes a village" and to have it actually happen.
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1 vote
Olivieruniqu…, Home Buyer, Wellesley, MA
Fri Mar 11, 2016
I just bought a house in Franklin, but I have cold feet because my child has slow processing issues
0 votes
Olivieruniqu…, Home Buyer, Wellesley, MA
Fri Mar 11, 2016
is Franklin a good place to leave with special need kids
0 votes
Pam Shea, Agent, Concord, MA
Tue Aug 7, 2012
It all depends on your lifestyle, work commute, what your price point is and the special needs of your children. Many of the towns mentioned here are above the price point of the majority of buyers. The good news is that almost all of the towns in metro-west are good towns in which to raise children. Sudbury home prices fall around the mid range and the schools are ranked high. Same with Wayland.

Pam Shea
0 votes
Ann Cohen, Agent, Boston, MA
Wed Apr 4, 2012
Harvard, MA is a beautiful town with students excel in academics, athletics, and community involvement. A number of student go to top colleges every year; teams participate at the state level; and this is one of two school districts in the state that offers a student EMT certification program. The school is small enough that all the students are known in the school community. A small town isn't for everyone, but if it is what you are seeking, Harvard is a solid choice.
0 votes
Kathy Stanka…, Agent, Venice, FL
Fri Mar 28, 2008
Often the top towns in the area to raise children are not necessarily within the affordable range for most families. There are many excellent towns in the metro west of Boston area but taxes and home prices probably should be factored into the decision. Family Circle Magazine in August 2007 voted Franklin, MA one of its top ten towns in the country in which to raise a family based on its transportation, affordable housing, low crime and good schools. Property taxes have remained low and have actually gone down over the years. The town is bordered by several highways and has commuter rail service into Boston which makes it the perfect bedroom community that is easily accessible. Dean College is at home in the town and now has a satellite Suffolk University program which means a Suffolk degree without going into the city for courses. Check out the comprehensive website: for everything about the town and its cultural activities.
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0 votes
Mary Crane, Agent, Dover, MA
Thu Mar 6, 2008
Dover or Needham. Depends on if you want a more rural small town enviornment (Dover) or larger town with lots of great neighborhoods, retail and activities. Both great towns with great school systems.
0 votes
Jose E. Perez, Agent, BRAINTREE, MA
Thu Oct 18, 2007
I would recommend Medfield excellent location and great schools. If you decide to go south i would recommend Milton for the same reasons.
0 votes
Belinda Arro…, , 02038
Fri Oct 12, 2007
Franklin was picked by Family Circle Magazine as one of the top 10 places that are kid friendly. The schools are excellent! Its a beautiful [place to live. Population a little over 33,000
Web Reference:  http://www.BelindaArroyo,com
0 votes
Tom, Both Buyer And Seller, Medfield, MA
Fri Oct 5, 2007
I would check out Medfield. Great schools and convenient location.
0 votes
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