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Old 09-10-2010, 08:43 PM
 
48 posts, read 166,809 times
Reputation: 44
Default Is Austin a good place to raise kids? We cant decide whether to accept a relo - help!

We currently live in Dallas. We have two young boys in preschool and kindergarten. My husband has an opportunity to accept a transfer with his company to Austin. We both used to live in Austin when we were younger. We met when we were in our 20s in Austin. We love Austin and have very fond memories of it. We got married there. But we were at a different life stage then. We wonder if the city is too "college" oriented or even too "liberal" for our child rearing years. We are fairly socially liberal, but we are Catholic and would like a traditional upgringing for our two boys at early ages.

Things we like about Austin - the outdoors opportunities, parks, local owned businesses, proximity to coast, Houston, San Antonio (Sea World, etc.), pace/culture/soul, etc.

Things we are worried about in Austin - traffic/congestion, lack of seasons (even get these a bit more in Dallas), being rejected for being too conservative, i.e. not fitting in, focus on college students and singles, not married with children

We feel Dallas lacks the soul and character of Austin, but it is indeed very kid focused. Lots and lots of things to do here with kids --- Aquarium, two big zoos, state fair, Dallas Cowboys/Mavericks/TX Rangers, rodeo, trains, kid museums, great public and private schools, etc.

I think in our hearts we would like to be back in Austin. I think our heads are telling us that Dallas might be a better place to raise our boys. I am hoping that some Austin parents will chime in here and set me straight! Any opinions and insight appreciated. thanks you!
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Old 09-10-2010, 08:49 PM
 
2,082 posts, read 3,772,822 times
Reputation: 618
I've got two words for you, Southwest Austin. You will be very happy down here!
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Old 09-10-2010, 09:26 PM
 
1,019 posts, read 1,095,241 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llkltk View Post
I've got two words for you, Southwest Austin. You will be very happy down here!
I would agree, short of Round Rock, SW Austin is as close to Collin County as you will find in the Austin MSA.
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Old 09-10-2010, 10:11 PM
 
323 posts, read 459,199 times
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There are a ridiculous amount of things to do with kids in austin. If you can afford it, I'd focus on Crestview. I hate the burbs, so maybe I'm biased.
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Old 09-11-2010, 06:06 AM
 
48 posts, read 166,809 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmaxmor View Post
There are a ridiculous amount of things to do with kids in austin. If you can afford it, I'd focus on Crestview. I hate the burbs, so maybe I'm biased.
Like what? We would love to hear about the ridiculous amount of things to do with kids!

Re: location, we are looking at the west/southwest/Bee Cave area.
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Old 09-11-2010, 06:35 AM
 
Location: Eastside, WA
301 posts, read 402,064 times
Reputation: 66
I don't really understand this post - people *move to* Austin to raise kids!!! And like the other poster said, there are innumerable things to do with kids. Just buy a guide book or google 'kids austin' and you will see the options.

Bee caves, Lakeway, are all suburbs of Austin that are filled with kids and probably a bit more conservative. Although I can't really imagine the conservative/socially liberal thing will be a problem - it may be Austin, but it's still Texas.

I have a preschooler and kindergartener and it's great. Don't sweat it.
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Old 09-11-2010, 07:15 AM
 
4,010 posts, read 6,100,799 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lynnsl View Post
We currently live in Dallas. We have two young boys in preschool and kindergarten. My husband has an opportunity to accept a transfer with his company to Austin. We both used to live in Austin when we were younger. We met when we were in our 20s in Austin. We love Austin and have very fond memories of it. We got married there. But we were at a different life stage then. We wonder if the city is too "college" oriented or even too "liberal" for our child rearing years. We are fairly socially liberal, but we are Catholic and would like a traditional upgringing for our two boys at early ages.

Things we like about Austin - the outdoors opportunities, parks, local owned businesses, proximity to coast, Houston, San Antonio (Sea World, etc.), pace/culture/soul, etc.

Things we are worried about in Austin - traffic/congestion, lack of seasons (even get these a bit more in Dallas), being rejected for being too conservative, i.e. not fitting in, focus on college students and singles, not married with children

We feel Dallas lacks the soul and character of Austin, but it is indeed very kid focused. Lots and lots of things to do here with kids --- Aquarium, two big zoos, state fair, Dallas Cowboys/Mavericks/TX Rangers, rodeo, trains, kid museums, great public and private schools, etc.

I think in our hearts we would like to be back in Austin. I think our heads are telling us that Dallas might be a better place to raise our boys. I am hoping that some Austin parents will chime in here and set me straight! Any opinions and insight appreciated. thanks you!
I would say that austin is somewhat the opposite of dallas. Austin is a better city to raise kids (small town feel) but may have less attractions for adults.

To me raising kids is about 1) safety 2) culture of the communities and not really about places to take the kids

Austin is like a small town with some big town amenities. The key for us about austin is that there isnt much violence in the schools (or in general) and there is a strong laid back, family culture that isnt very materialistic. If you want amusement parks, museums, 5* restaurants and pro sports we dont have any of that.

Austin is primarily about spending more time with family and spending more time outdoors. Most of what kids will be doing are sports and various school activities anyway. It doesnt take more than 20 minutes to get anywhere in town except during rush hour when it might take 40 minutes to get across town.

Austin is pretty liberal but there are pockets of conservatism, like NW or W austin. Our neighbors are pretty liberal and after the election where they had an obama sign but everyone else had a mcain sign, they dont seem to come out much anymore.
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Old 09-11-2010, 07:37 AM
 
Location: Central Texas
12,557 posts, read 12,532,222 times
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Just to add a bit to the posts above - the public schools in the Austin area are probably better as a whole than the schools in the Dallas area. Plano, Frisco, Highland Park, etc. are matched by Eanes, Lake Travis, Round Rock, etc. Dallas ISD is a terrible system and Austin ISD, even with its challenges, doesn't have a history of corruption and grade management problems like DISD.
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Old 09-11-2010, 08:27 AM
AGA
 
Location: Knoxville, TN
729 posts, read 1,813,573 times
Reputation: 203
I love having my kids here. Personally, we are a somewhat conservative family, but I love the fact that my kids have exposure to all different types of people and families etc... It is an opportunity for dialogue and lessons in diversity and tolerance and such.
The entertainment aspect is great, too. Plenty of sports related stuff for kids, lots of festivals and celebrations, concerts and open air stuff. It is really not that far to get to the nearest "attractions" such as Sea World, Fiesta Texas, Schlitterbahn, and even a jaunt to Dallas or Houston.
And for the record, I am SW Austin.
I could go on and on, but just wanted to chime in. We have been here 7 yrs and moved here when kids were 3 and 5!
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Old 09-11-2010, 08:35 AM
 
Location: Texas
28,103 posts, read 22,881,067 times
Reputation: 33562
I don't see why Austin would be any better or worse for raising kids. There are good schools, there are good outdoor amenities, there are lovely parks...

I wouldn't want to live there because there are less amenities for me as an adult, the airport doesn't get you anywhere, and frankly, the traffic and roads are horrific (lived there five years and it got worse every year). But that doesn't have to figure into your equation, as you may not have to deal with that on a day-to-day basis.

As for sports, you can always head down to San Antonio or go to UT games. Houston is also only 2 hours away if you want great shopping or restaurants or to catch a game or a play or something.
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