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Old 08-02-2010, 03:27 PM
 
3 posts, read 3,557 times
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I live in Los Angeles with my husband and 10-year-old son. We live in a nice area in an apartment, but can't afford to buy a house here (or anywhere in or around LA). It drives me crazy that our son can't simply "go outside and play" in the summer. Either we need to arrange formal play dates or he hangs out inside playing video games. Do kids in other parts of the country live like this??? My husband and I both grew up in the midwest and had a much more independent childhood. Is there somewhere can we move that would give my son the kind of childhood we had? We need good public schools and affordable housing in a safe, kid-friendly neighborhood. Ideally, we'd like to be in a scenic college town, but close enough to commute to a larger city. And hopefully not too much snow. Any ideas?
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Old 08-02-2010, 03:52 PM
 
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kids grow best on about 20 acres of deciduous forest
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Old 08-02-2010, 04:47 PM
 
Location: Arizona
1,034 posts, read 3,868,788 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jetplane View Post
I live in Los Angeles with my husband and 10-year-old son. We live in a nice area in an apartment, but can't afford to buy a house here (or anywhere in or around LA). It drives me crazy that our son can't simply "go outside and play" in the summer. Either we need to arrange formal play dates or he hangs out inside playing video games. Do kids in other parts of the country live like this??? My husband and I both grew up in the midwest and had a much more independent childhood. Is there somewhere can we move that would give my son the kind of childhood we had? We need good public schools and affordable housing in a safe, kid-friendly neighborhood. Ideally, we'd like to be in a scenic college town, but close enough to commute to a larger city. And hopefully not too much snow. Any ideas?
I'm wondering the same thing as you. I grew up in SoCal, but we never cared to stay at home all day playing on the computer (and we had a computer in our home in the mid-eighties since my mom was a computer programmer). I don't have children yet, but I want them to grow up in a safe community with lots of outdoor activities. I was always at the beach or swimming at a friend's house when I was young. I also didn't mind just hanging out at home, reading, tending to my pets, etc.

I live in Phoenix now and don't want to raise kids here. I see my friends scheduling play dates just like you mentioned. There are no kids on their streets and because you don't have to live in a school district to enroll your kids at the school, kids go to school with other kids from all over the place. The kids I went to school with lived in my same neighborhood or within no more than a mile or two so meeting up with them was simple.

My sister just relocated to Colorado Springs, CO, and I'm going to see how she likes it there before I consider relocating to be closer to her. Check out Denver and surrounding suburbs. There are lots of outdoor things to do in Colorado; hiking, hunting, camping, skiing, etc.

I also have strong ties to family in the mid-west, primarily Nebraska. My cousins grew up outdoors and never felt like they didn't have tons of things to do. They were constantly fishing, hunting, camping, or searching for treasures on their family's land. Many had horses they raised. I think Nebraska's weather is pretty wild, even compared to Denver, but I could be wrong. I've heard the west side of Denver get milder weather, as does Colorado Springs.

Best of luck.
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Old 08-02-2010, 04:59 PM
 
Location: where my heart is
5,642 posts, read 7,969,609 times
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My daughter, her SO, and I were just talking about this. Her SO said she would like her kids to be raised in a big city (NY). My daughter grew up in a suburb and she said she liked that.

I can see both sides since I was born and raised in NYC. You can raise kids in either places. There are so many factors. Where is your job and how are your finances? What do you like doing yourself? Do you yourself like the big city and what it has to offer? Do you liked a more relaxed lifestyle and be closer to nature and all that has to offer?

You kids will probably grow up faster and become more self sufficient in a big city. If you live in a burb or the country, they will have to find ways to amuse themselves and/or depend on you to take them places until they are much older.

I don't think there is a "better" way for all. Each place has its own advantages and disadvantages. Only the individual couple can decide what is best for them and their kids.
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Old 08-02-2010, 05:21 PM
 
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I would say Upstate New York is the best place to raise kids if you want them to enjoy a normal old-fashioned childhood, but you don't like snow. Too bad! Your loss...
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Old 08-02-2010, 05:35 PM
 
Location: Chicago metro
3,507 posts, read 7,314,024 times
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Naperville, IL- Its a rather expensive city by midwestern standards. It has good public schools, and very low crime rate for a city with a 143,000 population. Been listed as one of the best places at least 3 times in the last 3 years.

Evanston,IL- more urban, liberal, higher concentration of apartments, and bordering the city.. Its also a college town(Northwestern University). The drawback, Evanston is expensive snows in the winter. You might find something in your price range.

Last edited by Chicagoland60426; 08-02-2010 at 06:03 PM..
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Old 08-02-2010, 05:42 PM
 
129 posts, read 162,365 times
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Ann Arbor, MI
Madison, WI
Iowa City, IA
Bloomington, IN
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Old 08-02-2010, 05:52 PM
 
Location: Southern Minnesota
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Check out Dickinson, ND, Mayville, ND, St. Peter, MN, Northfield, MN and Bemidji, MN.
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Old 08-02-2010, 05:53 PM
 
Location: roaming gnome
12,391 posts, read 24,565,147 times
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I think it is more of a sign of the times more so than where your location is.
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Old 08-02-2010, 06:43 PM
 
3 posts, read 3,557 times
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I agree - I think it's a sign of the times too. Even some of my friends in the Midwest say that their kids don't have the same freedom we did. But, I'm sure there are some places out there where kids can roam their neighborhoods and ride bikes with their friends without parents having to chaperone. Thanks very much for the suggestions. I definitely want to check out Naperville, Bloomington and Denver suburbs.
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