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Greensboro, Winston-Salem, High Point The Triad Area
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Old 03-02-2013, 11:05 AM
45 posts, read 62,300 times
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My family and I (husband and 3-year-old daughter) are planning to relocate to Winston-Salem from the San Francisco Bay area. I lived in Winston-Salem as a teenager in the 'burbs (toward Clemmons), and my parents are still there. We are now weighing the decision about whether to move back to a similar (or even the same) suburban neighborhood I grew up in or to try something different, and there is an appeal in my mind to try out a more urban existence Downtown. I have found some nice townhomes on Poplar St. and another nearby location but suspect there would be very few children living in those types of homes. Does anyone have opinions or advice on raising children in the Old Salem part of downtown? Thoughts on safety? Are there activities for children there? I like the idea of family walks on the Strollway, visiting public parks together, and growing some of our own food in the community vegetable garden nearby. There seem to be a sufficient number (though not huge) of parks near downtown. We currently live in a condo in California, and though sometimes I think a yard would be nice, I don't feel it's necessary if there are plenty of green spaces nearby. I have researched the schools already and have some good ideas on how to work around potentially being in a poor school district (i.e., request a better school within the zone or go private if need be), but what I am really curious about is what family life might be like downtown and whether there would be other children around for my child to play with. Thank you for any ideas you might have!
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Old 03-02-2013, 08:27 PM
Location: NC High Country
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Disclaimer: I don't have children, but.....

I lived for 10 years near the intersection of Brookstown Ave and S. Marshall St., very close to Old Salem. I walked my dog every day on the Strollway and through Old Salem and never had issues with safety, except for a [possibly] rabid raccoon that chased us one time. I LOVE that area and still miss it after being gone 5 years (even though I do love where I'm living now in the NC mtns). My immediate townhome neighborhood was all empty nesters and young professionals, but I think it could be a great place for children.

I think there are frequent activities for children at Old Salem, and the Children's Museum of W-S is just north of Old Salem boundaries. You've also got Sawtooth Center for Visual Art nearby with wonderful art classes of all kinds for children and adults, including summer camps for kids. Oh, and don't forget about the Gateway YWCA at the foot of the hill. It's fabulous.

I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong, but it's my understanding that the Downtown Elementary and Middle Schools are both highly regarded and sought after.

Living downtown with children would have its challenges, but I definitely think it's doable.
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Old 03-02-2013, 09:41 PM
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I think most of the "urban" families tend to live in West End or Ardmore not actually in the condos downtown or in Old Salem. However, West End and Ardmore are more of a neighborhood vibe than city living. I personally think you won't have a problem living downtown with kids and would be a great experience. Hanes Park is in West End and you can easily meet families there. We like living in Ardmore because of all the kids around us, but we can still walk to many things. Our entire street is full of kids and they just run next door to play. I don't know if you will get that experience in Old Salem or in a downtown condo. You are fortunate you already know Winston-Salem; it won't be as shocking to see the downtown is nothing like the bay area!
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Old 03-03-2013, 09:54 AM
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Roadpony and enlightenme, thank you very much for your replies. I found them encouraging. It was also good to find out that most of the "urban" children are in either Ardmore or West End. This has given me good food for thought. Thanks again!
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Old 03-04-2013, 08:44 AM
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We are buying a home in Ardmore. Although we are childless, it seems like a nice neighborhood for kids. My main concern would be living on or near higher traffic roads like Hawthorne.
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