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Old 06-23-2010, 11:10 AM
 
Location: Duluth, Minnesota, USA
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What's the most "family-friendly" urban neighborhood in Minneapolis or St. Paul?

Are Uptown and Victory particularly family-friendly?
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Old 06-23-2010, 11:21 AM
 
Location: Minneapolis, MN
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Let me ask you a question, what, in your opinion, constitutes a "family-friendly" neighborhood? It seems very subjective to me.

Uptown is chock-full of bars...I'm not sure if that translates to family-friendly. Depends on who you're talking to I suppose.

If you define family-friendly by proximity to parks and schools than pretty much everywhere in Minneapolis is family-friendly.

If you define family-friendly by the presence of other families and children then Victory probably has a higher proportion while Uptown is more heavily populated with young professionals. If this is your largest priority, I'm not kidding...walk through the Phillips neighborhood. We walk around alot of the city neighborhoods and Phillips has by far the most young kids running around at any hour of the day, it isn't even close.
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Old 06-23-2010, 12:34 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis, MN
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Victory Neighborhood is having its annual ice cream social tonight outside of Victory Park/ Loring School (starts at 7pm, just go to the corner of 44th avenue north and upton aves n). Hopefully the weather cooperates, but usually there are several hundred people in attendance (from both Victory and surrounding n'hoods)- free ice cream, neighborhood org information, pony rides, petting zoo, free massages, and other booths. Come check us out!

I can respond more if you'd like more info about this topic later- I would definitely say yes to the traditional definition, but agree w/Slig that what "family-friendly" constitutes (and a person's comfort level with a variety of factors of city living) is different for everyone, so more info about what you are specifically looking for and what you're comfortable with would be good. Also, I have an (some would say over-) abundance of posts/responses on the Victory N'hood if you do a search on here.
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Old 06-23-2010, 02:05 PM
 
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I think Uptown is very family-friendly, but it's going to depend on the block. That's probably true many places, though. If you live right by the main business areas then yes, it could be loud. I was raised in Uptown, and we're planning on buying a place there ourselves to raise our own toddler. There's everything you need right there: library (with family activities, toddler storytime, etc.), tons of parks (including the fabulous tot lot right on the shore of Lake Calhoun), pediatrician, the best kids shoe store around, family activities at the parks, etc. And, for what it's worth, I was at the annual CARAG sale last month (CARAG is the neighborhood bordered by Lake, 36th, Hennepin, and Lyndale, so depending on your definition all or part of it is in Uptown) and it seemed like every other sale was filled with kids stuff. The stereotype that Uptown is all young bar-hoppers is not true. It is the case on some blocks and in some buildings, but there are many, many areas where that's not representative of the on-the-ground reality of the situation. It is a denser, more urban, bustling neighborhood than Victory, though, as well as more expensive, so while there are a lot of families, I would agree that there are going to be fewer kids than there are in quieter neighborhoods like Victory. As noted, if you can give a few more details about what you're looking for people can throw out some more suggestions or give you some better opinions as to whether these two neighborhoods would work for you and your preferences.

If Uptown appeals to you, though, it is definitely family-friendly. So is Victory. It just depends on what you're looking for in a neighborhood.

As far as the stereotypical traditional family-friendly area that is "urban" in the sense of being in the city and being fairly walkable, I think Linden Hills comes the closest to fitting the bill. The Linden Hills park and library, easy access to Lake Harriet (and the trolley and the band shell), the Wild Rumpus (bookstore), Creative Kidstuff (toy store), lots of other family-friendly shops and businesses, small town feel, safe, community parades, some of the best public schools in the city, the whole nine yards. Ultimately I think it's just a bit too quiet for us (I like the greater variety of options within easy walking distance in Uptown), but it is extremely appealing and is filled to the brim with families and kids.

Again, all depends on what you're looking for. St. Paul has some great urban family-oriented neighborhoods, too.
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Old 06-23-2010, 02:40 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis, MN
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Going back to my point on subjectivity, you can really take any neighborhood in the city and make the argument it is family friendly. It's completely opinion based. That's why I have a problem with this question.

I lived on the 2700 block of Fremont Ave in the Lowry Hills East neighborhood in 2004. I was there for about 5 months and during that entire time I only saw 1 family in my neighborhood. Now, granted, things may have changed in that neighborhood since then, but honestly out of all the places I've lived that area was easily the most child-stricken. I have no doubt that the Carag neighborhood has more families but I'd be surprised if there were more young kids there (per capita) than Victory or the neighorhoods further away from the heart of Uptown.
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Old 06-23-2010, 05:22 PM
 
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I'm not saying that Uptown has more kids than Victory, just that there are a lot of families there. And yes, it is subjective as to what makes up a "family" neighborhood, but there's this stereotype that Uptown doesn't have kids or doesn't have many kids, and it's simply not true. I don't know the block of 27th and Fremont in particular, but I know there are certainly kids in the Wedge area of Uptown (just check out Mueller Park Playground sometime, for example). Now whether or not it's the right neighborhood for the original poster is another question, but having spent a great deal of time in Uptown -- including time as a parent -- I wanted to give my opinion it's a very family-friendly neighborhood and that there are actually lots of families living in the area.
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Old 06-23-2010, 10:05 PM
 
Location: Duluth, Minnesota, USA
7,652 posts, read 17,239,798 times
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Let's say the parents of 4 wants a neighborhood where:

- Most homes have children
- There are ample after school / extra-curricular opportunities, especially in sports
- Children can ride bikes together and play in the parks after school & not have to worry about drug dealing or other criminal activity in them
- There are the standard restaurants preferred by families and children, e.g. Chunk E. Cheese, CiCi's, and Applebee's
- There is a large amount of support for politicians who identify with "family values", e.g. Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachman.
- A normal family owns a full-size SUV and/or full-size pick-up truck
- Family-friendly country music is standard listening fare among the populace
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Old 06-23-2010, 10:46 PM
 
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In your shoes I'd probably look toward the suburbs. Coon Rapids and Blaine come to mind. Both have areas with heavy concentrations of families. I think they're a little more blue collar and I think you'd find more country fans in the north than you would in the SW suburbs that can be fairly conservative too. I'm not sure about the St. Paul side.
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Old 06-23-2010, 10:59 PM
 
Location: Duluth, Minnesota, USA
7,652 posts, read 17,239,798 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kebinminn View Post
In your shoes I'd probably look toward the suburbs. Coon Rapids and Blaine come to mind. Both have areas with heavy concentrations of families. I think they're a little more blue collar and I think you'd find more country fans in the north than you would in the SW suburbs that can be fairly conservative too. I'm not sure about the St. Paul side.
Well, they're not my shoes. They are the "shoes" of a hypothetical (but common) family.
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Old 06-23-2010, 11:03 PM
 
371 posts, read 509,369 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tvdxer View Post
Let's say the parents of 4 wants a neighborhood where:

- Most homes have children
- There are ample after school / extra-curricular opportunities, especially in sports
- Children can ride bikes together and play in the parks after school & not have to worry about drug dealing or other criminal activity in them
- There are the standard restaurants preferred by families and children, e.g. Chunk E. Cheese, CiCi's, and Applebee's
- There is a large amount of support for politicians who identify with "family values", e.g. Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachman.
- A normal family owns a full-size SUV and/or full-size pick-up truck
- Family-friendly country music is standard listening fare among the populace
And I was taking the original post seriously.
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