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Old 04-16-2011, 06:35 AM
4 posts, read 8,679 times
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My family will be moving to the Minneapolis area this summer due to a promotion I got with my job. We have 2 small kids (3 and almost 1). We will have a car but prefer to drive as little as possible in our day to day activities.

We are looking for some neighborhoods suggestions that fit these criteria:
1. Kid friendly - walkable to parks and other families with kids
2. Has a decent walkable score - would like to be able to walk to a grocery store, drug store, restuarants, etc...
3. Easy to commute to downtown if needed by public transportation
4. Relatively safe - lower crime rates
5. We will be renting - we will be looking for atleast a 3 bedroom place in a quieter area - rents no more than $2000 a month.

Thanks for any help!
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Old 04-16-2011, 07:43 AM
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There are multiple options that fit the bill, but here's a start:

1. Parts of Uptown, especially the CARAG and ECCO neighborhoods (very walkable -- Uptown is, I think, the most walkable area in the city in terms of access to amenities. Great public transportation options, too, and Lake Calhoun and Isles are right there, along with lots of parks and playgrounds). Uptown is centered around the commercial core of Hennepin and Lake, and a general rule of thumb is that the area north of Lake is a bit noisier, while CARAG and ECCO are overall quieter. CARAG has a lot of kisd.

2. Linden Hills or Fulton: bus is not quite as convenient as Uptown, but there are still multiple options for an easy downtown commute. Lake Harriet is right there. I don't think you can find a more family-friendly neighborhood anywhere in the Twin Cities. Kids galore, a great children's bookstore, library, park, seasonal trolley, concerts at a bandshell, cute little business district. Fewer grocery stores, but there's a huge (could easily be a primary grocery store -- it's big) co-op on 44th (Linden Hills co-op) and a Lunds at 50th and France. Very safe.

3. Somewhere near the 54th and Lyndale business district. Neighborhoods would include Kenny, Windom, Tangletown, Lynnhurst. There are several playgrounds near there, the Minnehaha Creek runs right through that area (and has walking trails along it; my son loves it there), the Washburn Library is very nice and is a big local kid hangout, lots of kids in the neighborhood, and things like a drugstore and grocery store, etc. Kenny School -- also near there -- has great ECFE (early childhood education) classes and programs, including some in the evening.

4. Richfield, near 66th and Penn. No sidewalks on the side streets, but it's still a nice area and seems to have a lot of kids. The business district isn't nearly as attractive as the others suggested, but they're working on some upgrades. Nice parks, the very community-minded Lunds grocery store, public transportation, a fair number of businesses in the immediate area. Not too far from Wood Lake Nature Center, which is GREAT (for those with or without kids).

Of all of those, Uptown is best for overall walkability and public transportation, but has fewer kids than some of the other (like Linden Hills), although there are still plenty of other kids and families around.
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