Friday Question of the Day – Best Neighborhoods for those with Kids? Best Neighborhoods for Those who Wish to Avoid Kids? Best for Serving Both Worlds?


A reader send me the photo above from Bloomingdale and it got me thinking about the most family friendly neighborhoods in the District. Then I remembered some discussions we’ve had where folks wish to avoid kids at all costs. So for this week’s question – which neighborhoods do you think are the most family friendly? Which neighborhoods are best/most fun for those without kids or those who simply want to avoid kids? Which neighborhoods truly cater to both sets?

120 Comment

  • I can see this getting HEATED.

  • jim_ed

    Using my highly rigorous anecdotal evidence, I say the best for kids are Capitol Hill or west of the park if you’re wealthy, Shepherd Park / Upper 16th St if you’re merely affluent, and Brookland / Woodridge, Northern Petworth, and Brightwood if you’re some kind of non-lawyer poor. The latter may not have a lot of kid friendly ammenities, but they’re quiet, middle class-ish neighborhoods where kids can play outside and anything not bolted down is isn’t stolen.

    Best place to avoid them? Follow the DINKS: Dupont, Logan Circle, Chinatown. Also where your couples rent, like Navy Yard and NoMa.

    • I think you’re right. I see a lot of young families around Tenleytown, Chevy Chase, Friendship Heights, etc. Up there you don’t have to worry about crime, you’re zoned to the best middle schools & one of the few good high schools, and you have all of the amenities like grocery stores, retail, doctors, parks, a movie theatre, etc. that come in handy when you’re raising kids. I’m sure this thread will have a wide variety of opinions, but as I see it, where you raise your family after those infants grow up is determined by schools and that factor does not help most up-and-coming DC neighborhoods right now.

    • Pretty spot on, I think. We’re seeing lots more strollers around in our N. Petworth/Brightwood/Takoma area these days (including ours!).

    • I agree. I live in Brookland with my youngish family. We love it, think it’s a great place to start a family, look forward to all the new development that is happening, but would leave in a heart beat for Capitol Hill or west of the park if my income suddenly tripled. There are a ton of new babies in the neighborhood though, as evidenced by the strong upswing in trick-or-treaters we had last night, so hopefully families who are worried about the schools will stay and make the commitment to make them better collectively.

    • Follow the DINKs is great advice for the childless set. I’d also say look at population density. Most families will outgrow a 2 bedroom condo in a big building pretty quickly. A crawling baby — not to mention all the stuff that comes with him — can wreak havoc in 750 sq ft. (To the commenter who notes below the trend of more families on H Street, I suspect that is, in part, bc there are still available and semi-affordable houses there, and parents of some level of financial means have outgrown the condos they started in and are buying up those houses).

      One comment on the Shepherd Park suggestion here, based on my own experience. I agree that SP is great for families, but as someone pointed out to us when we made the “where do we plant our new family?” decision, if you’re going that far north anyway, why not cross the border to the non-DC jurisdiction? Inner Silver Spring is right next door, but you get MoCo services — including parks and schools, which are great in that area — for the cost of admission. Again, I’m not bagging on SP here, just suggesting that, at the margins, the jurisdiction makes a difference.

    • There’s a TON of families in the Navy Yard area. Lots in the Capitol Quarter development, as well as the old rowhouses that survived urban development in SW. Being so close to the Hill and it’s kid-friendly spaces, plus family-oriented Yards Park and Canal Park, relatively easy parking, and quick highway access, make the area really attractive for families.

      • Totally agree. But at the same time, the area is certainly not overrun with kids and there’s plenty for the DINKs to do as well. It’s really a hybrid, and as a DINK who will eventually have a family, I hope it stays that way.

      • Yes. I live in Navy Yard and have a 2 yr old. We can walk to at least 4 parks/playgrounds, 2 libraries, multiple water features. But there are also bars and restaurants where you don’t see any kids.

    • I love the west of the park reference as if it is just one neighborhood. I recently moved west of the park – between Friendship Heights and Chevy Chase Circle – and agree that it is great for kids. Not only are there a lot of good amenities, it is highly walkable and very safe.

    • “merely affluent” is a bit obnoxious. Also, it discounts Shepherd Park/Upper 16th as the premier locale for VERY well off Blacks. We make the money, but prefer to keep it in the 20012… it’s been that way for a while now. Gold Coast baby, get up on it.

  • I know it’s technically not part of DC thanks to DC’s inability to annex, but I recently moved to downtown Silver Spring and certainly recommend it to people both w/and w/o kids. In my research of DTSS and trying to figure which area to buy I came across this video which is A. beyond awesome/hilarious and B. shows whether you’re 3, 23, or 93, white or black, wealthy or not, you’ll fit right in downtown Silver Spring.
    Do yourself a favor and watch (first 15 seconds being the best):

  • Single and No kids: but I feel Cap Hill/H street area have tons of new families and I can see this trend moving into Trinidad as well. It’s pretty amazing how many new/young families have/are moved in.

    Least would be Logan Circle/Ustr/Columbia heights.

    • I think Columbia Heights is getting more and more kids. Last night, we had a LOT of trick or treaters out. And I seem to see kids out all the time (but maybe that’s because I live right by a school). Two of my neighbors in a 4 unit building have kids. And I’d say about a third of the people on my block have school age kids. And there are kids out by the metro/amenities by the metro all the time (DCUSA, spray park, etc) (either with or without parents). That is just my experience, though.

    • Yup, definitely. We live on the west end of H and there are tons of young families in the area. We are DINKs, and prefer to stay that way, but I don’t mind being in a family-friendly neighborhood. I think H St has something for everyone.

  • gotryit

    From my experience, for kids, 16th street heights. Buy I’d second what jim_ed said about income. I think it’s a good balance of house size, yard, decent school, safety, distance to downtown / transportation and cost. But there is enough of a range of housing options to cover a good range of middle class.

  • Petworth/ the parts that feed Powell are overwhelmingly family friendly.

    • andy

      We live three blocks from Powell, our son’s school, and have Upshur Park, with its pool and new soccer field right there. It’s a great place to live.

  • We love it here in Forest Hills! We have large space, good neighbors and feel very safe. We are close to good places to eat on Ct Avenue and good schools. We can take Rock Creek when we want to go to more popular areas like DuPont and Georgetown and it takes us no more tha 15 minutes. We can also get to The Collection in 10 minutes. It’s very easy to find good help to keep your yard clean, walk the dogs and cook a good meal.

  • Fwiw, we moved to northern Bloomingdale about a year ago and are really excited to start our family here.

  • I have to disagree with the guy jim_ed who called Brookland/Woodridge/Brightwood area a “non-lawyer poor” area. I think that the people that choose to live in those areas make a conscience decision not to move into other parts of town and actually look for houses that are detached with yards, room to grow, etc. While Cap Hill and other row house parts of town are nice, with kids, you can’t really beat an area like Brookland that has big, reasonably priced houses with yards. Who knew half a million dollar houses were for the poor? Only in DC…

    • justinbc

      I believe it was said partly in jest.

      • jim_ed

        Yes, that was a joke, because to buy into Brookland and Petworth today you still have to be wealthy relative to nearly everyone else in society, but are comparably poor compared to people buying $1M+ homes in Capitol Hill or Spring Valley. Even these supposedly middle class areas are out of reach for a lot of middle class earners.

    • Uh, not really. If I could afford to live west of the park, I would. And I bet at least a few of my neighbors would as well. Brookland is nice, but the schools blow. It’s far from an ideal place to have school-age children. My house in Brookland was purchased largely as an investment to fund a house in a nicer neighborhood that is more in line with my family’s needs.

      • Concur. We bought in north Petworth/Brightwood Park less than three years ago and look forward to upgrading–not necessarily our house, but our neighborhood, and it’s got nothing to do with kids. Probably won’t ever afford west of the park so we’ll be looking for a first tier suburb.

      • Remember that it wasn’t too long ago that the schools on the hill sucked. One (8th st beside Easten Market) was shutdown. You see that schools are improving as new residents move in or as current residents are having school aged kids, you see this happening in the H st area. I feel like its a matter of time for Brookland.

      • This. I don’t have children, but I bought my first house in a much-less-than-desirable neighborhood because it was directly in the line of major development. I knew the price would increase enough in a relatively short period of time so that I could sell and buy a house in a much more desirable area.
        My plan came to fruition last year: had a bidding war on my house and I walked away with nearly double what I paid for it after owning it for two years. Now I have a much bigger/nicer house in a much much better neighborhood.

  • justinbc

    I don’t really pay that much attention to kids when I’m out, so I generally only notice stark contrasts. When I lived in Logan Circle (14th and Corcoran) I virtually never saw them, even on Halloween. Now that I live in Capitol Hill (in between H St Corridor and Lincoln Park) it seems like they’re all around. I can’t comment on whether it’s actually “good” for kids, but it sure seems to be a popular place for them.

    • I live at 13th and T and there are sorts of strollers now. It’s an amazing and sudden change.

    • When do you move away from Logan? We had a line of kids out the door the last several Halloweens, and you can’t swing a dead cat around here without hitting a stroller. I agree it’s not Capitol Hill, but you either left this neighborhood a long time ago or when you were here you wore kid blinders.

      • justinbc

        March of this year. I used to run through the neighborhood almost every day as well, and stroller sightings were extremely rare. I would guess that a large portion of that line you had last night were not actual Logan Circle residents.

        • Justin, I live here. There are lots of strollers, and I don’t think they’re commuting in. This also from a very recent WaPo article:

          “The District’s baby boom is spiking not only in neighborhoods that have long attracted families, such as the suburban-like Upper Northwest or family-friendly Capitol Hill. Babies and toddlers are often seen on city streets near downtown neighborhoods such as Logan and Dupont circles, 14th and U streets, Mount Pleasant and Columbia Heights, all better known as apartment- and condo-heavy havens for the young, single adults who are responsible for most of the District’s growth over the past decade.”

          • justinbc

            I’m entirely sure that it’s possible. In the 6 months since I left multiple high rise condo / apartment buildings have opened their doors. That alone could account for a large uptake in young, baby making people.

          • Nope, it’s been happening over the past few years. Maybe you just weren’t out during daytime hours. 🙂
            That same article PP quoted above says that the number of kids under 14 years of age has increased by 20% in recent years. That’s a damn high number. I’ve lived in dupont/logan for 9 years and in the past 4 years there has been an incredible baby boom.

          • justinbc

            Oh I was definitely out, that was one of the benefits of living so close to so many things. Kids wouldn’t be allowed in most bars though, and I pretty much never saw them in restaurants. Hell, go to Whole Foods on any given day and it’s pretty much just all people in yoga pants and running shorts and very few children around. Maybe their parents all had them doing after school extra-curriculars or something!

          • I agree with Justin. The amount of kids in Dupont/Logan is very small compared to the numbers he’s seeing in Capitol Hill or that you’ll find in the Mt. P/CoHi/Petworth area. He’s not saying they don’t exist; it’s just that their proportion is a A LOT smaller than the aforementioned areas. Unless you’re really rich, folks with kids in Dupont/Logan decamp to ‘hoods with actual houses once the kid gets old enough to enter elementary school. Raising a kid in a condo is tough.

          • I live in the Dupont/Logan area, and it seems like there are an increasing number of babies, but not a lot of elementary school aged kids or older. They’re there, it’s not a total kid wasteland, but I don’t see them around in the same numbers I do in other neighborhoods.
            It will be interesting to see if the baby boomlet now changes this in 5-7 years, or if it’s a stable age structure and people really do leave this neighborhood after they outgrow a small condo or their kids are starting school.

        • Justin,

          A lot of that could have been what time you were running through the neighborhood. If it was evenings (or early mornings), that could explain it, as neither is a big stroller time. Maybe it’s because I now have a 1-year old, but we now have a lot of friends that have had kids in/around 14th Street over the last 2-3 years. There seems to have been an even bigger influx this year though.

          • justinbc

            Yeah, generally around 5-6PM, when I would get off of work. I honestly have no idea what typical stroller hours are, totally ignorant on that one, but I would assume you would still see middle aged kids out and about?

          • Parents also forget that they live in a kid-centric bubble. Yes, it seems like there’s ton of families with kids. But that’s because you spend all your time with those people. 14th/Logan/Dupont still has relatively fewer families as a proportion of the neighborhood compared to the other areas in the city.

  • Pretty simple and in this order – neighborhoods with access to good school (private if rich enough and don’t give a sht about public education, public/ charlter otherwise), low crime/ obnoxous street behavior, diversity, proximity to other families with children and lowest environmental concerns (water, air. etc) make the best neighborhoods for kids. DC is getting better and surpasses some suburban locales in these regards, but not Bethesda and other higher income burbs.

  • It’s virtual impossible for regular middle-income folks with kids to even think about DC neigborhoods.

    • justinbc

      You’re ignoring a huge portion of what’s classified as DC then. There are loads of neighborhoods with affordable housing, they just might not have the trendiest restaurants or be near Metro stations.

      • Affordable housing- yes. In areas with low crime and good schools? I wouldn’t say there are “loads” of neighborhoods with all those parameters.

        • justinbc

          That factor wasn’t included in the original comment. They only posted that income was the restriction.

          • I think the whole without being murdered thing was implied.

          • Then don’t get involved with drugs and gangs, wherever you are.

          • justinbc

            That’s quite an exaggeration. I’m sure the majority of people in those neighborhoods make it through most days without being murdered, or even maimed.

          • “Don’t get involved with drugs and gangs” is pretty flip advice when it comes to avoiding crime, and certainly provides no guarantees. I’m guessing lots of people who’ve been violently mugged weren’t involved with gangs/drugs, just walking to/from work or a night out. And a lot of the youth-on-youth violence in high-crime neighborhoods is over complete nonsense like petty arguments and perceived disrespect–some of the supposed “gang” violence these days is not necessarily connected to organized involvement in criminal activity, but rather microneighborhood-based ragtag “crews.” In some neighborhoods, it’s not uncommon for kids to be perceived by rivals as “affiliated” with a crew simply by virtue of the street they live on, rather than involvement in drugs or gang activity. If I were a parent, I would definitely be concerned about those kinds of safety issues as my son or daughter headed into the teen years.

          • gotryit

            Ok, drugs and “crews” then if you’re too PC (?) to call them gangs. Plenty of kids steer clear of that and go on to be functional members of society. And one benefit of gentrification is that the “crews” and their influence is being broken up.

          • @gotryit: It’s true that gentrification has a benefit of breaking up “crews” and gangs, but that doesn’t mean they leave crime and drug hustling behind. The sad part about gentrification that no one wants to talk about is that these crews just head across Southern Ave. and continue their line of work in PG County.

          • Nice try with the condescension, but the term “crew” instead of “gang” has nothing to do with being PC. The distinction is the types of activities they tend to be involved in, and the ambiguity (or lack thereof) of membership/affiliation. Yes, “gangs” in the true sense of the word (Bloods, Crips, MS-13, or what have you) are certainly still active. And yes, some “crews” are also involved with drugs, theft, assaults, etc. I don’t know what the generational cutoff is, but a lot of people my age (mid-30s) and older have an outdated view of gang/crew affiliation based on the messages we got about gangs (“don’t join a gang” and the dominant image of gangs as large-scale organized, kingpin-headed operations like the Bloods and Crips) when we were growing up. Things are not that clear-cut anymore as a kid choosing to join a gang or crew, and being an official member of that gang or crew or declining to join/affiliate. Yes, some kids to “join” or self-identify as part of a gang or crew. But those who don’t can also get swept up. I could be a decent teenager who goes to school and church and doesn’t do drugs or commit crimes–but I could be labeled by, say, the 18th Street Crew as being part of the 16th Street Crew just because I live on 16th Street, and beat up because the 18th St Crew gets mad that someone in the 16th St crew slept with one of their girlfriends, or some other petty thing. Or because I’ve been spotted chatting with my neighbor, who *is* active in the 16th St crew, or whatever. Violence, whether it’s gang-related or crew-related, doesn’t always stay in its own little bubble. That’s what’s worrisome to a parent, and to suggest that all one needs to do to avoid violence is stay away from gangs and drugs is completely insensitive to all the law-abiding people who’ve been affected by violent crime.

          • IF you avoid drugs, gangs, and domestic violence, you are VASTLY more likely to be killed on 495/270/66 than in random violence. How many people were killed randomly in DC last year? 2? 6? Like it or not, the VAST majority of people who were murdered in DC were somehow involved in their own demise. Not saying they deserved it, but some action they took (dealing drugs, joining a gang) ultimately brought it upon. If you are a normal, non criminal, your odds of being murdered are miniscule.

            Even at 6 random murders, that means you have a 1/100,000 chance of dying in violence. 30,000+ people were killed in car crashes last year, giving you a 1/10,000 chance of dying in a car accident.

        • gotryit

          “low crime and good schools”
          Different folks have different tolerance levels. Most of the people that I know with very low tolerance for crime live in northern VA. I’ve lived near Columbia Heights with 2 kids, and while I didn’t like the crime levels, I could deal with them.
          Same thing with schools – if you go by reputation and number of kids on free lunch, then you’re going to skip over a lot of neighborhoods. If you take the time to meet the other parents and get a feel for the community, then there are many more schools that show promise. A lot of “good enough” has to do with the parenting that goes with the schools.

          • When looking at DC, you have to keep the term “good schools” in perspective. You can’t really even compare DCPS to someplace like Fairfax County, which has one of the best school systems in the country. The only really good schools in DC are the ones that 99% of us cannot afford.

          • 9:56 — can’t afford meaning DCPS and their neighborhoods or private? I ask because whether you’re at Janney, Tubman, or Simon, the curriculum is the same, the central office is the same, as is the teacher and principal evaluation system. Sure, some schools have better principals and educators, but the main difference is the kids, and the SES levels…

      • Not really on topic, but that’s a really interesting point you make.

        When I lived in DC, I couldn’t afford to live near a Metro station AND get the amenities I wanted (long term parking for my car, relatively safe, a one-bedroom, non English basement apartment). I wasn’t near anything cool, and nothing cool was really within walking distance. I took the bus to work for a long time, and it took me about 45 minutes – 1 hr to get to and from work. I moved out to the suburbs – WAY out in the suburbs – and it only takes me about 10 minutes longer than that to get to and from work. Driving to work in D.C. was faster, obviously, but that defeats the purpose.

        There are some places in D.C. that are so far from the “good” reasons to live in a city that it’s not really worth the rent.

        • justinbc

          Yeah, I’m not really stating that it’s practical, merely possible. And I would agree with you, except point out that those “far out” DC neighborhoods are more likely to be absorbed by the ever rising tide of the DC real estate market than the suburbs will. I’m sure the people who bought in Bloomingdale, Hill East, Brookland, etc for under 100K 10-15 years ago never imagined their properties would be selling at half to three quarters of a million dollars now. I can’t imagine people in Stafford, Woodbridge, Springfield, etc can or will say the same thing down the road.

          • I agree, the rising property value in DC is a huge reason to buy. But it’s a bubble, and some day it will pop. Until DC makes some major improvements to its schools and crime most people, once they want to start a family and send their kids to good public schools, will opt to live in the suburbs.

          • If a critical mass of more affluent newcomers send their kids to DCPS, the schools will improve without the system having to do much at all since socioeconomic status is the best predictor of school performance. It will take time, but I think it’s inevitable as the trend toward the city is a generational thing that is still in its early to mid stages of playing out. Far out suburbs may experience the reverse during this period, and to add insult to injury will have to deal with all the inconveniences of being far out.

          • justinbc

            Well, continued movement into the District also adds tax revenue (as seen in this year’s huge surplus), part of which goes to funding for schools and the arts. That alone should result in some increase in quality, even if the demand for it isn’t there yet.

          • @Meg, just like it popped in 2008 right? Oh wait, prices in the district didn’t drop at all…

          • The districts spends TONS of money on its schools. More than anywhere else in its country. Look what that has yielded.

            Maybe it won’t pop. @DNO I highly doubt the suburbs will suffer. If anything the spread will becoming wider.

          • saf

            And we never imagined what our Petworth row house would appraise at. And yes, when we moved here, everyone told us that we were going OUT TO THE BURBS!

          • Um, there was definitely a bubble pop in DC real estate in 2007/2008. Look at some of the sales records for condos – especially for condos that were built in 2006-2009 – and you’ll see that some people are just starting to come out from underwater. It just wasn’t as pronounced as the bubbles in Florida and the West Coast.

          • Meg…the suburbs are already seeing changes and places like Fairfax are already cutting the budget for schools. The schools will come around in time because the worst schools will have major changes in the students being sent there and the parents will demand better and the schools will come around. The opting to live in the suburbs has change already. More and more people are looking to have a home that gains value or at least keeps it, closer to work and the parents are willing to put in the time to get the schools better and to participate in making and keeping the neighborhoods better

    • Not sure I agree. With what people are paying in rent, houses in the 7’s and 8’s west of the park don’t seem that unreasonable, assuming you can come up with the down payment. This latter point is a big assumption I recognize. My point is that there are a lot of houses west of the park that are not that far off in price from the houses in many of the neighborhoods cited for the so called “non-laywer poor” (not my term). I think two government incomes can get you west of the park if that is what you desire.

  • Surprised to hear Capitol Hill has a lot of kids. If I could afford a house on the Hill, I probably could afford one west of the Park that would have more space and better schools.

    (But I freely admit I don’t know Capitol Hill very well, and I guess this thread is additional proof of that)

    • There are a lot of kids here but not all of the schools are great. I think the schools near the lower streets (think lower than 10th) in both NE and SE have better reputations.

  • One of the reasons my husband and I moved away from Capitol Hill (near Lincoln Park, west of 13th street) was that we just weren’t in the same place in our lives as all our neigbhors. (We’re in our mid-20’s.) Everyone else was at least 10 years older, and they all seemed to have an infant & a dog & a mortgage & a 7-figure income, so although they were very friendly, I think they saw us more as potential babysitters/dog-walkers than neighbors you’d invite to dinner. Their kids were cute, though!

    We live in Mount Pleasant now and our neighbors include people of all ages and a wide variety of income levels. It also has more of a community feel than we had on the Hill, which could feel kind of like the suburbs at times. If we could afford to buy here, I don’t think we’d ever leave.

  • We just moved to the Palisades and there are definitely lots of kids (elementary through high school here).

  • how tolerant of you

    • How is is a surprise that not everyone wants to live in neighborhoods with a high concentration of kids? It’s not intolerant for the OP to move to a neighborhood that was more in line with their preferences.

    • lovefifteen

      I see nothing wrong with moving out of a neighborhood once it becomes full of young families with young kids if you’d rather live in a different type of neighborhood.

  • For kids—Cleveland Park
    To avoid kids–My house

  • What was it about the families that prompted you to move? Not attacking, just curious if they did something or if it was just something like you wanted more bars.

    • justinbc

      Reminds me of last year’s Crafty Bastards fair.

    • I call BS. You’ve never been hit by a stroller.

    • justinbc

      So, what do you consider the new “old Bloomingdale”?

      • I live in Bloomingdale and have for about 4yrs. In that time it has certainly changed. It has goods and bads. More restaurants to go to and walk to, more people out and about with their kids and dogs. I think this is good because it keeps crime down. Bad parts are that you do get the occasional loud dude coming out of a bar late at night and some noise. As for the families (and I am single no kids) I don’t see the bad part of having them around. I guess if the mere sight of a kid pisses you off then this may not be the place for you

  • I went to college west of the park and it seemed like an ideal place to raise kids. It’s quiet, safe, and there are yards for the little ones to play. That being said, it’s a little homogenous for my taste. I have an Aunt who lives in a neighborhood called Colonial Village, it’s along the 16th street corridor right before you get to Silver Spring. If I had kids, that’s where I would raise them. A bit more diversity, safe, practically in Rock Creek Park and the homes are large and beautiful.

  • I’m in Dupont Circle and usually only see kids in the neighborhood when I go to the Farmers Market. It seems to be mostly single people and DINK here.

    • I disagree. I’m in dupont with an infant and I see so many parents out and about with infants and toddlers these days. Do you leave the house before 6pm? Are you out in the mornings?

      • And then they move out of Dupont by the time their kid hits 5 or 6 years old. Unless, of course, you are ridiculously wealthy.

      • I can’t say what your experience is. Nor can you say what mine is. Yes, I leave in the AM to go to work. On my walking commute, I see only adults. Same on the way home in the afternoon. I rarely if ever see kids when I am out and about on 17th street, P street, Massachusetts, Connecticut. Like I said, most of the time I see kids around the neighborhood is when I go to the Farmers’ Market. Maybe you are hanging out in places I’m not, but I am just not seeing what you are.

  • As a person with a 5 yr old (who attends a charter school) and not much of a budget, how safe and family friendly is Brightwood?

    • Sometimes my husband and I feel like the the only newer neighbors in Brightwood who don’t have kids! There is a big group of parents who picnic in the park, take their kids to food truck friday, etc. It’s nice that Takoma Park is walkable, and there is more room for parking on the streets. The neighborhood is not perfect and there is crime, but overall it is quiet and neighbors are friendly. Some of my neighbors have lived there for 50 years and are incredibly sweet and were welcoming. We were able to get much more house there than we would have elsewhere. I know nothing about the schools, but if you can drive your child to their charter school, I think this would be a good option.

  • mtpgal

    For kids – definitely Mt Pleasant (or Mt Pregnant, as my friend calls it). Close to amenities, snuggled in by Rock Creek and the zoo, and zoned for schools west of the park. We love it here.

    • As someone who does not have kids and who lives in Mt. P, I’m going to chime in and say that I think it’s a great place for both the kid-havers and the childfree. The area offers a good balance of amenities for families (good schools, safe enough, etc.) and those of us without them (restaurants, transit, close to nightlife).

    • I love Mt Pleasant, but it’s too expensive for a family. Especially because you either need to buy a single family home for 800k+ or rent a basement. I ain’t raising my kids in a wet, cricket-infested basement.

    • I moved to Mt. P with my family – 2 kids, 1 husband, 1 dog and 2 cats – two years ago…. FROM Arlington, We LOVE this area, our house, our neighbors, the Library, the access to the Zoo and the woods…. SO much to love. HOWEVER, the school issue is a tough nut. I am confused about the comment being “zoned for schools west of the Park” though. We thought we were locked into Bancroft; no? Our kids go to parochial school anyway but more choices would be nice. I miss Michele Rhee……

      • Is Bancroft considered a bad school? Sure, it’s not one of the richest ones in town, but it seems like a nice-enough neighborhood school to me. The whole school is bilingual and their test scores are rising faster than average. Granted, I don’t have kids so my only experience there has been voting and buying my Christmas tree.

        MTP is zoned for middle & high schools west of the Park (Deal & Wilson).

      • Thanks. This made me throw up in mouth.

  • 5-year Bloomingdale resident here. 5 years ago I’d be hesitant to let my then-girlfriend, now wife live here. But in the last couple years, a bunch of families have moved here and if I weren’t moving to CA next year, would definitely stick around.

  • Man, Dacha was OVERRUN with kids and strollers last weekend. I think a lot of families are moving into Shaw, even if it does have its own sketchiness. I think that’s the next area that’s going to blow up huge with the stroller set.

  • 11th st columbia heights. The halloween kids parade yesterday was crazy. I had no idea there were that many strollers in this neighborhood.

    • Columbia Heights has tons of kids! Lots of kid friendly restaurants, activities, and Bloombars is constantly adding extra kid-themed classes to accommodate the growing numbers.

  • Petworth is pretty great place for kids, except for all the gunplay, like last night!?! Can’t we go through a holiday without a homicide around here. I am getting pretty sick of it, and wonder how long I can last raising kids around such frequent violence.

  • Takoma is a nice neighborhood for kids. The surrounding neighborhoods like Lamond and Manor Park are pretty affordable by DC standards. There are some good charter schools in the area. It’s good for young families. West of the park is better for older people and those with more cash. I’ve always liked Brookland and Petworth as well.

    Given DC’s housing market I don’t really see a big difference between asking where is a good place to buy a house and where is a good neighborhood for kids. It’s all about what you can afford. My only advice is to go with the neighborhood that is affordable because it’s uncool over the one that’s affordable because it’s dangerous. My wife and I purchased a house near the Lamond Rec Center and are very happy to be in a safe neighborhood with a strong sense of community. The fact that the mortgage is under $1,500 means that we’ll be able to afford to start a family much sooner than if we had purchased in Petworth or a few blocks closer to the Takoma Metro.

  • Takoma is a nice neighborhood for kids. The surrounding neighborhoods like Lamond and Manor Park are pretty affordable by DC standards. There are some good charter schools in the area. It’s good for young families. West of the park is better for older people and those with more cash. I’ve always liked Brookland and Petworth as well.

    Given DC’s housing market I don’t really see a big difference between asking where is a good place to buy a house and where is a good neighborhood for kids. It’s all about what you can afford. My only advice is to go with the neighborhood that is affordable because it’s uncool over the one that’s affordable because it’s dangerous. My wife and I purchased a house near the Lamond Rec Center and are very happy to be in a safe neighborhood with a strong sense of community. The fact that the mortgage is under $1,500 means that we’ll be able to afford to start a family much sooner than if we had purchased in Petworth or a few blocks closer to the Takoma Metro. Petworth and closer to Georgia Ave is also more dangerous.

  • I honestly wonder how many commenters are from DC. I grew up here and know the neighborhoods from a childhood point of view. I know a lot of things have changed around here, but as a DC native, I have to say, the best places to raise kids pretty much remain the same with some additions. Just curious as to who’s from out of town and who has a broader scope. I spent 10 years in NYC and can tell you what I THINK is the best place to raise kids (UWS) but as a non-native, I’m sure my friend Lori (NYC born and bred) would know a bit better.

    • None would be my estimate. Just you.

    • I’m not sure your being from the area gives you greater insight. Unless you’ve kept track of how all of the individual neighborhoods have changed since you were a kid, your impressions are likely to be outdated, or at least biased slightly in a historical direction.

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