Monday, September 3, 2012

Two Texas cities, including Dallas, named Top 10 best places to raise kids - Dallas Morning News

Two Texas cities and two California cities rank among the Top 10 U.S. metropolitan areas to raise kids, based on qualities that parents said are the most important to them, such as safety and schools.

Rent.com surveyed parents about their attitudes on raising kids in the city. Taking these parental concerns into consideration, Rent.com has chosen 10 cities that stand out as great places to raise kids.

Rent.com evaluated the top 50 rental markets based on the cost of living, violent crime rate and graduation rate, in order to identify 10 cities where parents can raise a child with peace of mind. Cost of living, crime rate and graduation rate were ranked against the national average, and crime rate was weighted double relative to other statistics, based on the overwhelming response from parents that safety is a top priority. The following places are all wonderful choices for parents looking to raise their kids in the city (not ranked in order):

Austin, Texas â€" This heart of Texas city is known for its neighborhood spirit. The grassroots feeling of Austin makes residents proud and means every family will find a place where they belong. From the peacocks in Mayfield Park to the watering holes at Barton Springs, the kids will never be bored.

Columbus, Ohio â€" Columbus is an affordable city with Midwestern values and some of the top public schools in the nation, offering opportunities for all children. This city abounds with themed play parks both indoor and outdoor, and boasts an Audubon-designated park, Pickerington Ponds, where you can hike, bike and explore 260 species of birds.

Dallas, Texas â€" Children living in Dallas have endless attractions and learning experiences in their own city â€" from zoos to parks to children’s theater. Sportier family members will enjoy cheering on the city’s many top sports teams including the Cowboys and the Rangers.

Denver, Colo. â€" Denver has the largest public parks system of any U.S. city â€" perfect for active and outdoorsy families. One of the fittest cities in the nation, Denver is big on sports so get ready to cheer, the Broncos.

Omaha, Neb. â€" Outstanding public schools, a consistently low crime rate, and a lower cost of living make Omaha a great city, especially for parents valuing education. With many museums and performing arts, the Old Market historic neighborhood and the Heartland of America Park, Omaha will keep your kids engaged.

Phoenix, Ariz. â€" While Phoenix may have a reputation for attracting retirees, the warm weather is also perfect for kids, with attractions like the Phoenix Zoo, the Children’s Museum and a multitude of outdoor activities, including hiking and biking trails through the Sonoran desert.

Portland, Ore. â€" With a low crime rate and high graduation rate, the statistics are in Portland’s favor for families. This Oregon city is also known to be a haven for green living. Portland is a great combination of culture and the arts with beautiful scenery from the mountains to the coasts of Oregon.

San Diego, Calif. â€" Families with children are never bored in San Diego. From beaches to family-friendly attractions downtown, there’s plenty to keep the kids busy. A major tourist destination with fantastic weather year-round, San Diego also boasts many interesting theme parks, zoos and aquariums that will capture kids’ imaginations.

San Jose, Calif â€" Parents with kids will appreciate the convenience of living in San Jose, known for its public transportation and cultural attractions. From the largest outdoor Monopoly board to the Children’s Discovery Museum and Happy Hollow Park, there is plenty of fun (and learning) to be found in the tech hub.

Seattle, Wash. â€" A high graduation rate and reputation for academic excellence, Seattle is a great place to settle down with children of all ages. Surrounded by the beauty of the Puget Sound and the Olympic mountains there is plenty to explore in this science and technology center.

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