PHOTOS COURTESY OF SIMON TOFFELL
New Jersey's Best Towns For Families 2017 Bergen County
Average Home Price: $611,676
When Amy Matulevich and her husband decided to move to Glen Rock last summer, it was the town’s stellar schools—consistently ranked among the best in New Jersey—that sold them. But they quickly discovered the 2.71-square-mile borough has another huge plus: a warm and welcoming community. “People are just so friendly,” says Matulevich, whose neighbors welcomed her husband, Steven, and two sons, Maddox, 6, and Kieran, 4, with Prosecco, cookies, a plant and water balloons.
When the family made its first snowman of the season, a neighbor drove by with a fedora to top him off. “People were driving by and giving us a thumbs up,” she recalls. And on Halloween eve, the boys were “ghosted” with treat bags outside their front door.
On top of its small town community feel and picturesque tree-lined streets, Glen Rock has plenty to offer in the way of outdoor activities, too. The Thielke Arboretum boasts nature trails, gardens, a spring-fed pond and a brook. Part of Saddle River County Park’s beloved bike paths lies within the borough. The municipal pool is another huge draw in the summer.
Founded in 1894, Glen Rock got its name from an iconic rock monument in the center of town. Local historians say it was part of a Native American trail used for signal fires.
Matulevich loves the diversity of downtown eateries and shops, which include Rocca, an Italian favorite, Nectar Cafe, a vegan and gluten-free spot, and Kilroy’s Wonder Market, a grocery store that’s been a staple in town for more than 100 years. Residents also appreciate the town’s convenient location, about 23 miles from Manhattan. “My neighbor goes to the city and walks to the bus,” says Matulevich. “People love the commutability.” —by Dina El Nabli