Middlesex County Winner: PLAINSBORO
This pristine Middlesex County community is prime for outdoor fun. Douglas Donaldson, father of two and a resident of 24 years, loves the many parks and trails around town. “I taught both of my kids to ride bikes on the Lenape Trail in Plainsboro…We have a few go-to parks, and also love the trail behind [West Windsor-Plainsboro] High School North that runs along the Millstone River,” he says. The Plainsboro Preserve is a must-visit with 1,000 acres surrounding a lake, plus the Environmental Education Center where kids can learn about nature.
There’s a rich dining culture in town, as well as in neighboring downtown Princeton. Casual eats include Romeo’s Ristorante and Original Steak & Hoagie—Donaldson loves the buffalo chicken cheesesteak. Try Rhong-Tiam Thai for Bangkok-style cuisine, or Jhopri for Indian fare.
Fun fact: Elsie the Cow, the mascot of Borden Dairy, was created at Plainsboro’s Walker-Gordon Dairy Farm in the late 19th century. The real-life cow she was based on was later buried at the farm.
When ranking the most family-friendly towns in NJ, we weighed factors like school quality, safety, affordability and diversity, among other things. See the other towns that made the cut, including Cranbury, Metuchen and Edison.