New Jersey's Best Towns for Families 2016 Union County Winner
Average Home Price: $563,477
Coming in as Union County’s Best Town for Families for the second year in a row, New Providence is scenic and bustling in equal measure. Plus, it’s home to one of the state’s highest-ranked high schools—a gilded lily in a suburb already brimming with family-friendly draws. And with an Olympic-sized pool, an ice-skating rink, eight athletic fields and eight tennis courts, there’s plenty to do.
Commuters have an easy 45-minute ride into New York City, and the downtown’s old-timey, Americana vibe is personified by places like Barth’s Market, a third-generation German butcher famous for its prepared meals—everything from beef burgundy to eggplant parmesan.
The community’s more affordable housing options compared to neighboring Chatham, Madison and Summit, and the benefits of being near Summit, were also big selling points for Kate McShane. She and her husband Bryan live in the Tall Oaks neighborhood with their two children.
“I love having Summit nearby so I can pop over. It’s only a five-minute drive or a 15-minute walk,” she says. “But what I really love about living in New Providence is that it feels a little calmer and more neighborly here.” Other highlights? Free parking downtown, the stellar high school marching band (winners of the national championship) and Zita’s delicious homemade ice cream.
While the Fishing Derby and Fourth of July celebrations rank high on McShane’s list of favorite annual town activities, it was the Santa home visits this past December that took the cake. “Santa literally came to each person’s house to hand-deliver presents to the kids,” she says. “My kids’ eyes were like globes when he drove up—on a fire truck, no less!”
More of New Jersey's Best Towns for Families 2016
2016 Winner: New Jersey's Best Towns for Families
The Full 2016 List: New Jersey's Best Towns for Families
Best NYC Commuter Towns for Families in NJ
Most Diverse Towns for Families in NJ
Most Affordable Towns for Families in NJ
Safest Towns for Families in NJ
Towns With the Best School Districts in NJ
Hoboken: We Still Love You
Best Somerset County Town: Montgomery Twp
Best Morris County Town: Boonton
Best Essex County Town: Essex Fells
Best Large Towns in NJ
Best Mid-Size Towns in NJ
Best Small Towns in NJ
Methodology for New Jersey's Best Towns for Families