Best Towns for Families

Courtesy New Jersey Botanical Garden

When ranking the most family-friendly towns in NJ, we weighed factors like school quality, safety, affordability and diversity, among other things. Here are the 10 towns that topped our list in Passaic County in 2019:

  1. Ringwood
  2. Wayne
  3. Pompton Lakes
  4. Wanaque
  5. West Milford
  6. Bloomingdale
  7. Woodland Park
  8. Hawthorne
  9. Little Falls
  10. Totowa

About Ringwood

Despite its proximity to NYC and major highways, this Passaic County borough’s brimming with rural beauty.

Lakes and hiking spots galore separate locals from the hustle and bustle. Take Ringwood State Park, home to both Skylands Manor, a 1920s Tudor Revival mansion open for tours, and the New Jersey Botanical Garden, a 96-acre spread of specialty gardens, woodlands and unique preserved plants.

Monksville Reservoir is an idyllic fishing and bird watching spot (kids love paddle boarding here), while Erskine Lake boasts a sailing club, beach and events. Families can kayak at nearby Greenwood Lake, then hit the Village of Greenwood Lake on the NY side for everything from sledding in the winter to jet skiing in the summer.

The sense of community might be Ringwood’s most valuable asset, but it has a long history, too. During the Revolutionary War, Ringwood iron was used for Union tools and hardware. Even George Washington paid several visits to the Ringwood Manor, the town’s former ironmaking hub.

Best Towns for Families 2019

See the Full 2019 List of NJ’s Best Towns for Families