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 Union County in 2019:
- New Providence
- Berkeley Heights
- Scotch Plains
About New Providence
From picturesque tree-lined streets to friendly neighbors, this Union County borough is beloved by its residents. “When we relocated to New Jersey, away from family, we were looking for a town that felt welcoming, warm and also had a great school system,” says mother of two Jessica Short, who’s lived in New Providence for eight years.
It’s also 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.
Whether you’re diving into the community pool, sampling IPAs at Untied Brewing Company or munching avocado fries at Prestige Diner, New Providence is brimming with family fun in the form of events like summer concerts, a fishing derby and fall street fair. Short loves taking her kids to Zita’s Homemade Ice Cream in the summer and ice skating at Oakwood Park’s pond in the winter.
Fun fact? Tom McCarthy, who co-wrote Disney’s Up and the biographical drama Spotlight, grew up in New Providence.