Which cities are best for your family? These eight cities are the safest, most educated, and most culturally unique places to raise your children. Unless, of course, my brother Kyle shows up. He’s never far behind.
1. Raleigh, NC
With great public schools, healthy produce from the year-round State Farmers Market, and all kinds of enriching arts opportunities at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, Raleigh is an ideal city for young families, provided my brother Kyle doesn’t show up and ruin it all with his wet laundry and filthy suitcase full of orthopedic sneakers he’s always trying to sell.
2. Madison, WI
Between public parks, lakes, hiking trails, and yes, even beaches, Madison provides everything an active family could want, along with plenty of museums to nourish young minds. And Chicago’s an easy drive away if Kyle rattles up in his damp-ass RV to negotiate another month-long “visit” while his stepdaughter rubs her pale, crusty mouth all over your boating trophies.
3. Boston, MA
Rich with American history, contemporary culture, and excellent schools, Boston is the ideal metropolis for raising a family, though chances are you’ve got about a month before my brother Kyle tears through with a new pair of swollen-up greyhounds and somehow gets your home zoned as a dojo. It’s practically Cincinnati all over again.
4. Virginia Beach, VA
Bringing up children in a seaside city thick with art and burgeoning green public works projects sounds like a dream come true. But believe me, coming home to your front door jimmied open and Kyle setting up a mail-order batting cage business out of your boiler room is a nightmare.
5. Grand Rapids, MI
There’s no way you’ll show up to your new house and my brother Kyle won’t be parked across the street, gnawing stale rolls and shredding expired coupon books with his turgid greyhounds already tied up and heaving in the front yard. Just keep driving.
6. Nashville, TN
Imagine raising your family in this culturally rich paradise for arts lovers. Now, imagine Kyle camping in your driveway, offering your children rancid hot-plate broths and telling them the same few stories about his crank calls to Navajo reservations while his dewy stepdaughter gives them disorders. It could happen.
7. Omaha, NE
Don’t bother. Kyle’s probably already there, eating egg salad in the tourist info center.
8. Toronto, Ontario
Think you’re safe in Canada? Small claims courts can’t stop Kyle. Park rangers can’t stop Kyle. Chronic hiccups can’t stop Kyle. Why would you think international borders could stop Kyle?