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Are We There Yet?

Family-friendly Spokane

Now that I have two kids in tow, Spokane has become the ideal place to live.

In a mid-size community like ours, we have all the benefits of downtown and other big city amenities but at the same time, we’re still only minutes away from places such as Riverside State Park, the South Hill bluff, the new Fish Lake Trail and other areas where our entire family can hike, bike and enjoy the outdoors.

I’ve always told my friends in Seattle and Portland that Spokane is one of the Northwest’s best kept secrets, but apparently people from all over the country are finally discovering that, too. In the past decade, families from California, the East Coast and other areas have made Spokane their home. Many are astounded at the affordability and the quality of the schools. Others tell me they’re happy to find a community where strangers take the time to say “hello,” where neighbors support one another and where people seem to have a sense of place and history.

Every year, Parenting.com conducts surveys of parents from all over the country to come up with a top 10 list the editors call “Best Cities for Families.” They base their rankings on health, safety, education, economy and recreation. Among the top five this year are: Arlington, Va.; Austin, Texas; Madison, Wis.; Ann Arbor, Mich.; and Lexington, Ky.

They also thought highly of our fair city – which ranked seventh overall. Impressively enough, Spokane was ranked at the top in the schools category for being “education friendly” and for having highly quality schools. The editors also described Spokane as “a pristinely clean, friendly and very affordable city.”

Here are some other notable qualities that made Spokane stand out:

-          an average commute of 19.7 minutes

-          Sacred Heart Children’s Hospital and Shriners Hospital for Children

-          Parks, playgrounds and pools

-          Places to enjoy the outdoors including the Centennial Trail

-          Mobius Kids

-          The Radio Flyer wagon, the carousel and other kid-friendly features of Riverfront Park

Parents: What does your family love about Spokane? Do you agree that it’s a great place to raise families? If not, what needs to happen to make it better?


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This blog is intended to provide a forum for parents to share knowledge and resources. It's a place for parents young and old to combine their experiences raising families into a collective whole to help others.

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