10 Best Chicago Suburbs for Families

By PropertyClub Team
Jan 15th 2024
Known for its iconic food, vibrant music, and unique architecture, Chicago has always been a popular choice among Illinois families. This list of the ten top Chicago suburbs for families will help you decide on the best area to raise your family.

hash-mark10 Best Chicago Suburbs for Families (2024)

  1. Clarendon Hills
  2. Long Grove
  3. Naperville
  4. Buffalo Grove
  5. Western Springs
  6. Hinsdale
  7. Evanston
  8. Glen Ellyn
  9. Bannockburn
  10. Wheaton

hash-mark1. Clarendon Hills

The best Chicago suburb for families is Clarendon Hills. Located about 20 miles west of downtown Chicago, this suburb is popular for its exceptional schools, safe neighborhoods, and the strong local community. About 8,625 people live in Clarendon Hills, all of whom appreciate the area’s variety of housing options, numerous parks, and convenient access to Chicago. The city also has a thriving downtown district, which features an entertaining assortment of local businesses, restaurants, cafes, and boutiques. With an average per capita income of $68k, Clarendon Hills is the premier choice for suburban Chicago families. 

hash-mark2. Long Grove

Long Grove is another great Chicago suburb for families. Situated about 35 miles northwest of downtown Chicago, this city is home to about 8,308 people and is best for those who prefer a quaint area with a rich history. The village is known for its stunning natural landscapes, historic homes and buildings, and charming downtown area. Long Grove also possesses several parks and nature preserves, including the Reed-Turner Woodland Nature Preserve, Buffalo Creek Forest Preserve, and the Spring Lake Nature Preserve. Other family-friendly activities in town include the Long Grove Strawberry Festival, Apple Fest, and Chocolate Fest. With high per capita income rates and an active local community, Long Grove is the second-most desirable suburb for Chicago families. 

hash-mark3. Naperville

Situated about 33 miles west of downtown Chicago is Naperville, another one of the city’s best suburbs. With a total circumference of 39.08 miles and a bustling population of just over 149,000 people, Naperville is the fifth-largest city in Illinois, making it an ideal spot for those who prefer proper urban living. Apart from its considerable size, the city is known for its assorted local parks, excellent school systems, and thriving downtown district. When coupled with the area’s high per capita income rate, low crime rate, and affordable home prices, all of these items make Naperville a truly well-rounded option for Chicago families. 

hash-mark4. Buffalo Grove

Buffalo Grove is one of the best Chicago suburbs for families interested in an area with a strong focus on community. Located about 35 miles from the Chicago city center, Buffalo Grove is known for its excellent school systems, safe neighborhoods, and abundant recreational opportunities. But, what really sets this suburb apart is its commitment to creating a family-friendly environment. Residents here will find an abundance of wholesome entertainment and activities, from hiking at the Buffalo Creek Nature Preserve to visiting the locally owned businesses in the city’s downtown district to enjoying the annual Buffalo Grove Days festival. With so much to offer, it’s no wonder, so many families choose Buffalo Grove as their Chicago suburb. 

hash-mark5. Western Springs

In addition to being one of Chicago’s best suburbs, Western Springs is also one of the wealthiest. This city is situated about 20 miles from the heart of Chicago and is home to a close-knit community of just over 13,000 people. Residents are drawn to Western Springs for its high quality of life, which includes access to several well-maintained parks, exceptional school districts, and a charming downtown area. Additionally, those who call this city home will find a peaceful, small-town atmosphere while still remaining central to everything Chicago has to offer. The average per capita income rate here is $87k, making it one of the best Chicago suburbs for those who prefer a more upscale lifestyle.

hash-mark6. Hinsdale

A thriving community located about 21 miles west of downtown Chicago, Hinsdale is universally considered one of the city’s best suburbs to raise a family. This area is home to about 17,000 residents, all of whom prefer the area for its tree-lined streets, historic homes, and the strong local community. Residents here will find everything needed for the best quality of life, including local farmers’ markets, summer concert series, and holiday walks. The city also possesses a bustling downtown district that provides an abundance of local entertainment, from various restaurants and cafes to several large shopping centers, such as the Hinsdale Mall and the Oakbrook Center. A picturesque living situation, Hinsdale is not to be overlooked when considering the best suburbs of Chicago. 

hash-mark7. Evanston

Evanston is the best Chicago suburb for those who want quick access to the city. Located only 14 miles from downtown Chicago, this area provides its 78,000 residents with the most convenient commute of any suburb on this list. Apart from its ideal location, Evanston is also known for its highly-rated school systems, rich history, and beautiful natural surroundings – all of which are additional draws for local families. Residents and visitors alike can enjoy the city’s close proximity to Lake Michigan, whose beaches provide ample entertainment for the whole family. All of this and more keep Evanston an essential part of Chicago’s best suburbs. 

hash-mark8. Glen Ellyn

Glen Ellyn is also one of the best Chicago suburbs for families. The peaceful village is located about 24 miles west of Chicago and features a population of just under 30,000 residents. With easy access to major highways, top-rated public schools, and plenty of parks and green spaces, Glen Ellyn is ideal for families. It has a bustling downtown full of coffee shops, local boutiques, and delicious restaurants, plus there is a wide range of family-friendly activities in town, such as Lake Ellyn or Holes and Knolls Miniature Golf. It also offers a range of housing options, from modest starter homes to multi-million estates, and the median home price is $465,000.

hash-mark9. Bannockburn

Bannockburn is another one of the top suburbs of Chicago for raising a family. The scenic village is located about 32 miles north of Chicago in the city’s North Shore region. Home to just over 1,000 residents, Bannockburn is an affluent and exclusive enclave with a median household income of $161,875. The village offers breathtaking views of Lake Michigan, excellent schools, and gorgeous architecture, including the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Allen Friedman House. Often ranked among the best places to live in the state of Illinois, Bannockburn offers spacious homes, tree-lined streets, and a violent crime rate that is 46% lower than the national average.

hash-mark10. Wheaton

Wheaton is also one of the best Chicago suburbs for raising a family. Home to about 54,000 residents, Wheaton is a peaceful city located about 28 miles west of Chicago. This charming city has often been ranked as one of the best places to live in America based on factors such as economic stability, access to healthcare, the quality of public schools, and proximity to parks and recreation. It features a quaint downtown area full of shops, restaurants, and family-friendly attractions such as Northside Park and the Cosley Zoo. Plus, it’s a very safe city, and the violent crime rate is 64% lower than the national average.