City Living—Family Style Print

Abundance. Convenience. Enrichment.

That’s what you’ll find when you’re raising a family in Minneapolis-Saint Paul.

Top of the Charts…Here’s why

We aren’t the only ones who think MSP is a special place to bring up children.

  • Child magazine puts Minneapolis-Saint Paul as the 3rd best city in the nation for families.

  • Kiplinger’s Personal Finance named MSP as one of the top 5 cities to live in if you are married and have children.

  • Fit Pregnancy put Minneapolis in the #2 spot for best cities in America to have a baby.

Neighborhoods here are filled with recreational centers, parks, libraries, and family-oriented arts and culture. Exciting children’s programs are routinely offered at area museums, neighborhood businesses, and through the public schools. When it comes to meeting the educational needs of their children, parents can choose from hundreds of schools with diverse and challenging curriculums.

Keep on reading and you’ll see the abundance, convenience, and enrichment that city living in MSP brings to family life.

Space to Roam

Few cities can boast of having thousands of green and blue acres accessible within their city limits— here in Minneapolis and Saint Paul, you’ll find more than 300 parks, more than a dozen swimming beaches, and hundreds of miles of trails without leaving the city. Add in more than 80 recreational centers, dozens of public swimming pools, water parks, ice rinks, golf courses, ski areas, and countless playgrounds, and you’ll find that it’s easy to get your family moving in MSP.

Who says city living means giving up your backyard? Homes in almost every Minneapolis and Saint Paul neighborhood have gracious backyards with ample space for swing sets, sandboxes, and entertaining. Visit Live MSP’s neighborhood pages and find the perfect fit for your family.

MSP Schools

When it comes to finding a school that meets your family’s needs, both Minneapolis and Saint Paul offer an astonishing array of educational options. Public, charter, parochial, magnet, language immersion, and private schools are in abundance in both cities. The state’s open enrollment law allows you to find the perfect fit for your child—whether it’s down the street or across town.

Did you know?

  • US News & World Report has ranked Patrick Henry High School, in the Victory/Webber-Camden neighborhood of North Minneapolis and the Saint Paul Open School, in the West 7th neighborhood of Saint Paul, among the best schools in the nation for 2009.

  • In Minneapolis and Saint Paul there are more than 60 tuition-free, public charter schools and more than 70 private (secular and religious) schools.

  • Students attending Minneapolis or Saint Paul public high schools are eligible for the Power of You program that covers the cost of tuition and fees for up to two years or up to 72 credits at Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC), Saint Paul College, or Metropolitan State University.

  • Both Minneapolis and Saint Paul School Districts host a Parent Information Fair each winter where you can learn all about the different schools located in the city.

  • The Minneapolis Promise helps Minneapolis high school students plan a vision for their future and prepare for employment through career counseling, summer job opportunities and assistance with post secondary education and training.

  • Saint Paul Central High School boasts more Rhodes Scholars among its alumni than any other public high school in the U.S.

School Directories

Minneapolis Public Schools

View a map of all Minneapolis Public Schools [PDF]

Saint Paul Public Schools

View a map of all Saint Paul Public Schools

Charter Schools in Minneapolis and Saint Paul [PDF]

Private Schools in Minneapolis and Saint Paul [PDF]

Community Education programs in Minneapolis and Saint Paul offer diverse courses to students of all ages. Check out the Parks Departments, museums, theaters, and local colleges and universities for even more opportunities.

Community Life

Community pride, spirit, and action are visible everywhere in the cities’ neighborhoods. Residents form block clubs, build tot lots, grow community gardens, plan their neighborhood’s future, and gather together for local celebrations—giving individuals and families the opportunity and satisfaction of being a part of the larger community. Minneapolis and Saint Paul lead the nation in National Night Out block parties and participation.

Designated neighborhood organizations are the best place to find out more about local committees, projects, and activities. For a list of Minneapolis neighborhood organizations, click here, for Saint Paul, click here. Minneapolis and Saint Paul are also home to thousands of community-based non-profit organizations. Learn more about them at the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits.

Everyday Enrichment

Access to culture in the Twin Cities isn’t just limited to the grown-ups in the family. From child-focused venues to programming at major institutions, Minneapolis and Saint Paul have shown their commitment to making arts and culture accessible to all ages.

  • Children have their very own Children’s Theater and Children’s Museum.

  • The Como Park Zoo and Conservatory is free and open 365 days a year.

  • Family-days and children’s programs are commonplace at the cities major art museums and centers, in neighborhood coffee shops, and at local businesses.

  • Extensive children’s sections are the norm in the libraries of Minneapolis and Saint Paul. In particular, downtown Minneapolis’ Central Library has the Upper Midwest’s largest public library collection of children’s books and is also home to “Teen Central” one of the first spaces of its kind in the United States to be designed by and for teens.

  • Unique children’s book and toy stores are found throughout the cities.

High quality of life, without the high price

We’re lucky in Minneapolis-Saint Paul—despite our nationally-acclaimed amenities, we still score high marks on affordability. In 2007, Forbes singled out the Twin Cities as “the most affordable place to live well” in America – based on affordable housing, high quality of life, and access to premier arts, leisure and entertainment offerings. That’s great news for families looking to put down their roots in a place that provides the best of all worlds!

Resources for Families

Places to Go & Things to Do

Go City Kids--Nickelodeon Parents Connect—is a massive event calendar for the family set, along with information about all things kid-related. Sign up for weekly emails with activities and events for the whole gang.

MN Parent—this monthly magazine and its online edition include feature stories, events, listings of schools and camps, and tips for parents with children of all ages.

Getting Out, Getting Involved & Getting Together

Early Childhood and Family Education (ECFE) –Both Minneapolis and Saint Paul have neighborhood ECFE programs that are operated through the public school system. ECFE provides parents with support and information about child development and offers children supervised, age-appropriate activities. ECFE is also a great opportunity to establish friendships with other families in the community.

International MOMS Club—provides day-time support—through planned activities and outings—to its members who stay at home with their children full or part-time. There are several chapters in Minneapolis and Saint Paul—check the list of Minnesota Chapters to find the chapter closest to you.

Minnesota Dads at Home—connecting at-Home Dads with other dads for playgroups, outings, and other events.

Mothers and More—focuses on mothers who are altering their participation in the paid workplace over the course of their active parenting years. Visit Minneapolis or Saint Paul chapters.

Working Family Resource Center—this non-profit organization conducts seminars for employers about family-work life balance and offers a Parenting Education Program for parents of school-age children.

More City Living Information

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