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Best Neighborhoods in Madison for Families

Moving to Madison with your family? Wisconsin’s capital is one of the best places to live in the Midwest and a great place to raise a family thanks to its highly-rated schools, outdoor recreation, job opportunities, and more. Check out these five best neighborhoods in Madison for families!

Dudgeon-Monroe

Small Red Bungalow in Dudgeon-Monroe, Madison. Photo by Instagram user @hansenhometeam

Photo via @hansenhometeam

  • Home Price: $366,567 median purchase price; $1,185 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 63% of Madison neighborhoods

Want a family-friendly neighborhood close to Downtown Madison? Consider settling down in Dudgeon-Monroe‘s Mid-Century Modern homes or charming bungalows! A highly walkable neighborhood, Dudgeon-Monroe provides plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation, with Lake Wingra bordering the southeast corner of the area. This booming neighborhood is also home to Monroe Street, which features tons of locally-owned businesses that are the pride of Dudgeon-Monroe. Families particularly appreciate the access to great schools like Wingra School, Randall Elementary, and West High School, as well as colleges like Edgewood College and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Things to Do in Dudgeon-Monroe

Enjoy free admission to see more than 650 animals from across the world at the Henry Vilas Zoo. Play a pick-up game of basketball or push your kids on the swings at Glenwood Children’s Park. Visit the University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum to relax in the gardens, admire native trees and plants, or hike 17 miles of trails. Cheer on the University of Wisconsin Badgers (NCAA) at Camp Randall Stadium. Take the family out for First Friday on Monroe Street and sample food from pop-up shops or jam out to live music. Grab Scandinavian Meatballs, Everly Cuban, or Thai-Style Crispy Chicken at Everly. Have a date night at Fairchild and order French Onion Soup, American Red Snapper, or Sue Vang Brussel Sprouts. Treat the kids to pizza and the Americano or Bufalina pies from Pizza Brutta. Or pick up sweet treats from Bloom Bake Shop like Chocolate Babka, Twice Baked Croissants, or Salted Caramel Brownies.

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Hill Farms-University

  • Home Price: $274,000 median purchase price; $708 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 81% of Madison neighborhoods

Nestled in Madison’s west side is Hill-Farms University, a planned community with a quieter atmosphere that’s great for raising a family. And while parents enjoy slower living in this Madison neighborhood, there are plenty year-round neighborhood events to keep residents busy, like the Spring Social, annual garage sale, and the 4th of July Parade & Picnic! Hill Farms-University is known for its large public parks, and provides access to excellent education from local public schools like Van Hise Elementary School and Velma Hamilton Middle School, making this a perfect Madison neighborhood for families!

Things to Do in Hill Farms-University

Play tennis and soccer or go ice skating at Rennebohm Park. Become a member at nearby Blackhawk Country Club to schedule an afternoon tee time or sign the kids up for Junior Golf. Enroll the kids in swimming or diving lessons, as well as Water Ballet, at Hill Farm Swim Club. Head to the Hilldale Shopping Center to purchase a gift or refresh your wardrobe. Drop your preschoolers off at Creando Explorertorium for a fun half-day of Spanish language immersion. Spend a Saturday morning at the Hilldale Famers Market, and pick up locally-grown produce. Start your day with brunch from Café Hollander and try the Short Rib Hash or Berry Basil French Toast. Order Cheese Curds, a Reuben Sandwich, or Bacon Cheeseburger from Oakcrest Tavern. Go to Dumpling Haus for Shrimp Dumplings, Taco Bao, Haus Noodle Soup, and other comforting Asian-inspired dishes. Try local beers while snacking on a Giant Pretzel, Crispy Seared Brussel Sprouts, and Nakoma Nachos at Great Dane Pub & Brewing Co., a local Madison brewery!

Maple-Prairie

Two Story Single Family Home in Maple Prairie, Madison. Photo by Instagram user @huskyhomeswi

Photo via @huskyhomeswi

  • Home Price: $223,900 median purchase price; $1,059 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 61% of Madison neighborhoods

For families looking for a quaint place to settle down, consider calling Maple-Prairie your home. This peaceful area sits just outside the popular suburbs of Fitchburg and Verona, and includes two micro-neighborhoods, Maple Grove and Prairie Hills. Because of its location, Maple-Prairie is part of the Verona Public School system, a highly-rated school district in the Madison area! Another major draw to this area is the spacious lawns sprawling throughout Maple-Prairie, paired with cozy ranches and updated split-level homes.

Things to Do in Maple-Prairie

Experience winter in Madison by going snowshoeing at Prairie Ridge Conservation Park. Head to the Elver Park Disc Golf Course to test your frisbee skills. Spend a family night out bowling at Ten Pin Alley. Shop for board games and collectible items or attend a game night at Noble Knight Games. Grab breakfast from Pancake Cafe and start your day with Bacon Pancakes, Spinach Crepes, or a Western Omelette. Order award-winning pizza like the Bacon Cheeseburger, Buffalo Nickel, or Mac Daddy from Glass Nickel Pizza Co. Eat European-inspired dishes from Flying Hound Alehouse, like a Scotch Egg, Schnitzel Sandwich, and Fish & Chips. Enjoy dinner on a historic estate and savor Madison Mushrooms, Pork Goodall, or Duck Wilcox at the Stone House Restaurant at Quivey’s Grove.

Westmorland

  • Home Price: $259,200 median purchase price; $1,250 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 74% of Madison neighborhoods

With its tree-lined streets, easy access to public transportation, and laid-back atmosphere, this safe and affordable Madison neighborhood is perfect for your family! Active residents, cyclists, and nature enthusiasts will all find something to love about Westmorland. This suburban area is ranked as one of the most bikeable neighborhoods in Madison and offers short commutes to neighboring communities thanks to convenient bus stops located in the southwest corner of Westmorland. Pockets of green spaces sit beside charming bungalows, cozy ranches, and great schools like Midvale Elementary and Our Lady Queen of Peace. And for those new to the area, you can always get to know your neighbors better by joining one of the many neighborhood committees!

Things to Do in Westmorland

Go ice skating and roast marshmallows around a fireplace at Westmorland Park. Tour Herbert & Katherine Jacobs First House, which was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Celebrate Independence Day with fireworks, a barbecue picnic, carnival rides, and more at the annual Westmorland 4th of July Celebration. Join a golf league or try the indoor golf simulator at Odana Hills Golf Course. Grab a morning latte or take home a bag of the EVP Italian Roast at EVP Coffee. Stop at Luigi’s Pizza for Italian bites like a Meatball Oven-Baked Sandwich or Mushroom Alfredo. Go out for Mexican food like Chimichangas, Carne Asada, and Chicken Fajitas at Taqueria El Jalapeno. Enjoy a seafood dinner at Gates & Brovi and try the Bluepoint Oysters, Pan Fried Bluegill BLT, or Fisherman’s Stew.

Wexford

  • Home Price: $247,950 median purchase price; $478 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 75% of Madison neighborhoods

Wexford is one of the best neighborhoods for families in Mad Town! Located in West Madison, Wexford is ideal for those wanting less of a college-town feel. Here, you’re close to both public and private schools like Crestwood Elementary School, Spring Harbor Middle School, and High Point Christian School. Whether you’re looking to buy or rent spacious two-story homes or comfortable condos, Wexford has it all—and at affordable prices, too. This suburban area is also the perfect spot for families wanting a close-knit community, as there are lots of neighborhood events held here, including a community garage sale and an annual end-of-summer party with a potluck!

Things to Do in Wexford

Have a family picnic or play soccer at Wexford Park. Join the High Point Swim Club and sign the kids up for swimming lessons or the diving team. Enjoy a weekend staycation and splash around at the bayou-themed Crawdaddy Cove Indoor Water Park. Drive up to the National Mustard Museum to find more than 6,000 types of mustards from all 50 states and 70 different countries. Shop at popular stores like Athleta, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Forever 21, and more at West Towne Mall. Get brunch on the weekend with some Chicken and Waffles or an Avocado BLT Burrito from Nitty Gritty. Stop for lunch at New Seoul Restaurant, and try Korean dishes like Beef Bokum and Kimchi Soup. Eat Falafel, Baked Ziti, or Lamb Shish Kebab at OLIVA Italian & Mediterranean Cuisine. Give Indian food a try at Dhaba Indian Bistro, and order Samosas, Shrimp Biryani, or Onion and Black Pepper Naan.

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Neighborhood statistics from AreaVibes

View of the Madison skyline at daybreak.

View of the Madison skyline at daybreak.
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