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Aerial Photo of Downtown Memphis at Dusk

Best Neighborhoods in Memphis for Families

Moving with your family to Memphis? As one of the most affordable places to live in the U.S., and with kid-friendly activities and high-quality public schools, Grind City is a great place to raise a family. Check out this list of the five best neighborhoods and suburbs in Memphis for families!

Bartlett

A brick home in Bartlett, Memphis. Photo by Instagram user @janjoneshomes.

Photo via @janjoneshomes

  • Home Price: $171,300 median purchase price; $1,248 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 49% of Tennessee cities

With safe streets and a tight-knit community, Bartlett is one of the best Memphis suburbs for families. In addition to a quaint, quiet feel, Bartlett also offers lots of family-friendly activities, including community events like the Children’s Fishing Rodeo and the Bartlett Station Farmers Market, as well as local parks like Ellendale Park and Yale Road Neighborhood Park. In terms of practical amenities, parents can feel confident sending their kids to great Memphis-area schools within the highly-rated Bartlett City School District, like Rivercrest Elementary School and Bartlett High School. And with quick access to the main metro area via US-79, this Bluff City suburb is great for commuting professionals who want to take advantage of the Memphis job market but prefer to plant roots in a smaller town.

Things to Do in Bartlett

Enroll your kids in youth programs like Nightly Gym Games, hit up the Splash Pad during the summer months, or take the family for a swim at the indoor Aquatic Center any time of year at Bartlett Recreation Center. Get tickets to live performances like The Nutcracker ballet or Macbeth, or sign your kids up for BPACC Youth Theatre at Bartlett Performing Arts & Conference Center. See everything from blockbuster hits to unique showings of Bollywood films and more at Malco Bartlett Cinema. Or get together as a family to solve puzzles and work your way through escape rooms like The Theater and Down the Rabbit Hole at Bluff City Escape Rooms. Pick and choose your favorite sushi rolls, from more traditional options like the Spicy Shrimp Roll to the locally-themed Tennessee Roll at Saito Restaurant. Grab a Speciality Pizza like the Mediterranean, the Buffalo Chicken, or the Meat Lovers Pizza for the family to share at Little Italy Bartlett. Head to one of the best BBQ restaurants in Memphis for a Fried Catfish Dinner or some Award-Winning Pork at Fat Larry’s BBQ. Or make reservations for a nice family meal with mouthwatering dishes like Grilled Mahi Mahi for the adults and Fried Shrimp or Chicken Tenders for the kids at The Side Porch Steak House.

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Cooper Young

  • Home Price: $96,608 median purchase price; $767 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 14% of Tennessee cities

Find affordable bungalows and townhomes, unique boutiques and restaurants, and lots of family fun in Cooper-Young—one of the best neighborhoods in Memphis for families. This Bluff City neighborhood gives young families the chance to enjoy an active lifestyle near the heart of Memphis without sacrificing the safety of the suburbs. In fact, Cooper-Young is safer than 23% of Memphis neighborhoods. Ideal for young professionals with school-aged children, Cooper-Young is home to Peabody Elementary and is just minutes away from other quality Memphis schools like Rozelle Elementary and the K-8 Hanley Academy. Aesthetically, this hip neighborhood features turn-of-the-century architecture and stunning street art, including the state’s first rainbow crosswalk as a tribute to the Memphis LGBTQ community. These strong community values shine through in neighborhood events like The Cooper-Young Festival—a family-friendly celebration of Grind City culture, art, and music.

Things to Do in Cooper-Young

Get your game on with classic arcade games, pinball, and more at Nerd Alert. Look through a massive selection of books for all ages at Burke’s Books, established in 1875. Shop crafts and produce, enjoy live music and entertainment, and sample dishes from food trucks on Saturdays all year round at the Cooper-Young Community Farmers Market. Browse comic books, collectibles, and more at 901 Comics. Start your day with Challah French Toast, Avocado Toast, or Chilaquiles at one of the best brunch spots in Memphis, The Beauty Shop Restaurant & Lounge, located at the site of Priscilla Presley’s former hair salon. Dig into delicious seafood like Blackened Catfish or Ruby Red Trout, or savor Southern entrees like the Memphis Po’ Boy at Soul Fish Cafe. Hang out on the patio with Tex-Mex bites like Mexican Pizza or Smoked Chicken Tacos at Cafe Ole. Or order celebrity-approved meatless meals like the Vegan Memphis Sandwich Platter or The Big Smack burger at Imagine Vegan Cafe—one of the most well-known places to eat in Memphis.

Cordova

Nice Two-Story Home in Cordova Neighborhood in Memphis. Photo by Instagram User @cali_litay

Photo via @cali_litay

  • Home Price: $143,825 median purchase price; $1,025 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 82% of Tennessee cities

Looking for a family-friendly place to live in Memphis? Cordova is remarkably safe and is much more spread out than neighborhoods closer to the city center. The sprawling suburban layout means the residential areas mostly consist of large Craftsman and Neocolonial homes on tree-lined streets, perfect for growing families. Cordova’s abundant green space includes public parks and outdoor recreation spots like Bert Ferguson Park & Community Center, where families can enjoy the balmy Southern climate. Meanwhile, commercial districts offer everything from name-brand retailers and restaurants to charming local hot spots with fun things to do for all ages. Families living in this Memphis neighborhood can send their children to local public schools like Cordova Elementary Optional School, Cordova Middle Optional School, or any number of other institutions in the area.

Things to Do in Cordova

Play putt-putt with the family or sign your kids up for Junior Lessons at Vantage Point Golf. Make a splash at the Water Play Sprayground or go for a family bike ride on more than 40 miles of trails at nearby Shelby Farms Park, one of the biggest parks in Memphis. Bring your kids to Storytime or educational events like the Tween Embroidery Class, or check out your favorite books any time from the Cordova Library. Try to bowl a perfect game at Cordova Bowling Center. Enjoy authentic Lebanese cuisine such as Chicken Shawarma, a Gyro, or Falafel at Cedars Restaurant. Share traditional sushi rolls, Salmon Teriyaki, and other Japanese menu items at Friday Tuna. Indulge with Huey’s Queso Dip, a West Coast Burger, or a meatless Beyond Burger at Huey’s Burger. Or get Mexican dishes like Enchiladas De Carne, Shrimp Tacos, or Steak Fajitas at La Hacienda.

East Memphis

  • Home Price: $133,731 median purchase price; $775 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 41% of Tennessee cities

East Memphis offers the laid-back lifestyle of the suburbs with all the amenities of the metro, making it a popular place to live in Memphis for families. This large neighborhood is on the eastern edge of Memphis, just 20 minutes from downtown, where parents can easily commute for work or date night. In addition to its convenient location and access to US-72, US-79, or I-24, East Memphis also offers affordable apartments, townhouses, and Craftsman bungalows at budget-friendly prices. What’s more—parents value being so near great Memphis schools like Richland Elementary School, White Station Elementary School, White Station High School, and East High School, and even The University of Memphis! Another benefit of moving to this Grind City neighborhood is its many kid-friendly activities, including museums like the Art Museum of the University of Memphis and the Memphis Museum of Science & History.

Things to Do in East Memphis

Take your kids to explore hands-on educational exhibits like the Bubble Garden and the Art and Innovation Lab at the Children’s Museum of Memphis. See exotic animals like orangutans, elephants, lions, and giant pandas at the Memphis Zoo. Explore the Butterfly Pavilion, the relaxing Japanese Gardens, or any of the other 30 specialty gardens at the 96-acre Memphis Botanic Gardens. Or get tickets to a Memphis Tigers (NCAA) football game at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium. Get breakfast items like the Coastal Delight Omelette or Veggie Sausage Scramble at Brother Juniper’s. Take the family to Elwood’s Shack for Memphis Style Ribs or Pulled Pork Sandwiches. Have Southern food with a modern twist like the vegan BBQ Butternut Squash Sandwich, or enjoy classic Memphis staples like Low Country Shrimp n’ Grits at Magnolia and May Country Brasserie. Or fill up on classic Italian and Mediterranean dishes like Fettuccini Alfredo, Chicken Parmigiano, or Bolognese at Marciano Restaurant.

Germantown

  • Home Price: $296,300 median purchase price; $1,398 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 68% of Tennessee cities

Approximately 30 minutes from downtown, Germantown is one of the best places to live in Memphis for families! Full of large, single-family Tudor, Colonial, and Federal homes with expansive yards, this Memphis neighborhood is perfect for active kids to play. And although homes for sale in Germantown are at a slightly higher price point than surrounding areas, this Memphis suburb’s safe streets, high quality of life, family-friendly amenities, and neighborly culture make it an ideal place to raise a family. Its award-winning school district, the Germantown Municipal School District, has historically held some of the highest ACT scores in Tennessee! The suburb welcomes community engagement and has a strategic neighborhood improvement plan, Germantown Forward 2030. Other ways for residents to connect with the community include fun local events like the annual Germantown Festival or the Germantown Charity Horse Show!

Things to Do in Germantown

Let your little ones explore the playground, play a game of football, or have a picnic at Cameron Brown Park. See artists like Neko Case in concert or attend other live events, including dance performances like Step Afrika! at the Germantown Performing Arts Center. Sign your kids up for acting classes or summer camp at the Germantown Community Theatre! Enjoy an Open-Faced Roast Beef or Reuben Sandwich for lunch with homemade Apple Pie for dessert at West Street Diner. Savor delicious Mediterranean plates like a Lamb Chop Sandwich or Lamb Shish Kabob at Casablanca Germantown. Find authentic home-style Pan-Asian cuisine including Taiwanese Stir Fry Vermicelli and Peking Style Pork at East Meets West. Or enjoy Southern dishes like Shrimp and Grits or Seafood Gumbo for date night at Southern Social!

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Neighborhood & suburb statistics from AreaVibes

About Mike Beutler

Mike Beutler is a writer and digital content specialist who transitioned to self storage in 2020 after several years in the airline industry. His travels cultivated a passion for exploring cities across the U.S. and abroad and inspired him to learn more about practical insights for urban living. With 14 moves under his belt, both locally and cross-country, he also has a passion for minimalism and organization, and sharing tips to help others make any space feel like home while staying organized.