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Manchester, New Hampshire seen from a river

Best Neighborhoods in Manchester for Families in 2024

Relocating to Manchester, NH? Queen City is a great place to live thanks to its beautiful housing options, great schools, and plenty of family-friendly activities. Here are the five best neighborhoods for families in Manchester!

Lower South Willow/Airport

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  • Home Price: $436,750 median purchase price; $1,661 average monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 0% of New Hampshire cities

One of the best neighborhoods for families in Manchester is Lower South Willow/Airport. This residential area is full of Neocolonial homes, ranches with spacious backyards, and more. Its location on the southern edge of town makes Lower South Willow/Airport perfect for those wanting to live a slower-paced lifestyle away from the hustle and bustle of the city center. Families living in this Manchester neighborhood can send their children to nearby schools like Green Acres Elementary, McLaughlin Middle School, and charter school The Founders Academy. Plus, with nearby access to I-293 and the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport, residents can easily travel in or out of the city!

Things to Do in Lower South Willow/Airport

Let your kids run, jump, and play on the inflatable slides and climbing structure at Cowabunga’s. Spend the day shopping at stores like Macy’s, Express, and American Eagle at The Mall of New Hampshire. Plan a family movie night or attend trivia nights, comedy shows, and more at Chunky’s Cinema Pub. Take the music lovers in your life to browse new and used vinyl records at Music Connection. Try Mexican dishes like Carnitas, Tacos al Pastor, and Chilaquiles Verdes at La Carreta Manchester. Sample fresh King Crab Legs, Chicken Teriyaki, and Spicy Yellowtail Roll at Izumi. Order eclectic American pub food like the Back Porch Bison Burger, Smokin’ Ribs, and Trailer Nachos at Backyard Brewery. Or snack on the Crispy Peanuts Chicken, Scallop Hibachi, Steak Japanese Teriyaki, and more at Masa Japanese Steakhouse.

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Mast Road

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  • Home Price: $427,566 median purchase price; $1,985 average monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 0% of New Hampshire cities

Located in Manchester’s West Side on the western edge of the Piscataquog River, safe, affordable Mast Road is one of the best neighborhoods to raise kids in Manchester since it has plenty of family-friendly activities to enjoy. With community resources like the George W. Smith Sports Complex and Raco Theodore Pool, Mast Road is a good fit for families with an active lifestyle. Residents of this neighborhood also have easy access to West Side amenities like the Piscataquog Trail, West Manchester Branch Library, and Parkside Community Garden—as well as schools like Parker-Varney School, Gossler Park Elementary School, and Middle School at Parkside.

Things to Do in Mast Road

Knock down some pins, join a bowling league, or play games of pool and ping pong at King Bowling Lanes. Cool off with the kids in the summer at the Dupont Splash Pad. Go swimming, fishing, hiking, bird-watching, or kayaking at 112-acre Piscataquog River Park. Lace up your skates to practice your spin or play a game of ice hockey at the West Side Ice Arena. Savor comfort foods like Shepherd’s Pie, Lobster Mac, and the Reuben Sandwich at Ollie’s Food & Spirits. Order the BBQ Beef Hot Sub, Steak Tip Harvest Salad, or Chicken Fajita Wrap at Nadeau’s Subs. Looking for Indian food in Manchester? Try the Goat Sukha, Lamb Pepper Fry, Paneer Tikka Masala, and more at Classic Biryani Kabab & Curry. Or pick up orders of Scallion Pancake, Mango Curry, Pineapple Fried Rice, and more at Lemon Thai Cuisine.

North End

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  • Home Price: $510,000 median purchase price; $1,753 average monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 0% of New Hampshire cities

Surrounded by tree-lined streets and offering close proximity to downtown, North End is another great neighborhood for families to settle down in Manchester. North End is filled with historical Gothic, Queen Anne, and Italianate-style homes all close to the Merrimack River—which borders the neighborhood’s western edge. With plenty of green space and great Manchester schools like Webster Elementary School, Mount Saint Mary Academy, and The Derryfield School, North End has a lot to offer for growing families. Plus, those working in higher education or pursuing a degree will be about five minutes away from Southern New Hampshire University, one of the largest universities in the state.

Things to Do in North End

Play a friendly match of tennis, explore Brigit’s Garden, and go fishing or ice skating—depending on the season—at Livingston Park. Tour of one of the few New England homes designed by Frank Lloyd Wright at the Zimmerman House. Go for a walk with your furry friend, plant veggies in the community garden, take your kids to explore the sculptures, and sled or ski in the winter at Stark Park. Let the little ones enjoy interactive exhibits like Cooking & Chemistry, The LEGO Millyard, or Sun, Earth, Universe at the nearby SEE Science Center. Order specialty pizzas like the Chicken Bacon Ranch, Sweet Chili Chicken, and Pickle Pizza at Pizza 911. Try the Chicken Piccata, Old School Meatloaf, Shrimp Scampi, and more at The Kitchen on River Road. Have your fill of Tex-Mex dishes like the Pollo Fundido Chimi, Los Cabos Shrimp Enchiladas, and The “Hot Mess” Monster Burrito at Shorty’s Mexican Roadhouse. Or feast on the Peking Dumplings, Hunan Spicy Shrimp, Sweet & Sour Pork, and more at Happy Garden.

Pinardville

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  • Home Price: $293,000 median purchase price; $1,990 average monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 40% of New Hampshire cities

Looking for a family-friendly neighborhood near Manchester? Located along the Piscataquog River, Pinardville—a neighborhood in Manchester suburb, Goffstown—offers residents a small-town feel with a tight-knit community. Those living in Pinardville can enjoy a quieter lifestyle while still having convenient access to arts, culture, and plenty of fun things to do in Downtown Manchester, since it’s just a ten-minute drive away! Great education isn’t far away, either—families can send their kids to quality New Hampshire schools like Bartlett Elementary School and Namaste Montessori School, while college students can attend Saint Anselm College.

Things to Do in Pinardville

Go for a morning walk, run, or bike ride on the Goffstown Rail Trail—which eventually connects to the Piscataquog Trail, leading all the way to Downtown Manchester. Take your kids to the playground, go for a dip in the pool, or play a game of softball at Roy Park. Jump in the foam pit, go head-to-head with an opponent on the battle beam, or play a game of dodgeball at Fun City Trampoline Park. Cheer on the Saint Anselm Hawks (NCAA D-II) football team at Grappone Stadium or men’s and women’s ice hockey teams at Sullivan Arena. Get breakfast items like the Sweet Potato Toast, Pesto Benedict, and a tall stack of Texas French Toast at White Birch Eatery. Order slices of Margherita, Chicken Bacon Ranch, and Greek pizza at Golden Acres Pizza Market. Dine on Chinese dishes like the Chicken Lo Mein, Shrimp Chop Suey, and Chicken Teriyaki at New Wa Toy. Or try the Pork Coconut Soup, Pork Mango Fried Rice, Green Curry Veggie, and more at Ubon Thai 2 Go.

Straw/Smyth

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  • Home Price: $472,500 median purchase price; $1,753 average monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 0% of New Hampshire cities

Want a family-friendly Manchester neighborhood near downtown? Consider Straw/Smyth, which features tree-lined streets and Neocolonial and Federal-style homes with spacious backyards! Families living in this area will appreciate access to great public schools like Smyth Road Elementary School and Hillside Middle School, as well as private institutions like St. Catherine of Siena School. Plus, when you want to get closer to the action of the city center, you can easily drive a few minutes or hop on the Manchester Transit Authority to explore nearby restaurants, shops, and attractions in Downtown Manchester.

Things to Do in Straw/Smyth

Browse the permanent collection, see temporary exhibits like Heart of a Museum: Saya Woolfalk, and bring the whole family for workshops on painting, printmaking, and more at the Currier Museum of Art. Go skiing, snowboarding, and tubing during the winter at McIntyre Ski Area. Practice your golf game with 18 holes on the public course at Derryfield Country Club, which was established in 1932. Participate in a friendly tennis match, go for a morning stroll on the walking trails, or let your kids run around on the playground at Derryfield Park. Start your morning with a freshly-baked Cinnamon Bun and a Whipped Coffee at Bearded Baking Co. Try the Vegetable Lasagna, Fried Chicken Tenders Parmigiana, and Barbecued Lamb Kabob at The Puritan Backroom. Order authentic Italian dishes like the Capellini Primavera, Risotto Villaggio, Melanzana Parmigiana, and more at Villaggio Ristorante. Or feast on the Lobstah Mac, Mozzarella Stick Mac, Chicken Scampi, and more at Mr. Mac’s.

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Moving to Manchester, NH? Extra Space Storage has locations in and around the Queen City to help ease your transition. Find cheap storage near you!

Housing statistics from Redfin and RentCafe. Crime rates 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.