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UrbanOhio Parents & Families

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This topic is to discuss parenting related news or information for our urban areas.  Often you hear about "raising a family in the suburbs" but this ain't for that!  This is for our city moms and dads out there who want a place to discuss urban parenting.

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Or activities/places that urban-minded folks might take their kids, etc. Heck, maybe activities/places that an urban-minded "uncle" could take some of the better-behaved rugrats! ;-)

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What would be a good idea is a "splash park" for downtown Cleveland (any downtown really).  We have one around us where they filled in a public pool with concrete, put down a rubber mat and installed all different kinds of sprinkling devices the kids run through.  That one is rather big.  My Dad's neighborhood in Charlotte has a much smaller one, probably about 20x20, gated in and built in as part of a playground.  But, for these to really work, there has to be a strict age limit of 10 or so.

 

Our "urban baby" will be arriving this summer.  I can't wait to hear from others that have babies and small children in the urban core. 

 

For Clevelanders, Children's Place at TC is not a bad place to shop for clothes.  I have found the clothes to be pretty good quality.  Much better than the stuff you will find at the big box stores IMO.  Lots of sales.

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Our "urban baby" will be arriving this summer. I can't wait to hear from others that have babies and small children in the urban core.

 

Congrats, Melanie! We have a 5 month old up in Prospect Hill! It's awesome and can't wait for Spring.

 

Great idea for a thread, Chris!

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So what are the best neighborhoods in the city of cleveland (city proper) for raising kids--in terms of safety, schools, other kids to play with, low traffic, etc...?

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Well i may be biased - but I would say Old Brooklyn.  Our first child (a boy) is due in about 6 weeks.  My street has tons of children on it and is a very active neighborhood (at least the western side where i live).  We benefit by having the Brookside Metropark at the end of our street as well as can easily WALK to the zoo.  We've been zoo members for years so it's nice to have the close proximity even just for a weekend afternoon walk.

 

The schools in OB are some of the best in the City - Ben Franklin and William C Bryant are often rated one of the best - as is Rhodes High School.  The neighborhood also benefits from several catholic schools.  Lots of the kids near me walk to St. Thomas Moore (actually in Brooklyn).  St. Leo on broadview has a very active school.  Our Lady of Good Counsel (pearl rd.) has a stable school as well - and they accept the city vouchers.

 

The neighborhood is safe and benefits from having a lot of children in it.  But again, i'm biased because I live there!

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I think Westpark is a very good neighborhood for kids as it has a lot of families, and (traditionally) is pretty safe because of the amount of police/fire peeps living there.  If we were to move into the city proper, that's where we'd look.

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I think Edgewater is another.  Even though Clifton Blvd. isn't exactly low-traffic, the side streets are.  Louisa May-Alcott is a blue-ribbon elementary, and you can't beat walking with your kids down to Edgewater Park for an afternoon at the beach.

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Young families are definitely a growing demographic in some close-in Cincinnati neighborhoods, like Mt Adams and Clifton.  Glad to see this thread.

 

We are raising our kids in downtown Cincy and wouldn't trade it for anything.  Here are a few pics of the kids around town: building an igloo in Over-the-Rhine, walking in the Gateway Quarter, and going to Melt in Northside:

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I don't know if downtown Medina counts, but we are raising our 4 kids off the square threre.  In the summer, we walk to the farmers market in the square every Saturday.  The Amish come up and set up stands with fresh produce, cheeses etc.  After the farmers market, they have sidewalk chalk competition in the suare where all thie kids come eqiupped with their sidewalk chalk stuff and try to draw the coolest pictures.  It's fun for the kids.

 

We also enjoy walking up to Dans Dogs.  Great little hotdog diner in the square.  Kids love that place as they can pile their dogs with whatever they want.  I know my wife walks the kids to the public library in the square every Tuesday and Wed for singing, puzzle, story classes....in the good weather of course.  If you haven't seen the new Medina Public Library, I consider it a must.  It truely is a great Library on the square and offers alot for the kids.  Its a four story building at the southeast corner  of the sqaure next to the new parking garage.  You can't miss it if you drive in on Route 18.

 

So, I don't know if it counts or not, but there are plenty of Urban neighborhoods around medina. 

 

And of course, we take the kids to alot of stuff in Downtown Cleveland and UC.  We try to stay away from the restaurants though, just becasue all 4 are under 5 yo. 

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gotribe, I don't believe the powers that be/the majority on the site think that Medina counts since I think that's considered an exurb, but I appreciate the information and think it's relevant to the thread since we get a lot of people considering relocating to a wide variety of areas on our site, not just the city of cleveland proper.

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^^I think it counts.  While its certainly different than living in Cleveland, downtown Medina is a great, walkable neighborhood.  More small town than urban, but thats ok.  And its a far cry from living in The Reserve or something like that.

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I don't think this thread should be limited to only those living in the big cities.  I personally enjoy hearing the stories of their kids in urban areas, whether or not they live there or just enjoy visiting.  Most people posting on this site have one thing in common - liking urban areas.

 

I've already done some lurking on a Cincinnati Moms website, and I have a feeling I may not have a lot of common with many of the forumers there.  :(  Many of them consider central Cincinnati to be the area around Kenwood Mall, and I've seen screen names such as "MiniVanMom" or "MasonSoccerMom."  I'm curious to see what the reaction will be when I say that I actually live downtown, and I don't plan on moving when the baby arrives!

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The Cleveland Zoo has free admission on Mondays for Cuyahoga County residents, just something to consider.

Or if you really like the zoo, membership isn't that much and the crowds are much smaller the other days of the week.

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And of course, we take the kids to alot of stuff in Downtown Cleveland and UC.  We try to stay away from the restaurants though, just becasue all 4 are under 5 yo

 

I hope you have at least one set of twins  :-o :-o

 

I would recommend a zoo membership to anybody with kids, its a great way to get of the house for a few hours in the winter to run the kids around. It wouldn't be worth it to pay full admission, but a couple of those short trips pay for themselves over the year. Also lot of the animals are active on a nice 30 degree sunny day as opposed to when it's warm and they just sit there sleeping. We were there a few weeks ago and watched the reindeer butting antlers for 15 minutes because they were really getting into it. And if the weather is really crapastic you can take them to the rainforest at the Cleveland zoo. 

 

 

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Folks, there's no "ohhh, well you're not living downtown, it doesn't count" in this thread. It's simply a place where those who DO choose to raise their kids in the city can exchange ideas (without the "OMG! In the city?!?" hysterics common on other parenting forums), ALONG WITH those raising their kids in the 'burbs but want to expose their kids to what the city has to offer that's accommodating of rugrats  ;-)

 

Heck, gotribe's post might give someone an idea for a family weekend outing away from the city - even I know it's healthy to get outta dodge every now and then :-)

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I would recommend a zoo membership to anybody with kids, its a great way to get of the house for a few hours in the winter to run the kids around. It wouldn't be worth it to pay full admission, but a couple of those short trips pay for themselves over the year. Also lot of the animals are active on a nice 30 degree sunny day as opposed to when it's warm and they just sit there sleeping. We were there a few weeks ago and watched the reindeer butting antlers for 15 minutes because they were really getting into it. And if the weather is really crapastic you can take them to the rainforest at the Cleveland zoo.

 

I agree.  I never really cared for the zoo, still don't too much, but it is sooo convenient to have a membership to the zoo and a few museums around town for rainy days, snow days etc.., and with a membership you can pop in anytime for just an hour or so.  And if you go to the zoo in February, you practically have the place to yourself.  The Cincy zoo is open 365 days a year, so it is a perfect standby.

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The Great Lakes Science Center is a fantastic place for kids. Because it is an interactive museum, you can just sit on a bench and watch your kids play and play and play.

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gotribe, I don't believe the powers that be/the majority on the site think that Medina counts since I think that's considered an exurb, but I appreciate the information and think it's relevant to the thread since we get a lot of people considering relocating to a wide variety of areas on our site, not just the city of cleveland proper.

 

The town is nice, it's the stuff around it that is crap.  I would be willing to bet that the majority on here really like the town square and immediate neighborhoods in Medina.

 

No kids here yet, but when we do, I hope we have family photos in environments resembling Jskinners'.

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I personally don't have any kids but I take my little cousins to Memphis kiddie park and the Cleveland Children's museum and they love both of them. I also would second Old Brooklyn being a great neighborhood for children as my street and the streets I pass daily are always littered with children.

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Our "urban baby" will be arriving this summer.  I can't wait to hear from others that have babies and small children in the urban core. 

 

Same here, Mr and Ms will be increasing 1 extra person in the family unit this summer as well. I grew up on a culdesac and cant wait to see how our kids develop being able to use public transportation, walk to jobs, walk to the movies, walk to the library and be able to play in all the parks.

 

One question are you going to include your baby in the census ?  I relay feal like I should count it.

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Why young families leave the city and go to the suburbs:

1.  It is the norm.  It is what is expected and known.

2. Worries about the public school system

3.  Feel a large private yard is necessary for proper raising of children.

4.  Worry about peer quality (if your urban neighborhood is poor)

 

How to address these issues:

1.  Publicize success stories of other urban families.

2.  Strenghthen the magnet school system and publicize their great success.

3.  Firstly, many urban houses do have small yards that are actually more than enough for kids.  Young couples don't realize this and think they need more space, when they really don't. Also, push for more programming in the parks and push for more patrols and money for park staff.

4.  Young couples worry about the unknown.  We need to show them that just because some people on your block may be poor does not mean that your children will start bad behaviors. You kid's peers end up being schoolmates, cousins, kids at church, kids on the soccer team, kids at scouts etc etc, not necessarily the immediate neighbor.  And some interraction with poor neighbors is also good IMO.  We meet lots of our neighbors at the pool, playground or even walking down the sidewalk, but they are not our sole playmates.

 

I think that young couples worry that there will be too much bad influence on their children and that they need to thoroughly control their surroundings.  Of course, this results in moving to a homogeneous neighborhood.  It is hard to demonstrate to people that this is not necessary. 

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I like this thread!  I have a 4 year old daughter and recently moved back to Euclid.  I would love to hear of the different things to do for her in the City!

 

I guess this is breaking the rules- but McDonald's Hill on E. 222nd close to Euclid Ave. is a great sledding hill for kids, and best of all, it's FREE.

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Jskinner, that's awesome ... good for you! Us Downtown Cincy parents should all meet up for coffee during the Summer?

Definitely!  We know many of the Prospect Hill families on Milton and Walker Streets aka Noel and Damon and others. We see each other at parades, b-day parties etc...

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Why young families leave the city and go to the suburbs:

1. It is the norm. It is what is expected and known.

2. Worries about the public school system

3. Feel a large private yard is necessary for proper raising of children.

4. Worry about peer quality (if your urban neighborhood is poor)

 

How to address these issues:

1. Publicize success stories of other urban families.

2. Strenghthen the magnet school system and publicize their great success.

3. Firstly, many urban houses do have small yards that are actually more than enough for kids. Young couples don't realize this and think they need more space, when they really don't. Also, push for more programming in the parks and push for more patrols and money for park staff.

4. Young couples worry about the unknown. We need to show them that just because some people on your block may be poor does not mean that your children will start bad behaviors. You kid's peers end up being schoolmates, cousins, kids at church, kids on the soccer team, kids at scouts etc etc, not necessarily the immediate neighbor. And some interraction with poor neighbors is also good IMO. We meet lots of our neighbors at the pool, playground or even walking down the sidewalk, but they are not our sole playmates.

 

I think that young couples worry that there will be too much bad influence on their children and that they need to thoroughly control their surroundings. Of course, this results in moving to a homogeneous neighborhood. It is hard to demonstrate to people that this is not necessary.

 

Hear hear!

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Why young families leave the city and go to the suburbs:

1. It is the norm. It is what is expected and known.

2. Worries about the public school system

3. Feel a large private yard is necessary for proper raising of children.

4. Worry about peer quality (if your urban neighborhood is poor)

 

How to address these issues:

1. Publicize success stories of other urban families.

2. Strenghthen the magnet school system and publicize their great success.

3. Firstly, many urban houses do have small yards that are actually more than enough for kids. Young couples don't realize this and think they need more space, when they really don't. Also, push for more programming in the parks and push for more patrols and money for park staff.

4. Young couples worry about the unknown. We need to show them that just because some people on your block may be poor does not mean that your children will start bad behaviors. You kid's peers end up being schoolmates, cousins, kids at church, kids on the soccer team, kids at scouts etc etc, not necessarily the immediate neighbor. And some interraction with poor neighbors is also good IMO. We meet lots of our neighbors at the pool, playground or even walking down the sidewalk, but they are not our sole playmates.

 

I think that young couples worry that there will be too much bad influence on their children and that they need to thoroughly control their surroundings. Of course, this results in moving to a homogeneous neighborhood. It is hard to demonstrate to people that this is not necessary.

 

Good analysis.  But you have to realize that some people just like their "space" more than others.  They don't want their neighbors right on top of them. 

 

There are many, many reasons certain people just don't like "urban" living in their family raising years.  It doesn't really say anything bad about them in my mind.  I am kind of between.  I like a walkable neighborhood, but I am one of those people who don't want my neighbor's house within an arm's reach of mine.  I also have a very large dog who would be severely pissed off with a typically small city yard.

 

While I don't absolutely love my house, I do find its setting ideal for me.  Walkable neighborhood where I can walk to about anything I want.  Nice family street without much traffic, and it is horseshoe shaped so the backyards (especially mine being on a curve) fan out and are much bigger than the front.  My back yard is wooded with a creek running behind it.  Very natural looking. 

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