I receive so many emails from parents planning to move to Las Vegas, asking what area of town is best for families to raise kids. Las Vegas is a diverse metropolis with a strong, closely-knitted and supportive community. The valley has thriving neighborhoods close to major shopping and excellent schools, elaborate parks and natural trail systems, pockets of family-friendly areas in established master-planned communities and tracks of new homes nestled in the foothills and outlying areas.
There are quite a few families moving into the area sight unseen and nervous about renting or buying a home before getting to know the area. As a longtime local, former real estate journalist and columnist and homeschool mom, I know this city well. I gathered some basic info about the city based on area and family-friendly amenities. Afterall, you’re not just moving into a new home, you’re moving into a community where your kids will flourish.
Top Tier Schools
The education opportunities in the valley best for families are city wide. There are more than 20 top private schools with nearly 4,500 students attending in Henderson. The sprawling Summerlin area is home to nearly 90 top-rated private schools that more than 17,000 students from across the valley attend.
Master-planned communities aren’t the only areas to find a home that fits your needs close to an outstanding, nationally ranked school. Established neighborhoods are home to top-tier 5-star, charter, magnet and private schools. There is also a growing homeschool community and progressive microschools throughout the valley.
The community gathers regularly no matter what time of year. Even when the temperatures climb, you’ll find yoga on the lawn at Downtown Summerlin or a preschool music class at a local park. There are a number of Facebook groups that post events for each master-planned community or area of town.
The Downtown Container Park hosts child-centric free events nearly every weekend at its outdoor theater. Kids enjoy the free outdoor Treehouse with slides, roped bridges, foam construction blocks and digital game arch. Bring a picnic or grab a bite from one of the numerous restaurants that rim the park and spread out on the lawn for an afternoon of fun. Large outdoor games, such as checkers, chess and tic-tac-toe, are available to enjoy the afternoon before the nightly concert or movie.
From Summerlin in the West and Henderson in the East, master-planned communities pepper the Las Vegas valley. Parks are sprinkled all over the Las Vegas valley. Many of the master-planned communities made sure to locate a family-friendly park with state-of-the-art play equipment, such as ziplines and splash pads, within walking distance from your front door.
Summerlin is an active community of 55 villages sprawled across more than 22,000 acres. Each village has its own feel and amenities. Summerlin is close to the 215 and I-95 is just 15 minutes from Centennial Hills, the Las Vegas Strip and Downtown and about 30 minutes from the airport, Henderson and Aliante.
Henderson is one of the oldest, and largest cities in Southern Nevada. The parks and neighborhoods are mature and have more character than some of the newer developments. But Henderson is also a progressive city with a number of award-winning master-planned developments, extensive nature paths and a dog park system. It has luxury shopping and dining amenities with The District and Town Square and is often billed as one of the Top 50 cities to live in. Google and Haas and other national brands are investing millions into the bourgeoning community that fills the eastern part of the Las Vegas valley.
Aliante in the northwest is the most cost-effective master-planned community in Southern Nevada with an award-winning player-friendly golf course Aliante Golf Club, waterfalls at Dinosaur Park and monthly activities for residents. The Spring Valley community is the cornerstone of the southwest valley. It is home to luxury pioneers Spanish Trails and Spanish Hills with a championship golf course and an award-winning hospital.
Southern Hills is combined with the Enterprise area of the valley and is one of the fastest-growing areas Las Vegas with many amenities aimed at attracting busy families. Providence has treelined streets and an amazing and active community center and expansive dog park.
Sports Franchises to Follow
Professional sports has found a home in Las Vegas. The Las Vegas Raiders training facility is in Henderson and Summerlin has Las Vegas Golden Knights primary practice facility and Las Vegas Stadium with the triple-A Oakland Athletics affiliate the Aviators.
There are also numerous soccer, volleyball, baseball and softball fields throughout the valley that take advantage of the 9 months of good weather residents enjoy. There’s even an award-winning lacrosse field that has been home to some of the best players in the country.
There is an abundance of outdoor activities a good 9 months out of the year that make Las Vegas BEST for families. Many local and national organizations plan seasonal celebrations designed to bring families and the community together
Mount Charleston is a short drive from Las Vegas, about 30 minutes from Centennial Hills and an hour from Henderson. Activities on the mountain are year-round, from skiing at Lee Canyon to camping in the hot summer months at various campgrounds. Lake Mead National Recreation Area has waterskiing, boating, kayaking, camping and other water activities year-round as well.
Summerlin is also the gateway to the Red Rock Conservation area, with hiking, biking and some of the best rock-climbing spots in the world. Spring M ountain Ranch holds family-friendly plays at its grassy outdoor theater area.