Summer Rental? Remember, Every Town Has a “Summer Personality…”​

Like people, towns also have personalities. If you are looking to spend your vacation in the 'burbs, get to know the town's personality. Searching for a Summer Rental? Start Here.What You Need to Know About a Town’s “Summer Personality”Every town has a personality—and every town has a  summer personality. With the warmer months fast approaching, Suburban Jungle talked summer personalities with Downtown Chic Moms—and if a summer rental is on your to-do list, this is definitely a post you want to check out. From Downtown Chic Moms:  “If there’s one thing Suburban Jungle wants city families to know it’s this: EVERY town has a unique personality—and understanding that personality is VERY important to your suburban search. The happiest urban-to-suburban families are the ones who find the right town—the town that syncs with their lifestyle, their wants, their needs and their expectations from day one.” READ THE FULL POST, “WHAT ARE YOUR SUMMER PLANS? NOT SURE? SUBURBAN JUNGLE IS HERE TO HELP” ON DOWNTOWN CHIC MOMS And, keep in mind, this summer personality rule applies to every town, from the go-to vacation hotspots to sought-after suburbs families often “test drive” in the summer.“Thinking the Hamptons, Nantucket, Jersey Shore or some other summer hotspot? Remember, even popular summer rental towns have major personalities. Your job? Find one that aligns with your family. In the Hamptons, for example, Montauk is nothing like East Hampton, which is nothing like Southampton, Bridgehampton, Sag Harbor, Watermill or Sagaponack.”And in the ‘burbs?“Testing out a town for a potential move? In the New York City suburbs, towns like Rye, Pound Ridge, Bedford, Greenwich and Westport are popular for summertime test runs…In towns like these, the summer personality can be very indicative of the full-year personality—or it can completely miss the mark.” READ THE FULL POST, “WHAT ARE YOUR SUMMER PLANS? NOT SURE? SUBURBAN JUNGLE IS HERE TO HELP” ON DOWNTOWN CHIC MOMS Your goal? If you’re heading to a summer rental in a vacation town, make sure your family’s plans are in-sync—and that could mean signing up for a local day camp, joining a beach club or getting situated with some other popular activity or membership.And if you’re heading to suburbia to try out a town that could be “The One?” Same rules apply to this summer rental. Suss out the town’s summer personality and make sure it’s a good fit—or that, at the very least, you know what to expect and can plan accordingly. And while you’re there, see if you can get a feel for what “real life” is like the other nine months. This will help you determine the right suburb for your family based on your lifestyle, wants and needs, and not just bedrooms and bathrooms.To figure out which town truly fits your family—and YOUR summer personality—click here and schedule your complimentary suburbs strategy session.

Scouting Suburbia? Don’t Miss THIS!​

Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah Scoping out suburbia over the Thanksgiving weekend? Start with these great events. Here you’ll meet the locals, interact with your (maybe!) future neighbors and understand what makes a town tick, all putting you in a better position when it comes to deciding on a forever ‘burb.NYC SUBURBSThe Long Island Children’s Museum in Garden City is celebrating all month long with their “Tree”-mendous Thanksgiving Cards and “Turkey Talk” event.There are plenty of turkey trots happening all over Westchester this year. Whether you hop in and run or just like to cheer on the competitors, these are definite MUSTS. Check out events inBedford, Rye and White Plains, for starters.Your kids will love making their own Thanksgiving centerpieces and festive place mats at the Wilton Library in Wilton, CT on Sunday, November 20. Looking for something a little more active? Hit the Greenwich Turkey Trot on Saturday, November 26!CHICAGO SUBURBSThe Gingerbread Jubilee is a must for kids of all ages. This year, it’s happening the weekend after Thanksgiving at Wagner Farm in Glenview.Hitch a ride on the Winter Wonderland Train, departing from the North Glenview Metra Train Station and heading straight to Libertyville. When do we start thinking about Christmas? Right after that last bite of turkey! So why not celebrate the season with this early visit from Santa and the Polar Express, at Hollywood Palms in Naperville?SAN FRANCISCO SUBURBSA quick trip to Fairyland in Oakland is a great way to let the kiddos burn off some Turkey Day steam. The Ritz Carlton in Half Moon Bay is hosting family-friendly holiday movies under the stars—check out the full schedule now! With Thanksgiving over you’re no doubt ready to ring in winter. What better way than the Mill Valley Winterfest?LA SUBURBSLace up those skates! It’s time for ICE Santa Monica, running now through January 18. Want to jog off some of the turkey and trimmings? The Burbank Community YMCA Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day is a must. If you’re looking for a really unique way to spend Thanksgiving afternoon, head to Long Beach for their annual lunch at the Aquarium of the Pacific. Think lunch with otters and other sea life—fun!BOSTON SUBURBSSomerville’s annual Gobble Gobble Gobble 4 Miler benefits Project Soup, and attracts runners from all over the Boston ‘burbs. Grab the gang for a great post-Thanksgiving movie—the Regent Theatre in Arlington is screening a sing-a-long version of Mary Poppins! Commonwealth Ballet’s The Nutcracker kicks off November 25 at Casey Theatre in Weston. Tickets are available now! To figure out which town truly fits your family, click here and get your complimentary suburbs strategy session.​

What We’d Tell Justin & Jessica About Moving to the ‘burbs…​

Justin Timberlake has announced that he and wife Jessica Biel and young son Silas are packing up and leaving LA for suburbia. But, unlike many Los Angelenos, this A-list family isn’t heading to Beverly Hills or Ranchos Palos Verdes. These superstars are heading to the NYC ‘burbs—to the Norwalk, Connecticut area, specifically, reports WLEB 21. In a statement late last week, Justin said he and his growing brood were, simply, looking to “slow things down a bit and get away from the crazy, hectic life in L.A.,” a sentiment that likely rings true for any city family considering a move to suburbia. He added, “I’ve visited the Norwalk area a few times over the years and the people there are real… they’re genuine and pretty friendly too and I think those are the things that are most important in deciding where to live.” While we couldn’t agree more—Fairfield County is an amazing spot for young, career-minded families—there are a few things Justin and Jessica should consider as they’re planning their jump across the country…and from urban to suburban. They’ll need access to NYC—and LAThe Biel-Timberlake family will need bicoastal access—NYC and LA—given their careers and personal commitments. So which posh CT suburb offers the quickest commute to the city? Rowayton is just over an hour to midtown Manhattan, as is Darien. Knowing Justin favors the “Norwalk area,” these two towns could be great choices. Rowayton, a seaside community that’s part of Norwalk, is just minutes from downtown. Darien is less than 10 minutes from Norwalk by car. Another perk to these towns? They’re close to not just New York City airports but, also, smaller regional airports in Westchester and New Haven, where the family could hop a chartered flight back to LA. They love music, entertainment and culture. Fairfield County is rich with art, music, culture and entertainment, making it a perfect spot for Justin and his crew. Fairfield itself has a massive arts scene and bustling nightlife, which could be attractive for the family. Westport—home to chic boutiques, galleries, award-winning restaurants and the acclaimed Westport Country Playhouse—could also be a good spot to consider.  Here they’d also be neighbors to fellow celebs, including Melissa Joan Hart and Martha Stewart, and was the long-time hometown of Paul Newman.  They’ve got a baby Connecticut is a great state overall for families, but plenty of Norwalk-area towns consistently top national ranks of the best ‘burbs for bringing up baby. Lately, hotspots including Darien, Westport and New Canaan (home to another crooner-turned-actor, Harry Connick, Jr.) have landed high on countless lists, and with good cause. Looking at overall quality of life indicators—things like schools, climate, things to do and overall safety—these three consistently pop, as do popular family-friendly towns including Weston, Wilton and Fairfield. Related Posts...These Stars Are Brooklyn-bound—But Are The ‘burbs The Next Stop?Why I Picked My Town: Meet Catherine Siroka Why These A-List Celebs are Heading to the NYC Suburbs She’s a working mom While towns like Greenwich attract plenty of A-listers, it’s also not big on the working mom front. Our advice to Jessica? Find a community where you won’t be flying solo but, instead, will have the support of other like-minded career-minded mamas. What CT towns are working mom-heavy? Milford and Ridgefield each rank high on the list—in these towns, more than half of all moms work. New Canaan is also a chart-topper, with close to three in five moms working outside of the home. In Norwalk and Fairfield, that number rises to more than seven in 10. We can’t wait to welcome Justin and Jessica to the ‘burbs! Until then, our offer stands: the Suburban Jungle team is here to help your family—and any family—plan their move from urban to suburban. Ready to get started? Fill out our interactive online questionnaire to help refine your suburban must-haves and get your family started with a dedicated Suburbs Strategist! See you in suburbia!​

Our Foray into the Suburban JunglePart III: Darien or Bust​

For Tara Giblin and her family, Connecticut went from “too far” to “too amazing to ignore!” With their sights set on CT—and, specifically, beautiful, family-friendly Darien—they set to work in search of the perfect home in the perfect neighborhood for their family. What did she learn during this up and down process? TONS—and, ultimately, found the right place for herself and her brood to call “home.” When we decided it was time to really buy a house, our minds were flooded. Living in Manhattan, we’d been going to open houses, restaurants, and playgrounds all over Westchester for literally, years—but it was usually “just for fun.” Think a chance to get out of the city for the day. But when our search went from casual to full-on, we speed-dated our way through New Jersey, marveling at the Victorian porches of Westfield, enjoying local treats at the annual Summit street fair, and window-shopping the chic boutiques of Ridgewood. As for Connecticut, we had already done a few “drive-bys” while heading elsewhere (as in, “let’s drive-by that house we saw on Zillow!”) which took us from the narrow streets of Old Greenwich to the Norman Rockwell-esque downtown of New Canaan. Work friends expounded to us on the pros and cons of commuting from every direction—it seemed everyone had an opinion, no matter where our search led. We needed focus. And we needed it NOW. Our first call with Patti at Suburban Jungle proved to be more a wake-up call than an informational one. Having reviewed our town wish list, she quickly addressed practical matters like budget, home size and where we worked. The conversation started along the lines of, “You want a four bedroom with a decent yard and garage for how much? Not in lower Westchester!” then moved to, “Your husband’s office is a block from Grand Central and you are actually considering a commute into Penn before having to get across town? So long, New Jersey!” Patti’s quick psychoanalysis helped us determine that we preferred a small town feel, and poof! Greenwich was history. In less than an hour, we came up with our short list: Irvington, Pleasantville and Chappaqua in Westchester, and Darien in Connecticut. Just. Like. That. The next part seemed like fate. We were hooked up with a Darien resident and real estate agent who heard our story and got it. Raised in Jersey and having looked in Westchester before choosing Darien, this agent had walked in our shoes. And besides bringing us to some lovely homes, she showcased why it wasn’t just Darien, but also the people of Darien, that were a fit for us. Residents are active and engaged, and we found the parks, beaches, restaurants and sidewalks filled with young families. The town’s numerous civic organizations are deeply supported by the community, as are its new library, technologically-advanced schools, YMCA, and Nature Center. Related Posts...Our Foray into the Suburban Jungle Part 1Our Foray into the Suburban Jungle Part 2Our Foray into the Suburban Jungle Part 4 And if that weren’t enough, everyone was so nice. Our agent kept telling us that Darien was a friendly town, and she wasn’t exaggerating. At a local playground a couple who had recently moved from New Jersey gave us great insight into why they chose Darien over a similar nearby town (ahem, beach rights!). At the downtown luncheonette we sat at the busy counter while the owner himself leaned over and told us, “this town was made for kids.” The commute was doable with two in-town train stations that arrived at Grand Central in less than an hour. Layer in the White Plains airport just 25 minutes away and an Amtrak stop in next-door Stamford, and Darien definitely wasn’t the sticks. We found ourselves driving back to the city, giddy with delight from just one visit, and excited for our next one. Despite Patti’s suggestions, we never did go back to Westchester. At this point, it was Darien-or-bust… For your personalized suburbs strategy session with Suburban Jungle, click here!​

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