Moving to Upper West Side with your family: The ultimate guide

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At the heart of New York, a city pulsating with energy and diversity, lies the Upper West Side, a neighborhood that embodies the city’s vivacity while offering a serene, family-friendly environment. If you’ve set your sights on moving to Upper West Side with your family, a thorough understanding of what life here entails is crucial. The nuances of the Upper West Side – its ambiance, cost of living, educational institutions, job market, and myriad recreational options are what attract many new residents to this neighborhood.  Whether you’re on the brink of packing your boxes and calling best professional movers NYC has or still in the phase of weighing your options, taking a deeper look at what this neighborhood offers is a great idea.

Meet Upper West Side

Graced with charm and character, the Upper West Side stands proudly between the serenity of Central Park and the tranquil beauty of the Hudson River. This neighborhood serves as a blend of urban sophistication and homely comfort, offering an ambiance that’s uniquely its own. Its architectural landscape is a delightful mix. Victorian brownstones and towering modern apartments sit side by side, embodying the neighborhood’s harmonious blend of history and contemporaneity. A walk down the streets reveals a picturesque panorama of leafy sidewalks, meticulous landscaping, and grand edifices that speak of an inviting and warm community. What really sets the Upper West Side apart, though, is its strong community feel. The neighborhood fosters a close-knit, friendly environment that makes it especially appealing for families. Moving with your family is always tough, so use moving service NYC for a stress-free move.

But the Upper West Side is more than just pretty streets. Its appeal extends to its intellectual and artistic vibe. Renowned cultural institutions, including the Lincoln Center, the American Museum of Natural History, and the Beacon Theatre, make their home here. These hubs of culture and arts infuse the neighborhood with a distinct creative energy, enriching the community’s life. In essence, the Upper West Side isn’t just a place on the map. It’s a living, breathing community, offering an enriching and fulfilling lifestyle to those lucky enough to call it home. So if you decide to start packing, try taking a look at packing service NYC companies provide and see if they can help you with that.

The Cost of Living on the Upper West Side

Moving to Upper West Side with your family invariably brings up concerns about the cost of living. The Upper West Side, like any part of New York City, presents a unique cost-of-living landscape shaped by several factors. A central aspect of the cost of living is housing. The median home value in the Upper West Side stands considerably higher than the national average – $1,490,386 (the national average is $244,900). However, it’s important to note that housing here is diverse, with options ranging from modern high-rise apartments to historic brownstones.

Rental options are also available for those not ready to buy. The median home rent is$2,262. Although rents tend to be higher than the national average of $1,163, the quality of living and amenities offered by the neighborhood justify these costs. If your budget allows it, hiring professional movers is always worth it. Contact local movers NYC residents trust to get their quote.

Woman researching how much moving to Upper West Side with your family costs
Careful budgeting and planning are imperative when moving

The price of groceries, an essential component of any family’s budget, is slightly higher in the Upper West Side compared to the national average. However, the neighborhood offers a range of grocery shopping options. From high-end supermarkets to local farmers’ markets, residents can choose where to shop based on their budget and food preferences. Public transportation is another significant living expense. Luckily, the Upper West Side enjoys excellent connectivity, with an efficient network of subways and buses. Residents can get around without owning a vehicle, which can significantly offset the higher housing and grocery costs.

Education in Upper West Side

A neighborhood’s educational facilities significantly impact a family’s relocation decision. The Upper West Side recognizes this importance and hosts an impressive collection of educational institutions. The neighborhood boasts several of New York City’s top-tier public schools. Institutions like P.S. 199 Jessie Isador Straus and P.S. 166 Richard Rodgers continue to uphold high academic standards, fostering students’ growth. In addition to public schools, the Upper West Side is home to reputable private schools like the Collegiate School, Trinity School, and the Ethical Culture Fieldston School. These schools offer smaller class sizes, individualized attention, and advanced educational programs, making them ideal for families seeking an alternative to public education.

Columbia University metro station
Proximity to the world’s most prestigious universities and some of the best schools in the state, Upper West Side offers amazing educational opportunities

Education in the Upper West Side extends beyond K-12. The neighborhood’s proximity to world-class universities, including Columbia University and Fordham University, means that residents have easy access to higher education opportunities. If you are moving to Upper West Side to pursue higher education, consider hiring long distance movers Manhattan to make that process much easier. These institutions are also significant contributors to the local community, hosting various events and programs that foster a culture of lifelong learning. Furthermore, the neighborhood prides itself on its myriad learning centers and libraries, like the New York Public Library – Riverside Branch, which serves as vital community resources. These facilities offer an array of educational programs for children and adults alike, promoting a love for learning and personal development.

Job Market in Upper West Side

When deciding about moving to Upper West Side with your family, understanding the local job market can be as crucial as knowing about the neighborhood’s schools or cost of living. The Upper West Side doesn’t disappoint, offering a thriving job market that caters to a range of professions and skills. Firstly, the neighborhood benefits from its proximity to Manhattan’s business districts. Many residents find employment in areas like finance, law, marketing, and technology at companies located just a short commute away. The ease of access to these job hubs is a definite advantage for those seeking high-powered careers in these industries. In addition to these sectors, the Upper West Side has a strong local economy supported by a host of businesses within its boundaries. The retail and hospitality sectors are particularly strong.

Healthcare is another major employment sector in the Upper West Side. The neighborhood is home to several leading hospitals and healthcare facilities, including Mount Sinai Morningside and Mount Sinai West. These institutions provide a plethora of jobs for healthcare professionals ranging from doctors and nurses to administrative and support staff. The Upper West Side is equally supportive of entrepreneurs. Whether you’re a restaurateur, a shop owner, or a freelance professional, you should contact movers Upper West Side and start your new professional journey. The diverse resident demographic creates a demand for a variety of services, providing a promising environment for start-ups and small businesses.

Things to see and do after moving to Upper West Side with your family

When it comes to recreational activities, the Upper West Side has something for everyone. Here, you will find five of the neighborhood’s must-visit spots that offer a diverse range of experiences:

  • Central Park
  • The American Museum of Natural History
  • Lincoln Center
  • Riverside Park
  • Zabar’s

These examples are some of the more notable ones, but the Upper West Side is full of interesting places that cater to many different interests.

Central Park

An emblem of tranquility amidst the city’s relentless pace, Central Park is more than just an urban park. This 843-acre patchwork of scenic landscapes, winding paths, and lush gardens create a serene retreat in the heart of Manhattan. Central Park offers much more than open spaces and greenery. It’s a cultural hub, hosting a range of performances at the Delacorte Theater and summer concerts on the Great Lawn. The park is also home to an innovative playground network, perfect for family outings. One of these is the Billy Johnson Playground, known for its granite slide and rustic charm.

View of Manhattan skyscrapers and Central Park
After moving to Upper West Side with your family, take them for a walk through Central Park

For water enthusiasts, there’s the Lake, the park’s second-largest water body, where one can row a boat or glide on a gondola. For fauna admirers, the Central Park Zoo is a must-visit, home to over 130 species ranging from snow leopards to tropical birds. If you’re a history buff, a stop at Cleopatra’s Needle, an authentic Egyptian obelisk, is worth your while.

The American Museum of Natural History

Offering an immersive journey through the universe’s timeline, the American Museum of Natural History is a captivating beacon of exploration and discovery. It is home to a collection of over 33 million specimens, including fossils, minerals, plants, and cultural artifacts. At the heart of the museum is the Hall of Dinosaurs, where you’ll find the colossal 122-foot-long Titanosaur and the ferocious T-rex. The museum’s Fossil Halls house one of the most extensive collections of its kind in the world, charting the evolution of life on Earth.

For an interactive experience, visitors can explore the Discovery Room or watch a spectacular show in the LeFrak 3D theater. And, of course, a visit would be incomplete without a stop at the Butterfly Conservatory, where hundreds of butterflies fly freely in a lush, tropical environment. Each visit to the American Museum of Natural History is not merely an outing, but an opportunity to journey across time and space, exploring the intricacies of our natural world and our place within it.

Lincoln Center

As the world’s leading performing arts complex, Lincoln Center is the very embodiment of culture and sophistication. It’s a dynamic platform where music, dance, and theater converge to create enriching experiences. Dedicated to nurturing and presenting the finest artists, Lincoln Center hosts nearly 5,000 performances annually. The Metropolitan Opera House, one of the world’s leading opera companies, is known for its grand productions. The David Geffen Hall is the home of the New York Philharmonic, the oldest symphony orchestra in the U.S., where stunning performances leave audiences in awe. For lovers of theater, the Lincoln Center Theater is a destination unto itself, known for its diverse repertory. The David H. Koch Theater, home to the New York City Ballet, offers a chance to witness the grace and precision of world-class ballet.

Lincoln Center at night
Lincoln Center is one of the main attractions after moving to Upper West Side with your family

Within its fold, Lincoln Center also embraces education. The Juilliard School, one of the most prestigious performing arts conservatories, is a hub of artistic scholarship. Furthermore, the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts library holds one of the world’s leading collections of books, recordings, and other materials related to dance, music, and theater. A visit to Lincoln Center is not just about enjoying a show; it’s about immersing oneself in the vibrant world of the arts and experiencing the passion and dedication that drive these performances. It’s a unique journey that leaves you enriched, inspired, and yearning for more.

Riverside Park

Riverside Park, stretching four miles along the Hudson River from 72nd to 158th Street, is a ribbon of green serenity that offers respite from New York’s urban intensity. Designed by the famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, the park provides an oasis of calm, replete with winding paths, sporting facilities, and gorgeous river views. Monuments and statues pepper the park, each with its own unique history.

Riverside Park as seen from the Hudson
This lush oasis is perfect for relaxing

The park isn’t just about peace and relaxation. The 110th Street Skate Park invites thrill-seekers with its ramps and rails. The park also features basketball and tennis courts, baseball diamonds, and the aptly named ‘Soccer Field of Dreams.’ For nature enthusiasts, Riverside Park’s community gardens, such as the Riverside Park Butterfly Garden. They offer a kaleidoscope of flora and the chance to spot local wildlife. With its diverse offerings, Riverside Park is more than a green space. It’s a community hub, a historical monument, and a sanctuary of natural beauty.


A cornerstone of New York’s food landscape, Zabar’s is a feast for the senses. Since 1934, this specialty food store on the Upper West Side has been delighting locals and tourists alike. Their offering of over 800 cheese varieties is sure to make a cheese lover’s heart flutter. The smoked fish counter, with its salmon, sable, and sturgeon, is a culinary treasure trove. For sweet tooths, their bakery’s rugelach, babka, and black-and-white cookies are a must-try. Finally, coffee aficionados will relish the selection of beans roasted on the premises. Whether you’re looking for a quick bite, a gourmet ingredient, or a taste of New York food culture, Zabar’s has it all.

Moving to Upper West Side with Your Family – Relocation Guide

Relocation involves a series of intricate tasks that require careful planning and execution. Engaging the services of a reputable moving company, such as Manhattan residential movers, can significantly alleviate the stress associated with the process. Kickstart your move by decluttering your current residence, separating essentials from dispensable, and organizing items in an effective manner. Simultaneously, do your groundwork on the Upper West Side—scout out suitable schools for your kids, familiarize yourself with the local healthcare facilities, and get a feel of the neighborhood amenities to ensure a comfortable and seamless transition.

Unpacking after moving to Upper West Side with your family
After successful relocation you should go out and just start exploring

Relocating to the Upper West Side is not just about changing your address; it’s about becoming part of a vibrant, welcoming community. With careful planning, your move to this neighborhood can be a seamless and exciting new chapter for your family.

Immerse yourself in this neighborhood’s charm

Moving to Upper West Side with your family can be an enriching experience. The neighborhood’s blend of cultural richness, excellent educational institutions, and robust job market. This makes it a desirable destination for families seeking a dynamic and fulfilling lifestyle. The cost of living, while higher than the national average, delivers value in terms of quality of life, amenities, and opportunities. With numerous recreational activities and a warm, welcoming community, living in the Upper West Side offers a unique blend of city life and neighborhood charm. Whether it’s a quiet afternoon in Central Park, an educational trip to the American Museum of Natural History, or a thrilling performance at Lincoln Center, the opportunities for exploration and enjoyment are endless.


Living in Upper West Side. (n.d.). Niche. Retrieved July 18, 2023, from



We had our wonderful wonderful experience with these movers. Special thanks to our foreman, Josh, and everyone on the team who helped.

Eliza G. / 2021-08-14

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