Kids enjoy the view from observation tower at Arbor Hills Nature Preserve in Plano, Texas.

#2. Plano

It’s no wonder that Plano, TX, has one of the highest high school graduations rates in the country. Parents and educators can easily find ways to keep children engaged, learning and healthy. That’s one of the many reasons why Plano made our Best Cities for Families list. Plano schools are highly regarded by parents and city leaders. Residents here strongly support the education systems and go out of their way to protect and nurture children.

This is the second time Plano made a families related list. See where they ranked on the Best Cities for Kids 2014.

In addition to playgrounds and recreation centers like the Plano Aquatic Center and the Tom Muehlenbeck Recreation Center, the city provides opportunities to explore nature, such as hiking at Arbor Hills Nature Preserve. The city’s soccer complexes helped earn it a spot on our list of Best Soccer Cities. Families enjoy strolling through downtown Plano, taking a look inside unique shops and quaint restaurants. Three local movie theaters, the Heritage Farmstead Museum and play centers like Kid Mania offer even more family-friendly activities.

The city and school system oversee many special programs for children, which range from summer camps and story groups to festivals and field trips. Plano’s highly diverse population helps children grow up with exposure to other cultures and walks of life. Children’s Medical Center Plano sits on a 155-acre site that includes vast green space and provides excellent care, as do many pediatric doctors around town. Other hospitals and health-care providers in Plano earn high marks from patients. 

See where Plano ranked on our list of the Top 100 Best Places to Live in 2014. 

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