Town Spotlight: What it’s like living in Newton, Massachusetts

Nov 6, 2023

The 88,000 people living in Newton, MA have everything at their fingertips. This community is celebrated for its exceptional public schools and vibrant food scene, complemented by the ease and affordability of transportation. For those seeking proximity to urban areas, the diverse villages within the town – such as Waban, Newton Highlands, Newton Centre, and West Newton – each provide unique and enjoyable experiences.

A picturesque, safe town seven miles west of Boston, with great access into the city and lots to do.
A picturesque, safe town seven miles west of Boston, with great access into the city and lots to do.

Let’s Head to Boston

Living in Newton offers the advantage of convenient access to downtown Boston. The local subway system – “the T” – passes through Newton, providing an easy and affordable way to reach the city center. For those commuting daily, there’s a speedy commuter train available that offers a fixed schedule and comfortable seating.

Additionally, SEVERAL bus lines, including the 554, serve the Newton area en route to Boston. The town’s proximity to Interstate 90 facilitates rapid and straightforward car travel.

Let’s Hit the Books

Many families move to Newton for one reason – the public school system. Residents living in Newton are close to top-notch public schools with caring teachers, extracurricular activities, and a very involved parent community. There are 15 elementary schools, four middle schools, and two high schools (Newton North and Newton South). Both North and South send students to Ivy League universities year after year. Newton is also known as a school district that provides ample support for students with special needs.

You can view which elementary school your new neighborhood would zone into here: Newton Elementary School Zones. Every elementary school provides a small neighborhood feel, despite Newton being a large town. Tuesdays are half days in Newton for elementary and middle schoolers, Wednesdays for high school, and all town centers are bustling at lunchtime with plenty of students and their families. Newtonville’s diner, pizza places, and other eateries are filled with Newton North High Schoolers who can go off campus during their free periods.

For those interested in private schooling while living in Newton, the town boasts several esteemed institutions such as Newton Country Day School, Jackson Walnut Park School, and Solomon Schechter Day School. Residents can access such a rich array of educational choices. Boston College and Lasell College, located within the town, also provide many cultural events, sports activities, and babysitting services. Newton is also home to numerous dynamic and thriving temple and church communities, each contributing significantly to the town’s unique character.

Summer Fun

In the summer, kids get involved in local sports like tennis lessons at The Neighborhood Club or Newton Centre, and many families living in Newton get a membership to Crystal Lake. The passes are only sold to Newton residents, so the beach never gets too overcrowded. Kids can take swimming lessons here or relax in the sun or shade with their family.

Newton hosts many summer camps, with the town’s Parks and Recreation department presenting a diverse selection alongside numerous private offerings. The range is extensive, encompassing everything from sports and arts camps to various specialty camps, too numerous to enumerate here. Prominent among these are the expansive programs offered by the YMCA and JCC. Additionally, private schools such as Fessenden, Beaver, and Chestnut Hill contribute by hosting camps that utilize their facilities.

An interior image of a woman reading a book in a bookstore.
An interior image of a woman reading a book in a bookstore.

Living in Newton Means Let’s Eat and Shop

Pasta, burgers, sushi, and more! Newton is home to various delicious dining, from casual to upscale. Open to visitors, commuters, and residents living in Newton, Newton Centre is bustling with an independent bookstore, boutique shopping, salons, and eateries. For a more upscale night out, Sycamore is the place to be with an intimate atmosphere and elevated menu. 

Each village in the area boasts unique treasures, such as the Walnut Market in Newton Highlands, offering specialty foods, or Hopsters in Newton Corner, where you can sample craft beer and enjoy bar snacks. The Newton Centre Green is a hub of activity, hosting annual festivals, concerts, and craft fairs. The Chestnut Hill Mall, Chestnut Hill Square, and The Street at Chestnut Hill offer many retail options for shopping enthusiasts.

Newton is a beautiful town with a warm community feel. The Boston Marathon route passes through the town by the famous “heartbreak hill,” and residents living in Newton come together to cheer on the runners. The marathon route in Newton also provides lots of running all year round. The local library on Homer Street is always filled with babies for its free story time, and the farmer’s market is home to friendly people and beautiful produce. If you choose to be part of the community living in Newton, you will certainly feel at home and always have somewhere to explore.

There are hundreds of towns to choose from. How do you figure it all out? You simply don’t, without getting a Suburban Jungle Strategist to help you through it all. Schedule here for your strategy session with our innovative suburbs strategy team. All services are completely free.

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