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5 Family-Friendly Towns In Hillsborough County

By Elizabeth R. Elstien

New Hampshire has nine counties, dotted with covered bridges, white steeples and hiking trails. Within its nine counties, there are areas with good schools, fun activities and a low crime rate. Take a look at these five family-friendly towns in Hillsborough County in southern New Hampshire.

1. Merrimack

Merrimack has a very low crime rate and great school systems, especially in Town Center and Wilson Hill Rd/McQuestion Rd. neighborhoods. There are 26,000 residents with many of the population college-educated. For young kids, indoor play area NUThins was voted Parenting magazine's "family favorite" in New Hampshire in 2011 and 2012 and Hippo's "Best of the Best." A high rate of homeownership and value for education ranks this high on family-friendly towns.

2. Hollis

Hollis shares a school district with Brookline and only has middle and high schools. Its population is under 8,000 and most either work elsewhere in New Hampshire, a nearby state or telecommute from home. Nearly three-quarters of the residents are highly educated, blue-collar workers who enjoy Hollis' historic town center, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. Two rivers run through different parts of town: Nissitissit and Nashua. Have summer fun at the Apple or Strawberry festivals.

3. Brookline

The small town of Brookline has 5,000 residents, most highly educated. While many have a long commute to other areas to work, nearly 9% work from home. Only elementary schools are within Brookline, as it shares a school district with Hollis. Within lovely Larz Anderson Park lies Larz Anderson Auto Museum where all ages can learn about automobile history or just have fun in the park. Plus, enjoy nature at the Talbot-Taylor Wildlife Sanctuary.

4. Bedford

A suburb of Manchester, Bedford's population is 22,000 with three neighborhoods. Most residents work in professional, management or sales positions and are quite educated. The best school system is in the Route 1/Hardy Road area. Families can have fun at the Pulpit Rock Conservation Area, home to the geographic formation called Pulpit Rock, or enjoy Sebbins Pond.

5. Litchfield

With a population of 8,300, over one third of whom are well-educated and work in professional, sales office/administrative or managerial positions. There is one public school each for elementary, middle and high schoolers. There's something for everyone at Mel's Funway Park, which has 18 holes of miniature golf, lazer or maze tag, golf driving range, baseball batting cage and arcade.

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