My family is relocating to Orange County, what are the best family friendly cities?

We just started looking and think the southern areas are probably the best fit - Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, Ladera Ranch, Aliso Viejo, Laguna Hills, Laguna Niguel, Dana Point, San Juan Capistrano, San Clemente. We are looking for a very family friendly neighborhood (lots of young families, we have a toddler) with a great sense of community, good schools, parks/pools, sports, events. Walkability or close proximity to shops/restaurants would be a plus. Ladera Ranch is really appealing with all of the amenities but is it worth the HOA & Mello-Roos? Are there any particularly family friendly neighborhoods in the other areas? I would appreciate any advice, advantages/disadvantages or comparisons! Basic criteria - Single family, 3+ bed/3+ bath, decent yard, up to $1.2 million. Thanks!
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