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The 2013 Family Choice Awards
Here it is, the final tally, the news you’ve all been waiting for . . . the announcement of our Family Choice Award winners!
The Family Choice Awards gives you, our readers, a chance to weigh in on who you think is doing the best job in our city when it comes to serving families. When you see our categories, you begin to realize just how many different companies families use in daily life. From the Memphis Zoo and Botanic Garden to pediatricians, retailers, restaurants, and museums, families are consumers. We know you appreciate those businesses that make life a bit easier and more fun.
With the Family Choice Awards, we like to take this opportunity to salute those organizations providing the best service to kids and parents alike.
This year, we were excited to offer our voting ballot entirely online, with pull-down menus that gave you a chance to select from our offerings or write in a contender of your own. We hope that made the process easier. More than 1,400 readers had their say, giving thumbs up to a host of businesses in 35 different categories.
We hope our awards give you ideas when you’re looking for new services or places to go with your family. And congratulations to all of our winners; whether gold, silver, or bronze, your excellence has been noted.
GET OUT THERE
Best FREE Family Outing
Gold: Memphis Zoo, Free TuesdaysSilver: Shelby Farms Woodland PlaygroundBronze: Levitt Shell
Parents look for destinations that offer free family fun and these folks deliver. The Memphis Zoo zoomed ahead of Shelby Farms’ Woodland Playground to secure gold this year, but all three attractions are a great place to spend family time.
Best Family Day Trip
Gold: Memphis ZooSilver: Cedar Hill Farm Bronze: Nashville
Between enjoying the animals, the outdoors, and the attractions in Nashville (we love the Adventure Science Center and the Lane Motor Museum), there’s something here for everyone.
SHOP TIL YOU DROP
Best Locally Owned Children’s Store
Gold: Village ToymakerSilver: The Booksellers at LaurelwoodBronze: Cotton Tails
The intersection of Poplar and Perkins seems to be ground zero for great kid shopping. From a wonderful selection of toys and books to plenty of cute kids’ clothes, shopping local is a snap. Kudos to these fine vendors.
Best Kids Consignment Store
Gold: Once Upon A ChildSilver: TIE: Junior League Repeat Boutique & Plato’s ClosetBronze: Summer Kids Clothing Exchange
Whether you’re looking for gently worn clothes or a deal on a stroller, these consignment stores are a bonanza, offering quality merchandise at affordable prices.
Best Local Place to Buy Toys
Gold: Village Toy MakerSilver: Knowledge TreeBronze: The Booksellers at Laurelwood
The Village Toymaker, brimming with goodies, is the gold winner for good reason: they offer a fabulous selection of interesting toys you won’t find in the big box stores. Congrats to them as well to our new silver and bronze winners, The Knowledge Tree and The Booksellers at Laurelwood. Glad you’re part of our community.
Best Maternity Store
Gold: A Pea in a PodSilver: TIE: Motherhood Maternity & TargetBronze: Gap
Whether you need a professional outfit for the office, or something casual for home, you can look stylish anytime when you shop maternity at these winners.
Best Local Store for Baby Gifts
Gold: Cotton Tails Silver: Itty Bitty BellaBronze: TIE: Spoiled Sweet & More Than Words
Who says babies shouldn’t be spoiled? From cute layette outfits at Cotton Tails to stylish home furnishings at Itty Bitty Bella, here you’ll find the perfect gift.
Best Store for Children’s Gifts
Gold: Village ToymakerSilver: The Booksellers at LaurelwoodBronze: Knowledge Tree
Best Local Place to Buy Baby’s Clothes
Gold: Cotton TailsSilver: Itty Bitty BellaBronze: Woman’s Exchange of Memphis
From stylish and hip to traditional togs, each of these vendors have a particular niche which makes them unique. If you haven’t shopped at these stores, put them on your list.
Best Restaurant with Kids
Gold: Chick-Fil-ASilver: Huey’sBronze: Mellow Mushroom
When you’ve got a picky eater at home, it always helps to have a go-to place (besides your kitchen) where the food is plentiful and good. These three offer award-winning dishes that will bring a smile to the crankiest of eaters. Yum.
Best Restaurant without Kids
Gold: IrisSilver: Flight, Restaurant and Wine Bar Bronze: Folk’s Folly
Wow, these three restaurants finished on top again this year. Not hard to believe, though. After herding kids and colleagues all day, you need a place to relax and dine that won’t disappoint. Congrats to these award winners for continuing to serve memorable meals.
Best Healthy Kids’ Menu
Gold: Jason’s DeliSilver: Panera BreadBronze: Holiday Ham
These winners offer fresh ingredients and food that not only tastes good, but is good for you.
Best Local Pizzeria
Gold: Memphis Pizza CafeSilver: Garibaldi’sBronze: The Trolley Stop
Memphis Pizza Café continues to be the go-to place for pizza. But this year, Garabaldi’s knocked out Mellow Mushroom for the Silver, and The Trolley Stop zipped in with their fresh, diverse menu to take the Bronze.
Gold: Central BBQ MemphisSilver: Germantown CommissaryBronze: Corky’s
When it comes to BBQ, Memphis is a tough audience. Kudos to these purveyors, who know how to make the little piggy sing.
Best Ice Cream
Gold: YoLo Frozen YogurtSilver: Baskin-RobbinsBronze: Jerry’s Snow Cones
Sweet treats that can’t be beat.
Best Kids’ Party Destination
Gold: Memphis Botanic My Big BackyardSilver: Sky Zone SportsBronze: Children’s Museum of Memphis
When you’ve got to throw a party, you want a destination that’s fun and reliable. That what makes these vendors number one. Kudos.
Best Kids’ Party Entertainment
Gold: Sky Zone SportsSilver: Children’s Museum of Memphis Bronze: Music for Aardvarks
Best Bakery for Birthday Cakes
Gold: Muddy’s Bake ShopSilver: Miss Muff’n Bakery Bronze: Costco
Tasty treats that can’t be beat.
NEW • Best Children’s Photographer
Gold: Allison Rogers PhotographySilver: Hal JaffeBronze: Paige Miller
This is a new category this year, because we know how important it is to capture your family’s precious moments. These photographers have the knack.
Best Salon for Kids’ Haircuts
Gold: Sports ClipsSilver: Super CutsBronze: Sweet & Sassy
Looks like the price is right when it comes to finding stylists who will work with squirmy kids. A tip of our hat to these fine outlets, who make bed heads a thing of beauty.
Best Spa for Mom
Gold: Gould’sSilver: Germantown Day SpaBronze: Serenity Day Spa
The next time you need time for you? Follow the three R’s: Relax, rejuvenate, and remember these winners.
Gold: Dr. Chris Hanson, Laurelwood PediatricsSilver: Dr. Ashley Miller, Laurelwood PediatricsBronze: TIE: Dr. Aimee Christian, Memphis Pediatrics, & Dr. Noel Frizzell, Pediatric Consultants
This is always a hotly contested category, with many doctors receiving votes. So we salute the winners. Congratulations, all.
Best Pediatric Dentist
Gold: Dr. Brad WilkinsonSilver: Dr. Michael BlenBronze: TIE: Dr. Betsy Barcroft & Dr. Greg Wilkinson
This category is a slugfest, too. Kudos.
Gold: Dr. Brad WilkinsonSilver: Dr. Cooper Sandusky Bronze: Dr. Danny Weiss
NEW • Best Pediatric Asthma and Allergy Specialists
Gold: East Memphis Allergy and AsthmaSilver: Allergy and Asthma Specialists of MemphisBronze: Allergy and Asthma Care
Since Memphis is a hotbed for allergy and asthma issues, we wanted to salute those in the front line working to keep kids healthy.
BEST OF THE CITY
Gold: Le Bonheur Children’s HospitalSilver: Methodist Le Bonheur Germantown HospitalBronze: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
We are blessed to live in a city that offers excellent medical care.
Best Place to Have Your Baby
Gold: Baptist Women’s HospitalSilver: Methodist Bonheur Germantown Hospital Bronze: St. Francis Hospital, Memphis
A good birth experience is what these hospitals deliver.
Best Public School
Gold: White Station High SchoolSilver: Grahamwood ElementaryBronze: Campus School
For the third year in a row, White Station High earns Gold as the city’s Best Public School, edging out a host of contenders. Just a handful of votes separated the top finishers, with Grahamwood earning Silver. And this year, we welcome a new school to the winner’s circle; Campus School claims the Bronze. Hats off to these schools and all who were considered.
Best Private School
Gold: Woodland Presbyterian SchoolSilver: Briarcrest Christian School Bronze: Christ Methodist Day School
Woodland Presbyterian must be doing great things, since it won Gold again this year. Briarcrest Christian nosed the competition to gain Silver and we welcome Christ Methodist Day School as the new Bronze award winner.
Best Day Care
Gold: Christ United Methodist ChurchSilver: First Baptist Day SchoolBronze: Memphis Jewish Community Center Early Childhood Center
Finding quality day care is among parents top concerns when children arrive. Thankfully, this year’s finishers are among the best.
Best Field Trip for Kids
Gold: Memphis ZooSilver: Cedar Hill FarmBronze: Children’s Museum of Memphis
Don’t you remember taking field trips as a kid? Who didn’t want a day out of the classroom? These winners offer quality programming and a great escape for kids of all ages.
Best Parent’s Day Out Programs
Gold: Christ United Methodist ChurchSilver: Memphis Jewish Community Center Bronze: Second Presbyterian PDO
We welcome this new group of winners. Congrats to all!
Best After-school Performing Arts Program
Gold: Music for AardvarksSilver: TIE: School of Rock & Briarcrest Performing Arts SchoolBronze: Germantown Performing Arts Center
Giving children a place to express themselves creatively is important work. Music, movement, and just plain fun are what these winners provide. Congratulations.
Best After-school Sports program
Gold: Woodland Presbyterian Athletic ProgramSilver: Briarcrest Christian SchoolBronze: TIE: Memphis Jewish Community Center & the YMCA
Best Overnight Camp
Gold: Victory RanchSilver: Camp Bear TrackBronze: Pinecrest
Camp is the place kids can not only make new friends, but discover new talents in themselves. These winners help them on that road to discovery.
Best Recreational Outing for Families
Gold: Memphis ZooSilver: Biking on the Green LineBronze: TIE: Memphis Redbirds game & Shelby Farms
Hard to argue with that lineup!
Best Annual Event for Families
Gold: Starry Nights at Shelby FarmsSilver: Memphis Italian Fest Bronze: Germantown Festival
It’s not easy to produce a quality event that families anticipate each year. But these organizations (with a lot of volunteer help) manage to do just that. Kudos.
Best Tourist Attraction
Gold: Memphis ZooSilver: GracelandBronze: Downtown Memphis
Whether it’s hearing live music, learning about animals, or seeing the mighty Mississippi from the trolley or bluff walk, these destinations say Memphis.
Best Local Blog
Three great blogs with distinct identities: Two Kids gives a personal glimpse into the suburban life of a family whose daughter faced down cancer. Eastmemphismoms gathers information from readers looking for activities of interest to families, and I Love Memphis is a great guide to life in the Bluff City. A shout out, too, to Dining with Monkeys, a personal guide to dining with kids, and Living in the Moment at memphisparent.com, the go-to source for events listings, parenting info, and more!
Best Local Role Model
Gold: ParentsSilver: Coach Josh Pastner Bronze: Justin Timberlake
Parents were the hands-down favorites here and frankly, we couldn’t agree more.
Stay tuned for our annual Parent's Choice 2014 ballot coming in October 2014 to the pages of Memphis Parent and online here at memphisparent.com!