Parents across the region have spoken. During the nomination period in March and the final voting period in May, we asked our readers and online followers to weigh in on their favorite family-friendly spots — local businesses, attractions, family services and more.
While some perennial favorites topped the ballots once again, this year they’re joined by several new honorees.
Here they are, the winners and finalists for our fourth annual Parent Choice Awards in the “Food & Shopping” theme.
View the complete 2019 Parent Choice Awards winners in our July issue, or click here for winners in the “Things to do with Kids” categories. Click here for winners in the “Health, Learning & More” categories.
Best ice cream shop
I scream, you scream, all Clevelanders scream for Mitchell’s, where ice cream is handcrafted one small batch at a time, using local grass-fed dairy and fresh, seasonal ingredients. Owned by two Cleveland-raised brothers, Mitchell’s operates 10 area shops and can be found at dozens of local grocers. Visit the company’s flagship location in Ohio City for tasting tours or book your own private event.
Best candy store
Malley’s is where Northeast Ohioans bring their out-of-town guests. After all, the third generation, family-owned confectionery is synonymous with Cleveland. Its 23 locations offer candies, nuts, popcorn and more, many of which are made with the same special-recipe milk and dark chocolate used since day one (which was more than 80 years ago). For a cool summer treat, visit one of the five locations that offer ice cream topped with Malley’s homemade hot fudge, caramel and marshmallows.
Best thrift/consignment for children’s clothing
Once Upon A Child
With several locations in Northeast Ohio, Once Upon a Child carries brand name, gently used apparel, footwear, baby gear, furniture, toys and games, and more. You also can make some cash cleaning out your kids’ closets, as the company buys new inventory from area families, allowing you to get paid on the spot.
Best bike shop
Eddy’s Bike Shop
Ohio’s largest Trek and Specialized dealer, Eddy’s operates four locations in the greater Cleveland area that are staffed with knowledgeable employees who are also bike enthusiasts. In addition to all types of bikes, the shops offer gear, accessories, indoor trainers, pre-owned models, and more. In addition, the stores provide bike service and rentals, plus host special events throughout the year.
Best store to buy children’s books
Barnes & Noble
With a handful of locations in Northeast Ohio, this national chain bookstore offers a wide selection of children’s books, toys, games and more, plus lots of room to spread out and play or read. Most sites also feature a café, and each location guarantees thousands of both the latest and classic titles to explore.
Half Price Books
Part of America’s largest family-owned retailer for new and used books, two area locations offer a wide selection of books at a discount. They also are heavily involved in supporting the community through various charitable efforts, mainly those promoting literacy and environmental groups.
Best toy store
At its locations in Pepper Pike and Solon, friendly and expert staff help shoppers choose the perfect toy for every age and interest. Playmatters carries building toys, puzzles, dolls, games and more from the best toymakers around the globe, all of which encourage a broad range of learning and skill sets to help children develop.
Best kid-friendly shopping area
Parents love the 70+ retail stores, while kids love the splash pad, train rides and wide open green spaces throughout this shopping destination in Westlake. When everyone’s worked up an appetite, choose from more than 35 eateries and restaurants that cater to every taste and price point. Frequent special events include kid-friendly activities, live music, a farmers market, outdoor movies, and more.