Northeast Ohio Parent Choice Awards Winners Announced

Northeast Ohio Parent Choice Awards Winners Announced

- in Featured, July 2016, Uncategorized
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Northeast Ohio Parent asked readers about their favorites around the region, from can’t-miss eats to family-friendly destinations. Everyone stepped up to the challenge and the responses were overwhelming.

And this year’s winners are…

Best Place to Get a Pizza

Winner: 

Dewey’s Pizza

With locations in Cleveland Heights and Lakewood, Dewey’s Pizza is a hip neighborhood pizza joint with an inviting vibe that has great music, great beer and great pizza. From traditional options to a wide selection of unique, gourmet toppings, there’s sure to be a pie to suit your family’s appetite at Dewey’s.
(deweyspizza.com)

Honorable Mention:

Pizzazz on the Circle (pizzazzpizza.com)

 

Best After School Treat Destination 

Winner: 

Dairy Queen

Hot eats and cool treats satisfy cravings at dozens of DQ locations throughout Northeast Ohio. From a simple cone to an elaborate ice cream sundae — and of course, the famous Blizzard — summer is the best time to stop and chill out at DQ. (dairyqueen.com)

Honorable Mentions: 

Mitchell’s Ice Cream (mitchellshomemade.com), 

East Coast Custard (eastcoastcustard.com)

 

Best Local Toy/Gift Shop

Winner:

Playmatters 

This one-of-a-kind toy store, with locations in Solon and Pepper Pike, carries building toys, puzzles, dolls, games and more from some of the top global toy manufacturers. It’s the perfect stop for a unique, hard-to-find or educational toy, and the helpful staff offers plenty of guidance, if needed. (playmatterstoys.com)

Honorable Mentions:

Learning Express Toys (learningexpress.com),

Big Fun (bigfuntoystore.com)

 

Best Family Hiking Trail

Winner:

Rocky River Reservation

With 15 separate trails, the Cleveland Metroparks’ Rocky River Reservation is a hiker’s paradise. For starters, travel through a myriad of habitats on the Wildlife Management Loop Trail, traverse the hilly Mount Pleasant Loop Trail, or take in views of the Rocky River Valley on the River Overlook Loop Trail. (clevelandmetroparks.com)

Honorable Mentions:

Hinckley Reservation (clevelandmetroparks.com),

Ohio & Erie Canalway: Towpath Trail (ohioanderiecanalway.com)

 

Best Family-Friendly Pro Sports Team

Winner: 

Cleveland Indians

Progressive Field is the perfect place to create family memories while cheering on the Tribe — especially from the stadium’s Family Deck, which was designed to keep kids entertained while instilling a passion for the game. The indoor/outdoor area includes a parents lounge, family-friendly concessions and the Kids Clubhouse, home to interactive activities for kids of all ages. (indians.com)

Honorable Mentions: 

Lake Erie Monsters  (lakeeriemonsters.com)

Lake County Captains (captainsbaseball.com),

Cleveland Cavaliers (nba.com/cavaliers)

 

Best Quick Family Dinner on-the-Go

Winner:

Chick-fil-A

Offering delicious food, including many healthier options, Chick-fil-A makes kids and parents smile. Most locations include a children’s play area, and Kid’s Meals feature educational or interactive prizes. Some locations feature family nights where kids can eat free. (chick-fil-a.com)

 

Best Spot for a Family Picnic 

Winner:

 Squire’s Castle in North Chagrin Reservation

This Cleveland Metroparks gem features the remains of the gatehouse erected by Feargus B. Squire, vice president of Standard Oil Co., who began assembling a country estate in the 1800s. He built the gatehouse, eight miles of gravel roads and a pond, but sold the property in 1922. The location provides a perfect family setting with the open grass areas to sit — or play — on the castle’s grounds. It also has scenic and kid-friendly trails to explore.  (clevelandmetroparks.com)

Honorable Mention: 

Lakewood Park, located between Belle and Lake Avenues. (onelakewood.com)

 

Best Place to Take the Family Dog

(Tie) Winner: 

Bow Wow Beach Dog Park 

With more than seven acres to roam — including grass, sand and a three-acre lake — this pooch paradise, operated by the city of Stow, provides hours of entertainment for Fido. Worried about sand and mud in your car? The park even has dog washing stations. (stowohio.org)

Winner:

 Lakewood Dog Park

Let your dog off-leash in this nearly 3/4-acre pup playground, located just south of the Emerald Necklace Marina in the Cleveland Metroparks’ Rocky River Reservation. The water fountain and light gravel surface make for convenience and mud-free fun. (lakewooddogpark.com)

 

Best Family Staycation Destination

Winner: Kalahari Resorts

Located in Sandusky, Kalahari offers the largest indoor water park in the U.S., plus an outdoor park. The African-themed resort boasts 10 water slides, an enormous wave pool and several swimming and splashing areas for kids — plus a lazy river, massive hot tub and a full-service spa for parents looking to relax. (kalahariresorts.com)

Honorable Mention: 

Great Wolf Lodge (greatwolf.com)

 

Best Place to See a Family Movie 

Winner:

Cinemark Theaters

With several area locations, it’s always convenient to fill up on popcorn and a great movie at Cinemark. The Summer Movie Clubhouse brings great family-friendly entertainment at budget-friendly prices, with 10 G- or PG-rated films showing throughout the season for $1 per ticket. (cinemark.com)

Honorable Mention: 

Regal Cinemas (regmovies.com)

 

Best Animal Encounter

Winner: 

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

Home to more than 3,000 animals representing 600 species, the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is a guaranteed day of fun and education. Don’t miss the new Rosebrough Tiger Passage exhibit and the ever-popular RainForest, which showcases more than 10,000 plants and over 600 animals from the jungles of Asia, Africa and the Americas. (clevelandmetroparks.com/zoo)

Honorable Mentions:

Akron Zoo (akronzoo.org),

Lake Erie Nature & Science Center (lensc.org),

Lake Metroparks Farmpark (lakemetroparks.com)

 

Best Place to Engage Your Little Artist or Performer  

Winner:  Kindermusik 

Kindermusik’s music-and-movement classes let children experience music of varying styles, genres and cultures while interacting with other children and engaging in movement, rhythm and vocal activities that develop far more than just music skills. Since Kindermusik programs are offered at many area businesses, a convenient class is easy to find. (kindermusik.com)

Honorable Mentions:

 Beck Center for the Arts (beckcenter.org),

Cleveland Museum of Art (clevelandart.org)

 

Best Town to Raise a Family

Winner: Hudson

With its picturesque downtown area and idyllic green spaces, in addition to top-notch schools and all the amenities and entertainment one could need, Hudson is a great place to raise a family. Shopping, dining, parks and unique special events make this Summit County city a family favorite. (hudson.oh.us)

Honorable Mentions: 

Lakewood (onelakewood.com),

Bay Village (cityofbayvillage.com), 

University Heights (universityheights.com)

 

Best Playground

Winner: Preston’s H.O.P.E.

Located in Beachwood, this massive public park — the largest fully accessible playground park for all abilities in Northeast Ohio — features several areas, including Imagination Village, with make-believe houses that are connected by a raised walkway; a play theatre; sand area; and areas with swings, tunnels and slides. (prestonshope.com)

Honorable Mention: 

Westlake Recreation Center (cityofwestlake.org)

 

Best Stroller-Friendly Location

Winner: Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

As mentioned above, the zoo is a must for all animal lovers — but is particularly great for very young families, as wide paths and stroller-friendly trams connect different areas. Even the exhibits, which house a total of more than 3,000 animals, are spacious enough to allow strollers to pass through. (clevelandmetroparks.com/zoo)

Honorable Mention:

Great Lakes Mall (shopgreatlakesmall.com)

 

Best Rainy Day Outing

Winner: Great Lakes Science Center

The Great Lakes Science Center offers hours of indoor family fun, including hundreds of hands-on exhibits, the NASA Glenn Visitor Center, and a six-story Omnimax Theater, plus live science demonstrations and special events. (greatscience.com)

Honorable Mentions:

Cleveland Museum of Natural History (cmnh.org),

Cafe O’Play (cafeoplay.com)

 

Best Place for Water Play

Winner: 

WildWater Kingdom

As Northeast Ohio’s largest outdoor water park, WildWater Kingdom offers 17 acres of splashing, sliding and swimming fun. The park features relaxing pools, thrilling slides, a wave pool, and Splash Landing — four stories of water slides, geysers, water cannons and a giant bucket dropping 1,000 gallons of water every few minutes. (wildwaterfun.com)

Honorable Mentions: 

Northeast Ohio splash pads (For a list of the many options, visit northeastohioparent.com)

 

Best Place to take Energetic Kids

Winner:

Sky Zone Trampoline Park

Three Northeast Ohio Sky Zone locations let kids bounce out their energy in a giant indoor trampoline park. From Toddler Time to Ultimate Dodgeball and many age and intensity levels in between, the whole family can have fun and get a great workout. (skyzone.com)

Honorable Mention: 

The Jump Yard (jumpyardcleveland.com)

 

Best Spot for Healthy Family Eating

Winner: Aladdin’s Eatery

Aladdin’s, which has several locations throughout the region, serves up delicious and healthy Lebanese-American dishes — including many that are vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free. No matter what your meal preferences are, everything is prepared fresh on-site with no additives or preservatives (aladdinseatery.com)

Honorable Mentions: 

Tommy’s Restaurant (tommyscoventry.com),

Panera Bread (panerabread.com)

 

Best Family-Friendly Shopping Area

Winner:

Crocker Park

A complete lifestyle center that includes shopping, restaurants, a movie theater, outdoor space, homes and more, Crocker Park is a great stroller-friendly place to shop until you drop — at its nearly 100 retail establishments — then refuel at one of 30 dining options. During summer months, kids can cool off at the splash pad or even take in a game in the chess area. (crockerpark.com)

Honorable Mentions: 

Aurora Farms Premium Outlets (premiumoutlets.com/outlet/aurora-farms),

Legacy Village (legacy-village.com)

About the author

Angela Gartner is the editor at Northeast Ohio Parent Magazine. She previously served as editor for family and general interest magazines in the region. As a journalist, her features and columns have appeared in newspapers and other publications including The News-Herald, Sun Newspapers as well as the Chicago Tribune. She grew up in Northeast Ohio and is a mom of two boys. The whole family is busy each weekend with sports and finding new happenings around the region. She loves reading books, being a board member at the Cleveland Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, and talking the family dog, a Scottish Terrier named Jagger, on his walks.

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