2018 Family Favorites

You voted for your Family Favorites and the results are in! From the best place for after school activities to the best family friendly restaurant to the best health care in town, see the results of our readers’ votes in this go-to guide for places to be, things to see, and where to shop in the Ann Arbor area all year long.

Party Time | Out and About | Family Friendly Eats | Shop Local | Social Media Faves | Education and Childcare | After School Activities | Health and Wellness | Get Active | Me Time

Party Time

Place for an Indoor Birthday Bash

#1: The Chelsea TreeHouse | thechelseatreehouse.comtree

The Chelsea Treehouse is an awesome adventure destination featuring 9,000 square feet of play and hang out space. The location boasts a huge climbing and playing structure, five slides, a baby and toddler area, swinging bridges, basketball hoops and, of course, a huge tree house to climb and explore. As a bonus, their climbing structure is big enough for kids of all ages and adults too! The cafe also features treats for adults and kids like Washtenaw Dairy donuts and Zingerman’s gourmet coffee. The Treehouse is easy to find in Chelsea’s Village Plaza Shopping Center.

Runner Up: Kidopolis

Place for an Outdoor Birthday Bash

#1: County Farm Park | washtenaw.org/421/County-Farm-Park
Runner Up: Leslie Science & Nature Center

Party Entertainment

#1: Robinsongs For Kids | robinsongsforkids.com
Runner Up: Dave Melcher, Sonic Boom Enterprises

Place to Buy a Gift

#1: The Little Seedling | thelittleseedling.com
Runner Up: Learning Express Toys

Place to Buy a Birthday Cake

#1: Zingerman’s Bakehouse | zingermansbakehouse.com
Runner Up: Tasty Bakery

Out and About

Family Activity

#1: Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum | aahom.org
Runner Up: Hand in Hand Music

Family Day Trip

#1: Toledo Zoo | toledozoo.org
Runner Up: Greenfield Village at The Henry Ford Museum

Place to Camp

#1: Pinckney Recreation Area | michigandnr.com
Runner Up: Waterloo Recreation Area

Indoor Playspace

#1: 2|42 Church Community Center | 242communitycenter.com
Runner Up: The Chelsea TreeHouse

Place to Read

#1: Ann Arbor District Library | aadl.org
Runner Up: Saline District Library

Place to Worship

#1: St. Francis of Assisi | stfrancisa2.com
Runner Up: First Unitarian Universalist Church of Ann Arbor

Kid Friendly Museum

#1: Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum | aahom.org
Runner Up: University of Michigan Museum of Natural History

Sporting Event for Families

#1: University of Michigan Basketball | mgoblue.com
Runner Up: University of Michigan Football

Animal Encounters

#1: The Creature Conservancy | thecreatureconservancy.org
Runner Up: Leslie Science & Nature Center

Garden and Nature Center

#1: Matthaei Botanical Gardens | mbgna.umich.edu
Runner Up: Leslie Science & Nature Center

Place to Volunteer

#1: Humane Society of Huron Valley | hshv.orgPhoto-Credit-Huron-Valley-Humane-Society_150

Volunteering at HSHV is a very rewarding experience and there are so many ways for your family to help out. Volunteers assist with cleaning the shelter, animal enrichment activities such as dog walking and cat comforting, and even can become adoption counselors. There is a job for everyone in your family (over age 12). Family members ages 12-17 years old can participate in the HSHV’s Youth Junior Volunteer (J.V.) Program. Youth in the J.V. program attend volunteer training sessions to learn different procedures, policies and safety precautions for working with and caring for animals. Upon completion of all six sessions, certified Junior Volunteers have opportunities to volunteer at HSHV!

Runner Up: Food Gatherers

Family Friendly Eats


#1: The Cupcake Station | cupcakestation.com
Runner Up: Zingerman’s Bakehouse

Candy Shop

#1: Kilwins | kilwins.com
Runner Up: The Rocket

Ice Cream Shop

#1: Washtenaw Dairy | washtenawdairy.com
Runner Up: Blank Slate Creamery

Frozen Yogurt Shop

#1: Menchie’s | menchies.com
Runner Up: TCBY

Healthy Family Restaurant

#1: Seva | sevarestaurant.com
Runner Up: The Lunch Room

Family-Friendly Restaurant

#1: Zingerman’s Roadhouse | zingermansroadhouse.com
Runner Up: Jerusalem Garden

Kid-Friendly Coffee Shop

#1: Sweetwaters Coffee & Tea | sweetwaterscafe.com
Runner Up: 2|42 Church Community Center

Local Pizza Place

#1: Buddy’s Pizza | buddyspizza.com
Runner Up: Aubree’s Pizzeria and Grill

Place Where Kids Eat Free

#1: MAIZ Mexican Cantina, Ypsilanti | maizmexican.com
Runner Up: The Pretzel Bell

Shop Local

Place to Buy Kids’ Clothing

#1: The Little Seedling | thelittleseedling.com
Runner Up: Once Upon a Child

Kids’ Consignment/Resale Shop

#1: Grow With Me | growwithme123.com
Runner Up: Once Upon a Child

Place to Buy School Uniforms

#1: Once Upon a Child | onceuponachildannarbor.com
Runner Up: Meijer

Baby Boutique Shop

#1: The Little Seedling | thelittleseedling.com
Runner Up: My Urban Toddler

Mom-Owned Business

#1: The Little Seedling | thelittleseedling.com
Runner Up: Hand in Hand Music

Bike Shop

#1: Wheels in Motion | wheelsinmotion.us
Runner Up: Great Lakes Cycling

Family Photographer

#1: Kat Foley, Saline | katfoleyphoto.com
Runner Up: Vera Davis Photography

Place to Buy Children’s Books

#1: Nicola’s Books | nicolasbooks.com
Runner Up: Literati

Social Media Faves

Local Parent Blogger

#1: Anna Trievel, Ann Arbor With Kids | annarborwithkids.com
Runner Up: Sarah Noda, Good Idea Mom

Local Parent Facebook Group

#1: Ann Arbor Area Mamas Network | facebook.com/groups/annarbormamas
Runner Up: Hike it Baby Ann Arbor

Local Instagram Account

#1: @thelittleseedling
Runner Up: @WhiteLotusFarms

Education and Childcare


#1: Early Learning Center | elcpreschool.com
Runner Up: Saline Cooperative Preschool


#1: Gretchen’s House Child Development Centers | gretchenshouse.com
Runner Up: Teddy Bear Day Care and Learning Center


#1: Ms. Bonnie Jacques, Saline Cooperative Preschool | salinecoop.org
Runner Up: Marciah Boerema, Early Learning Center Preschool

School Principal

#1: Al Waters, Director, Honey Creek Community School | honeycreekschool.org
Runner Up: Tracey Smith, Early Learning Center Preschool

Elementary School

#1: Pleasant Ridge Elementary School, Saline Area Schools | salineschools.org
Runner Up: Harvest Elementary School, Saline Area Schools

Private/Parochial School

#1: St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School | stfrancisa2.com
Runner Up: Emerson School

Charter School

#1: Honey Creek Community School | honeycreekschool.org
Runner Up: South Arbor Charter Academy

Middle School

#1: Saline Middle School, Saline Area Schools | salineschools.orgPhoto-credit-Saline-Middle-School_150

Saline Middle School believes that middle level education must respect the unique developmental issues facing early adolescents. Middle School students are experiencing rapid, life changing challenges. As educators, they feel a responsibility to educate the whole child, not just teaching information, but teaching life lessons that will assist them in becoming successful adults. This innovative approach carries into their announcement that they will bring the Summit Learning Platform to their school for the 2018-2019 school year. The program will launch with one 6th grade and one 7th grade team and focuses on project-based learning to connect classroom learning with real world application. This excitement and innovative approach to learning is why our readers selected them as a Family Favorite.

Runner Up: Summers-Knoll School

Tutoring Center

#1: Great Lakes Educational Group, Saline | greatlakeseducationalgroup.com
Runner Up: Kumon

After-School Program

#1: Ann Arbor YMCA | annarborymca.org
Runner Up: Ann Arbor Art Center

Special Needs Services

#1: Down Syndrome Support Team | downsyndromesupportteam.com
Runner Up: High Point School

After School Activities

Acting and Theatre Classes

#1: Spinning Dot Theatre | spinningdot.org
Runner Up: Young People’s Theater

Dance Studio

#1: Arts In Motion Dance Studio | artsinmotion.net
Runner Up: Dance Steps Studio

Kids Art Class

#1: Ann Arbor Art Center | annarborartcenter.org
Runner Up: Flipside Art Studio

Gymnastics Class

#1: Gym America | gymamericagymnastics.com
Runner Up: Champion Gymnastics

Martial Arts Program

#1: Quest Martial Arts | quest-martialarts.com

Quest takes a family approach to teaching the Martial Arts. As a Black Belt school, they focus on their ability to take students of all experience levels from the very beginning of their training through belt progressions to the achievement of a Black Belt. Their facility is open to athletes of all ages and experience levels and skilled instructors work hard to meet the needs of each student on an individual level. In their Kids Martial Arts classes they work with parents to help you find the right class, instead of grouping children based on their age or experience level. Quest Martial Arts truly offers comprehensive martial arts training for the whole family.

Runner Up: PKSA Karate Ann Arbor

Music Class

#1: Robinsongs For Kids | robinsongsforkids.com
Runner Up: Hand in Hand Music

Swim Lessons

#1: Goldfish Swim School | goldfishswimschool.com
Runner Up: Saline Parks & Recreation

Horseback Riding Lessons

#1: Double H Equestrian Center, Whitmore Lake | doubleheq.com
Runner Up: Misty Meadows, LLC

Health and Wellness

Pediatric Practice

#1: Liberty Pediatrics | libertypediatrics.com
Runner Up: Dr. Sara Sandvig, Michigan Medicine Pediatric Clinic

Urgent Care

#1: IHA Urgent Care WestArbor | ihacares.com
Runner Up: IHA Internal Medicine—Domino’s Farms

Place to Give Birth

#1: Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital | umwomenshealth.org
Runner Up: St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor


#1: Dr. Caren Stalburg, Michigan Medicine OB/Gyn Clinic | uofmhealth.org
Runner Up: Dr. Natalie Saunders, Michigan Medicine OB/Gyn Clinic


#1: Anne Rosa, CNM, Michigan Medicine | medicine.umich.edu
Runner Up: Sarah Hakala, IHA Nurse Midwives

ENT Doctor

#1: Dr. David Brown, Michigan Medicine Ped, Otolaryngology Clinic | mottchildren.org
Runner Up: Dr. Paul Hoff, Michigan Otolaryngology Surgery Associates

Family Doctor

#1: Dr. Amanda Kaufman, Integrative Healthcare Providers | ihcpaa.com
Runner Up: Dr. Noble, Saline Health Care Center


#1: Holistic Healing and Chiropractic Center | holistichealingannarbor.com
Runner Up: Borer Family Chiropractic


#1: Erica Johnson Carder, Bennett Optometry | bennettoptometry.com
Runner Up: Cunningham Vision Centers 2st

Pediatric Dentist

#1: Ann Arbor Pediatric Dentistry | annarborpediatricdentistry.com
Runner Up: Ann Arbor Smiles Dental Group


#1: Dr. Harvey Leo, Allergy and Immunology Associates of Michigan | annarborallergy.com
Runner Up: Dr. Marc McMorris, Michigan Medicine Allergy Clinic


#1: Dr. Katherine Kelly Orthodontics, Saline | drkatherinekelly.com
Runner Up: Edwards & Schaefer Orthodontics

Speech/Language Therapy

#1: Rachel Schilling, Children’s Center for Growth and Development | childrenscenterforgrowth.com
Runner Up: Spectrum Therapy

Natural & Homeopathic Health

#1: Integrative Healthcare Providers | ihcpaa.com
Runner Up: Natural Balance Wellness Medical Center

Family Mental Health & Counseling Services

#1: Robin Kahler | robinkahler.com
Runner Up: University Center for the Child and Family (UCCF)


#1: Affordable Vet Services | affordablevetservices.com
Runner Up: Animal Kingdom Veterinary Hosp.

Get Active

Place to Go Ice Skating

#1: Ann Arbor Ice Cube | a2ice3.com
Runner Up: Buhr Park

Place to Play Mini-Golf

#1: Putterz, Ypsilanti | putterz.com
Runner Up: Stone Mountain Family Fun Center

Park or Playground

#1: Gallup Park | a2gov.org
Runner Up: County Farm Park


#1: Rolling Hills Water Park, Ypsilanti |washtenaw.org
Runner Up: Blue Heron Bay

Family-Friendly Gym

#1: Ann Arbor YMCA | annarborymca.org
Runner Up: Liberty Athletic Club

Soccer Program

#1: Saline Area Soccer Association, Saline | salinesoccer.org
Runner Up: WideWorld Sports Center

Youth Sports League

#1: Ann Arbor Rec & Ed | a2schools.org/reced
Runner Up: Pittsfield Township Parks & Recreation

Traveling Sports Club League

#1: Ann Arbor A’s Travel Baseball Club | annarboras.com
Runner Up: One on One Basketball

Summer Day Camp

#1: Saline Parks & Recreation, Saline | cityofsaline.org
Runner Up: Spinning Dot Theatre

Sports Camp

#1: University of Michigan | camps.mgoblue.com
Runner Up: Kids K.A.M.P., WideWorld Sports Center

Faith Based Summer Camp/Vacation Bible School

#1: St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School | stfrancisa2.com/school
Runner Up: SpringHill Day Camp

Kids Fitness Class

#1: Peachy Fitness | peachyfitness.com
Runner Up: Final Round Mixed Martial Arts and Fitness

Me Time

Date Night Restaurant

#1: Aventura | aventuraannarbor.com
Runner Up: Real Seafood Company, Ann Arbor

Workout for Mom

#1: Ringstar Studio | a2ringstar.com
Runner Up: Jazzercise Center of Ann Arbor

Spa Day for Mom

#1: Fran Coys Salon and Spa | francoysalon.com
Runner Up: Renew Salon & Spa, Saline

Girls Night Out

#1: The Session Room | sessionrooma2.comsession

Need a location for your next girls night out? The Session Room offers the perfect place to set down the sippy cup and pick up a glass of your favorite beverage from their expansive menu of wines, beers, and cocktails. Relax on the patio and enjoy a delicious meal of their elevated brew fare such as their best-selling Session nachos, a delicious pizza, or their salmon BLT sandwich. They also offer an incredible selection of craft cocktails and make all their own juices and syrups. Consider this reader favorite for your next night on the town.

Runner Up: Isalita

Thanks for voting, Washtenaw!

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