2010 Charlotte Parent Family Favorites

Angersonkid Icecream Dining

Looking for the best family festival in the area? How about a great ice cream shop for a summer treat? We asked Charlotte Parent readers to share their favorite places to eat, play, shop and explore … and more than 350 readers responded! We tallied the votes for the best family-friendly sporting events, enrichment programs, eateries, pediatricians and a lot in between.

Next time you’re looking for a new place to try, follow our readers’ lead and support these winners. Keep an eye out for their certificates of recognition and tell them Charlotte Parent sent you.


Where does your family like to eat, play and explore? Share your top picks in our 2011 Readers’ Favorites. Deadline to submit 2011 picks is April 30, 2011.

Explore These 2010 Family Favorites Selected by Charlotte Parent Readers

Out & About

Annual Festival/Event: Festival in the Park

Day Trip: Riverbanks Zoo in Columbia, S.C.

Field Trip: Lazy 5 Ranch

Indoor Playground: Monkey Joe’s

Live Performance: Children’s Theatre of Charlotte

Museum: Discovery Place

Park/Playground: Freedom Park

Place to Ride Bikes: Freedom Park

Place to Take Visitors: U.S. National Whitewater Center

Pool/Spray Park: Ray’s Splash Planet

Sporting Event: Carolina Panthers

Dining Out

Ethnic Food: Thai Taste

Family Restaurant (non-chain): Big Guys Pizza

Ice Cream/Treats: Bruster’s Real Ice Cream

Kids Eat Free: McAlister’s Deli


Arts/Music Class: Noah’s Art

Dance/Cheer: Miller Street Dance Academy

Equestrian: Latta Equestrian Center

Gymnastics/Fitness: (It’s a tie!) My Gym and Harris YMCA Martial Arts and Charlotte Martial Arts Academy

Day Camp: Harris YMCA

Residential Camp: Camp Thunderbird

Story Time: Barnes & Noble

Tutor: Lazar Center of Learning & Achievement

Health Services

Family Dentist: Laxer, Long & Savage

Orthodontist: Burrow & Case Orthodontics

Pediatric Group: Charlotte Pediatric Clinic

Places to Give Birth: Carolinas Medical Center (main campus)

Special Needs Services: Carlton G. Watkins Center

Party Time

Birthday Cake: Harris Teeter

Party Facility: Sports Connection

Party Entertainer: Wish Upon A Star

Shopping and Services

Children’s Haircuts: Pigtails & Crewcuts

Consignment: Once Upon A Child

Toys: Toys & Co.



On the Web

Mom Forum & Parent Support Group: Charlotte Mommies

Best-Kept Secrets

Free Child Care at Local Y – The Steele Creek YMCA offers two hours of free child care every morning and late afternoon for member families.

Hall Family Farm – Located on Providence Road, south of U.S. 521, this family-owned and operated farm is loaded with kid activities, fresh strawberries for the picking and locally made products.

The Coffee Garden – Look for Brewster the Bear at this kid-friendly coffee shop in the Stevens Mill Area in Matthews.