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Metro Parent's 2012 Parent Picks

The top stores, services and spots in southeast Michigan? The results are in for 25 categories in Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw and Macomb!

Metro Parent's first-ever "best of" survey may not be as prestigious as the Academy Awards. But for local parents, it's a heap more relevant! After all, these winners are in 25 categories that matter most to moms and dads. From your top toy store to your favorite family getaway, you told us what places are primo to you and your tots. Did your favorites make the cut? Browse through our gallery and discover which southeast Michigan stores, services and spots are superstars to local parents like you.

 

1. Family Sit-Down Restaurant

Chain

Gold

Max and Erma's
"They serve kids' cocktails like Watermelon Fizz and my son's favorite, the Beetlejuice (grape juice and Sprite with gummy worms). Plus, the build-your-own sundae bar is a big hit!" – Heather Lorring, Utica

Silver

Red Robin

Bronze

Applebee's

Independent

Gold

Zingerman's Deli
422 Detroit St., Ann Arbor

Silver

Clarkston Union Bar & Kitchen
54 S. Main St., Clarkston
"They make the best macaroni and cheese in the whole state, and you know how much kids love mac 'n cheese." – Sharon Billings, Rochester

Bronze

Apple Annie's
28030 Gratiot Ave., Roseville

 

2. Cheap Eats on the Fly

Major chains

Gold

McDonald's
"Telling my kids that we're going to McDonald's is a real treat. Nothing makes them happier than those Happy Meals." – Sheree Woods, Oak Park

Silver

Panera

Bronze

Chipotle

Independent

Gold

National Coney Island

Silver

Supino Pizzeria
2457 Russell St., Detroit
"Our son is a real foodie. As far as he's concerned the only pizza worth eating is Supino's. He loves their "Smoky" with prosciutto, garlic and ricotta." – J.R. Berry, Grosse Pointe Park

Bronze

Leo's Coney Island

 

3. Grocery Store

Major chains

Gold

Meijer
"Their 'Organics' line of cookies, crackers, peanut butter, apple sauce and more are just awesome and so cheap!" – Michelle Morgan, Berkley

Silver

Kroger

Bronze

Whole Foods

Independent

Gold

Hiller's Markets

Silver

Plum Market
"They have the biggest, juiciest Bell & Evans organic rotisserie chickens that will make you swear off those dried-up birds sold at most grocery stores." – Claire Graske, West Bloomfield

Bronze

Nino Salvaggio International Marketplace

 

4. Toy Store

Gold

Little Monsters
16 W. Flint St., Lake Orion
"They always have the coolest toys you can't find anywhere else, and my daughter loves picking from the tiny toy buckets they have. So fun!" – Nina Scott-Patton, Romeo

Silver

Doll Hospital and Toy Soldier Shop
3947 12 Mile Road, Berkley

Bronze (tie)

Toyology
Orchard Lake Mall, West Bloomfield

Tree Town Toys
2611 Plymouth Road, Ann Arbor

 

5. Movie Theater

Gold

Emagine

Silver

MJR Digital Cinemas

Bronze

AMC Theatres

 

6. Family Attraction

Gold

Detroit Zoo
Woodward Avenue and 10 Mile (I-696), Royal Oak

Silver

The Henry Ford
20900 Oakwood Blvd, Dearborn
"It really is a treasure, and we parents get as much out of it as the kids." – Carl Samperson, Huntington Woods

Bronze

Cranbrook Institute of Science
39221 Woodward Ave., Bloomfield Hills

 

7. Bakery

Gold

Just Baked: A Cupcake Shop and Bakery

Silver

The Cupcake Station

Bronze

Achatz Handmade Pie Company

 

8. Ice Cream Place

Gold

Treat Dreams
22965 Woodward Ave., Ferndale
"Their vegan ice cream is out-of-this-world." – Cyndi Little, Ferndale

Silver

Ray's Ice Cream
4233 Coolidge Highway, Royal Oak

Bronze

Guernsey Ice Cream Parlor
21300 Novi Road, Northville

 

9. Place to Blow Off Steam

Gold

Jungle Java

Silver

Rochester Play
210 W. University St., Suite 3, Rochester

Bronze

Greenfield Village
20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn

 

10. Date Night Destination

Gold

Downtown Royal Oak
"It pretty much offers the whole date-night package. Dinner at Andiamo or Bastone, entertainment at the Main Art Theatre or Mark Ridley's Comedy Castle, and dessert at Cold Stone or Astoria – a perfect night!" – Enid McMichaels, Madison Heights

Silver

The Whitney
4421 Woodward Ave., Detroit

Bronze

Coach Insignia
100 Renaissance Center, Detroit

 

11. Baby Store

Note: In chains, Babies "R" Us beat Buy Buy Baby.

Gold

The Little Seedling
355 S. Zeeb Road, Ann Arbor

Silver

Green Baby
431 Main St., Rochester

Bronze

Baby Bliss
118 E. Main St., Northville

 

12. Kids Store

Note: In chains, Target beat Kohl's.

Gold

Bec and Sam's
146 W. Maple Road, Birmingham

Silver

The Funky Frog Children's Resale Boutique
121 E. Third St., Rochester

Bronze

Lollipop Kids Children's Resale Shop
50432 Schoenherr Road, Shelby Township

 

13. Teens Store

Note: In chains, Kohl's beat Target.

Gold

Forever 21

Silver

Aeropostale

Bronze

Plato's Closet

 

14. One-Stop Shop for the Whole Family

Note: Meijer was the locally based southeast Michigan fave.

Gold

Target

Silver

Kohl's

Bronze

Marshalls

 

15. Best Outdoor Spot

Gold

Kensington Metropark
2240 W. Buno Road, Milford
Detroiters and Ann Arborites unite in their love of the kayaks and paddle boats, the petting farm and picnic area.

Silver

Belle Isle
8109 E. Jefferson Ave., Detroit

Bronze

Stony Creek Metropark
4300 Main Park Drive, Shelby Township

 

16. Party Place

Gold

Goldfish Swim
"It's the easiest, best and most fun party you could throw for your kids – and no clean up!" – Leanna Dunlap, Ann Arbor

Silver

Pump It Up

Bronze

The Robot Garage
637 S. Eton St., Birmingham

 

17. Athletic Club

Gold

YMCAs

Silver

Life Time Fitness

Bronze

Beverly Hills Club
31555 Southfield Road, Beverly Hills

 

18. Haircuts for Kids

Gold

Carnival Cuts

Silver

Great Clips

Bronze

Fantastic Sams

 

19. Dance Studio

Gold

Deborah's Stage Door
1655 W. Hamlin Road, Rochester Hills

Silver

Studio A Center for Performing Arts
2065 E. West Maple Road, Commerce Township

Bronze

Mary Skiba's School of Dance
41726 Hayes Road, Clinton Township

 

20. Kids Sports Class

Note: Some clear standouts rose to the top, but not enough to hand out silver and bronze stars.

Fencing

Gold

Renaissance Fencing
408 Oliver St., Troy

Gymnastics

Gold

Bloomfield Gymnastics
2124 Franklin Road, Bloomfield Hills

Karate

Gold

Canton Karate
7252 N. Sheldon Road, Canton

Skating

Gold

Detroit Skate Club
888 Denison Court, Bloomfield Hills

Swimming

Gold

Goldfish Swim

 

21. Daycare

Gold

Kindercare

Silver

Kiddie Club
2897 Crooks Road, Rochester Hills

Bronze

Childtime

 

22. Emergency Room/Urgent Care

Emergency Room (ER)

Gold

Children's Hospital of Michigan
3901 Beaubien St., Detroit
"All of the doctors on staff specialize in kids health. When it comes to an emergency, I want doctors who know the most about kids to give them care." – Brittany Oronzo, Royal Oak

Silver

Beaumont Hospital
3601 W. 13 Mile Road, Royal Oak

Bronze

St. John Providence
16001 W. Nine Mile Road, Southfield

Urgent Care

Gold

Michigan Urgent Care

Silver

CVS MinuteClinic

 

23. Family Getaway

Gold

Zehnder's Splash Village
730 S. Main St., Frankenmuth

Silver

Kalahari Waterpark Resort
7000 Kalahari Drive, Sandusky, Ohio

Bronze

Traverse City
So many shout-outs to Great Wolf Lodge, Sleeping Bear Dunes and more family fun Up North.

 

24. Best Family Car

Detroit pride, indeed: Not one foreign car made the top five!

Gold

Ford Flex

Silver

Chevy Traverse

Bronze

Ford Escape

 

25. Best Annual Event

Gold

Michigan Renaissance Festival
Late August through late September/early October

Silver

Woodward Dream Cruise
August

Bronze (tie)

Armada Fair
August

Livonia Spree
June

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