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Fun With The Besties

For the third year, Family Times gave Central New York readers a chance to choose their favorite businesses, nonprofits, destinations and services to receive awards. This year, many hundreds visited the website to name the most deserving organizations and places in 30 categories.

Every year campaigning is encouraged; Family Times wants readers to voice their support in as big a way as possible. We were gratified to see a gigantic uptick in the number of voters visiting the website. That’s as it should be, in our eyes: The award winners (and other vote getters) deserve your enthusiastic support because they’re what make CNY a great place for families to live and grow.

If your nominee didn’t win this year, you should know that the competition in certain categories was quite stiff. We wish we had the space to list every organization that got a vote. Alas, we don’t. But it’s not too late to start campaigning for the 2014 Besties.

And now, it’s time to announce the winners of the 2013 Besties Readers’ Picks awards!

Celebrations and Eating Out

Best birthday cakes and cupcakes
Locations in Syracuse, DeWitt, Onondaga, East Syracuse, Liverpool, Cicero and Auburn. www.wegmans.com.

Best breakfast spot
Stella’s Diner
110 Wolf St., Syracuse. 425-0353. www.stellasdinersyracuse.com.

Best party place
KidzClub Indoor Play and Party Place
219 Route 57, Phoenix. 695-2211. www.kidzclubfun.com.

* The Face Paint Lady.
466-2314. www.nyfacepaintlady.com.
* Hundreds of fans of the Face Paint Lady (aka Melody Wilkinson) wrote the business into this category in
the absence of an appropriate category for party entertainers.

Best ice cream place
1525 Valley Drive (469-8647), 4800 McDonald Road (475-1250), 401 S. Salina St., Syracuse. www.gannonicecream.com.

Best lunch place
Panera Bread
Five locations, in Syracuse, DeWitt, Fayetteville and Cicero. www.panerabread.com.

Best dinner place
CopperTop Tavern
7777 Brewerton Road, North Syracuse (458-1999), and 3380 Milton Ave., Syracuse. (488-1222). www.coppertoptavern.com.

Best parents’ night out destination
Destiny USA
Off Hiawatha Boulevard, 9090 Destiny USA Drive, Syracuse. 466-6000. www.destinyusa.com.



Best dance or gymnastics program
Tawn Marie’s Dance Centre
1216 Morgan Road, Liverpool. 457-3151. www.tawnmaries.com.

Best after-school program
GiGi’s Playhouse Down Syndrome Awareness Center
5885 E. Circle Drive, Suite 250, Cicero. 288-7529. www.gigisplayhouse.org/syracuse/.

Best summer program or camp
Five Star Martial Arts
Sugarwood Plaza, 7575 Buckley Road, North Syracuse. 935-5874. www.fivestarkarate.com.

Best performing arts program for young people
Tawn Marie’s Dance Centre
1216 Morgan Road, Liverpool. 457-3151. www.tawnmaries.com.

Best town library or library branch
Liverpool Public Library
310 Tulip St., Liverpool. 457-0310. www.lpl.org.

Best sports program for kids
Impact Martial Arts and Fitness
(See below)

Best martial arts program
Impact Martial Arts and Fitness

Impact Martial Arts—Team Feidt, 8075 Oswego Road, Liverpool (622-5425), and Great Northern Mall, 4155         Route 31, Clay. www.teamfeidt.com.
Impact Martial Arts—Team Manlius, 315 Fayette St., Manlius. 682-0012. www.martialartsmanlius.com.
Team Andrello—Impact Martial Arts and Fitness, 318 First St., Liverpool 51-0960), and 80 Smokey Hollow Road, Baldwinsville (857-0203). www.teamandrello.com.
Team DeWitt—An Impact Martial Arts School, 3206 Erie Blvd. E., DeWitt. 446-7082. www.impactdewitt.com.
Team Sgarlata—An Impact Martial Arts School, 5612 Business Ave. (214-0249), and Lakeshore Heights Plaza (699-9898), Cicero. www.teamsgarlata.com.



Best kid-friendly museum, zoo or attraction
Rosamond Gifford Zoo
1 Conservation Place, Burnet Park, Syracuse. 435-8511. www.rosamondgiffordzoo.org.

Best family day trip
Strong National Museum of Play
1 Manhattan Square, Rochester. (585) 263-2700. www.museumofplay.org.

Best local beach for families
Green Lakes State Park
7900 Green Lakes Road, Fayetteville. 637-6111. http://nysparks.state.ny.us/parks/172/details.aspx.

Best CNY playground
Wegmans Playground at Onondaga Lake Park Onondaga Lake Parkway, Liverpool. 451-7275.

Best annual CNY festival or fair
New York State Fair
State Fairgrounds, Geddes. 487-7711. www.nysfair.org.

Best family amusement or water park
Enchanted Forest Water Safari
3183 Route 28, Old Forge. 369-6145. www.watersafari.com.


For little ones and their parents

Best kid-friendly hair salon
Snip-its Haircuts for Kids
5663 E. Circle Drive, Cicero, in the Lowe’s/Marketplace Plaza. 452-5437. snipits.com.

Best early childhood program or preschool
Bluebird Music Together
Classes offered in Camillus, Auburn and Skaneateles. 440-2547. www.bluebirdmusictogether.yourvirtuoso.com.

Best free or cheap place to play indoors
Great Northern Mall children’s play area “tree”
4155 Route 31, Clay. 622-3011. greatnorthernmall.com.

Best place to buy healthy items for babies
Basic Baby Education Center & Shop
Shoppingtown Mall, 3649 Erie Blvd. E., DeWitt. 632-6110. www.basicbabyshop.com.

Best CNY parents’ support group
Multiple Moms Mingle
Group for mothers and expectant mothers of multiples meets monthly. 308-0277. multiplemomsmingle.com.


Best clothing store for kids
Curtain Climbers Consignment
1288 W. Genesee St., Syracuse. 428-1153. curtainclimbers.biz.

Best secondhand store
Curtain Climbers Consignment (See above)

Best bookstore
Barnes & Noble
3454 Erie Blvd. E., DeWitt (449-2948) and 3956 Route 31, Clay (622-0370). www.barnesandnoble.com.

Best toy store
Toys “R” Us
Great Northern Mall, I-480 and Route 31, Clay. 652-8697. www.toysrus.com.

Best mall or shopping center
Destiny USA
Off Hiawatha Boulevard, 9090 Destiny USA Drive, Syracuse. 466-6000. www.destinyusa.com.

Thanks for voting
for Besties!


© Family Times: The Parenting Guide of Central New York