Around Town

2018 Family Favorites

You sent in your votes for your favorite shops, restaurants, healthcare providers, educators, and children’s programs, and after tallying all of them, we can now share who you picked as your Family Favorites this year. These incredible professionals and businesses go above and beyond each day, providing you and your little ones with excellent service and top-notch care. We are so thrilled to announce the 2018 Family Favorites. Congratulations to all of our winners, and thank you to our readers for helping us recognize them.

Out and About

Children’s Theatre
Theatre Baton Rouge
(225) 924-6496 • 
When it comes to spending a night out at the theatre with the kiddos, our readers choose Theatre Baton Rouge. Offering high-quality productions in a cozy atmosphere, Theatre Baton Rouge immerses theatre-goers into various worlds and stories that leave a lasting impression long after curtain call. The love for the theatre at Theatre Baton Rouge goes far beyond the stage. They offer classes throughout the year that allow little ones to learn the beauty of theatre, and a chance for you to fine-tune your craft.

2nd place: Manship Theatre; 3rd place: Playmakers of Baton Rouge

Cultural Spot/Museum
Knock Knock Children’s Museum
(225) 388-3090 •
Knock Knock Children’s Museum turned one this year, and sometimes we wonder what we ever did without this great museum. Combining playtime with educational experiences, Knock Knock Children’s Museum provides hands-on interactive exhibits that allow our little ones to learn while they play. The inviting atmosphere was specially designed for your growing kiddos, and features a Story Tree, B.R. Star Studio, and Pelican Pantry, just to name some of our readers’ favorites.

2nd place: Louisiana Art and Science Museum; 3rd place: USS Kidd Veterans Museum

Family Day Trip
Audubon Nature Institute
Multiple locations •
For a fun family day, our readers hop in their cars and head to New Orleans to visit the Audubon Zoo, Aquarium, Nature Center, and Insectarium. Adventure awaits at these stellar facilities that provide countless exhibits, incredible dining options, and wildlife encounters that put you and your children close to all of the action. A friendly and knowledgeable staff help to make every visit even better than your last.

2nd place: New Orleans, LA; 3rd place: BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo

Family Weekend Getaway
Orange Beach, AL
(334) 242-4169 •
Dipping your toes into the sand, watching the seagulls fly by, and listening to the sound of the waves crash against the shore are just a few of the reasons Orange Beach, Alabama claimed this year’s top spot as weekend getaway. Orange Beach offers miles of sugar-white sand beaches and access to interior bays and bayous, but the family fun surely doesn’t stop there. It’s Adventure Island, the deep-sea fishing, the Zoo, Waterville USA, and The Wharf that keeps Louisianians returning year after year.

2nd place: New Orleans, LA; 3rd place: Biloxi, MS

Treats and Eats

Another Broken Egg Cafe
Multiple locations •
To get a little pep in their step each morning, our readers start their days at Another Broken Egg Cafe. For deliciously mouthwatering dishes, Another Broken Egg Cafe offers southern-style biscuit beignets, gourmet omelettes, cinnamon roll french toast, and pancakes with all the toppings you could want. Another Broken Egg Cafe is also the go-to place for brunch with your girlfriends, allowing you to catch up while feasting on breakfast favorites and delicious cocktails.

2nd place: The Ruby Slipper Cafe; 3rd place: Frank’s Restaurant

Burgersmith Handcrafted Hamburgers
Multiple locations • 
There are few things better for your tastebuds than a juicy burger, and when it comes to satisfying burger cravings, our readers head to Burgersmith Handcrafted Hamburgers. Burgersmith’s burgers are topped with the freshest ingredients and the one-of-a-kind Smith Sauce that adds just the right amount of kick to make your burger even more enjoyable. With a comfortable and relaxed dining experience for families, Burgersmith provides good eats and a good time.

2nd place: MOOYAH Burgers, Fries, and Shakes; 3rd place: Curbside Burgers

Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers
Multiple locations •
Our readers have “One Love,” and it’s Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers! With its crispy chicken fingers, tasty crinkle-cut fries, fluffy Texas toast, and drinkable Cane’s Sauce, it’s no surprise that this family-friendly restaurant was your top pick this year. All of Cane’s delicious food is made to order and served by a friendly staff who is always happy to see you.

2nd place: Chick-fil-A; 3rd place: Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen

Coffee Cafe
CC’s Coffee House
Multiple locations •
Mochasippis, cappuccinos, mochas, lattes, and espressos, the gang’s always there at CC’s Coffee House when you need a quick pick me up. CC’s is a name our readers know and trust, so whether you’re grabbing your first cup in the morning or meeting a friend for a quick afternoon chat, CC’s provides an environment that is intimate and comforting. And while you work or visit with friends, you can even snack on tasty treats and sandwiches that are available throughout the day. 

2nd place: Starbucks; 3rd place: Coffee Call

Family Dining
Sammy’s Grill
Multiple locations • 
Many families in our area can’t wait for crawfish season because they know that Sammy’s will be serving the best of the best in crawfish each day. Celebrating 30 years of incredible food and service this year, Sammy’s Grill has remained a highlight for Louisianians of all ages. Venture into Sammy’s for your next date night, family get together, or even for some just-for-you time. You won’t regret it at this reader-approved establishment.

2nd place: Superior Grill; 3rd place: Portobello’s Grill

Gino’s Italian Restaurant
(225) 927-7156 •
When “Mama” does the cooking at Gino’s Italian Restaurant, our readers know it’s going to be good, and Mama has been cooking and supervising in the kitchen since the restaurant’s opening. Established by the Marino family, Gino’s has been a staple in Baton Rouge for over 35 years, cooking up delicious Italian dishes with the freshest imported cheeses, anchovies, olive oils, tomato products, pasta, and herbs. It’s the perfect spot for your next date night, too, with its beautiful decor and romantic atmosphere.

2nd place: Monjunis Italian Cafe and Grocery; 3rd place: The Little Village Restaurant

Kids Eat Free
Izzo’s Illegal Burritos
Multiple locations •
There’s no denying that our kiddos are picky eaters. One day, they like a food. The next day? They can’t stand to look at it. At Izzo’s Illegal Burritos, the options are endless, and being picky makes it part of the fun. Your little ones can dress their fajitas, tacos, burritos, burrito bowls, salads, quesadillas, and nachos however they choose, and all of it is made right before their very eyes. Izzo’s serves only the highest quality food with generous portions, providing fast and friendly service in a comfortable atmosphere.

2nd place: Mason’s Grill; 3rd place: Las Palmas Mexican Restaurant

Superior Grill Fabulous Mexican Dining
Multiple locations •
Superior Grill rose to the top again this year as your Favorite. The mouthwatering nachos, quesadillas, chimichangas, and tacos keep families coming back for more. Their indoor and outdoor dining options make it a perfect location for happy hour, birthdays, a family night out, or even date night. You and your family can also rock out to the sounds of great local bands on the weekends, and on game days, they stay open late.

2nd place: Las Palmas Mexican Restaurant; 3rd place: La Carreta Mexican Cuisine

Lit Pizza
Multiple locations •
Put on your chef’s hat and get ready to craft the perfect pizza at Lit Pizza. Our readers have chosen this build-your-own pizza joint as their favorite this year because of Lit’s stellar service, staff, and satisfying pizzas. If you’re a pizza lover, then you already know that Lit Pizza is a game changer when it comes to perfect pizzas. All you have to do is choose your protein, sauce, veggies, cheese, and add some finishing touches to create the ultimate pizza that you can’t get anywhere else. Why? Because it’s created by you!

2nd place: Rotolo’s Pizzeria; 3rd place: Fleur de Lis, Inc.

Parrain’s Seafood Restaurant
(225) 381-9922 •
Louisianians know their seafood, and when they want the freshest seafood selections, they head to Parrain’s. From poboys and seafood platters to ribeyes, tuna, and crawfish etouffee, Parrain’s provides an array of delicious dishes to choose from. The under-the-sea decor make this seafood stop one you won’t want to miss.

2nd place: Mike Anderson’s Seafood; 3rd place: Sammy’s Grill

Sweet Treats
Nothing Bundt Cakes
(225) 924-9002 •
Topped with the most incredible cream cheese frosting your tastebuds will ever taste, Nothing Bundt Cake’s scrumptious bundt cakes, bundtlets, and bundtinis are the perfect sweet treat to have at any party, get together, or simply just because. The deliciously sweet and always moist bundt cakes come in a variety of flavors including classic vanilla, red velvet, chocolate chocolate chip, white chocolate raspberry, marble, and lemon, and they’re so good, you’ll probably want to get one of each.

2nd place: Smallcakes Cupcakery and Creamery; 3rd place: The Ambrosia Bakery & Deli

Get the Party Started

Sparkles the Clown, Animated Art
When you meet Sparkles the Clown, you are always greeted with a smiling face and a joy that is infectious. Tabitha Miller–or as your kiddos know her–Sparkles has been bringing smiles to faces of all ages since she started Animated Art in 2009. And, if you have a little one with a birthday on the way, Sparkles can provide balloon twisting, face painting, airbrush water-resistant tattoos, balloon decor, and all-around incredible entertainment that will make your party or event one that you will remember for years to come.

2nd place: Twinkle the Clown; 3rd place: Petite Princess Company

Indoor Party Location
Area 51 Extreme Air Sports
(225) 224-8545 •
When it comes to celebrating their birthdays, the kiddos of Baton Rouge want to fly high at Area 51 Extreme Air Sports, and our readers love it, too. The incredible birthday packages Area 51 has available makes it easy to plan a stellar party for your child at an affordable price. Your kiddos can complete the Ninja Obstacle Course, challenge family and friends to a round of Extreme Dodgeball, or dive into the Foam Pit for a day they surely won’t forget.

2nd place: Lil Bambinos Playtorium; 3rd place: Jump-N-Jive

Party Supplies
Party Time
(225) 927-3270 •
If you have a party to celebrate, Party Time has all of the gear you need to get ready for it. From decorations and treat bag goodies to paper products and serving dishes and utensils, Party Time has you covered, and it’s all offered at a great price. Party Time also has a variety of costumes to choose from so everyone can look their best as they head out to trick or treat this fall season. It’s always a fun celebration with Party Time.

2nd place: Party City; 3rd place: The Ultimate Party Store

Place to Buy Gifts
The Royal Standard
Multiple locations •
It’s so easy to shop til you drop at The Royal Standard. With unique items to choose from when it comes to entertaining, interiors, holiday decor, and even apparel, you can spend hours browsing the store, finding everything you need. And our readers have spoken that The Royal Standard is the place to shop whenever you are looking for a gift for a special someone. Their incredible customer service also helps make the shopping experience that much more more enjoyable.

2nd place: Giggles; 3rd place: Victoria’s Toy Station

Place to Get Cake/Cupcakes
The Ambrosia Bakery & Deli
(225) 763-6489 •
When you enter the doors at The Ambrosia Bakery & Deli, you are greeted with a friendly staff and wall-to-wall treats and eats that will make you wish everyday was cheat day. With melt-in-your-mouth flavors and fresh ingredients, Ambrosia Bakery offers sweet treats that add something special to every celebration. With King Cakes, pastries, and breakfast and sandwich trays, it’s no surprise that our readers keep Ambrosia Bakery saved in their contact list for all their party food needs.

2nd place: Nothing Bundt Cakes; 3rd place: Smallcakes Cupcakery and Creamery

Places to Learn and Grow

Cheer and Gymnastics Program
Elite Gymnastics
(225) 766-7070 • 
When it comes to conquering the cheer world, one requires practice, hard work, and great coaching, and at Elite Gymnastics, your cheerleader-to-be can get all of those things under one roof. Whether your child is a beginner or advanced athlete, the incredible staff at Elite is able to work with him or her to teach the basic elements of tumbling and cheering. This great facility continues to provide Olympic-level coaching in a friendly and encouraging atmosphere, which is why they remain in the top spot as your favorite each year.

2nd place: Cheer Force Athletics; 3rd place: Athletes In Motion (AIM) Gymnastics

Parkview Baptist Preschool
(225) 293-9447 •
Keeping your little one safe while you are away is top priority at Parkview Baptist Preschool. Each day, the teachers and teaching assistants care for and guide your little ones through hands-on activities that foster a love of learning. With a curriculum coordinator with a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and a registered nurse on staff to provide care for the children, Parkview Preschool goes above and beyond to help raise little ones who will lead us to a brighter future.

2nd place: Corban Early Childhood Center; 3rd place: Jefferson United Methodist Preschool

Creative Arts Program
Baton Rouge Center for Visual and Performing Arts
(225) 344-0084 •
Incorporating the arts into your child’s education is of utmost importance, and the Baton Rouge Center for Visual and Performing Arts (BRCVPA) does just that every day. At BRCVPA, students have the ability to learn through the arts, and because of this, our readers are seeing that their kiddos are more excited than ever about learning. The incredible staff at BRCVPA is full of happy, smiling faces who use their expertise to help in the development of the whole child.

2nd place: The Real School of Music; 3rd place: Painting and Pinot

Dance Program
De Frances Academy of Dance
Multiple locations •
Whether you’ve been dancing since you could walk or you are just starting out, De Frances Academy of Dance has the ability to bring various levels of talent and styles together to create performances that inspire and entertain. Since 1971, De Frances has been providing dancers ages two through pre-professional a creative space to work on their technique or simply learn the basics of dance. With ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, and lyrical classes for all, De Frances leaps to the front of the competition this year as your Favorite.

2nd place: Tari’s School of Dance; 3rd place: Center Stage Performing Arts Academy

Kids Fitness Program
GymFit: Adventure & Fitness
(225) 831-1765 •
Combining Ninja Warrior activities, circus arts, gymnastics, parkour, dance, and functional fitness, GymFit is a unique all-in-one fitness facility that our readers can’t stop talking about. Our readers rave about GymFit’s ability to make fitness fun. With classes for all ages, GymFit inspires their students and participants to challenge themselves, to never give up, and to reach new heights. GymFit features an incredibly talented and trained staff who are ready to work with you, help you reach your fitness goals, and encourage you to step out of your box and try something different.

2nd place: The Little Gym; 3rd place: YMCA of the Capital Area

Martial Arts Program
David Vincent’s Martial Arts & Fitness
(225) 766-5181 •
With a philosophy of “taking what is useful, discarding what is not, and adding what is uniquely your own,” David Vincent’s passion for the Martial Arts and dedication to his students shines through in every class he teaches. Our readers feel at home when they step into David Vincent’s Martial Arts & Fitness because they are consistently greeted with caring and polite instructors who teach our kiddos valuable skills that will stick with them throughout their lives.

2nd place: Kajun Martial Arts; 3rd place: Central Karate Louisiana

Mother’s Day Out
Jefferson United Methodist Preschool
(225) 293-4440 •
Their ability to always put the children first is just one of the many reasons Jefferson United Methodist Preschool (JUMP) was selected by our readers as their top pick for Mother’s Day Out program. JUMP is often referred to as the “best preschool in town” because they combine learning about Jesus and caring for others in their facility. It’s a great place to help prepare your little one for kindergarten, and it wouldn’t be complete without the amazing staff who put their heart and soul into helping our little ones learn and grow.

2nd place: Jefferson Baptist Church Mother's Day Out; 3rd place: CrossPoint Baptist Church

Music Program
The Real School of Music – Baton Rouge
(225) 769-6225 •
Baton Rouge Music Studios has provided top-notch music education for years, and they recently rebranded to become The Real School of Music – Baton Rouge, so they can provide even more musical opportunities to our community. Our readers enjoy The Real School of Music’s ability to transform any vocalist and/or musician into the best he or she can be.

2nd place: Center Stage Performing Arts Academy; 3rd place: Parkview Baptist School Fine Arts Academy

Parkview Baptist School Early Childhood
(225) 291-2500 •
The little ones in Parkview Baptist School’s Early Childhood Program consistently share that one thing they surely know about the Bible is that it’s “absolutely, positively true.” The staff at Parkview knows the importance of their role in your child’s life as they help to lay the foundation for your child to have a love for school and learning. With hands-on activities and a variety of field trips, the students are learning through doing, instilling an education within them unlike any other.

2nd place: The Dunham School; 3rd place: Jefferson United Methodist Preschool

Private Elementary School
Parkview Baptist School
(225) 291-2500 •
Providing solid groundwork so students can achieve their greatest potential, the Elementary Division at Parkview Baptist School focuses on helping students master basic skills while also promoting critical thinking and higher-level problem solving that will prepare them for lifelong educational success. Our readers appreciate the teachers’ abilities to not only guide the students, but also the time they take to care for each student individually, teaching in a way that appeals to every learning style.

2nd place: The Dunham School; 3rd place: St. George Catholic School

Private Middle School
The Dunham School
(225) 767-7097 •
“Family” is one word you hear our readers say when they talk about their experiences at The Dunham School. Many of them credit the school’s welcoming environment and love for the students as the reasoning behind why they chose Dunham as their Favorite this year. From the minute you step onto Dunham’s campus, you are greeted by a staff and administration who encapsulate Dunham’s mission to educate children’s hearts. They work diligently to address spiritual issues from a Christian perspective, and they consistently provide the students an opportunity to understand and learn even more about themselves.

2nd place: Parkview Baptist School; 3rd place: Our Lady of Mercy Catholic School

Private High School
The Dunham School
(225) 767-7097 •

2nd place: Parkview Baptist School; 3rd place: St. Joseph’s Academy

Public Elementary School
BASIS Baton Rouge
(225) 308-7450 •
BASIS Baton Rouge is new to the area, but it’s already leaving a positive impression on our community. Our readers speak highly of the “hard, but fun” curriculum at BASIS as it prepares students according to the highest, most rigorous international standards. BASIS starts with the basics, helping students first with organizational and study skills before they progress to the demanding upper school curriculum. Families also enjoy the friendly staff who learn all of the students’ names, making this a comfortable and welcoming environment for everyone.

2nd place: Spanish Lake Primary School; 3rd place: Parkview Elementary School and Tanglewood Elementary School

Public Middle School
Central Middle School
(225) 261-2237 •
Central Middle School in Central, Louisiana provides an expansive curriculum, challenging students to go the extra step in their academics. Central Middle is home to students in grades sixth through eighth who are able to participate in robust choir, band, and arts programs to tap into their creative sides. The school also provides high school level classes for their students, allowing them to get a headstart on their studies before they journey to high school.

Sherwood Middle Academic Magnet School
(225) 272-3090 •
High school can be a little scary for your kiddos, but with schools like Sherwood Middle Academic Magnet School preparing them for their first day, the idea of high school isn’t so worrisome after all. Sherwood Middle provides high school preparatory and college/career readiness for its students, helping them to excel in school and in years to come. The award-winning administration and faculty and the advanced, rigorous courses help to make this school one our readers just can’t stop talking about.

2nd place: Dutchtown Middle School; 3rd place: Prairieville Middle School

Public High School
Baton Rouge Magnet High School
(225) 383-0520 •
Baton Rouge Magnet High School (BRMHS) continues to rank at the top year after year because of their friendly, qualified staff and their award-winning college preparatory, visual and performing arts, and sports curriculum. The students at BRMHS are able to thrive in all areas because of the incredible learning climate the school provides. Faculty and staff at BRMHS are also committed to helping all of their students develop the skills and attitudes of successful citizens in a global environment.

2nd place: Dutchtown High School; 3rd place: Central High School

Sports Program
Traction Sports Performance
(225) 753-7777 •
If you have a sports lover in the family, Traction Sports Performance has a program that is perfectly suited for him or her. From baseball and softball to football and soccer, Traction helps athletes become the best they can be by providing a training program that is challenging, structured, and individualized. Our readers share that the clean facilities, professional staff, and excellent service at Traction are what makes the experience so memorable.

2nd place: Baton Rouge Soccer Club; 3rd place: Parkview Baptist School  

Swimming Lessons
Crawfish Aquatics
Multiple locations •
Water safety and teaching children how to swim is important, and the knowledgeable staff at Crawfish Aquatics provides swimming lessons year round to help make sure our kiddos are safe around any type of water, any time of year. Our readers can’t get enough of the convenience Crawfish Aquatics provides in their weekly classes and flexible schedules. Whether you’re a little one to an adult, Crawfish Aquatics is here to teach you swimming readiness and technical skills.

2nd place: Tadpole Academy Swim School; 3rd place: Southern Oaks Athletic Club and YMCA of the Capital Area

Tutoring Lessons
Sylvan Learning Centers
Multiple locations •
If it’s math, reading, algebra, geometry, writing, or homework in general, the tutors at Sylvan Learning Centers are ready to help your child succeed. Readers enjoy that they can see results in their children’s academics after only a few sessions. School should be fun, not stressful, which is why Sylvan focuses on building academic confidence, igniting intellectual curiosity, and inspiring a love of learning in all students.

2nd place: Mathnasium and Best in Class Professional Tutoring; 3rd place: Peer+Plus, LLC

Shop Until You Drop

Frock Candy
Multiple locations •
Providing a fun and exciting boutique shopping experience, Frock Candy is filled with the latest affordable tends in young women’s clothing, shoes, accessories, and gifts. Each time you step into Frock Candy, you are encouraged to feed your fashion appetite as you browse through a variety of independent and well-known brands that have been hand-selected to make your experience that much more unique. When our readers shop, they choose Frock Candy.

2nd place: Bella Bella; 3rd place: Virgo Boutique

Children’s Shoes
Bob’s Little Feet
(225) 291-4850 •
Finding the right shoes for the littlest feet isn’t always an easy task. However, with a caring staff who are always on-hand to help you get the job done, you can quickly and easily find the perfect shoes for your little one at Bob’s Little Feet. The shoes are always top-notch quality, and they come in a variety of unique sizes that you won’t find anywhere else.

2nd place: Oh Pair Children’s Shoe Boutique; 3rd place: Dillard’s

Children’s Wear
The Children’s Place
Multiple locations •
When it comes to the latest in kids’ fashion, our readers go to The Children’s Place. At The Children’s Place, you’re able to find stylish looks for your kiddos at prices that won’t stress you out. From casual and comfy to colorful and trendy, you can find what you (and your child, of course) is looking for whenever you visit.

2nd place: Banbury Cross; 3rd place: Oh Baby! A Children’s Collection

Consignment Apparel
Once Upon a Child
Multiple locations •
Our readers love that they can get gently-used, brand name children’s apparel that is still on trend for a fraction of the cost at Once Upon a Child. And, they can even clear out their child’s closet by bringing items to the store for cash, too. Once Upon a Child will buy your kiddo’s gently used clothing, and they will pay you cash on the spot for the items. With them continuously getting new items in each day, shoppers; in return; will always see something new whenever they stop by.

2nd place: REfinery Children’s Consignment Boutique; 3rd place: Lulu & Bean

Garden Shop/Nursery
Louisiana Nursery Home & Garden Showplace
Multiple locations •
Having a green thumb is a wonderful thing, but having a place to find all of your gardening needs is even better. Louisiana Nursery Home & Garden Showplace offers a year-round stock of plants, a unique gift department, collectibles, and a huge Christmas decorating section to make sure you can deck the halls the right way every year. Our readers appreciate the superior customer service and the hard work the staff at Louisiana Nursery puts into making sure gardeners in Louisiana have a great selection of items that are in excellent quality.

2nd place: Clegg’s Nursery; 3rd place: Red Onion

Grocery Store Market
Rouses Supermarkets
Multiple locations •
Making a quick trip to the supermarket is a lot easier with Rouses Supermarkets. With the incredible organization and cleanliness of every store, our readers rave about how easy it is to find everything they need all in one place. From fresh produce and seafood to cakes and desserts, Rouses Supermarkets has been providing the best in fresh foods since 1960. They even have weekly deals available to all customers to help make your week and your shopping a little easier.

2nd place: Calandro’s Supermarket; 3rd place: Alexander’s Highland Market

School Uniform Wear
Inka’s Uniforms
Multiple locations •
Before the school bell rings, our readers visit Inka’s Uniforms for fashionable and innovative school uniforms. Utilizing the highest quality of fabrics and upscale designs, Inka’s Uniforms helps children of all ages get ready for school. Inka’s allows you to shop by school so you can make sure your child has everything he or she needs before the first day. And, their incredible service and staff are the reason Inka’s Uniforms is a Favorite year after year.

2nd place: School Time Uniforms; 3rd place: Old Navy

Specialty Shop
The Royal Standard
Multiple locations •

2nd place: Sanctuary Home & Gifts; 3rd place: Red Onion

Tween/Teen Wear
(225) 925-1090 •
Tweens in Baton Rouge love shopping at Tangerine, and our readers love them, too. With a friendly shopping environment, tweens can find clothing, shoes, and accessories that will help them express themselves through their personal style. Tangerine’s goal is to help girls find things they love and feel good in, and the very attentive staff on hand helps to reach this goal each day.

2nd place: B Kids; 3rd place: Twisted Oak Boutique

Mom and Baby

Baby Announcements
The Keeping Room Stationery & Gifts
(225) 926-2500 •
When it comes to making the perfect first impression, our readers trust The Keeping Room for all of their invitation and announcement needs. The experience at The Keeping Room is always enjoyable. Staff members work closely with you to help you create the perfect announcement for your little one, and they are always willing to answer any questions and guide you through the process step by step. Bringing your baby into this world is a spectacular event, and The Keeping Room wants to make sure that your experience with them is just as grand.

2nd place: Paper N’ Things; 3rd place: The Queen Bee

Baby Furniture
Cullen’s Babyland and Playland
Multiple locations •
Getting baby’s nursery ready before he or she arrives is no easy feat. However, finding the furniture needed for the nursery doesn’t have to be. Families love the variety of options that Cullen’s Babyland and Playland provides. With an assortment of cribs, rockers,  dressers, chests, and changing tables, Cullen’s has everything moms-to-be are looking for. Cullen’s is a name Louisianians have consistently put their trust in for over the last 40 years.

2nd place: Buy Buy Baby; 3rd place: Oh Baby! A Children’s Collection

Baby Gifts
Oh Baby! A Children’s Collection
(225) 930-0089 •
This fabulous boutique specializes in classic clothing for children from newborn through the preteen age, and when our readers are looking for sweet baby gifts to buy for little ones, they choose Oh Baby! The classic feel you get when you browse through Oh Baby! is one you won’t find anywhere else. Oh Baby! offers a variety of adorable pieces from great brands at great prices.

2nd place: Cullen’s Babyland and Playland; 3rd place: Buy Buy Baby

Birthing Hospital
Woman’s Hospital
(225) 927-1300 • 
For exceptional care for you and your bundle of joy, our readers recommend Woman’s Hospital. For years, Woman’s Hospital has been making sure that every mother in Louisiana has the best “birth day” she has ever dreamed of. With a mission to improve the health of women and infants, Woman’s offers services and top-notch classes for you and your little one long after your delivery date. Our readers adore the incredible doctors, nurses, and staff members at Woman’s as they all provide excellent care and important information to the moms and babies of Baton Rouge and the surrounding areas.

2nd place: Baton Rouge General Medical Center; 3rd place: Ochsner Medical Center

Maternity Boutique
Destination Maternity
Multiple locations •
Moms-to-be want to look their best and stay comfortable in everything they wear throughout their pregnancy, and with Destination Maternity, they can. Destination Maternity is home to some of the best name brand pregnancy clothing in the state. From athleisure wear and office chic to babymoon wear to galas, Destination Maternity has a look for every style. You’ll be one fashionable mama after a trip here.

2nd place: Baby Bump Maternity & Children’s; 3rd place: Motherhood Maternity

Newborn/Maternity Photographer
Quinn Alexandra Photography
(225) 239-5940 •
Our babies are only newborns once, so capturing those precious moments are important, and our readers look to Quinn Alexandra Photography for all of their newborn photo needs. Mallory Quinn and Jessica Alexandra of Quinn Alexandra Photography prove year after year that their expertise and attention to detail, in every photo, are what makes working with them so special. They have a unique way of making everyone on set feel comfortable, and the photo shoot is never done until you have several gorgeous photos that you will cherish forever.

2nd place: Butterflies of Hope Photography by Heather, LLC; 3rd place: Kleinpeter Photography

Pre- and Post-Partum Classes
Woman’s Hospital
(225) 927-1300 • 

2nd place: Birth Center of Baton Rouge and Baby Boot Camp; 3rd place: Baton Rouge General Medical Center, Birth Help, and Ochsner Medical Center

For the Grown Ups

Car Dealerships
Price LeBlanc
(225) 408-1100 •
For great service and vehicle selection, our readers choose Price LeBlanc. At Price LeBlanc, customer service and satisfaction is always top priority, which is why our readers return again and again, for every vehicle purchase. With a fun catchphrase like “Dahh-lin,” the help and assistance you will receive at Price LeBlanc remains unmatched…Dahh-lin.

2nd place: All Star Automotive; 3rd place: Team Automotive Group

Date Night Location
Ruffino’s Restaurants
Multiple locations •
If you want every dish made with the freshest ingredients and cooked to perfection, readers recommend Ruffino’s. Ruffino’s inviting atmosphere makes for the perfect date night location for you and your special someone with delicious soups, salads, wood-fired pizzas, steaks, and seafood. It’s the perfect location for a night away from the kiddos that will quickly become a date night tradition for you and your love.

2nd place: Tsunami; 3rd place: Ruth’s Chris Steak House and Perkins Rowe

Dry Cleaners
Kean’s Fine Dry Cleaning
Multiple locations •
Having clean clothes is a wonderful thing, and sometimes we need a little extra help in getting the job done. Kean’s Fine Dry Cleaning offers quality, customer service and convenience when handling every bit of your wardrobe. Kean’s same-day service and quick VIP Express bags are just a few reasons they continue to be named the King of clean year after year.

2nd place: Sunshine Cleaners; 3rd place: Welsh’s Cleaners

Gifts for Mom and Dad
The Royal Standard
Multiple locations •

2nd place: Goodwood Hardware and Dillard’s; 3rd place: Bumble Lane Spa & Retreat and The Lemon Tree

Health Club
Spectrum Fitness
Multiple locations •
Choosing a fitness facility that works around your schedule is a difficult task, but the trainers and crew at Spectrum Fitness help to create an environment that makes this possible. Spectrum Fitness plays a crucial role in making fitness a part of your lifestyle. With a mission to help you achieve your fitness goals and maximize the health benefits of your exercise routines, our readers choose Spectrum Fitness as their Favorite each year because of the 24-hour access that gives them a chance to workout when they can.

2nd place: Southern Oaks Athletic Club; 3rd place: YMCA of the Capital Area

Photography Studio
Quinn Alexandra Photography
(225) 239-5940 •

2nd place: Kleinpeter Photography; 3rd place: Eye Wander Photo

Bumble Lane Spa & Retreat
(225) 932-9522 •
We all deserve to be treated like royalty every once in a while, so when our readers are feeling regal, they head to Bumble Lane Spa & Retreat. Combining necessity and luxury, Bumble Lane promotes a harmonious environment that gives you an opportunity to relax and let your worries slip away. The staff at Bumble Lane truly enjoy what they do, and it can be seen on their smiling faces and felt in their joyous attitudes upon every visit.

2nd place: Paris Parker Aveda Salons and Spas; 3rd place: The Woodhouse Day Spa

Healthy Family Choice

Adult Dental Clinic
Bruns Family Dental Center
(225) 769-0222 •
Going to the dentist can be an anxiety-filled time, even when you’re an adult. However, when you enter the doors of Bruns Family Dental Center, you are greeted by a staff who treats you like family and works hard to make sure that you are comfortable throughout your entire visit. And, we all know doctor’s offices can get cold, but our readers love that along with the excellent care they receive, they also offer you blankets to help keep you warm, too.

2nd place: Bluebonnet Dental Care; 3rd place: Smile Spa of Baton Rouge

Dr. Courtney Murphy, The Baton Rouge Clinic, AMC
(225) 769-4044 •
Seeing a friendly face during a doctor’s appointment always helps to calm any nerves. And, each time our readers see Dr. Courtney Murphy, they are greeted with a happy smile and a joy that you can’t find anywhere else. Caring for children and adults, Dr. Murphy brings extensive knowledge and expertise to The Baton Rouge Clinic. When she’s not working, Dr. Murphy enjoys spending time with her husband and her kiddos, attending various events throughout our community.

2nd place: Dr. Donna Nunnally, The Dermatology & Aesthetic Institute; 3rd place: Dr. Mary Dickerson, Louisiana Dermatology Associates

ENT Doctor
Dr. Elise Scallan, Hansbrough, Peters, Traxler & Scallan
(225) 767-7200 •
With each visit, Dr. Elise Scallan takes her time with her patients, making sure that she finds the best way to solve every problem they share with her. Not only is she knowledgeable in her field, she’s also incredibly friendly and has great bedside manner. Dr. Scallan is a native of Louisiana who enjoys spending time with her husband, Jimmy, and her adorable children.

2nd place: Dr. Ryan Boone, Ear Nose & Throat Medical Center; 3rd place: Dr. Frank Fazio, Baton Rouge Ear, Nose and Throat Associates

Family Clinic
The Baton Rouge Clinic AMC
(225) 769-4044 •
Keeping everyone in your family happy and healthy is important, so when our readers or their kiddos are feeling under the weather, they see the doctors at The Baton Rouge Clinic. Our readers know that they receive the best care in Baton Rouge during every visit. From routine healthcare needs to highly specialized medical procedures, The Baton Rouge Clinic provides compassionate care for your entire family, which is why they continue to earn the top spot as your Favorite every year. 

2nd place: Ochsner Medical Center; 3rd place: Our Lady of the Lake Physician Group

Family Eye Clinic
Eye Medical Center
Multiple locations •
With fast, friendly service and knowledgeable doctors, Eye Medical Center has been serving the Baton Rouge community for well over 70 years. Every day, the doctors work hard to combine technological excellence with sincere human kindness to make sure that each patient is receiving the best care in Baton Rouge. Offering a variety of procedures and specialties for all of your needs, Eye Medical Center continues to be named your Favorite because of the incredible environment and services they provide.

2nd place: Williamson Eye Center; 3rd place: Achord Eye Clinic

Family Physician
Dr. Christopher Lee, Shenandoah Medical Associates
(225) 752-4530
Taking time to answer all of your questions, thoroughly explaining conditions and treatments, and consistently following up with patients are just a few of the reasons Dr. Christopher Lee continues to be named a Favorite. Dr. Lee offers incredible knowledge, and even when patients aren’t feeling well, they always leave his office feeling their best.

2nd place: Dr. Brad Gaspard, Baton Rouge General Medical Center; 3rd place: Dr. Ericka Flood, Flood Family Medical Center

Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center
(225) 765-6565 •
With a free-standing Children’s Hospital in the works and a complex hospital featuring the area’s only Level II Trauma Center, Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical continues to prove year after year why they remain at the top spot for hospitals in Baton Rouge. If you’re looking for great hospital care, our readers choose Our Lady of the Lake for all of their needs. One of the oldest medical institutions in the city, Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center is the go-to location for medical care, compassion, progressive technology, and quality pediatrics.

2nd place: Baton Rouge General Medical Center; 3rd place: Woman's Hospital

Dr. Rebecca Boudreaux, Louisiana Women’s Healthcare
(225) 255-3584 •
Dr. Rebecca Boudreaux goes the extra mile with all of her patients. She’s extremely personable, and she remembers everyone’s names. Many of her patients share that, if time allowed, they would sit all day and talk with her because she’s just that friendly and easy to talk to. During each visit, Dr. Boudreaux spends time answering all of your questions and addressing all of your concerns, which is why our readers voted her into the top spot this year. 

2nd place: Dr. Lisa Gautreau, Louisiana Women’s Healthcare; 3rd place: Dr. Renee Harris, Associates in Women's Health and Dr. Randall Brown, Louisiana Women’s Healthcare

Dr. Joseph Porter, Porter Orthodontics
(225) 291-9900 •
Creating beautiful, healthy smiles is the goal at Porter Orthodontics, and it’s one that Dr. Joseph Porter accomplishes each day. Dr. Porter has been providing excellent orthodontic care in a comfortable and friendly environment for years. His incredible bedside manner and ability to keep his patients informed and comfortable throughout their visits are just a few of the reasons as to why our readers adore him so much. 

2nd place: Dr. Steven Sherman, Sherman Balhoff Orthodontics; 3rd place: Dr. Andre Fruge, Fruge Orthodontics

Pediatric Dental Clinic
Associates in Pediatric Dentistry
Multiple locations •
For children, the dentist office can be a scary place, but when little ones enter Associates in Pediatric Dentistry (AIPD), their nerves are calmed thanks to the happy faces of AIPD. From the doctors to the staff, everyone at AIPD is happy to be there and happy to see you there, too. They take great pride in their work of providing superior care to all of their patients. Whatever the need, the doctors and staff are there to help, making sure that your little one remains calm and comfortable throughout his entire visit.

2nd place: Pediatric Dental Specialists; 3rd place: Smile Stars Pediatric Dentistry

Pediatric Dentist
Dr. Brynn Leroux, Associates in Pediatric Dentistry
Multiple locations •
Dr. Leroux is forever a Favorite among our readers. Her kindness and patience with all of her patients is something she is consistently praised for. Dr. Leroux’s professionalism, attention to detail, and fun-loving attitude are what make her so admirable. When she’s not working hard for her patients, Dr. Leroux spends time with her husband and her children, attending LSU football games and traveling.

2nd place: Dr. Johnnie Hunt, Pediatric Dental Specialists; 3rd place: Dr. Steven Ripple, Smile Stars Pediatric Dentistry

Dr. Jamar Melton, The Baton Rouge Clinic, AMC
(225) 769-4044 •
Dr. Melton has been practicing pediatric medicine for over a decade and a half, and because of this, he has helped many young people lead healthier and fuller lives. A native of Baton Rouge, Dr. Melton enjoys fishing and duck hunting. Our readers adore just how caring, knowledgeable, and professional he is, and they know they can always put their trust in Dr. Melton.

2nd place: Dr. Stephen Sanches, The Baton Rouge Clinic, AMC; 3rd place: Dr. Ashli West, Magnolia Pediatrics

Pediatric Clinic
The Baton Rouge Clinic, AMC
(225) 769-4044 •

2nd place: Magnolia Pediatrics; 3rd place: The Pediatric Place

Carolyn Ellender, LCSW, LPC, Registered Play Therapist
(225) 926-4009
With incredible kindness and patience, Carolyn Ellender has helped guide little ones to be their best selves since 1991. She has been a teacher, a guidance counselor, and an owner of her own tutoring business. Throughout it all, she has remained a bright light to all those who work with her and to all whom she meets. Carolyn enjoys the spontaneous responses she receives from the children she talks to each day, and she loves helping them to be successful in all aspects of life. In her spare time, Carolyn like to garden and spend time with her grandchildren.

2nd place: Dr. Denise Sellers, Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center and Dr. Donna Fargason, Family Focus & Associates; 3rd: Patti Dowling, MS, LPC, Baton Rouge Counseling Associates; Allison Shoonmaker, Spring Life Counseling, LLC; and Dr. Roger Butner, HopeForYourFamily 

Urgent Care
Lake After Hours Urgent Care
Multiple locations •
Lake After Hours Urgent Care is always there for you and your little ones when either of you are feeling under the weather. Lake After Hours Urgent Care doesn’t require you to make an appointment, making it easy to stop by whenever necessary. And this month, they are making things even easier on you with even more convenient business hours. You can’t always plan when you or your child gets sick which is why our readers consistently choose Lake After Hours for their professional care and assistance in their time of need.

2nd place: Baton Rouge Clinic Urgent Care Center; 3rd place: Coastal Urgent Care

Parent’s Choice
Family Worship Center/Church
Healing Place Church
Multiple locations •
Healing Place Church is a “healing place for a hurting world,” and our readers enjoy the amazing opportunities they provide that allow them and their families to come together and connect. Healing Place is known for its open arms, big heart, and service to the community, and our readers consistently vote them to the top spot for their wonderful support to all Louisianians.

2nd place: Istrouma Baptist Church; 3rd place: The Chapel

Pet Salon
Multiple locations •
Even our animals deserve a little time at the spa, and PetSmart consistently provides excellent care to our four-legged family members. Founded in 1986, PetSmart is the largest specialty pet retailer offering services and solutions for our pets. We love our pets, and we know that when our pets are at PetSmart, they’re in great hands.

2nd place: Petz Plaza; 3rd place: Camp Bow Wow

Private Elementary School Principal
Deedra LaPlace, The Dunham School
(225) 767-7097 •

Deedra LaPlace has been serving the needs of children for nearly 30 years. After graduating from LSU with a master’s degree in education, she worked as a teacher in both public and private schools, and has been an administrator at The Dunham School for the past 20 years. Deedra has also worked on behalf of children as a member of the Junior League, a school liaison with Boy Scouts of America, as well as vice president of the Louisiana Association of Independent Schools. When she’s not working, she enjoys spending time with her husband, Lance, and their two sons, Gavin and Brooks.

2nd place: Daniel McCullough, Parkview Baptist School; 3rd place: Chris Porche, Our Lady of Mercy Catholic School

Private Middle School Principal
Mary Theriot, The Dunham School
(225) 767-7097 •

Mary Theriot brings a love of middle school-aged children and 40 years of experience to her role as Head of Middle School. She taught for 21 years with East Baton Rouge Parish Schools before joining the faculty at Dunham in 1999 to teach math and science. In addition to her teaching duties, Mary served as middle school athletic director for two years before being named Head of Middle School in June 2007. She oversees a vibrant academic program, and has been instrumental in the development of the Middle School House system that provides leadership opportunities for students in grades five through eight. Mary is happily married to Randy Theriot and has three sons, Wes, Ryan, and Austin, and five grandchildren.

2nd place: Joana Dieterich, Parkview Baptist School; 3rd place: Chris Porche, Our Lady of Mercy Catholic School

Private High School Principal
Amanda McIlwain, The Dunham School
(225) 767-7097 •

A favorite among Dunham teachers and students, Amanda McIlwain is responsible for all high school academic and co-curricular programs and activities at The Dunham School. She joined the faculty in 2000 as a math and science teacher, and has served the school in key leadership roles. She was named Upper School Director in 2017. Amanda holds a bachelor’s degree from LSU, and is completing her master’s in educational leadership. Amanda is married to Mitch McIlwain, who is also a Dunham teacher and coach. They have two daughters, Claire and Anna.

2nd place: Christina Anderson, Parkview Baptist School; 3rd place: Stacia Andricain, St. Joseph’s Academy

Public Elementary School Principal
Roberto Ramirez, BASIS Baton Rouge
(225) 308 7450 •
Roberto Ramirez has worn many hats at BASIS from AP Spanish Teacher and College Counselor to Upper School Director and now Head of School. His ability to lead schools to success is admirable, and our readers appreciate his hard work, his incredible leadership skills, and the relationships he has created with them. Mr. Ramirez is passionate about seeing children succeed, and he works hard to make sure it happens each and every day at BASIS Baton Rouge.

2nd place: Britton Colon, Spanish Lake Primary School; 3rd place: Eve Frederic, Oak Grove Primary School

Public Middle School Principal
Jamie Noel, Sherwood Middle Academic Magnet School
(225) 272-3090 •
Jamie Noel has a positive effect on all of her students, which is why our readers have voted her to the top spot this year. Mrs. Noel’s main focus has always been student success, as she makes all decisions with the students in mind. Mrs. Noel has been principal at Sherwood Middle Academic Magnet School for five years. She was awarded EBR’s Principal of the Year in 2017, and she is currently finishing her PhD in educational leadership from Louisiana State University. Mrs. Noel prides herself on being fun, family-oriented, and friendly, and we certainly agree that she is all of those wonderful things and more.

2nd place: Bryan Wax, Denham Springs Junior High; 3rd place: Amber Renee Boyd, Southeast Middle Magnet School

Public High School Principal
Nanette McCann, Baton Rouge Magnet High School
(225) 383-0520 •
Mrs. McCann has been in education in East Baton Rouge for 35 years, and this year, she is celebrating her 17th year as principal at Baton Rouge Magnet High School. Working alongside the teachers and being around the students are highlights of her days. Our readers appreciate all of the hard work Mrs. McCann puts into her job, making sure that the students, educators, and the school continues to thrive year after year. When she’s not working, Mrs. McCann enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, dancing, and going to the movies.

2nd place: Walt Lemoine, Brusly High School; 3rd place: Jason St. Pierre, Walker High School

Dr. Phil Waguespack, Siegen Lane Animal Clinic
(225) 769-4892 •
Providing excellent care to some of our most important family members, Dr. Waguespack protects our animals and cares for them in a way no one else can. Dr. Waguespack continues to rise to the top spot every year because of his impeccable bedside manner for our furriest friends, his extensive knowledge, and his love for animals.

2nd place: Dr. Leslie Andermann, Andermann Animal Clinic; 3rd place: Dr. Donna Kleinpeter, Kleinpeter Veterinary Hospita

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