You voted and we tallied. Now the results are in, and we present this year’s favorite spots chosen by our own Austin families. Give ‘em a try – they’ve got our readers behind them!


Charter School:Austin Discovery School. Open since 2005, this school east of Austin emphasizes community-building and student growth.

Childcare:Stepping Stone Schools. 2018 marks the 20th year this locally-grown school has won the category in our annual poll. Locations throughout the Austin metro area.

Montessori: Austin Children’s Academy. Founded in 2007, this Cedar Park school aims to guide the development of the whole child.

Private School: Hill Country Christian School. Serving grades PK-12, this school nurtures students with a Christ-centered curriculum on 54 acres in Cedar Park.

Public School: Rutledge Elementary. This school in Leander ISD serves grades K-5 and made the Texas Honor Roll for the 2017-18 school year.

Special Needs School: William’s Community School. Founded in 2011, this school in northwest Austin serves children ages 2 to 16 with individualized instruction.

Tutoring:Austin Learning Center. Specializing in one-on-one tutoring, ALC offers a range of services at locations in Westlake and on the UT Austin campus.


Place for Birthday Parties: Main Event. Treat your guests to activities like bowling, laser tag, rock climbing, and mini golf plus catered party nibbles.

Bounce House: Catch Air. Kids can bounce, climb and slide to their hearts’ content on inflatables. Locations in Round Rock and northwest Austin.

Drop-in Childcare:KidSpa Austin. This childcare spot is a lifesaver for running errands or treating yourself to a date night. Locations north and south.

Festival: ABC Kite Festival. Held every March at Zilker Park, this free, annual event turns 90 next year with live music and kites of all shapes and sizes.

Indoor Play: Mt. Playmore. An enormous playscape is the draw here, with spaces designed so moms and dads can join in the fun, too.

Kids Consignment:Kid to Kid. Toys, clothes and gear get a second life when yu cash in or shop for bargains. Locations north and south.

Kids Entertainer:Kiwi the Clown. Imaginative storytelling, balloon art and face painting are just some of the talents this entertainer brings to the party.

Kids Store:Terra Toys. Since 1978, this family-owned store in north Austin has been making toy-buying fun with demos, special events and a coffee bar.

Photography: Jordan-Ashley Photography. Since 2006, this studio in Cedar Park has been caputring the ages and stages of Central Texas families.

Pediatric Dental: Lone Star Pediatric Dental and Braces. This locally-founded provider offers services in pediatric dentistry, orthodontia and oral surgery. 10 locations.

Pediatrician:Austin Regional Clinic. This network of doctors throughout the greater Austin area includes over 60 pediatricians at 14 different locations.

Sitting Service:Windsor House Nannies. Available 24/7, this full-service nanny placement and sitting service covers Austin and surrounding areas.

Zoo: Austin Zoo. This zoo in southwest Austin lets you get up close with animals who have been rescued, retired or reabilitated.


Day Camp:Camp Doublecreek. This camp in Round Rock provides a wide range of mostly outdoor activities for kids ages 4 to 14.

Education Camp:Summer Spark. This day camp for grades K-6 prioritizes creative problem solving with weekly tinkering challenges. Locations downtown and south.

Fine Arts Camp:Laguna Gloria. Young artists from age 4 to teen explore a variety of media, like ceramics, paint, metal, and digital photography.

Overall Fun:Jump! Gymnastics. This gymnastics school offers weekly summer camps for kids ages 3 to 12. Locations north and south.

Overnight Camp: Camp Champions. Located on Lake LBJ in Marble Falls, this camp emphasizes fun and values for boys and girls ages 5 to 18.

Specialty Camp:Kids Kitchen. Founded by a local dietitian and nutritionist, this cooking school in Cedar Park offers weekly camps for varying age groups.

Music Camp: Armstrong Community Music School. Weekly summer camps at this music school in West Lake Hills serve kids ages 5 to 10.

Nature Camp: McKinney Roughs Nature Camp. Campers ages 5 to 15 experience outdoor adventures at this camp east of Austin through exploration and recreation.

Winter Camp: Fantastic Magic Camp. Serving kids ages 4 to 12, this camp in central Austin teaches magic, juggling, puppetry and showmanship.


Acting:kidsActing. In business for over 35 years, this acting school serves kids ages 4 to 18 at multiple greater Austin locations.

Art:Smudge Studio. This art school offers classes, camps and after school programs for kids ages 5 to teen.

Baseball:Town and Country Sports. This league supported by the Town and Country Optimist Club has operated for over 40 years in northwest Austin.

Basketball: YMCA Twin Lakes. The YMCA basketball program focuses on skill development, fun and a sense of team in a semi-competitive environment.

Ceramics: Café Monet. Kids love the special kids’ night out events that let them create their own works of art. Locations central and south.

Cheerleading:ChampionsTX. Founded in 1994, this gymnastics school focuses on character-building, self-confidence and relationships. Locations central and Lakeway.

Dance: Dance Discovery. This dance studio serves kids ages 2 to 18 with a wide variety of classes, including ballet, tap, jazz and more.

Equestrian: Bee Cave Riding Center. Qualified instructors teach English and Western riding at all levels through camps and private, semi-private and group lessons.

Fitness:YMCA Town Lake. Classes, camps, youth sports leagues and childcare programs are just a few of the reasons the Y is a reader favorite.

Golf:The First Tee. Founded in 1999, this youth development organization uses golf to instill values, build character and promote healthy choices.

Gymnastics: Capital Gymnastics. From parent-and-tot classes to Olympic-level training, this gym has been teaching since 1983. Locations in Cedar Park, Round Rock and Pflugerville.

Martial Arts:Master Gohring Tai Chi and Kung Fu. Located in central Austin, this martial arts studio teaches focus, discipline and self-confidence.

Math and Science:Mad Science. Serving grades pre-K-5, these programs offer hands-on learning through camps, workshops, parties and special events.

STEM:Girlstart. Celebrating its 20th year, this girl-centered organization rewards risk and encourages creativity through STEM programs for grades K-12.

Swimming: Nitro Swim. Students learn water safety and confidence in an indoor, Olympic-sized pool. Locations in Bee Cave and Cedar Park.

Volleyball: Austin Junior Volleyball. Through camps, clinics and league play, this facility offers multiple ways to improve skills. Locations in Cedar Park and south Austin.

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