2019 Readers’ Poll Favorite Winners


Charter School: NYOS. With pre-K through 12th grade programs, this school on two campuses challenges learners through rigorous academics and innovative strategies. nyos.org

Child Care: Stepping Stone Schools. Now in its 40th year, this locally-grown school has educated over 100,000 children. Locations throughout greater Austin. steppingstoneschool.com

Montessori: Austin Children’s Academy. Educating children from 3 months to elementary-age, this Cedar Park school guides the development of the whole child. austinchildrensacademy.org

Private School: Brentwood Christian School. Offering a Christ-centered academic environment, this school emphasizes community, leadership and service. brentwoodchristian.org

Public School: Rutledge Elementary. Showing consistent excellence, this K to 5th grade school in Leander ISD helps children flourish academically, socially and emotionally. leanderisd.org

Special Needs: The Rise School. Serving ages 12 months to 5 years, this nonprofit preschool provides individualized early childhood education in an inclusive setting. riseschoolaustin.org

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. austinlearningcenter.com


Birthday Party: Urban Air. More than a trampoline park, this party spot hosts indoor gatherings for boys, girls, kids and teens with classic parties or glow parties. urbanairtrampolinepark.com

Bounce House: Hop ‘n Happy. A family-owned local business, this indoor play place in northwest Austin packs 9,000 square feet with safe, inflatable fun for all ages. hopnhappy.com

Drop-In Child Care: Kid Spa Austin. This flexible childcare provider is a lifesaver when running errands or treating yourself to a date night. Locations north and south. http://kidspaaustin.com

Indoor Play: Catch Air. Kids can bounce, climb and slide to their hearts’ content in indoor comfort on sturdy inflatables. Locations in Round Rock and northwest Austin. catchairparty.com

Festival: Austin City Limits Festival. From the family-friendly entrance to the Austin Kiddie Limits stage and free admission for kids 10 and under, this festival serves up fun. aclfestival.com

Kids’ Consignment Store: Kid to Kid. Gently used toys, children’s clothing and gear get a second life when you cash in or shop for bargains. Locations north and south. kidtokid.com

Kids Entertainer: Miss Ariel. With fun, original music and movement for preschoolers, Ariel Czerwinski brings the fun to programs throughout the Austin area. musicwithmissariel.net

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

Kids’ Family Photographer: Jordan Ashley Photography. Since 2006, this studio in Cedar Park has been capturing the ages and stages of Central Texas families. jordanashleyphotography.com

Pediatric Dentist: Groovy Molar Pediatric Dental Care. This father of two goes the extra mile to provide a calm, reassuring environment to children in northwest Austin. groovymolar.com

Pediatric Clinic: Children’s Medical Group. In the heart of central Austin, this practice is committed to providing quality medical care based on up-to-date research. cmgaustin.com

Sitting Service: College Nannies and Tutors. Finding the right fit for your child care and tutoring needs is the top priority for this service throughout greater Austin. collegenanniesandtutors.com

Waterpark: Schlitterbahn. The hottest, coolest time in Texas is a family favorite for day trips and full-blown vacations alike. Free parking and picnics welcome. schlitterbahn.com


Adventure Camp: Wet and Wild Adventure Camp. For kids ages 6 to 15, this unique field-trip camp serves up a different activity every day. Multiple pickup/dropoff locations. wetwildcamp.com

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

Spring Break Camp: YMCA Twin Lakes. On 55 acres in Cedar Park, this camp offers a variety of amazing activities for kids in a safe, inclusive and nurturing environment. ymcagwc.org

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

Education Camp: Neuron Garage. Rising K to 6th graders discover their potential through open-ended, hands-on building challenges at five locations throughout Austin. neurongarage.com

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

Overall Fun Camp: Kidventure. With low counselor-to-camper ratios, this camp builds self-esteem and self-worth for ages 3 to 12. Four locations throughout greater Austin. kidventure.com

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. campchampions.com

Specialty Camp: Austin Film Festival. Professional instructors lead kids through the filmmaking process to produce individual expressions at this downtown Austin camp. austinfilmfestival.com

Special Needs Camp: Camp CAMP. Located in San Antonio, this camp with both summer and school-year programs serves individuals with mild to severe disabilities and their siblings. campcamp.org

Nature Camp: Austin Nature and Science Center. This program through Austin Parks and Recreation serves up hands-on discovery and nature study for ages 4 to 14. austintexas.gov


Acting: KidsActing. In business for over 35 years, this school serves kids ages 4 to 18 at multiple greater Austin locations through summer camps and afterschool classes. kidsactingstudio.com

Art: Cordovan Art School. Fostering creativity and self-confidence, this camp provides a positive environment to explore the arts. Six locations in greater Austin. cordovanartschool.com

Baseball: Cedar Park Youth League. This volunteer-run facility for baseball and softball lets kids play, learn and grow through affordable, organized sport. cpyl.org

Basketball: YMCA Austin. Youth sports at the Y are the starting point for many kids to learn about becoming and staying active and developing healthy habits. austinymca.org

Ceramics: Café Monet. Kids love the special kids’ night out events that let them create their own works of art with help from trained artists. Locations central and south. cafemonet.org

Cheerleading: Cheer Station. From age 3 and up, kids learn the newest techniques in a safe and encouraging environment in northwest Austin. cheerstation.com

Creative Writing: Badgerdog. Following the workshop model, writers of all ages and skill levels examine literary techniques and experiment with language. austinlibrary.org

Dance: Dance Discovery. This dance studio serves kids ages 2 to 18 with a wide variety of recreational dance classes, classical study and pre-professional programs. austin-dance.org

Equestrian: Switch Willo. Just 15 minutes north of downtown Austin, this family-operated horse stable offers daily instruction in riding, horse care and more. switchwillostable.com

Fitness: YMCA Austin. Supporting you through every stage of life, the Y offers equipment, programs and instruction along with excellent child care at multiple locations. austinymca.org

Foreign Language: Mariposas. Since 1999, this homegrown Austin school has been teaching Spanish to kids ages 2 to 10 in schools, community centers and private homes. mariposasspanish.com

Golf: TopGolf. Through classes, group lessons and individual lessons, this golf destination customizes teaching methods for students’ personality, skill and goals. topgolf.com

Gymnastics: Jump Gymnastics. Using a unique combination of skill building and playfulness, this school embraces fun and discipline. Locations north and south.jump-austin.com

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

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

Music: Heartsong. Founded in 2004, this locally-owned music center brings a Montessori sensibility to music instruction, delivering joy with learning. heartsongmusic.net

STEM: Girlstart. This girl-centered organization rewards risk and encourages creativity through a suite of comprehensive STEM programs for grades K to 12. girlstart.org

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

Volleyball: Spike Frog. Creating a culture of play, this organization offers year-round programs, leagues, camps and clinics for kids of all skill levels. spikefrog.org

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