Best of the Eastside 2010- Winners!

Are you ready?  I’m so excited because today we announce all the winners in the 2010 Best of the Eastside Contest.  We were absolutely amazed because we had almost 600 completed surveys from people all over the Eastside and Seattle letting us know their favorite places to go with kids.  In every category, we got lots of votes for the official candidates you nominated during our nomination process, plus lots of write-in suggestions that you can browse here- we have all those listed for you along with the winners.  I think you will find the results interesting.

The Best of the Eastside 2010, as voted by the readers of Ruby Slipper Guide!

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Which is your favorite kid-friendly coffee shop on the Eastside? Tot Spot Cafe in Woodinville

The voting got feisty in this popular category.  Although Soulfood Coffee House in Redmond clearly has a real following, this contest was a battle of the northern powerhouses, Tot Spot Cafe in Woodinville and Village Bean in Bothell.  The lead flip-flopped several times over the course of the voting, but ultimately, the one you all voted the best place to get coffee with kids in tow was Tot Spot Cafe.

Official Nominees:

  • The Village Bean in Bothell
  • SoulFood Books, Music, and Organic Coffee House in Redmond
  • Tot Spot Cafe in Woodinville
  • Starbucks (any)
  • Common Ground Coffee & Cupcakes in Renton

Which is your favorite indoor play space on the Eastside? Jump Planet in Bothell

There are lots of favorite places to play on the Eastside, so it isn’t surprising that the votes in this category were spread out pretty evenly.  KidsQuest Museum, Great Play, and Orange Blossom Society were in the thick of this contest, but the one who bounced away with this prize is Jump Planet in Bothell.

Official Nominees:

  • My Gym in Bellevue
  • Great Play in Redmond
  • Studio3Music in Redmond
  • Orange Blossom Society in Redmond
  • Family Fun Center in Tukwila
  • Tot Spot Cafe in Woodinville
  • The Village Bean in Bothell
  • The Nest in Woodinville
  • KidsQuest Children’s Museum in Bellevue
  • Kids’ Cove at Bellevue Square
  • Jump Planet in Bothell
  • Dizzy’s Tumble Bus in Bellevue

Which is your favorite kids’ birthday party venue on the Eastside? Great Play in Redmond

Favorite place to throw a party?  This one had a clear winner, although all the candidates got lots of votes.  Jump Planet was creeping up in second place, but couldn’t sneak past the first place winner.  But it seems everyone is looking for a great place to let the kids play and unwrap presents.  For the second year in a row, the winner for best spot for a birthday party is Great Play in Redmond.

Official Nominees:

  • My Gym in Bellevue
  • The Nest in Woodinville
  • Family Fun Center in Tukwila
  • Great Play in Redmond
  • Orange Blossom Society in Redmond
  • Jump Planet in Bothell
  • Studio3Music in Redmond
  • KidsQuest Children’s Museum in Bellevue
  • Dizzy’s Tumble Bus & Bus Stop in Bellevue

Which is your favorite children’s store on the Eastside? Merry Go Round in Bellevue

When you need a good toy for your friend’s brand new baby, or a great little outfit for your own kiddo, where do you go?  On the Eastside, there are a few great places you really like to go, it turns out.  For this category, second place was a battle between two great shops, Common Folk Kids and Cruzin’ Kids.  But first place by a nose goes to local favorite, Merry Go Round in Bellevue.

Official Nominees:

  • Cruzin’ Kids in Woodinville
  • KidsQuest Children’s Museum Explore Store in Bellevue
  • Merry Go Round in Bellevue
  • Common Folk Kids in Bellevue
  • Cozy Baby Boutique in Woodinville
  • Bella & Max in Bothell

Which is your favorite family-friendly restaurant on the Eastside? Red Robin

So where do you like to eat when you go out with your kids?  Turns out a whole lot of you like to go to the same place.  In fact, the winner in this category got more votes than any nominee in any other category.  It isn’t too surprising, considering this restaurant offers kid-friendly food in a family-friendly setting. With over 50% of the vote, the hands down favorite family-friendly restaurant on the Eastside is Red Robin.

Official Nominees:

  • Tutta Bella in Issaquah
  • Bullwinkle’s Restaurant at Family Fun Center in Tukwila
  • Red Robin
  • Ruby’s Diner
  • Pallino’s

Which is your favorite place to see a show with kids on the Eastside? SPROUTS at Second Story Rep in Redmond

If you haven’t yet taken your kids to see some of the great theater for children offered on the Eastside, you are missing out.  With puppet theaters, musicals, updated fairytales, and more, there is something for every age.  And the shows put on by our nominees are top quality, trust me!  The winner in this category wasn’t certain until the very last day of voting.  Although the amazing StoryBook Theater was a very strong contender, a surge in votes gave the also amazing SPROUTS at Second Story Rep in Redmond the winning performance.

Official Nominees:

  • SPROUTS at Second Story Repertoire in Redmond
  • StoryBook Theater from Studio East in Kirkland and Renton
  • Kirkland Performing Arts Center
  • KidsQuest Children’s Museum in Bellevue
  • Thistle Puppet Theater in Bellevue
  • Youth Theatre Northwest on Mercer Island
  • Village Theatre in Issaquah

Which is your favorite place to take kids of different ages on the Eastside? KidsQuest in Bellevue

When you have a big brother and a little sister (or any number of combinations with kids of different ages), it can be tricky to find one place to suit everyone.  In this category, second place with a hefty vote went to Family Fun Center with its climbing structure, laser tag, and amusement park rides.  But the winner by a large margin is the Eastsides favorite children’s museum, with places for climbing and splashing, plus an area devoted to the little ones:  KidsQuest in Bellevue.

Official Nominees:

  • Family Fun Center in Tukwila
  • The Nest in Woodinville
  • Orange Blossom Society in Redmond
  • Kids’ Cove at Bellevue Square
  • KidsQuest Children’s Museum in Bellevue
  • Sponge School in Issaquah
  • Dizzy’s Tumble Bus & Bus Stop in Bellevue

Which is your favorite beach on the Eastside? Idylwood Beach in Redmond
Which is your favorite park on the Eastside? Grass Lawn Park in Redmond

When it comes to getting outside for some fun, Redmond is apparently the place to be.  In our two outside categories, favorite beach and favorite park, Redmond won easily.  For beach, the lovely Idylwood on the shores of Lake Sammammish took the lead right away and never gave it up.  For parks, Grass Lawn, with its spray park in the summer and amazing climbing contraptions all year long was a big crowd pleaser.  Interestingly, second place in parks was another Redmond fave- Marymoor.  But the final count went to Idylwood Beach and Grass Lawn Park.

Official Nominees- Beaches:

  • Newcastle Beach in Bellevue
  • Idylwood Beach in Redmond
  • Gene Coulon Beach in Renton
  • Houghton Beach in Kirkland
  • Juanita Beach in Kirkland
  • Marina Park in Kirkland

Official Nominees- Parks:

  • Grass Lawn Park in Redmond
  • North Rose Hill Woodlands Park (Castle Park) in Kirkland
  • Crossroads International Park in Bellevue
  • Gene Coulon Beach Park in Renton
  • Newcastle Park in Newcastle
  • St. Edwards State Park in Kenmore
  • Marymoor Park in Redmond
  • Perrigo Park in Redmond
  • Farrel McWhirter Park and Farm in Redmond

Which is your favorite special event on the Eastside? Garden d’Lights at Bellevue Botanical Gardens

For those special holidays and events, the Eastside has tons to offer, from Halloween to egg hunts to tree lightings.  Practically every event got a vote, either on the official ballot or in the write-ins.  The real competition in this category was a December Battle in Bellevue.  Snowflake Lane, the Bellevue Square offering with live toy soldiers and real snow, was an early favorite and remained a strong contender during the entire vote.  But the festivities that won the race were the amazing holiday lights called Garden d’Lights at Bellevue Botanical Gardens.  If you have never seen the thousands of lights in flower shapes, it is one to add to your to do list for the holiday season.

Official Nominees:

  • Strawberry Festival in Bellevue
  • Bellevue 4th of July Celebration
  • Salmon Days in Issaquah
  • Bothell’s 4th of July Celebration
  • Derby Days in Redmond
  • The Harvest Festival in Renton
  • Redmond Lights
  • Garden d’Lights at Bellevue Botanical Gardens
  • Snowflake Lane in Bellevue
  • Woodinville Light Festival
  • Halloween Festival at St. Edwards Park in Kenmore

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