Best Indoor Play Place
There’s no better place to fight boredom than at Billy Beez, where kids can race down rainbow slides, engage in ball battles or brush up on their basketball skills in one of the play gym’s many sports rooms.
billybeezus.com | Anaheim
Best Gym Birthday Parties
Life Time Athletic
Leave the stress of planning a birthday party to this gym. You read that right: Lifetime Athletic wonderful all-inclusive birthday party packages for kids looking to celebrate their big day.
lifetimefitness.com | Laguna Niguel
Best Indoor Play Place
5 Year Winner
It is not only a place where kids let their creativity flow, but a veritable museum of the imagination. At Pretend City, they can go grocery shopping, harvest a garden or visit a post office. There’s also a crafting room, an amphitheater where they can sing and dance, developmental health screenings and an exploratory area for babies.
pretendcity.org | Irvine
Best Birthday Party Place
Big Air Trampoline
2 Year Winner
Big Air can bring flare to any party with its wall-to-wall trampolines, foam pits and trampoline dodgeball matches. Of course, all the bouncing works up an appetite. When partiers are finished jumping, they’ll gather for pizza and drinks.
bigairusa.com | Laguna Hills, Buena Park
Best Storytelling Time/Best Independent Book Store
Once Upon a Storybook
3 Year Winner
This charming store is the scene of story times involving milk and cookies, bubbles, crafts and more. A series of weekly storytimes are offered to suit various ages. It is little surprise that the shop also earned big points for their literary offerings and service.
onceuponastorybook.us | Tustin
Best Dance Studio for Tots
9 Year Winner
This best-in-class dance studio is continuing to hop its way through Orange County with new program offerings in Rancho Santa Margarita. The studio helps tots make friends, build confidence and develop a love for dance.
buenaparkdance.com | Locations throughout OC
Best Theater Class
The Center Stage Performing Arts
Whether they’re learning to read lines or mastering the monologue, budding actors can learn a lot at this popular performing arts studio. Singing classes are also available.
thecenterstagestudio.com | Aliso Viejo
Best Theater Class
South Coast Repertory Theater
4 Year Winner
What better place to master acting than at this Tony-award winning theater? Better yet, its theater classes for children and teens does more than teach kids about the arts. It encourages them to become problem-solvers, strong communicators and original thinkers.
scr.org | Costa Mesa
Best Library Storytelling Time
Newport Beach Public Library
Stories, songs and poems are shared with enthusiasm at this beach city library. This is a place where kids can wear their pajamas for Monday night bedtime stories, or participate in crafts after hearing a tale. Special programs like BARK (Beach Area dogs Reading with Kids) and Art in the Spring enhance kids’ literary love.
newportbeachlibrary.org | Newport Beach
Best Competitive Swim Program – TIE
Gators Swim Club, Evolution Swim
This Evolution Swim Academy club is enjoying a near-record high after placing third at the recent junior Olympics. It’s no surprise, given that club alumni includes former junior Olympic champions Anicka Delgado and Lauren Eng. The club is inclusive of all swim and commitment levels. Competitions are optional.
evolutionswim.com | Aliso Viejo, Ladera Ranch, Nellie Gail Ranch, Mission Viejo
Mission Viejo Nadadores
For nearly 50 years, this swim school has been churning out award-winning swimmers. Both outside and inside the pool, the club strives to instill a sense of discipline, teamwork and integrity in its members. Throughout its 49-year run, the Nadadores have won 47 national team championships, 20 Olympic medals, 5 individual world championship titles and 148 individual national championships.
www.Nadadoreswimschool.com | www.teamunify.com | Mission Viejo
Best Swim Class
9 Year Winner
This swim school makes a splash for its customized swim classes, spacious and well-maintained facility and flexibility in scheduling. As an added bonus, it even hosts fun family events, such as its recent pirate-themed family swim night.
waterworksswim.com | Irvine
Best Martial Arts Class
Boys & Girls Club of Fountain Valley
4 Year Winner
The Boys & Girls’ ClubHouse Academy helps children of all skill levels learn martial arts through blocking and striking techniques. It teaches coordination, improved balance and self-defense while boosting kids’ self-confidence.
clubhouseacademy.com | Fountain Valley
Best Competitive Gymnastics Class
This world-famous facility, which is home to 2016 Olympian Sam Mikulak, participates in all levels of United States of America Gymnastics. Its competitive teams have produced 14 Olympians and more than 70 national team members.
scatsgymnastics.com | Huntington Beach
Best Day Camp
10 Year Winner
What makes Camp James so special? Perhaps the numbers speak for themselves. Throughout its 25-year run as a popular summer day camp, it has brought “summer magic” to more than 40,000 children. It’s a place where kids aged 4 to 11 can relish in the joys of nature by kayaking, interacting with wildlife and splashing in the Pacific.
Campjames.com | Newport Beach
Best Science Day Camp
Kids can bring home “live friends” (with parental permission, of course) from these biology-themed camps. Kids learn about bugs, human anatomy and more through field trips, workshops and guest speakers.
bionerdsllc.com | Locations throughout OC
Best Overnight Jameson
This self-sustaining camp give participants a chance to experience rustic living in Southern California’s breathtaking Sierras. Daily activities include horseback riding, swimming and rock climbing. Each camper participates in ranch life by completing one chore each day.
jamesonranchcamp.com | Glennville
Best Overnight Camp for Girls
6 Year winner
Little girls explore the outdoors and forge lasting friendships through this Girl Guides-led camp. The experience gives children aged two through 12 a chance to embrace their adventurous side in a safe, supervised setting. Not a Girl Scout? Go to girlscoutsoc.org/campfun.
girlscoutsoc.org/camp | Riverside County
Campers pass the time canoeing, hiking, fishing and practicing archery at this YMCA-led camp. A group from the YMCA of Orange County spends one week per summer here, where they enjoy themed meals, twilight activities and evening campfires.
weymca.org/campoakes | Big Bear
This top-notch prep school provides artistically-included kids with a creative, challenging and nurturing space to prepare for a career in the arts. The tuition-free center is considered among the best in the nation.
ocsarts.net | Santa Ana
This full-range gymnastics center offers classes ranging beginner through elite levels. The state-of-the art facility must be doing something right – its members have won regional, state and national championships.
wildfiregymnastics.com | Tustin, Lake Forest
This non-profit sports organization does more than teach kids about basketball – it builds character off the court, too. Best Sports Program – which offers clinics, camps, leagues, tournaments and more – helps foster growth as players and individuals.
socalelite.org | Irvine
Horseback Riding Facility
Irvine Regional Park
Irvine Regional Park’s County Trail and Riding School is a popular place for equestrians-in-training. It offers English and Western lessons, group activities and summer programs for kids. Better yet, kids learn in the park’s beautiful and serene backdrop.
irvineparkrailroad.com | Orange
It’s hard to beat a park that boasts a splash-pad, two playgrounds and a pond loaded with ducks and fish. With its shaded picnicking areas and wealth of stuff to do – including tennis courts, basketball courts and soccer fields — is the perfect place to spend a day.
irvineparkrailroad.com | Orange
The park’s 20,000 square foot indoor course features an assortment of obstacles, including stairs, ramps and ledges. It’s all enough to challenge the most seasoned of street skaters. Other features include a warmup course, combi pool, outdoor course and mini ramp.
vans.com/skateparks-orange.html | Orange
Best Skate Park
Etnies Skate Park
This community staple has offered a safe and exciting place for kids through adults to indulge their inner skateboarder. Great skate structures and vibes combine to make this a winner in our book.
www.etniesskatepark.com | Lake Forest
Whether they’re learning to skate or a budding NHL star, this is the place for kids to lace up their skates and hit the ice. It offers everything from beginner skating classes and youth camps to recreational and tournament teams.
anaheimice.therinks.com | Anaheim
Irvine Spectrum Center
This gorgeous carousal, which illuminates at night. features antique horses and an assortment of other animals. Kids who don’t fancy mounting a horse can hop on a zebra or tiger instead.
shopirvinespectrumcenter.com | Irvine
Kids Haircut Place
Cool Cutz 4 Kids
Getting a haircut can be quite the adventure for pint-sized patrons of this salon for kids. Its wide assortment of movies and Xbox games – coupled with its warm and welcoming employees – make haircuts fun for little ones.
coolcuts4kids.com | Locations throughout OC
Fun is the focus of this camp, where surfers of all skill levels can learn to ride the waves. From surfing history and water safety, to riptipes and sun protection, this camp covers it all.
newportsurfcamp.com | Newport Beach
LA Galaxy, OC
Young players learn from the best at this elite soccer camp, where they develop skills under the leadership of top-tier coach. Players learn soccer tactics in a safe, fun environment that incorporates games, small-sided competitions and demonstrations.
lagalaxyoc.com | Irvine
Competitive Dance Studio
OC Dance Productions
Few can jump and jive like this Orange County crew, which will be announcing a new performance group this fall. The studio has already made a name for itself through its Dance The Magic program, which gives participants a once-in-a-lifetime dance to dance in Disney theme park parades.
ocdanceproductions.com | Locations throughout OC
Grace and Zen
Couldn’t we all go for a zen toddler? Luckily, getting one is possible thanks to this modern South County studio. The children’s school incorporates yoga and ballet into its programs, which serve toddlers aged 18 months through 10-year-old children.
graceandzenoc.com | San Juan Capistrano
Digital Media Academy
It’s amazing the things kids are learning at camp these days. Digital Media Academy teaches participants a mind-blowing number of skills, including robotics, engineering, 3D modeling and design programing.
digitalmediaacademy.org | Irvine
Best Specialized Day Camp
Crystal Cove Junior Lifeguard
This four-week ocean-oriented beach camp teaches participants basic CPR, first aid, rescue techniques and lifeguarding procedures. Its interactive component teaches campers about ocean habitats and local ecosystems.
crystalcovejuniorlifeguards.com | Crystal Cove
Best Surf Day Camp
Kids learn to master the waves this Bolsa Chica State Beach-based surf camp. Suited for ages eight and up, the camp offers lessons focused on learning to safely maneuver along the ocean.
surfschool.net | Huntington Beach
Best Soccer Day Camp
Irvine Soccer Academy
This camp strives to keep a small coach-to-player ratio while teaching technical skills, fun games and scrimmages to kids aged four to 16. It offers British- and Brazilian-coached sessions, which include technical and tactical instruction, games and a “fantastic cultural experience.”
irvinesocceracademy.com | Huntington Beach
Best Nature Day Camp
ENC Day Camp
Campers learn about insects, outdoor survival and more at this Back Bay-based nature camp. Participants spend most of their time outside interacting with nature and learning about science through crafts, games and activities.
encenter.org | Newport Beach
Best Tech Camp
iD Tech Computer Camps
Participants learn valuable STEM skills through these tech camps, where kids learn about robotics, engineering and more. The end results will surely impressive parents: kids can learn to build iPhones from scratch or code their own video games.
iDTech.com | Irvine, Mission Viejo
Best Adrenaline Camp
Pali Adventures Hollywood Stunts
Learn to become a real-life action hero at this Pali Adventures camp by learning hand-to-hand combat, swordplay techniques and more. The camp concludes with a performance by the brave participants.
paliadventures.com | Running Springs
Best Community-Based Sports Program
With spots available throughout Orange County, this organization strives to provide quality soccer programs that enrich the lives of its young participants. It’s a place where everyone plays, practices good sportsmanship and learns in a family-friendly environment.
ayso.org | Throughout Orange County
Best Yoga Studio for Kids
This fun and playful studio is finding innovative ways to teach yoga to youngsters. It incorporates puppets, stories and songs into its teachings. Older kids learn more elaborate yoga techniques, including proper breathing and postures.
care4yoga.com | San Clemente
Best Kids Golf Program
The First Tee OC
This development program impacts the lives of children through the game of golf. It aims to help build character, instill life-enhancing values and provide educational programs.
thefirstteeorangecounty.org | Anaheim
Best Independent Toy Store
Knock Knock Toys
This independent toy store sells hand-picked toys from across the world. It offers top-notch customer service, free gift wrapping on purchases of $10 or more, and toys that are sure to spark a child’s creativity.
knockknocktoystore.com | Seal Beach