Best Mommy & Me
Gymboree Play & Music
Gymboree Play & Music is out to build confident learners in a safe, fun atmosphere. The 45-minute classes cater to babies through preschoolers with opportunities to explore, play and learn new physical and social skills. Family time (6 months to 5 years old) allows babies to watch and learn from older kids who in turn work on their leadership skills. Parents can also find new ways to interact with their little ones.
gymboreeclasses.com | Multiple Locations
Best Party Caterer
With four locations in Orange County, Mendocino Farms is winning over our readers with its fresh sandwiches, salads, soups and more. The catering menu has everything from boxed lunches to large sandwich trays and kids’ sandwich platters. With so many options, gourmets big and small are bound to find something delicious. They also have vegan and gluten-free options.
mendocinofarms.com | Multiple Locations
Adventure Playground includes a tree house, sensory garden, slides, kids fort zone, meadows and natural play areas and more, so it’s no wonder kids and parents love it. This is not a typical playground, but it’s a great place to create amazing childhood memories.
cityofirvine.org | Irvine
Best Indoor Skate Park
Vans Off The Wall Skatepark
With multiple courses with obstacles, a mini ramp and the combi pool, the free-to-ride park is a popular spot with local skaters. Private lessons taught by certified instructors are available for kids ages 6 and up, and safety equipment rentals are available. The park did shut down because of COVID so check the status before going.
vans.com/skateparks-orange.html | Orange
Best Outdoor Skate Park
Etnies Skatepark of Lake Forest
Etnies is the largest free skate park in California and winner of the best outdoor skate park title for the seventh year. There is 40,000 square feet of skating space, with three skating bowls, two large flow courses and a world-class street course. Private lessons, camps and a preschool skate school are available for a fee.
etniesskatepark.com | Lake Forest
Best Storytelling Time
Newport Beach Public Library
Storytime in Newport Beach is a 20- to 30-minute fun outdoor experience with interactive stories, silly songs and take-home activities for different age groups. Parents can bring their picnic blankets and watch their little ones fall in love with reading. Certain sessions require a reservation.
newportbeachlibrary.org | Newport Beach
Best Party Entertainment
Creative Parties for Kids
Parents whose children dream of partying with princesses, superheroes and other characters, turn to Creative Parties for Kids. Not only can Mickey, Elsa, Spider-Man and more show up at the event to lead fun activities, parents can also hire balloon artists, face painters and magicians just to name a few. There’s even an option to have your child swim with a mermaid. Want the magic but not the work? The company can take care of all the setup.
creativepartiesforkids.com | Orange
by Magda Hernandez, Jessica Peralta and Shawn Price