2021 Best of Grand Rapids: Top Things for Families in West MI, Listed

2021 Grandtastic Best of Grand Rapids overview of city

The Best of Grand Rapids List for 2021

If you live in West Michigan and are like me, you often hear friends and neighbors talking about the new and interesting places opening in the Grand Rapids area.

Throw in all of the beloved places that have been a staple in West Michigan for decades and you soon realize just how many options there are on where to book a birthday party, where to enjoy a delicious pizza, and where to enroll your child in dance lessons.

So, when you are looking for a new park to play at or the best place to brunch with your family, where do you even start? Right here!

Thousands of our GRKIDS community members have told us the best Grand Rapids family-friendly places to go.

We’ve compiled their favorite places to eat, shop, learn and play with families in one spot.

Every listing in this guide received significant votes from our readers through an extensive social media campaign. Businesses voted in the top 10 were invited to sponsor their section, ensuring that you are getting information on top-notch businesses around Grand Rapids.

Congrats 2021 Grandtastic Award Winners!

Food & Drink

Food that someone else made always tastes better, doesn’t it? When kids are on the scene, though, our options can feel limited.

But highly-rated, family-friendly food is like a badge for Grand Rapids restaurant owners.

We don’t have to settle for so-so fare.

I can take my kid to my favorite coffee shop, and feel welcomed. We can have kicking brunch and they’ll have great stuff for the kids, too.

Here you’ll also find the most delicious sweets in our area from cakes to ice cream and everything in between.

If you are looking to take a break from preparing food for your family, read on for the GRKIDS readers’ GRANDTASTIC choices for take out or dine out.

Best Family-Friendly Breweries

1 2Winner: Mitten Brewing Company

1. Mitten Brewing Company
2. Third Nature Brewing Company
3. TwoGuys Brewing
4. Founders Brewing Company
5. New Holland Brewing – The Knickerbocker
6. VanderMill
7. Cedar Springs Brewing Company
8. Brewery Vivant
9. Perrin Brewing Company
10. City Built Brewing Company

Best Pizza

1 2Winner: Mitten Brewing Company

1. The Mitten Brewing Company
2. Licari’s Sicilian Pizza Kitchen
3. Peppino’s Pizzeria & Sports Grille
4. Buddy’s Pizza
4. Vitale’s Pizza of Ada
6. Flo’s Wood Fired Pizzeria
7. JT’s Pizza & Spirits
8. Brick Road Pizza Co.
9. Uccello’s Ristorante (E. Beltline)
10. Big Bob’s Pizza
10. Fricano’s – Grand Haven
10. JB’s Pizza Parlor (Alger Heights)

Best Family-Friendly Coffee Shop

1 2Winner: Brody’s B Cafe

1. Brody’s Be Cafe
2. Outside Coffee Co
3. Herman’s Boy
4. Sandy’s Donuts
5. Madcap Coffee (Downtown Market)
6. Rise Authentic Baking Co
7. Frugthaven Farm
7. Wildroast Coffee Co
9. MudPenny
10. Madcap Coffee (Fulton St)

Best Family Take Out Meal

1 2Winner: Amore Trattoria Italiana

1. Amore Trattoria Italiana
2. Luna GR
3. Rockford Corner Bar
4. Donkey Taqueria
5. HopCat (Grand Rapids Beltline)
6. Noco Provisions
7. TwoGuys Brewing
8. Cantina Mexican Grill
9. Main St. Pub – Allendale
10. Lindo Mexico Restaurante Mexicano
10. Tupelo Honey Grand Rapids

Best Brunch

1 2Winner: Anna’s House

1. Anna’s House
2. Real Food Cafe LLC
3. Wolfgang’s
4. Morning Belle
5. Lucy’s Cafe
5. The Omelette Shoppe
7. Westsider Cafe
8. Noble Restaurant
9. The Peppermill Grill
10. The Red Geranium Cafe

Best Cupcakes

1 2Winner: The Salted Cupcake

1. The Salted Cupcake
2. Nothing Bundt Cakes
3. Marge’s Donut Den
4. The Cakabakery
5. Sprinkles Donut Shop
6. Sugar Momma’s Bakery & Cafe
7. DreamScape Desserts
8. Sweetie-licious Bakery
9. Connie’s Cakes
10. GR Cookies & Cupcake By Design

Best Donuts

1 2Winner: Marge’s Donut Den

1. Marge’s Donut Den
2. Sprinkles
3. Sandy’s Donut House
4. Bro’s Doughs
5. Cindy’s Donuts & Ice Cream
6. Robinette’s Apple Haus & Winery
7. Van’s Pastry Shoppe
8. Heidi’s Farmstand and Bakery
9. Phoenix Rising Bakery
9. Rise Authentic Baking Co.

Best Food Truck

1 2Winner: Pizza Parliament Food Truck

1. Pizza Parliament
2. Underground Cookie Club
3. Patty Matters
4. Daddy Pete’s BBQ
5. Two Bones BBQ
6. Voodoo Foodoo Truck
7. Beecher’s Pretzels
8. Sweet Racks & Smokin’ Butts BBQ
9. Two Scotts Barbecue
10. The Everyday Chef and Wife

Best Birthday Cakes

1 2Winner: Nothing Bundt Cakes

1. Nothing Bundt Cakes
2. The Cakabakery
3. Marge’s Donut Den
4. Connie’s Cakes
5. Arnie’s Bakery & Restaurants
6. Ryke’s Bakery
7. Steenstra’s Royal Dutch Bakery
8. DreamScape Desserts
9. Meijer
10. Ida’s Pastry Shoppe
10. Nantucket Baking Co.

Best Cookies

1. Underground Cookie Club
2. Nantucket Baking Co.
3. Sugar Momma’s Bakery & Cafe
4. The Cakabakery
5. GR Cookies & Cupcake By Design
6. Cookie Chicks
7. Monica’s Gourmet Cookies
8. Steenstra’s Royal Dutch Bakery
9. Daddy Dough Cookies
10. Cyclops Bakeshop
10. Sweetie-licious Bakery

Best Family-Friendly Restaurant

1 2Winner: Russ’ Restaurants

1. Russ’ Restaurants
2. Rockford Corner Bar
3. Electric Cheetah
4. Peppino’s Sports Grille & Pizzeria
5. Yesterdog
6. Downtown Market
7. Noco Provisions
7. The Peppermill Grill
9. Bud & Stanleys Pub & Grub
10. Rose’s Restaurant

About Russ' Restaurants

Russ' Restaurants serving West Michigan since 1934! We are a locally owned family restaurant with 12 locations to serve you! We offer a family friendly environment with affordable dining and $3 kid's meals! Thank you GRKIDS fans for voting us #1 family restaurant!


Russ' is our go to family restaurant and has been for many years . We appreciate the family friendly environment for our little boys. The menu has a great food variety! The friendly and quick service never disappoints! -Jessica C.

Best Ice Cream Shops

1 2Winner: Frosty Boy of Grand Rapids

1. Frosty Boy
2. Jersey Junction
3. Furniture City Creamery
4. Houseman’s Ice Cream
4. Rocky’s Dairy Depot
6. Captain Sundae
7. Custard by the Dam
7. Deer Tracks Junction
9. Love’s Ice Cream & Chocolate
10. Double Dip Depot Ice Cream

Best Candy Store

1 2Winner: Sweetland Candies

1. Sweetland Candies
2. Holland Peanut Store
3. Sweet Tooth of Rockford
4. Rocket Fizz
5. Ada Village General Store
6. Mokaya
7. Albertus Koeze & Company
8. Lakeside Emporium
9. Kilwins EGR
10. Krissy’s Kandies

Shopping & Services

You can usually have more fun if you have a good plan.

Need a unique gift for your child’s next birthday? A summer camp your child will love?

Having a baby? Great!! But he will need a safe place to be loved and cared for while you’re at work.

And then of course there’s the will & trust plans we all must make, even if they feel a little morbid. They are still so so important.

To make this work easier, we’ve polled our readers for their favorite places to get this real life work done. Use this list to find a summer camp, estate planner or realtor.

Best Daycare Centers

1 2Winner: Milestones Child Development Center

1. Milestones Child Development Center
2. AppleTree & Gilden Woods Early Care & Preschool
3. All Saints Academy Elementary
4. Treehouse Child Care (Grandville Public Schools)
5. Big Steps Little Feet (Ada)
6. The Goddard School For Early Child Development
7. Tutor Time
8. Kenowa Hills Early Childhood Center
9. Adventures Learning Centers
10. Childtime Learning Centers

About Milestones Child Development Center

Milestones Child Development Center offers 5 program locations in Cascade, Caledonia, Belmont, Portage and Grandville.
Open since 2005, Milestones enriches each child’s life with intentional educational, authentic experiences all while providing a nurturing and safe environment.
Milestones' state of the art facilities offer secure buildings, warm interiors and expansive natural playgrounds.

About AppleTree & Gilden Woods Early Care and Preschool

Providing high-quality childcare and early education in a safe nurturing environment where your child can learn, grow, and thrive socially and academically. Visit your child anytime online using the Livestream video feed and receive daily activity reports online, in real-time with our electronic daily reports.


"We have had nothing but a wonderful experience. We love the app so we can see our child on camera anytime and the staff is wonderful. Very safe environment." - Monroe School Parent

Attorney – Wills & Trusts

1 2Winner: Jordan Bush (Alles Law)

1. Bush, Jordan (Alles Law)
2. Alles, Tim (Alles Law)
3. The Law Offices of David L. Carrier, P.C.
4. Gleason, Linsey (Varnum)
5. Hofstee, Mark (Bolhouse Hofstee & McLean PC)
6. Muilenburg, Sara (Law Office of Sara Muilenburg)
7. Warner Norcross + Judd LLP
8. Brown, Christopher (Brown Law Firm)
9. Waalkes, Timothy (Verspoor Waalkes PC)
10. Brian J. Plachta
10. James M Mc Ewen Law Office (James Mc Ewen)
10. Sheridan, Kathlene (Sheridan Law PLC)

About Alles Law

At Alles Law, we know there is nothing more important than family. Proper planning with LifeMap™ focuses on what your family needs and provides you with confidence knowing that your family’s future is secure.

Best Realtors

1 2Winner: Emily Brougham at Keller Williams

1. Emily Brougham (Keller Williams Grand Rapids East)
2. Maria Kauffman (Bellabay Realty)
3. Kristin Ruther (RE/MAX of Grand Rapids – RE/MAX Global)
4. Sarah Nelson ( Five Star Michigan)
5. Amanda Rogers (Rogers Neighborhood Realty)
5. Vito Dolci Jr. (DOLCI GROUP)
7. Ben Iwema (RE/MAX)
7. Kaitlyn Overbeek (Century 21)
9. Amanda DeLong (Evermark Realty)
10. Jayne Overbeck – Five Star
10. Kevin Yoder (Yoder Real Estate)
10. Laurie Zokoe Team

About Emily Brougham - Realtor

My goal is to make this process as comfortable for your whole family from our beginning meeting to your home closing. Having knowledge of home construction lends support when showing you homes, and working with a great team helps in making your transaction process as smooth as possible.


"We loved working with Emily. She was efficient and always on top of her game. Her work ethic is impeccable. She made both the selling and buying process stress free, we always understood what was going on."

About Rogers Neighborhood Realty

Hi there, I’m Amanda! I’m the Broker/Owner of Rogers Neighborhood Realty in Lowell, MI and serve the greater Grand Rapids area, providing home-buyers and sellers alike with professional, responsive and attentive real estate services. Want an agent who'll really listen to what you want in a home? Need an agent who knows how to effectively market your home so it sells and get you the best deal on finding your new one? Give me a call! I'm eager to help and would love to talk to you.

~Solid Experience.
~Real Results.
~Full Transparency.
~Communication Guaranteed.


“Amanda was honest, kind, and very helpful in our first home buying experience. She has truly gone above and beyond, she is very responsive, and we felt that we had a personal experience. We would certainly recommend working with Amanda!"

About Maria Kauffman Real Estate at Bellabay Realty

West Michigan local realtor that focuses on quality over quantity. I care about my clients and focus our strategy on their individual goals.

Best Children’s Clothing Store

1 2Winner: River Babe Threads

1. River Babe Threads (Rockford)
2. Kid to Kid
3. Pink Lemonade Boutique (East Grand Rapids)
4. Village Kids Consignment Boutique (Ada)
5. Tip Toes (Holland)
6. Hopscotch Children’s Store
7. Once Upon A Child – Walker
8. Once Upon A Child – Wyoming
9. EcoBuns Baby & Co (Holland)
10. Freshwater Whale Boutique

Best Toy Store

1 2Winner: Aunt Candy’s Toy Store

1. Aunt Candy’s
2. The Toy Shelf
3. Hopscotch Children’s Store
4. Galactic Toys & Games
5. Schuler Books
6. Out of the Box
8. Blue Bridge Games
9. Tweed Baby Outfitters
10. Toys Are Used

Best Financial Planner

1 2Winner: Pathway Financial

1. Pathway Financial
2. Edward Jones – Financial Advisor: Shaun A Rayman, AAMS®
3. Schwallier Wealth Management LLC
4. Hantz Financial Services – Grandville, Michigan
4. Vision Financial Advisory PC
6. James Sanford – Ameriprise Financial Services, LLC
6. Legacy Planning & Associates, Inc.
6. Lifeworks Advisors
9. Edward Jones – Financial Advisor: Sheri Postema, AAMS®
9. Edward Jones – Financial Advisor: Alex J Gass

Best Tutoring/Academic Support

1 2Winner: Sylvan Learning of Grand Rapids

1. Sylvan Learning of Grand Rapids
2. Kumon Math and Reading Center of Grand Rapids
3. Mathnasium
3. Streams of Hope
5. ChildLinkGR
5. Outside the Box: Creative Tutoring LLC

Kumon of Cascade in Grand Rapids


Top Tutoring/Academic Support

About Kumon of Cascade

From preschool to high school, students steadily build a solid grasp of math and reading, becoming more confident and motivated with each worksheet they solve.

Best Residential Cleaning Service

1 2Winner: (TIE)
Cascade Fresh Cleaning Services, Sparkle & Shine Cleaning Services and Time to Shine Maid Service

1. Cascade Fresh Cleaning Services
1. Sparkle & Shine Cleaning Services
1. Time to Shine Maid Service
4. Top Care Cleaning Services
5. Tidy Home Helpers
6. Thuro Clean
7. Ultimate Sparkle Cleaning LLC
8. Extra Hands Cleaners, LLC.
8. KODA Cleaning Services
8. The Cleaning Authority – Grand Rapids

Best Car Detailing Service

1 2Winner: Breton Auto Wash

1. Breton Auto Wash
2. Crystal Clean Auto Detailing
3. Millennium Auto Detailing
4. Fox Shine Detail and Appearance Center
4. Ray’s Detailing
6. Auto Body Xperts
6. Black Diamond Detailing LLC
6. Touch of Class Auto Wash
9. Hoogs Customs
9. Wedgwood Christian Services Employment Training Program

Best Home Organizing Service

1 2Winner: Moxie Life Organizing

1. Moxie Life Organizing (formerly Clean Slate by Kate)
2. Skinny House
3. Spark Joy in MI
4. Simplified Organizing, LLC
5. SMA Organization

Best Home Insurance Agent

1 2Winner: Kevin Curtis – State Farm Insurance Agent

1. Kevin Curtis – State Farm Insurance Agent
2. Boer Insurance Group
3. Marcey Allington – AAA Grand Rapids
3. Marsha Veenstra – State Farm Insurance Agent
5. Angela Schalow – Farmers Insurance
6. Booth Hilaski Grevenstuk Insurance
6. Marlou Collins- Rant Insurance
6. Eric Blair – State Farm
9. Andy Steensma Insurance Agency Inc. – Meemic Insurance Agent
9. Nathan Smith – State Farm

Best Musical Instrument Store

1 2Winner: Meyer Music

1. Meyer Music
2. Marshall Music Co
3. RIT Music Central

Meyer Music in Grand Rapids


Top Musical Instrument Store

About Meyer Music

Start your student’s musical journey with Meyer Music, the school music specialists recommended by more teachers in West Michigan!


Want to enroll your child in dance, swimming lessons or music programs, but don’t know where to start?

We’ve found the best Grand Rapids places to learn and discover with your kids!

Best Dance Studio/Lessons

1 2Winner: Hearts in Motion Dance

1. Hearts in Motion Dance
2. Integrity School of Dance Arts
3. Caledonia Dance & Music Center
4. Kathy’s Dance Co. (Hudsonville)
5. Body Language Dance Company
5. Rhythm Dance Center
5. Rockford Dance Company
8. Rising Starz Gymnastics and Fitness
9. Dance Dimensions
9. Dorr Dance Academy
9. Grand Rapids Ballet School
9. Lake Michigan Dance Academy
9. Over the Top Academy of Dance

About Hearts in Motion

At Hearts in Motion, we believe that dance has the power to create strong, confident, happy kids. We focus on teaching great technique while fostering a joy for the love of dance and creating magical moments. Be sure to check out our new satellite location in downtown Ada!


This is an amazing environment for dancers of all ages. The instructors promote hard work but are extremely fun and excellent with the students. I love the age appropriate dances and costumes along with tastefully selected music and themes!

About Caledonia Dance & Music Center

For 21 years, CDMC has been committed to safety and consistency for families. The positive well-being of the whole child is the reason behind their work. Whether taking class online or in-person; let their team of professional instructors inspire your child through the joy of music and dance.


We appreciate CDMC's heart for kids, their vision and leadership. We value their care for the group as a whole, and their compassion for each individual kiddo. We are grateful for CDMC's lasting input into our daughter's life. - Cassie

About Rhythm Dance Center

Whether you're just starting, have practiced for years, or love the thrill of competition, there is a place for you at Rhythm Dance Center. Students ages 3 to adult will find opportunities for personal expression and creative movement.

About Over the Top Dance Academy of Dance

We offer a full compliment of dance styles with an emphasis on Tap Dance.
We believe dance gives your child a foundation for life.

Best Music Studio/Lessons

1 2Winner: Academy of Music

1. Academy of Music in Grand Rapids
2. Ada Piano Academy
2. St. Cecilia Music Center
4. Grand Rapids Symphony
5. Joyful Sounds Music Studio
5. K Voice Studio
7. Franciscan Life Process Center (Lowell)
8. Fliehman School of Music
8. Luc James Music Studio

About Academy of Music

Our goal is to foster confidence and creativity in students with an exceptional musical learning experience. Our experienced instructors teach piano, guitar, singing, violin, drums, and more in our state-of-the-art facilities. Our convenient, comfortable locations in Grand Rapids and Jenison and our flexible hours accommodate today’s busy families.


Two things-- friendly atmosphere and quality teaching. Our daughter recently began piano lessons, and we could not be happier. She loves it and is doing so well. We could not be happier with our decision to choose Academy of Music.

About K Voice Studio

Voice lessons for all levels. Ages 8-adult. Online via Zoom or in person following Covid-19 procedures on website. Reliable, enthusiastic teacher with 14+ years experience.

Best Swimming Lessons

1 2Winner: Goldfish Swim School

1. Goldfish Swim School
2. Miss Patty’s Swimming
3. Miss Rita’s Swim School
4. MVP Sports Clubs
4. YMCA – David D. Hunting
6. Julie’s Swim School
7. Kentwood Public Schools Aquatic Center
7. The Kroc Center
9. ISR (Infant Swimming Resources) – Michael Petrella
10. YMCA – Wolverine Worldwide Family

Best Youth Sports Training

1 2Winner: Michigan Sports Academies

1. Michigan Sports Academies
2. SpartanNash YMCA
3. PowerStrength Training Systems
4. The First Tee of West Michigan
5. Premier Athletic & Tennis Club
6. D1 Training
7. Diamonds Sports Training Academy
8. Premier Martial Arts Grand Rapids
9. I9 sports Grand Rapids
9. Super T Karate Inc.
9. Thousand Oaks Golf Club
9. West Michigan Club House

Best Art Class/Studio

1 2Winner: The Mud Room

1. The Mud Room
2. Accidental Art (Rockford)
3. Grand Rapids Children’s Museum
4. Kendall College of Art and Design
5. Grand Rapids Art Museum
5. Wine & Canvas Studio / Cookies & Canvas
7. Brush Studio (Grand Rapids)
7. Hearts for the Arts
9. Paint a Pot (Holland)

The Mud Room in Grand Rapids


Top Art Class/Studio for Kids

About The Mud Room

Paint pottery, make wood signs, or sign up for a private Potter's Wheel class. Creative fun for all ages - no experience needed!

Paint a Pot in Holland


Top Art Class/Studio for Kids

About Paint a Pot

A paint your own pottery shop for the young and old! Come create a memory with your kids that will last a lifetime! Stop in anytime or pick up a to go box!

Accidental Art in Rockford


Top Art Class/Studio for Kids

About Accidental Art

Pottery painting is fun for all ages! No experience or artistic ability needed! Great for family fun, date nights, and birthday parties!

Best Gymnastics Program

1 2Winner: For the Kidz Gymnastics

1. For the Kidz Gymnastics
2. Rising Starz Gymnastics and Fitness
3. Grand Rapids Gymnastics
4. R-Athletics
5. Gymco
6. NorthStar Gymnastics Inc.
7. Kids Unlimited Activity Center
8. Horizon Complex
8. Miss Stacie’s Flipkins
10. Empowered Athletics
10. Red Arrow Youth Gymnastics and Cheer

For the Kidz Gymnastics in Wyoming


Top Gymnastics Lessons

About For the Kidz Gymnastics

For the Kidz has something for everyone. Your kids can enjoy our 12 trampolines, large foam pit, inflatable, and exclusive area just for young ones.

About Grand Rapids Gymnastics

Activities include Preschool/Recreational Gymnastics, Ninjas, Bumblebees, Birthday Parties, Open Gym, Competitive Team for Boys and Girls, and more.

Best Martial Arts Studio

1 2Winner: Crusader Martial Arts

1. Crusader Martial Arts
2. Standale Karate & Fitness
3. Flees Martial Arts
4. Super T Karate Inc.
5. Shorin-Ryu Karate School
6. Premier Martial Arts Grand Rapids
7. Big Dog Tae Kwon Do
7. Pro-Karate Grand Rapids
9. Champion Force Athletics
9. Mirandette’s Martial Arts

About Premier Martial Arts Grand Rapids

Kids learn character development while having fun through the martial arts. Our program combines Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Krav Maga, and Kickboxing with life lessons to help kids grow in self confidence, focus and concentration, respect for others, and perseverance.

Local Attractions

Experience some old favorites and try something new at the best playgrounds, beaches and indoor play places around West Michigan.

Best Museum

1 2Winner: Grand Rapids Public Museum

1. Grand Rapids Public Museum
2. Grand Rapids Children’s Museum
3. Gerald R Ford Museum
4. Grand Rapids Art Museum
5. USS Silversides Submarine Museum
6. Grand Rapids African American Museum & Archives
7. Engine House No. 5 Museum
8. Lakeshore Museum Center
8. Lowell Area Historical Museum
10. Urban Institute for Contemporary Art (UICA)

Best Movie Theater

1 2Winner: Celebration! Cinema Grand Rapids North & IMAX

1. Celebration! Cinema Grand Rapids North & IMAX
2. Celebration Cinema Grand Rapids South
3. Celebration Cinema Studio Park
4. AMC Star Grand Rapids 18
5. Getty Drive-In
6. Celebration Cinema Rivertown
7. North Star Cinemas
8. M-89 Cinema
9. Sperry’s Moviehouse
10. The Old Regent Theatre

Best Indoor Play Venue

1 2Winner: Grand Rapids Children’s Museum

1. Grand Rapids Children’s Museum
2. Amped Virtual Reality
3. Craig’s Cruisers
4. Catch Air (Kentwood)
5. Altitude
5. Rebounderz Indoor Trampoline Arena (Jenison)
7. Dave & Busters
8. Allegan Event
8. BattleGR Tactical Games
10. Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park (Kentwood)

catch air logo fall guide

Top Indoor Play Venue (Paid)

2978 28th Street, Grand Rapids, MI 49512

Catch Air is West Michigan's largest and most fun, indoor play facility for children 10 and under!

My kids love this place. I think they’ve done great with maintaining a clean and safe environment and it will continue to be part of our family fun days for years to come.

Best Outdoor Family Attraction (Paid Admission)

1 2Winner: Deer Tracks Junction

1. Deer Tracks Junction
2. Boulder Ridge Wild Animal Park
3. John Ball Zoo
4. Lewis Adventure Farm & Zoo
5. Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park
6. Blandford Nature Center
6. Michigan’s Adventure (Muskegon)
8. Millennium Park (Walker) – Kent County
9. Nelis’ Dutch Village (Holland)
10. Craig’s Cruisers (Wyoming)

Deer Tracks Junction Adventure Park in Cedar Springs

GrandtasticDeerTracks e1620241991341

Top Outdoor Family Attraction (Paid)

About Deer Tracks Junction Adventure Park

DTJ Adventure Park has hours of fun for all! Tons of animals with up close encounters, huge one-of-a-kind play areas, and homemade ice cream! New fun for 2021! Feed the animals or just enjoy time to love on 'em. Adventures vary by season; check our website for current schedule.


Best animal place I have ever been to. Animals are well taken care of. Extremely friendly and caring staff. The place is very clean and safe. This will always be a go to place for me every year.
Don Scott

Lewis Adventure Farm & Zoo in New Era


Top Outdoor Family Attraction (Paid)

About Lewis Adventure Farm & Zoo

A full day of fun awaits at Lewis Adventure Farm & Zoo! Unique animals, attractions, and activities for all ages!

Best Outdoor Playground/Park (Free)

1 2Winner: Deer Tracks Junction (Playground Section)

1. Deer Tracks Junction (Playground Section)
2. John Ball Park
3. Millennium Park (Walker) – Kent County
4. Blandford Nature Center
5. Frog Hollow Park (Wyoming)
6. Hager Park (Georgetown Twp.)
7. Cascade Township Park
8. Fallasburg Park (Lowell)
9. Ada Township Park
10. The Imagination Station (Grand Haven)

Best Beach

1 2Winner: Grand Haven State Park

1. Grand Haven State Park
2. Millennium Park (Walker)
3. Holland State Park
4. P.J. Hoffmaster State Park (Muskegon)
5. Pere Marquette Park (Muskegon)
6. Tunnel Park (Holland)
7. Grand Haven City Beach
8. Duck Lake State Park (Muskegon)
9. Kirk Park (West Olive)
10. Oval Beach (Saugatuck)

Best Library for Kids

1 2Winner: East Grand Rapids Branch – KDL

1. East Grand Rapids Branch – KDL
2. Krause Memorial (Rockford) Branch – KDL
3. Wyoming Branch – KDL
4. Kentwood (Richard L. Root) Branch – KDL
5. Plainfield Township Branch- KDL
6. Cascade Township Branch – KDL
7. Caledonia Township Branch – KDL
8. Byron Township – KDL
9. Main Library – GRPL
10. Grandville Branch – KDL

Best Field Trip Location

1 2Winner: Boulder Ridge Wild Animal Park

1. Boulder Ridge Wild Animal Park
2. John Ball Zoo
3. Deer Tracks Junction
4. Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park
5. Critter Barn (Zeeland)
6. Blandford Nature Center
7. Schwallier’s Country Basket (Sparta)
8. Dairy Discovery – Swiss Lane Farms (Alto)
9. Robinette’s Apple Haus
10. Grand Rapids Public Museum
10. Post Family Farm (Hudsonville)

Boulder Ridge Wild Animal Park in Alto


Top Field Trip Location

About Boulder Ridge Wild Animal Park

Located on 80 acres of land in Alto, MI, Boulder Ridge Wild Animal Park is a unique, hands-on experience for the entire family.

Best Birthday Party Venue

1 2Winner: John Ball Zoo

1. John Ball Zoo
2. Boulder Ridge Wild Animal Park (Alto)
3. The Mud Room @ Knapp’s Corner
4. Craig’s Cruisers
5. Deer Tracks Junction
6. Amped Reality
7. Catch Air
8. Whitecaps Baseball
9. Allegan Event
9. Rebounderz

BattleGR in Comstock Park


Top Birthday Party Venue

About BattleGR

BattleGR where families can play together! Indoors activities include: Tactical Laser Tag, Archery Tag, Arcade, and basketball, volleyball or futsal on our sport courts. Every Friday night 7-10pm Teen-ish Night (10 yrs +).


We had our son's 10th birthday party here. It.Was.Amazing. From walking in and seeing his name on the whiteboard, to the literal concierge scooping pizza and pouring drinks. They even passed out his presents and provided a hand written list of gifts.

Amped Virtual Reality in Kentwood


Top Birthday Party Venue

About Amped Virtual Reality

Amped Reality is the new, 4.9-star rated Virtual Reality entertainment center (by Woodland Mall) with something for every age and interest! Be inside MINECRAFT, travel the world, or be inside a DISNEY movie. Amped Reality is great for STEM summer camps, company events, birthday parties, date nights, and education!


Excellent staff! So helpful. Very clean place. The workers were so friendly to my 8-year old little girl, who doesn't read well yet. Highly recommend!!! Worth the money and a great way to spend a few hours.... 5 stars! - Amanda

The Mud Room in Grand Rapids


Top Birthday Party Venue

About The Mud Room

Pottery painting, potter's wheels, and more! Creative parties are FUN for the kids and EASY for the parents! Available in studio or at home.


For all the stages of life, there is a photographer to capture the moment. Some naturally love taking photos of babies and newborns, others can’t wait to document your family or take pictures of your graduating senior. Find the photographer that is right for you with our Grandtastic winners.

Best Maternity Photos

1 2Winner: Kara Hanes Photography

1. Kara Hanes Photography
2. Katie Cook Photography
3. Brick Street Studio
4. The Mittentog
5. Abby Jane Photography
6. Moments in life Photography

Best Family Photos

1 2Winner: Kara Hanes Photography

1. Kara Hanes Photography
2. Katie Cook Photography
3. Erin Massie Photography LLC
4. Brick Street Studio
5. Kerri Jenison Photography

Best Mini Sessions

1 2Winner: Katie Cook Photography

1. Katie Cook photography
2. Mae Photo Co.
3. Jen Q Photography
4. Megan Davis- Silver Gallery Photography
5. Memories by Mandy

Best Senior Pictures

1 2Winner: Kara Hanes Photography

1. Kara Hanes Photography
2. Katie Cook Photography
3. Heather Abram
4.Memories by Mandy
5. deVries Photography
6. Nikki Leetsma, On the Heights Photography

Best Child/Baby Photos

1 2Winner: Kara Hanes Photography

1. Kara Hanes Photography
2. Katie Cook Photography
3. Erin Massie Photography LLC
4. Abby Jayne Photography
5. Heather Abram
5. La Reverie Photography
5. Pamela Fallon Photography

Banks/Credit Unions

Looking to buying a home and need a mortgage? Kids ready to open their own bank account after a few successful lemonade stands? Or maybe you’re looking to find a bank that is right for you. We polled our readers and these are their top banks.

Best Kids Money Program

1 2Winner: Lake Michigan Credit Union

1. Lake Michigan Credit Union
2. Consumers Credit Union
3. DFCU Financial
4. tcf Bank
5. AAC Credit Union
6. Independent Bank

Local Boutiques

We love shopping local to support our small businesses. Find the perfect top for your next event, update your child’s wardrobe as they grow and send a bouquet to a friend with these top boutiques.

Best Women’s Clothing Boutique

1 2Winner: Onalee’s

1. Onalee’s (formerly Hawthorne Collection Boutique)
2. Lee & Birch
3. Jade
4. The Found Cottage
5. Paperdoll Boutique

Best Women’s Resale

1 2Winner: Gild the Lily

1. Gild the Lily
2. Uptown Cheapskate
3. Georgie’s
4. Platos Closet
5. Style Encore

Best Children’s Resale

1 2Winner (TIE): Kid to Kid and Once Upon a Child (Alpine/Walker)

1. Kid to Kid
1. Once Upon a Child (Alpine/Walker)
3. Village Kids Consignment (Ada)
4. Once Upon a Child (Wyoming)
5. Goodwill of Greater Grand Rapids

Best Florist

1 2Winner: Stems Market

1. Stems Market
2. Eastern Floral
3. Kennedy’s Flowers and Gifts
4. Ball Park Floral & Gifts
5. Ludema’s Floral and Garden

Date Night

We love date night more than ever these days. We’ve got your resource for a lovely night out whether you’re looking for a romantic dinner, cocktails, dessert or, if you’re lucky, a full night stay at a nearby hotel.

Best Distillery

1 2Winner: Long Road Distillers

1. Long Road Distillers
2. Michigan Moonshine Distillery
3. Eastern Kille Distillery
4. Bier Distillery
5. Wise Men Distillery

Best Date Night Take Out

1 2Winner: Amore Trattoria Italiana

1. Amore Trattoria Italiana
2. Luna
3. Jaku Sushi
4. Two Guys Brewing
5. San Chez
6. Lindo Mexico
6. Max’s South Seas Hideaway
8. First Wok
8. Mitten Brewing
8. West Side Social

Best West MI Romantic Night Stay

1 2Winner: JW Marriott Grand Rapids

1. JW Marriott Grand Rapids
2. Amway Grand Plaza Hotel
3. CityFlats Hotel (Holland)
4. Harbor House Inn (Grand Haven)
5. Homewood Suites Downtown GR

Best West MI Romantic Restaurants

1 2Winner: Amore Trattoria Italiana

1. Amore Trattoria Italiana
2. San Chez Bistro
3. The Chop House
4. Leo’s Seafood
5. Bistro Bella Vita
6. Ruth’s Chris
7. Osteria Rossa
8. Noto’s
9. Blue Water Grill
10. Cooper’s Hawk

Best Beer Selection (Restaurant or Brewery)

1 2Winner: Hop Cat

1. Hop Cat
2. 7 Monks Taproom
3. The Score
4. TwoGuys Brewing
5. Gravity Taphouse Grille
5. Mitten Brewing
7. San Chez Bistro
8. Logan’s Alley
9. Railtown Brewing
9. Third Nature Brewing

Best Wine Selection (Restaurant or Wine Bar)

1 2Winner: Cooper’s Hawk

1. Cooper’s Hawk
2. Reserve Wine and Food
3. House of Wine
4. San Chez Bistro
5. GRNoir
6. Two Guys Brewing
7. Nonna’s: The Trattoria
8. Hudsonville Winery
9. Rockwell Republic
10. Aperitivo
10. Pike 51

Best Place for Cocktails

1 2Winner: Donkey Taqueria

1. Donkey Taqueria
2. Butcher’s Union
3. Westside Social
4. San Chez Bistro
5. Long Road Distillers
6. Eastern Kille Distillery
7. Lindo Mexico
8. Luna
10. Divani

Best Place for Dessert

1 2Winner: Cheesecake Factory

1. Cheesecake Factory
2. Amore Trattoria Italiana
3. San Chez Bistro
4. Brewery Vivant


Time for some pampering! A little self care goes a long way and our reader’s voted on their top spots for pedicures, massages and haircuts – some for you, some for kids and even “Mommy & Me“.

Best Mommy & Me Pedicure

1 2Winner: A Charmed Life Nail Salon (Rockford)

1. A Charmed Life Nail Salon (Rockford)
2. Posh Nails & Spa – Metro Health Village
3. VIP Nails
4. Pleasant Nails & Spa
5. Alpine Nails & Spa
6. Cheshire Nail Salon
6. Gloss Nails
6. K K Nails
6. Kim’s Nails & Spa
6. Nail Masters

Best Massage

1 2Winner (TIE): Design 1 Salon Spa Grandville and The Woodhouse Day Spa – Grand Rapids

1. Design 1 Salon Spa Grandville
1. The Woodhouse Day Spa – Grand Rapids
3. Salus Massage Therapy and Skin Care
4. GR Massage Life
4. NV Massage Therapy
6. Born Again Massage
6. Grand Rapids Massage Therapy
6. Simply Massage
6. Westside Massage
10. Douglas J Aveda Institute
10. Urban Massage LLC
10. Wanderlux Beauty & Wellness Spa

Best Ear Piercing for Kids

1 2Winner: Kitten Flower Boutique

1. Kitten Flower Boutique
2. Screaming Needle Tattoo & Body Piercing Studios
3. Mos Eisleys Tattoos
4. Honest to Goodness Tattoo & Piercing
5. Claire’s
5. Paperdoll Boutique

Best Haircuts for Kids

1. Cookie Cutters Haircuts for Kids
2. Kliparoos Haircuts for Kids
3. Great Clips
4. Meraki Salon
5. Cheeky Strut
5. Hazel + Rose Salon
7. Thrive Salon (Allendale)
8. Forest Hills Barber Shop
9. SJ Design Hair Studio
10. Design 1 Salon Spa Gaines
10. Design 1 Salon Spa Plainfield

About Cookie Cutters Haircuts for Kids

Our fun stylists serve children of all abilities with quick and stylish haircuts. Fantasy chairs, TVs, and a slide make it an amazing experience!

Home & Garden

Our homes are our retreat from it all. Looking for that perfect sofa for your living room or ready to make the plunge for an inground pool? We’ve got the stores and services listed below to deck out your home.

Best Furniture Store

1 2Winner: Talsma Furniture

1. Talsma Furniture
2. Stonesthrow
3. Northwestern Home Furnishings
4. West Elm
5. Value City Furniture
6. Klingman’s Furniture & Design – Grand Rapids
7. Ashley Homestore
7. MI Hometown Furnishings
9. Bell’s Home Furnishings
9. Van Hill Furniture & Mattress

Best Home Decor Store

1 2Winner: HomeGoods

1. HomeGoods
2. At Home
3. The Found Cottage
4. West Elm
5. Wilderness Expressions
6. Design Quest
7. Beyond the Door
8. The Honeysuckle
9. Gather-d
10. Changing Thymes
10. Parooz

gather-d in Rockford


Top Home Decor Store

About gather-d

gather-d is an inviting and well curated space filled with home decor, clothing and gifts for everyone. We also offer a small rental gathering space.

Best Garden Store/Nursery

1 2Winner: Countryside Greenhouse

1. Countryside Greenhouse
2. Flowerland
3. Koetsier’s Greenhouse
4. Horrocks Market
5. Romence Gardens & Greenhouses
6. Harder & Warner
7. Ludema’s Floral & Garden
8. W.W. Greenhouses, Inc.
9. Cherry Valley Gardens
9. Motman’s Greenhouses

Best Home Builder

1 2Winner: Eastbrook Homes

1. Eastbrook Homes
2. Heartland Builders LLC
2. Roersma & Wurn Builders Inc
4. Buffum Homes
4. Sherwood Custom Homes

Best Local Hardware Store

1 2Winner: Rylee’s Ace Hardware

1. Rylee’s Ace Hardware
2. Rockford Ace Hardware
3. Gemmens
4. Caledonia Village Ace Hardware
5. Kingsland Ace Hardware & Renta
6. Alger Hardware & Rental
7. Allendale True Value
8. Bernard’s Ace Hardware
8. Godwin Plumbing & Hardware
8. Ivanrest True Value Hardware & Variety

Best Moving Company

1 2Winner: Two Men and a Truck

1. Two Men and a Truck
2. Big Lake Movers
3. Scully Statewide Moving Inc
4. Michael the Mover
5. H&H Moving Company

Best Swimming Pool Builder

1 2Winner: Zagers Pool & Spa

1. Zagers Pool & Spa
2. Spoelstra Pool & Patio Inc
3. Polynesian Pool & Spa
4. Quality Pool & Spa
5. Acme Pool Construction, Inc.


Fur babies are an important part of many families, so making sure they get the care and exercise they need is a priority. Find a dog park with room to roam, a loving boarder to take of your pet while your away and a pet store with everything you need with our top recommended resources for pets.

Best Pet Boarding

1 2Winner: Camp Bow Wow

1. Camp Bow Wow
2. Whiskers Resort & Pet Spa
3. Cascade Hospital for Animals
4. Wash & Wags Pet Grooming
5. Animal Medical Center of Wyoming
5. Kim’s K-9

Best Pet Grooming

1 2Winner: Wash & Wags Pet Grooming

1. Wash & Wags Pet Grooming
2. Dirty Harry’s Pet Spa
2. Splash and Dash Groomerie & Boutique
4. The Posh Pet Dog and Cat Salon
5. Backdoor Guests Pet Grooming
6. VIP Grooming Salon
7. Fido & Stitch
8. Canine & Feline Design Inc
8. Handsome Hounds Grooming LLC
8. Woof & Wagz Pet Grooming and Boutique

Best Pet Store

1 2Winner: Chowhound

1. Chowhound
2. PetSmart
3. V I Pets
4. Pet Supplies Plus Grandville
5. Fido & Stitch

Best Pet Training

1 2Winner: A Pleasant Dog

1. A Pleasant Dog
2. Happy Tails Dog Training
3. West Michigan K9
4. A Dog’s Life GR
5. Off Leash K9 Training – Grand Rapids
5. Pawsitive Behavior LLC

Best Veterinarian

1 2Winner: Dr. Ashley Womersley, Cedar Animal Hospital

1. Womersley, Dr. Ashley (Cedar Animal Hospital)
2. Dr Randall Carpenter (Family Friends Veterinary Hospital)
3. Georgetown Animal Hospital: Good Maureen DVM
4. Denyes, Dr. Jennifer (Clyde Park Veterinary Clinic)
5. Zylstra, Dr. Ron (Kentwood Veterinary Clinic)
6. Renshaw, Dr. Harland (Animal Clinic Inc)
6. Kursch, Dr. Rebecca (South Kent Veterinary Hospital)
8. Jackson, Dr. Bob(South Kent Veterinary Hospital)
8. Hart Animal Hospital: Daniel Hart, DVM
8. Zech, Dr. Bobbie (Grand River Veterinary Hospital P.C. – Lowell)

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