2011 Family Favorites Winners

Congratulations! The winners of the first-ever Family Favorite awards have been revealed. View the list of the 2011 Family Favorites winners.

The votes are in for our first-ever Family Favorites competition. About 1,100 readers filled out our online survey during the summer and chose their favorites in more than 90 categories. Here’s a closer look at some of the categories.

Dad’s Favorite Place: Home Depot

We had a number of different responses to this question, with activities ranging from going to various restaurants and bars to playing golf and paintball to sitting on the couch. But the winner here was Home Depot, with locations throughout New Hampshire. What we want to ask Dads is if this is really their favorite place to be, or is this the place they just seem to find themselves at every weekend so they can get those home improvement projects done.

Best local role model for kids: Adam Sandler; Christa McAuliffe; Jenny Thompson; Mom

These four people were most often mentioned, but we were impressed with the varied responses to this question. You also suggested skier Bode Miller, children’s entertainer Judy Pancoast, Pierre Pouliot, a police officer in Goffstown, along with other law enforcement officials, and teachers, from across the state. We’re glad to see Mom way up on the list and happy to see so many positive role models out there.

Best Birthday Place: Children's Museum of NH; NUThin' but GOOD TIMES!; Bounce U; Granite State Bounce; Chuck E. Cheese; Jump On In; McIntyre Ski Area.

There are a lot of fun places to hold a birthday party for your child. It was a close race! But while parents love to have their kids’ birthday parties elsewhere and let someone else do all the work, parents also said having them in their own backyard is another popular idea.

Favorite party entertainer: Steve Blunt and Mad Science (tie)

One of the most popular personalities at Parenting New Hampshire’s Family Fun Fair each April is Steve Blunt — no doubt you’ve seen him sing in libraries and schools and at events all over the state. Mad Science also puts on quite the show, one that's both entertaining and educational for kids.

Best Beach: Wallis Sands (Rye)

There was no question after reading the responses that when our readers think beach, they think ocean. Kingston State Park and Echo Lake State Park (Conway) were the front-runners if you are not a fan of the waves or if you can’t make it over to the coast.

Best place to fly a kite: Hampton Beach (or just about anywhere)

Our top vote-getter was Hampton Beach, no doubt because of all that space to run on without having to deal with trees and power lines. But you also suggested the backyard, Derryfield Park, ConVal High School football field, Wagon Hill in Durham, Great Island Park in Newcastle, North Conway Common, Monson land trust in Milford and Greeley Park in Nashua. Now if someone tells you to go fly a kite, you’ll know where to go.

Best parade to watch: Manchester Christmas Parade

It’s no surprise The Spirit of the Season Christmas parade, scheduled this year for Dec. 4, is your favorite. According to IntownManchester, each year nearly 30,000 people descend on downtown to see festive floats, world-class marching bands and, of course, Santa Claus! The community event is the largest float parade in the state.


After-school program: Boys & Girls Clubs of New Hampshire

So many fun and educational things for kids to do under one roof. According to Boys and Girls Clubs in New Hampshire, services are provided at 28 sites and 16 school-based locations serving 82 communities in New Hampshire, with organizations headquartered in Concord, Derry, Laconia, Manchester, Milford, Nashua and Salem. In 2009, more than 19,000 young people in New Hampshire were Boys & Girls Club members, with more than 45,000 youth participating in programs, outreach efforts and special events.

Kid-friendly menu: T-Bone's – Local Chain; Friendly's – Regional Chain

After looking at the menus, I’m tempted to try to eat off the kids’ menu. With offerings like Mac ‘N Cheese and grilled cheese at T-Bones and of course yummy ice cream at Friendly’s, you’ll be tempted, too.

Best fair: Deerfield

This year is Deerfield Fair’s 135th year, and it’s still going strong. This year the fair is Sept. 29 and 30, and Oct.1 and 2, and. according to our poll numbers, you’ll find a lot of Parenting NH readers there. There’s something for everyone, including performers, food, animals and shows.

Editor’s picks:

Best Comic Book Store: Double Midnight Comics in Manchester, www.dmcomics.com

Best selection of comics and games anywhere for all ages, bar none. Stop in and Brett Parker and company will make you feel right at home.

Best place to grab a cupcake: Queen City Cupcakes in Manchester, www.qccupcakes.com.

Arguably the hardest item in town to get your hands on, but if you are on Elm Street at 11:30 a.m. right when the store opens, you may just be lucky enough to score one of the many of flavors of cupcakes the store cranks out everyday.

Best gluten-free market: Natural Choice Market in Hooksett, www.naturalchoicemarketnh.com

A tremendous selection of gluten-free foods for the gluten-intolerant. If you are craving something, you’ll find it here.

Out & About

Family day trip:

Hampton Beach


Family bike trail:

Mine Falls (Nashua)

Family hike:

Pack Monadnock (Peterborough)


Deerfield Fair


Amusement park:

Canobie Lake Park

83 No. Policy St., Salem

893-3506; www.canobie.com

State park:

Pawtuckaway State Park (Nottingham)

Public park:

Livingston Park (Manchester)

Indoor play place:


746 Daniel Webster Hwy, Merrimack

429-2200; www.nuthinbutgoodtimes.com

Water park:

Water Country

2300 Lafayette Road, Portsmouth

427-1111; www.watercountry.com

Beach for families:

Wallis Sands (Rye)

Family ski resort:

Gunstock (Gilford)

293-4341; www.gunstock.com

Outdoor learning center:

Squam Lake Science Center

23 Science Center Road, Holderness

968-7194; www.nhnature.org

Family campground:

Jellystone Park

35 Jellystone Park, New Hampton

968-9000; www.jellystonenh.com

Place to fly a kite:

Hampton Beach

Skateboard park:

Rye Airfield

6 Airfield Drive, Rye

964-2800; www.ryeairfield.com

Best movie theatre:

Chunky’s (Pelham and Nashua)


Best parade to watch:

Manchester Christmas Parade

Family road race:


Family bike ride:

Windham Bike Trail

Annual event for families:

Touch a Truck at the Mall of NH

1500 South Willow St., Manchester


Sporting event for families:

Fisher Cats

1 Line Drive, Manchester

641-2005; www.nhfishercats.com

Rainy day outing:

Children’s Museum of NH

6 Washington St., Dover

742-2002; www.childrens-museum.org

SEE Science Center

200 Bedford St., Manchester

669-0400; www.see-sciencecenter.org

McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center

2 Institute Drive, Concord

271-7827; www.starhop.com

Fun Spot

Weirs Beach


Picnic spot:

Prescott Park (Portsmouth)

Activities & Learning




Manchester and Nashua (tie)

Best educational service:

Sylvan Learning Center

72 South River Road, Ste. 203, Bedford


622-7772; www.sylvanlearning.com


Children’s theater:

Palace Theatre

80 Hanover St., Manchester

668-5588; www.palacetheatre.org

Museum for kids:

Children’s Museum of NH

6 Washington St., Dover

742-2002; www.childrens-museum.org

Place to paint pottery:

You’re Fired (four NH locations)


Musical instruction:

Manchester Community Music School

2291 Elm St., Manchester

644-4548; www.mcmusicschool.org

Family fitness club:



The Works

246 Route 108, Somersworth

742-2163; www.theworkshealthclub.com

Bowling alley:

Leda Lanes

340 Amherst St., Nashua

889-4884; www.ledalanes.com

Mini golf:

Mel’s Funway Park

454 Charles Bancroft Hwy

424-2292; www.melsfunwaypark.com

Martial arts studio:

Neil Stone’s Karate Studio

108 Route 13, Brookline

672-8933; www.neilstoneskarate.com

Dance studio:

N-Step Dance Center

2626 Brown Ave., Manchester

641-6787; www.nstepdance.com

Equestrian center:

Apple Tree Farm

49 1/2 Wheeler Road, No. 2, Hollis

465-9592; www.appletreefarm.org

Indoor soccer facility:

Hampshire Dome

50 Emerson Road, Milford

673-8123; www.hampshiredome.com

NH Sportsplex

68 Technology Drive, Bedford

641-1313; www.nhsportsplex.com

Hockey arena:

Conway Arena

8 Riverside St., Nashua

595-2400; www.conwayarena.com

Kids yoga class:

Childlight Yoga (various locations)

781-3323; www.childlightyoga.com

Gymnastics facility:

Atlantic Gymnastics

150 Gosling Road, Portsmouth

433-0404; www.atlanticgym.com

Day camp:



Overnight camp:

Camp Carpenter (Daniel Webster Council)

300 Blondin Road, Manchester

625-6431; www.nhscouting.org

Family Services

Family pediatrician:

Dr. Mark Myers

Pediatric Health Associates

275 Mammoth Road, Ste. 1, Manchester

663-8350; www.elliothospital.org

Children’s dentist:

Dr. Gary Lindner

Lindner Dental

72 South River Road, Bedford

624-3900; www.lindnerdental.com


Dr. William Mehan

Mehan Orthodontics

113 Mammoth Rd., Manchester

623-8003; www.drmehan.com

Child care facility:

Noah’s Ark

491 East Industrial Park Drive, Manchester


After school program:

Boys and Girls Club of NH


Family-friendly bank:



Place to buy a family car:


1477 South Willow St., Manchester

634-1003; www.autofair.com

Financial planner:

Ameriprise Financial

5 Bedford Farms, 3rd Fl., Bedford

668-1273; www.ameripriseadvisors.com

Family health plan:

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield


Family health care facility (Hospital):

Elliot Hospital

4 Elliot Way, Ste. 401, Manchester

663-8933; www.elliothospital.org

Child photographer:

Michelle Brewster

MAC Photography

500 Market St., Ste. 2B, Nobel’s Island, Portsmouth

373-8695; www.mac-photography.blogspot.com

Kids hair cut:


449 Amherst St., Nashua

889-0000; www.snipits.com

Silly Beans Kids Cuts

260 Mammoth Road, Manchester


Great Clips

92 Cluff Crossing, Salem

893-6300; www.greatclips.com





Baby Stuff


Dr. Mary Jo Montanarella

30 Canton St., Ste. 6, Manchester


Birthing center:

CMC Mom’s Place

100 McGregor St., Manchester

663-8164; www.catholicmedicalcenter.org

Place for unique baby gifts:

NiNi Bambini

166 South River Road, Ste. 9B, Bedford

666-6464; www.ninibambini.com

Maternity shop:

Mother and Child

650 Amherst St., Greystone Plaza, Nashua


Baby furniture store :

Babies R Us



105 Lafayette Rd., Hampton Falls

926-2255; www.babygoroundinc.com

Mom blog:

One Mom’s Review


Fertility specialist:

Dr. Richard Reindollar

Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center

100 Hitchcock Way, Manchester

695-1859; www.dhmc.org





Sal’s Pizza – Regional Chain (various locations)




FlatBread Company – Local Chain (various locations)


La Festa Brick & Brew

300 Central Ave., Dover

743-4100; www.lafestabrickandbrew.com

Ice cream:


7 Daniel Webster Hwy, Nashua

888-4663; www.haywardsicecream.com

Goldenrod Drive In

1681 Candia Road, Manchester

623-9469; www.goldenrodrestaurant.com

Moo’s Ice Cream

27 Crystal Ave., Derry

425-0100; www.moosplace.com

Puritan Backroom

245 Hooksett Road, Manchester

669-6890; www.puritanbackroom.com

Kid friendly menu:

T-Bone’s – Local Chain (various locations)


Friendly’s – Regional Chain (various locations)


Kids favorite breakfast place:

Ihop – Regional Chain (various locations)


MaryAnn’s Diner

29 E. Broadway, Derry

434-5785; www.maryannsdiner.com

Airport Diner

2280 Brown Ave., Manchester


Entertaining place to eat:

Chunky’s (Pelham and Nashua)


Chuck E. Cheese – Regional Chain


Carry out service:

Puritan Backroom

245 Hooksett Road, Manchester

669 -6890; www.puritanbackroom.com

T-Bone’s – Local Chain (various locations)


Family restaurant:

T-Bone’s (various locations)


Kid-friendly food brand:

Stonyfield Yogurt


Cheap eats:

McDonald’s (various locations)





Clothing store for kids :

Old Navy (various locations)




Children’s Place (various locations)


Gymboree (various locations)


Clothing consignment :

Mother and Child

650 Amherst St., Greystone Plaza, Nashua


Children’s boutique :

NiNi Bambini

166 South River Road, Ste. 9B, Bedford

666-6464; www.ninibambini.com

Children’s shoe store:

Alec’s Shoe Store

201 Main S, Nashua

882-6811; www.alecs-shoes.com

Stride Rite – Regional Chain


Children’s book store:

Toadstool Bookstore

Rte 101A/Lorden Plaza, Milford

673-1734; www.toadbooks.com

Barnes & Noble – Regional Chain (various locations)


Toy store:

Toys R Us – Regional Chain (various locations)


G. Willikers! Toy Shop

13 Market St., Portsmouth

436-7746; www.gwillikers.com

Sports equipment:

Modell’s Sporting Goods (various locations)





Crafts & hobby store:

AC Moore (various locations)




Swing set/play systems:

Woodplay of New Hampshire

36 Route 101A, Amherst

249-9773; www.woodplayofnh.com

Best mall for kids:

Mall of New Hampshire

1500 South Willow St., Manchester

669-0433; www.simon.com




Restaurant for date night:

Bedford Village Inn

2 Olde Bedford Way, Bedford


472-2001; www.bedfordvillageinn.com


Hanover Street Chophouse

149 Hanover St., Manchester

644-2467; www.hanoverstreetchophouse.com

Spa day for mom:

Not So Plain Jane’s

155 Dow St., Suite 102, Manchester

622-5971; www.notsoplainjanes.com


139 Portsmouth Ave., Stratham

772-8400; www.wingatespa.com

Dad’s favorite place:

Home Depot


Place for moms to meet:

NiNi Bambini

166 South River Road, Ste. 9B, Bedford

666-6464; www.ninibambini.com

Panera (various locations)



865 Second St., Manchester

625-9463; www.unwined.net

Best local role model for kids:

Adam Sandler

Christa McAuliffe

Jenny Thompson


Favorite recent movie for kids:

Cars 2

Harry Potter


Birthday Fun



Place to buy a cake:

Frederick’s Pastries

109 Route 101A, Amherst

882-7725; pastry.net

Creative Cakes by Debby (Nashua)




Best birthday place :

Children’s Museum of New Hampshire

6 Washington St., Dover

742-2002; www.childrens-museum.org


746 Daniel Webster Hwy, Merrimack

429-2200; www.nuthinbutgoodtimes.com

Bounce U

21 Commerce Park North, Bedford

621-4011; www.bounceu.com

Granite State Bounce

5-7 Delaware Drive, Unit 2, Salem

458-5524; www.granitestatebounce.com

Jump On In

456 W. Hollis St., Nashua

883-1135; www.jumponinfun.com

McIntyre Ski School

50 Chalet Court, Manchester

622-6159; www.mcintyreskiarea.com

Chuck E. Cheese


Party supplies:

iParty – Regional Chain (various locations)


J&J Party & Janitorial

68 Route 101A, Amherst

672-8555; www.jandjpandj.com

Donovan’s Party & Novelty

102 Fort Eddy Rd., Concord

226-2225; www.donovansparty.com

Party entertainer:

Steve Blunt, Music For Fun

12 Burnett St., Nashua

888-3866; www.steveblunt.com

Mad Science

362-9800; www.madscience.org

Categories: Family Favorites Winners