2019 Best for FAMILIES Results

We asked, you voted! For more than 25 years, Washington FAMILY has been running our annual Best for FAMILIES survey. Each year, we ask our readers to vote for their favorite people, places and things to do in the DMV. And now, after tallying the votes, this year’s survey results are here!

From the best family-friendly restaurant to the best gym or play place, read on to discover the best of what the D.C. area has to offer.


Best Arts Program
Glen Echo Park
7300 MacArthur Blvd.
Glen Echo, Md.
Glen Echo Park is a magical place for families! One of the most vibrant arts centers in the Washington, DC area, the Park offers hundreds of classes & camps in visual & performing arts for children and teens, an arts-enriched early childhood program, nature & aquatic life programs, two children’s theaters, Saturday Art Explorers drop-in arts program, Art Parties, free summer concerts, a historic carousel, a playground & picnic area, and many festivals and special events for families.

Runner Up
Bella Ballet and International
School of Music

Best Ballet or Dance Studio
Tiny Dancers
621 S. Washington St., Alexandria, Va.
10875 Main St., Ste., 113, Fairfax, Va.
2985 District Ave., Ste. 175, Fairfax, Va.
Tiny Dancers, for children ages 2-12, features a literacy-based ballet, tap, hip hop and musical theater program that provides dancers with an outstanding technical foundation in a fun, nurturing environment. Beginning with their exclusive Wiggletoes classes for ages 2-3 and continuing throughout the program, students are encouraged to learn through creative self-expression, exploration of movement and age-appropriate choreography. The curriculum uses choreographed stories — along with hundreds of custom-made costumes and props — as a teaching vehicle for dancers 2-5. As students master the fundamentals and mature as dancers, they graduate from fairy tales to a more intensive focus on technique, style, interpretation and choreography.

Best Baseball Camp
Pioneer Baseball League

Runner Up
Potomac Nationals

Best Child Care/Daycare Center
Georgetown Hill Early School
10001 Apple Ridge Road
Montgomery Village, Md.
Love where you learn! With over 40 years of experience, Georgetown Hill is leading the child care industry with a play-based, joyful approach to preschool learning. Their P.L.A.N. curriculum is research-based and time-tested, all revolving around a child- and family-first environment. Georgetown Hill is a non-profit organization that believes in giving back. Their whole-child approach creates happy teachers which results in happy children. Offering Infants, Preschool, and School Age.

Best Children’s Cooking Classes
Cookology Culinary School
4238 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, Va.
Our award-winning kids’ cooking program has taught thousands of children since 2009. We have created a safe, nurturing environment for kids to learn how to cook. In our kids’ hands-on cooking classes at Ballston Quarter and Dulles Town Center, children as young as three learn to measure, mix, and roll, while tweens and teens learn to reference recipes, ingredient identification, and proper measuring techniques. In every class they’ll work with our professional chef to learn true culinary techniques: knife skills, sautéing, grilling, boiling, braising, baking, and more, all while exploring new world cuisines, healthy menus, and seasonal dishes, vegetable cookery, pasta making and even gluten-free baking as they make sophisticated, delicious dishes!

Best Children’s Theatre or Drama Instruction
Imagination Stage, Bethesda

Runner Up
Acting for Young People

Best Children’s Yoga Classes
Be Free! Kids Yoga

Runner Up
Circle Yoga Cooperative

Best Foreign Language Instruction
German Language Courses at the German International School Washington, D.C.

Runner Up
International School of Languages

Best Day Camp
Tiny Dancers
621 S. Washington St., Alexandria, Va.
10875 Main St., Ste., 113, Fairfax, Va.
2985 District Ave., Ste. 175, Fairfax, Va.
Tiny Dancers, for children ages 2-12, features a literacy-based ballet, tap, hip hop and musical theater program that provides dancers with an outstanding technical foundation in a fun, nurturing environment. Beginning with their exclusive Wiggletoes classes for ages 2-3 and continuing throughout the program, students are encouraged to learn through creative self-expression, exploration of movement and age-appropriate choreography. The curriculum uses choreographed stories — along with hundreds of custom-made costumes and props — as a teaching vehicle for dancers 2-5. As students master the fundamentals and mature as dancers, they graduate from fairy tales to a more intensive focus on technique, style, interpretation and choreography.

Runner Up
Valley Mill and Congressional School

Best Gymnastics Center
Dynamite Gymnastics

Best Martial Arts Instruction
Pentagon MMA
1041 S. Edgewood St., Arlington, Va.
Pentagon MMA is a world class mixed martial arts training center in Arlington, Virginia offering group classes and personal training in Muay Thai (Kickboxing/Thai Boxing), Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Judo, Women’s Fitness Kickboxing, Boot Camp, and Kids’ MMA. We firmly believe that each and every one of you can and should train at your full potential and get the best results you deserve. Are you looking to lose weight? Stay in shape? Learn effective self-defense techniques? Train like a fighter? Compete on an amateur or professional level? Whatever your goal may be, you are in the right place.

Best Montessori
Oneness-Family School
6701 Wisconsin Ave., Chevy Chase, Md.
For 30 years, Oneness-Family School’s premier holistic learning environment has served families who value student-centered, project-based learning and personal growth alongside rigorous, evidence-based curriculum. OFS features hands-on and interdisciplinary learning in traditional core academics, STEM, the arts, languages, civics, conflict resolution and community service. This curriculum fosters nimble and collaborative thinkers, creators, builders and leaders with “big picture” perspectives who are prepared to succeed in a changing, challenging world. In small, dynamic classes, students tap into their natural passion for learning and individual interests. Oneness-Family School classrooms are alive with the spark of student engagement and initiative.

Runner Up
Montessori School of Alexandria

Best Music Instruction School of Rock
703-242-2184, 703-858-0820, 301-589-7625
111 Center St. S, Vienna, Va.
20660 Ashburn Road, Ashburn, Va.
8634 Colesville Road, Silver Spring, Md.
For over a decade, School of Rock has taught guitar, bass, drums, vocals, and keys through a proprietary and innovative performance-based method. Students are put through a series of private lessons and group rehearsals and then get to show off what they learn on real rock stages in front of real audiences. Programs for beginner through advanced players, summer camps, and adult programs too. Ages 6+ There’s simply no place like School of Rock.

Runner Up
International School of Music and Harmonia

Best Overnight Camp
Camp Tall Timbers
1115 Reflection Ln., High View, WV
At Camp Tall Timbers, we’ve been serving up fun and rewarding camp experiences every summer for more than 45 years. Located in the beautiful foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Camp Tall Timbers is convenient from throughout the DMV. Our camp offers a wide variety of entertaining, engaging, and inspiring activities for boys and girls from ages 7 to 16. Our camp experience promotes independence, decision-making, socialization, skill building, confidence, creativity and self-discovery in a safe, nurturing environment. Campers are encouraged to be themselves, try something new, unplug and have fun! We know what parents expect and what kids enjoy.

Best Preschool Program
Bender JCC of Greater Washington (Rockville, MD)

Runner Up
Acorn Hill

Best Private Elementary School
Pinecrest School

Runner Up
Westminster School

Best Private High School
The Sycamore School, Arlington
4600 Fairfax Dr., Ste. 300
Arlington, Va.
The Sycamore School is an independent non-profit secondary school in Arlington, Virginia serving middle and high school students. We provide personalized, engaging and experiential learning, helping students make connections across content areas and to the real world. We’re intentionally small, maintaining a 1:10 teacher to student ratio.

Runner Up
Paul VI

Best Private School (overall)
The Siena School

Best SAT/ACT Test Prep
Educational Connections Tutoring

Best Special Needs Camp
Spirit Open Equestrian Program

Runner Up
Camp JCC Bender JCC of Greater Washington (Rockville, MD)

Best Special Needs School

Best STEM Program
Feynman School
11810 Falls Road, Potomac, Md.
Feynman School helps young gifted students grow. We celebrate each student’s intellectual curiosity and sense of self, promote inquisitive and creative thinking and foster caring
and concern for others. Here, children revel in learning and prepare for full, fulfilling lives. We look for children with the high learning potential and appropriate maturity to thrive in a learning environment that is not only accelerated but in depth. As our students grow, our curriculum grows with them.

Runner Up
Pinecrest School

Best Swim School
British Swim School
841-F Quince Orchard Blvd.,
Gaithersburg, Md.
British Swim School’s mission is to ensure that every person, regardless of age or ability, has the opportunity to become a safe and happy swimmer in the water. Our program includes Water Survival and Learn-to-Swim lessons for ages 3 months to adult. We’re dedicated to excellence in everything we do. Highly trained Instructors teach our fun, gentle methods in small class settings. Combine these benefits with our warm-water, indoor pools and you’re guaranteed the best possible learning environment.

Runner Up
Tom Dolin Swim School
(Austin Winger)

Best Tutoring Program

Best Yoga/Pilates Studio
Pure Barre

Best Youth Sports League
Montgomery County Dept of Recreation – Kindergarten Basketball


Best Caterer

Best FAMILY-Friendly Restaurant
Silver Diner

Best Farmer’s Market
Bethesda Central Farm Market

Best Food Truck
District Taco

Best Grocery Store

Best Health Food Store
MOM’s Organic Market

Best Ice Cream/Frozen Yogurt Shop
Baked Bear

Best Local Bakery
Heidelberg Pastry Shoppe

Best Local Cheap-Eats Restaurant
Bob & Edith’s, Springfield

Best Local Cupcake Shop
Georgetown Cupcake

Best Local Cup of Coffee
Caffe Amouri

Best Local Outdoor/Patio Dining
Clare and Don’s Beach
Shack, Falls Church

Best Local Restaurant with a Kid’s Night/Special
Silver Diner

Best Local Romantic Restaurant
L’Auberge Chez Francois

Best Local Sports Bar
Glory Days Grill


Best Allergy or Asthma Doctor & Practice Name
Allergy Partners of DC in Rockville

Best Children’s Dentistry
Light Pediatric Dentistry

Best Children’s Therapist/Psychiatrist & Practice Name
Growing Minds Therapy, Rockville

Best Dentist or Orthodontist & Practice Name
Burk & Flinn- Rockville & Olney

Best Dermatologist & Practice Name
Melissa Abrams, MD – DermAssociates (Rockville)

Best Eye Doctor (Optometrist) & Practice Name
Northern Virginia Doctors of Optometry, Falls Church

Best FAMILY Doctor & Practice Name
Children’s Medical Associates, Alexandria and Burke

Best FAMILY Therapist/Psychiatrist & Practice Name
Vickie Nogales, LCPAT/ Expressive Therapy Center

Best Fertility Clinic
Shady Grove Fertility

Best Gym or Health Club
Lifetime Fitness

Best Hospital
INOVA Fairfax Hospital, Fairfax

Best Midwife
Physician & Midwife Collaborative Practice

Best Nutritionist/Dietitian
Katie Heddleston, Leesburg

Best OB/GYN & Practice Name
Capital Women’s Health, Fairfax

Best Orthopedist & Practice Name
Locations in Alexandria, Arlington,
Burke, Fair Oaks, Fairfax, Herndon, McLean, Reston, Springfield and Tysons Corner, Va.
OrthoVirginia of Northern Virginia is the area’s largest provider of expert orthopaedic and sports medicine care with over 40 physicians, 10 office locations, 8 physical therapy clinics, an outpatient MRI center and an outpatient surgery center. Our physicians are highly specialized in providing surgical and non-surgical treatment for joint pain, knee, shoulder, hip, hand, foot and ankle problems, as well as trauma treatment and sports medicine just to name a few.

Best Pediatric Occupational Therapist & Practice Name
Progressive Pediatric Therapy
150 S. Washington St., Ste. 203
Falls Church, Va.
Progressive Pediatric Therapy is a pediatric therapy practice located in Falls Church, Virginia. We provide a variety of services for infants, toddlers, and school-age children including physical, occupational, speech, and art therapy. We also provide hippotherapy and aquatic therapy at offsite locations. Our therapy programs are on a one-on-one basis with a licensed therapist. Each session is individualized to meet the needs of the child and the family. Our staff is very experienced in providing high-quality professional care and personalized family-based services for children.

Best Pediatrician & Practice Name
Capital Area Pediatrics

Best Physical Therapist & Practice Name
MMA and Sports Rehab

Best Urgent Care

Best Weight Loss Program or Doctor
Ideal Protein


Best Deck/Porch Builder
Core Outdoor, Clifton

Best Electrician
Michael and Son

Best Flooring Company
M&M Floors, Inc.

Best Furniture Store
Belfort Furniture
22250 Shaw Road
Dulles, Va.
Belfort Furniture, Washington’s largest furniture store now features over 150,000 sq. ft.; a lifestyle environment of quality name brands at affordable prices. Much more than an ordinary furniture store, our new huge showroom is an inspiration to create spaces and homes that are comfortable, inviting and a reflection of the life you want to live. Stop in, take advantage of our free design services and enjoy a complimentary glass of wine while you shop.

Best General Repairs/Handyman
Mr. Handyman

Best Heating & Air Conditioning Company
Eli’s Heating and Air

Best Home Builder
Toll Brothers
19775 Belmont Executive Plaza, Ste. 250, Ashburn, Va.
7164 Columbia Gateway Dr., Ste. 230, Columbia, Md.
Toll Brothers, an award-winning Fortune 500 company, embraces a dedicated commitment to qualify customer service. Since 1967, Toll Brothers had been creating luxury communities in the best locations across the country. In Northern Virginia and Maryland, Toll Brothers builds luxury homes in exceptional communities — including master-planned communities and those for active adults — from the low $300s to over $2 million. For four years in a row, Toll Brothers has been ranked the #1 Home Builder Worldwide on the Fortune Magazine “World’s Most Admired Companies” list.

Best Interior Decorator
On the Purple Couch, LLC – A Place to Create

Best Kitchen Designer
Blaylock Design & Build, Springfield

Best Marble and Granite Company
Architectural Ceramics

Best Painting Company
Brian’s Paint Company

Best Plumber
Marines Plumbing

Best Remodeling Company
Moss Building & Design


Best Kid’s Birthday Party Venue

Best Kid’s Party Entertainer
Mad Science

Runner Up
The Great Zucchini

Best Place for a Team Party
Fitness For Health, Rockville

Runner Up
Monkey Joes

Best Party Supplies
Party City


Best Cosmetic Surgeon
Dr. Jennifer Parker Porter

Best FAMILY Blogger
Adventure Moms DC

Best Financial Planner
Edelman Financial Services

Best Home Cleaning Service
Maid Brigade of Capital Region
Locations in Sterling, Va., Alexandria, Va., Gaithersburg, Md. and Kensington, Md.
For 30 years Virginia, Maryland and D.C. families have trusted their homes to Maid Brigade. And so can you. Our house cleaning professionals are background checked, insured, bonded and continuously trained. Maid Brigade is green clean certified, offering HEPA vacuum cleaners and a system of effective products free of harsh chemicals that are safe for everyone in your home, pets too! Call us today and trust Maid Brigade for all your house cleaning needs.

Best Local Author
Rachel Brenke

Best Local FAMILY Photographer
Pages of Gray Photography, Rockville

Best Local News Personality
Doreen Gentzler, NBC4

Best Local Professional Athlete
Alex Ovechkin, Washington Capitals

Best Mechanic
Cherrydale Motor

Best Mortgage Loan Officer
First Fidelity Funding Group

Best Nanny Service/Babysitter
Let Mommy Sleep, Washington D.C.

Best Personal Organizer
Declutter DC

Best Realtor
Jennifer Vo, Keller Williams
Capital Properties
7801 Woodmont Ave., 2nd floor
Bethesda, Md.

Best Swim Instructor
Megan Morrisey, British Swim School DMV

Runner Up
Tom Dolin Swim School
(Austin Winger )


Best Pet Groomer
Bark in Style

Best Pet Sitting/Boarding
All of Creation, South Riding

Best Pet Store

Best Pet Trainer
Brianna Dick, Pack Leader Help

Best Veterinarian
Caring Hands Animal Hospital


Best Amusement Park
Busch Gardens/Water Country

Best Art Gallery
National Gallery of Art,
Washington, D.C.

Best Concert Venue
Wolf Trap, Vienna

Best Church/Place of Worship
McLean Bible Church, Vienna

Best Family Day Trip
National Zoo

Best Ice Skating Rink
Cabin John Ice Rink

Best Indoor Activity
Air and Space Museum

Best Indoor Play Facility
Badlands, Rockville

Runner Up

Best Indoor Swimming
Pool/Rec Center
SwimKids Swim School

Best Local Brewery
2 Silos Brewing Co.

Best Local Getaway/Resort
Salamander Resort

Best Local Shopping Center or Mall
Tysons Corner Center

Best Local Winery
Bull Run Winery

Best Movie Theater
Alamo Cinema and Drafthouse

Best Museum
Museum of Natural History

Best Petting Zoo
Leesburg Animal Park
19270 James Monroe Hwy., Leesburg, Va.
The Leesburg Animal Park is a family-owned and operated business that opened in March of 2000. The Park has many animal residents that you can meet, pet and feed. Enter the “Contact Area” to roam around with farm animals such as goats, sheep and llamas. Jump onto a Wagon Ride, take a Pony Ride or join a Live Animal Show! We offer an up-close animal experience that you won’t get at a larger zoo.

Runner Up
Roer’s Zoofari

Best Roller Rink
Skate N Fun Zone

Best Stadium
Nationals Park, D.C.

Best Water Park
Great Wolf Lodge


Best Children’s Consignment or Resale Store
Kid to Kid

Best Hair Salon for Children
Cartoon Cuts

Best Local Car Dealer
Fitzgerald Auto Mall

Best Local Children’s Clothing Store
Ashby Mae Boutique, Leesburg

Best Local Children’s Furniture Store
BuyBuy Baby

Best Local Selection of Children’s Books
Barnes and Noble

Best Local Toy Store
Child’s Play

Best Place to Buy Musical Instruments
Fox Music, Falls Church

Best Place to Buy Outdoor Play Equipment


Best Accessories Store
Charming Charlie, Fair Oaks

Best Day Spa
Red Door Spa

Best Hair Salon/Colorist
Amanda Zubia, Luxe
Style Room

Best Jewelry Store
Tiny Jewel Box

Best Makeup Store

Best Mani/Pedi
Cute Tips

Best Men’s Clothing Store

Best Personal Shopper/Stylist
DC Style Factory

Best Shoe Store
Runner Up

Best Upscale Consignment
My Best Friend’s Closet

Best Women’s Clothing Store

Runner Up

Best Local Women’s Clothing Store
The Hive, Alexandria

Runner Up
Wee Chic


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