With the start of fall comes the busyness of a new school year, new family activities, and new friends. In many respects, fall is for families. With this in mind, what better time for The Bermudian to introduce to you our first-ever Family Favourites Awards! Think of these titles as the Best of Bermuda Awards for children and family-related categories, everything from the best place for a birthday party to best pediatrician—and everything in between.
Over the summer we invited you, the people of Bermuda, to nominate your favourites in each category. Those with the most nominations have been crowned this year’s Family Favourites, which not only recognises the hard work and love that goes into running these programmes, but also serves as a guide for families looking for the best services recommended by locals.
This essential guide wouldn’t be possible without our dedicated sponsor, People’s, and you, our readers, who took the time to vote on TheBermudian.com.
Best Arts Programme: Kaleidoscope Arts Foundation
Well-known in the arts arena is the Kaleidoscope Arts Foundation, a nonprofit community art and garden centre dedicated to empowering children with the freedom to question and create. Kaleidoscope offers camps, classes and curriculum-enhancement programmes all year round. Children love the creative atmosphere inside the quirky building and outside in the sprawling garden, but the real treasure is the diverse team of teachers drawn from many different backgrounds.
27 Jubilee Road, Devonshire. 542-9000. www.kaf.bm
Best Family Support Service: Family Centre
Family Centre is an accredited nonprofit that is dedicated to improving the emotional and social well-being of families in Bermuda. The highly trained staff provide a range of freely accessible counselling and support services for families with children who are facing emotional or social challenges, as well as offering no-cost youth programmes that include meals and transportation. The Family Centre aims to offer families healing, wellness and empowerment.
27 King Street, Pembroke. 232-1116. www.tfc.bm
Best Playgroup for Babies and Toddlers: MAMA Bermuda
MAMA strives to be a warm and welcoming resource for parents and caregivers of young children, and that’s why our readers voted it Best Playgroup for Babies and Toddlers. Through this not-for-profit organisation, families can participate in one of several weekly playgroups. It’s a great way to meet other mums while the children play. MAMA president Steph Harper believes what sets MAMA apart is that it’s run for mums and caregivers by mums and caregivers, making it an excellent support network.
Best Dance Studio for Kids: In Motion School of Dance
In Motion School of Dance prides itself on offering a positive learning environment, commitment to the art form and proper development of their dancers, and this year it was voted Best Dance Studio for Kids. Director Lizz Pimentel says, “The school’s innovation and drive for proper dance training from qualified teachers is what keeps us at the forefront of local dance.” The school offers ballet, jazz, modern, tap, street style, pointe, musical theatre, acro, salsa and more.
71 Reid Street, Hamilton. 292-7615. www.inmotionbda.com
Best Tutoring/Learning Service: Target Learning
With the goal of empowering students to become confident, independent learners, Target Learning has successfully closed learning gaps in english and mathematics and boosted students’ grades and confidence for the past ten years. This year’s winner for Best Tutoring/Learning Service offers diagnostic assessments that help to design personalised tutorial programmes, maintains open communication with parents, and places an emphasis on building relationships with the clients. Target Learning’s licensed teachers work with students of all ages (even college age!) with both in-person and online options.
38 Mount Hill, Pembroke. 334-7145. www.targetlearningbermuda.com
Best Holiday Camp for Kids Ages 5–8: Bermuda Zoological Society’s Aqua Camp
It seems that almost every child in Bermuda at one time has attended Aqua Camp and parents know that registration fills up almost immediately, so it’s no wonder why it was voted as the most popular holiday camp in the 5-8 year old age group. Aqua Camp takes children through a series of life science and Bermuda natural history topics and offers field trips, crafts, animal encounters, and wading, swimming, or snorkeling based on age level.
40 North Shore Road, Flatts. 293-2727. www.bamz.org
Best Holiday Camp for Kids Ages 9–13: Bermuda National Gallery’s Art+Tech Camp
Previously known as Youth, Camera, Action, the Bermuda National Gallery’s summer programme, Art+Tech Camp, was voted Best Holiday Camp for middle schoolers. The programme is successful because it meets this age group where they are—in the digital world! Campers explore digital art-making with a focus on animation, digital painting and photo bashing on the provided iPads and Apple Pencils. Parents appreciate that their children are learning new technical skills while also broadening the boundaries of their creativity.
2nd Floor, City Hall & Arts Centre. 295-9428. www.bng.bm
Best After-school Care Service/Programme: Planet Math
Each afternoon a Planet Math minibus shuttles students from school to their Hamilton facility where kids receive personalised homework help from qualified teachers, as well as snacks, games, and playtime on the indoor jungle gym. There are also occasional special events like field trips, baking and cupcake decorating, and STEM activities. Parents appreciate the constant, open communication, knowing their children are safe, learning and having fun!
4 Park Road, Hamilton. 707-1412. www.planetmathxplorers.com
Best Support Service for Parents: Child Development Programme
The Bermuda Government’s Child Development Programme is a free programme that works in partnership with families to enhance the development of all children from birth to age four and provides parents with support and information. Just some of the many services offered include developmental screening, parent mentoring and guidance, speech and language programmes, occupational and physiotherapy, family counseling, parent-infant groups, a toy and book library and playground.
37 Palmetto Road, Devonshire. 295-5151. www.gov.bm/child-development-programme
Best Place for a Kid’s Birthday Party: WindReach’s Boundless Playground
Planning parties is easy at WindReach’s Boundless Playground, your choice for Best Place for a Kid’s Birthday Party. The Boundless Playground offers inclusive, accessible play for all abilities with picnic benches under a pergola, bathrooms and open space. Because the playground is only available by appointment, your party will feel private and extra special. Parents also love the guaranteed backup location inside the Activity Centre in case of inclement weather.
10 WindReach Lane, Warwick. 238-2469. www.windreachbermuda.org
Best Place to Play: FryDays Trampoline Park
Kids know it’s not a trip to Dockyard without stopping at FryDay’s Trampoline Park, this year’s winner for Best Place to Play. Located just behind the Clocktower Mall, FryDays has a large trampoline area with basketball, jousting, and a slide, as well as an arcade. Parents like the option to relax in the seating area and even order food from the FryDays menu. And the best part? Your worn-out kids will be quiet the whole drive home!
North Basin Building #7, Dockyard. 236-5867
Best Party Entertainer: Party Animals
You can make any party memorable with the right entertainment and Party Animals offers a wide range of character look-alike services, games and decorations to make it a great day! Choose from over 40 different interactive characters and a wide selection of party games—everything from corn hole to giant inflatable Twister. Party Animals strives “to ensure each child feels the magic at their birthday, bringing imagination and creativity to life.”
Best Charity Event for Kids: Future Leaders Community Give-Back
In light of the pandemic, Future Leaders Bermuda (an organisation aimed at encouraging and supporting young people to make a positive difference in the local community) recognised the financial difficulties many Bermudian families were facing, and so, together with sponsors, they hosted the Community Give-Back event. Held at The Berkeley Institute, the event was designed to support those in need, and attendees benefited from free counselling services and workshops, they learned how to apply for scholarships, got back-to-school haircuts and school supplies and learned about a broad-range of extracurricular activities they could engage in.
Best Beach for Kids: Clearwater
We can all agree Bermuda has some of the best beaches in the world, but you voted Clearwater as the Best Beach for Kids. It’s no surprise given that this St. David’s beach offers calm, shallow waters, a playground, restaurant, restrooms, and plenty of room to set up a beach tent, have a picnic, or ride your bicycle. Cooper’s Island Nature Reserve is just steps away, making this a great place to spend the day.
Best Pediatricians: Edgewood Pediatrics
Caring for Bermuda’s children for more than 40 years, Edgewood Pediatrics is known for its relaxed, friendly environment and team of expert medical providers, including a psychologist, lactation consultant, and a Spanish and Portuguese-speaking doctor. Parents like the same-day appointments for acute illnesses and that they can call in and speak directly with the office’s nurses and physicians.
13 Richmond Road, Hamilton. 295-8000. www.edgewoodpediatrics.com
Best Music Class: Bermuda Kids Kindermusik
Offering a full spectrum of classes and creative programmes—from weekday lessons to outdoor alfresco-style sessions, to summer camps, playdates, after-school classes and more—children as young as newborns can benefit from Kindermusik, the world’s leading provider of music-based education for young children. Owner and teacher Allie Lima says, “Kindermusik sets a foundation for a life-long love of learning, and it doesn’t happen without the engagement and support of families.”
Best Kids’ Sports Coach: Master Edmond Johnson
Master Edmond Johnson of Champion Taekwondo Academy is dedicated to empowering others and fostering personal growth through Taekwondo, and it is his leadership that earned him the award for Best Kids’ Sports Coach. Master Johnson’s expert guidance has helped countless students unlock their potential as they embark on their martial arts journey. Master Edmond has been passionately sharing his expertise and knowledge with students worldwide for the past twenty years.
4 Parliament Street, Hamilton. 777-5353. www.bermytkd.com
Best Pediatric Dentist: Young Smiles
Dr. Helen Christopher and her team at Young Smiles genuinely care about their patients and it shows. While it’s normal for children to feel nervous when visiting the dentist, the team at Young Smiles goes above and beyond to create an inviting, relaxed and kid-friendly environment. Using gentle techniques and positive reinforcement, they help each patient have an enjoyable experience and thanks to the fun Finding-Nemo-inspired office and resident emotional support puppy Posie, kids feel at ease the moment they walk through the door at Young Smiles.
23 The Lane, Paget. 292-9191. www.youngsmiles.bm
Best Restaurant for Kids/Families: La Trattoria
Eating out can be stressful with young children, but La Trattoria makes it seem easy. For over 40 years the Hamilton restaurant has been loved for its delicious and affordable Italian fare and family-friendly experience. The casual atmosphere coupled with friendly staff, great service and a yummy kids’ menu make it our readers’ top choice. While you’re there, don’t forget to check out the bustling pizza oven station!
23 Washington Lane, Hamilton. 295-1877. www.latrattoria.bm
Best Museum/Gallery for Kids: Bermuda National Gallery
The Bermuda National Gallery’s endeavour to deliver world-class art and culture experiences to everyone is what makes it a hit with Bermuda’s kids. The family-friendly museum offers free BNG Kids activity packs designed to encourage children to take a self-guided tour of the exhibition, learn more about the artworks on display and hone their own artistic skills. And this year admission is free, thanks to the Christian Humann Foundation.
2nd Floor, City Hall & Arts Centre. 295-9428. www.bng.bm
Best Tourist Attraction for Kids: Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo
Loved by locals and visitors alike, Bermuda Aquarium, Museum & Zoo is home to a diverse group of mammals, birds, reptiles and marine life, a natural history museum, immersive walk-through exhibits and touch-friendly areas. After exploring the exhibits families can enjoy a stop at the playground and a bite to eat at the Beastro overlooking the water. BAMZ also offers special events, classes and camps throughout the year.
40 North Shore Road, Flatts. 293-2727. www.bamz.org
Best Toy Store: People’s
When it comes to the latest toys and games, People’s comes out on top, and for good reason: It has everything from children’s books and baby equipment to lunchboxes and toys. Whether you’re opening a baby registry or shopping for a birthday present, you’ll find everything you need here. Parents also love the free, ample parking, which means you won’t have far to walk with your purchases!
62 Victoria Street, Hamilton. 292-7527. www.peoples.bm
Best Family Photographer: Sarah Elgersma Photography
Children grow up so fast; don’t you wish you could freeze time? For years families have trusted Sarah Elgersma to expertly capture precious moments forever. Whether it’s newborn, maternity, or family shoots on location, locals love the natural and beautiful look of the portraits. Elgersma says, “The genuine connection and rapport I establish with my clients enables me to create authentic and heartfelt images that truly reflect their families’ love and joy.”
Tie – Best Kids’ Clothing Store: Gibbons Company
Shopping for kids’ clothes can be a daunting task on a small island but Gibbons Company has it down to a science. They offer great selections at affordable prices, and their online store allows parents to shop at a time that is most convent to them. For kids of all ages, Gibbons has long been a one-stop-shop for everything from play clothes, to Church clothes, socks, bathing suits, hair accessories and everything in-between.
21 Reid Street, Hamilton. 295-0022. www.gibbons.bm
Tie – Best Kids’ Clothing Store: Klassiq Kidz
Family-owned business Klassiq Kidz is expertly attuned to the evolving needs of its audience—Bermuda’s fussy and discerning little ones. From babies to teens, you can rest assured that their merchandise is kid-approved and consistently stylish with every change of season. Their prices are kind to the wallet, styles are on-trend for the given age group and the customer service is seriously outstanding.
57 Court Street, Hamilton; 295-5439; www.shopklassiqkidz.com
Best Kids’ Shoe Store: Boyle’s
In Bermuda, the name Boyle’s has had a longtime association with quality shoes, and it’s their wide selection of premium-quality products that earned Boyle’s this year’s Family Favourites Award for Best Kids’ Shoe Store. W.J. Boyle & Son first began as a family-run shop many years ago and, four generations later, has grown to encompass numerous stores. Besides offering top-notch service and products, Boyle’s also prides itself in giving back to Bermuda by sponsoring YAO Baseball and supporting the Family Centre.
Best Staycation for Kids: Grotto Bay Beach Resort & Spa
For a fun family getaway without a plane ticket, Grotto Bay Beach Resort has you covered. Our winner for Best Staycation for Kids is a resort with lots of amenities including an inflatable water park, beach, a snorkeling area, pool, underground swimming cave, watersports, and more. Add the all-inclusive supplement to your stay to include meals and drinks, and you won’t have to worry about anything other than having fun!
11 Blue Hole Hill, Hamilton Parish. 293-8333. www.grottobay.com
Best Place to Take the Family for Ice Cream: Bailey’s Ice Cream
Ice cream is always a good idea, and Bailey’s Ice Cream was voted the best for families. The cute mint-hued cottage serves up some thirty flavours of homemade, all-natural ice cream, plus sundaes, frozen yogurt and sorbets. There is seating inside and outside, or you can enjoy your treat while taking a stroll along the picturesque path to Crystal Caves just around back. Just remember Bailey’s is cash-only, so plan accordingly.
2 Blue Hole Hill, Hamilton Parish. 293-8605