Patch's Readers' Choice poll asking "What's the best place for a kids' birthday party?" in the two towns (that's Maplewood and South Orange, by the way) yielded more than twice the votes as our last poll -- and a clear winner.
One thing is for sure: kids' birthday parties are a hot topic in our community where life seems centered around the children.
Maplewood Karate pulled out a clear victory this week. With more than twice as many votes as its nearest competitor, the karate academy on Valley Street in Maplewood waged a successful campaign to elicit votes from fans -- perhaps it was those terrific photos that owner Louis Toledo loaded on the page. Our favorite picture is the karate cake!
In second place, The Messy Artist in South Orange garnered the most comments from the poll. Viviana wrote, "Hands down the messy artist. there's no better place for your child to make a mess and actually learn something doing it. Their birthday parties are so much fun for the kids and so different from anything else out there."
Close behind in third and fourth place respectively were Jazzberries Center for Music & Art and Parteaz -- both of Springfield Avenue in Maplewood. Jazzberries -- which specializes in musical events, classes and parties -- deserves some extra kudos for surging to third after being entered into the poll more than two days late.
Parteaz is the pretty-in-pink party place next to Top Hat & Tails that often brings little girls' party dreams to life with tea parties and more. (We've also seen some grown-up parties in the space now and again.)
Congratulations to all our local businesses in the poll. There are so many varieties of party places in Maplewood and South Orange that, clearly, the biggest winner is the kids!
Next week's reader's choice poll: Best place to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. Send us your entries so that we don't miss anyone!