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Jeff Woo/DRC

Best of Denton: Denton Life and Fun

Profile image for DRC Staff
DRC Staff

Best Child Care

First United Methodist Church

201 S. Locust St.

940-382- 0074 ext. 1033

First-rate preschool and full-time daycare chock-full of meaningful of learning opportunities await children six weeks of age through eighth grade.

Director Kay Jennings called the staff of 45 years outstanding and dedicated. Beyond merely watching children, the folks at First United Methodist Church aim to set a foundation of life for all children who pass through their doors.

Runner-up: Wellspring Christian Academy

Honorable Mention: First Baptist Child Development Center

Best Children's Birthday Party

PJ's Party Rentals and Essentials

PO Box 1323, Sanger, Texas 76266


PJ's Party Rental & Essentials can make any party one to remember by supplying everything from tents and dance floors for weddings to balloons for children's birthday parties.

The business provides free consultations and quotes for upcoming events and can help coordinate any type of party.

PJs rents everything from lighting and cake stands to tables and chairs.

PJ's has been in business for 16 years and is committed to dependability and customer service. The staff has more than 30 years of experience in the party industry. They strive to bring passion and creativity to the parties they help with and has a commitment to providing unparalleled customer service.

Runner-up: Joe's Jump

Honorable Mention: My Repertoire Face Painting

Best Children's Birthday Party

Altitude Trampoline Park

2434 S. Interstate 35E


Open for just over a year, Altitude Trampoline Park has quickly become popular venue for family fun and parties.

The Denton location is the ninth in the Altitude family and offers a foam pit, gymnastics tumble track, a kid zone, basketball dunking lanes, dodge ball and group fitness in the 30,000 square foot facility.

General manager Caleb Hogan believes one of the main reasons Altitude has become such a popular go-to place is because of the safe, family fun environment.

Runner-up: Denton Parks & Recreation Water Works

Honorable Mention: Denton Parks & Recreation North Lake Park

Best Community

Arts & Jazz Festival

P.O. Box 2104


For 37 years the Denton Arts and Jazz Festival has provided Denton and the area with the best music and arts attraction in North Texas.

Children from the Rayzor Elemetary Ballet Folklorico danced on the Festival Stage during the Denton Arts and Jazz Festival
Children from the Rayzor Elemetary Ballet Folklorico danced on the Festival Stage during the Denton Arts and Jazz Festival

Executive director Carol Short and her staff continue to bring in top performers to headline the spring event which draws attendance from all over North Texas and Southern Oklahoma.

Runner-up: North Texas Fair & Rodeo

Honorable Mention: Denton Community Market

Best Dance Studio

Denton Dance Conservatory

4103 Mesa Dr.


Does your daughter or son spend some serious time twirling in the kitchen?

Do your kids stage dance-off contests in your living room?

Do your little ones wiggle whenever the radio is on?

Denton Dance Conservatory can channel all that youthful energy into dance with the help of an experienced dance faculty that understands and teaches classical forms -- like ballet, tap and jazz.

But the staff at Denton Dance Conservatory is just as excited about emerging styles -- hip-hop and it's fusion styles that fill Youtube video feeds.

This year is the sixth that the Denton studio has won Best of Denton's award for Best Dance Studio.

Lead by Lisa Racina-Torre for the last 29 years, Denton Dance Conservatory keeps its large studio (and several smaller ones) bustling with dancing bodies.

The conservatory offers classes in all levels in ballet, pointe, jazz, tap, hip hop, musical theater, adult ballet, adult tap, and more.

Summer camps are available for all school age children and teens.

"DDC has been able to establish a formula for giving children a solid foundation in dance technique, along with all the other things children can learn from taking dance classes. Self confidence, teamwork, goal setting, grace under pressure (pun intended), are just a few of the qualities that our nurturing learning environment offers," Racina-Torre said.

Runner-up: Denton Ballet Academy

Honorable Mention: A Time To Dance Studio

Best Gymnastics

Achievers Gymnastics Center

3014 S. I-35


In 25 year of business, Achievers Gymnastics Center has established itself as one of the premier gymnastics training centers in North Texas.

Achievers Gymnastics
Achievers Gymnastics

Owned and operated by Frank Kudlac, Achievers offers gymnastics and cheer instruction for all ages and abilities.

The facility also offers birthday parties, parent's night out, open gyms, ninja obstacle course training, indoor parks and even homeschool classes.

Runner-up: Denton Gymnastics Academy

Honorable Mention: Corinth Gymnastics

Best Health &
Fitness Club

Planet Fitness

806 W. University Dr.


With a main focus on general fitness, it's not likely you'll see many body builders at Planet Fitness. The club prides itself on their "judgment-free" attitude and aims to provide a safe and respectful atmosphere to anyone trying to stay healthy.

The location in Denton offers members access to its machines, free weights and fitness training. Black card members also get benefits like tanning, hydro massage chairs and unlimited guest privileges.

Runner-up: North Lakes Recreation Center

Honorable Mention: Denton Jazzercise

Best Live/Movie

Denton Movie Tavern

916 W. University Drive


Is there any better way to enjoy a big screen movie than to kick back in a comfy chair with a delicious meal in front of you? The Movie Tavern has been providing local movie goers with that experience for years and it's better than ever now.

Movie Tavern for Best of Denton DRC
Movie Tavern for Best of Denton 

A recently finished remodeling campaign has made the movie-going experience at the Movie Tavern even more enjoyable.

They've installed luscious new recliners, expanded to nine auditoriums, created a new bar and did a makeover in the lobby.

It now lives up to its Cinema Eatery business label. And since it's staffed and operated by local residents, viewers get a real Denton feel -- you never who you might bump into there -- entering the Movie Tavern, and that's bound to assure your movie-watching experience will be an enjoyable couple of hours.

Runner-up: Cinemark

Honorable Mention: Denton Community Theatre

Best Martial Arts

Reding Martial Arts

407 Fort Worth Drive


With more than 20 years in business, Reding Martial Arts has relied teaching quality martial arts in a friendly and family-oriented atmosphere to become one of the best martial arts facilities in Denton.

Owner Mark Reding was born and raised in Denton so he's not only proud to be teaching martial arts to his hometown community but is honored being selected for a "people's choice" award as Best in Denton.

Reding's lessons, whether it's in one-on-one individual training or in a classroom environment, focus on emphasizing and building on the strong values of the martial arts.

Runner-up: Denton Taekwondo Academy

Honorable Mention: Aikido of Denton

Best Place to Create Arts/Crafts

SCRAP Denton

420 S. Bell Ave.


SCRAP Denton isn't your typical arts and crafts store.

SCRAP Denton

As a nonprofit that values creative reuse and the environment, the company has quickly built a loyal customer base despite being in business for just five years. SCRAP Denton takes the time to divert arts and crafts supplies from the waste stream before proceeding to make them available to the community at a low cost.

The staff can help make your creative dream a reality and offers reused materials for arts and crafts in addition to supplies forschool, the office, or a party. Stop by today - you never know what you're going to find!

Runner-up: Painting With A Twist

Honorable Mention: Serendipity On The Square

Best Private/Group
Music Lessons

Bonduris Music

813 N. Locust


After three decades in the music lesson business, Bonduris Music Instruction and Production continues to be a "local flavor", yet professional establishment.

Owner Thad Bonduris has a relentless drive to keep the music learning relevant to the student's musical goals and experiences.

"We have hand-picked professional performing musicians, who really care about music-teaching,' Bonduris said. "We have a very low turnover rate of students and teachers. People stay with us!"

Runner-up: The Ghost Note

Honorable Mention: UNT String Program

Best Recreational
Vehicles & Equipment

Cycle Center of Denton

521 Acme Street


With the largest selection of Powersports in North Texas, Cycle Center of Denton routinely promotes family fun for all ages with great customer service.

Cycle Center of DentonDRC
Cycle Center of Denton

The company has been in business since the 1960's, consistently helping serve those in the Denton community. Cycle Center of Denton offers a wide variety of new and used ATVs, motorcycles, jet skis and more to help satisfy your off-road cravings.

"We have a huge passion for the Denton community and supporting local businesses and groups," marketing director Corinne Martin said. "We are truly honored and humbled to be receiving this award."

Runner-up: McClain's RV Superstore

Honorable Mention: Camping World

Best Wedding &
Event Venue

TWU's Little Chapel
in the Woods

Administration Drive and Bell Avenue


TWU's Little Chapel-in-the-Woods may be the most beautiful place for a wedding in the United States. Maybe the world.

The chapel is located just off Bell Avenue behind the high-rise dormitories on the campus. It can be reserved by anyone and is constantly in use.

It was designed by famous architect O'Neil Ford, who grew up in Denton. He also designed the Denton Community Building, the Denton City Hall, Hemisfair in San Antonio and the campus of Trinity University. It was built with the help of TWU faculty and staff members and students in 1937. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt dedicated the chapel.

The exterior of Little-Chapel-in-the-Woods at TWU
The exterior of Little-Chapel-in-the-Woods at TWU

The first wedding held in the chapel was in 1939. The TWU Conference Services offers a variety of venues to host conferences. The chapel has a rich history that continues to provide a location for weddings, commitment ceremonies, memorial services and recitals.

The Texas Society of Architects recognized the chapel as one of Texas' 20 most outstanding architectural achievements.

Local residents realize the hard work it took to build the chapel and appreciate the history while also admiring the beauty it has to offer. "Texas Woman's is a part of the fabric of Denton. We so appreciate the mulidimensional aspects of this community, and so it makes us grateful and honored to hvae one of our campus gems recognized," Chancellor and President Dr. Carine Feyten said.

Runner-up: Wildwood Inn

Honorable Mention: The Milestone Wedding & Event Center

Best Yoga Studio

Twisted Bodies

709 S. Elm St.


More than simply a business and yoga studio, Twisted Bodies apparently has had a much deeper affect on many of its clients, one of whom told co-owners Carissa Laitinen-Kniss and Khristen Pahler that, "coming to this studio has truly changed my life."

To have that affect on folks since opening in 2008, Twisted Bodies has continued to proudly offer a unique approach to overall health and fitness with a lineup of classes that not only includes yoga, but pilates, aerial yoga, aerial arts, pole fitness and more. The variety of classes inside the Twisted Bodies studio provides each customer with an invested passion that will help that client succeed in their own personal goals.

It is the continued positive response that Laitinen-Kniss and Pahler have received from customers over the years that have kept them not only motivated and dedicated to their craft, but committed to providing everyone who comes through their doors with the best possible training.

Runner-up: Karma Yoga Denton

Honorable Mention: Denton Yoga Center