Howard County Parents Tell You Where To Go! (Part 3)

*Updated March 2017

One of the perks of parenthood is watching my little guy experience all the fun things in life. I am looking forward to throwing his first birthday party where he will experience cake and balloons for the first time. I am anxious for him to get to the age where he will join his first little league team and start to explore new interests as I cheer him on from the sidelines. As such, I have already begun to file away recommendations I have seen from parents in the Howard County, Maryland area.

I decided to share these ideas as part of this three part series for two reasons. The first and most obvious reason is that I hope other parents will find this information helpful as well. The second is more selfish on my part; I am hoping that parents will lend additional suggestions and information to help me expand my research.

With Part 1, recommendations for a pediatrician, pediatric dentist, child hair cut, etc., and with Part 2, recommendations for an OB/GYN, salon, realtor, etc., I eliminated services that were least recommended because there is an overwhelming array of options in this area. With this post, however, I am including all recommendations that I came across since the list is much more manageable (thus far).

Birthday Party Ideas: This list will provide ideas for years.

The Swellness Center

The Swellness Center

T-Ball for ages 3+:

  • Several parents recommended Howard County Recreation & Parks. Parents specifically recommend the Columbia Baseball League programs (ages 4-18), which offer a weekly practice and a weekend game. The parents described the intro t-ball class as more of a play time and not worth the money.
  • EYO (Elkridge Youth Organization) in Elkridge, MD. One parent stated it could be a good prerequisite to baseball as it offers practices and games to get the littles in the swing of things. They serve ages 4-5.
  • i9 sports in Marriottsville, MD. They serve ages 3-6.

Martial Arts for ages 3+:

  • Three parents recommended KIK (Klotz Institute of Karate) in Columbia, MD. One parent explained that they have small class sizes and reasonable prices. They offer classes starting at 4 years old.
  • Three parents suggested the AAMA (American Academy of Martial Arts) in Columbia or Maple Lawn, MD. They offer a variety of classes starting with a Little Dragon class. One mom shared that you can sometimes find discounts on Groupon.
  • Two parents recommended Tiger World Class in Ellicott City, MD. One parent reported the cost is $179/month for unlimited classes with a 6 month or 1 year contract. They offer a Little Tigers class for ages 4-5.
  • Shelly Walrath from New Vision Martial Arts in Glenelg, MD. They offer a Lil Dragon class for ages 3-5 years.
  • Gracie jujitsu in Columbia, MD.
  • Jiu Jitsu at Crazy 88 in Elkridge, MD.
  • D&S Karate Studios in Laurel, MD. One mom explained that the teacher has a degree in early childhood education.
  • Victory Martial Arts in Elkridge, MD.
  • Nabaiee’s Family Martial Arts in Columbia, MD. This is a family owned program. They offer a Mini-Champs class for ages 3-5, Junior Champs for 5-8, and Champs for 8 and up.
TIGER WORLD CLASS

Tiger World Class

Swim Options:

  • Four parents recommend Goldfish Swim School in Columbia, MD, stating the water is 90*, clean, and the staff is incredible. Family swim is $5/ person or $15/ family.
  • Three parents recommend Kids First Swim School in Elkridge, MD, stating the pool is warm and there are good instructors for swim classes.
  • Roger Carter Recreation Center in Ellicott City, MD, has a beach entry, but some parents found it to be a little too cold.
  • One parent suggested the preschool class offered through the Columbia Association.

Gymnastics for 18 Months+:

TOP FLIGHT

Top Flight Gymnastics

Dance Class for 3+:

  • Eight moms recommended Dance Connections for children three and older. One mom wrote, Dance Connections is wonderful! Jen Aversa, the owner, is amazing with the kids and reasonably priced. My daughter has been dancing with her since she was 2 1/2 and is almost 12 now! Another mom gave a tip to sign up though Howard County Rec and Parks for a good introduction before committing to an entire dance season.
  • Five moms recommended Arabesque Studios in Columbia, MD, but one mom noted that it is a commitment.
  • Turning Pointe in Elkridge, MD, was recommended by four parents, one of which had been taking her child there for six years.
  • Four moms recommended Back Stage Dance Studio, which offers classes beginning at 2 years old. One mom explained that the children go into the room with the teacher while their parent watches on a television in the hall.
  • Four moms recommended Howard County Recreation & Parks for young children. One mom stated her daughter was taking the Tinkerbell ballet class, which was being held once per week at the Dance Connections studio, and loved it. Another mom said they took a movement class at the Kinetic Dance Theatre with Miss Jodi, and loved it.
  • Two moms recommended Joyful Motion in Savage, MD. One mom explained that it is cheaper than some of the other options.
  • Two parents recommended Central Maryland Youth Ballet.
  • Two parents recommended Studio Dans  in Fulton, MD, and described it as clean and organized with experienced teachers.
  • Two moms recommended RL Dance Co in Clarksburg, MD. One explained that they offer lots of classes for kids and adults and also do private lessons and in-home lessons. “Miss Robyn is great!” The other said it was great for little ones, even boys.
  • B. Funk Dance Company in Ellicott City, MD.
  • Genesis Arts in Columbia, MD, has reasonable prices and offers a free trial class.

Other Sports:

  • Five parents recommended UK Elite for soccer. One parent specifically expressed preference for UK Elite over Quickfeet for age 4.

Again, I would love to hear suggestions beyond the ones I’ve stumbled upon myself or additional tips you might have about any of the places listed here. If you found this article of interest, please feel free to wander around my site, all are welcome!

<- Howard County Parents Tell You Where To Go! (part 2)

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Howard County Parents Tell You Where To Go! (Part 2)

HoCo Parents Tell You FB

You know how on every flight you take, the flight attendants tell you to secure your own oxygen mask before assisting others? Well, I feel like that is the key to preventing your mothership from going down. You are no use to your children if you are flopped over gasping for air and let’s face it, the ship can’t function without you. But putting on your own mask is a lot easier said than done when you have to find that mask at the bottom of a messy diaper bag with a baby screaming in one arm and a husband asking where his blue striped shirt is.

Although I know meeting my own needs is important, it is still a work in progress. We have been here seven months and my son has had three doctors appointments at his new doctors office. I think its about time I find myself a doctor. So, in part two of  Howard County Parents Tell You Where To Go! I’m sharing with you my own research to find a primary care doctor as well as other resources recommended by parents who are living, parenting, and meeting their own needs in Howard County, MD.

Please know that there are many other resources here in HoCo, some of which are just waiting to be discovered as the next best thing. If you do not see your favorite on here, it does not mean that it is not completely awesome – I just haven’t heard people raving about it… yet.

Primary Care Physician: 

  • Five moms recommended Johns Hopkins Community Physicians (Dr. Perry-Fabrizio in Maple Lawn, and Dr. Ava George or Dr. Marino at Stevens Forest, or Dr. Greenwood in Fulton). They have a 4.4 average rating on their Facebook page.
  • Five parents recommended Seton Medical Group. In Ellicott City, three parents expressed great experiences with Dr. Jennifer Prabhu, who sees both children and adults. In Columbia, Dr. Shannarose Guma was recommended, and in Elkridge, Dr. Mary Rifino. They have a 4.2 average rating on their Facebook page.
  • Two moms recommended the Family Medical and Dental Wellness Center, Dr. Rubina Alvi. They have a 4.9 average rating on their Facebook page.

OB/GYN: This was confusing to me when we first moved to Maryland, but most primary care physicians do not offer gynecological services and therefore you will also need an OB/GYN.

  • Twenty moms recommended Signature by Johns Hopkins Medicine. One mom discouraged Signature stating it was “not very personable.”
    • Voted Best of Howard County 2015 and 2014
  • Seventeen moms recommended Capital Women’s Care in Fulton, MD. Several women mentioned a preference for the female doctors. One, specifically stated she did not prefer to see Dr. Marvin Davis as he is a male and she did not feel as comfortable with him.
    • Best of Howard County honorable mention 2015 and 2014
  • Fifteen moms recommended Johns Hopkins Community Physicians. Two moms recommended Dr. Nia Leak in particular. Another recommended Dr. Natalia Colon-Guzman.
    • Best of Howard County honorable mention 2015 and 2014
  • Three women recommended the Women’s OB/GYN Group in Columbia, MD.
    • Best of Howard County honorable mention 2015 and 2014
  • Three moms recommended Hoffman & Associates out of Catonsville, MD.

Dentist:

  • Four parents recommended Dobbin Dental in Columbia, MD. They have a 4.6 rating on their Facebook page (18 reviews). They have 4 stars on Yelp (7 reviews). They have a 3.7 rating on Google (10 reviews).
    • Best of Howard County honorable mention 2015 and 2014
  • Two parents recommended Dr. Stanley Park of Today’s Smile Dental for the entire family.
  • Two parents recommended Judd Dentistry in Columbia, MD. They have a 4.6 rating on their Facebook page (36 reviews). They have 3.5 stars on Yelp (19 reviews). They have a 4.8 rating on Google (68 reviews).
  • One parent recommended Freedom Dental Care in Eldersburg, MD. They have a 4.9 rating on their Facebook page (59 reviews). They have 5 stars on Yelp (4 reviews). They have a 4.7 rating on Google (23 reviews).
  • One parent recommended Pear Tree Dental Care in Ellicott City, MD. They have a 5.0 rating on their Facebook page (7 reviews). They have a 5 star rating on Yelp (12 reviews). They have a 5.0 rating on Google (20 reviews).

Eye Doctor:

  • Three parents recommended Dr. Hess of Columbia Family Eye Care in Clarksville, MD for the entire family. They have an average rating of 4.9 on their Facebook page.
    • Best of Howard County honorable mention 2015 and 2014
  • Two parents suggested Revolution Eyes in Ellicott City, MD for the entire family. They have an average rating of 5.0 on their Facebook page.
  • Parents also noted that Dankner and Fiergang in Clarksville, MD, which was the top recommendation for a pediatric eye doctor in part 1, also provides ophthalmology for adults. They have an average rating of 4.6 on their Facebook page.

Hairdresser:

  • Several moms recommended Looks Salon in Columbia, MD. Moms recommended Krystin, Miranda, and Andrea. One mom recommended Irina for short hair. They have an average rating of 4.7 on their Facebook page.
    • Best of Howard County Honorable Mention 2015 and 2014
  • Several moms recommended Mason and Friends in Columbia, MD. Two moms recommended Tunde Kulina for highlights. They have an average rating of 4.6 on their Facebook page.
    • Voted Best of Howard County 2015 and 2014
  • A few moms recommended Patrick’s Hair Design in Columbia, MD. One mom reported that Justin is amazing, but pricy. Another mom expressed positive feelings toward Michelle Jeffery. They have an average rating of 4.8 on their Facebook page.
  • Two moms recommended Jenny at Hair Pros of Columbia, while another expressed dissatisfaction stating unqualified assistants did most of the work as Jenny was busy. They have an average rating of 5.0 on their Facebook page.

Family Photographer:

Real Estate Agent:

Now that we’ve got our day-to-day needs covered, part three of Howard County Parents Tell You Where To Go! will provide information for child-related activities, including a comprehensive list of options for where to host a child’s birthday party and parent recommended sports programs/ classes.

If you found this post helpful, please feel free to bookmark the page for later reference and also follow my blog and/or like MommyLoCo on Facebook so you will be the first to know when part three is published!

<- Howard County Parents Tell You Where To Go! (part one)

Howard County Parents Tell You Where To Go! (part three) ->