Best Kids' Outerwear 2001 | Little Mountain Outdoor Gear for Kids | Best of Denver® | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Denver | Westword
Born in Boulder in 1995, the family-owned Little Mountain is what's known in the retail world as a super-specialty store, in this case specializing in miniature camping, outdoor and sports gear, from child carriers and joggers to hiking boots and skiwear. And without even thinking about it, you know it has immediate appeal for outdoorsy Boulderites with disposable incomes and blossoming families. However, it's really just good customer service that keeps the endeavor afloat (so buoyantly, in fact, that a third store is being penciled in for the Denver area in 2002): While parents shop, for instance, kids are entertained by such amenities as a Lego table in the Boulder store or a TV at FlatIron Crossing. But the stores are also known for their particularly large, well-equipped bathrooms -- an important consideration for parents toting kids around a shopping mall.

It's no secret: This is where the rich kids -- or at least their discriminating parents -- shop, from the day the kids are born and ready to be swaddled in heirloom-quality crocheted blankets, linen and lace. And as they grow older, they can continue to wrap themselves in luxury courtesy of Hollyhocks: The little girls will be adorned in simple classics, from creamy French cotton underwear underneath, to Lilly Pulitzer shifts and pink gingham-lined iridescent Florence Eiseman raincoats on top; and the little boys will wear perfect-little-man suits with tiny ties decorated with race cars, or playworthy overalls appliquéd with chenille trucks. What the heck. You're only young once.

Scene to Screen is the only bookstore in Denver that specializes in theater and film and caters to students and performers alike. The shop carries more than 5,000 scripts, but if you still can't find what you're looking for, owners Jacque and Joe Riala are more than happy to order it for you. Open six days a week, except during Denver Center productions.
The Music Stand is enough to make any music lover burst into song. Although the store's tucked away in Longmont, it also has a catalogue. In person or online, you're bound to find the perfect music-related gift item, from miniature instrument keepsakes to keyboard-embroidered socks, a handcrafted music cabinet or that collection of Broadway show tunes you know they've been coveting.

Author! Author! Every time a writer comes to read at the Tattered Cover, Denver photographer Gary Isaacs snaps a portrait -- and his collected works create an impressive wall of fame at the original store.
Don't plan your next bash without talking to the "Entertainment & Promotion Specialists." If you've got a theme, Reinke Brothers can make it happen, down to the last little detail -- costumes, sets, props, decorations, noisemakers and all the trimmings. From this fabulously stocked, 17,000-square-foot shop of effects, Reinke has supplied more than one Hollywood gala; parents worried over amusing kids at a modest birthday party should find a few tricks up the Reinke sleeves, too. They do party and event planning, too. If you're looking for magic, a call to Reinke Brothers should do the trick.

You know you've always wanted to be the answer to a trivia question. Now you can be, in "The (Your Surname) Family Tree Trivia Game," available for $39.95 from Heart's Corner of Golden. As you play the game with your nearest and dearest, you create permanent trivia cards about yourself based on the questions on the board; once you've finished that first round, you have a personalized game that contains fun facts and stories about the whole family. Add photos and memorabilia to create a treasured family heirloom that's bound to hold its value longer than that vintage Trivial Pursuit game.

Proudly display your true feelings to other drivers by placing a road-rage sign in your car window -- and then keeping your hands on the wheel. Your choice of various degrees of viciousness include: "Hang Up the Damn Phone and Just Drive, OK?"; "Caution: Horn Broken, Watch for Finger Signal"; "What Part of Use Your Turn Signal Don't You Understand?"; and our personal favorite, "Denver: Who Fuckin' Planned This City Anyway?" The signs were created by comic Jeff Chesler and sell for $3 each. No word yet on whether Chesler's ready to make an "I Brake for Funny Signs" sign.
Papyrus has the write stuff: everything you need to send out the classiest, most creative correspondence this side of County Line Road. So what if they don't actually stock papyrus? There are plenty of 100 percent cotton and wood-pulp goodies here. And if you want something that says Colorado, Papyrus offers paper with Aspen leaves printed on it. E-mail's quicker, but a genuine letter lasts a lot longer.
What price progress? After slavish service to tardy Denverites for decades, the Terminal Annex Post Office is going the way of the dinosaur. The problem isn't a lack of customers: Although the U.S. Postal Service opened a fancy new downtown branch on 20th Street years ago, the Terminal Annex still has many faithful fans. Customers rely on the familiar, friendly staff, on call seven days a week; the handy parking (just don't think about parking in the lot for more than fifteen minutes, as John Elway once did: They're serious about towing); the array of postal paraphernalia that make good gifts when you're crunched for time. No, the problem is that the station happens to reside in one of the largest development sites still available in LoDo, a circa-1960 building designed by architect Temple Buell that could be sold for up to $15 million -- and turned into a development worth ten times that. Given the Postal Service's current financial situation and its inclination to close a deal on the property, it's clear we'll soon be kissing the Terminal Annex goodbye. In the meantime, mark your calendar for 11:55 p.m. on April 16, the last time you may get to watch one of the town's best free shows as frantic filers deliver their tax returns into the hands of understanding Terminal Annex employees.

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