Best Clothes for Cool Babies 2004 | Twist & Shout | Best of Denver® | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Denver | Westword
Ken Hamblin III
Screw Baby Gap. Real rock-and-roll parents will appreciate the duds coming out of Denver's most venerated house of music. There are no pink bunnies or fluffy booties here; the kid will be clamoring for the skull-emblazoned tanks (size infant and up) and other similarly goth creations. Do it for the children, man.
Are there really as many babies out there as there are new shops catering to them? Must be. Such businesses are multiplying like rabbits as baby boomers' kids create a baby boom of their own. And even though one place looks as cute as the next, Studio Bini stands out for a number of reasons, including its location on Tennyson Street, an urban stretch that's found new life in the past few years. The tiny boutique is also a showcase for its owners, local children's-clothing designer Linde Schlumbohm and artist Sandy Brudos. Bini overflows with cute: tie-dyed velvet dresses, miniature high-top sneakers, lace-trimmed poodle skirts, vintage cowboy prints, puffy swing coats and Kandinsky-esque '50s-style Brubeck shirts for stylin' tykes. We'll take five!
European babes have been snoozing in these things for years, but they're a relatively new idea for naptime over here. The Angel's Nest is really just a sleeping bag for tots, but there's some deep-sleep thinking behind the concept. The bags are safer and more reliable than tangly, loose bedding, and they're soft as a cloud and impossible to shake off. Denverite Jennifer Zinn so loved one sent to her by a sister in France that she hatched a plan to market her own, in two styles. Through her website, Zinn offers a standard "sleeping bag," for babies still sleeping exclusively on their backs, and a "wearable bag" -- sort of a closed romper with no legs for little ones old enough to roll around. The Nests come in a variety of cushy materials and seasonal weights. Rock-a-bye, baby.
Babies have the sweetest little feet: You could wrap them in a banana peel and they would still look cute. Fortunately, Castle Rock stay-at-home mom and business-minded entrepreneur Jenny Chism devised a more appropriate foot covering for wee ones when she created Monkey-Toes. The tiny sneakers, hand-painted with ladybug, frog, bee and piggy motifs and tied up tight with squiggly shoelaces, can be purchased in sizes from one to ten at selected boutiques or online. Start monkeying around.
Louisville mom Terry Hsu-Gander shipped a little piece of China back home after visiting there and adopting two daughters. While picking up her girls, Hsu-Gander found the stylish children's shoes she now imports and sells under the Frog Prince label. She moves most of the merchandise through her website, with the help of a sister living in Shanghai. With feather-soft leather uppers that come in brilliant swathes of contrasting red, black, white, lime green and tangerine, these shoes practically scream "Adorable!" Available in toddler and little girls' sizes up to eleven, the Frogs are comfy and durable, appropriate for both dress and play. "My own kids grow out of them before they wear them out," Hsu-Gander says of her shoes, which stand the test of time, mud, concrete and gravel. What a kick.

Best Clothes for Chinese-American Princesses

Meili & Me

Boulderite Leslie Potter was inspired to create a more durable line of girls' clothing by her adopted Chinese daughter, Meili ("beautiful" in Chinese), who, as a crawler on two hands and two knees, wore out her Chinese silks faster than her mom could button them up. Potter's perky denim-and-print collection blends cultures with style, mating the Mandarin collars and frog fasteners of the traditional Asian chi-pao with all-American jean jackets, tiered ruffle skirts and capris. The ultra-cute play ensembles have been selling like hot egg drop soup since Potter first started stitching them together, and not just to families of Chinese adoptees. Cute is international.
There comes a time in many girls' lives when they move from playing with Barbie dolls to wanting to look like one. Lil' Cuts can help with the transition. The salon is specifically designed with kids in mind and features a carousel-esque setup lined with individual video monitors to keep the tiniest tots occupied long enough for a trim. The staff also knows how to keep tweens happy, offering special rates for birthday parties at which the guest of honor and each attendee is coiffed, styled, buffed and pampered to perfection in the store's full-service salon. After all, little girls get bigger every day.
Plenty of adults enjoy arts and crafts every bit as much as the younger set. Recognizing this, Hot Pots!, a paint-your-own-pottery studio, has come up with special packages for birthday parties, bridal showers and plain old bonding. Now kids of all ages can indulge their inner Picassos, using cups, saucers, plates, bowls and figurines as their canvas. The staff provides instructions, supervision, advice and all the paint needed to create a mini-masterpiece -- and for birthdays, a commemorative plate signed by all the guests is provided at no additional charge. Color them beautiful.

Best Place to Entertain Yourself After Breaking Your Leg

Swedish Medical Center

Medical emergencies aren't known for being fun, since they're often accompanied by blood, exposed bones, scrambled viscera, agonizing pain and more blood. So credit Swedish Medical Center with providing patients and their loved ones with a high-tech way to keep their minds off more unpleasant matters. Stalls in the emergency section of the hospital are outfitted with computers whose oversized screens and keyboards are mounted on swivel arms that extend over gurneys for easy access. Visitors can use the computers to watch any of 25 or so cable-television channels (the same selections available in regular rooms at Swedish), surf the Internet or play a variety of games. Getting hurt has seldom been so entertaining.
Are Jesus and Buddha friends? The supporters of St. Paul's Methodist Church's weekly Christian/Buddhist contemplation hour think so. Every Sunday, the Capitol Hill church hosts a low-key, hour-long service that mates Buddhist and Christian philosophy and practice. The interfaith congregants are a reflection of the neighborhood's eclecticism -- expect aspiring monks in robes and housewives in sweats -- and the program rotates like a prayer wheel. Most weeks, speakers from local temples and churches, including Christian pastors and Tibetan nuns, guide meditations and give talks on everything from right speech to redemption. The services provide an open, casual introduction to both Christian and Eastern practice. Be here now.

Best Of Denver®

Best Of