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Healthy Snack Ideas for Kids that will Strengthen Their Smile

Healthy Snack Ideas for Kids that will Strengthen Their Smile

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Healthy Snack Ideas for Kids that will Strengthen Their Smile

Summer is flying by! Maybe it’s because we’ve been so busy hanging out with our patients, making little smiles sparkle and soaking up the sunshine that August really snuck up us on here at Kids Mile High Pediatric Dentistry. That means, pretty soon, the kiddos will be heading back to school and parents’ schedules will be jam packed again. When you’re busy juggling a zillion things, dreaming up healthy snack ideas for kids that they’ll actually like can seem like an impossible task. Your favorite Englewood and Stapleton pediatric dentists, Dr. Paddy and Dr. Roger, are here to take that off your to-do list. We’re sharing some great snacks for kids that include foods that are good for your teeth too. Just remember, it’s best for children to snack in moderation since frequent snacking can increase the risk of cavities. Stick with nutrient-dense choices that will carry them through to their next meal. Here are some of our favorites:

1.  Baked Sweet Potato Fries – You can come up with a ton of inspiration for after school snacks by putting a healthy twist on some of kids’ favorite foods. In this case, French fries. Instead of the greasy, fried variety, try baked sweet potato fries. Sweet potatoes promote gum health because they have vitamin C, which may help kill bacteria in the mouth that can cause gingivitis and also ensures a healthy supply of collagen in gum tissue. Since sweet potatoes aren’t as acidic as citrus fruit, they give kids this necessary nutrient without weakening the tooth enamel.

Ingredients (4 Servings):

  • Four sweet potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Dash of paprika, optional

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 425°F.
  2. Cut your sweet potatoes in half lengthwise and then cut the halves into wedges about one-inch wide.
  3. Place the sweet potato wedges in a large mixing bowl and add the olive oil, salt, pepper and paprika if you’re using it. Toss to coat.
  4. Put the wedges on a roasting pan or a lightly greased baking sheet
  5. Bake until the potatoes are soft, about 25 minutes, turning once.
  6. Take potatoes off the pan and, if needed, season with more salt and pepper.
  7. Let them cool just a bit and serve warm.

2.  Pita Bread Pizza Genius Kitchen is home to an endless array of healthy snack ideas for kids, including this one for pita bread pizza. It’s simple, filling and, most importantly, tasty. These baked, portable pizzas consist of pita bread topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, spices and olive oil. We’d suggest sprinkling veggies, such as roasted broccoli or sautéed peppers, on top and using whole grain pita bread for more nutritional value. The mozzarella cheese has calcium, which helps replace the minerals teeth lose on a daily basis and strengthens the enamel, as well as the bones that support the teeth. If you opt for whole grain pita bread, it will benefit your child’s gums too. Whole grains are thought to lower the risk of gum disease.

3.  Crunchy Cinnamon Chickpeas – Roasted chickpeas are one of our favorite healthy snacks for kids on the go. The unassuming little legumes are actually nutritional powerhouses. Chickpeas have protein, folic acid, calcium, iron and magnesium. Folic acid stimulates cell growth from head to toe, which is essential for the whole body, the mouth included. Calcium makes the enamel and jaw bone strong. Magnesium is another mineral needed to give little teeth enamel of steel! Pack these crunchy chickpeas up for some healthy snack for kids at school or when they’re on the move.

Ingredients (4 Servings):

  • 1 15-ounce can of chickpeas, drained, rinsed and thoroughly dried
  • 1 tablespoon of a neutral oil (avocado oil is a good choice)
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¾ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of honey or agave

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F.
  2. After rinsing your chickpeas, roll them in a clean towel to dry them. If you have time, you can also let them air dry for 30 minutes on the towel. Some people swear by removing the skin for maximum crispiness but the choice is yours!
  3. In a large mixing bowl, mix the chickpeas with the oil and sea salt. DON’T add the other spices yet.
  4. Arrange the chickpeas in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 35-40 minutes, shaking the pan every 10 minutes or so. When they’re done, they’ll be golden brown and crispy on the outside but soft on the inside.
  5. Remove your chickpeas from the oven and toss them with the honey or agave and cinnamon.
  6. Let the chickpeas cool for about 10 minutes. They’ll get crispier as they cool.

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4.  Peanut Butter and Banana Overnight Oats in Mason Jars – Overnight oats aren’t just for breakfast. Stock a few extra jars in your fridge for healthy after school snacks. This version contains whole grains in the form of oats, Greek yogurt, milk, chia seeds, banana and peanut butter. Your kiddo will get protein, calcium, vitamin D, phosphorus, potassium, antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids and other essential vitamins and minerals. Yogurt and milk are foods that strengthen kids’ teeth. They reduce the acid levels in the mouth, lowering the risk of decay. The calcium and vitamin D also strengthen the bones that support the teeth and keep enamel strong. Whole grains, like oatmeal, are thought to lower the risk of gum disease.

If your child doesn’t eat dairy, you can leave out the yogurt in this recipe and replace the milk with an alternative like soy milk or almond milk. Add an extra splash of your non-dairy milk to make up for the moisture the yogurt would have provided.

Ingredients (1 Serving):

  • 1/4 cup of old-fashioned, rolled oats (can also use gluten-free oats)
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter or a nut-free alternative like SunButter
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • ½ of a banana, sliced

Directions:

  1. Put all of the ingredients, except for the banana in a mason jar.
  2. Mix really well or put the lid on and shake it.
  3. For less mushy banana slices, add the banana before serving. If you don’t mind softer bananas, gently fold the banana slices in before putting it in the fridge.
  4. Put the lid on and keep the jar in the refrigerator for at least eight hours or overnight.
  5. Mix and eat up!

5.  Cucumber Hummus Cups – We stumbled across this genius recipe from the blog My Kids Lick the Bowl. Stacey, the mom behind the blog, cuts cucumbers into thick slices and scoops out most of the middle with a melon ball scooper to make a little cup. She stuffs the cucumber cups with hummus and pops pretzel sticks in them for good measure. Voila. One of the best healthy snack ideas for kids we’ve seen and you can pull it together in minutes. See the full instructions here. Cucumbers are packed with water and water rinses away food debris and plaque in the mouth. They’re also crunchy and chewing on crunchy, fresh veggies stimulates saliva production. Saliva has minerals in it that neutralize cavity-causing plaque acids. Hummus is made with chickpeas, which, as we discussed, have folic acid, protein, magnesium and calcium, all vitamins that help keep kids’ teeth healthy.

6.  Fruit and Veggie Spring Rolls – For a fun take on spring rolls, try stuffing them with smile-friendly foods like raw apples, baby spinach, strawberries, shredded carrots and mango. Since they’re finger food, these fruity spring rolls are amazing healthy snacks for kids on the go. Apples and carrots are nature’s toothbrushes, scraping away plaque as little ones munch on them. Leafy greens like spinach have essential vitamins and minerals to strengthen the teeth and gums, while fruits, such as strawberries and mango, contain the vitamin C gums love. This recipe is adapted from one created by Gemma Stafford of Bigger Bolder Baking.

Ingredients (8 Servings):

  • 1 carrot, peeled and shredded
  • 8 strawberries, sliced
  • 1 medium apple, peeled, cored and chopped into matchsticks
  • 1 mango, peeled and chopped into matchsticks
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • Lemon juice
  • 8 rice paper wraps

Directions:

  1. Prepare fruits and veggies. Be sure to squeeze a bit of lemon juice over the chopped apples to prevent them from turning brown.
  2. Add warm water to a large pot or bowl. Soak the rice paper wraps one at a time in the water for about 20 seconds. The wrap should be pliable and a little sticky but still a bit firm. Put the rice paper down on a flat surface with the smooth side facing down. Place a little bit of the filling towards the center of the bottom third of the rice paper. Bring the bottom edge up and over the fruits and veggies. Fold in both sides. While using your fingers to keep the filling tight and towards the center of the roll, firmly roll the entire paper up like you’re rolling a burrito.
  3. Serve alone or with the dipping sauce of your choice.

These healthy snack ideas for kids are simple to make, delicious and contain foods that strengthen teeth. While a well-balanced diet is part of any plan for awesome oral health, brushing and flossing like a champ and going for regular visits to a pediatric dentist are also keys to keeping children’s smiles healthy and bright. Looking for a fun, high-tech pediatric dentist in Englewood or Stapleton? Schedule an appointment at Kids Mile High Pediatric Dentistry today!

Denver Kids Charities

7 Englewood and Denver Charities to Get Your Kids Involved With This Summer

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Denver Kids Charities

One of our core values at Kids Mile High Pediatric Dentistry is making our community and the world a better place. As Englewood and Stapleton pediatric dentists, Dr. Paddy and Dr. Castro try their very best to bring smiles to the areas where they work and live (though Dr. Paddy has been known to take his efforts around the globe by leading outreach missions in Central America). They’re both active in helping the underserved in Denver and Dr. Paddy donates his time and teeth skills to Give Kids a Smile and KIND (Kids in Need of Dentistry) as well. You’re never too young to discover the importance of helping those in need, which is why we think teaching kids about giving back by involving them in some summer volunteering experiences is an amazing idea. Not sure where to start? We’ve rounded up a few Englewood and Denver charities and volunteer opportunities for kids and teens.

1. Phamaly Theatre Company

Denver Metro Area – Phamaly Theatre Company is amazing. They produce professional level live plays and musicals featuring only performers with disabilities. To continue to do their work, they rely on hundreds of volunteers each season who do everything from working as ushers to helping backstage. This could be an excellent summer volunteer opportunity for kids in Denver and the surrounding metro area as they accept volunteers of all ages who want to promote inclusion and disability awareness. Fill out a volunteer application or check out the details of their volunteer program.

2. The Urban Farm at Stapleton

Stapleton, Denver – The Urban Farm at Stapleton (10200 Smith Road) is a Denver non-profit organization dedicated to educating people on horses, caring for farm animals and horticulture in a farm setting. It’s such a cool place to get a country vibe in the city. It’s also a source of some fun opportunities for volunteering in Stapleton for kids and teens (it’s not too far for our Englewood patients either!). Minors will need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian but that just means it’s a great excuse for the whole family to get involved. Water the animals, clean up around the playhouse, muck out animal pens, weed flower beds or do some general farm chores. To complete a volunteer application, learn more about your options and check the schedule for volunteer orientations, visit the Urban Farm site.

3. Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver

Metro Denver – Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver is among the most well-known Denver charities and it’s an awesome place to volunteer as a family in Denver and the surrounding area. They have a whole page dedicated to youth and student volunteer opportunities. Older teens can participate in the actual construction of a house for a family in need, while kids under 14 can do all sorts of things like bring lunch to the volunteers, organize a tool or donation drive, make a welcome gift for a Habitat family or build planters to give to the family during the dedication ceremony (they can tour the finished home too!). Check out the details.

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4. The City of Englewood

Englewood – While it’s not technically on the list of charities in Englewood, Colorado, the City of Englewood offers plenty of volunteer opportunities for kids and teens, including assisting at community events and things like park cleanups. Fill out a volunteer application and email it to [email protected], fax it to (303) 762-2688 or mail it or drop it off at the Englewood Recreation Center, Attn: Debby Severa, 1115 W. Oxford Avenue, Englewood, CO 80110. The City also participates in the Neighborhood Rehab Project (also known as Be a Tool) where participants help neighbors in need with home improvement projects during a day of service, which is scheduled in early September this year. Find out more and sign-up at beatool.org.

5. Volunteers of America Colorado Branch Youth Volunteer Program

Denver – Volunteers of America is a national, non-profit organization with more than 30 human services programs around the state of Colorado, running the gamut from housing to healthcare, that help upward of 200,000 members of Colorado’s most vulnerable populations. For Denver charity work for kids and teens this summer, look no further than the Youth Volunteer Program geared towards ages 11 through 17. Kids can help at Head Start schools or work with the homeless, homebound seniors and more. Fill out a volunteer form to get started.

6. Freedom Service Dogs of America

Englewood – Freedom Service Dogs is an organization that transforms shelter dogs into trained assistance dogs for people with disabilities, including children, veterans and active duty military with autism, traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy, spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy and post traumatic stress disorder. They have opportunities for Englewood summer charity work for teens after they go through the Dog Care and Enrichment Training. Kids between 12- and 15-years-old can volunteer on-site (7193 S. Dillon Street) with an adult. The grown-up has to control the leash but the kiddo can play with the dog in the play yard. Teenagers ages 16 and up can volunteer on their own. While volunteers don’t get to train the dogs, there’s kennel work and cleaning to be done, as well as interacting with pooches. After gaining experience and taking dog walking classes, there are dog walking opportunities too. Find out more and sign-up for volunteer orientation here.

7. Mercy Housing

For more Stapleton volunteer opportunities for kids and families, consider Mercy Housing, an organization that offers safe, affordable housing to moderate-income families, people with disabilities and seniors. There are two Mercy Housing communities in Stapleton: Bluff Lake Apartments and Parkside Apartments. Property projects like landscaping, community gardening, beautification efforts and building playgrounds or helping at community events would work well for families and younger volunteers. To learn about current opportunities, contact Mercy Housing Colorado at [email protected] or (303) 830-3300.

kids mile high fathers day

What to do for Father’s Day in Englewood, Stapleton and the Surrounding Area

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kids mile high fathers day

Dads are awesome and as Englewood and Stapleton pediatric dentists, we get to meet a lot of them here at Kids Mile High. Well, Father’s Day 2018 falls on Sunday, June 17, so it’s almost time to celebrate the dads in your life. Not sure how to mark the special occasion? Don’t worry, we have plenty of ideas. Here’s the Kids Mile High Pediatric Dentistry guide to what to do for Father’s Day in Englewood, Stapleton and the Denver area.  

1. Father’s Day 5K, 10K or Half Marathon 

For active dads, there aren’t many better things to do for Father’s Day in Stapleton, Denver than taking part in the Feat on the Street race in Central Park. If the whole family registers for a team, you can even save a few bucks. The event takes place on Sunday, June 17 at 7am. It will begin with coffee, hot chocolate, a pre-race workout, a kids’ fun run and music. Then, you can run or walk the 5K, 10K or half marathon course, which will be complete with professionally chip-timed results. Stay for the post-race entertainment, an awards ceremony and a commemorative t-shirt and be sure to download your free race photos! Register here.

2. Watch the Denver Outlaws Take on the Florida Launch 

Make it a full Father’s Day weekend and watch an exciting, high-energy Major League Lacrosse game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Denver Outlaws will play the Florida Launch on Saturday, June 16 at 7:30pm. Surprise dad with tickets. Or, combine it with the next idea on our list and purchase Denver Outlaws BBQ passes to fill up on BBQ before cheering on the home team.  

3. The Denver BBQ Festival 

The inaugural BBQ Festival is one of the Denver Father’s Day events were most excited for! Award-winning BBQ legends will be serving up delicious masterpieces at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Enjoy food, drinks, live music and fun. There will be a preview party on Friday, June 15 from 5 to 9pm. Admission is free on Saturday, June 16 from 11am to 8pm and Sunday, June 17 from 11am to 6pm with BBQ galore available to purchase. You can also surprise dad with a BBQ Masterclass where he can learn the pit secrets from the pros. Check out the schedule.

4. Breakfast in Bed

Breakfast in bed is the classic gift for dad. Go with a breakfast in bed menu that includes all of his favorites. To really take your Stapleton or Englewood, CO Father’s Day up a notch, grab some coffee to go from a local spot like Nixon’s in Englewood or Intersections in Stapleton at the Northfield Shops.

Book a Consultation for Your Kiddos Today!

5. Denver Comic Con 2018 

Denver Comic Con will be held Friday, June 15 and Saturday, June 16 from 10am to 7pm and Sunday, June 17 from 10am to 6pm at the Colorado Convention Center. Presented by Pop Culture Classroom, a nonprofit on a mission to inspire a love of learning and literacy, the extravaganza will feature activities, panels, some of the biggest stars from sci-fi and fantasy movies, TV and animation, merchants, an area exclusively for kids and teens, Booktopia, cosplay and more. With so much going on, there’s something for everyone in the family.

6. Visit the Stapleton Farmer’s Market 

For a more low-key Stapleton Father’s Day activity, hit up the Farmer’s Market on Sunday, June 17 between 8:30am and 12:30pm at Founders Green. Browse the Colorado-grown produce, specialty meats, gourmet foods and baked goods. Then, use what you get at your shopping trip to cook dad a meal.

7. Juneteenth Music Festival 

There’s really tons of things to do for Father’s in Denver this year. Start your Father’s Day weekend off at the annual, free Juneteenth Music Festival to be held on Saturday, June 16 in the Five Points Neighborhood (27th and Welton Street). The celebration of community, culture and freedom will include live musical performances by blues, R&B, soul, hip-hop and jazz artists, a youth zone, hundreds of vendors, food and drinks and, of course, the Juneteenth Parade that departs from Manual High School at 11am. The festival will run until 9pm.   

8. The Denver Century Ride & Street Party 

For another Stapleton Father’s Day weekend activity for dads who like being active, the Denver Century Ride starts at the Shops at Northfield on Saturday, June 16. It takes cyclists on a 100-mile ride past Denver’s most iconic places. It’s recommended for seasoned riders, as it’s a challenging course. However, there’s also a 25-mile, 50-mile and 85-mile route. The first wave of 300 riders will depart at 6am, the second wave at 6:15am and the third wave at 6:30am. The ride will end with a street party back at the Shops of Northfield with vendors, food and beverages. If you want to join dad, kids 14 and under can sign up for a 25-mide ride. Register here.

9. Have a Picnic

If you’re looking for things to do for Father’s Day in Englewood, CO that are relaxing and close to home, have a picnic for dad in Belleview Park or Centennial Park. Spread out a blanket and eat lunch before taking a stroll on one of the nature trails or challenging dad to a pick-up basketball game. Make your own sandwiches or get something from Rudi’s Deli to bring along.

10. Take Dad Out for Lunch or Dinner

No Father’s Day in Englewood or Stapleton would be complete without a nice meal. Take the dad in your life out for lunch or dinner. Some of our favorite restaurants include Acres, The Copper Pot, Undici Ristorante and Aung’s Bangkok Café in Englewood and Cattivella Wood-Fired Italian, Hashtag (for brunch!), Concourse Restaurant Moderne and Los Chingones in Stapleton.

Happy Father’s Day!

Get to Know Your Denver Kids Dentist Better – 20 Questions for Dr. Paddy

Get to Know Your Denver Kids Dentist Better – 20 Questions for Dr. Paddy

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Get to Know Your Denver Kids Dentist Better – 20 Questions for Dr. Paddy

At Kids Mile High Pediatric Dentistry, of course, we consider Dr. Paddy to be the coolest, best Englewood kids dentist and the kiddos that come into the office happen to think he’s pretty awesome too. One of the keys to getting children to love sitting in the dentist’s chair is finding a doc who makes things fun, engaging and educational, which describes Dr. Paddy perfectly. But, don’t just take our word for it. Check out his answers to our little game of 20 Questions and get to know your favorite Denver pediatric dentist a little better!

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Our Favorite Denver and Englewood Kids’ Stores

Our Favorite Denver and Englewood Kids’ Stores

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Our Favorite Denver and Englewood Kids’ Stores

Dr. Paddy is an Englewood, Colorado pediatric dentist with many talents. He keeps young smiles healthy, he’s a pretty serious extreme skier and he also happens to know a bit about fashion (have you seen his crazy socks?) and toys (he’s still a kid at heart). In addition to his own shopping knowledge, he’s around little ones and their parents most of the day, so he’s picked up quite a few leads on the cool Englewood and Denver stores for kids. At Kids Mile High Pediatric Dentistry, we’re all about sharing the knowledge, which is why we’ve compiled our list of the best kids’ stores in Englewood, Denver, and the surrounding area.

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Our Favorite Denver Area Mommy Bloggers

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Not only does Denver, Colorado have gorgeous scenery, tons of stuff to do with kids and, of course, a nearby super fun Englewood pediatric dentist, the city also boasts some talented parenting bloggers. From hilarious stories to helpful tips and activity guides, they cover it all. If you’re in need of some new reading material, Kids Mile High Pediatric Dentistry is here to help. Here’s our list of the best Denver mommy blogs (and a Colorado dad blog as well).   Read More

The Best Winter Activities for Kids in Denver & Englewood

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Dr. Paddy LOVES winter. You may know him as your super fun, trusty Englewood pediatric dentist but he’s also all about the Colorado lifestyle in his free time. Skiing is his passion and he spent his formative years on the ice playing hockey. While Dr. Paddy has the inside line to all the good stuff going on for the little ones, which is why our list of the best summer activities for kids in Denver and Englewood and our round-up of birthday party place ideas were both hits, it’s the winter that really excites us at Kids Mile High Pediatric Dentistry. So, if you follow along with our guide to winter activities for kids in Englewood and Denver you’ll probably have the best season ever. Here are a few of our favorite family-friendly things to do in the Denver area: Read More

Win 4 Disney On Ice Tickets!

Win 4 Disney On Ice Tickets!

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Win 4 Disney On Ice Tickets!

Win 4 Disney On Ice Tickets!

From now until Dec 7th, all patients that come in to see Dr. Paddy will be entered into a draw for Disney On Ice Tickets! We’re giving away 4 sets of tickets to 4 different winners! Don’t miss out on the fun! We’ll draw the winners on Dec 7th! Book in for your appointment at KMH by visiting out Contact Us page.

Von’s Vision Charity Event

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Dr. Paddy recently attended Von’s Vision Charity Event. This charity event is dedicated to raising funds so that the children in Denver are able to receive free eye exams and glasses.  Health and wellbeing of children is something near and dear to Dr. Paddy’s heart, and he was thrilled to be able to attend the Von’s Vision Charity Event to further show his support in children’s health.

vons-vision-charity-event-denver

At the event, Dr. Paddy met inspiring Denver locals such as Bennie Fowler, the wide receiver for Denver Broncos.

Von's Vision Charity Event

Also at the event was T.J Ward. Dr. Paddy was thrilled to meet (and grab a selfie with)  T.J Ward, the Denver Broncos safety.

vons-vision-charity-event-englewood

Dr. Paddy also was delighted to meet the creator of Von’s Vision Charity, and the host of the event – Von Miller. Von Miller is the Denver Broncos linebacker and a party of the Super Bowl 50 champions team.

Learn how you can help Von Miller’s efforts by visiting Von’s Vision.

The Best Spots for Kids’ Birthday Parties in Englewood & Denver

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The Best Spots for Kids’ Birthday Parties in Englewood & DenverWondering where to have a birthday party for kids in Denver or Englewood? Considering your favorite Englewood, CO pediatric dentist, Dr. Paddy, is a kid at heart, it should come as no surprise that he has lowdown on the best children’s birthday spots. Whether you want to ring in your kiddo’s special day indoors or outside in the fresh air, you prefer a blow out or an intimate gathering, you’re on a budget or you’re ready to splurge, Kids Mile High Pediatric Dentistry has you covered. We’ve got Denver-area kids birthday party venue ideas to hit all of the items on your wish list. In no particular order, here’s our favorites: Read More