Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Best of Santa Fe—Kids & Pets | Best of Santa Fe

Doodlet’s takes humor and play very seriously; when the team looks for new toys, it has to pass the “laugh out loud” test before it goes on shelves. And when families come into Doodlet’s, they’re encouraged to play and touch. Since the pandemic forced said families to spend significant amounts of time together inside, Doodlet’s DIY craft supplies have expanded. “Silly, fun humor is important to us,” says the crew at this Santa Fe institution.

120 Don Gaspar Ave., (505) 983-3771

Spark a new interest with science kits, crafts and more with play packages that include themes like space adventure, sensory-friendly and unicorns. The museum also offers summer explorer camps on a range of themes.

1050 Old Pecos Trail, (505) 989-8359

This downtown toy shop recently reopened its doors to visitors from all over, showing off its selection of “real toys for unreal times” from around the world. Plus, quality games for novice and seasoned players alike.

112 W San Francisco St., Ste 202, (505) 982-9373

The behavior team at the Santa Fe Animal Shelter provides a range of services to help pet guardians develop a lasting relationship with their canine friends. A host of training classes, from polite greetings to essential life skills, will help Fido learn all the skills he needs to become a really good boy. Their training library and community connection events and workshops will provide you with all the resources you need to be a supportive pet guardian.

100 Caja del Rio Road, (505) 983-4309

With regular litter updates on its website, this service dog organization also wins BOSF’s unofficial “Cutest Website” award. In all seriousness, the training provided by Assistance Dogs of the West is top-notch, so these pups can go on to work with children and adults who benefit from their love.

1590 San Mateo Lane, (505) 986-9748

Dogs can be dogs here while receiving training from the outstanding Santa Fe Tails team. Here you can get dog whisperers to help get Rover under control while dealing with a professional staff in a clean and modern center.

2109 Warner Ave., (505) 820-0731

This charter school took advantage of the opportunity to shift to outdoor learning during the pandemic, and along the way developed some fantastic educational programs that leverage the wonder of nature to engage students. Its work with community partners across the state provides students with exposure to the world outside the classroom, challenging young people to broaden their perspectives and become lifelong learners.

13A San Marcos Loop, (505) 986-4000

An emphasis on project learning and an environment of respect and inclusion distinguishes this school. With a curriculum designed to support and challenge students based on their individual needs and strengths, this school help young learners grow into mature scholars.

5912 Jaguar Drive, (505) 438-8585

Outdoor learning and experiential education are front and center at this unique school. Reading, festivals and technology all feature prominently in classrooms, where students develop a lasting relationship with the class teacher in first through eighth grades.

26 Puesta del Sol, (505) 983-9727

This is not your typical high school. On top of a regular academic schedule, students engage in daily intensive art blocks in one of five disciplines: creative writing and literature, dance, music (vocal, jazz or instrumental), theater or visual arts. Professional artists and expert teachers teach the skills necessary to develop mastery in each scholar’s selected area of interest. The admission process includes an audition and portfolio component, so interested students need to prepare accordingly.

500 Montezuma Ave., (505) 310-4194

The Santa Fe High Demons managed to improve their graduation rate by over 10% in the last year, with almost 90% of students receiving a degree from the city’s oldest high school. A wide array of programs and activities offer students ample choices for extracurricular activities.

2100 Yucca St., (505) 467-2400

This magnet school offers small class sizes and an International Baccalaureate curriculum, which challenges students to take on extensive research and writing projects. Students are admitted based on a lottery, which opens for the next school year in November.

1604 Agua Fria St., (505) 467-1901

Best Kid-Friendly Restaurant

The Cowgirl’s kids menu offers all the favorites—even the most picky eaters are bound to find something they like. What kid wouldn’t giggle with glee over the idea of a double corn dog followed by an ice cream baked potato and a romp through the playground while mom and dad wait for the check? With a laid-back and family-friendly atmosphere, this eatery is the perfect spot to gather with friends and enjoy a delicious meal while the kids entertain themselves.

319 S Guadalupe St., (505) 982-2565

With a stream in the backyard and walls plastered with children’s artwork, this Santa Fe staple will not disappoint younger diners. A quality kids menu means everyone will find something to enjoy (crayons included).

96 B Old Las Vegas Hwy., (505) 989-4629

Its New Mexican kids menu looks good enough for guests of all ages, though the family meals are where this eatery really shines. Meals can be ordered for two to 20 people and frozen to save for later.

500 S Guadalupe St., (505) 983-5721

Best Kids Dental Practice

Dr. Kris Hendricks has done everything in his power to make the dentist as enjoyable as that experience can ever be for the next generation. The office has an indoor play area and an outdoor play yard filled with toy cars. Treatment rooms have TV screens built into the ceiling and kids can get their teeth cleaned while lying on surfboards. Dentistry for Kids even has an infant dental care program.

1439 S St. Francis Drive, (505) 473-5437

As the “home of happy teeth,” Just For Grins Pediatric Dentistry offers a wide range of services including restorative treatments, dietary recommendations, infant care, teeth whitening, oral surgery and after-hours emergency treatment.

490B W Zia Road, (505) 428-7878

At this pediatric dental clinic, children and parents will find a warm and welcoming space and a dedicated staff that wants to make sure every patient has a positive dental experience. In addition to offering general dentistry, the clinic provides emergency treatment.

3252 Cerrillos Road, (505) 954-1128

This is the only public school in Santa Fe to offer the Middle Years Programme, which is the middle school component of the International Baccalaureate curriculum and encourages students to develop creative, critical and reflective thinking skills. All coursework is taught with an emphasis on promoting an international mindset within students and developing fluency in a second language is encouraged. A lottery determines admissions.

1604 Agua Fria St., (505) 467-1901

An excellent public education open to all New Mexican students defines this charter school just south of Santa Fe. Students have a diverse range of options for extracurricular activities and athletics, but families must enter a lottery before enrolling.

13A San Marcos Loop, (505) 986-4000

This recently built Midtown school sprouted from two former Santa Fe Public Schools institutions: Capshaw and Devargas middle schools. Seventh and eighth graders have a wide range of electives to choose from.

1720 Llano St,, (505) 467-3300

Santa Fe Animal Shelter & Humane Society Santa Fe Animal Shelter & Humane Society | Kelli Johansen

Best Nonprofit for Animals

Perhaps the most beloved institution in Santa Fe, the animal shelter gets support from everyone because it does such a good job caring for the city’s most adorable residents. With a range of programs to spay and neuter animals in your home and “free-living community cats,” the services this organization provides are invaluable.

100 Caja del Rio Road, (505) 983-4309

This shelter offers free spay and neuter services to dogs and cats to help these animals live healthier and happier lives. Its adoption services will help you find a companion that you can shower with love and affection.

108 Hamm Parkway, Española, (505) 753-8662

This horse rescue organization has been rehabilitating abandoned and neglected horses around New Mexico for over two decades. Opportunities to adopt, volunteer and support its efforts are plentiful and you’ll get a warm, fuzzy feeling when you lend a helping hand.

821 W San Mateo Road, (505) 471-6179

This summer, the girl-centered nonprofit, Girls, Inc. of Santa Fe, celebrates 66 years of providing young women with life-changing experiences and skills to take on the world. The organization understands the unique issues girls face today and challenges them to pursue independence, healthy lifestyles and academic success. Research-based programs and summer camps, powered by some remarkable female mentors, will inspire the next generation of leaders.

301 Hillside Ave., (505) 982-2042

YouthWorks opened its doors 20 years ago with the goal of re-engaging young people in Northern New Mexico. These days, over 1,000 people from across the state come for free education and job preparation each year.

1504 Cerrillos Road, (505) 989-1855

Summer programs and hands-on exhibits provide kids with learning opportunities through exploration and adventure. The museum encourages community access through scholarships and admission assistance.

1050 Old Pecos Trail, (505) 989-8359

Best Orthodontic Practice

This dental and orthodontic practice knows that teeth issues are best dealt with at an early age, lest they grow into larger problems. And as their name suggests, they specialize in adolescent oral care and they understand the social anxieties associated with braces. A bright, clean and kid-friendly space greets families and puts young people at ease. Kids will almost look forward to getting their braces adjusted.

1439 S St. Francis Drive, (505) 473-5437

With over 30 years of experience in orthodontics, Dr. Clarice Pick knows what Santa Fe families need. It’s a true community practice with flexible, individualized payment plans to make sure all children have access to orthodontic services regardless of their parents’ income.

125 Siringo Road, Ste. A, (505) 982-0094‎

Using minimally invasive but state-of-the-art technology, Dr. Daniel Meyers and his team work hard to ensure every patient receives the care and attention they need to achieve a perfect smile. Staff attention to overall oral care ensures your smile will not only be aligned, but also healthy.

550 St. Michael’s Dr., (505) 983-8605

CHRISTUS St. Vincent Arroyo Chamiso Pediatrics CHRISTUS St. Vincent Arroyo Chamiso Pediatrics | Courtesy Christus St. Vincent Arroyo Chamiso Pediatrics

A dedicated team of pediatricians and nurses provides world-class care in a hospital system that families can trust. Children from newborns to 18 years of age can find specialized medical care at the CHRISTUS St. Vincent Arroyo Chamiso Pediatric Center. With a strong focus on communication and developing a positive patient-provider relationship, children’s physical and emotional health come first.

465 St. Michaels Drive, Ste. 200, (505) 913-4901

Providing outstanding medical, dental and behavioral health services to the Santa Fe community for almost 50 years, La Familia Medical Center is a name parents can trust when seeking pediatric care for their children. Multiple locations and affordable financial arrangements available.

1035 Alto St., 2145 Caja del Oro Grant Road, (505) 982-4425

Patients can’t recommend Southwest Care Center enough. The location on Alameda that provides pediatric care has a range of services including wellness checkups, sports physicals and immunization, as well as bilingual family medical services.

901 W Alameda St., (505) 988-8869

Santa Fe Tails has won over the dog community’s love again. With live cams of the kennels and play areas to ensure clients can always check up on their dogs, the staff wants you to feel comfortable sending Rover to daycare. They offer special activities to help dogs socialize, keep pups friendly and acclimate shy newcomers to the daycare experience, plus other obedience training programs in private or group settings teach Spot how to shake and roll over and do other dog things.

2109 Warner Circle, (505) 820-0731

With one of the best outdoor play areas in town, this is the spot for your playful pup to get their energy out during the day. With boarding, grooming and training offered too, who doesn’t want their dog to play on a cool climbing mountain?

1416 Fourth St., (505) 820-7529

Dogs can romp and play in a supervised indoor or newly built outdoor area with other pups during the day. Your good boy is in good hands at Zoomies, with a cage-free environment operated by a seasoned veterinary technician.

513A Camino de Los Marquez, (505) 954-1473

This business treats clients—both canine and human—like family. They’ll want to see any dog-related social media posts in between visits. For those dogs lacking in sociability, the groomers take special care with shy or nervous dogs, lavishing them with treats and positive reinforcement. When you see just how handsome they can make your pup, you’ll never let the dog’s hair get too long again.

1624 Cerrillos Road, (505) 930-5909

The smell of clean dog is one of the best smells in the world. So take your not-so-clean pup to Barks & Bubbles for full-service grooming, catered to your dog’s breed, temperament and maintenance desires. Daycare options available.

1311 Calle Nava, (505) 820-2275

These folks provide everything, from full-service grooming to nail trimming—with the opportunity to purchase a la carte services for your pets. They’ll only use gentle, hypoallergenic shampoos on your furry friend.

513A Camino de Los Marquez, (505) 954-1473

Pet apparel is reason enough to check out Teca Tu. They’ve been making their own coats and vests for dogs for almost 30 years, and these outfits are almost as cute as the pets they cater to. With fresh-baked dog treats, quirky product offerings from around the state and a wide array of grooming supplies on sale, you can spoil any pet with a trip to Teca Tu. This team of animal lovers can provide families with everything they need for a happy home.

DeVargas Center, 165 Paseo de Peralta, (505) 982-9374

When Laura Moore founded her pet store in 1998, she set out to make sure your pet’s diet gets just as much scrutiny as your own. Pick up natural and organic pet foods, plus supplements and remedies, treats, toys and more.

1403 Agua Fria St., (505) 982-5040

No need for Eldoradans to drive all the way into town for pet supplies with Country Pet’s smiling faces ready to help; it also has a lot of supplies for wild birds.

7 Avenida Vista Grande, Ste. B5, Eldorado, (505) 466-1270

Licensed as a Five Star Preschool/Pre-K Program by the New Mexico, Children Youth and Families Department and nationally by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, this school certainly knows its stuff when it comes to early childhood education. But it also knows how to get young students engaged. Preschool—adorably titled the “Unicorn Class”—is based on a philosophy of finding each child’s unique learning style through exploration of different learning “mediums.”

5912 Jaguar Drive, (505) 438-8585

Children will learn the magic of every season in a school that promotes exploration and expression. Housed on a 13-acre campus at the edge of the mountains, Waldorf offers an educational experience that celebrates nature.

26 Puesta del Sol, (505) 467-6431

By promoting productive engagement and regulated time management, this Montessori school encourages students to set ambitious goals and pursue a wide variety of interests: arts, athletics and foreign language. The beautiful campus promotes learning about nature.

18 Puesta del Sol, (505) 995-9659

A half-credit course introduces students to the fundamentals, techniques and practices of standard first aid, safety and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Automated External Defibrillator(CPR/AED). The American Red Cross oversees the course.

3008 Cielo Court, (505) 986-8944

This violence prevention organization offers self-defense classes in personal safety, assertiveness and self-defense training programs. Resolve works to reduce violence in communities through education and awareness.

313 Camino Alire, Ste. 207, (505) 992-8833

This experienced team of CPR educators provides Santa Fe with the knowledge to help keep the community safe. Offering a range of courses that fit every professional need, this team has worked with emergency and health care providers all over Northern New Mexico.

1305 Luisa St., Ste. B, (505) 795-5927

Best Summer Program for Youth

The summer programming at Girls Inc. of Santa Fe provides young women with the skills and experience to grow into bold and smart leaders. In age-appropriate groups, girls dig into various programs focusing on mind and body health, STEM, positive peer influence and economic literacy. A team of dedicated and inspiring mentors leads the way for these girls to take risks and embrace challenges.

301 Hillside Ave., (505) 982-2042

Though spots often fill quickly for the popular youth programs at the community center every summer, interested families can still put their names on a waitlist. But no need to worry, programs are offered year-round.

3221 Rodeo Road, (505) 955-4005

From private and group lessons to summer rock camp and ukulele club, the number of offerings for kids is endless at The Candyman Strings & Things. Whether your youngster is a novice or expert, not to worry, they have all your bases covered.

851 St. Michael’s Drive, (505) 983-5906

With 75 years under its belt, it’s no surprise to see Smith at the top of this list again. Animal lovers of Santa Fe agree that Smith is the place to go when your furry, slithery, fuzzy or slimy friend isn’t feeling too hot. Santa Fe’s walk-in vet boasts 14 doctors, state-of-the-art tech and a whole wing of the hospital dedicated to cats. For both wellness and illness, your pet is in good hands at Smith.

600 Alta Vista St., (505) 982-4418

Alongside a full gamut of regular vet services for cats and dogs, Gruda’s doctors on the far south side can also provide your pet with chiropractic or acupuncture treatments, in case Mr. Whisker’s vibes are whack.

9 Rumble Road, (505) 471-4400

With over 30 years of experience, Dr. Brent Parker has all the knowledge to take care of your families’ furriest members. Along with Dr. Jennifer Kendrick, their dedication to your pet’s health hasn’t wavered for over two decades and they’ll continue providing top quality care for your best animal friend.

530 Juanita St., (505) 820-2232

With programs all over the state, NDI has made it its mission to bring arts education to young New Mexicans everywhere. With the reopening of in-person dance classes, NDI is eager to welcome students back into its local studio in Santa Fe: The Dance Barns. Given the economic pressures the pandemic put on families this past year, the institution offers a “pay-what-you-can” tuition system.

1140 Alto St., (505) 983-7646

What kid doesn’t want to rock out on the drums or guitar? At the Candyman’s Summer Rock Camp, kids can join a band and play their hearts out while learning all the technical musical skills they need to make great music.

851 St. Michael’s Drive, (505) 983-5906

A Shakespeare troupe for young people that puts understanding and collaboration at the front of its performances. Students work with experienced directors who volunteer their time to instill a love of theater in young people.

Best Youth Fitness Program

If you’ve never gone to one of the packed-house combo performances that features dance and singing along with amazing costumes, you need to add one of their upcoming productions to your calendar. Also once you see just how much work the dancers are putting into their performances, you’ll clearly see why NDI is fitness. We’re tired just thinking about it. Those kids who have a particular passion for dance can join one of its several advanced outreach teams and learn more choreography, tap, jazz and voice.

1140 Alto St., (505) 983-7646

Ice skating, swimming, indoor and outdoor activities—the community center has it all for families with active kids. Its work navigating COVID-19 protocols earned it some kudos from the community and its in-demand youth programs confirm this center’s popularity.

3221 Rodeo Road, (505) 955-4022

This climbing gym offers a selection of programs for children. Even for kids who have never climbed before, a great team of instructors will help any young climber have a positive experience on the wall. A solid spot in the community to meet new people and families.

3008 Cielo Court, (505) 986-8944

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