Tag Archives: Scottsdale

Gymboree Play and Music is back in Scottsdale

Adam and Lane Abrahamsen with (from left) Aarik, Aaron and Athena.

The Abrahamsens were the perfect Gymboree Play & Music Family. All three of their children (Athena,  Aaron and Aarik) attended classes. One had made an about-face in personality because of the program and another jumped and giggled to his heart’s delight when he got there. It made sense for the loyal Gymboree Customer to become the Gymboree Franchisee.

Lane and Adam Abrahamsen inquired about the rights to the Scottsdale Gymboree Play & Music location in late 2010 and found that it was available. After months of training, planning and hiring, Abrahamsen Enterprises, Inc. opened the new Gymboree Play & Music Scottsdale on Jan. 31. Their site manager, Kori Newbill, and her staff, have created a wonderful, safe environment where children and their families can laugh, play, sing and climb (that’s the best part!) together.

Lane and Adam are excited to bring the experience their children had to the moms and babies of Scottsdale.

“It’s great to see happy faces, hear sunny laughter and watch toddling babies enjoy time with their moms, dads, grandmas, grandpas, aunties, nannies and our teachers.” says Lane. ” We love what we do and hope the next shy little one comes to us to learn how fun it is to go out and experience what the world has to offer.”

Visit for yourself: Gymboree Play & Music Scottsdale,  7077 E. Bell Rd. #205, Scottsdale. 480-656-0801 or scottsdaleaz@gymboreeclasses.com.

MaryAnn Ortiz-Lieb


How to score a FREE Sprinkles cupcake

Sprinkles Cupcakes. Photo by Daniel Friedman.

Sprinkles Cupcakes is celebrating new extended baking hours by offering guests a free cupcake from 8 to 9pm today and tomorrow (March 15 & 16). The bakery is now open from 9am to 9pm Monday-Saturday and 10am to 8pm Sunday.

Guests with a valid ID may select one free cupcake of their choice during their two-day celebration. If you decide to go, you might want to consider sharing your cupcake with a friend or family member. The cupcakes have no trans fats or artificial ingredients but each carries a hefty caloric total. The blog Cupcake Activist begins a post with “WARNING: If you love Sprinkles Cupcakes and want to continue eating them, don’t read any further” before she shares nutrition information she found on the livestrong.com website. (She says one Sprinkles red velvet cupcake with cream cheese frosting is 627 calories.)

But calories sure haven’t deterred lines of people that show up each day at Sprinkles Cupcakes in Scottsdale.

We learned something we didn’t know about Sprinkles Cupcakes when Jennifer Kaplan of Evolve Public Relations and Marketing showed up today with a preview of the special Father’s Day cupcakes that will be available June 15 to 17. She told us that Sprinkles also makes doggy cupcakes.

Calendar & Directories Editor Mala Blomquist’s chihuahua Bonnie, our office mascot, was very happy to hear that and can’t wait to check them out.

Sprinkles Cupcakes is located at 4501 N. Scottsdale Rd., on the northeast corner of Scottsdale and Camelback in Scottsdale. The company opened “the world’s first cupcake bakery” in Beverly Hills, according to the Food Network, and is credited by the Los Angeles Times as “the progenitor of the haute cupcake craze.” It was founded by Candace Nelson, a judge on the Food Network’s hit show “Cupcake Wars,” and her husband Charles. sprinkles.com.

Spring Saver Specials at UltraStar’s UltraLuxe Cinema

Spring Saver Specials go into effect Friday at UltraLuxe Cinemas, the flagship Arizona location for UltraStar Cinemas.

A Daily Early Bird Special is a chance to see the day’s first matinee showing for just $5. After the first matinee showing, all seats are $6 until 4 p.m. (Additional upcharges for 3D films, D-BOX motion seats & Star-Class auditoriums for ages 18 and over still apply.)

Movie lovers can also frequent UltraLuxe Cinemas on Tuesdays and Thursdays, when Discount Days feature $5 admission for select films all day.

Admission is $5 and $6 for students, military and seniors all day, every day.

“Movie going has always been a beloved pastime enjoyed by all ages, but in this economy, it can be difficult to budget for recreational activities,” says Julie Bravo, vice president of advertising and marketing for UltraStar Cinemas. “Our Spring Saver Specials are meant to make movie going as affordable as possible to the communities that we serve, so guests can continue to enjoy a well- deserved day or night out at the movies.”

UltraLuxe Scottsdale Pavilions is located at 9090 E. Indian Bend Rd. in Scottsdale at the Pavilions at Talking Stick. The theater offers a wide array of amenities, including 11 luxurious auditoriums, D-BOX motion seats, star class auditoriums for guests 18+ with in-seat food service, and a full- service Cinema Café serving gourmet movie fare, beer and wine. For a listing of movie show times, visit UltraStarMovies.com.

“Neighborhood Nights” offer discounts and family fun

Up to two kids per adult can eat for $2 at “Neighborhood Nights” at Bueno Burger Mex American Grill.

The central Scottsdale restaurant creates a family environment from 5 to 9pm each Tuesday. Board games and a community table are set up to encourage conversations and the sports-focused television in the dining room remains off. Diners can choose from a variety of board games including UNO and checkers, and patrons are encouraged to bring their own games.

Bueno Burger is a mesquite grill that combines Mexican-American favorites with burgers, dogs, salads, fries and more. “Neighborhood Nights” will continue into the summer and also feature wine and beer at half price. 6977 N. Hayden Rd. buenoburgeraz.com.

VOICES offers free performing arts class for ages 3 to 5

Image courtesy of VOICES.

VOICES studio in Scottsdale is offering preschoolers the chance to sample a free Performing Arts Class during the week of Aug. 29 to Sept. 1.

The classes, specially designed for ages 3 to 5, run from 9am to noon and are divided into three segments: music, theater, and choreography.

Preregistration is required. Call 480-905-4102 to reserve a spot.

The free classes offer families a chance to sample the program VOICES offers for preschoolers throughout the school year. Two-, three- and five-day weekly program options  allow children opportunities to explore the stage, listen to sounds from around the world, discover creative choreography, sing and dance for senior citizens, paint like Picasso, write a play, learn music theory, and perform every month for family and friends.

Classes are small and offer an intimate 8:1 student- to-teacher ratio.

VOICES is located at 16674 N. 91st St. #D-102 in Scottsdale. voicesstudio.com

Free Kidtoons at UltraStar Cinemas

UltraStar is offering FREE admission to their Kidtoons programs!
Follow this link to print your free tickets.

Kidtoons are G-rated films that play every Saturday and Sunday at 10:30 am. The same movie plays for an entire month and the program is always family friendly and affordable: Regular admission is only $2.50 per person (guests 2 and under are always free).

Most Kidtoons features run between 60-75 minutes so they are the perfect opportunity for parents to introduce the movie environment to little ones who may not have the attention-span or ability to sit still for a normal 90-120 minute feature presentation.

The Kidtoons program features characters and stories that preschool to school-age children are familiar with, like Strawberry Shortcake, Barbie, and Thomas the Tank Engine. After each show children receive a free give-away item such as stickers, temporary tattoos or a coloring sheet.

The UltraLuxe Scottsdale is located at 9090 E Indian Bend Rd in the Scottsdale Pavilions on Indian Bend and the Loop 101.  UltraStar Surprise is located at 13649 North Litchfield Road in Surprise.  For more information ultrastarmovies.com. — Susie Drake

Caught up in Garage boutique’s retro-hip vibe

This time of year, back-to-school shopping is always a challenge. However, I was pleasantly surprised when my daughter Katie and I went to one of our favorite boutiques: Garage, a body shop for kids.

We quickly were caught up in the retro-hip store, located at 7144 E. Stetson Dr., #100 in Scottsdale. We browsed through the back-to-school necessities and while I pulled out some clothes for Katie to try on, I found myself a few “must-haves.”

I couldn’t help but notice the sweet smells wafting over from the ice cream bar. Yes, the Garage boutique has an ice cream bar. We bellied up and enjoyed a scoop of ice cream. We had to take a few candy items to get Katie (and me) through the first week of school.

I have been working with the Garage for years. I love the quaint atmosphere and have to give Katie Wilson kudos for creating the Report Card Program (more information below). — Susie Drake