Tempe Tourism Blog

Tempe events: Arizona Dragon Boat Festival

Arizona Dragon Boat Festival
March 24, 2015

Tempe events feature a couple of fun and free festivals, including the Arizona Dragon Boat Festival at Tempe Beach Park and Tempe Town Lake. The races are the main focus of the festival with their beautifully decorated dragon boats which are manned by teams of up to 20 paddlers. One team member pounds a drum to keep the paddlers’ oars in sync; the drum represents the heart of the dragon. Tempe Town Lake may seem like an unlikely place to hold a dragon boat race, which is an ancient folk tradition with roots in southern China.  But, this will be the 12th year this popular event has taken place in Tempe.  Locals and visitors turn out to enjoy the beautiful dragon boat races, performances by martial artists, musicians and dancers, and lots of good food. If you’ve never seen a dragon boat race, this is your chance. And if you’ve attended past events, you’ll most likely be back again this year.   You can enjoy The Arizona Dragon Boat Festival, March 28-29, from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information, visit http://azdba.com/. This weekend, you’re in luck because you can take advantage of an outstanding festival twofer. In addition to the Dragon Boat Festival, there’s the big Tempe Festival of the Arts, which is also free. This annual street fare attracts up to 400 artists who display and sell their works from booths that line Mill Avenue and the adjacent streets in Downtown Tempe. For more information It’s another great week full of fantastic arts […]

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We love Tempe Bakeries

P. Croissant in Tempe
March 24, 2015

Bakeries are my favorite places. From bread to cupcakes to muffins, I’m usually game to try most anything in a pastry case. In fact, we could dedicate an entire blog to just cupcakes in Tempe. But, instead, we’re focusing on Tempe bakeries where you can get a variety of yummy sweet treats, and usually breakfast or lunch too. We have a full list of bakeries and delis in Tempe on the Tempe Tourism website, but here are a few of our favorites. Bakeries in South Tempe Great Harvest Bread Co. is an adorable family-owned bakery in south Tempe, at the northwest corner of McClintock Drive and Warner Road. They use natural ingredients for all of their creations: breads, cookies, muffins and scones. To step it up a notch, they even grind their wheat berries every day before they make their bread dough. They sell varieties like Honey Whole Wheat that are available daily and they rotate other selections throughout the week, such as Cinnamon Raisin and Whole Wheat Sourdough. Besides just picking up bread to go (that is sometimes so freshly baked that it steams up the bag), I highly suggest their sandwiches, salads and soups for lunch. They’re open Mon.-Fri. from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sat. from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. If I knew that I would eventually move to a house that is within walking distance to P. Croissant, I would have moved much, much sooner. Officially called Pleaissant Croissant, this bakery has been in the […]

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Top 5 Tempe Breakfast Spots

March 23, 2015

Tempe has a huge variety of both fun and affordable dining options, and since breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, here is my official list of fun and affordable breakfast spots in Tempe. Trust me – you won’t be disappointed! 1. Chompies: This New York style delicatessen offers breakfast all day long, and the options and portions here are plentiful! Their omelettes are heaven, and so are the sweeter options! I particularly love the whole grain pancakes. Find Chompie’s on University Dr. between Rural Rd. and Dorsey Ln. 2. NCounter: This spot, located in downtown Tempe off of Mill Ave. and 3rd St., offers a fun atmosphere and of course has great food. My favorite, so far, is the Farmer’s Choice egg sandwich. And I definitely would recommend their chai tea lattes…delish! 3. U.S. Egg: U.S. Egg, located in south Tempe on Baseline Rd. between Mill Ave. and Hardy Ave., offers both breakfast and lunch, but I always go for the breakfast here. I am sucker for their omelettes, but I also love their famous protein pancakes – filled with blueberries, granola, cinnamon and slivered almonds…they are oh so good! 4. Harlow’s Cafe: Located near ASU on University and Hardy Dr., this cafe has been a classic neighborhood gathering spot for almost 30 years now. Its old school charm and amazing food make for a great combination! My favorites are the eggs benedict or the huevos rancheros. I always leave full and happy. 5. Snooze: Great food and a relaxing atmosphere makes this […]

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Tempe events: Harlem Quartet and Aldo López Gavilán

Tempe Center for the Arts
March 16, 2015

Jazz and chamber music lovers are in for a real treat this weekend at Tempe Center for the Arts. Thanks to a cultural exchange between Lakeshore Music and the Republic of Cuba, the celebrated jazz pianist Aldo López Gavilán will perform with the internationally renowned chamber music ensemble, the Harlem Quartet. Harlem Quartet’s mission is to advance diversity in classical music while engaging new audiences with varied repertoire that includes works by minority composers. Their vision to share their passion with a wider audience has taken them around the world, from a 2009 performance at The White House for President Obama and First Lady, Michelle Obama, to a successful tour of South Africa in 2012, and many venues in between. The musically versatile ensemble has performed with a host of distinguished performers, including Itzhak Perlman, Ida Kavafian, Carter Brey, Fred Sherry, Misha Dicter, Jeremy Denk, and Paquito D’Rivera. Their most recent recording, Hot House, with jazz master Chick Corea and percussionist Gary Burton was a multi-Grammy Award winner in 2013. Havana-born pianist and composer Aldo López-Gavilán is an artist acclaimed for both his mastery of the Afro-Cuban jazz tradition as well as his stunning interpretations of the classical piano repertoire. A true prodigy born to a musical family, his concert pianist mother introduced him to the piano at four and he began formal studies at seven. He made his professional debut at 12 with Cuba’s Matanzas Symphony Orchestra  and performed Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No.3 with the National Symphony of Cuba at […]

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Party in Tempe for St. Patrick’s Day 2015

Rula Bula Irish Pub
March 13, 2015

St. Patrick’s Day means wearing green, being an adopted son or daughter for Ireland for the day (if you aren’t Irish) and hanging out with friends at your favorite bar. Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Tempe this year at one – or a couple – of your favorite Tempe bars. They’ll have everything from green beer to live music, dancing, prize giveaways and even a raffle to win a free trip to Ireland. Rula Bula Irish Pub & Restaurant 401 S. Mill Ave. Tempe, AZ  85281 480-929-9500 Located on the east side of Mill Ave. and Fourth St., Rula Bula Irish Pub & Restaurant is one of the valley’s best authentic Irish Pubs. Live music on the March 17th includes Trevor Jones, Irish Pipers and the Bracken School of Dance Irish Step Dancers. On Monday, March 16th, they’ll be raffling off a free trip to Ireland. Raffle tickets support the Irish Cultural Center. St. Patrick’s Day Mill Ave. Block Party On March 17th, Handlebar Tempe, El Hefe and Fat Tuesday will be having a block party in Downtown Tempe just west of Mill Ave. in the Centerpoint Courtyard, south of Sixth St. This St. Patty’s Day party will feature four stages, a DJ, green vodka and Redbull and all the dancing you can handle. This day long party starts at 11am. You can find ticket information to attend here. Four Peaks Brewing Company 1340 E. 8th St. Tempe, AZ 85281 480-303-9967 Four Peaks Brewing Company, named America’s Favorite Craft Brewery by the Travel […]

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The 2015 Spring Tempe Festival of the Arts

Festival of the Arts 244 x 163
March 11, 2015

Spring is bursting out all over in Tempe. We have it all—perfect weather, wild flowers, orange blossoms and a bunch fun outdoor events, concerts and festivals. One of Tempe’s biggest, most popular festivals, the 2015 Spring Tempe Festival of the Arts, comes to Downtown Tempe from March 27 to 29. This festival is tops on my list of favorite Tempe events and I’ve got a lot of company with more than 250,000 people attending this event each year. As many as 400 artists are selected to display their works from booths that line Mill Avenue in and the surrounding streets in Downtown Tempe. Their unique, hand-made works include woodworking, photography, paintings, sculpture, ceramics, jewelry and wearable art. I enjoy the festival not only for all the beautiful arts and crafts that are on display for three solid days, but also for all the other fun vendors and activities that take place. You’ll find well-known local and regional music at multiple locations throughout the event.  Watch for the street entertainers, including stilt walkers, face painters, musicians, magicians and caricature artists. The Arizona Wine Festival and the Art of Beer add another dimension to the festival.  You can sample some of Arizona’s best wines or purchase a glass, bottle or case. Or, if artisan beers are more your style, you can raise a glass at the Art of Beer where local microbreweries will offer samples and sales. There’s will be an entire area devoted to the cottage edibles and crafts where you can find ideal gifts for teachers, […]

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Tempe events: Cinderella waltzes into ASU Gammage

Rogers & Hammerstein's CINDERELLA
March 9, 2015

Rogers & Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA waltzes into ASU Gammage on Tuesday and runs through the weekend. The Tony Award-winning musical has been performed on stage and on TV for more than 50 years.The current production brings the magic and romance of the classic fairy tale to life within a contemporary script. This production includes all the favorite moments along with several new subplots (a young Prince trying to find himself, a revolution brewing in the kingdom, a stepsister’s romance, and more). The two-act musical features fantastic performances and plenty of laughs for both adults and children. Other show highlights include instantaneous costume changes, a flying fairy godmother and favorite songs such as “In My Own Little Corner,” “A Lovely Night,” “Impossible,” “Ten Minutes Ago” and “Stepsister’s Lament.” Expect to be swept away by this enchanting show which will be at ASU Gammage from March 10-15. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit http://www.asugammage.com. It’s a great week to be in Tempe with so many arts and culture events to choose from. Check out this week’s highlights and view a complete listing of Tempe events, or call 480-894-8158 for more information. March 9: Matt Kepnes: How to Travel the World on $50 a Day; March 10: Arizona Highways Photographer Larry Lindahl, Changing Hands Bookstore March 10: Judy Roberts & Greg Fishman, Mad Hatter Brew Pub March 10-15: Rodgers & Hammerstein’s CINDERELLA, ASU Gammage March 11: Walk-in Wednesdays Open Mic Night, Tempe Center for the Arts March 11: Arizona Territorial Medicine: Healers Hucksters and Heroes, Tempe History […]

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7 Tempe Springtime Activities for Kids

Sea Life Arizona Aquarium
March 8, 2015

Looking for something fun to do with your kiddos while in Tempe this spring? Here’s a short list of some of my favorite places to take the kids for a fun-filled day out with the family. Both you and your kids have a ball! 1) SEA LIFE Arizona Aquarium: Discover over 5,000 sea creatures at SEA LIFE Arizona. Built specifically for kids, this attraction transports visitors into the amazing ocean world. Kids will love the interactive and hands-on experiences like touching a starfish, all a part of the SEA LIFE visit. 2) Tempe Marketplace: This outdoor shopping and entertainment destination features over 100 shops and restaurants, a Harkins Theater and Dave & Buster’s. Be sure to stroll through the District and enjoy the inviting water features, outdoor fireplaces, bright lights and live music every Friday and Saturday evening. 3) MAIN EVENT Entertainment: All kinds of fun in one spot. With 26 bowling lanes, laser tag, a gravity high ropes course, billiards and shuffleboard tables and more than 125 interactive games, there’s something for everyone. 4) Childplay: See a Childsplay production at the Tempe Center for the Arts. Perfect for young audiences, even the parents will enjoy these wonderful performances. Upcoming shows include Girls Who Wear Glasses, March 14-29, and The Three Javelinas, April 19 – May 24. 5) The Phoenix Zoo: The Phoenix Zoo has been voted one of the nation’s top 5 zoos for kids, and for good reason! There are several great exhibits for kids such as Monkey Village, Wallaby […]

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Tempe events: Geeks’ Night Out at Tempe City Hall

Geeks' Night Out
March 2, 2015

Tempe events include Geeks’ Night Out, a fun event for geeks and non-geeks alike that will kick off the weekend.  Tempe’s Geeks’ Night Out is an action packed event that is totally user friendly for everyone. Even people like me, who cringe at memories of high school physics and chemistry, will enjoy this cool event, held in conjunction with the annual Arizona SciTech Festival. Geeks’ Night Out is crammed full of fascinating and fun activities for all ages. For starters, you can dress like your favorite sci-fi character, favorite inventor, invention or science project gone wrong and strut your stuff in Downtown Tempe. Or, step into a full-size replica of Dr. Who’s Tardis, see a replica of Herbie the Love Bug and watch the Desert Dolls Roller Derby defy gravity.  These are just a few of the evening’s tidbits you can look forward to. Geeks’ Night Out takes place on the grounds outside of Tempe City Hall, this Thursday, March 5 from 4-7 p.m. It’s free!  For more information on all the events and locations, visit the Geeks’ Night Out website. Tempe’s calendar offers plenty of other great arts and culture events. Check out this week’s highlights and view a complete listing of Tempe events, or call 480-894-8158 for more information.  March 3: Chris Pena, Mad Hatter Brew Pub March 3: ASU Concert Choir and Chamber Singers Spring Concert, Katzin Concert Hall March 3: ASU Bands at 100!: War and Peace – the 40s and the 80s; March 4: ASU Symphony Orchestra, ASU Gammage […]

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Cactus League Spring Training Baseball is finally here

Tempe Diablo Stadium
March 2, 2015

Baseball is back! Fifteen Major League Baseball teams are in Arizona, warming up and practicing for upcoming season.  Over the next month, Cactus League Spring Training games are the place to be, both for die hard fans and visitors who just want to catch a bit of afternoon sunshine. Here are a few tips to make your ball park experience even better. Angels Games Tempe is lucky to be the spring training home of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Baseball fans know that the Angels have plenty of recognizable faces on the team including the game’s best player, Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and Jered Weaver. Needless to say, Angels games are very fun to watch. Most of the games I attend every year are at Tempe Diablo Stadium, the Angels home base each spring.  I tell every baseball fan who comes into our visitor’s center about the free Angels Spring Training Trolley. For the last few seasons, Downtown Tempe has run a free trolley to and from Diablo Stadium that picks fans up at the northwest corner of Mill Ave. and Fifth St. Trolley rides begin 2 hours before the start of each home game, concluding 30 minutes after the end of each game.  It’s a fast, easy and convenient way to get to and from the ballpark. And, free parking validation is provided on the trolley for the City Hall and Hayden Square Parking Garages. See the Downtown Tempe website for more details. If you’re heading to an Angels spring training game, keep in […]

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