Tempe Tourism Blog

Tempe events: See Spellbound at Desert Botanical Garden

Desert Botanical Garden
May 4, 2015

Here’s a suggestion for something to enjoy on a lovely May evening: see the Southwest Shakespeare Company’s premier of Spellbound at Desert Botanical Garden.  This musical fairy tale is the world premiere of an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Cymbeline and it’s loaded with drama and intrigue. There’s an evil stepmother and a father who is not much better, a wronged love, jealousy, revenge, magic potions, villains in disguise, a valiant heroine, all culminating in a live battle onstage and all set to music. You can see Spellbound in the Desert Botanical Garden Outdoor Event Plaza, Thursdays through Sundays, through May 24. For more information and to purchase tickets, call the Southwest Shakespeare Company Box Office 480-435-6868. You’ll find plenty of outstanding arts and culture events in Tempe this week. Check out this list and view a complete listing of Tempe events, or call 480-894-8158 for more information. May 4: Adam Bray & Tricia Barr: Ultimate Star Wars, Changing Hands Bookstore May 5: Ballet Folklorico Alegria, Tempe Marketplace District Stage May 5: Cavalera Conspiracy, Marquee Theater May 6:Walk-in Wednesdays Open Mic Night, Tempe Center for the Arts May 7: Less than Jake & Reel Big Fish, Marquee Theater May 7- 9: Stray Cat Theatre Presents The Tomkat Project, Tempe Performing Arts Center May 7-10: Felipe Esparza, Tempe Improv May 7–10, 14–17, 21–24: Shakespeare at the Garden: Spellbound, a Musical Fairytale, Desert Botanical Garden May 8:  Finally Friday: Justin Olson; May 8: Class Clowns Comedy, Tempe Center for the Arts May 8: Houseblend, Tempe Center for […]

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Treat taco lovin’ taste buds to Taco Tuesday in Tempe

Taco Tuesday in Tempe
April 30, 2015

All you taco lovers (and who isn’t) will find your favorite savory filling tucked inside a tasty corn or flour tortilla in Tempe any day of the week. But, on Taco Tuesdays, you’ll find great deals that make them even more irresistible. Crispy or soft, basic or gourmet, you’ll find these tempting southwestern treats at great prices on any given Tuesday at these Tempe restaurants. Many also offer specials on margaritas or cervezas to accompany your favorite tacos. All have patios, so you can have your tacos and nice weather too, at least for a little while longer.   Blasted Barley Beer Company, 404 S. Mill Ave. Ste. 101, 480-967-5887 Tuesday is the only day of the week that Blasted Barley serves tacos. They’re big and delicious and worth waiting until Tuesday for. Choose from veggie, pork belly, grilled or fried fish, roasted green chili chicken and IPA chicken. Tacos are $3 and margs are $5. Devil’s Advocate, 955 E. University Dr., 480-921-2585 You’ll get your fill at these prices: $1 chicken, beef, and vegetarian tacos. $1.50 carnitas, $2 steak and $2.50 baja fish tacos. Domestic pints are $1 until 3 p.m.   Dos Gringos Patio Bar & Mexican Restaurant, 8000 S. Priest Rd., 480-753-4577 At Dos Gringos, Taco Tuesday is cause to celebrate with tacos and tequila specials all day. Tacos range from $1-$3. Tequila and all margaritas are $3. Plus Dos Gringos adds a little humor with Comedy Night every Tuesday featuring first timers and Improv veterans at 7:30 […]

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Big Surf Waterpark is big summer fun

Big Surf Waterpark
April 28, 2015

Summer is almost here and if you live in the greater Phoenix area, you know what that means: you’ll be spending many of your weekends at Big Surf Waterpark, which officially opens for the new summer season on Saturday, May 2. Find information about hours of operation and seasonal passes here. On Big Surf’s deal page, you can find more information about special offers such as half price admission for the first few three weekends in May (when you bring non perishable food for St. Mary’s Food Bank) and free admission for all moms on Mother’s Day. The great thing about Big Surf, other than it being a waterpark in the middle of the desert, is that they have something for everyone. It doesn’t matter if you’re a kid or a daredevil. When it comes slides, there’s something there for you to enjoy. For those of you like me, who like a little adventure but are deathly afraid of those slides that drop straight down, you’ll love the Black Hole.  It’s a slide that’s completely enclosed so you can’t see what’s in front of you.  Every time you dip or turn, you’re caught off guard. For those who crave more of a thrill, the Hurricane Slides are an excellent choice. These are three body slides that are more of a straight drop. By far, the most popular attraction at Big Surf is the Waikiki Beach Wave Pool.  Did you know that it’s the third largest wave pool in North America?  It’s true. […]

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Tempe events: Stray Cat Theatre‘s The TomKat Project

TheTom Kat Project
April 27, 2015

Tempe events include Stray Cat Theatre’s presentation of The TomKat Project, a biting satire about the three-way marriage of Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes and Scientology. Based on actual interviews and completely imagined scenes, seven actors portray 54 characters, including Oprah Winfrey, Matt Lauer, Josh Hartnett, Steven Spielberg, Nicole Kidman, Penelope Cruz, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Hanks, Jennifer Lopez and Suri Cruise. We can always count on Stray Cat Theatre to bring us something that’s tinged with controversy, that goes beyond usual and mainstream. They’ve  done it again with this two act comedy by Brandon Ogborn that’s especially timely, coming to Tempe in the wake of the HBO aired the documentary “Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief.”  You can see The TomKat Project at the Tempe Performing Arts Center, located in Downtown Tempe, through  May 9. Ticket prices range from $10 to $25. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.straycattheatre.com. You’ll find plenty of outstanding arts and culture events in Tempe this week. Check out this list and view a complete listing of Tempe events, or call 480-894-8158 for more information. April 27:  ASU Lyric Opera Theatre Musical Theatre Spring Showcase, ASU Evelyn Smith Music Theatre April 27: Matt & Kim, Marquee Theater April 27-28: [DE/AS]cending: An Evening of Theatrical Experiments, ASU Art Museum April 29: Walk-in Wednesdays Open Mic Night; Art After Work: Matisses’s The Goldfish, Tempe Center for the Arts April 29: ASU’s Rock Band Spring Class Concert, ASU Evelyn Smith Music Theatre April 29: ASU Creation Project: The Creation by Joseph Haydn, ASU […]

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The Night Run on May 9, 2015

Night Run
April 24, 2015

Love to Run? Love 5K and 8K races? Why not check out an evening race, perfect for night owls, when the heat of the day is a distant memory? The Night Run is coming to Tempe on Saturday, May 9, at Tempe Town Lake! There is a place for everyone at The Night Run. Strollers, fun-walkers, first-time racers, parents, grandparents, volunteers, and hard-core runners alike. Previously held in Scottsdale, the brand new location this year at Tempe at Tempe Town Lake will be an exciting atmosphere for the run. The lake is stunning in the evening, with sunset reflections bouncing off the water. The new course traverses both banks of Tempe Town Lake and includes Tempe Center for the Arts, the iconic pedestrian bridge, Tempe Beach Park and Mill Avenue. Arrive early to enjoy the “Owl’s Nest” Expo before the 5K, 8K, or Kids Dash (8 & under). Here’s the schedule of race festivities: 6:00 pm – On-site Packet Pickup & Late Registration / “Owl’s Nest” Expo 7:00 pm – Kids Dash, Ages 8 & under, 100 Yard Dash 7:45 pm – 5K & 8K Race Start 8:45 pm – Awards ceremony A fun bonus to participating is this run is the commemorative glow-in-the-dark finisher’s t-shirt, made from a highly reflective tech fabric. For more info and how to sign up, visit http://thenightrun.org/.  

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Enjoy a taste of Italy at these Tempe Italian restaurants

Tempe Italian Restaurants (Caffe Boa)
April 22, 2015

MAMA MIA! Just saying that makes me want to dive right into a plate of spaghetti. To tell you the truth, I don’t think I’ve ever met a dish of pasta that I didn’t like. I find that the trouble with Italian food is you just can’t stop eating once you start. First come the bread sticks, and then comes the salad and from there it’s all downhill. Just in case you are up for the challenge, check out these featured Tempe Italian restaurants. Caffe Boa Once noted for having the best wine selections in the country, Caffe Boa is one of Mill Avenue’s hidden treasures. Located on 398 S. Mill Avenue, Caffe Boa strives to serve the best Italian dishes with the finest organic and all natural ingredients. Founded over 20 years ago, Caffe Boa offers only fresh local quality food such as fresh baked breads from local bakers and produce from local organic farmers. I recommend trying the Risotto Primavera, which is a mix of the spring asparagus, shucked peas, mint, and lemon all mixed in their homemade risotto is simply delizioso. 398 S. Mill Ave. #110, Tempe, AZ 85281 (480) 968-9112 Babbo Italian Eatery Babbo, an Italian word meaning daddy, is a contemporary family-style Italian eatery located on 9920 S. Rural Road. Their menu is inspired by family, as well as travel, and is developed through collaboration with everyone behind the stove.  My favorite is the classic Spaghetti & Meatballs, which are made to perfection with their […]

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Tempe events: MOTOWN THE MUSICAL at ASU Gammage

April 21, 2015

See MOTOWN THE MUSICAL at ASU Gammage this week and experience the story behind the music in the Broadway smash hit about Berry Gordy, Jr. who launched Motown Records and the careers of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Smokey Robinson and many more. Along the way, the man and the music broke down barriers and created music that made us all move to the same beat.  MOTOWN THE MUSICAL is a colorful history of one of the greatest musical genres in modern history and includes memorable Motown classics like “My Girl” and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.” MOTOWN THE MUSICAL is great entertainment for the whole family and you can enjoy it from April 21 through April 26 at ASU Gammage.  For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.asugammage.com. Check out this week’s roster of outstanding arts and culture events in Tempe, View a complete listing of Tempe events, or call 480-894-8158 for more information. April 21-22: 10th Annual ASU Student Film Festival, Harkins Valley Art Theatre April 21-26: MOTOWN THE MUSICAL, ASU Gammage April 22: Walk-in Wednesdays Open Mic Night, Tempe Center for the Arts April 22: Visions of Creation, An Earth Day Concert, ASU Katzin Concert Hall April 23: Marissa Roth: Infinite Light: A Photographic Meditation on Tibet, Changing Hands Bookstore April 23: Music under the Stars, Tempe Center for the Arts April 23-25: Joey Coco Diaz, Tempe Improv April 23-26: Our Kiki: A Gay Farce, ASU Lyceum Theater  April 24:  Finally Friday: Billy Cioffi; Friday Film Screenings at the […]

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There’s so much to do at Tempe Town Lake

Tempe Town Lake paddleboarding
April 16, 2015

The weather outside is perfect right now. Winter is behind us and summer hasn’t officially arrived yet, so the temperature is lingering in the 80s. In other words, it’s gorgeous out. Located on the northwest corner of Mill Ave. and Rio Salado Parkway, Tempe Town Lake is one of the most visited tourist destinations in Arizona. This two mile long lake is so much more than just something nice to look at when you’re driving on the 202. Tempe Boat Rentals, located on the south shore at Tempe Beach Park, offers visitors the opportunity rent boats, kayaks or paddleboards. If you’re with a group of friends, I suggest checking out the electric boats. They can hold up to 10 people and come equipped with a radio and dining table. It costs $80/hour, which is a pretty good deal if you split the cost amongst the people in your group. But some of the more popular rentals are kayaks and stand-up paddleboards. There are two kayak options to choose from: single and double. They are sit-on-top kayaks, kind of similar to how a canoe might look. Kayak rentals range from $18/hour (singe) to $28/hour (double) and both come with lifejackets. My personal favorite is the stand-up paddleboard (SUP). I know, it looks difficult and everyone thinks they’ll fall off, but I’m here to tell you it’s easier than you think. All the paddleboards have a traction grip that you stand on. Yes, it’s a bit of a balancing act but it’s pretty easy to […]

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April is Earth Month in Tempe

School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University (ASU)
April 14, 2015

Earth Day is observed around the world on April 22 but it’s become so popular, that April is known as Earth Month. In Tempe, Arizona, there are plenty of events that help bring awareness to conservation efforts and teach you more about this planet that we call home. Desert Botanical Garden Desert Botanical Garden is hosting their PLANeT Celebration on April 18. This Earth Day 2015 event includes behind the scenes tours, educational opportunities along the five beautiful trails, talks from local conservation organizations, live music and nature-inspired performances. All activities are included with admission to the Garden and the event takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. If you’d like to visit the Marshall Butterfly Pavilion, that’s just an extra $3.50 or free for members. 1201 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix, AZ 85008 480-941-1225 Phoenix Zoo Also on April 18, you can take part in Earth Day at the Phoenix Zoo from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visit educational “Earth” stations throughout the zoo, see the annual release of 35,000 ladybugs, participate in games and hear stories read by children’s book author Conrad J. Storad. See the zoo’s website for more details and specific activity times. 455 N. Galvin Parkway, Phoenix, AZ 85008 602-286-3800 Earth Day Expo Tempe’s Earth Day Expo will showcase the latest innovative environmental programs. Attendees will experience hands-on exhibits while enjoying free snacks, courtesy of Gordon Biersch. The expo will be held on Wednesday, April 22 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the west […]

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Tempe events: Childsplay presents The Three Javelinas

The Three Javalinas
April 13, 2015

Tempe events include the opening of Childsplay’s  last show of the season, The Three Javelinas at the Tempe Center for the Arts on April 19.  In this wonderfully fun southwestern version of a favorite tale, the three little pigs become three Javelinas and the wolf becomes a big, bad, wily coyote. In Childsplay’s world-premiere stage adaptation of Susan Lowell’s picture book, the three main characters are much more sophisticated than the three little pigs. Josefina Javelina dreams of a career on stage. Juan wants a quiet place to think. And José just wants someone to listen to his jokes! A series of misadventures has the trio building houses in the desert where they catch the attention of a hungry coyote. This musical tribute to the Arizona landscape is perfect for ages 5 an up, but will delight older audiences as well. The Three Javelinas can be seen on weekends from April 19 through May 24.  For more information and to purchase tickets to The Three Javalinas, visit www.childsplayaz.org.  Check out this week’s roster of outstanding arts and culture events in Tempe and view a complete listing of Tempe events, or call 480-894-8158 for more information. April 13: Ratatat; April 14: Lights; April 15: Tyler, the Creator, Marquee Theater April 14: Holly Pyle Trio, Mad Hatter Brew Pub April 15: Dr. Sally L. Kitch: Contested Terrain: Reflections with Afghan Women Leaders, Changing Hands Bookstore April 15: ASU Pan Devils Steel Band, ASU Katzin Concert Hall April 15: ASU Marimba Maderas de Comitan: A […]

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