Tempe Tourism Blog

Summer Ends Music Festival

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September 18, 2014

The end of summer and beginning of fall is upon us. I don’t know if there has ever been an event quite like the Summer Ends Music Festival to celebrate this grand occasion in Tempe. Music lovers like me will rejoice at the lineup at this festival. It will be three days of some of the best bands from alternative and punk rock’s glory days, combined with really great new artists. The Summer Ends Music Festival is going to be at Tempe Beach Park from September 26-28. This is a perfect venue for concerts. You can maneuver your way up close to the stage, or you can hang back and relax. There’s plenty of room to spread out. They’ll have food and drink vendors on site. But, I suggest that you plan ahead and eat lunch or dinner on Mill Avenue in Downtown Tempe before you see your favorite bands. There are tons of places to eat and enjoy a beverage like the Handlebar Tempe, Rula Bula Irish Pub and Loco Patron. You can buy a ticket for one day, or purchase three day passes. So, who am I looking forward to seeing the most? Let’s explore each the lineup for each day. In addition to the acts listed below, festival goers can also see local bands such as Black Carl and Banana Gun. See the website for all of the details and the estimated timing for each performance. Friday, September 26 Andrew McMahon and the Wilderness O.A.R. Lindsey Stirling American […]

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Tempe events this week-ASU Gammage presents KINKY BOOTS

Kinky Boots
September 15, 2014

Boot season has arrived and so has ASU Gammage’s brand new 2014-15  Broadway Show Season which opens this Tuesday with KINKY BOOTS .Winner of six Tony Awards® including Best Musical, KINKI BOOTS is the inspirational story about a struggling shoe factory owner who works to turn his business around with help from Lola, a fabulous entertainer in need of some sturdy and stylish stilettos. Inspired by a true story, KINKY BOOTS features a joyous, Tony-winning score by Cyndi Lauper, direction and Tony-winning choreography by Jerry Mitchell and a hilarious, uplifting book by four-time Tony winner Harvey Fierstein. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit http://asugammage.com/shows or call, 480-965-3434. For more arts, culture and entertainment events check out this week’s list and view a complete listing of Tempe events, or call 480-894-8158 for more information. September 16: Performance with a View: Jessica Yam, Tempe Center for the Arts September 16: Soil Horizon: New Graduate Work in Ceramics at Harry Wood Gallery Opening Reception, Harry Wood Gallery September 16: Fearless Females Talk with Marsha Fazio: Arcangela Tarabotti, Changing Hands  Bookstore September 16-21: KINKY BOOTS, ASU Gammage September 17: Walk-in Wednesdays Open Mic Night, Tempe Center for the Arts September 17: Theory of a Deadman, Marquee Theater September 18: Living with Stuff: How Objects Define Me,  ASU Art Museum Brickyard September 18: Discussion with Ben Ta’ati: “Journey to Healing and Homeopathy,” Changing Hands  Bookstore September 18: Ballet Under the Stars, Tempe Center for the Arts September 18: Queer Queens of Qomedy, Tempe Improv September […]

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Ballet Under the Stars is a favorite TCA tradition

Ballet Under the Stars
September 11, 2014

What could be more relaxing than sitting under the stars, overlooking Tempe Town Lake, on a gorgeous September evening watching a beautiful dance performance by Ballet Arizona? This is an annual tradition that I always look forward to and I’m eagerly anticipating this year’s event. Ballet Under the Stars is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy dance performed by a professional dance company in a casual setting complete with a stage, lighting, costumes and our beautiful Arizona weather. This year’s performance will showcase a combination of classical and contemporary works and will feature the debut performance of works created by students at Broadmor School as part of the children’s “Class Act” program. So pack up the family along with some blankets or lawn chairs and some snacks and head to the Tempe Center for the Arts Amphitheater for a relaxing evening of dance on a starry night, September 18, 7-9 p.m. Admission is free and free parking is available after 6 p.m. in the US Airways Garage, 111 W. Rio Salado Parkway (enter off of Ash Avenue). For more information on Ballet Under the Stars, visit www.tempe.gov/tca or call 480-350-2822. View more upcoming Tempe events or call 480-894-8158.      

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Tempe events: Walk-in Wednesdays is back at TCA

Tempe Center for the Arts
September 8, 2014

After a short summer break, Walk-in Wednesday Open Mic Night with Walt Richardson is back at the Tempe Center for the Arts. It’s one of the best jam sessions around and it’s free! Walk-in Wednesdays takes place from 6-10 p.m. in the TCA’s beautiful lobby overlooking Tempe Town Lake. The setting is relaxed, intimate and comfortable with Tempe favorite Walt Richardson acting as MC. Some of the Valley’s best singer/songwriters perform and vie for a spot in the taped-for-television Songwriters’ Showcase concert and the In the Spotlight events. And if you’re hungry you can enjoy the food and beverage specials available in the lounge. For more information on Walk-in Wednesdays visit www.tempe.gov/TCA  or call Tempe Center for the Arts at (480) 350-2822. For more arts, culture and entertainment events check out this week’s list and view a complete listing of Tempe events, or call 480-894-8158 for more information. September 9: Story Time & Craft Hour at IKEA Tempe, IKEA September 10: Walk-in Wednesdays Open Mic Night;  Art After Work: Sonoran Twilight, Tempe Center for the Arts September 10: Porter Robinson – Worlds the North American Tour, Marquee Theater September 10-15: Tempe Healing Field, Tempe Beach Park . September 11: Eric Schlosser: Command and Control, Changing Hands  Bookstore September 11: Collecting Informs My Art, ASU Art Museum Brickyard September 11-14: Steve-O, Tempe Improv September 12: ASU School of Music Guest Artist Series: Eckart Sellheim, ASU Organ Hall  September 12: Jen Nicomedes: The First Guidebook for Feng Shui Enthusiasts, Changing Hands Bookstore September 12: […]

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Fun weekend things to do in Tempe

South Mountain Park and Preserve couple hiking
September 4, 2014

The best part about weekends are just that – it’s the weekend. For two days, we don’t have to think about work, meetings or emails. While most people use this free time to catch up on TV shows or projects around the house, getting out and doing something fun is always atop everyone’s weekend to-do list. Usually on Saturday afternoon, I’m sitting on the couch and at some point and say, “I need to go out and do something.” But figuring out what to do and where to go turns into the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. Why is that? I know I can’t be the only one with this issue. So I’ve outlined a few fun things to do on weekends in Tempe that won’t take up all your time but will get you out of the house for a bit. Outdoors Tempe Town Lake Get out on the water! It’s still hot out, so renting a kayak or paddleboard is a great way to have some fun, be outside, exercise and be out on the lake. Tempe Boat Rentals has a variety of options to choose from, depending on if you’re with a group or by yourself. South Mountain Everyone loves a good Arizona hike. South Mountain is huge, sitting on more than 16,000 acres with 51 miles of trails. Dobbins Lookout is the highest point (accessible by trail) at 2,330 feet and the trails located off of 48th Street and Guadalupe are some of the […]

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Tempe events – Childsplay presents Charlotte’s Web

Tempe Center for the Arts
September 2, 2014

As the song says, “it’s a long long while from May to September” and don’t we know it here in the Valley of the Sun!  September has finally arrived and with it the opening of Tempe’s theatre season. Childsplay opens its season on Sunday with one of its most beloved productions, Charlotte’s Web, the E.B. White classic with a cast of unforgettable characters. The stars of the show are Charlotte, the wise and winsome spider who befriends Wilbur, an endearing piglet in grave danger of ending up as pork chops.  Rounding out the cast of this beautiful production is a menagerie of other barnyard animals and  folks in a variety of supporting roles. Charlotte’s Web is truly a favorite of all generations and a great choice for Childsplay’s season opener.  And, given that this is a Childsplay production, we know that everything from the sets to the costumes to the actors will be top notch and a great beginning to another wonderful season of professional theatre for children. All Childsplay performances take place at the Tempe Center for the Arts. For more information and a behind the scenes peek at Charlotte’s Web, visit www.childsplayaz.org.  To purchase tickets, visit www.tempe.gov/TCA  or call Tempe Center for the Arts Box Office (480) 350-2822. For more arts, culture and entertainment events check out this week’s list and view a complete listing of Tempe events, or call 480-894-8158 for more information. September 3: ASU School of Music: Catalin Rotaru, Double Bass, ASU Katzen Concert Hall  September […]

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Exciting Tempe fall events

tour de fat 244 x 163
August 28, 2014

Fall is one of my favorite times of year. It’s usually around now that I’m tired of the summer heat and I know that cooler temperatures are right around the corner. Soon, all things pumpkin flavored will be on restaurant menus around town, which is something I’ve been anxiously waiting for. But what else do we have to look forward to in Tempe this fall? Obviously, we all know about ASU football but there are some other fun Tempe fall events happening in the coming weeks and months.  Here are a few things to get start getting excited about right now. New Season at ASU Gammage Every year, ASU Gammage brings no shortage of incredible shows to Tempe and this upcoming season is no different. The first show of the new year is KINKY BOOTS (September 16th-21st). The Broadway classic PIPPIN will also be there this fall (December 2nd-7th). Show and tickets information can be found here. New Belgium’s Tour de Fat Sponsored by New Belgium, Tour de Fat (October 4th) is nothing but fun. You are encouraged to dress up in a costume and participate in the bike parade, watch live entertainment and drink New Belgium’s best beers down by Tempe Town Lake. But most importantly, proceeds from beer sales benefit local non-profits. Tempe Oktoberfest This event is every beer lover’s dream. Oktoberfest at Tempe Town Lake (October 10-12) at Tempe Town Lake is a three day festival with food, music, dancing, carnival rides and lots of beer. Admission is free but […]

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ASU Gammage turns 50 and celebrates with Broadway shows

ASU Gammage
August 27, 2014

This is an exciting time for Tempe, ASU Gammage and for all of us who love attending the many great performances held in this beautiful theater, including the brand new Desert Schools Broadway Across America—Arizona series. The opening of a new Broadway season is plenty exciting all by itself. But the other cause for excitement is that ASU Gammage is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year! For me, each new Broadway show season is reason enough to celebrate. After all, as one of the top touring Broadway markets in the country, ASU Gammage consistently brings the best of the best Broadway shows to Arizona. There’s just nothing quite like watching a great production in the beautiful surroundings of this Frank Lloyd Wright-designed theater. And what a season it will be! ASU Gammage kicks off its exciting Broadway show series with KINKY BOOTS, winner of six Tony Awards® including Best Musical, September 16-21. This heartwarming and hilarious show features a joyous Tony Award-winning score by Cyndi Lauper. KINKY BOOTS is just the beginning of what promises to be the most fantastic yearlong series that will include: PIPPIN, December 2-7, 2014 JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT, January 13-18, 2014 DIRTY DANCING THE CLASSIC STORY ON STAGE, February 17-22, 2015 RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN’S CINDERELLA, March 10-15, 2015 CHICAGO, March 27-29, 2015 MOTOWN THE MUSICAL, April 21-26, 2015 THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA May 27-June 7, 2015 WICKED, August 26-October 4, 2015 This year there’s even more to look forward to because it’s […]

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Tempe events this week – Jamie Kennedy at the Tempe Improv

Tempe Improv
August 25, 2014

To say that Jamie Kennedy keeps busy is a colossal understatement. The multi-talented comedian-actor-writer-producer has an elaborate resume. He’s known for taking on a number of personas and characters, which are hilarious. But there’s a lot more going on in the wide wide world of Jamie Kennedy. The number and variety of his movie roles alone is impressive and  include Scream and Scream 2, Romeo and Juliet, As Good as It Gets, Enemy of the State, Three Kings and dozens of others. Then there are all of his appearances in television shows, including “The Ghost Whisperer” and his own “Jamie Kennedy Experiment.” Plus he wrote and produced the highly acclaimed documentary, Heckler and he authored his autobiography, Wannabe: A Hollywood Experiment.   Jamie Kennedy is also a very funny stand-up comic and you can see him in action at t the Tempe Improv this weekend. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit http://tempeimprov.com. For more arts, culture and entertainment events check out this week’s list and view a complete listing of Tempe events, or call 480-894-8158 for more information. August 26: Sharonah Fredrick, Changing Hands Bookstore August 27: ASU School of Music Student Jazz Composition Competition ,  ASU Recital Hall August 27: Jaleo Band & Havana Salsa, Tempe Marketplace District Stage August 27: New Faces of Comedy, Tempe Improv, August 29:  Finally Friday: Tom Bertling; August 29: Tempe Comedy Concert Series: Armon Williams, Tempe Center for the Arts August 29: Beretta Sun; August 30: Knee Deep Experience, Tempe Marketplace District […]

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Fun Things To Do in Downtown Tempe

Tempe Town Lake and Tempe Beach Park
August 22, 2014

Fall is a great time to explore all the fun things to do in Downtown Tempe. With all the options, there’s no better place to enjoy your free time than on Mill Avenue. In addition to great shopping and dining, Downtown Tempe offers hiking, biking, movie watching, museums and a variety of theater performances. Here’s my short list of fun things to do when you’re out and about in Downtown Tempe: 1) Go for a hike: At the north end of Downtown Tempe lies “A” Mountain. This quick, although fairly rigorous, hike provides panoramic views of the ASU Tempe Campus and the surrounding areas of Tempe. Just gorgeous! 2) See a movie: AMC Centerpoint 11 is located in the heart of Downtown Tempe and offers luxury movie-going. The seats are fancy recliners so you can watch your movie in style. The food here is yummy, or you can grab a bite before or after the show at one of the many delicious nearby restaurants. 3) Take a bike ride: Grab a bike and head downtown for a fun bike ride. There are hundreds of bike paths in Tempe winding through the city. Explore nearby Tempe Town Lake  or head north to the Crosscut Canal Multiuse Path that goes through lovely Papago Park. Either bring your own two wheeler or rent a bike at The Bicycle Cellar, just steps from Mill Avenue. 4) See a theater performance: Between the smart and edgy performances that can be seen at Stray Cat Theatre, to the blockbuster Broadway shows at ASU […]

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