Tempe Tourism Blog

Tempe Halloween Events for Families

Boo at the Zoo at the Phoenix Zoo
October 15, 2014

It’s finally fall! In Tempe, we might not see leaves changing to golden hues, but we sure have lots of places to go and wear our Halloween costumes and even pose in a pumpkin patch or two. Here are a few family-friendly activities around town this Halloween. Tempe Family Halloween Carnival Have some good old-fashioned fun at the 37th annual Tempe Family Halloween Carnival. Held at Kiwanis Park, this event features carnival games (think cake walks and ring tosses), entertainment, food booths, train rides and a toddler-friendly play area. You can even win prizes in the Halloween costume contest. The carnival will be held on October 25 from 5-9 p.m. Tickets for activities cost 25 cents each and most games cost 3-4 tickets. A bargain in this day and age for sure! Great Pumpkin Festival It’s just not Halloween to me unless I get a picture of my daughter in a field of pumpkins. Here, we have a very Arizona photo op at the Great Pumpkin Festival at Desert Botanical Garden, October 23-26, 2014. The Garden’s events plaza transforms into a fall extravaganza with carnival games, live country music and food for purchase. The main attraction is the hayride to the unique pumpkin patch in the middle of Papago Park, where you’ll also find a hay bale maze and a petting zoo. Children 12 and under can choose their own pumpkin to take home. They even have decorating supplies with loads of stickers, yarn, markers and other accoutrements for young […]

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Tempe events – The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane
October 13, 2014

Tempe events this week include Childsplay’s beautiful production of The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane  which opens this week at the Tempe Center for the Arts. Based on Newbery-winner Kate DiCamillo’s beloved book, the play is about Edward Tulane, a vain, self-centered china rabbit.  Edward enjoys a very happy life until one day, while vacationing on the RMS Queen Mary, he falls overboard and floats to the ocean floor where he lives for months. When a storm brings him to the surface, Saved by a fisherman, he begins a fantastic journey with many owners who have a profound effect on his life. Ultimately the play is about finding friendship, finding yourself, and eventually finding your way home. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane takes place on weekends at the Tempe Center for the Arts October 19-26. It is recommended for ages 7 and older. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.childsplayaz.org. This week there’s something to please everyone when it comes to arts, culture and entertainment in Tempe. Check out this list and view a complete listing of Tempe events, or call 480-894-8158 for more information. October 13:  Meet & Greet: Billy Idol, Changing Hands Bookstore October 14: Alice Tatum with Rachel Gold, Madhatter Brewpub October 14: SBTRKT, Marquee Theater October 15: Garth Stein: A Sudden Light, Changing Hands Bookstore October 15: Walk-in Wednesdays Open Mic Night, Tempe Center for the Arts October 16: Gramatik with Haywyre, Freddy Todd, Marquee Theater October 16: Valerie Foster & Helen Handler: […]

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Four Peaks named favorite craft brewery

Four Peaks Brewing Company
October 9, 2014

If you haven’t tried Four Peak Brewery in Tempe yet – you need to! It was recently named America’s Favorite Craft Brewery by the Travel Channel – and for good reason! Located in a historic creamery, the pub has a fun atmosphere and an open air feel, making it the perfect place to hang out and grab a beer and bite to eat with friends. Four Peaks offers eight unique mainstay beers and a variety of seasonal beers throughout the year. Right now, fans of the pumpkin porter are flocking to Four Peaks to get a taste before it runs out – which it always does too fast!  While there, don’t forget to order a yummy sandwich or burger to accompany your craft beer. The food is mouth-watering good. My favorites are the sandwiches made with beer bread – pure heaven. The burgers are also delicious, and the fries are even better. Check out the full article on the Travel Channel’s blog: http://blog.travelchannel.com/the-traveling-type/2014/10/06/four-peaks-brewing-is-americas-favorite-craft-brewery/#sthash.QKGFATeY.dpuf

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Fall and winter drinks in Tempe to warm your soul

Gold Bar Espresso
October 9, 2014

October is well under way, and to celebrate that autumn is here, I always like to indulge in my favorite fall and winter drinks. Tempe has a wonderful collection of local coffee shops and restaurants that offer an array of fall and winter drinks that are sure to warm your soul and make it feel like it’s actually chilly outside (which of it’s not!). Here is a list of my favorites as well as a few new spots try out in Tempe! The Blend 521 S. College Ave., Tempe, AZ 85281 www.theblenddrinks.com The Blend is the perfect spot to go while in or around ASU’s Tempe campus. There are a variety of delicious drinks to try here, including a large selection of coffees, teas and smoothies. For that taste of fall, I recommend ordering the pumpkin caramel latte. It’s decadent and delicious! Xtreme Bean Coffee 1707 E. Southern Ave., Tempe, AZ 85281 www.xtremebeancoffee.com A neighborhood favorite, Xtreme Bean Coffee is home to one of my all-time favorite winter drinks – the Cafe Mocha-X. This indulgent drink is made up of ghiradelli chocolate, half and half and chocolate shavings. It’s really rich, so plan on skipping dessert of you order this one. Yum! 1865 Coffee 40 E. University Dr., Tempe, AZ 85281 www.facebook.com/doingtheroastgood Head over to 1865 Coffee, attached to the Salvation Army adjacent to ASU’s Tempe Campus. 1865 Coffee serves the best fair trade coffee from Vietnam and donates the proceeds to world services and the ARC, so you can feel good about ordering […]

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Tempe events this week: Art After Work at TCA

Gallery at TCA - Tempe Center for the Arts
October 6, 2014

Tempe Center for the Arts (TCA) offers a fun way to unwind and unleash your creativity in its Art After Work program.  One day each month, art teacher Laura Hukill leads a fun, laid-back class that requires no art experience. Believe me, that is so true.  I participated in a class last year and loved it. I have absolutely no experience and was pleased with the end result, which didn’t look exactly like the image we were recreating, but it looked good enough. This Wednesday’s class, in keeping with a Halloween will focus on one of the most recognizable paintings in history and, in my opinion, one of the most fascinating, The Scream by Edvard Munch. The cost is $35 and includes your canvas and all the art supplies you need to create your masterpiece. It also includes an $8 food & beverage voucher. So get a group of friends together or go solo and be prepared for a truly enjoyable evening. The class takes place in the Gallery at TCA. An added bonus is that you also get to hear the great-live music performed by local musicians who are participating in Walk-in Wednesday open mic in the TCA lobby. Nice! There are plenty of fun arts and cultural events to choose from this week in Tempe. Check out this list and view a complete listing of Tempe events, or call 480-894-8158 for more information. October 6: ASU Symphony Orchestra: Classic and Romantic Virtuosity, ASU Gammage October 7: Frank Smith Brazil […]

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Oktoberfest at Tempe Town Lake is beer-utiful

Four Peaks Oktoberfest at Tempe Town Lake
October 2, 2014

I love the month of October.  Fall colors, pumpkins, candy corn and cooler weather.  It’s the best month of the year. For those of us that live around Tempe, this month is special for one other reason – Four Peaks Oktoberfest at Tempe Town Lake.  That glorious weekend of beer, bands, food, beer, games, fun, beer and lederhosen is upon us again.  From October 10 - October 12, 2014, thousands will flock to Tempe Town Lake and listen to great music and sample great beer.  In addition to live music, there are rides, games and lot of food.  Get there early on Friday and Sunday. Friday night is a great time to go because it’s a great way to kick off the weekend.  Four Peaks Brewing Company, the title sponsor of this year’s event, will have their Kilt Lifter Tap Room, consisting of a variety of beers, TVs playing college football, NFL games and MLB playoffs.  There’s also a Rockin’ Friday special.  For $25 you get four beers and two brats. Saturday, there’ll be more people there, so plan your trip accordingly.  One thing I’m really looking forward to is a full day of listening to polka music because nothing says Oktoberfest more than some great polka beats.  There is a laundry list of bands playing Saturday as well – playing polka, cover songs, country, rock and alternative. Oktoberfest at Tempe Town Lake isn’t just for adults.  There are a lot of activities for kids to enjoy all weekend.  Kinderfest runs from Friday through Sunday and will […]

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Fall in love with the fall Music in the Garden concert series

Bad Cactus Brass Band at Desert Botanical Garden
September 29, 2014

The fall Music in the Garden concert series at the Desert Botanical Garden begins this Friday, October 3! The timing couldn’t be more perfect. The weather is cooling off nicely and the nights are just lovely for sitting outside listening to fabulous music. And what better place to enjoy the scenic landscape of the Sonoran Desert than at the Desert Botanical Garden. Located in Papago Park, the garden features over 50,000 desert plants from around the world, so there’s always a new plant to be discovered when you visit. The concerts are held Friday evenings from 7 to 9 p.m. October 3 through November 21. Concerts take place on the beautiful Ullman Terrace. Get there early to enjoy an amazing dinner at the garden’s onsite restaurant, Gertrude’s. Be sure to make a reservation since Gertrude’s can be very busy on concert evenings. Or you can purchase food from the chef-attended station or the Patio Café at the venue. A full cash bar and boutique wines are also available. Here is the fall music series lineup: October 3, 2014: Flamenco Por La Vida – flamenco October 10, 2014: Bad Cactus Brass Band – New Orleans jazz October 17, 2014: Turning Point – jazz/fusion October 24, 2014: The Sugar Thieves – delta blues October 31, 2014: Tro de Mambo – Latin jazz/percussion November 7, 2014: Mike Eldred Trio - blues/guitar November 14, 2014: Dmitri Matheny Group – jazz November 21, 2014: Big Nick and the Gila Monsters – blues A note about tickets: Tickets are $25 for the general public and $20 for members, and advance purchase is […]

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Tempe events this week- Tempe Tardeada

Tempe Tardeada
September 29, 2014

  This week, we celebrate Tempe’s Hispanic roots with the 16th Annual  Tempe Tardeada. In 1872, Hispanic families arrived from southern Arizona and northern Mexico and founded a town called San Pablo (which ultimately merged with the settlement know as Hayden’s Ferry to become City of Tempe). These early settlers introduced their own culture, cuisine and social activities, including music and entertainment such as dances, concerts and Cinco de Mayo celebrations each year.   A tardeada is a social dance that is traditionally held on Sunday afternoons. The Tempe Tardeada will take place this Sunday, October 5 from noon to 8 p.m. at the Tempe Cultural Complex, located on Southwest corner of Rural Road and Southern Avenue. The celebration will feature  many free activities, including music, dancing, arts and crafts, face painting and inflatables, The Game Truck, and the Tempe History Museum’s Family Albums exhibit. In addition, vendors  will sell delicious foods at family-friendly prices. So pack up family and enjoy this fun Tempe tradition. It’s a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Fall is definitely in the air and, there’s a lot to enjoy in Tempe this week. Check out this list and view a complete listing of Tempe events, or call 480-894-8158 for more information. September 30: Sept. 30: Michael Powers Group, Madhatter Brewpub September 30: The Pretty Reckless; October 1:  The Gaslight Anthem, Marquee Theater October 1: Walk-in Wednesdays Open Mic Night, Tempe Center for the Arts October 1: ASU School of Music: Eugene Koshinski, Percussion, ASU Concert Hall October 2, 4- 5: […]

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Tempe fall fun starts with bicycles and beer

Cristopher Matthews
September 25, 2014

We thought it would be a great idea to write a blog about bikes and beer. We asked our friend Cristopher Matthews, a local beer and bicycle lover, to write a blog for us because these happen to be two of his favorite hobbies. Be sure to follow him on Twitter here. Navigating the Valley of the Sun is as easy as riding a bike. Riding to, from and within Historic Downtown Tempe is a wondrous way to navigate the city. Whether you are departing from Downtown Phoenix, Arcadia or SoSco (South Scottsdale), these routes will deliver you to and from the cultural center of the East Valley. The key to a good ride includes minimal preparation and essential stops along the way. Route options you can choose include bike lanes or one of Tempe’s 175 miles of dedicated bike paths. When traveling to Phoenix, many bikers take the Grand Canal from Curry Rd. west until they hit Roosevelt St., where they then enjoy a great ride into downtown. There are also many other bike lanes to choose from, between more paths, lanes and neighborhoods. For those in a rush, taking the light rail is a great option. The trains have racks inside to hang your bike between stops. From Arcadia, a route through Papago Park will more than suffice. Paved routes along the canal and greenbelt or through historic neighborhoods may further inspire your urban adventure. Another great route into Tempe begins in Arcadia (a neighborhood that centers around […]

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Hungry? Grab lunch in Downtown Tempe

Ollie the Trolley Dunn Transportation trolley
September 23, 2014

Every day lunchtime is an adventure. Usually, it’s because I have no idea what I’m going to eat or where I’m going to eat. When I feel like going out for lunch in Downtown Tempe (and lately, there have been a lot of those days), I usually like to explore a new place I’ve never been to before or return to one I haven’t been to in a while. A couple of coworkers and I decided to try out the Downtown Tempe Lunchtime Trolley. It’s a free trolley and runs Monday – Friday, from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. There are eight stops on its route and the wait time is usually never more than 20 minutes. The trolley is scheduled to run through September 30th. We took it from our office on Mill Ave. and Third St. over to Hayden Ferry for lunch at Romancing the Bean. I’m ashamed to admit that I had never been there before. It was pretty packed, which I thought was a good sign because that means it’s good. The lunch menu consists of salads, sandwiches and their signature stuffed croissants. I ended up ordering the spinach and feta croissant with an Arnold Palmer. The croissant was amazing. It was so good that I seriously considered ordering another one.  And the Arnold Palmer was the best one I’ve ever had. D’Lish Kitchen and Coffee House opened up a Tempe location a year or so ago. It’s on Apache and Terrace and is conveniently located by the […]

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