Tempe Tourism Blog

Tempe events: 16th Annual Super Bowl Gospel Celebration

ASU Gammage
January 26, 2015

Tempe events include a great example of the intersection of the arts and sports  this weekend when the 16th Annual Super Bowl Gospel Celebration takes to the stage at ASU Gammage. Now, if it seems strange that a major performing arts event should be sanctioned by the NFL, keep in mind that sports and the arts are not mutually exclusive.  Dating back to the ancient Greeks and Romans, sport events and athletes have figure prominently in the arts in paintings, sculptures, films, theatre, literature and  dance.  It’s also not at all unusual for sports enthusiasts to be equally as passionate about the arts as well (I know several).  Given this history, it’s not surprising that, arguably the biggest sports event in the U.S.–Superbowl—includes a major arts event (other than the half-time spectacle) along with all the more sportsy NFL Experience activities  The Super Bowl Gospel Celebration is the first and only gospel event sanctioned by the NFL for Super Bowl Weekend. The line-up is nothing short of super, featuring Grammy Award-winning, multi-platinum selling gospel and contemporary Christian and mainstream artists. Friday’s concert includes Gladys Knight, Israel Houghton, Natalie Grant, Donnie McClurkin, Mali Music and NFL Players Choir, featuring 40 NFL players under the direction of Donnie McClurkin. You can enjoy the uplifting and inspirational 16th Annual Super Bowl Gospel Celebration at ASU Gammage on Friday, January 30 at 7:30 p.m. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit http://asugammage.com.  It’s a big week for Arizona with Super Bowl XLIX front and center. […]

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Tempe live music is meant to be seen

Marquee Theater 244 x 163
January 22, 2015

There’s one thing in life that everyone can universally agree on: we all love music. Few things are better than listening to your favorite song. I remember when I was younger and how excited I would get when a song I really liked came on the radio. But as much as I now love iTunes, Pandora and Spotify, I still love to see a live band. The energy at a concert beats listening to a song in your car or on an iPod any day. There a quite a few places in Tempe to see some of your favorite bands and up and coming artists. Here’s a quick rundown of a few of our favorite places to catch a show. Marquee Theatre 730 N. Mill Ave.,Tempe, AZ 85281 Let’s start with the most obvious place. Marquee Theatre is located on the southwest corner of Mill Ave. and Curry Rd. Some of the biggest and best names have graced this stage at this popular Tempe music venue. The festival style seating gives concert goers a great vantage point, regardless if you’re up front or in the back by the soundboard. The distance from the stage to the back of the house is approximately 80 feet.  Getting there is a breeze. There’s parking onsite, the Center Pkwy./Washington light rail station is just a few short blocks west, or you can park in Downtown Tempe and enjoy a nice walk over the Mill Avenue Bridge. Yucca Tap Room 29 W. Southern Ave., Tempe, […]

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Tempe events: Childsplay’s A Thousand Cranes at TCA

Childsplay's A Thousand Cranes
January 20, 2015

This weekend is your last chance to see Childsplay’s beautiful production of A Thousand Cranes at  Tempe Center for the Arts (TCA). This poignant and inspirational play tells the true story of Sadako Saski, who was just two years old when the Atomic bomb fell on Hiroshima in 1945. Sadako’s courage and determination in the face of personal adversity remains relevant today as children around the world still dream of peace.   The play is based on the book Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by American author Eleanor Coerr.   Saturday’s performance will also feature Ken Koshio  performing  traditional Japanese music the TCA lobby from 3:15-3:45 p.m. Childsplay is Arizona’s award-winning professional theatre for families. For more information and to purchase tickets visit www.childsplayaz.org. Check this week’s list of arts and culture events and view a complete listing of Tempe events, or call 480-894-8158 for more information. January 20: Nuvo Mundo with Beth Lederman, Kay Peper & Emerson Laffey, Mad Hatter Brew Pub January 21: South Sudan Comic Relief featuring Bill O’Conner & Gabe Biel, Tempe Improv January 21: Walk-in Wednesdays Open Mic Night, Tempe Center for the Arts January 22-25: Pablo Francisco, Tempe Improv January 23: Finally Friday: Amanda Soares, Tempe Center for the Arts January 23: Class Clowns Comedy with special guest Josh Nasa, Tempe Center for the Arts January 23: Hewitt Freiberg: Renegades Among the Tumbleweeds, Changing Hands Bookstore January 23: Maria Luisa Rayan-Forero, Harp, Katzin Concert Hall January 23: Take Cover; January 24: Yoga Pants Dueling Pianos, […]

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Tempe brewery and distillery tours

Four Peaks Tasting Room
January 20, 2015

Have you ever thought about what it takes to make your favorite adult beverage? Tempe brewery and distillery tours give you the chance to learn a lot more about what happens before your craft brew or bourbon hits the glass. Both Four Peaks Brewing Company and Arizona Distilling Company offer behind the scene tours of their Tempe locations. Besides learning about the rich history and culture of their craft beer and spirits, you can get an insight into how each drink has been carefully created and perfected to make sure it comes out just right. It’s a great chance to get a taste of something that’s locally made right here in Tempe. Four Peaks Brewing Company Four Peaks Brewing Company is well known for providing constant high quality beer, food, and service in a community-based atmosphere. The Original Four Peaks Brewing Company on 8th Street (south of University Drive and east of Rural Road) is now hosting their very own brewery tours every Saturday at 10:30 a.m., 12:00 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.  Get a chance to go behind the scenes and learn what it takes to create their legendary craft brews, such as Kilt Lifter and SunBru, that have made this a popular spot for locals and visitors alike. And, you’ll learn a bit about the history of their turn of the century building that originally was a creamery in the late 1800s. Each tour costs only $10 and takes roughly 40 minutes.  The tour includes coupons for two 16oz. beers. This […]

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Tempe events: Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

January 12, 2015

Tempe events include the Broadway hit Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat  on stage at ASU Gammage from Tuesday through this weekend.  The show is based on the Old Testament  story  of Joseph  which tells of a father’s love for his youngest son. His father gives Joseph a coat of many colors that is the envy of his brothers. Like most all of the colorful Old Testament stories, this one has plenty of action, intrigue and drama. Add to that, music and lyrics by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice and the result is a blockbuster that was nominated for a bunch of Tony Awards. For more information and to purchase tickets visit www.asugammage.com or call 480-965-3434. Tempe is bustling with arts and culture events from music to theatre to opera and dance.  Check out all the great options and view a complete listing of Tempe events, or call 480-894-8158 for more information.  January 13: Greg Peterson: Urban Fruit Trees, Changing Hands Bookstore January 13-18: JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT, ASU Gammage January 14: Walk-in Wednesdays Open Mic Night, Tempe Center for the Arts January 14: Art After Work at the TCA: Van Gogh’s Trio of Sun Flowers, Tempe Center for the Arts January 14: Celebration of Dance: Movement and Music at the TCA, Tempe Center for the Arts January 14: Kadam Michelle Gauthier How to Understand the Mind, Changing Hands Bookstore January 15: New Faces of Comedy Open Mic, Tempe Improv January 15: ASU Guest Artist Series: Claire Pradel, Harpsichord, ASU […]

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Enjoy Tempe restaurants on the “new” University Dr.

Cornish Pasty Co
January 9, 2015

The City of Tempe is growing by leaps and bounds. As you drive down Rio Salado Pkwy., you can’t help but notice cranes everywhere. Tempe is booming right now. But not all the construction is about bringing in something brand new or building up towards the sky. Over the last couple of months, Tempe has been upgrading University Dr., between Ash Ave. and Priest Dr.  The beautification of this area has made it more pedestrian and bicycle friendly which is perfect since it is a gateway to Downtown Tempe and the Arizona State University Tempe Campus. In addition to a newly paved road, there are dedicated bike lanes, new palm trees and cacti planted in the center medians and some eye catching public art.  There are quite a few popular dining spots along this revitalized stretch of University. Ditch your car, lace up your shoes and/or grab your bike for a relaxing journey where you can sample food from around the globe, without leaving Tempe. Café Lalibela 849 E. University Dr., Tempe, AZ 85281 This Ethiopian restaurant was voted “Best Vegetarian Restaurant of Phoenix” by the Phoenix New Times. Patrons can enjoy authentic fare, such as asifah, gomen or shiro wat. You can dine at a table but we recommend dining Ethiopian-style, on a low stool in front of a mesob (Ehiopia’s traditional basket table) for the total experience. Essence Bakery Café 825 W. University Dr., Tempe, AZ 85281 This Tempe gem is one of the best restaurants in the […]

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Stay fit in Tempe, from outdoor activities to spinning classes

Tempe Town Lake paddleboarding
January 7, 2015

There are lots of ways to be active in Tempe, Arizona. It’s a fun college town with hiking and running trails, miles and miles of bike paths, and lots of sunshine to go around. Staying fit just goes with the territory. Here are a few of our favorite ways to do just that, from a cool new spin class to outdoor activities in Tempe. Spin classes at The Madison Sometimes it takes a bit of distraction for me to finish a workout. That’s where The Madison comes in. This new cycling studio is located at First Street and Farmer Avenue in Downtown Tempe in The Yard at Farmer Arts District. They have classes daily, ranging in start times from 6 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Their high-energy studio, complete with floor to ceiling bright lights that pulse with the beat of the music, features 60 bikes. Their instructors are top-notch and really know how to motivate you during your 50-minute class. Their slogan “Party on a bike” is really true. It feels more like a dance party than a workout. And, first timers (including non-Arizona residents) only pay $10 per class. And, if you plan ahead, stop by the Culinary Dropout for post-workout nosh. This cool new gastropub is located in the same building. Paddle boarding at Tempe Town Lake Stand-up paddle boarding is my favorite way to explore Tempe Town Lake. It’s easier than you might think to balance on these over-sized surfboards. And, it’s a great workout to boot. […]

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Tempe events: Maz Jobrani comes to Tempe Improv

Tempe Improv
January 5, 2015

Now that the holiday festivities are over, you might be experiencing a little post-holiday let down. Or maybe you’re feeling the sting of holiday debt as the credit card statements arrive. Fortunately, here in Tempe, the Tempe Improv comes to the rescue  this weekend with one of my personal favorites, Maz Jobrani . Maz Jobrani (aka the Iranian Pink Panther) is an Iranian American whose comedy addresses the challenges and conflicts of being Iranian-American. Through his standup routines he satirizes stereotypes and presents Middle Easterners in a positive light. He humor is understated, intelligent, tasteful, classy, and oh yes, very funny. Maz is a founding member of “The Axis of Evil Comedy Tour,” which first aired on Comedy Central.  He’s had two Showtime specials, “Brown and Friendly,” and most recently,” I Come in Peace.  “He performs stand-up live around the world, including in the Middle East, where he performed in front of the King of Jordan.  Maz has also appeared on “The Tonight Show” and “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.” Also an actor, Maz has had roles on popular TV shows, including “Mission Control,”  “True Blood” and “Shameless. “ He’s has been featured on CNN, BBC, Ted Talks and in articles in The New York Times and Time Magazine. He is a regular panelist on NPR’s “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me.” His big screen credits include a starring role as the title character in the award-winning indie comedy, Jimmy Vestvood: Amerikan Hero, a film which he co-wrote and […]

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New Tempe restaurants offer good food with fun and flair

December 30, 2014

Tempe is in the midst of a restaurant explosion.  This year Tempe’s culinary scene has been enhanced with the opening of a several new fun and stylish eateries. Five new Tempe restaurants that have caught my eye and tummy are Culinary Dropout, Postino Annex, Snooze Eatery, The Normal Diner and Tapacubo. Each is as equally noteworthy for distinctive décor and creative menus. All practice sustainability and incorporate locally produced and grown foods whenever possible. Postino Annex and Snooze Eatery share space in what was formerly the ASU Art Annex building, a low-slung, brick-lined Mid-Century Modern gem, constructed in the 1950s as a schoolhouse and used most recently as a graduate student art studio. The Postino Wine Bars in Phoenix are well-established favorites of Valley residents. They’re known for great casual dining in beautifully revamped spaces. Their sumptuous bruschetta appetizers are substantial enough to be a complete meal, but are best shared with friends followed by one of their delicious salads, sandwiches or pasta dishes. At the Tempe location on College Avenue, just north of University Drive, I love relaxing on the patio, warmed by heat lamps, sipping a glass of wine and noshing on bruschetta and the Italian picnic salad. Heaven! Snooze Eatery is right next door. Its décor is “a colorful atmosphere and retro-futuristic décor, best described as The Jetsons meets Happy Days.” The cheery surroundings both inside and outside combined with from-scratch menu items such as a choose-your-own flight of fluffy pancakes or house-made breakfast pot pie smothered in […]

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Tempe events: Circle K New Year’s Eve Block Party

Circle K New Years Eve Block Party on Mill Avenue
December 29, 2014

Ring in 2015 at Tempe’s Circle K New Year’s Eve Block Party on Mill Avenue. From 6 p.m.-1 a.m. On December 31, Downtown Tempe will be the place to celebrate New Year’s Eve with festivities that will include dance clubs, a resolution well at Fifth Street and Mill Avenue and plenty of photo opportunities. Iconic Tempe bands like the Gin Blossoms, Walt Richardson, Pistoleros and others will be on hand to rock in the New Year and there will be two also high energy video dance stages. Revelers will find sustenance at food trucks and libations at champagne and beer gardens. Activities include a Family Fun Zone (open until 10:30 p.m.) carnival rides, game booths, a gigantic super slide, a Ferris wheel, video gaming booths, arts and craft activities, interactive games and a “Kid’s New Year’s Eve Toast” with non-alcoholic cider at 10 p.m. It all culminates with two jaw-dropping fireworks displays at 10 p.m. and again at midnight. Those who make it to midnight will participate in the exciting New Year’s Eve countdown, a confetti blast and world’s largest kiss as the clock strikes 12. Tickets are available in advance. Visit the website for more information and to purchase tickets. Find more New Year’s Eve and weekend events and view a complete listing of Tempe events, or call 480-894-8158 for more information.  December 30: Las Noches de las Luminarias, Desert Botanical Garden December 31: Circle K New Year’s Eve Block Party on Mill Avenue, Mill Avenue District December 31: […]

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