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Tempe Tourism Blog

Tempe events: Lakeshore Music presents A Piano Triptych

Tempe Center for the Arts
January 9, 2018

Tempe events include A Piano Triptych, presented by Lake Lakeshore Music  at Tempe Center for the Arts on January 13.  The program features three renowned pianists, Nicole Pesce, Stephanie Trick and Paolo Alderighi, performing an evening on Broadway with two concert grand pianos. Pianist, keyboardist, composer and arranger Nicole Pesce entertains audiences with her unique blend of virtuosity, humor and pizzazz. With a repertoire consisting of over 12,000 memorized songs, Nicole is often dubbed “the human iPod” and is recognized as one of the “top ten musicians to hear in Phoenix” by the Arizona Republic. She has appeared on Phoenix’s prime time news, television and radio stations as well as in magazines and newspaper article. Stephanie Trick (Harlem stride piano virtuoso) and Paolo Alderighi met at a piano festival in Boswil near Zürich, Switzerland in 2008 and started to collaborate on a four-hands piano project dedicated to classic jazz, preparing arrangements of songs from the swing era, as well as drawing from the ragtime and blues repertoire. They have performed at national and international festivals and concerts. This premiere performance on January 13 at the Tempe Center for the Arts is a benefit for the Sandra Day O’Connor Institute Scholarship Fund at Arizona State University. To purchase tickets, visit the Tempe Center for the Arts website. Tempe’s calendar is full of exciting events this week. See what’s happening below and view a complete listing of Tempe events, or call (480) 894-8158 for more information. For a complete listing of Tempe’s live […]

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Spotlight on: Anibal Abayneh, GM of Cafe Lalibela

Anibal Abayne Cafe Lalibela GM
January 5, 2018

The smells of the delicious food served at Cafe Lalibela greets you with a warm welcome. And is complemented by the warm welcome we received from GM of the restaurant, Anibal Abayneh. We had the opportunity to sit down with Anibel to learn about the unique story of the restaurant, and the food they bring to Tempe locals and visitors everyday. Opened in 1996, Cafe Lalibela was the first Ethiopian restaurant opened in Arizona. 21 years later, it’s still humming with the tastes of Ethiopia by the original chef, Abayneh’s mother-in-law. A favorite among locals and ASU students and professors, everything that comes of out this kitchen is not only delicious, but also gluten free, sugar free, nut free and preservative free. But, you would never know how healthy this food really is. Every bite is rich with intense flavor and spices. It warms your belly and your soul. Guests will experience eating in the traditional Ethiopian way as well – no utensils. You eat using your fingers by scooping your dishes up with the spongy bread provided with your meal. Don’t let that intimidate you though – everyone there is so nice and welcoming – and ready to give guests a quick tutorial. It took about 5 seconds for me to dig in after being shown the way to best enjoy my meal.   Cafe Lalibela is located in Tempe on the SE corner of University and Hardy, just minutes from Downtown Tempe and Arizona State University. 849 W. University […]

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Tempe events: Annie at the Tempe Center for the Arts

Tempe Center for the Arts
January 2, 2018

Tempe events include Scottsdale Musical Theater Company’s production of Annie at the Tempe Center for the Arts, January 4-7.  TV, film and Broadway star Bronson Pinchot portrays Daddy Warbucks in the limited one week engagement of this classic musical. The show also features TV and Broadway star Kaitlin Hopkins as Miss Hannigan. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit or call (602) 909-4215. Tempe’s calendar is full of exciting events this week. See what’s happening below and view a complete listing of Tempe events, or call (480) 894-8158 for more information. January 2-14: ZooLights Phoenix Zoo January 2-6: Tempe Xhibition: Celebrating ten years at the TCA Gallery Tempe Center for the Arts January 2-20: ASU Art Exhibition: Porøs ASU Art Museum January 2-March 31: Footprints on the Desert: Frank Lloyd Wright in Arizona AZ Heritage Center at Papago Park January 3-7: Scottsdale Musical Theater presents Annie Tempe Center for the Arts January 4-6: Comedian Alex Moffat Tempe Improv Comedy Theatre January 5: Author Andrew Bourelle: Heavy Metal Changing Hands Bookstore January 5: Life Thru Letters Tempe Marketplace January 6: Ratio Tempe Marketplace Sundays through April 22: 6th Street Market 24 E. 6th St.      

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How to choose the right speaker for your conference

December 28, 2017

You’ve secured the destination and completed negotiations with the host property, now it is time to focus on the content of the meeting and how you will exceed your attendees’ expectations. As with many meetings, choosing the right keynote speaker to enhance and compliment your program is often times one of the most difficult challenges. Here are some tips to hiring your next speaker and ensuring you find the right fit for your group. Watch your prospective speakers perform When you watch a speaker live, you are able to see how well they are received by the crowd, as well as how they interact with the audience. Are they able to read the crowd reactions and adapt quickly to the responses they are getting? A keynote speaker should absolutely be able to supply you with a video of past sessions and make sure you watch the entire segment so you can determine if they held the audience’s interest for the whole time. Look for speakers who research and prepare thoroughly For your meeting, you want a tailored presentation that will appeal to the specific audience attending your event, which means the speaker will need to put in time either creating a speech from scratch or repurposing an existing speech with your audience in mind. Gauge the speaker’s understanding of the topics, industry and your audience. Make sure to put it in writing in your contract with your speakers that they know and understand you require input and progress updates all […]

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Take a Hike, Tempe!

December 26, 2017

Hiking is one of my favorite things to do and it’s the perfect time of year to start off the day with an early morning trek. It’s a great way to learn about the Sonoran Desert landscape and mix with the locals too. In the Tempe/Phoenix area, there are so many choices of hiking trails that it can be hard to choose where to go. Here’s a quick guide to some of my favorite Phoenix hiking trails. Papago Park and South Mountain Park are also popular for recreational mountain biking in Tempe, AZ. Just remember, take lots of water, wear sunscreen and go with a friend. It’s just more safe (and fun) that way! Papago Park Papago Park offers several easy hikes to choose from and it’s easy to get to from any part of the Valley. The trailhead just west of the parking lot at College and Curry is an easy hike that provides views of downtown Tempe and Tempe Town Lake from the summits. This trail is also home to Loma del Rio, a Hohokam ruin. To get to the ruin, continue along the path towards the freeway, and then veer right. Once you pass the summit of the next hill, you’ll see the ruin next to a ramada. There’s another popular trailhead on the west side of Papago Park. You can access it by turning west into the parking lot just across Galvin Parkway from the entrance to The Phoenix Zoo, located just north of Van Buren. […]

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Spend New Year’s Eve in Tempe

Downtown Tempe NYE
December 21, 2017

It’s time to ring in 2018! And, more importantly, time to decide where to celebrate New Year’s Eve! Tempe has everything from champagne balls, live music, luminarias, festive dinner menus and kids’ activities to choose from to celebrate. Here’s a list of top picks on where to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Tempe: New Year’s Eve events in Downtown Tempe: What better way to celebrate NYE than with fireworks at midnight, brought to you by Four Peaks Brewing Company, and a hearty dose of fun in Downtown Tempe. Check out these awesome parties happening in Downtown Tempe: El Hefe and Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row Champagne Ball El Hefe Mexican Restaurant – 640 S Mill Ave #110, Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 257-2797 Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row – 640 S Mill Ave #120, Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 794-1477 Head to El Hefe and Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row in Downtown Tempe for their 2018 Champagne Ball! Two parties, one ticket! You can’t miss this 3rd Annual Champagne Ball, featuring a 40 ft. stage in the middle of 6th St. with performances by AZ’s top local DJs. Confetti blasts, champagne inflatables, ball drop and champagne tubs – all in one spot. General admission tickets are $20 and VIP tickets are $40. Visit to purchase tickets. Cabin Tempe 410 S. Mill Ave., Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 968-0663 Ring in the New Year at one of the newest additions to Downtown Tempe’s nightlife, Cabin Tempe. They’re offering two floors of bottles, kegs, Jell-O shots, and everything else you’ll need for the perfect house party! […]

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Tempe events: December 20, 2017-January 2, 2018

Downtown Tempe NYE
December 20, 2017

The next two weeks are going to be fun and busy – the holiday are upon us! And lucky for us, Tempe has lots to offer throughout the holidays to keep us entertained! From live music to Broadway shows and comedy shows, there’s something for every age. I’m especially excited to head to Downtown Tempe to ring in the New Year. Several bars and restaurants will be hosting fun evenings with live music, and food and drink speocals, and there will be an fireworks show at midnight to ring in 2018! Here’s our list of exciting events taking place over the next two weeks, or for Tempe’s calendar of events, visit December 19-23, 26-30 – Las Noches de las Luminarias Desert Botanical Garden December 19-24 – CINDERELLA ASU Gammage December 19-31 – Nightly Snowfall Tempe Marketplace December 19-January 14 – ZooLights Phoenix Zoo December 21 – Comedian Ian Bagg Tempe Improv Comedy Theater December 22-23 – Comedian Tommy Davidson Tempe Improv Comedy Theater December 22-24 – Childsplay presents A Christmas Carol with Katie McFadzen Tempe Center for the Arts December 23 – Childsplay presents Go, Dog. Go! Tempe Center for the Arts December 23 – Lakeshore Music presents Bob Ravenscroft Trio: “The True Christmas” Tempe Center for the Arts December 27 – Jane’s Addiction The Marquee December 27-28 – Comedian Tiffany Haddish Tempe Improv Comeday Theater December 29 – The Amplified Soul Experience Tempe Center for the Arts December 29-31 – Comedian Jim Breuer Tempe Improv Comedy Theatre December […]

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Phoenix Zoo’s Dinosaurs in the Desert

Dinosaurs in the Desert
December 19, 2017

One of my favorite spots to take my kids to in the Metro Phoenix area is the Phoenix Zoo, located in Papago Park about 5 minutes north of Downtown Tempe. It’s a fun zoo, with lots of habitats to explore, and always something new to check out. There are also several attractions especially for the kiddos, such as two water splash pad areas, a big wooden fort house to climb on, a beautiful carousel, camel rides, a petting zoo and more. Their newest exhibit has received a gold start of approval from both of my kids – Dinosaurs in the Desert. Dinosaurs in the Desert is a self-guided walking tour located near the back of the zoo. There is a fee of $4, in addition to regular zoo admission, to enter. Once inside you enter another world – the prehistoric land of the dinosaurs. Music sets the mood with the score from Jurassic Park playing in the background as you approach your first dinosaur. There are more than ten encounters, with most of the dinosaurs having some sort of animatronics. Guests will see a Tyrannosaurus Rex, a Dilophosaurus, Brachiosaurus and many more creatures from before our time. One dinosaur even spits water on you. My 4 year old daughter loved it and insisted she stand there until appropriately soaked. My 2 year old didn’t love it so much and avoided it all together. To each their own! But I will tell you, the kids absolutely loved every moment! It’s a nice […]

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Holiday Menus and Craft Cocktails in Tempe

Gertrudes Tundra
December 14, 2017

With the holiday season upon us, now’s the perfect time to seek out special holiday menus and craft cocktails to get in the festive mood! Here are just a few of the Tempe restaurants offering special holiday menus and/or holiday drinks we think you’ll love. Culinary Dropout at The Yard Tempe – 149 S. Farmer Ave., Tempe, AZ 85281 This Christmas Eve, join any Culinary Dropout location for their ugly sweater party from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Show up in your ugly sweater and sip on some Night Before X-Mas Punch which includes cranberry, orange, Wild Turkey bourbon and holiday spice on special for $8. Culinary Dropout has an incredible beer and wine menu that’s highlighted by some great brews that are made locally. While you’re there enjoying your holiday drink, sit, relax and enjoy some yummy food and a game of corn-hole. Culinary Dropout is open on Christmas Eve until 8 p.m. and is closed on Christmas Day. Rustler’s Rooste – 8383 S. 48th St., Phoenix, AZ 85044 Rustler’s Rooste, one of the valley’s best restaurants for food and views, has a special holiday menu offering traditional favorites, just like mom used to make. They’ll be open Christmas Day from 12 p.m. – 8 p.m. with country music from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m. Menu items include a traditional turkey dinner or baked ham dinner. Both are priced at $19.95 for adults and $8.95 for kids 10 and under. In the mood for a Prime Rib dinner? You can get prime rib (starting at 8 oz. […]

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Tempe Events December 12-18: Las Noches de las Luminarias

Las Noches de Las Luminarias
December 12, 2017

This week’s Tempe events include Las Noches de las Luminarias at the Desert Botanical Garden, December 15-17, 19-23, 26-30, 2017. Each night of Las Noches de las Luminarias the Desert Botanical Garden comes to life with the soft glow from thousands of hand lit luminaria bags, thousands of white twinkle lights and 10 unique entertainment ensembles. Purchase tickets in advance. Tempe’s calendar is full of exciting events this week. See what’s happening below and view a complete listing of Tempe events, or call (480) 894-8158 for more information. December 12-January 14: ZooLights Phoenix Zoo December 14: Pullman Standard Tempe Marketplace December 14-17: Greg Fitzsimmons Tempe Improv Comedy Theater December 15: Lane Change Tempe Marketplace December 15: Descendents The Marquee December 16: Spar Afar Tempe Marketplace December 16-23: Childsplay presents Go, Dog. Go! Tempe Center for the Arts December 17: Deck the Halls…And All that Jazz Mesa Arts Center Sundays through-April 22: 6th Street Market 24 E. 6th St., Downtown Tempe

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