Tempe Tourism Blog

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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Tempe events this week-TCA Juried Biennial: Copper

Gallery at TCA - Tempe Center for the Arts
September 22, 2014

This year Tempe Center for the Arts (TCA) celebrates its seventh anniversary. Since opening in 2007, thousands of people have attended performances, hosted business events, taken their wedding vows and acknowledged their special life events at TCA. The Gallery at TCA   honors this milestone with TCA Juried Biennial: Copper, an exhibition featuring the metal that is a tradition for seventh anniversaries – copper. It also a celebrates copper as a medium and a prominent symbol of Arizona history.  The exhibition includes works on copper, art made of copper and artists inspired by copper. The art comes from a wide array of visual art traditions, including bronze casting, painting, ceramics, etching, quilt making and jewelry. The opening reception of TCA Juried Biennial: Copper takes place Friday, September 26, 6-9 p.m.  Come early to enjoy Finally Friday with singer/songwriter Gary Marsh and stay after to see comic Travis Thurmond. For more information on Tempe Center for the Arts Programs, visit www.tempe.gov/tca. There’s a mind-boggling array of arts and culture events taking place 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 22: The Airborne Toxic Event, Marquee Theater September 23: ASU School of Music Showcase, ASU Gammage September 23: Joel Robin Trio with Delphine Cortez and Frank Darmiento, Madhatter Brewpub September 23: Seth Casteel: Underwater Puppies, Changing Hands  Bookstore September 24: Led Zepplin 2, Marquee Theater September 24: Walk-in Wednesdays Open Mic Night, Tempe Center for the Arts September 25: The Gentile Swagger Show […]

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Summer Ends Music Festival

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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