Tempe Tourism Blog

Tempe events: Michael Ian Black at Tempe Improv

Tempe Improv
June 9, 2015

Tempe events include the hilarious Michael Ian Black at the Tempe Improv June 11-13. Michael Ian Black is a multi-talented performer who also regularly tours the country performing his ribald brand of humorous jokes and observations. He’s also acts and writes for television and movies and has authored several books. He definitely keeps busy! His TV work is extensive, and includes “The State,” “Viva Variety,” “Stella” and “Michael and Michael Have Issues,” all of which he co-created, wrote and starred in. In 2012 he starred as the host, Bill Tundle, in the web and TV series “Burning Love,” a spoof of the TV series “The Bachelor “and The Bachelorette. He stars in Adult Swim’s late night infomercial parody, “You’re Whole,” as Randall Tyree Mandersohn.  He co-hosts”Trust Me, I’m a Game Show Host “with D.L. Hughley. He is also a co-host on “Duck Quacks Don’t Echo.” His work in movies include roles in   Hell Baby, This is 40, Wet Hot American Summer, Take Me Home Tonight, Reno 911!: Miami, The Ten and The Baxter. His writing credits include the 2007 comedy Run, Fatboy, Run, He wrote and directed the 2006 release of Wedding Daze starring Jason Biggs and Isla Fisher. Somehow Black has found time write his memoir, You’re Not Doing it Right: Tales of Marriage, Sex, Death and Other Humiliations and a bunch of other books. His latest book for adults is a collaboration with conservative writer Meghan McCain, entitled America, You Sexy Bitch: A Love Letter to Freedom. He […]

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Tempe has hotel pools with cool views

Phoenix Marriott Tempe at The Buttes
June 5, 2015

What do visitors to Tempe look forward to as soon as they’ve checked into their hotels, especially in the summer? They head straight for the hotel swimming pool. Lounging lazily poolside under our brilliant blue skies or taking a cool plunge into the refreshing water is one of life’s great pleasures. It doesn’t get any better. Almost all Tempe hotels have refreshing pools, but there are three properties known for their pools with memorable views. Tempe Mission Palms is a lovely full-service hotel located in Downtown Tempe. The recently refurbished rooftop pool looks out at Tempe’s cityscape and local landmark and hiking area, “A” Mountain. The A stands for Arizona State University. The Tempe campus is located just south of the hotel. You might see hikers on the trail that leads to the top. If you’re in town over the 4th of July, the pool area is a perfect place for watching the spectacular July 4th Tempe Town Lake Festival fireworks, the best show in town. The pool features cabanas and plenty of shaded areas with seating, and poolside service for food and beverages so you can graze while you gaze. Residence Inn Tempe Downtown/University by Marriott is Downtown Tempe’s newest hotel. From the rooftop pool and patio you see picture perfect views of major landmarks in both Tempe and Phoenix. One of the most striking views is of “A Mountain.” Its signature “A” appears to be so close that it feels as though you could reach out and touch […]

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How to Survive the Arizona Summer in Tempe

Splash Pad at Tempe Marketplace
May 27, 2015

Since summers can get pretty hot here in Arizona, now is a the perfect time to put together a list of go-to activities to keep cool this summer in Tempe. So, here it is, my official list of how to survive the Arizona summer in Tempe: 1) Cool off at one of Tempe’s splash pads. The Tempe Beach Park Splash Pad is located on the south bank of Tempe Town Lake, just steps from Downtown Tempe. This popular summer spot covers one acre with pop up fountains, a slide, streams, water cannons and other fun stuff. It is open daily from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. The Tempe Marketplace Splash Pad is located in the heart of The District at Tempe Marketplace and surrounded by shaded seating area for parents, and lots of great shops and restaurants too. It’s also close to a few spots where you can get an iced beverage or dessert, such as MoJo Yogurt and Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. It is open daily from 7 a.m. until 11 p.m. On Friday and Saturday evenings, parents can also enjoy live musicians who play within earshot of the splash pad. 2) Get really wet at Big Surf Waterpark. America’s original wave pool is open again for the summer season. Big Surf has lots of activities to choose from – for little kids and those seeking more than a little adrenaline rush. There are calm play areas just for toddlers and food and beverage options on site. The […]

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Tempe events: Phantom of the Opera at ASU Gammage

May 26, 2015

Tempe events include the return of PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, the longest running show in Broadway history. This breath taking production opens at ASU Gammage on May 27 and runs through June 7.  The show features a brilliant new scenic design by Paul Brown, Tony Award®-winning original costume design by Maria Björnson, lighting design by Tony Award®-winner Paule Constable, new choreography by Scott Ambler, and a new staging by director Laurence Connor. It also features many exciting special effects including the legendary chandelier. The beloved story and thrilling score — with songs like “Music of the Night,” “All I Ask Of You,” and “Masquerade” — will be performed by a cast and orchestra of 52, making this PHANTOM one of the largest productions now on tour. For more information and to purchase tickets to PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, visit ASUGammage. Com. Enjoy a refreshing and entertaining arts & culture break in Tempe this week. Check out this list and view a complete listing of Tempe events, or call 480-894-8158 for more information. May 27: Skid Row, Marquee Theater May 27-28: All About Dance: #LiveToDance, Tempe Center for the Arts May 27-June 7: PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, ASU Gammage May 28: Edwin San Juan: There Goes the Neighborhood Comedy Jam, Tempe Improv May 29: Whitney Cummings, Tempe Improv May 29:  Finally Friday:  Robby Roberson, Tempe Center for the Arts May 29: Friday Film Screenings: Walt Disney’s Sleeping Beauty, Tempe Center for the Arts May 29: Tempe Comedy Concert Series: Steve Krause, Tempe Center for […]

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Craft Breweries in Tempe

Four Peaks Tempe
May 26, 2015

What’s the true taste of Arizona? In Tempe, it’s all about craft beer. Tempe has a vast culinary scene that extends from college town staples of pizza and burgers to upscale dining at House of Tricks and Top of the Rock. One trend that ties all of Tempe’s eateries together is the growing variety of excellent microbrews. With five craft breweries in Tempe, our city is producing some of the best of suds in the Southwest. Four Peaks Brewing Company is the original destination for great craft beer in Tempe. Their signature brews, including the Scottish style Kilt Lifter, 8th Street Pale Ale and Hop Knot IPA, can be found all of over town, but they are best experienced at their location on 8th Street in Tempe. Originally a creamery building that dates back to the 19th century, this charming red brick structure seems custom made for their brewing operations, large bar and sunny outdoor patio. They are now offering tours of their historic building and their brewing operations every Saturday. And, they were recently named America’s favorite craft brewery as part of the Travel Channel’s inaugural Microbrew Madness. While beer is the main draw to this neighborhood hangout, food comes in a close second. The Four Peaks beer bread sandwiches, perfectly seasoned fries, enchiladas and pizzas are some of the best around. And, if you don’t get a chance to visit their original location, don’t worry. You can get a taste of Four Peaks on your way home. They recently […]

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Apache Blvd. offers an authentic culinary adventure

Haji Baba
May 21, 2015

When I’m hungry for some fragrant, savory, spicy and delicious Middle Eastern/ Mediterranean and Asian food, I know where to go—Apache Boulevard in Tempe. I don’t have to venture very far to find mighty fine falafel, curry or couscous. Apache Boulevard is a veritable spice trail of flavorful food finds all clustered between Rural and Price Roads, close to Arizona State University (ASU).  All are family owned and have been in business for many years. The menus are authentic and loaded with dishes that are rich in both flavor and tradition. Have your hummus and hookah too at Café Istanbul & Market. It’s also one of just a few Middle Eastern restaurants that offer a lunch buffet, which is great if you want to sample several dishes at once. Buffet items vary so you never know what you’ll find. I like that element of surprise and am more likely to try something new. Hookah enthusiasts can partake outside on the patio. There’s also a well-stocked Middle Eastern hookah store adjoining the restaurant. 1310 E Apache Blvd. – 480-731-9499 Haji Baba is located across the street from Café Istanbul. Haji Baba is both a Middle Eastern restaurant and grocery store. It’s not about the décor, which is basic, but comfortable.  It is, however, all about the food which is always delicious. I’m sure everything on the menu is yummy, but I don’t deviate from the chicken shawarma or the gyro platters. The meats are so good. The hummus is unbelievably creamy […]

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Refreshing Tempe Summer Drinks

Bahama Bucks
May 19, 2015

Summertime, known as the time of year where seat belt burns can almost send you to the hospital, phones won’t function because they go into cool down mode and stepping out barefoot feels like doing a fire dance on a bed of hot charcoals. Those local to the Tempe area know how important it is to find ways to beat the heat during the summer, including finding the best summer drinks that take you out of the summer heat, and into a blissful retreat. Check out these Tempe locations for refreshing Tempe summer drinks. Rita’s Italian Ice Rita’s Italian Ice on 740 South Mill Avenue, located on Mill Ave. and Seventh St., is perfect for all ages. Choose between freshly made Italian Ice, custards, or one of their many mixed frozen drink concoctions. I personally enjoy the Blendini, which is a perfect blend of Italian Ice and creamy frozen custard, topped with your favorite toppings. 740 S. Mill Ave., Tempe, AZ 85281 (480) 966-0787 Bahama Bucks Head on over to Bahama Buck’s where you can relax and connect with friends while you experience a little piece of paradise. Bahama Buck’s, located on the northeast corner of South Rural Rd. and Warner Rd., knows the exact science to creating irresistible frozen treats. From their “Sno” creations to their Island Smoothies, they have their flavors down pat. Try their Pina Colda Sno. It’s out of this world and makes you feel like you’re on an island vacation. 1006 E. Warner Rd., #101 Tempe, AZ  […]

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Tempe events: Celtic Woman at ASU Gammage

ASU Gammage
May 18, 2015

Tempe events include global music sensation, Celtic Woman in its 10th Anniversary World Tour at ASU Gammage on May 19 at 7 p.m. The performance will feature Irish standards, classical favorites and contemporary pop songs, with an unforgettable signature style. Celtic Woman is comprised of  four gifted Irish women – three vocalists and Celtic violinist- along with a full band, The Anotas Choir, bagpipers, Irish dancers with bewitching choreography all under the direction of Emmy®-nominated music producer David Downes. For more information and to purchase tickets to Celtic Woman, visit the ASU Gammage website. You’ll find plenty of outstanding arts and culture events in Tempe. Check out this list and view a complete listing of Tempe events, or call 480-894-8158 for more information. May 19: Celtic Woman 10th Anniversary World Tour, ASU Gammage May 19: Performance with a View: The Lake/Crissman Guitar Duo, Tempe Center for the Arts May 19: Twiztid; May 20: Ministry, Marquee Theater May 20:Walk-in Wednesdays Open Mic Night, Tempe Center for the Arts May 21–24: Shakespeare at the Garden: Spellbound, a Musical Fairytale, Desert Botanical Garden May 21-24: Christopher Titus, Tempe Improv May 22: Chapito Chavarria Orchestra, Tempe History Museum May 22: UNFOLD Presented by Annemarie Miskovic, ASU Art Museum May 22:  Finally Friday: Gary Marsh;  Friday Film Screenings: M*A*S*H, 1970, Tempe Center for the Arts May 22: Tempe Comedy Concert Series: Gregory Freiler, Tempe Center for the Arts May 22: Music in the Garden: Jaleo, Desert Botanical Garden May 22: Timothy H; May 23: Hello Swindon, Tempe Marketplace District Stage […]

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Satisfy your sweet tooth in Downtown Tempe

Paletas Betty
May 12, 2015

I think it’s fair to say that most people enjoy having a snack every once in a while. I’ll admit, I love snacking, and am always looking for something to nosh on. I have a bit of a sweet tooth, so more often than not; I’m heading straight for the cookies or candy rather than pretzels or potato chips. If you’re looking to get sweets in Downtown Tempe, here are a couple of places I recommend. Candy Addict If you love candy, Candy Addict is your paradise. They have over 1,500 varieties of candy including nostalgic brands. When you get there, take your time and walk around because there’s a lot to take in. The employees are always really friendly and are more than happy to help you out with any questions. Candy Addict is also the only Arizona retailer that sells Cocopotamus, which are fudge-filled truffles. 414 S. Mill Ave., Tempe, AZ 85281 – located on the east side of Mill Avenue, between Fourth St. and Fifth St. (480) 921-1155 Paletas Betty Paletas are fruit and cream pops that come in a wide variety of flavors and textures. They’re a traditional dessert from Mexico. Unlike something you buy at the store, their popsicles are made from scratch with fresh, natural ingredients. Only seasonal fruit is used and everything is prepared in house. It’s a great treat on a hot Arizona day. 425 S. Mill Ave., Tempe, AZ 85281 – located on the northeast corner of Mill Ave. and Fifth St. (480) 779-8080 Slickables Ice Cream […]

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Tempe events: Songwriters’ Showcase XIII at TCA

Tempe Center for the Arts
May 11, 2015

Tempe events include Songwriters’ Showcase XIII at Tempe Center for the Arts (TCA) on May 15. Kick off your weekend with this program featuring recording artist Jenny Jarnagin. She’s a singer/songwriter who  is known for her considerable piano skills and music that’s a combination of classical, jazz and pop. Her distinctive sound blends her small town roots with extensive classical training. She will be joined on stage by veteran musician and KJZZ Music Director and Host Blaise Lantana,Tim McDonald of the indie-rock, Phoenix-based band Broken Poets, and Eric Ramsey of blues/roots/Americana local band, Scatfish. Local music legend Walt Richardson will  host the evening which will be taped to broadcast on Eight, Arizona PBS and Tempe 11. Songwriters’ Showcase is a Tempe Center for the Arts program that joins selected performers from the region, the Walk-in Wednesdays Open Mic Night series and In the Spotlight for a night of original music. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the TCA website or call 480-350-2822. Take an arts & culture break in Tempe this week. Check out this list and view a complete listing of Tempe events, or call 480-894-8158 for more information. May 11: Janis Heaphy Durham: The Hand on the Mirror; May 13: Comedian Brad Garrett: When the Balls Drop, Changing Hands Bookstore May 13:Walk-in Wednesdays Open Mic Night, Tempe Center for the Arts May 13: Lord Huron, Marquee Theater May 13: Art After Work: Starry Night a Gogh Gogh, Tempe Center for the Arts May 14: The History of War […]

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