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Tempe Tourism Blog

Exciting Tempe fall events

tour de fat 244 x 163
August 24, 2016

Fall is one of my favorite times of year. It’s usually around now that I become weary of the summer heat and I know that cooler temperatures are right around the corner. Soon, all things pumpkin flavored will be on restaurant menus around town, which is something I’ve been anxiously waiting for. But what else do we have to look forward to in Tempe this fall? Here are a few things to get start getting excited about right now. ASU football With the start of fall brings college football! ASU home games bring Sun Devil pride to Downtown Tempe, fans from rival colleges, tailgating parties and game specials to neighboring bars and restaurants. Lots of fun to be had all season long. ASU Homecoming Weekend Enjoy events throughout the university and across Downtown Tempe for ASU’s Homecoming Weekend, October 16-22, 2016. Highlights include a comedy show, along with the traditional lantern walk and a pre-game parade and block party. The fun concludes with the annual homecoming football game where the Sun Devils take on Washington State at Sun Devil Stadium on Saturday, October 22, 2016. New Season at ASU Gammage Each year ASU Gammage brings no shortage of incredible shows to Tempe, and this upcoming season is no different. The first show of the season is CABARET, onstage September 13-18, 2016, followed by THE SOUND OF MUSIC, October 18-23, 2016. New Belgium’s Tour de Fat Join in on the fun on October 1, 2016 at New Belgium’s Tour de Fat bicycle extravaganza. You are encouraged to dress up in […]

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Tempe Events This Week: August 23-29, 2016

Desert Botanical Garde Flashlight-Tours
August 23, 2016

Tempe’s calendar is full of exciting events this week. See what’s happening below this week, August 23-29, 2016, or view a complete listing of Tempe events, or call (480) 894-8158 for more information.August 25: Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals The Marquee – (480) 829-0607 / 8 p.m. August 25-28: Comedian Rachel Feinstein Tempe Improv – (480) 921-9877 / August 25th 8 p.m.; August 26 7:30 & 10:00 p.m.; August 27th 7 & 9:30 p.m.; August 28 7:00 p.m. August 25-October 29: 3D Astronomy Shows ASU Marston Exploration Theater – (480) 965-6891 / Wednesday evenings @ 7:30 p.m.; Saturday afternoons @ 2:30 p.m. August 25-September 3: Desert Botanical Garden Flashlight Tours Desert Botanical Garden – (480) 941-1225 / Thursday & Saturday evenings, 7-10 p.m. August 26: 3NATIONS Tempe Marketplace District Stage – (480) 966-9338 / 7-10 p.m. August 26: Explosions in the Sky The Marquee – (480) 829-0607 / 8 p.m. August 26: Dr. Christina G. Hibbert: 8 Keys to Mental Health Through Exercise Changing Hands Bookstore – (480) 730-0205 / 7 p.m. August 26: hello Friday Tempe Center for the Arts – (480) 350-2822 / 6-8 p.m. August 27: Miss Native American USA Tempe Center for the Arts – (480) 350-2822 August 27: Music from the Heart Tempe Center for the Arts – (480) 350-2822 / 1 & 6 p.m. August 27: Wide Awake Tempe Marketplace District Stage – (480) 966-9338 / 7-10 p.m. August 27: Chris Gall: NanoBots Changing Hands Bookstore – (480) 730-0205 / 10 a.m. August 27: Support Local […]

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Day Trips from Tempe: Flagstaff and Bearizona

Bearizona in Williams, AZ
August 23, 2016

When someone thinks of Arizona, images of saguaro cactus and other iconic desert landscapes usually spring to mind. They probably don’t think about pine trees and mountains. But, they should. One of my favorite places to go with my family is Flagstaff, Arizona. The scenery is completely different, the temperatures are cooler than metro Phoenix and there’s lots to do in and around the city. My husband, Jeff, my daughter, Piper and I recently took the two-hour drive to Flagstaff for a fun day trip. Home to Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff is college town with some of my favorite restaurants, terrific hiking trails and activities that are great for kids. It’s a good place to escape the warm summer temperatures in Tempe, to see the leaves change in the fall and to go skiing in the winter at Snowbowl. This summer, we decided to take a quick trip up to Flagstaff and then head to Bearizona in nearby Williams. First, we had breakfast at Snooze, one of our favorite places to start the day in Tempe. Located on College Avenue just north of University, Snooze serves everything that will get your day off to a great start. Omelets, egg sandwiches, egg benedicts, juices and the tastiest pancakes that you’ll ever have. My daughter, Piper, likes them with chocolate chips. Next we started driving north. When you leave the Phoenix area on I-17, it is amazing how quickly the landscape changes from cityscapes to beautiful desert vistas. You gain over a […]

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Site inspections with the Tempe Tourism Office

Eisendrath Center for Water Conservation in Tempe, AZ
August 22, 2016

by Matt Connelly, Group Sales Manager At the Tempe Tourism Office, the group sales team strives to connect meeting planners to the ideal property for their conference attendees. In addition, we can curate an ideal selection of venues and activities that will allow the attendees to truly experience the vibrant community that is Tempe. What’s the best way to find out if Tempe is the right fit for your next event? In person, of course, during a site inspection with one of the Tempe Tourism Office sales managers. If you visit Tempe for a site inspection for an upcoming meeting, we will provide you with a closer look at venues that fit your specifications, a little Tempe history and some delicious food. While we create a connection to our city, we’ll have some fun in the process while getting work done and seeing a few saguaro cacti along the way. Once we have all the details of your RFP and what you need to make your meeting successful, we will create a customized site inspection experience. We will arrange tours at properties that are best suited for your program. Prior to the site, the key contacts will be given the details so they can address and demonstrate how their facility would suit your needs.  Our community partners will do all they can to make your site inspection experience both memorable and meaningful. This ensures the most efficient use of your time because, as we all know, a planner’s work is […]

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Tempe events: My Fair Lady at Tempe Center for the Arts

Tempe Center for the Arts
August 16, 2016

Tempe events features Scottsdale Musical Theatre Company’s production of My Fair Lady at Tempe Center for the Arts, August 18-21. The Lerner & Lowe musical is based on George Bernard Shaw’s 1913 play Pygmalion. It follows the attempts of Professor Henry Higgins to transform Eliza Doolittle, a Cockney flower girl, into a proper English lady with hilarious results. With its great story line and some of the best known songs on Broadway including “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly?”, “On the Street Where You Live”, “I Could Have Danced All Night” and “The Rain in Spain,” My Fair Lady continues to be one of the most beloved musicals of all time. Don’t miss this timeless classic. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit, or call, (602) 909-4215. Tempe’s calendar is full of exciting events this week. Check out this list and view a complete listing of Tempe events, or call (480) 894-8158 for more information. August 16: Silversun Pickups The Marquee August 17-October 16: 3D Astronomy Shows ASU Marston Exploration Theater August 18: Comedian Eric Schwartz Tempe Improv August 18: Vinyl Update Tempe Marketplace District Stage August 18-21: SMTC presents MY FAIR LADY Tempe Center for the Arts August 18-September 3: Desert Botanical Garden Flashlight Tours Desert Botanical Garden August 19: Boys Like Girls The Marquee August 19: Los Guys featuring Mark Zubia Tempe Marketplace District Stage August 19-20: Comedian Jim Breuer Tempe Improv August 20: Sam Braxten Band Tempe Marketplace District Stage August 20: 3D Body Scanning & Printing with […]

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Add spice to your life at Tempe’s Thai restaurants

Smile Lao Thai
August 15, 2016

When my tummy tells me it’s time for Thai, I don’t have to go far to find my favorite authentic Thai dishes.  Tempe has so many great family-owned and operated restaurants that making a choice is the main challenge. You can be sure that the food is authentic, fresh and prepared from favorite family recipes. The menus offer a variety of dishes with and without meat.  This means that vegetarians can enjoy a great meal with their meat lovin’ friends and/or family members, and vice versa. You can also find plenty of gluten-free options. There may be similarities among these restaurants, but each one has its own unique take on Thai. They all deliver a rich blend of hot, sour, sweet, salty and smidge of bitter. Here are a few of my favorites, but this by no means is a complete list. If you have a favorite Thai place, please let us know so we can experience it too. Smile Lao Thai 2107 S Rural Rd, Tempe, AZ 85282 (480) 894-5495 Smile Lao Thai is one of Tempe’s newest restaurants to open. It’s located at the end of a strip mall on Rural and Broadway. When you walk through the door you’ll notice how fresh and new the decor is. The menu offers several options to choose from including curry dishes, noodle dishes, stir-fry and house favorites. I love curry, so on my first visit, I decided to order the Sweet Pa-Nang Curry for lunch. It was delicious with lots […]

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The Stray Cat Theatre 2016-17 season is paw-some

Stray Cat Theatre
August 10, 2016

With September just a few weeks off, we can start looking forward to Stray Cat Theatre’s new season of nonconformist, edgy, quirky and irreverent productions. Now in its 15th year, Stray Cat once again brings us the best in indie theatre. There’s plenty to be excited about in this new season’s productions, which includes one play by a Pulitzer Prize winner and one world premiere. All have received rave reviews. All productions, with the exception of Native Son, take place at Stray Cat’s new home, Tempe Center for the Arts. September 16-October 1, 2016: John by Annie Baker. Directed by Ron May – Tempe Center for the Arts John is a new play by Pulitzer Prize-winner Annie Baker. It takes place the week after Thanksgiving in a Gettysburg, Pennsylvania B & B. The characters include a young couple trying to stay together, a cheerful in-keeper and hundreds of inanimate objects…watching. It promises to be a creepy good time. November 25-December 10, 2016: Anything You Hear and Only Half of What You See by Phoenix playwright Ron Hunting. Directed by Louis Farber – Tempe Center for the Arts Stray Cat Theatre presents the world premiere of this comically dark, taut new thriller in which mailman George Ruth, while making his appointed rounds, witnesses a murder, but thinks it’s a drug deal gone bad. This hilarious, incisive new work combines the unpredictability of Quentin Tarantino (Reservoir Dogs), the dark undercurrents of Martin McDonagh (The Pillowman) and the edgy narrative style of David Mamet […]

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Tempe events: 3D Astronomy Shows

Marston Exploration Theater
August 9, 2016

Tempe events include 3D Astronomy Shows at ASU Marston Exploration Theater.  Take a break from the heat and go where it’s cool—space. True, space tours are still a thing of the future. But here, in Tempe, in the present, you’ll feel like you’ve gone to infinity and beyond, when you have an outer space experience at the 3D Astronomy Show at ASU Marston Exploration Theater. The Marston Exploration Theater is somewhat reminiscent of an IMAX theater with amphitheater seating and 3-D images projected onto a huge screen at the front. The 3-D effect is excellent and makes it seem like you can reach out and touch the stars, planets and asteroids. There are four shows to choose from; each lasts 60 minutes. To the Edge of the Universe and Everything in Between The Search: Exploring Unknown Worlds Gathering Light: 25 years of discovery from the Hubble Space Telescope The Secret Life of Stars  The Marston Exploration Theater is located on the ASU Tempe campus, in the Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Building IV. Shows may be viewed Wednesday evenings at 7:30 and Saturday afternoons 2:30 p.m. General admission is $7.50; student admission is $5.50 . Group pricing is available by reservation. For more information, call 480-965-689 or visit the website. Tempe’s calendar is full of exciting events this week. Check out this list and view a complete listing of Tempe events, or call (480) 894-8158 for more information. August 9: Hilda Villaverde and Mary Beth Stern: Living Brave: Women, Stories and Pathways to Thriving […]

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2016/2017 season at ASU Gammage is its best yet

CabCabaret at ASU Gammagearet
August 4, 2016

I’ve always had an appreciation for the theatre. Growing up in the northeast, I’ve had a lot of opportunities to travel to New York City. My parents always enjoyed catching a Broadway show whenever they could. When I was about nine or ten, they took me to my first Broadway show. Ever since then, I was hooked. When I moved to Arizona, I was happy to hear ASU Gammage was so close and that I could catch a play or musical very easily. ASU Gammage is a Phoenix area landmark. Since 1964, this 3,000 seat, Frank Lloyd Wright-designed theatre has been home to plays, musicals, Presidential debates and concerts. This historic building is getting ready to welcome another season of award-winning Broadway shows to Tempe. In addition to Broadway season shows, there are some of special engagements coming this winter and in 2017. ASU Gammage’s Beyond Series also has several intriguing performances this season. For those unfamiliar, the Gammage Beyond Series is a curated performing art series that brings world-class artists to Tempe. This season will bring acclaimed performances like Agua Furiosa, Aging Magician and Dearest Home to Tempe. In addition to their incredible line-up of shows, ASU Gammage is within walking or pedicab distance from the restaurants in Downtown Tempe. Many patrons like to make a night of it by getting dinner before the show or grabbing dessert or a cocktail afterwards. For the 2016-2017 Desert Schools Broadway Across America – Arizona season, there are seven great shows that will be stopping in our […]

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Tempe events: First Saturday for Families

First Saturday for Families
August 2, 2016

Tempe events include First Saturday for Families Day at the ASU Art Museum, August 6, 2016 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.  Families are invited to create a piece of art that relates to one of the Museum’s exhibitions. This month’s theme is “Animals and the Environment” with the focus on The New Animist exhibition. There’s no admission fee and all materials are provided free of charge. Families can take home their artwork. The New Animist examine the ideas behind Animism, which refers to “the age-old belief that everything in the universe possesses a spiritual energy or life force.” The exhibition brings together a diverse range of subject matter connected through Animism. All of the works have been selected from the ASU Art Museum’s permanent collection to illustrate how Animist beliefs coincide with current concerns about the environment. The exhibition also explores how we might better understand and improve our relationship with nature. The New Animist is a stimulating exhibition that makes Old Animism relevant today and reminds us to focus on respecting our planet. The New Animist will be on display through September 3, 2016. The ASU Art Museum is located at 51 E. 10th Street, Tempe and is open Tuesday through Saturday 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission is free (donations are welcomed). For more information on First Saturday for Families  call (480) 965-2787 or visit the Museum’s website. Tempe’s calendar is full of exciting events this week. Check out this list and view a complete listing of Tempe events, or call […]

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