Tempe Tourism Blog

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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Fun weekend things to do in Tempe

South Mountain Park and Preserve couple hiking
September 4, 2014

The best part about weekends are just that – it’s the weekend. For two days, we don’t have to think about work, meetings or emails. While most people use this free time to catch up on TV shows or projects around the house, getting out and doing something fun is always atop everyone’s weekend to-do list. Usually on Saturday afternoon, I’m sitting on the couch and at some point and say, “I need to go out and do something.” But figuring out what to do and where to go turns into the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. Why is that? I know I can’t be the only one with this issue. So I’ve outlined a few fun things to do on weekends in Tempe that won’t take up all your time but will get you out of the house for a bit. Outdoors Tempe Town Lake Get out on the water! It’s still hot out, so renting a kayak or paddleboard is a great way to have some fun, be outside, exercise and be out on the lake. Tempe Boat Rentals has a variety of options to choose from, depending on if you’re with a group or by yourself. South Mountain Everyone loves a good Arizona hike. South Mountain is huge, sitting on more than 16,000 acres with 51 miles of trails. Dobbins Lookout is the highest point (accessible by trail) at 2,330 feet and the trails located off of 48th Street and Guadalupe are some of the […]

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Tempe events – Childsplay presents Charlotte’s Web

Tempe Center for the Arts
September 2, 2014

As the song says, “it’s a long long while from May to September” and don’t we know it here in the Valley of the Sun!  September has finally arrived and with it the opening of Tempe’s theatre season. Childsplay opens its season on Sunday with one of its most beloved productions, Charlotte’s Web, the E.B. White classic with a cast of unforgettable characters. The stars of the show are Charlotte, the wise and winsome spider who befriends Wilbur, an endearing piglet in grave danger of ending up as pork chops.  Rounding out the cast of this beautiful production is a menagerie of other barnyard animals and  folks in a variety of supporting roles. Charlotte’s Web is truly a favorite of all generations and a great choice for Childsplay’s season opener.  And, given that this is a Childsplay production, we know that everything from the sets to the costumes to the actors will be top notch and a great beginning to another wonderful season of professional theatre for children. All Childsplay performances take place at the Tempe Center for the Arts. For more information and a behind the scenes peek at Charlotte’s Web, visit www.childsplayaz.org.  To purchase tickets, visit www.tempe.gov/TCA  or call Tempe Center for the Arts Box Office (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 3: ASU School of Music: Catalin Rotaru, Double Bass, ASU Katzen Concert Hall  September […]

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Exciting Tempe fall events

tour de fat 244 x 163
August 28, 2014

Fall is one of my favorite times of year. It’s usually around now that I’m tired 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? Obviously, we all know about ASU football but there are some other fun Tempe fall events happening in the coming weeks and months.  Here are a few things to get start getting excited about right now. New Season at ASU Gammage Every year, ASU Gammage brings no shortage of incredible shows to Tempe and this upcoming season is no different. The first show of the new year is KINKY BOOTS (September 16th-21st). The Broadway classic PIPPIN will also be there this fall (December 2nd-7th). Show and tickets information can be found here. New Belgium’s Tour de Fat Sponsored by New Belgium, Tour de Fat (October 4th) is nothing but fun. You are encouraged to dress up in a costume and participate in the bike parade, watch live entertainment and drink New Belgium’s best beers down by Tempe Town Lake. But most importantly, proceeds from beer sales benefit local non-profits. Tempe Oktoberfest This event is every beer lover’s dream. Oktoberfest at Tempe Town Lake (October 10-12) at Tempe Town Lake is a three day festival with food, music, dancing, carnival rides and lots of beer. Admission is free but […]

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ASU Gammage turns 50 and celebrates with Broadway shows

ASU Gammage
August 27, 2014

This is an exciting time for Tempe, ASU Gammage and for all of us who love attending the many great performances held in this beautiful theater, including the brand new Desert Schools Broadway Across America—Arizona series. The opening of a new Broadway season is plenty exciting all by itself. But the other cause for excitement is that ASU Gammage is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year! For me, each new Broadway show season is reason enough to celebrate. After all, as one of the top touring Broadway markets in the country, ASU Gammage consistently brings the best of the best Broadway shows to Arizona. There’s just nothing quite like watching a great production in the beautiful surroundings of this Frank Lloyd Wright-designed theater. And what a season it will be! ASU Gammage kicks off its exciting Broadway show series with KINKY BOOTS, winner of six Tony Awards® including Best Musical, September 16-21. This heartwarming and hilarious show features a joyous Tony Award-winning score by Cyndi Lauper. KINKY BOOTS is just the beginning of what promises to be the most fantastic yearlong series that will include: PIPPIN, December 2-7, 2014 JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT, January 13-18, 2014 DIRTY DANCING THE CLASSIC STORY ON STAGE, February 17-22, 2015 RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN’S CINDERELLA, March 10-15, 2015 CHICAGO, March 27-29, 2015 MOTOWN THE MUSICAL, April 21-26, 2015 THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA May 27-June 7, 2015 WICKED, August 26-October 4, 2015 This year there’s even more to look forward to because it’s […]

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