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Find a Fun Event in Tempe

Looking for a spectacular sporting event or festival? Plan your visit to coincide with one of the many annual events in Phoenix area, many of which are found in Tempe. Hosting numerous annual festivals and events, Tempe is the place to be. Browse the Tempe calendar of events to find year-round fun! And if you’re visiting this summer, visit our Summer Fun in Tempe vacation planning page! Tempe events offer a variety of experiences throughout the year:

  • Hit a vacation home run each spring at a Cactus League Spring Training game. Watch the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim play at their spring training home in Tempe at the Tempe Diablo Stadium.

Whether it’s a Tempe music festival or a Tempe block party, this part of town is bustling all year long. From contemporary art to live music to up and coming bands, art festivals or sporting events, Tempe fits the bill.

Upcoming Events

Childsplay’s Charlotte’s Web

Charlottes Web
September 7, 2014 - October 12, 2014

Location: Tempe Center for the Arts

See Childsplay’s Charlotte’s Web September 7 through October 12 at the Tempe Center for the Arts. Back by popular demand, one of Childsplay’s most beloved productions returns to the stage with a brilliant version of E.B. White’s American classic. Meet Wilbur, an endearing piglet in grave danger of ending up as pork chops, and Charlotte, the wise and winsome spider who becomes his true friend. Get caught up in Charlotte’s Web as we spin this timeless story onto the stage! Weekends, Sept. 7 – Oct. 12, 2014: Saturdays (1 & 4 pm), Sundays (1 pm)

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Mariposa Monarca – Monarch Butterfly Exhibit

Desert Botanical Garden Mariposa Monarca
September 27, 2014 - November 23, 2014

Location: Desert Botanical Garden

See hundreds of live monarchs at Mariposa Monarca, the annual monarch butterfly exhibit at Desert Botanical Garden. This beautiful exhibit teaches visitors about the life cycle, migration patterns and conservation efforts for monarch butterflies. A Monarch Waystation, a new addition to this event this year, is a part of the garden with plants that attract monarchs on their journey. Also new this year are the “Monarch and Milkweed Saturdays” events. From 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Saturdays between Sept. 27 and Nov. 8, guests can learn about monarch conservation, learn how to make their own monarch waystation and go on a butterfly walk. Mariposa Monarca is free for members and guests under 3 years old. It is an additional $3.50 for the general public with paid garden admission.

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ASU School of Music: Eugene Koshinski, Percussion

ASU School of Music Building
October 1, 2014

Location: ASU Recital Hall

Percussionist Eugene Koshinski will present a recital and clinic of his new compositions for marimba as part of the ASU School of Music’s Guest Artist Series. Dr. Koshinski is a percussion artist, composer and educator who has delighted audiences worldwide with his dynamic performances and creative programming. He is Associate Professor of Percussion at the University of Minnesota Duluth and is known for his extraordinary versatility as a solo, chamber, symphonic, jazz, pop and world music artist. Dr. Koshinski has performed in Austria, Belgium, China, France, Germany, Jordan, Slovenia, Canada and throughout the United States. Free Photography Usage: ASU School of Music Building Architecture ASU Herberger Institute for the Design and the Arts © 2014 Arizona Board of Regents. All rights reserved. Photography Credit: Tim Trumble

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Pueblo Grande Museum Auxiliary Presentation

Pueblo Grande Navajo Rug & Indian Art Auction
October 1, 2014

Location: Pueblo Grande Museum

The Publo Grande Museum Auxiliary Presentation will feature Dr. Todd Bostwick  who will give fascinating and enlightening lecture on the early archaeological excavations of the Pueblo Grande site. Dr Bostwick has conducted archaeological research in the Southwest for more than 35 years. He is the Senior Research Archaeologist for PaleoWest Archaeology in Phoenix and Director of Archaeology for the Verde Valley Archaeology Center in Camp Verde. Free. Donations are welcome.

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ASU Lyric Opera Theatre: Baroque Opera Double Bill

Tempe event
October 2, 2014

Location: ASU Evelyn Smith Music Theatre

The ASU Lyric Opera Theatre opens its 2014-2015 season with an opera double-bill one sad, one funny. Both operas will be performed in English and are appropriate for all ages. Dido and Aeneas by Purcell and La Serva Padrona by Pergolesi. Dido and Aeneas is a tragic opera based on the Greek myth of Dido and Aeneas. It is Purcell’s earliest opera and a monumental work in Baroque opera, including the famous lament aria “When I am laid in earth.” Bring your tissues to this performance!  La Serva Padrona (The Servant Turned Mistress), originally an intermezzo performed between the acts of an opera seria, is a fun comedy for the whole family. A sharp-witted maid sees herself as the mistress of the household, and attempts to win over her master and marry him.  October 2 & 4,  7:30 p.m. October. 5,  2 p.m. &  7:30 p.m.

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Tempe Improv – John Caparulo

Tempe Improv
October 2, 2014 - October 5, 2014

Location: Tempe Improv Comedy Theatre

Comedian John Caparulo is perhaps best known as the under-dressed everyman on the E! hit show, Chelsea Lately.  Cap, as he’s known by his friends and fans, has also made multiple appearances on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Comedy Central Presents, Jimmy Kimmel Live, The Next Generation of Blue Collar, and as a standout performer in Vince Vaughn’s Wild West Comedy Show. More recently, in addition to touring as a popular national headliner, Cap appeared as part of Ron White’s Salute To The Troops on CMT, a network on which he became well-known as the host of the surprisingly hilarious Mobile Home Disaster. See Cap perform live at the Tempe Improv October 2-5, 2014.   Show Times: October 2, 2014 8:00 p.m. October 3, 2014 7:30 & 10:00 p.m. October 4, 2014 7:00 & 10:00 p.m. October 5, 2014 7:00 p.m.

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Music in the Garden – Flamenco Por La Vida

Desert Botanical Garden
October 3, 2014

Location: Desert Botanical Garden

The Desert Botanical Garden is hosting the popular Music in the Garden concert series again this fall. This series pairs great live local bands with the beautiful scenery surrounding the Ullman Terrace stage. October 3 - Flamenco dance and music from Flamenco Por La Vida While enjoying music at Desert Botanical Garden, guests can enjoy dinner at the Gertrude’s, located onsite, or purchase food from the chef-attended station or the Patio Café at the venue. A full cash bar and boutique wines are also available. Tickets are limited and advance purchase is strongly recommended. General seating only and there are no refunds or exchanges on ticket(s) purchased. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. No outside food or beverage allowed. Attendees must be 21 or older.

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Nordstrom Rack Grand Opening

Tempe Marketplace
October 3, 2014

Location: Tempe Marketplace

Celebrate the opening of Nordstrom Rack at Tempe Marketplace, located near PetSmart and JCPenney! Enjoy music, breakfast treats and more. Plus, enter the grand opening raffle for a chance to win one of 30 $100 gift cards – plus, one lucky winner will receive a $1,000 shopping spree and early shopping access through the Nordstrom Rack Rule the Rack sweepstakes. 

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M Squared at Tempe Marketplace

Tempe Marketplace
October 3, 2014

Location: Tempe Marketplace

Mark and Carol Mellis began performing together while music majors at Arizona State University. They have been a musical duo throughout their married life and enjoy combining their talents of vocals, piano, flute and saxophone while performing anything from jazz combos to classical ensembles. They’ll be performing at the Barnes and Noble fountain.  

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ASU School of Music Guest Artist Flutist Robert Dick

ASU School of Music Building
October 3, 2014

Location: ASU Katzin Concert Hall

The ASU School of Music presents The Flute, The Music, The Audience — Re-Imagined with guest artist Robert Dick. The acclaimed flutist and composer will perform  an evening of acoustic and amplified music for flute. Recipient of the National Flute Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award, Robert Dick is recognized one of the world’s greatest innovative flutists/composers.  Photography Usage: ASU School of Music Building Architecture ASU Herberger Institute for the Design and the Arts © 2014 Arizona Board of Regents. All rights reserved. Photography Credit: Tim Trumble  

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Ongoing Events

Andy Warhol exhibit at the ASU Art Museum

Andy Warhol exhibit at the ASU Art Museum
May 27, 2014 - November 8, 2014

Location: ASU Art Museum

The ASU Art Museum is the recipient of six new works by artist Andy Warhol, a gift from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. These original Warhol screenprints will be on view in the lobby of the ASU Art Museum until September 13, 2014. ASU Art Museum Hours Tuesday: During academic semesters 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Summer hours: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Wednesday–Saturday: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Additional educator hours by appointment: Mondays and before 11 a.m. Tuesday–Thursday Closed: Sunday, Monday and holidays The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts was established after Warhol’s death in 1987. In accordance with Warhol’s will, the foundation has given prints to many institutions across the country to ensure “that the many facets of Warhol’s complex oeuvre are both widely accessible and properly cared for.” In 2008, the ASU Art Museum received 155 photographs by Andy Warhol from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, part of the Andy Warhol Photographic Legacy Program, which donated over 28,500 photographs to educational institutions across the United States.

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ASU Art Museum – These Are Some of My Favorite Things

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things
July 19, 2014 - October 4, 2014

Location: ASU Art Museum

For his final exhibition prior to his retirement this summer, curator of ceramics Peter Held examines the compulsion to collect. He includes cabinets of curiosities, knick-knacks and creative tableaus from local artists, designers and the public-at-large in an exhibition that highlights how we’re all equally passionate and obsessive about the things we love and choose to live with. Admission is free. ASU Art Museum Hours: Tuesday: During academic semesters 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Summer hours: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Wednesday–Saturday: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Additional educator hours by appointment: Mondays and before 11 a.m. Tuesday–Thursday Closed: Sunday, Monday and holidays

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First Saturdays for Families at the ASU Art Museum

ASU Art Museum
August 2, 2014 - December 6, 2014

Location: ASU Art Museum

Looking for something to do with your family? The ASU Art Museum presents a variety of programs each month in conjunction with current exhibitions. Families and children of all ages are invited to join us for free, art-related activities at the museum. This free program takes place on the first Saturday of every month and invites children ages 4-12 and their families to make a creative project in conjunction with exhibitions. No registration required. All materials are provided and families can take home their artwork. ASU Art Museum Hours Tuesday: During academic semesters 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Summer hours: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Wednesday–Saturday: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Additional educator hours by appointment: Mondays and before 11 a.m. Tuesday–Thursday Closed: Sunday, Monday and holidays

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In Solitude, Where We Are Least Alone

Leonard Baskin, "Woman and Landscape," 1950.
August 9, 2014 - November 8, 2014

Location: ASU Art Museum

Inspired by the essays of American transcendentalists Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson, this exhibition explores the value of seclusion and self-reflection. The works, which range in date and medium, consider both the pain and pleasure of isolation, ultimately posing the question: At what point does solitude cease to be a refuge from society? This exhibition is curated from the ASU Art Museum’s permanent collection by Brittany Corrales, Windgate curatorial assistant and graduate student in art history, and is supported by the Evelyn Smith Exhibition Fund. An opening reception for this exhibition is open to the public on Thursday, October 2nd from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Museum Hours Tuesday: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. Wednesday–Saturday: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Closed  on Sunday, Monday and holidays

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Walk-in Wednesdays at the TCA

Tempe Center for the Arts
September 3, 2014 - November 26, 2014

Location: Tempe Center for the Arts

Join host Walt Richardson for a relaxing evening of live music from some of the Valley’s best singer/songwriters at the Tempe Center for the Arts. These artists will vie for a spot in the taped-for-television “Songwriters’ Showcase” concert and the In the Spotlight events. Guests can also enjoy food & beverage specials. No cover charge.

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Shifting Sands: Recent Videos from the Middle East

Isabel Rocamora, "Horizon of Exile," 2007.
September 9, 2014 - November 29, 2014

Location: ASU Art Museum

Featuring international artists who use film and video explore the Middle Eastern desert as a site charged with meaning, this exhibition explores zones of conflict, including the Israel-Palestine border and Afghanistan, and the shifting personal, political and geographical landscapes of the Middle East. Artists include: Lida Abdul (Afghanistan), Yael Bartana (Germany/Israel), Emily Jacir (Palestine/Italy) and Isabel Rocamora (Spain/U.K.). This exhibition was co-curated by Kate Bonansinga and Kerry Doyle, and originally presented at the Rubin Center for the Visual Arts, University of Texas at El Paso, in conjunction with Desert One, a regional, collaborative project involving a network of institutions initiated by the Desert Initiative at the ASU Art Museum. The ASU Art Museum presentation is supported by the Helme Prinzen Endowment. The public opening reception for this event is Thursday, October 2nd from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Museum Hours Tuesday: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. Wednesday–Saturday: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Closed on Sunday, Monday and holidays

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Alejandro Almanza Pereda: Down_Under_Side

Alejandro Almanza Pereda, “Down_Under_Side,” 2014.
September 19, 2014 - October 25, 2014

Location: ASU Art Museum

New York and Mexico City-based artist Alejandro Almanza Pereda constructs installations from an assembly of mundane objects, such as cinder blocks, fluorescent light bulbs, bowling balls, fish tanks and old furniture. Through the juxtaposition and pairing of materials and objects, he achieves a sense of tension from makeshift environments with specific connotations such as fragility, value and weight. The installations create an expectation of a possible future event, which adds a temporal dimension to the static object. The precariousness of its instability affects the viewer’s knowledge, and their assessment of its impending violent destruction that may or may never come. Almanza’s work brings into question the definition of architecture in relation to daily urban life. In his new work, Down_Under_Side, the artist poses the question: How do the concepts of solidity, utility and beauty function in architecture today? When can a structure no longer hold its contents, or no longer hold itself? The premier of his new body of work exposes recent interests in 17th century Northern European still life paintings, which come into play as he recreates a new series of still life videos inside swimming pools. A collaboration with Iraqi-born and Phoenix-based painter Bassim Al Shaker will also be part of the installation, featuring a new still life painting created specially for the exhibition. Museum Hours: Tuesday: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. Wednesday–Saturday: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Closed on Sundays, Mondays and holidays

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Stray Cat Theatre: The Brothers Size

Arts & Culture
September 19, 2014 - October 5, 2014

Location: Tempe Performing Arts Center

See Stray Cat Theatre’s performance of The Brothers Size in Tempe September 19 – October 4, 2014. Set on the back-roads of the Louisiana bayou, The Brothers Size follows the recently paroled Oshoosi Size as he seeks to jumpstart his life. Working in his brother Ogun’s repair shop was not at all what he had in mind, so when his old friend Elegba rolls up, offering a different…“direction”, Oshoosi quickly finds himself torn between his brother, his loyalties, and his dreams. Flights of poetry, music and West African mythology slam together in a visceral tale that begins in ritual and evolves into a hot-blooded, tough and tender drama about the need to belong somewhere, to something, to someone. Showtimes: Friday September 19th at 8:00 pm Saturday September 20th at 8:00 pm Sunday September 21st at 2:00 pm Friday September 26th at 8:00 pm Saturday September 27th at 8:00 pm Sunday September 28th at 2:00 pm Thursday October 2nd at 7:00 pm Friday October 3rd at 8:00 pm Saturday October 4th at 8:00 pm Sunday October 5th at 6:00 pm

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2014 TCA Juried Biennial: Copper at the TCA

Tempe Center for the Arts
September 26, 2014 - January 31, 2015

Location: Tempe Center for the Arts

This exhibition coincides with the seven-year anniversary of the opening of the TCA (Sept. 9, 2007). The exhibition features works on copper, art made of copper and artists inspired by copper, a tradition for seventh anniversaries. A panel of nationally recognized artists, curators and community members selected 22 Arizona artists from a wide array of visual art traditions, including bronze casting, painting, ceramics, etching, quilt making and jewelry. The overall exhibition is a celebration of copper as a medium as well as a prominent symbol of Arizona history. Free admission.  

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Richard T. Walker: the predicament of always (as we are)

Richard T. Walker, "the predicament of always (as we are)," 2014.
September 27, 2014 - January 3, 2015

Location: ASU Art Museum

Richard T. Walker’s videos, photographs, installations and performances take seclusion, human nature and dialogue as their subjects. Focusing on the experience of our surrounding environments, his works highlight clashes between innate desire, cultural interpretation and reality, becoming almost behavioral studies of the act of experiencing. This exhibition is generously supported by Carroll/Fletcher Gallery, London, and the Helme Prinzen Endowment. The public opening reception is on Thursday, October 2nd from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. ASU Art Museum Hours:Tuesday: During academic semesters 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Summer hours: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.Wednesday–Saturday: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.Additional educator hours by appointment: Mondays and before 11 a.m. Tuesday–ThursdayClosed: Sunday, Monday and holidays

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