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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 fall, visit our Fun Fall Festivities 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 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 exhibits to live music to Broadways shows, art festivals or sporting events, Tempe fits the bill.

Upcoming Events

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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Boo! at The Zoo at the Phoenix Zoo

Boo at the Zoo at the Phoenix Zoo
October 20, 2014 - October 26, 2014

Location: The Phoenix Zoo

Boo! at the Zoo is a Phoenix Halloween tradition. This year, Boo! at the Zoo has been extended for a whole week, Oct. 20-26. Activities will vary daily, but will include fun activities such as pumpkin patches, animal pumpkin “stomp and chomps,” a scavenger hunt, a straw maze and more. Event activities are included with zoo admission.

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The Great Pumpkin Festival

Great Pumpkin Festival at Desert Botanical Garden
October 23, 2014 - October 26, 2014

Location: Desert Botanical Garden

Celebrate the season at the Desert Botanical Garden’s Great Pumpkin Festival. Enjoy live country music, kid’s crafts and games, a hayride to the pumpkin patch, a hay bale maze and petting zoo. Children 12 and under can choose their own free pumpkin. All activities are included with paid Garden admission. Hours are 8:30 a.m. to noon on Thursday and Friday and 8:30 a.m to 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

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Screening and Q&A with Michael Schiffer

Tempe event
October 23, 2014

Location: Marston Exploration Theater

The Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing is proud to feature distinguished writer Michael Schiffer. Schiffer is a screenwriter of movies such as Crimson Tide and The Peacemaker. The event will be screening his renowned film, Colors. The screening will take place Oct 23rd at 6:00 PM at the Marston Exploration Theater in the ISTB4 Building on ASU’s Tempe Campus. Following the film there will be a brief Q&A.

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Exhibition of Ofrendas at Desert Botanical Garden

Exhibition of Ofrendas at Desert Botanical Garden
October 24, 2014 - November 2, 2014

Location: Desert Botanical Garden

An Ofrenda (offering) is part of the Dia de los Muertos traditions in Mexican culture. To honor those who have passed away, people will reserve a special place in their home for photos, flowers, decorations, candles and other special items. This tradition of creating an altar of offerings for the dead helps to turn grief into acceptance. In this special exhibition at Desert Botanical Garden, local Arizona artists have created installations inspired by this tradition. The Garden is also hosting a Dia de los Muertos event, Nov. 1-2, 2014. Admission to both this exhibition and the event are included with paid Garden admission.

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Howl-O-Ween at the Phoenix Zoo

Howl-O-Ween at the Phoenix Zoo
October 24, 2014 - October 25, 2014

Location: The Phoenix Zoo

A frighteningly good time awaits at Howl-O-Ween at the Phoenix Zoo. Visitors are encouraged to wear Halloween costumes and participate in fun (and maybe scary) activities such as trick or treating, magic shows, haunted trails and a DJ dance party.

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The ASU School of Music Guest Artist Series

ASU Organ Hall
October 24, 2014

Location: ASU Organ Hall

The ASU School of Music Guest Artist Series presents the harpsichord duo Zweikampf. In their program titled Vis-à-vis, the Musical Mirror of the Baroque, the eclectic harpsichord duo Zweikampf will perform rarely heard Baroque works that explore the dynamics between public and private in the coffeehouse, court and dance hall. In Rameau’s Pièces de Clavecin en Concerts, personal names represent flattery and public characterization. Boccherini’s Fandango lifts the lascivious dance of the Spanish peasantry to the safer realm of the nobility’s chambers, while Bach’s Concerto for Two Harpsichords entertains coffee drinkers. 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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Mary Sojorner and Jay Treiber

Changing Hands Bookstore
October 24, 2014

Location: Changing Hands Bookstore

Author and environmental activist Mary Sojourner visits with her newest novel, 29, a novel about a washed-out female executive that falls into an impossible affair and battle over sacred Native American lands in the Mojave Desert. Joining her is local creative writing instructor Jay Treiber, who presents his literary debut with, Spirit Walk, a novel about a troubled college professor who travels into his violent past to revisit the specters of a borderland massacre.

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Music in the Garden – The Sugar Thieves

Sugar Thieves at Desert Botanical Garden
October 24, 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 24 – Delta blues from The Sugar Thieves 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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Halloween with the Tetra String Quartet

Tempe History Museum
October 24, 2014

Location: Tempe History Museum

Halloween comes early this year at the Tempe History Museum. Join the Tempe History Museum on Friday, October 24 for a free Halloween performance. Find out how an innovative string quartet can pull off a spooky Halloween show. Then meet the performers in a QnA session after the performance.  

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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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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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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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Finally Fridays in October at the TCA

Tempe Center for the Arts
October 3, 2014 - October 31, 2014

Location: Tempe Center for the Arts

Shake off the workweek with a relaxing evening by the lake. Enjoy live music by participants in the Tempe Center for the Art’s Songwriters’ Showcase, beautiful scenery and free appetizers. There is no cover charge for this event. September Finally Friday Schedule October 3rd - Cottonwood Stone October 10th  - Robby Roberson Ocotber 17th - Walt Richardson October 31st - Billy Cioffi

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October Tempe Comedy Concert Series

Tempe Center for the Arts
October 3, 2014 - October 31, 2014

Location: Tempe Center for the Arts

Tempe’s newest comedy series brings the best Valley comics to the stage at the Tempe Center for the Arts. No food or drink minimums.  Recommended for ages 18 and older. Tickets for Tempe Comedy Concert Series shows can be purchased here. October 3rd: Omar the Magician For the past nine years, magician and comedian Omar Covarrubias has delighted audiences throughout the greater Los Angeles area, playing frequently at the Ice House, Hollywood Laugh Factory, House of Blues and other notable clubs. Covarrubias incorporates vaudevillian comedy and musical bits while calling forth constant audience participation. The versatile quality of his show allows him to appear in a variety of forums, including community festivals, fundraisers, and sideshow-type showcases. Recommended for ages 18 and older. October 17th: Jay Penn After moving to Arizona in the early 2000′s, Penn won “Funniest Person in the Valley” contest three times, an honor that has allowed him to open for nationally recognized comics like Larry the Cable Guy, Jim Breuer and Billy Ray Cyrus or now known as “Miley Cyrus’ Dad.” Penn’s act consists mainly of funny stories called from life with his wife and family. Penn takes audiences on a funny ride from child birth to adolescence, entertaining audiences from California to New York. Recommended for audiences ages 18 and older. October 24th: Amy Blackwell G-rated but unrepentant. Amy Blackwell is one of the hottest comics coming out of the red hot Phoenix comedy scene. If you like your comedy clean, but with an edge, check out this very funny lady. Recommended for ages […]

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