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Find a Fun Event in Tempe

Looking for fun things to do in Tempe and the Phoenix area? Plan your visit to coincide with one of the many annual festivals, concerts and sporting events found in Tempe. Hosting numerous exciting annual 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 Activities and Events 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

The Gift: Selections from the Armstrong-Prior Archive

The Gift
December 2, 2014 - June 20, 2015

Location: Arizona State University Tempe Campus

Opening reception: Friday, Feb. 13, 2015 — Members and Alumni Preview 5:30–6:30 p.m. | Public Reception 6:30–8:30 p.m. John Armstrong and Joan Prior, through their firm Armstrong-Prior, Inc., have a rich history of working with local and international contemporary artists, donors, collectors, community organizations and museums. Armstrong-Prior is both a fine arts printing studio – with John’s proficient execution of various print media – and an art consulting organization – with Joan’s professional advisement and placement of art in prominent collections. After many years of print projects, Armstrong-Prior has built an impressive archive of contemporary prints and the ASU Art Museum is very fortunate to have received this archive as a gift from John and Joan. The Jules Heller Print Study Room at the ASU Art Museum houses a collection of more than 5,000 prints, ranging from a 14th century printed page to work by living artists. Generous gifts like the Armstrong-Prior archive have grown the collection to be a rich resource for ASU students and community members, and for exhibitions, loans and research. This exhibition is curated by Jean Makin, print collection manager, working with Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts student Tiernan Warner. Support for the exhibition is from the Evelyn Smith Exhibition Fund and members of the ASU Art Museum with additional generous support for printed gallery brochure from Kate and Hank Timmerman and The Cavanagh Law Firm. ASU Art Museum Hours  Tuesday: During academic semesters 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Summer hours: 11 a.m. – […]

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Arizona Indigenous New Turned Wood by Philip and Matt Moulthrop

Arizona Indigenous at Desert Botanical Garden
February 6, 2015 - May 3, 2015

Location: Desert Botanical Garden

See new works by world-renowned artists Philip and Matt Moulthrop at Desert Botanical Garden. This exhibition features turned wood that highlights the beauty of trees and plants that can be found in Arizona. The Moulthrop family has produced beautiful contemporary turned wood pieces for three generations. Their work can be found in the permanent collections of famed institutions such as the Smithsonian Institute, the American Craft Museum of New York and the Carnegie Museum of Art. This exhibition is included in Garden admission.

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Chalk Art Festival at Tempe Marketplace

Tempe Marketplace
April 18, 2015 - April 30, 2015

Location: Tempe Marketplace

Watch as artists transform the Tempe Marketplace sidewalks into colorful works of art and play in the designated KidZone. For more details, visit tempemarketplace.com/chalk.

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The Three Javelinas

The Three Javalinas
April 19, 2015 - May 24, 2015

Location: Tempe Center for the Arts

See The Three Javelinas at the Tempe Center for the Arts April 19 – May 24, 2015. Who is afraid of the big, bad… coyote?! A favorite tale gets a southwestern spin in this world-premiere stage adaptation of Susan Lowell’s picture book. But don’t call them pigs! The Three Javelinas are more than just straw, sticks and bricks. Josefina Javelina dreams of a career on stage. Juan wants a quiet place to think. And as for José—he just wants someone to listen to his jokes! When a series of misadventures leave them to build houses in the desert, they catch the attention of a hungry coyote. This musical tribute to the Arizona landscape will delight audiences of all ages. Weekends April 19 – May 24, 2015: Saturdays (1 & 4pm), Sundays (1pm) Price: $12 – $25

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MOTOWN THE MUSICAL

MOTOWN the MUSICAL
April 21, 2015 - April 26, 2015

Location: ASU Gammage

Tap your feet to the beat at MOTOWN THE MUSICAL, onstage April 21-26, 2015 at Tempe’s ASU Gammage. It began as one man’s story… became everyone’s music… and is now Broadway’s musical. MOTOWN THE MUSICAL is the true American dream story of Motown founder Berry Gordy’s journey from featherweight boxer to the heavyweight music mogul who launched the careers of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Smokey Robinson and many more. Motown shattered barriers, shaped our lives and made us all move to the same beat. Featuring classic songs such as “My Girl” and “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” experience the story behind the music in the record-breaking smash hit MOTOWN THE MUSICAL!

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Our Kiki: A Gay Farce

Lyceum Theater
April 23, 2015 - April 26, 2015

Location: Arizona State University Tempe Campus

The ASU School of Film, Dance and Theatre presents Our Kiki: A Gay Farce. On the eve of Matt and Phil’s six-year anniversary, an immigration officer unexpectedly arrives to investigate their marriage. The problem is, Matt is married to Phil’s best friend Molly. Identities, relationships and languages get confused in this hilarious physical comedy by Seth Tucker. Mature content. Seth Tucker is an ASU alum and New York based Equity actor who was most recently seen Off-Broadway as Miss West Coast in the revival of Pageant: The Musical. He also recorded the first ever Pageant cast album. April 17 & 18 7:30 p.m. April 19, 2 p.m. April 23-25, 7:30 p.m. April 26, 2015, 2 p.m. Tickets: $8-16

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Stray Cat Theatre: The Tomkat Project

TomKat 244 x 163
April 24, 2015 - May 17, 2015

Location: Tempe Performing Arts Center

See Stray Cat Theatre’s The Tomkat Project in Tempe April 25 – May 17, 2015. Don’t expect a Hollywood ending. A biting satire about the three-way marriage of Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes and Scientology. Based on actual interviews and completely imagined scenes, seven actors portray 54 characters, including Oprah Winfrey, Matt Lauer, Josh Hartnett, Steven Spielberg, Nicole Kidman, Penelope Cruz, Scarlett Johansson, Tom Hanks, Jennifer Lopez, and, of course…Suri Cruise. Structured like THE LARAMIE PROJECT,THE TOMKAT PROJECT chronicles the Scientology saga and skewers our collective obsession with celebrity. “…radiates satire genius…In the realm of fringe theater, this show is a near-perfect achievement “ –Chicago Tribune Showtimes: Friday April 24th at 8:00 pm Saturday April 25th at 8:00 pm Sunday April 26th at 2:00 pm Thursday April 30th at 7:00 pm Friday May 1st at 8:00 pm Saturday May 2nd at 8:00 pm Sunday May 3rd at 2:00 pm Thursday May 7th at 7:00 pm Friday May 8th at 8:00 pm Saturday May 9th at 8:00 pm

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ASU Dance Annual

Paul V. Galvin Playhouse
April 24, 2015 - April 26, 2015

Location: Arizona State University Tempe Campus

The ASU Dance Annual highlights some of the “greatest hits” of the 2014–15 season, and new pieces designed especially for the Paul V. Galvin Playhouse. The program includes works in a variety of platforms, from the stage to outdoor sites to new media, created by faculty, visiting artists, alumni and graduate and undergraduate students. April 24, 6:30 p.m. April 25, 7:30 p.m. April 26, 2 p.m. Cost: $8-16

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Workshop with Pinna Joseph

Changing Hands Bookstore
April 26, 2015

Location: South Tempe

Pinna Joseph conducts a workshop at Changing Hands Bookstore on April 26 focusing on the breath, vibrational seed mantras, and call-and-response chants from various world cultures.

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ASU African Drum Ensemble: A Journey to West Africa

ASU School of Music Building
April 26, 2015

Location: Arizona State University Tempe Campus

The ASU African Drum Ensemble will take you on a journey to West Africa. You will hear drumming and folklore from Senegal, Mali, Guinea, Ghana and Nigeria. It is frequently said that West Africa’s gift to the world is rhythm. In this program , the ASU School of music offers these gifts in this program of  diverse music context with drums and stories. This event will move to the Evelyn Smith Music Theatre in the event of rain. Free 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

Walk-in Wednesdays Open Mic Night at the TCA

Tempe Center for the Arts
January 7, 2014 - May 27, 2015

Location: Tempe Center for the Arts

Every Wednesday evening through May 27, 2015 at the 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. Artists vie for a spot in the taped-for-televisionSongwriters’ Showcase concert and the In the Spotlight events. Musicians and poets welcome. Enjoy food & beverage specials. No cover charge. Sign-up 5:45 p.m. Youth 5-6 p.m., sign-up 4:45 p.m.

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The Tempe Sound – Tempe History Museum

Tempe History Museum
November 14, 2014 - October 4, 2015

Location: Tempe History Museum

The Tempe History Museum presents its newest exhibit, The Tempe Sound. The Tempe History Museum will host 25 concerts, lectures, and gallery openings from Nov. 14 – Oct. 4, 2015. The museum will display hundreds of music paraphernalia honoring groups that have made an impact on Tempe’s music scene. Concerts, Lectures, and Events Nov. 14: The Tempe Sound: Opening Night featuring Hans Olson and Dead Hot Workshop Nov. 22: Thanks for Songwriters: Carol Pacey and the Honeyshakers and other singer/songwriters Dec. 5: Holiday concert by Pick n’ Holler Dec. 13: Japhy’s Descent March 14, 2015: LOUD IV – an outdoor celebration of brass bands March 20, 2015: Waylon Jennings Tribute with Jeremy Manley April 4, 2015: Walt Richardson

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Tan Ping: Follow My Line (彳亍 Chì Chù)

Ping 244 x 163
January 24, 2015 - May 16, 2015

Location: ASU Art Museum

Tan Ping is one of China’s most recognized artists and printmakers; his area of greatest exploration has been in abstract art rather than figurative work. In this installation of drawings and video, he invites viewers to consider human expression and culturally-specific contexts of viewing. This exhibition is generously supported by Tan Ping Studio, the Helme Prinzen Endowment and Pifo New Art Gallery. Opening reception: Friday, Feb. 20, 2015 — Members and Alumni Preview 5:30–6:30 p.m. | Public Reception 6:30–8:30 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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Unfixed: New Painting

Unfixed244 x 163
February 7, 2015 - June 6, 2015

Location: ASU Art Museum

The artists in the exhibition unfix historic notions of what a painting should be. Their works are hybrids of old and new, familiar and surprising media and processes. The results range from abstractions derived from street and popular culture to computer-generated algorithms printed on canvas.  This exhibition was made possible by generous loans and support of the Ovitz Family Collection, Los Angeles. Additional support from the Helme Prinzen Endowment. ASU Art Museum HoursTuesday: 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.Closed: Sunday, Monday and holidays

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Page to Screen – Feb. 13 – June 6, 2015

Tempe Center for the Arts
February 13, 2015 - June 6, 2015

Location: Tempe Center for the Arts

The Page to Screen exhibition at the Tempe Center for the Arts will highlight some of America’s favorite children’s books, comic books and fictional literature that have been adapted to film and television. Displays from local and national collections include original artworks, animation cells, original signed scripts, promotional materials and vintage toys from films and television shows such as Zorro, M*A*S*H and James Bond. This is a free TCA event. Facility HoursClosed Mondays10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday11 a.m. to 6 p.m., SaturdayOpen Sundays based on performance schedule

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Tim Trumble Exhibit at ASU Gammage

Tim Trumble
March 5, 2015 - May 20, 2015

Location: ASU Gammage

Tim Trumble, a photographer who has been documenting ASU arts and community outreach events for almost 20 years, will be featured in an exhibition at ASU Gammage March 5 through May 20. Exhibit hours at ASU Gammage are 1 to 4 p.m. Mondays, or by appointment. Due to rehearsals, event set-up, performances, special events and holidays, it is advisable to call (480) 965-6912 or (480) 965-0458 to ensure viewing hours, since they are subject to cancellation without notice.  

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Spring Butterfly Exhibit – 2015

Desert Botanical Garden Spring Butterfly Exhibit
March 7, 2015 - May 10, 2015

Location: Desert Botanical Garden

Experience a magical, peaceful display of butterflies at the Desert Botanical Garden Spring Butterfly Exhibit. The Spring Butterfly Exhibit, located in the Marshall Butterfly Pavilion, is open March 7 – May 10, 2015. Hours are 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily. This tranquil environment features a wide variety of colorful butterflies and plants that attract them. Friendly Garden volunteers are on hand to answer questions and share information. And, on Saturdays from 10-11 a.m. from March 7-April 18, don’t miss the “Meet the Caterpillars” special event. You can learn more about the how a caterpillar turns into a butterfly and go on a guided tour (limit 25 per walk on a first come, first served basis, no RSVP required). Pricing to view the exhibit is $3.50 per person, with paid Garden admission. Children under 3 and Garden members may view the exhibit for free.

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Carnival of Illusion

Carnival of Illusion
March 15, 2015 - June 28, 2015

Location: Tempe Center for the Arts

Step right up and get ready to laugh, have fun and celebrate a magical night out. This top-rated show is “Revitalizing Magic” by blending their “Around the World in 80 Minutes” travel theme with all the charms of a Vaudeville-inspired roadshow. Great for date nights, anniversaries and special nights out. Shows on select Saturdays at the Tempe Center for the Arts, Mesa Arts Center, and Arizona Biltmore Resort. Carnival of Illusion is Magic, Mystery, and Oooh La La! Carnival of Illusion offers shows on select Saturdays throughout the year at several locations. Please visit their website for specific show times and locations: www.carnivalofillusion.com

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ASU Lyric Opera Theatre Presents Anything Goes

ASU School of Music Building
April 17, 2015 - April 26, 2015

Location: Arizona State University Tempe Campus

Lyric Opera Theatre closes its 2014-2015 season with Anything Goes.  This  musical classic introduced Cole Porter tunes “Anything Goes,” “You’re the Top” and “I Get a Kick Out of You.” Anything Goes is a light hearted musical romance that takes place on an ocean liner bound from New York to London. The story includes such fun antics as love triangles, stowaways, and a nightclub singer.  This show is appropriate for all ages. Music and Lyrics by Cole Porter; original book by P.G. Wodehouse & Guy Bolton and Howard Lindsay & Russel Crouse; new book by Timothy Crouse & John Weidman; stage direction and choreography by Robert Kolby Harper; music direction by Curtis Moeller. April 17-18 & 24-25, 7:30 p.m. April 19 & 26,  2 p.m. Tickets: $8-21 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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Desert Botanical Garden Flashlight Tours 2015

Desert Botanical Garden Flashlight Tours
May 23, 2015 - September 5, 2015

Location: Desert Botanical Garden

Experience the desert in a whole new light at the popular summer Flashlight Tours at Desert Botanical Garden, Thursday and Saturday evenings from May 23-September 5, 2015. Take a stroll along the Garden’s Desert Discovery Trail and visit educational stations along the way where you can experience the plants, animals, sights and sounds of the desert night. Bring a flashlight and wear comfortable shoes. This event is perfect for families or a date night. Flashlight tour activities are included with Garden admission or Garden membership.

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