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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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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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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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Live music at Culinary Dropout at the Yard in Tempe

Culinary Dropout Tempe
May 1, 2015 - May 30, 2015

Location: Culinary Dropout at the Yard Tempe

Live music at Culinary Dropout at the Yard in Tempe Saturdays during brunch, and evenings 9 p.m.-12 a.m. Sundays 12 p.m.-3 p.m. Friday, May 1st: Shawn Johnson Saturday brunch and dinner, May 2nd: Vinyl Station Friday, May 8th: Steve Ayotte Saturday brunch and dinner, May 9th: Vinyl Station Friday, May 15th: Shawn Johnson Saturday brunch and dinner, May 16th: Vinyl Station Friday, May 22nd: Obadiah Parker Saturday brunch and dinner, May 23rd: Vinyl Station Friday, May 29th: Shawn Johnson Saturday brunch and dinner, May 30th: Vinyl Station

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Author Carolyn Warner at Changing Hands

Changing Hands Bookstore
May 6, 2015

Location: South Tempe

The three-time elected Arizona State Superintendent of Public Instruction visits Changing Hands Bookstore with her new book, The Last Word, that includes a collection of 2,000 inspirational quotes by women.

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ASU Professor Virgil Renzulli

Changing Hands Bookstore
May 7, 2015

Location: South Tempe

The ASU professor of journalism visits Changing Hands Bookstore for a discussion of the Arthurian legend and to sign his new book, Caliburn: Merlin’s Tale, which introduces a new chapter to Arthur’s life.

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Shakespeare at the Garden: Spellbound

Tempe event
May 7, 2015 - May 24, 2015

Location: Desert Botanical Garden

See live Shakespeare under the stars in the beautiful Desert Botanical Garden. This May, Southwest Shakespeare Company presents the world premier of Spellbound, A Musical Fairy Tale. This is an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Cymbeline. The themes of innocence and jealousy come to a dramatic crescendo with a live battle onstage. You’ll enjoy this spirited, 90-minute production of Spellbound, an improbable and magical romance that only Shakespeare could create.  Performances are May 7 – 10, 14 – 17, 21 – 24. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the show begins at 8 p.m. See the Desert Botanical Garden website for ticket prices and more information.

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Comedian Felipe Esparza

Tempe Improv
May 7, 2015 - May 10, 2015

Location: Tempe Improv Comedy Theatre

Felipe Esparza is a comedian and actor, best known for his raw, real-life comedy that audiences everywhere can relate to. With his signature wild hair, and his often-imitated phrase, “what’s up, fool?” Felipe uses his comedy as a way of finding  the humor in the struggles of everyday life. Show Times: May 7, 2015 8:00 p.m. May 8, 2015 7:30 & 10:00 p.m. May 9, 2015 7:00 & 9:30 p.m. May 10, 2015 7:00 p.m.  

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Music in the Garden 2015 – Ritmo Latino

Ritmo Latino
May 8, 2015

Location: Desert Botanical Garden

Enjoy the beautiful scenery, ideal Arizona weather and talented musicians at the Spring Music in the Garden Series at Desert Botanical Garden. All concerts are held at the Ullman Terrace. May 8 – blend of Latin jazz, salsa and cumbia from Ritmo Latino 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. Tickets are $20 for Garden members and $25 for non-members. 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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Movies in the Park – Annie

Movies in the Park at Kiwanis Park
May 8, 2015

Location: South Tempe

Skip the theater and bring the whole family to Kiwanis Park for the annual Movies in the Park series. Every Friday night in May there will be a free screening of a beloved family-friendly flick. Attendees are encouraged to bring a blanket and picnic dinner. All movies begin at dusk, approximately 7 p.m. at the north soccer field (Mill Avenue, just south of Baseline). Movie Lineup: May 1 -The Boxtrolls May 8 – Annie May 15 – 101 Dalmatians May 22 – The little Mermaid May 29 – Planes and Rescue

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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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May 2015 Finally Friday at the TCA

Tempe Center for the Arts
May 1, 2015 - May 29, 2015

Location: Tempe Center for the Arts

Shake off the workweek with a relaxing evening by the lake. Enjoy live music by participants in the TCA’s Songwriters’ Showcase, beautiful scenery and free appetizers. No Cover Charge. May Finally Friday Schedule May 1st – Cottonwood Stone May 8th – Justin Olson May 15th – Bob McCarroll May 22nd – Gary Marsh May 29th – Robby Roberson  

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May 2015 Tempe Comedy Concert Series

Tempe Center for the Arts
May 1, 2015 - May 29, 2015

Location: Tempe Center for the Arts

Tempe’s newest comedy series brings the best Valley comics to the stage. No food or drink minimums. Recommended for ages 18 and older. Tickets to Tempe Comedy Concert Series performance can be purchased here. May 1st: Dwayne Perkins  New York native Dwayne Perkins made his national television debut with a stellar performance on Late Night with Conan O’Brien. Dwayne’s intellectual yet street savvy comedic style impresses all in attendance, pushing him to the head of the class among up and coming comedians. His performance has led to international appearances, as well as television and film roles. Dwayne made his sitcom debut on the 2002 fall season premiere of CBS’s Baby Bob as a guest star supplying comic relief.   May 8th: Class Clowns Comedy Tony Vicich brings his long-running stand-up comedy show, Class Clowns, to TCA. This is the show where it all starts. Comics have gone from Class Clowns shows all the way to Last Comic Standing, Jimmy Kimmel Live and more.  See the show that has taken comics from their first stage experience to national prominence. May 15th: Gert the Joke Lady Gert the Joke Lady is 93 and a holocaust survivor from Austria. She also survived a 30 day coma from an undiagnosed ailment in 2002. After that experience, she decided she was going to enjoy her life and began her career as a stand-up comedian. She worked with Paul Newman and Margaret Hamilton in the 1950s and frequently appeared in the popular television show Route 66 in […]

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