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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 Tempe’s exciting events including festivals, concerts, sporting events and more. Browse the Tempe calendar of events to find year-round fun! And if you’re visiting this fall, visit our fall fun in Tempe vacation planning page! Tempe events offer a variety of experiences throughout the year:

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

25th Annual ZooLights

ZooLights at the Phoenix Zoo
November 23, 2016 - January 8, 2017

Location: The Phoenix Zoo

Join the Phoenix Zoo at the Valley’s brightest holiday tradition: ZooLights presented by SRP! Celebrating 25 years, ZooLights shines with millions of lights, a three-story-high holiday tree, hundreds of glimmering light displays and lakeside music-in-motion shows. ZooLights is open to the public Wednesday, November 23 through Sunday, January 8, 2017.

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Danish Christmas at the Petersen House

Peterson House 244x163
December 3, 2016 - December 18, 2016

Location: Petersen House

The Petersen House Museum will once again be filled with Danish Christmas decorations and traditions for the holiday season. Guests are invited to tour the Museum on select Saturdays and Sundays in December. Admission is free; groups of 10 or more are encouraged to make a reservation by calling 480-350-5100.

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Coats for Kids

Tempe Marketplace
December 7, 2016

Location: Tempe Marketplace

Share in the season of giving with 93.3 ALT AZ’s Coats for Kids event at Tempe Marketplace.

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Comedian Jamie Kennedy

Tempe Improv 300x200
December 8, 2016 - December 11, 2016

Location: Tempe Improv Comedy Theatre

Jamie Kennedy, a multitalented comedian-actor-writer-producer, is a true hyphenate. He may be seen acting in a film one minute and on stage doing stand up the next. Kennedy skyrocketed to fame with a groundbreaking performance and scene-stealing rants in Wes Craven's Scream and Scream 2. He has gone on to work with some of Hollywood's biggest names, including George Clooney, Eddie Murphy, Steve Martin, and Will Smith. See comedian Jamie Kennedy perform live at Tempe Improv December 8-11, 2016.

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Author Jason Griffith

Changing Hands Tempe 300x200
December 8, 2016

Location: Changing Hands Bookstore

Jason Griffith, winner of the Outstanding Middle Level Educator Award from the National Council of Teachers of English, presents his book From Me to We, offering effective ways to engage students in reading and writing by teaching them narrative nonfiction.

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Art After Work: Paint What You Want

Tempe Center for the Arts
December 9, 2016

Location: Tempe Center for the Arts

Take charge of your own creativity and paint your own personal masterpiece at Art After Work at the Tempe Center for the Arts.

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Author Kelli Donley

Changing Hands Tempe 300x200
December 9, 2016

Location: Changing Hands Bookstore

The local author discusses and signs her second independently-published novel, Basket Baby,  a tale of loss, grief, and the overcoming power of love.

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Barefoot at The Marquee

The Marquee
December 9, 2016

Location: The Marquee

Barefoot is a colorful group that utilizes four-to-six percussionists, dancers and a variety of solo instruments. Barefoot was founded in 1988 by percussionist Clay Henry and violinist Steve Kindler. Kindler and Henry met while living in Big Sur and their goal was to form a very open group that combined together the freedom of jazz, folkish melodies and lots of dancers. See Barefoot perform live at The Marquee on December 9, 2016.

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Dueling Pianos with Nick Garza and Company

Tempe Marketplace
December 9, 2016

Location: Tempe Marketplace

Dueling Pianos with Nick Garza and Company is a unique musical act that caters to a wide variety of events.

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Darkness Dear Boy

Tempe Marketplace
December 10, 2016

Location: Tempe Marketplace

Darkness Dear Boy is big on dynamics, hooks and harmonies, and they incorporate interesting lyrics with infectious melodies.

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Ongoing Events

hello Friday at the Tempe Center for the Arts

Tempe Center for the Arts
January 22, 2016 - December 31, 2016

Location: Tempe Center for the Arts

Every Friday, enjoy specialty drinks, chef-inspired affordable bites, live music from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m, vintage games and sunsets over Tempe Town Lake at the Tempe Center for the Art’s prime time Happy Hour. Purchase of wristband ($7) allows access to the food station from 6-8 p.m.  

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3D Astronomy Shows at the ASU Marston Exploration Theater

Marston Exploration Theater
March 2, 2016 - December 17, 2016

Location: Arizona State University Tempe Campus

The Marston Exploration Theater on the ASU Tempe Campus hosts 3D planetarium experiences including the following topics: 1. To the Edge of the Universe and Everything in Between 2. The Search: Exploring New Worlds 3. Gathering Light: 25 years of discovery from the Hubble Space Telescope 4. The Secret Life of Stars Shows occur: **Each Wednesday evening @ 7:30 p.m. **Each Saturday afternoon @ 2:30 p.m. Check the calendar for the specific show on each date. Tickets: $7.50 for adults, $5.50 for students. Purchase tickets online or at the door. The Marston Exploration Theater is located inside the ISTB4, Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Building 4. Visit the website for more details, including parking information.

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The Brandywine Workshop Collection

Brandywine Collection at ASU Art Museum
July 5, 2016 - December 17, 2016

Location: ASU Art Museum

The 59 chosen artworks are culturally diverse, social, political, spiritual and abstract with vibrant colors, energy and narrative. “The Brandywine Workshop Collection” is an exhibition of 18 of those works and includes prints by Sam Gilliam, Willie Birch, Betye Saar, Tomie Arai and Carm Little-Turtle.

Supported by the Evelyn Smith Exhibition Fund.

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Nature Connects®: Art with LEGO® Bricks at the Phoenix Zoo

Nature Connects®: Art with LEGO® Bricks at the Phoenix Zoo
September 17, 2016 - January 2, 2017

Location: The Phoenix Zoo

The award-winning, traveling exhibit Nature Connects®: Art with LEGO® Bricks will be on display at the Arizona Center for Nature Conservation/Phoenix Zoo from September 17, 2016 through January 2, 2017. The entertaining exhibition consists of 27 animal and flora sculptures built by New York-based artist Sean Kenney using nearly a million LEGO bricks. Nature Connects highlights several animals which are endangered, threatened or vulnerable to remind people about animal conservation. Each sculpture, placed throughout the beautiful zoo grounds, will be accented by plants chosen by the Zoo’s horticulturists. Sculptures include a sea turtle, rhinoceros, a chameleon and a stunning life-size polar bear mother and her cubs made using more than 133,000 bricks and weighing over 625 pounds. Visitors to the zoo can see the sculptures during the day with general Zoo admission. Some sculptures will also be visible during ZooLights, November 23, 2016-January 8, 2017.

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Energy Charge: Connecting to Ana Mendieta

ASU Art Museum
September 24, 2016 - December 31, 2016

Location: ASU Art Museum

This exhibition will showcase the work of Cuban-born American artist Ana Mendieta at the ASU Art Museum. She’s known for art forms of the early 1970s, such as performance, body art, land art and film, with personal and political explorations of the gendered and raced body, ancient cultures and belonging. The many threads in her work continue to play a dominant role in contemporary art. This exhibition will showcase a selection of her work.

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TCA Juried Biennial: CLAY

TCA Juried Biennial
September 30, 2016 - December 31, 2016

Location: Tempe Center for the Arts

The Gallery at TCA (Tempe Center for the Arts sponsored by Northern Trust) has celebrated its anniversaries by showcasing works by artists in specific media such as paper, glass, wood and copper ­- traditional anniversary gifts. Now in its 9th year, the TCA showcases “TCA Juried Bienniel: Clay,” an exhibition featuring clay, the traditional gift for a 9th anniversary. A  prestigious jury panel  selected 21 artists from around Arizona including Patsy Cox (artist and professor at California State University at Northridge), Peter Held (art appraiser and consultant), Garth Johnson (curator at Arizona State University Art Museum Ceramics Research Center) and Aaron Thacker (Tempe Municipal Arts Commissioner). During the run of the exhibition, the majority of the artworks are for sale through the Gallery at TCA. Gallery admission is free and it is open: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday – Thursday 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Friday 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday

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Carnival of Illusion at Tempe Center for the Arts

Carnival of Illusion
October 1, 2016 - June 3, 2017

Location: Tempe Center for the Arts

Hang onto your hat, grab your partner, and jump into an evening of Old-World Magic. This top-rated up-close illusion show is “Revitalizing Magic” by blending an international travel theme with all the charms of a Vaudeville-inspired roadshow. Travel up-close with the national recipients for “Excellence in Magic” and catch the longest running Arizona theater show in history. Carnival of Illusion is Magic, Mystery, and OOOH La La.

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6th Street Market

Tempe Events
October 2, 2016 - May 28, 2017

Location:

Downtown Tempe’s 6th Street Market fuses art, live music and the community every Sunday from October through May.  Located in the popular 6th Street Park near Tempe City Hall, this new market has just about everything. It includes local shopping, works of art, live music, fantastic brunch offers nearby, and interactive art projects. You can find everything you need here, in the heart of downtown.

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Beyond the Bricks: Thursday Night Live

Hayden Square Amphitheater
October 5, 2016 - December 15, 2016

Location: Mill Avenue District

Make your way to Hayden Square Amphitheater every Thursday for live music, beer, wine, and food from Downtown Tempe eateries.  Bring a friend and a blanket and get ready for an exciting evening accompanied with the best happy hour ever.  Beyond the Bricks is completely free to attend.  Entertainment schedule: Oct. 6 -Georgia Chrome Oct. 13 -Banana Gun Oct. 20 -Vintage Wednesday Oct. 27 -Chuck E. Baby Nov. 3- Ryan Sims Nov. 10 -Walt Richardson Nov. 17 -Good Boy Daisy Dec. 1 -Rock Lobster Dec. 8 -Stanley Serrano Trio Dec. 15 -The Black Moods Scheduled acts are subject to change without notice.

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Space in Between – Arizona at Desert Botanical Garden

Space in Between – Arizona by Margarita Cabrera
October 7, 2016 - February 12, 2017

Location: Desert Botanical Garden

Desert Botanical Garden and ASU Art Museum are partnering together to present Space in Between – Arizona, an exhibition of community-based sculptures conceptualized by internationally renowned artist Margarita Cabrera. Through her work, Cabrera explores the economic, labor and cultural connections between the United States and Mexico. Cabrera aims to tell the stories of the Latino migrant community through art and images. The art in this exhibition will be produced during community workshops. These soft sculptures with story-telling  embroidery look like indigenous desert plants in the Southwest. They will be created from border patrol uniforms, “planted” in Mexican terra cotta pots, and put on display in the Garden’s Ottosen Gallery.

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