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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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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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Keltic Cowboys on October 31

Rula Bula Irish Pub exterior 244 x 163
October 31, 2014 - November 1, 2014

Location: Rula Bula

The Keltic Cowboys, Arizona’s premier Irish Rock Band, has been entertaining the beer drinking, live music loving masses for over a decade. The Keltic Cowboys have enjoyed a successful career regularly playing the best of the valleys’ live music venues and festivals, also opening for national acts such as Flogging Molly, Young Dubliners and The Specials.

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John Calvert at Tempe Marketplace

Tempe Marketplace
November 1, 2014

Location: Tempe Marketplace

The words earthy and melodic best describe the fresh sound of accomplished fingerstyle guitarist John Calvert. Harnessing aural textures from folk, jazz, flamenco and classical music, Calvert’s genuine and unpretentious compositions resound with a calming yet adventurous spirit. Calvert attributes much of his success to his perennial experience at the world famous Berklee College of Music. His rich formal training artfully blends into an inspiring and original sound. Though his music is difficult to categorize, John likes to classify it as simply guitar music. He performs frequently at a variety of venues throughout the Phoenix area, both solo and in groups such as Radiant Sky. See John perform live at the Barnes and Noble fountain.

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Dia de los Muertos at Desert Botanical Garden

Desert Botanical Garden Dia de los Muertos
November 1, 2014 - November 2, 2014

Location: Desert Botanical Garden

Don’t miss the 12th annual Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, at Desert Botanical Garden. This festival, part of a tradition celebrated throughout the Southwest, Latin America and Mexico, honors departed loved ones. Entertainment, meant to teach about the history of this holiday, will include song, dance and storytelling. There will be a Ofrenda exhibition created by local artists, food and pastries and a Mercado with art,  jewelry and other items for sale. This event will conclude with La Procesion, a parade that serves to honor those who have passed on. La Procesion will take place at 5 p.m. on November 2.

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Peppermint James at Tempe Marketplace

Tempe Marketplace
November 1, 2014

Location: Tempe Marketplace

Peppermint James was formed in Phoenix in 2004. With strong influence from The Beatles, The Wailers, traditional jazz and blues artists and many outstanding world musicians, the sound of Peppermint James continually evolves with a no limits attitude towards songwriting and arranging. See them perform at the District Stage.

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Pueblo Grande Navajo Rug & American Indian Art Auction

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

Location: Pueblo Grande Museum

The Pueblo Grande Museum Auxiliary will host the 9th Annual Navajo Rug and American Indian Art Auction on November 1, 2014. Bruce Burnham, of Burnham Trading Company in Sanders, Arizona will conduct the auction which will begin with a preview at 9 a.m., followed by the auction from 12-5 p.m.  Fry bread and other native foods will be available for sale during the day along with coffee and breakfast treats in the morning. A portion of the proceeds from the auction will benefit the Pueblo Grande Museum Auxiliary, a support group for the Pueblo Grande Museum which supplements the museums’ preservation efforts, educational programs and special events, exhibits and artifact collections care. The preview and auction are free. The Museum will be open 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. with standard museum admission rates for visitors, and free for Museum members.

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Urban Sol “Move-Meant-II”

Urban Sol "Move-Meant-II"
November 1, 2014

Location: ASU Art Museum

The ASU Herberger Institute  for design and the arts presents Urban Sol “Move-Meant-II.”  This free event features local and national artists in all hip hop element. Artists and audience members are encouraged to get out of their comfort zones by creatively  transforming the physical spaces around them. It’s about participation and includes a graffiti wall, live music performances, choreography and cypher battles (with $900 in prizes), spoken word, capoeira, dance performances and much more!! Come support the Urban Arts community! Attend and be a part of the Urban Sol Move-Meant! Urban Sol “Move-Meant-II” takes place at the Nelson Fine Arts Center Galvin Plaza located at 10th Street and Mill Avenue.  

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Traveler on November 1

Rula Bula Irish Pub exterior 244 x 163
November 1, 2014 - November 2, 2014

Location: Rula Bula

Traveler combines ethnic styles from around the world with rock’n roll to create an exciting new musical experience. Crazy energy, traditional violin, exotic instruments alongside a full blown rock band and a mesmerizing performance that’s guaranteed to take you on a wild musical journey.

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BBQ & Blues at Tempe Marketplace

Tempe Marketplace
November 2, 2014

Location: Tempe Marketplace

Enjoy barbeque, live blues, beer, cocktails and more at the 1st annual BBQ & Blues event. All proceeds benefit the Boys and Girls Clubs of the East Valley.

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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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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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The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane
October 19, 2014 - November 16, 2014

Location: Tempe Center for the Arts

See The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane at the Tempe Center for the Arts this fall, October 19 – November 16. Last year’s breakout hit is back! With his handmade silk suits, wide array of hats and tiny gold pocket watch, Edward Tulane was the most exceptional toy in Abilene’s room. He was adored and he was happy. But then, one day, he was lost. Based on Newbery-winner Kate DiCamillo’s beloved book, Childsplay presents this breathtaking story of finding friendship, finding yourself, and eventually finding your way home. Follow Edward on a fantastical adventure worthy of literature’s greatest heroes. Weekends Oct. 19 – Nov. 16, 2014: Saturdays (1 & 4pm), Sundays (1pm) Price: $12 – $25

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Finally Fridays in November at the TCA

Tempe Center for the Arts
November 1, 2014 - November 29, 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. November Finally Friday Schedule November 7th - Gary Marsh November 14th  - Tom & Priscilla Bertling November 21st - Cottonwood Stone November 28th - Cali Rodi

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November Tempe Comedy Concert Series

Tempe Center for the Arts
November 1, 2014 - November 30, 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. All shows start at 7:30 p.m. Recommended for ages 18 and older. Tickets for Tempe Comedy Concert Series shows can be purchased here. November 1st: The Clean Kings of Comedy Phoenix is fast becoming the one of the most influential comedy cities in the country. Come see why as Ken Kaz, Jon Jesmer, Bob Kubota, Jonathan Gregory and their special guests prove that comics do not have to be filthy to be funny. This PG show is perfect for anyone who truly wants to laugh with friends and family. Presented by Today’s Comedy Radio 1260AM and Comedyschools.com. November 7th: Hypnotist Pattie Freeman Pattie Freeman is one of the top-rated female stage hypnotists in the United States. Her shows are high energy, fast paced and full of laughter. The shows are age-oriented and filled with audience participation with updated music and skits. Freeman has performed at NBA halftime shows and was an Expert Guest on Fox Sports’ The Best Damn Sports Show Period. Freeman has appeared on numerous television and radio talk shows. Recommended for ages 18 and older. November 14: Class  Clowns 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. Recommended for […]

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