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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 spring, visit our Spring Festivals and Events 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

Guest Artist Series: Elizabeth Koch Tiscione, Oboe

ASU School of Music Building
February 8, 2016

Location: Arizona State University Tempe Campus

Elizabeth Koch Tiscione, principal oboe for the Atlanta Symphony, presents a concert of music for oboe and piano. Cost: General $9; Student $5   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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Guster at The Marquee

Marquee Theatre
February 9, 2016

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American alternative rock band, Guster, performs at The Marquee on February 9, 2016.  Guster’s songs are packed with hummable choruses and dense lyrical detail amid the muscular guitar riffs, clanging percussion and deceptively dark lyrics. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

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Lunch Talks: Fired Up About Firefighting

Tempe History Museum
February 10, 2016

Location: Tempe History Museum

Lunch Talks: Fired Up About Firefighting, Speaker Cliff Jones Hanging around fire stations and making rounds with Tempe Volunteer Firefighters as he was growing up paid off for young Cliff Jones. His interest and experiences as a youth led to his being hired by the Tempe Fire Department in 1971- without having had to go through a formal recruit-training academy. In February 1988, he became the third Fire Chief in Tempe Fire Department history, a post he held for 22 years. Under his watch, the department became the first to be internationally accredited by the Commission on Fire Accreditation International (CFAI). He later served as a commissioner and, from 2000-2003 as chairman of CFAI. Jones has received numerous honors over years including the Ray Picard Award for “superior leadership and outstanding contribution,” the Arizona Fire Chiefs Association Lifetime Achievement Award and been named a Center for Public Safety Excellence Chief Fire Officers Designee. The Tempe Historical Society is proud to present a free lunchtime lecture series commemorating the development of Tempe and the state of Arizona. Lunch Talks feature various speakers from around the state. Bring your lunch and enjoy these presentations monthly from October – November, 2015 and January – April, 2016. Coffee will be provided.

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Author Gen Kelsang Rigpa

Changing Hands Bookstore
February 10, 2016

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The American Buddhist monk and Resident Teacher at Clear Light Buddhist Center at KMC-Hollywood and KMC-California visits Changing Hands Bookstore to discuss the Buddhist teachings found in Geshe Kelsang Gyatso’s Transform Your Life.

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ASU Guest Artist Series: Eugene Alcalay, Piano

ASU School of Music Building
February 11, 2016

Location: Arizona State University Tempe Campus

The ASU Guest Artist Series presents pianist and composer Dr. Eugene Alcalay. Dr. Alcalay is a member of the faculty of Azusa Pacific University. A native of Bucharest, Romania, heegan playing at age two and composing at age eight.  Alcalay came under the tutelage of Leonard Bernstein, who affirmed his talent as a performer and composer. Dr. Alcalay attended Indiana University, Curtis and Juilliard and has studied with Milton Babbitt, Seymour Lipkin, Ned Rorem and James Tocco. Free admission 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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Book signing: Boots and Burgers by Roger Naylor

Tempe event
February 11, 2016

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Author Roger Naylor presents highlights from his recent book, Boots and Burgers: An Arizona Handbook for Hungry Hikers. So much more than a standard guidebook, Boots and Burgers is informative, hilarious, heartwarming, inspiring and mouth-watering. Roger's presentation takes us on an entertaining journey of great hikes and delicious bites, as he sprinkles his discussion with historic tidbits, fast facts and quirky humor.

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Comedian Jo Koy

Tempe Improv
February 11, 2016 - February 14, 2016

Location: Tempe Improv Comedy Theatre

From filling sold–out clubs across the nation, to appearing weekly as a regular on Chelsea Lately, Jo Koy has come a long way from his modest beginnings at a Las Vegas coffee house. His infectious, explosive energy onstage, insightful jokes, and family–inspired humor crosses all boundaries. In 2007, Variety magazine named Jo Koy one of the “10 Comics to Watch!” He is a regular headlining comedian at the world famous Improv, tours the college circuit nationwide, and performs in comedy clubs both in the U.S., and internationally. See him perform live at the Tempe Improv February 11 -14, 2016. Show Times: February 11, 2016 8:00 p.m. February 12, 2016 7:30 & 10:00 p.m. February 13, 2016 7:00 & 9:30 p.m. February 14, 2016 7:00 p.m.  

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Arcadia Publishing Authors: Arizona History

Changing Hands Bookstore
February 11, 2016

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Arcadia Publishing authors, Tobi Lopez Taylor, Stephanie R. deLusé, and Dale Hallock, visit Changing Hands Bookstore with their new books on the history of Arizona.

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Lasso of Truth, February 12-14, 2016

Lyceum Theater
February 12, 2016 - February 14, 2016

Location: Arizona State University Tempe Campus

The ASU School of Film, Dance and Theatre presents: Lasso of Truth. Gloria Steinem, bondage and lie detector tests all figure into this racy tale about Wonder Woman’s origins and the lasting effects of her legacy. This is a story about the nature of comic books, truth and love.  This play contains mature content. Written by Carson Kreitzer Directed by Pamela Fields Cost: $8-$16 February 12-13, 7:30 p.m. February 14, 2 p.m.  

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Sour Diesel Trainwreck at Tempe Marketplace

Tempe Marketplace
February 12, 2016

Location: Tempe Marketplace

Sour Diesel Trainwreck is a 4 piece high energy Americana/Southern Rock/Alt Country band from Mesa, AZ. The style is lyrical and vocal driven, organic and acoustic and at times dark and aggressive with a sound that is a little Country a little Rock and a lot of soul. See them play at The District Stage at Tempe Marketplace.

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Ongoing Events

Walk-in Wednesdays Open Mic Night

Tempe Center for the Arts
January 6, 2015 - May 25, 2016

Location: Tempe Center for the Arts

Walt Richardson hosts open mic night with some of the Valley’s best singer-songwriters every Wednesday at the Tempe Center for the Arts. Artists vie for a chance to perform at In the Spotlight and in the Songwriters’ Showcase. Exclusive session for high school age and younger from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sign up begins at 4:45 pm for youth open mic, and 5:45 pm for adults. There is no cover charge for this event.

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Desertscapes: Narrative Landscape Photography

Pueblo Grande Museum
October 2, 2015 - August 31, 2016

Location: Pueblo Grande Museum

Desertscapes  features black and white landscape photographs by Wayne Norton. He describes this exhibit  as a portrait of the American desert, through which he wishes “to question Man’s treatment of the desert and our existence there…” He describes his work as formal, graphic compositions and says “My concerns for the desert are serious but my artistic vision is often symbolic, whimsical, and even ironic.” The exhibit is included with paid museum admission. Museum hours 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission Adults (18-54) – $6 Seniors (55+) – $5 Children (6-17) – $3, Free on Sundays Under Age 6 – Free Museum members – Free

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Bruce Munro: Sonoran Light at Desert Botanical Garden

Water Towers, Photographer, Mark Pickthall
November 20, 2015 - May 8, 2016

Location: Desert Botanical Garden

See the Desert Botanical Garden in a whole new light this year. Bruce Munro: Sonoran Light at Desert Botanical Garden will bring eight large-scale light-based installations to this popular attraction. British artist Bruce Munro uses a variety of materials, such as fluorescent tubes and LED-lit water bottles, and hundreds of miles of glowing fiber optic. Visitors can wander through and Garden and see his site-specific installations along the trails, giving them a new perspective on the Sonoran Desert landscape. This exhibition is appropriate for all ages. Tickets will go on sale in September. See the Desert Botanical Garden website for more details.

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TCA Gallery presents: “Merely Players”

Merely Players at the TCA Gallery
January 15, 2016 - May 14, 2016

Location: Tempe Center for the Arts

William Shakespeare wrote “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players,” in the play “As You Like It.” The Gallery at TCA (Tempe Center for the Arts) is pleased to present the “Merely Players” exhibition. This gallery exhibition at the Tempe Center for the Arts explores the vision, process and culminating performance role costumes play in creating altered egos on and off the stage. Visitors can see firsthand the artistic talents of costume makers and local performing arts organizations. The exhibit also examines and highlights the wide range of events such as concerts, plays, festivals and Comicon events where costumes play an important role. Visit the website for gallery hours and more information.

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hello Friday at the Tempe Center for the Arts

Tempe Center for the Arts
January 22, 2016 - March 11, 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. Musical Performance Schedule (tentative) January 22nd: Tom Bertling January 29th: AJ Odneal February 5th: Blaise Lantana February 12th: Justin Olson February 19th: Jenny Jarnagin February 26th: TBA March 4th: Jenny Jarnagin March 11th: AJ Odneal

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Exhibition at Desert Botanical Garden: Return to the Desert

Dyana Hesson Return to the Desert
January 29, 2016 - May 22, 2016

Location: Desert Botanical Garden

This art exhibition at Desert Botanical Garden celebrates 25 years of paintings by botanical artist Dyana Hesson. Hesson is known for her beautifully detailed oil paintings of plants from roses to cactus flowers. Entrance to this exhibition is included with paid Garden admission or membership.

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Live music at Culinary Dropout at the Yard in Tempe

February 1, 2016 - February 29, 2016

Location: Culinary Dropout at the Yard Tempe

Every Wednesday 7pm-10pm: Carvin Jones Every Thursday 7pm-10pm: DJ Tommy Roberts Live Music on Friday & Saturday nights 9 p.m.-12 a.m. Live Music during Brunch, 12pm-3pm Friday, February 5th: Bill Dutcher Saturday Brunch, February 6th: Vinyl Station Saturday Dinner, February 6th: Lee Perreira Friday, February 12th: Kyle Phelan Saturday Brunch, February 13th: Vinyl Station Saturday Dinner, February 13th: Vinyl Station Friday, February 19th: Nick Jensen Saturday Brunch, February 20th: Vinyl Station Saturday Dinner, February 20th: Vinyl Station Sunday Brunch, February 21st: Lee Perreira Friday, February 26th: Obadiah Parker Saturday Brunch, February 27th: Vinyl Station Saturday Dinner, February 27th: Steve Ayotte Sunday Brunch, February 28th: Lee Perreira

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2016 February Tempe Comedy Concert Series

Tempe Center for the Arts
February 5, 2016 - February 26, 2016

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 can be purchased here.  February Schedule February 5th: Jim Short February 12th: Class Clowns Comedy Showcase February 13th: Love and Marriage February 19th: Amy Blackwell February 26th: Insane and Sober!

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Carnival of Illusion

Carnival of Illusion
February 13, 2016 - February 13, 2016

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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Childsplay: Goodnight Moon

Goodnight Moon
February 14, 2016 - April 10, 2016

Location: Tempe Center for the Arts

One of the world’s most loved bedtime stories comes to life! It’s seven o’clock in the great green room. It’s time to go to sleep but Bunny isn’t ready. With the help of his friends and a few magical moments, he is finally ready to say goodnight. Imagine alongside the kittens and mittens, the bears and the chairs, the red balloon, and of course the moon! Make your own memories in this musical version of the delightful tale.  Perfect for ages 3 and up. Weekends, Feb. 14 – Apr. 10, 2016: Saturdays (1 & 4pm), Sundays (1pm) Location: Tempe Center for the Arts Studio Price: $12 – $25

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