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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

Meet the Caterpillars

Desert Botanical Garden
March 5, 2016 - May 14, 2016

Location: Desert Botanical Garden

On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays through May 14th, you are invited to meet the caterpillars that will turn into beautiful Arizona butterflies. The Desert Botanical Garden has both caterpillars and chrysalises on display. Discover how these amazing creatures transform from hungry caterpillars into chrysalises, then emerge as fluttering butterflies.

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Comedian Emo Philips

Tempe Improv 300x200
April 29, 2016 - April 30, 2016

Location: Tempe Improv Comedy Theatre

Described by Jay Leno as "the best joke writer in America," and considered by many, including "Weird Al" Yankovic, as one of the funniest people on the planet, Emo Philips has performed over 6000 times throughout the English-speaking world (including a multi-week run at the Playhouse Theater in London's West End). Since starting out, at the age of twenty, in Chicago in 1976, Emo has had award-winning comedy albums, several cable specials and many appearances.

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7 Bands, 1 Night! at Tempe Marketplace

Tempe Marketplace
April 30, 2016

Location: Tempe Marketplace

Get a taste of 7 up-and-coming, rock groups as they each play a full set of their best songs on the District Stage. Bands include We, Beloved; First Impression; Alex Mullins Band; Fire By Rank; Society Falls; The Host Club and Paradox. Enjoy a great night of music at Tempe Marketplace.

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Chalk Art Festival

Tempe Marketplace
April 30, 2016

Location: Tempe Marketplace

The popular Chalk Art Festival is back at Tempe Marketplace. Watch as artists transform the Tempe Marketplace sidewalks into colorful works of art and play in the designated KidZone. For details, visit tempemarketplace.com/chalk

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Author Molly Idle

Changing Hands Tempe 300x200
April 30, 2016

Location: Changing Hands Bookstore

The Caldecott Honor-winning picture book author and illustrator visits Changing Hands Bookstore for a storytime presentation of her new book, Flora and the Peacocks.

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Comedian Shang Forbes

Tempe Improv 300x200
May 1, 2016

Location: Tempe Improv Comedy Theatre

Shang has come a long way from the boroughs of New York. Originally from Brooklyn, this Carnegie Mellon University graduate and aspiring illustrator began his comedy career on a dare. He caught the comedy bug & quickly became an underground favorite with his dark, edgy avant-garde, socio-political style. The charismatic comic has proven his premiere stand-up skills with appearances nationwide and abroad. See Shang Forbes perform live at Tempe Improv on May 1, 2016.

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Author Amy Silverman

Changing Hands Tempe 300x200
May 1, 2016

Location: Changing Hands Bookstore

The managing editor of the Phoenix New Times hosts a launch party for her debut book, My Heart Can't Even Believe It, a memoir of raising a daughter with Down Syndrome.

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Flatbush Zombies at The Marquee

Marquee Theatre 300x200
May 1, 2016

Location: The Marquee

Flatbush Zombies is an American hip hop group formed in 2010. The group is composed of rappers Meechy Darko (Dimitri Simms), Zombie Juice (Antonio Lewis) and Erick "The Architect" Elliott, the latter of which also serves as their regular record producer. The trio are part of the East Coast hip hop movement known as "Beast Coast," which consists of fellow Brooklyn-based rap groups, The Underachievers and Pro Era. Flatbush Zombies performs at The Marquee on May 1, 2016. Doors open at 7:00 p.m.

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Carolyn Eynon Singers at the TCA

Tempe Center for the Arts
May 1, 2016

Location: Tempe Center for the Arts

Keep your toes tappin' and your hearts beatin' as CES sings classics such as "Singin' in the Rain," and "Those Fabulous 40s!" The Rhythm Ramblers will also perform alone for the audience's listening pleasure, as well as accompanying the singers. It's the kind of music that will stay with you for the rest of the day. Tickets are $18 for adults and $10 for students.

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Violent Femmes at The Marquee

Marquee Theatre 300x200
May 3, 2016

Location: The Marquee

Violent Femmes came together in 1981 and were quickly applauded as one of the most inventive and original bands of the era, constantly pushing forward with their singular blend of folk and punk, sarcasm and spirituality. See Violent Femmes perform live at The Marquee on May 3, 2016. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

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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 - 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. Musical Performance Schedule (tentative) March 18: Jenny Jarnagin March 25th: Justin Olson April 1: Blaise Lantana April 8: Jenny Jarnagin April 15: Jenny Jarnagin April 22: AJ Odneal April 29th: Eric Ramsey May 6: Billy Cioffi

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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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SUPERFLEX: Superfake/The Parley

Superflex at the ASU Art Museum
January 29, 2016 - April 30, 2016

Location: ASU Art Museum

Taking the form of an experimental laboratory or studio, “Superfake/The Parley” features new images, video and sculptural works by the Danish artist collective SUPERFLEX. The commissioned project takes a painting in the ASU Art Museum collection attributed to Frederic Remington as a starting point to examine issues of authenticity, reproduction and value, including the emotional value of an artwork. Presented in collaboration with the ASU LeRoy Eyring Center for Solid State Science and with the ASU Art Museum’s Conservation Studio. Museum is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesday; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday–Saturday; Closed: Sunday, Monday and holidays. (Additional educator hours by appointment: Mondays and before 11 a.m. Tuesday–Thursday)

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Tony Labat: One for Tomorrow and One Just for Today

Tony Labat: One for Tomorrow at the ASU Art Museum in Downtown Tempe
January 30, 2016 - May 28, 2016

Location: ASU Art Museum

A pioneer of video installations, Tony Labat makes work that often identifies with the “outsider,” whether as the artist or immigrant. Born in Cuba, Labat frequently comments on displacement and marginalization. This exhibition is supported by the Helme Prinzen Endowment. The dates of this exhibition are Jan. 30 – April 21, 2016 & April 30 – May 28, 2016. The project space is open from noon to 6 p.m., Thursday and Friday and by appointment.

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Participant: Photographs by Spencer Tunick

Photographs by Spencer Tunick at the ASU Art Museum
January 30, 2016 - May 28, 2016

Location: ASU Art Museum

Since the early 1990s, Spencer Tunick has traveled the globe creating staged images of multiple nude figures in urban and rural public settings. And since 2000, collector Stephane Janssen has been a participant in photographs that range from a handful of figures in an art museum to thousands of volunteers in the Dead Sea. “Participant” includes more than 20 works from the Janssen collection which are a blend of photography, installation and performance. This exhibition and the accompanying artist’s book are supported by Stéphane Janssen. Open Tuesday: 11 a.m.–8 p.m.; Wednesday–Saturday: 11 a.m.–5 p.m.; Closed: Sunday, Monday and holidays. (Additional educator hours by appointment: Mondays and before 11 a.m. Tuesday–Thursday.)

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Watertight: Sandra Ramos

Watertight: Sandra Ramos at the ASU Art Museum in Downtown Tempe
January 30, 2016 - May 28, 2016

Location: ASU Art Museum

This ASU Art Museum exhibition revolves around eight recent, short video animations that explore the complex historic and current relationship between Cuba and the U.S. Cuban artist Sandra Ramos’s witty figures and settings draw from literature, popular media and the island of Cuba, and combine in narratives that explore provocative issues of immigration and international borders, containment and power structures, illusions and lost utopias. The animations are on loan from the collection of I. Michael and Beth Kasser, who generously supported the artist’s residency. The exhibition is supported by the Evelyn Smith Exhibition Fund. The ASU Art Museum is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesday; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday–Saturday; Closed: Sunday, Monday and holidays. (Additional educator hours by appointment: Mondays and before 11 a.m. Tuesday–Thursday).

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