Arts and Culture

Fun Things To Do in Downtown Tempe

It’s always a great time to explore all the fun things to do in Downtown Tempe.

With all the options to choose from, there’s no better place to enjoy your free time than on Mill Avenue and the surrounding streets that make up Downtown Tempe. This walkable and lively downtown offers great shopping and dining options, as well as nearby hiking, biking, movie watching, museums and a variety of theater performances.

Here’s a short list of fun things to do when you’re out and about in Downtown Tempe:

1) Go for a hike: At the north end of Downtown Tempe lies “A” Mountain. This quick, fairly rigorous hike provides panoramic views of the ASU Tempe Campus and the surrounding areas of Tempe. Just gorgeous!

2) See a movie: AMC Centerpoint 11 is located in the heart of Downtown Tempe and offers luxury movie-going. The seats are fancy recliners so you can watch your movie in style. Grab a snack or get a bite to eat before or after the show at one of the many delicious nearby restaurants.

3) Take a bike ride: Grab a bike and head downtown to experience the city on two wheels. Explore nearby Tempe Town Lake, head north to the Crosscut Canal Multi-Use Path through lovely Papago Park or check out the hundreds of bike paths winding through the city. Feel free to bring your own bike or rent one from The Bicycle Cellar, just steps from Mill Avenue. 

"A" Mountain sunset hike
“A” Mountain sunset hike

4) See a theater performance: Between the smart and edgy performances from Stray Cat Theatre, performed at the Tempe Center for the Arts, to the blockbuster Broadway shows at ASU Gammage, there’s always something amazing to behold onstage in Downtown Tempe. Visit or for shows and ticket information. And, mark your calendars, because Arizona Theatre Company will bring its performances to Tempe Center for the Arts, beginning with the 2023-2024 season.

5) Soak up the sun at Tempe Town Lake: Just north of Downtown Tempe, Tempe Town Lake offers fantastic running, walking and biking paths along the entire perimeter of the lake. Or, if you’re looking for some fun on the water, rent a stand-up paddleboard, kayak or pedal boat at Boat Rentals of America – Tempe Town Lake.

6) Explore the ASU Art Museum: Take in a variety of visual arts at every turn, from prehistoric drawings left by Tempe’s earliest dwellers to the contemporary art by national and international artists at the ASU Art Museum and the ASU Art Museum Ceramics Research Center & Brickyard Gallery. The ASU Art Museum is located on Mill Avenue and 10th Street, and The Ceramics Research Center is just up the street on Mill Avenue and 7th Street.

7) Enjoy 2nd Sundays on Mill: Check out 2nd Sundays on Mill, a monthly event series in the heart of Tempe, held the second Sunday of every month, November through April. Meet on Mill Avenue for a local market, featuring artisans, art, handmade crafts, baked goods, unique gifts and more. Enjoy pop-up street performances, live music from local musicians, community programming, fitness classes and outdoor games.

Activities at Tempe Town Lake
Tempe Boat Rentals

8) Explore Tempe’s vibrant nightlife scene: It’s time to call yourself an Uber and make your way down to Tempe for a night out on the town. From local breweries to entertainment venues, our nightlife blog has you covered with the top venues to discover when the sun goes down!

9) Listen to Live music: Several venues in downtown offer live music events throughout the week. Low Key Piano BarCulinary DropoutAlter Ego (located inside Canopy by Hilton Tempe Downtown), Marquee TheatreSunbar and Yucca Tap Room are solid bets to find live music.

10) Stay in Downtown Tempe: In Downtown Tempe, visitors will find a variety of properties, from suites to upscale retreats, that are adjacent to an endless supply of restaurants, coffee shops, retailers, the lake and the hiking trail up “A” Mountain. Explore all hotels Downtown Tempe has to offer.

Low Key Piano Bar Downtown Tempe web
Low Key Piano Bar Downtown Tempe
Written Alicia Griffith

Alicia is an ASU Alumna and Tucson native who is unapologetically herself. When she is not sharing her passion for Tempe, she is a devoted dog mom and reality TV enthusiast who has a weakness for charcuterie boards and wine!

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