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The Best Things to Do in Tempe are Free

Who doesn’t love a freebee, a twofer, a bargain? Lucky for you, Tempe has everything from world class museums to live entertainment to outdoor activities, and best of all it’s free. Here’s a list of things to do in Tempe that won’t make you break the bank!

Museums, Galleries and Performances

Check out the renowned ASU Art Museum and ASU Art Museum Brickyard Ceramics Research Center as they have more than 12,000 objects and collections that offers a unique look into contemporary art, crafts, prints, and southwestern art. ASU also holds free performances presented by ASU School of Music and the ASU School of Film, Dance and Theatre.

Join Tempe Center for the Arts on Fridays and Saturdays at the EDGE Happy Hour for free live music, great food and cocktails in a laid-back atmosphere with great views of Tempe Town Lake. Also, hear musicians and poets perform in a friendly atmosphere at Walk-in Wednesdays Open Mic Night from January through May and September through November. The Gallery at TCA is also a must see as it features a variety of curated, touring and juried exhibitions throughout the year. Admission to the Gallery is free. Closed Sunday and Monday.

The Tempe History Museum not only holds free performances that all can enjoy, but it is also known for being a place where the community can come together to explore Tempe’s past, share its present, and imagine the future. This museum has free admission and is open to the public daily.

Visit Tempe Marketplace District Stage on Saturday evenings and enjoy free music ranging from alternative rock, R & B, jazz, folk and country and more! You can also bring the kiddos and cool off at the splash pad, located near Barnes & Noble on the east end of The District.

Outdoor Activities

Other free activities include options in the great outdoors. Take an invigorating hike up Papago Park or Tempe’s ‘A’ Mountain, a relaxing stroll or a bike ride along Tempe Beach Park overlooking Tempe Town Lake or bring the kiddos and cool off at the Tempe Marketplace or Kiwanis Park splash pads.

Take a self-guided tour through Tempe and look for the diverse public art including both permanent and temporary projects, or hop to Downtown Tempe and look for the 14 hidden jackrabbit sculptures hidden along the red brick sidewalks. Check here for clues.

Kids will love The Cloud at Kiwanis Park, Tempe’s newest aquatics feature which opens on July 15, 2018. The one-of-a-kind structure boasts 5,000 square feet of water play, including loops, jelly sticks, misting sprays and pillars. There’s also plenty of shaded seating nearby.

Traveling through Tempe is inexpensive and easy to do too. Purchase a Valley Metro Rail half day pass for $2 or a full day pass for $4 and explore Downtown Tempe, Mesa or Downtown Phoenix.


Free events in Tempe are also plentiful. Shop from over 350 booths at Tempe Festival of the Arts, take a paradise vacation at the annual Arizona Aloha Festival, celebrate with a pint of Guinness at the Four Peaks Oktoberfest at Tempe Town Lake or bring in the holidays with the Fantasy of Light Opening Night Parade and Boat Parade.

For a full list of free events and activities to do in Tempe, visit our event calendar or call 480-894-8158.

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