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Tempe Tourism Blog

Holiday Menus and Craft Cocktails in Tempe

Gertrudes Tundra
December 14, 2017

With the holiday season upon us, now’s the perfect time to seek out special holiday menus and craft cocktails to get in the festive mood! Here are just a few of the Tempe restaurants offering special holiday menus and/or holiday drinks we think you’ll love. Culinary Dropout at The Yard Tempe – 149 S. Farmer Ave., Tempe, AZ 85281 This Christmas Eve, join any Culinary Dropout location for their ugly sweater party from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Show up in your ugly sweater and sip on some Night Before X-Mas Punch which includes cranberry, orange, Wild Turkey bourbon and holiday spice on special for $8. Culinary Dropout has an incredible beer and wine menu that’s highlighted by some great brews that are made locally. While you’re there enjoying your holiday drink, sit, relax and enjoy some yummy food and a game of corn-hole. Culinary Dropout is open on Christmas Eve until 8 p.m. and is closed on Christmas Day. Rustler’s Rooste – 8383 S. 48th St., Phoenix, AZ 85044 Rustler’s Rooste, one of the valley’s best restaurants for food and views, has a special holiday menu offering traditional favorites, just like mom used to make. They’ll be open Christmas Day from 12 p.m. – 8 p.m. with country music from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m. Menu items include a traditional turkey dinner or baked ham dinner. Both are priced at $19.95 for adults and $8.95 for kids 10 and under. In the mood for a Prime Rib dinner? You can get prime rib (starting at 8 oz. […]

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Tempe Events December 12-18: Las Noches de las Luminarias

Las Noches de Las Luminarias
December 12, 2017

This week’s Tempe events include Las Noches de las Luminarias at the Desert Botanical Garden, December 15-17, 19-23, 26-30, 2017. Each night of Las Noches de las Luminarias the Desert Botanical Garden comes to life with the soft glow from thousands of hand lit luminaria bags, thousands of white twinkle lights and 10 unique entertainment ensembles. Purchase tickets in advance. Tempe’s calendar is full of exciting events this week. See what’s happening below and view a complete listing of Tempe events, or call (480) 894-8158 for more information. December 12-January 14: ZooLights Phoenix Zoo December 14: Pullman Standard Tempe Marketplace December 14-17: Greg Fitzsimmons Tempe Improv Comedy Theater December 15: Lane Change Tempe Marketplace December 15: Descendents The Marquee December 16: Spar Afar Tempe Marketplace December 16-23: Childsplay presents Go, Dog. Go! Tempe Center for the Arts December 17: Deck the Halls…And All that Jazz Mesa Arts Center Sundays through-April 22: 6th Street Market 24 E. 6th St., Downtown Tempe

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Weekly events: Fantasy of Lights Boat Parade, Dec. 9

Tempe Fantasy of Lights Boat Parade
December 5, 2017

Weekly events include the Fantasy of Lights Boat Parade Boat Parade Presented by SRP at Tempe Town Lake on December 9. The parade is one of the most anticipated holiday events in Tempe and one of the most unique in metro Phoenix. The festivities begin at 4 p.m. with live music by local artists Cesar Chavez Choir, Trevor Browne Dance Team, Joey Unami, and 76th Street.  Various 6th Street Market vendors will sell handmade goods and goodies to eat and drink. The lake will be all aglow when the parade begins at 7 p.m. with approximately 50 boats, each decorated with twinkling lights and holiday decorations, sailing past crowds lined on the shore of Tempe Town Lake. At 8 p.m. you’ll be treated fireworks, more music and Santa Claus. Be sure to bring your cameras and snap your holiday pics in Santa’s tent. Admission to the Fantasy of Lights Boat Parade is free. Everyone is invited to donate to the United Food Bank’s Peanut Butter Drive, You can drop your jar off at one of the donation receptacles in Tempe Beach Park. Tempe’s calendar is full of exciting events this week. See what’s happening below and view a complete listing of Tempe events, or call (480) 894-8158 for more information. December 5-January 14: ZooLights Phoenix Zoo December 6-9: Stray Cat Theatre presents: Mercury Tempe Center for the Arts December 8, 15, 22-24: Childsplay presents A Christmas Carol with Katie McFadzen Tempe Center for the Arts December 8: Desert Frostover III Day 1 […]

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Spotlight On: Alec Posta, Lego® Master Model Builder

Alec Posta
November 30, 2017

“Like a like a kid in a candy store” and “a happy camper,” perfectly describe Alec Posta, Lego® Master Model Builder at LEGOLAND® Discovery Center in Tempe. Surrounded by zillions of those colorful building bricks, Alec Posta is clearly in his element, full of joy and exuding enthusiasm for his dream job. A talented designer, with a sense of wonder and whimsy, he whips up amazing Lego® masterpieces and shows budding Master Model Builders how to build their own creations. LEGOLAND® Discovery Center is located in Arizona Mills Mall, 5000 S Arizona Mills Cir #135, Tempe, AZ 85282. Hours are: Monday-Thursday 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Friday & Saturday 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m.-4 p.m. For more information, visit  

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Tempe events: 49th Annual Fall Tempe Festival of the Arts

Tempe Festival of the Arts
November 28, 2017

Tempe events include the Fall Tempe Festival of the Arts, December 1-3.  This marks the festival’s 49th year as one of Tempe’s most popular events. As many as 350 artists from around the country exhibit and sell hand-made works of art in a multitude of media, including photography, paint, sculpture, jewelry and ceramics.  You’re sure to find a few of your favorite things and unique holiday gifts for others on your shopping list. In addition to the artists’ booths, the festival features live entertainment, wine and beer gardens, a kids’ interactive area. There’s also a section devoted to cottage arts, such as handmade seasonings, soaps, candles and sauces. The Fall Tempe Festival of the arts takes place in Downtown Tempe along Mill Avenue and the adjacent streets from December 1-3, 2017 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. rain or shine.  Don’t miss this event that’s fun for the whole family and admission is free. For more information on all of the festival artists and events, visit Tempe’s calendar is full of exciting events this week. See what’s happening below and view a complete listing of Tempe events, or call (480) 894-8158 for more information. November 28- December 3: THE BODYGUARD ASU Gammage November 29-January 14: ZooLights Phoenix Zoo November 30: Jack & Jack The Marquee November 30: Kelly McNelis: Your Messy Brilliance: 7 Tools for the Perfectly Imperfect Woman Changing Hands Bookstore November 30-December 9: Stray Cat Theatre presents: Mercury Tempe Center for the Arts December 1: The Caribbean Cruisers Tempe Marketplace […]

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Tempe events: Las Noches de las Luminarias

Las Noches de Las Luminarias
November 21, 2017

Tempe events include Las Noches de las Luminarias at Desert Botanical Garden, November 24-December 30. Throughout the holidays, the Garden’s lovely paths will be aglow with more than 8,000 lit luminaire bags and the trees will sparkle with thousands of tiny white lights. You can’t help but catch the holiday spirit while strolling along the garden’s glowing trails with a cup of hot chocolate or cider in hand on a crisp, clear night. Music will fill the air nightly with performances by groups including Mariachi Pasión & Ballet Folklorico Quetzalli, Run Boy Run, Traveler featuring Scott Jeffers, Simply Three, The Sugar Thieves, hand bell ensembles and more. You’ll also find the bold, monumental sculptures of Japanese American artist Jun Kaneko throughout Garden trails. Make the evening even more special and include dinner at Gertrude’s, the Garden’s on site restaurant featuring seasonally inspired food, or dine al fresco at the Patio Cafe. You can also feast upon a sumptuous holiday buffet served in Dorrance Hall. Reservations are recommended for Gertrude’s and required for the holiday buffet. Las Noches de las Luminarias takes place November 24 and  25, December 8-10, 15-17, 19-23, 26-30 from 5:30 – 9:30 p.m. For more information and to purchase tickets visit the Desert Botanical Garden website or call 480-941-1225. Tempe’s calendar is full of exciting events this week. See what’s happening below and view a complete listing of Tempe events, or call (480) 894-8158 for more information. November 21: Periphery / Animals as Leaders The Marquee November 22: Authority […]

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Tempe events: Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company

ASU Gammage
November 14, 2017

Tempe events include Bill T. Jones /Arnie Zane Company with Associate Artistic Director, Janet Wong performing the third and final installment of the ANALOGY TRILOGY, AMBROS: THE EMIGRANT at ASU Gammage on November 18. The trilogy brings into light the different types of war we fight and, in particular, the war within ourselves. The trilogy is an investigation of memory, storytelling and form. AMBROS is the end of a path of exploration, a culmination that could in fact be a beginning. Bill T. Jones is a choreographer, dancer, theater director and writer. He is recipient of the MacArthur “Genius” Award. He earned the 2007 Tony Award for Best Choreography in Spring Awakening and a 2010 Tony Award for Best Choreography in FELA!. For more information and to purchase tickets for ANALOGY TRILOGY, AMBROS: THE EMIGRANT, visit Tempe’s calendar is full of exciting events this week. See what’s happening below and view a complete listing of Tempe events, or call (480) 894-8158 for more information. November 16: Morrissey The Marquee November 16-17: Music in the Garden: April Verch Desert Botanical Garden November 16-18: Colin Kane Tempe Improv  November 16-19: The Compass Paul V. Galvin Playhouse, ASU Tempe Campus November 17: Drowning Pool Tempe Marketplace November 18: Bill T. Jones and Arnie Zane Company ASU Gammage November 18: Lakeshore Music Series presents Tierney Sutton Band Tempe Center for the Arts November 18: Sonoran Swing Tempe Marketplace November 18: The Pangean Orchestra Tempe History Museum November 19: IRONMAN Arizona Tempe Beach Park November […]

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Skip the dishes, and eat out on Thanksgiving!

November 9, 2017

Thanksgiving is just days away. That means in just a few days, we’ll be gathered around with friends and family, watching football, cooking the largest turkey we could find, baking pies and cakes, prepping the stuffing and the green bean casserole (my favorite and a Thanksgiving must if I’m invited to your home). Once the prepping, cooking/baking and in some cases, when the tears are wiped away, you can eat, laugh, yell, scream and chat around the table. Then the cleaning begins. And it never ends. If this doesn’t sound appealing to you – and that’s okay if it doesn’t – you still deserve to have a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. You deserve the works too. We’re talking about turkey, ham, prime rib, mountains of potatoes and all the pies you can dream of. Best of all, you can let someone else do all the cooking and cleaning up for you. Here are a few Tempe area restaurants that will be open on Thanksgiving and are more than happy to take care of everything for you so your Thanksgiving can be relaxing and stress-free. Rustler’s Rooste 8383 S. 48th St., Phoenix, AZ 85044 | (602) 431-6474 Head to Rustler’s Rooste for a boot-scootin’ good time on Thanksgiving. Open Thanksgiving day from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Enjoy live country music from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Call to make your reservation: (602) 431-6474. RUSTLER’S ROOSTE TURKEY STUFF – Pre-order only , Excluding beverages, tax and gratuity – $159.99 16-20 lbs Oven-Roasted Tom Turkey, Mushroom Sage […]

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Tempe events: What Moves You at Tempe Center for the Arts

Lil Buck
November 7, 2017

Tempe events include What Moves You featuring Lil Buck and Mihai Marica with special guest Jon Boogz at Tempe Center for the Arts on November 11. Known for his fluid, twisting and jaw-dropping angular moves, Lil Buck will join cellist Mihai Marica and special guest movement artist Jon Boogz to challenge the boundaries of what their respective instruments—the body and the cello—can do. Charles “Lil Buck” Riley brought international attention to the street dance Memphis jookin’ in 2011 when a video of his improvised performance with cellist Yo-Yo Ma went viral on YouTube, resulting in Ma declaring him a “genius.” Since then Lil Buck, who is trained in both ballet and hip-hop, has performed with Madonna, New York City Ballet and Cirque du Soleil. What Moves You is an intimate collaboration between Lil Buck and Mihai Marica, one of today’s youngest and most accomplished classical cellists.  Their interactive performance reveals the intricacy and immediacy of the creative process between movement and music. From J.S. Bach to the contemporary sounds of living composers, the duo will demonstrate what it means when Lil Buck says, “I see sounds everywhere.” Jon Boogz is a movement artist, choreographer, and director known for his edgy contemporary work. He has choreographed for notable icons including Mikhail Baryshnikov, Naomi Campbell and Gloria Estefan and was creative consultant for ads for Apple and Lexus. Romanian born cellist Mihai Marica has performed at the Chamber Music Northwest and Norfolk and Aspen music festivals. He has also performed with orchestras […]

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Spend the Holiday Season in Tempe, Arizona

November 6, 2017

In my opinion, Tempe, Arizona is one of the best spots to get in the holiday spirit. It’s not a snowy winter wonderland, but there are all kinds of fun festive events. Below are just a few suggestions for holiday events in Tempe, but there are lots more to check out on the Tempe Tourism events page. Whether you are looking for a fun date night idea, or fun for the whole family, spending the holiday season in Tempe offers endless possibilities. Arizona Mills 5000 S. Arizona Mills Cir., Tempe AZ 85282 (480) 491-9700 Bring your children to Arizona Mills for photos with Santa. He’ll be at the mall near the food court through December 24. Arizona Mills is a great place to find something for everyone on your list with more than a mile of outlet stores, retailers and entertainment venues. Other holiday fun includes: Pet Photos with Santa –  November 19 | 6-7:30 p.m. Story time, cookies and milk with Mrs. Claus – December 1 |  4-6 p.m. Caring Santa is coming to Arizona Mills for children with special needs – December 3 | 9-11 a.m. Reserve your spot for a private photo experience. Pet Photos with Santa –  December 10 | 6-7:30 p.m. Downtown Tempe Located between College Ave. and Farmer Ave., University Dr. and Tempe Town Lake, Tempe, AZ 85281 (480) 350-6060 Downtown Tempe is the heart of this college town so it’s no wonder that there are tons of restaurants, bars, gift shops, specialty stores and […]

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