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Tempe Tourism Blog

Take a Hike, Tempe!

December 26, 2017

Hiking is one of my favorite things to do and it’s the perfect time of year to start off the day with an early morning trek. It’s a great way to learn about the Sonoran Desert landscape and mix with the locals too. In the Tempe/Phoenix area, there are so many choices of hiking trails that it can be hard to choose where to go. Here’s a quick guide to some of my favorite Phoenix hiking trails. Papago Park and South Mountain Park are also popular for recreational mountain biking in Tempe, AZ. Just remember, take lots of water, wear sunscreen and go with a friend. It’s just more safe (and fun) that way! Papago Park Papago Park offers several easy hikes to choose from and it’s easy to get to from any part of the Valley. The trailhead just west of the parking lot at College and Curry is an easy hike that provides views of downtown Tempe and Tempe Town Lake from the summits. This trail is also home to Loma del Rio, a Hohokam ruin. To get to the ruin, continue along the path towards the freeway, and then veer right. Once you pass the summit of the next hill, you’ll see the ruin next to a ramada. There’s another popular trailhead on the west side of Papago Park. You can access it by turning west into the parking lot just across Galvin Parkway from the entrance to The Phoenix Zoo, located just north of Van Buren. […]

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Spend New Year’s Eve in Tempe

Downtown Tempe NYE
December 21, 2017

It’s time to ring in 2018! And, more importantly, time to decide where to celebrate New Year’s Eve! Tempe has everything from champagne balls, live music, luminarias, festive dinner menus and kids’ activities to choose from to celebrate. Here’s a list of top picks on where to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Tempe: New Year’s Eve events in Downtown Tempe: What better way to celebrate NYE than with fireworks at midnight, brought to you by Four Peaks Brewing Company, and a hearty dose of fun in Downtown Tempe. Check out these awesome parties happening in Downtown Tempe: El Hefe and Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row Champagne Ball El Hefe Mexican Restaurant – 640 S Mill Ave #110, Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 257-2797 Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row – 640 S Mill Ave #120, Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 794-1477 Head to El Hefe and Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row in Downtown Tempe for their 2018 Champagne Ball! Two parties, one ticket! You can’t miss this 3rd Annual Champagne Ball, featuring a 40 ft. stage in the middle of 6th St. with performances by AZ’s top local DJs. Confetti blasts, champagne inflatables, ball drop and champagne tubs – all in one spot. General admission tickets are $20 and VIP tickets are $40. Visit to purchase tickets. Cabin Tempe 410 S. Mill Ave., Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 968-0663 Ring in the New Year at one of the newest additions to Downtown Tempe’s nightlife, Cabin Tempe. They’re offering two floors of bottles, kegs, Jell-O shots, and everything else you’ll need for the perfect house party! […]

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Tempe events: December 20, 2017-January 2, 2018

Downtown Tempe NYE
December 20, 2017

The next two weeks are going to be fun and busy – the holiday are upon us! And lucky for us, Tempe has lots to offer throughout the holidays to keep us entertained! From live music to Broadway shows and comedy shows, there’s something for every age. I’m especially excited to head to Downtown Tempe to ring in the New Year. Several bars and restaurants will be hosting fun evenings with live music, and food and drink speocals, and there will be an fireworks show at midnight to ring in 2018! Here’s our list of exciting events taking place over the next two weeks, or for Tempe’s calendar of events, visit December 19-23, 26-30 – Las Noches de las Luminarias Desert Botanical Garden December 19-24 – CINDERELLA ASU Gammage December 19-31 – Nightly Snowfall Tempe Marketplace December 19-January 14 – ZooLights Phoenix Zoo December 21 – Comedian Ian Bagg Tempe Improv Comedy Theater December 22-23 – Comedian Tommy Davidson Tempe Improv Comedy Theater December 22-24 – Childsplay presents A Christmas Carol with Katie McFadzen Tempe Center for the Arts December 23 – Childsplay presents Go, Dog. Go! Tempe Center for the Arts December 23 – Lakeshore Music presents Bob Ravenscroft Trio: “The True Christmas” Tempe Center for the Arts December 27 – Jane’s Addiction The Marquee December 27-28 – Comedian Tiffany Haddish Tempe Improv Comeday Theater December 29 – The Amplified Soul Experience Tempe Center for the Arts December 29-31 – Comedian Jim Breuer Tempe Improv Comedy Theatre December […]

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Phoenix Zoo’s Dinosaurs in the Desert

Dinosaurs in the Desert
December 19, 2017

One of my favorite spots to take my kids to in the Metro Phoenix area is the Phoenix Zoo, located in Papago Park about 5 minutes north of Downtown Tempe. It’s a fun zoo, with lots of habitats to explore, and always something new to check out. There are also several attractions especially for the kiddos, such as two water splash pad areas, a big wooden fort house to climb on, a beautiful carousel, camel rides, a petting zoo and more. Their newest exhibit has received a gold start of approval from both of my kids – Dinosaurs in the Desert. Dinosaurs in the Desert is a self-guided walking tour located near the back of the zoo. There is a fee of $4, in addition to regular zoo admission, to enter. Once inside you enter another world – the prehistoric land of the dinosaurs. Music sets the mood with the score from Jurassic Park playing in the background as you approach your first dinosaur. There are more than ten encounters, with most of the dinosaurs having some sort of animatronics. Guests will see a Tyrannosaurus Rex, a Dilophosaurus, Brachiosaurus and many more creatures from before our time. One dinosaur even spits water on you. My 4 year old daughter loved it and insisted she stand there until appropriately soaked. My 2 year old didn’t love it so much and avoided it all together. To each their own! But I will tell you, the kids absolutely loved every moment! It’s a nice […]

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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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