Entertainment

Summer Savings and Starry Nights Equal a Vacation in Tempe, Arizona

Arizona is known for warm, sunny days. But, Tempe might be the best spot to enjoy the stars – in the night sky and on stage in some of the best entertainment venues. This summer, the fun starts when the sun goes down. Some of Tempe’s coolest events are happening now. Combine these fun-filled events with Tempe’s money-saving summer hotel specials, and you have a perfect summer vacation destination, whether you’re here with your family or looking to stay a few extra days after a conference or business trip.

The Desert Botanical Garden is offering Flashlight Discovery Tours on Saturday nights from 7-9:30 p.m. through September (check website for specific dates). Observe how the desert comes to life after dark. You might see nighthawks, snakes and rare night blooming flowers.

At Tempe Marketplace, live music adds to the festive atmosphere on Friday and Saturday nights. There are a variety of acts, from folk to alternative rock, accompanied by dancing fountains and laser light shows. Comfy couches and fireplaces make for the perfect spots to relax and listen to your favorite tunes. If you have kids in tow, make plans to take them to the Splash Pad, located near Barnes & Noble. It’s open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.

If you’re a big fan of comedy, Tempe Improv is a must. One of the premiere comedy clubs in the country, the Tempe Improv has hosted superstars such as Jerry Seinfeld, Dennis Miller and David Spade. The tradition of laughter in Tempe continues Thursday-Sunday evenings.

Family fun is always in season in Tempe. The Phoenix Zoo is a favorite of locals and visitors alike all year-round.  On select dates throughout the summer, you can experience an evening of fun at Prowl & Play. Enjoy a DJ dance party, character meet and greets and lots of other activities and water play areas.

One of Tempe’s most unexpected attractions is Tempe Town Lake, an urban oasis located adjacent to Downtown Tempe and Arizona State University. When it’s warm outside, the best way to experience Tempe Town Lake is from the water. Tempe Boat Rentals offers kayak, paddleboard, pedal boat and electric powered boat rentals year round. In the summer months, rentals are available Monday-Thursday until 8 p.m. and Friday through Sunday until 9 p.m.

If you want to get out of town for a bit, you should check out the Starlight Ride on the Verde Canyon Railroad on these Saturdays this summer: July 28, August 25 and September 15. Just a two hour drive from Tempe, this railroad gives you the opportunity to see the beautiful red rock formations, a meandering river and the night sky from the unique perspective of the train. It is a great way to see the sun setting over the desert while enjoying cooler night time temperatures.

In a city known for sunshine, Tempe is full of reasons why starry nights can be the most fun. And, with budget-friendly hotel deals, your vacation plans just became more reasonable! For more information, visit tempetourism.com or call 800-683-2734.

Written Toni Smith

An Arizona native, Toni Smith loves to dine out, conquer hiking trails, go to concerts and survive hot yoga classes. She has also never met a dog she didn’t love instantly. She lives in Tempe with her husband and daughter.