Families and Kids

Tempe Fall Events You Won’t Want to Miss

From festivals and music to sports and food, here are the top reasons to visit Tempe this season

One thing sports fans, outdoor lovers, foodies and families can all agree on is that fall is the perfect time to visit Tempe. The temps are cooling and our calendar is filling up with seasonal events — from festivals and markets to sporting events and concerts.

In addition to our signature fall events, this season in Tempe also promises endless activities, attractions, Sonoran Desert hikes, iconic sunsets, a wide variety of nightlife and more to round out your next visit. And, yes, it’s still pool season.

Before you make plans to explore Tempe this season, be sure to mark your calendars for these festive fall events.

Annual Festivals

Boots in the Park | Tempe Beach Park

Sept. 22 – 23, 2023

Boots in the Park returns to Tempe Beach Park with an expanded, two-day music festival featuring chart-topping country artists, including Sam Hunt, Blake Shelton, Brooks & Dunn, Dustin Lynch and more.

Doors open at 4 p.m. each day for plenty of time to check out the line dancing, beer and craft cocktails, local food vendors, art installations, photo ops and other activations.

Tempe Tardeada | Tempe Community Center Complex

Oct. 8, 2023

Celebrate Tempe’s Hispanic Heritage at the 25th annual Tempe Tardeada, an afternoon social festival featuring music, dancing, and traditional Mexican foods, arts and crafts, face painting and inflatables for children – all for free. This event takes place in conjunction with National Hispanic Heritage Month and celebrates Tempe’s Hispanic history and roots.

Four Peaks Oktoberfest | Tempe Town Lake and Tempe Beach Park

Oct. 13 – 15, 2023

Be sure to mark this weekend in October on your calendar! Tempe Beach Park will transform into a traditional Bavarian Beer festival during the day and a concert venue at night from Friday, Oct. 13 to Sunday, Oct. 15, 2023. This year will mark the 50th anniversary of the iconic Oktoberfest celebration in Tempe, benefiting Tempe Sister Cities, an internationally recognized nonprofit.

Four Peaks Oktoberfest at Tempe Town Lake combines beer gardens featuring German and local beers, live music, carnival rides and the can’t-miss Weiner dog fashion show and races! For the full weekend itinerary, visit the Oktoberfest website.

Día de Muertos | Desert Botanical Garden

Nov. 4 & 5, 2023

Celebrate Día de Muertos at this two-day festival filled with music, dance, storytelling and more, at the Desert Botanical Garden. Taking place Nov. 4 & 5, 2023, both days will conclude with La Procesión, a procession honoring passed loved ones.

Día de Muertos at Desert Botanical Garden
Día de Muertos | Desert Botanical Garden | Photo Credit: Asea Tremp Photography

Water Lantern Festival | Kiwanis Lake 

Nov. 11, 2023

Experience the magic of thousands of soft lights reflecting off the water of Kiwanis Lake on Nov. 11. The Water Lantern Festival is a family-friendly event filled with fun, happiness, hope and great memories that you will cherish for a lifetime.

Tempe Fall Festival of the Arts | Downtown Tempe

Dec. 1-3, 2023

The Tempe Fall Festival of the Arts returns to Downtown Tempe, Dec. 1-3, 2023. This well-loved community event showcases unique and hand-made artwork from more than 350 artists. Festivalgoers will also enjoy live entertainment, street performers, vendors, sponsor exhibits and entertainment booths over the course of three days.

Tempe Festival of the Arts in Downtown Tempe
Tempe Festival of the Arts | Downtown Tempe

Pop-Up Events & Markets

Little Cholla Night Market | Culdesac Tempe

Sept. 21 – Dec. 21, 2023

Shop curated local, small businesses — selling everything from delicious things to eat to trendy apparel items — from 6 to 9 p.m. every Thursday this fall at Little Cholla Market. This pop-up market includes vendors, food trucks, live music and more at Culdesac Tempe. Check out their Instagram page for upcoming activations.

Second Sundays on Mill | Downtown Tempe – Mill Avenue 

Second Sunday of each month | October – March 2023

Second Sundays on Mill is back! Starting in October, Second Sundays on Mill brings a monthly local market — featuring a fantastic selection of Arizona-made goods — to Downtown Tempe. The event, which takes place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., also includes street performances, live music, outdoor fitness classes and outdoor games. 

Event Dates (2023 – 2024):

Oct. 8, 2023
Nov. 12, 2023
Dec. 10, 2023
Jan. 14, 2024
Feb. 11, 2024
April 14, 2024

Second Sundays on Mill
Second Sundays on Mill

Dog Days at the Garden | Desert Botanical Garden

Oct. 7 – Nov. 18, 2023 (select Saturdays)

This fall, “pawsitively” perfect morning strolls await you and your pup at the Desert Botanical Garden. At Dog Days at the Garden, your K9 companion is invited to join you for a tail-wagging good time exploring the beauty and sniffs of the trails.

Dog day at Desert Botanical Garden
Dog Days | Desert Botanical Garden

Performing Arts

Candlelight Concerts | Phoenix Zoo

Sept. 1 – Oct. 20, 2023 (select dates)

Candlelight Concerts, presented by Fever, are returning to the Phoenix Zoo for seven twilight concerts between Sept. 1 and Oct. 20, 2023. Head to this magical outdoor venue this fall for live, multisensory musical experiences that tributes to such musical icons as Taylor Swift, Bad Bunny and more.

Music in the Garden | Desert Botanical Garden

Sept. 30 – Nov. 18, 2023

Desert Botanical Garden presents a spectacular lineup of talent at Music in the Garden, a fall concert series that runs from Sept. 30 to Nov. 18. Situated at the base of a butte, Ullman Terrace provides an unmatchable backdrop for audiences to experience one of the Valley’s most iconic outdoor concert venues.

Desert Botanical Garden Sonoran Sippin'
Music in the Garden | Desert Botanical Garden

2023-2024 Broadway Shows | ASU Gammage

The 2023-2024 Desert Financial Broadway Across America – Arizona series kicks off in October, with TINA, a tribute to Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll, followed by a lineup of equally impressive combination of must-see and Jukebox musicals.

2023-2024 Broadway Shows:

Oct. 10-15, 2023: TINA — The Tina Turner Musical
Nov. 14-19, 2023: Ain’t Too Proud
Dec. 5-10, 2023: Les Misérables
Jan. 2-7, 2024: The Wiz
Jan. 30-Feb. 4, 2024: Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill The Musical
March 12-17, 2024: MJ The Musical
April 9-14, 2024: The Kite Runner
June 11-16, 2024: Peter Pan
June 25-July 28, 2024: Hamilton

ASU Gammage sunset
Broadway Shows | ASU Gammage

Arizona Theatre Company | Tempe Center For the Arts

Oct. 20, 2023 – June 6, 2024

Beginning with the 2023-2024 season, Arizona Theatre Company presents its performances at Tempe Center for the Arts. The 56th season includes five mainstage shows – including a big holiday musical spectacular perfect for all ages – with nearly 100 performances.

  • Oct. 20 – Nov. 5, 2023: Barefoot in the Park
  • Dec. 8 – 30, 2023: Scrooge
  • Feb. 16 – March 3, 2024: Intimate Apparel
  • March 29 – April 14, 2024: Master Class
  • May 24 – June 9, 2024: True West

Sporting Events

ASU Football | Mountain America Stadium

Through Nov. 25, 2023

The 2023 ASU Football season is here! We look forward to a season full of fans and action-packed football at Tempe’s Mountain America Stadium (formerly ASU Sun Devil Stadium).

Sun Devils 2023 Home Schedule:

  • Aug. 31: ASU vs. Southern Utah University *
  • Sept. 9: ASU vs. Oklahoma State*
  • Sept. 16: ASU vs. Fresno State*
  • Sept. 23: ASU vs. USC*
  • Oct. 7: ASU vs. Colorado*
  • Oct. 28: ASU vs. Washington State*
  • Nov. 18: ASU vs. Oregon*
  • Nov. 25: ASU vs. Arizona*

ASU Football at Sun Devil Football Stadium
ASU Football, Mountain America Stadium

Halloween Festivities

Four Peaks Haunted Brewery Tours | 8th Street Location

Sept. 17 – Nov. 1, 2023

As seen on “Ghost Adventures,” Four Peaks Brewery invites you to experience its Haunted Brewery Tours, Sunday through Wednesday every week from Sept. 17 to Nov. 1. Since moving the brewing operation into the old brick building, strange things have been going on. Weird noises echo from the rafters. Tools mysteriously move location overnight. And several employees have even encountered — and in one case, conversed with — ghostly apparitions.

Four Peaks has gathered all these spooky tales (as well as their own employees’ ghost stories) for a series of special, late-night tours through 8th Street. Join them for one — if you dare.

Four Peaks Brewery at night with orange lights along the side and purple lights
Haunted Brewery Tours | Four Peaks Brewing Co.

Strange Garden | Desert Botanical Garden

Oct. 27 & 28, 2023

See the Desert Botanical Garden transform into a spook-tacular Strange Garden at night! This is one of the coolest places to trick or treat with the family and watch amazing performances and mad botanists showcasing the creepy-crawlies of the desert. They also have a pumpkin patch where you can take home a free pumpkin!

Admission: Included with garden admission or membership. Advance ticket reservations are required for general and member admission.

Strange Garden | Desert Botanical Garden

Halloween Stroll | Downtown Tempe’s Ragsdale-MLK Park

Oct. 29, 2023

Ghosts, goblins, and princesses of all ages are welcome for some not-so-spooky Halloween fun at Halloween Stroll at Downtown Tempe’s Ragsdale-MLK Park (formerly 6th Street Park. Enjoy Halloween-themed games, crafts, activities and a costume contest. Don’t forget your trick-or-treat bag! This is a free admission event. 

Downtown Tempe - Halloween Stroll
Halloween Stroll | Downtown Tempe

Creepy Candy Crawl | Tempe Marketplace

Oct. 18, 2023

Calling all goblins, ghosts and ghouls… get ready for a haunted Halloween bash at the annual Creepy Candy Crawl at Tempe Marketplace! Dress up in your spookiest and kookiest costumes to partake in contests, parade through The District, trick-or-treat from store to store, snap free photos and enjoy games, prizes and entertainment.

Movies in the Park & Tempe’s Family Boo Bash

Oct. 27, 2023

Movies in the Park is back for the fall! Grab the gang, your blankets and a picnic dinner, and head to Kiwanis Park to watch E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (PG) and Tempe’s Family Boo Bash on Oct. 27. Come early to reserve your spot and enjoy Tempe’s Family Boo Bash, which includes train rides, face painting, dance party, costume contest and parade, food concessions and carnival games.

Movies in the Park begin at approximately 7 p.m. on the north soccer field (Baseline Road and Ash Avenue).

Beyond Tempe

Arizona Black Rodeo | WestWorld of Scottsdale

Sept. 1 & 2, 2023

The 2023 Arizona Black Rodeo rides into town each fall for a weekend of education, competition and celebration of a rich heritage and culture. The rodeo, which takes place Sept. 1 & 2 at WestWorld of Scottsdale, features national African American rodeo competitors competing in bull riding, calf roping, ladies barrel racing, ladies steer undecorating, relay races, steer wrestling lil’ buckaroo mutton bustin’ and more! Learn more about the Arizona Black Rodeo, courtesy of the Arizona Office of Tourism.

Phoenix Pride Festival | Steele Indian School Park 

Oct. 21 & 22, 2023

Just beyond Tempe, Phoenix Pride invites you to its annual two-day festival at Steele Indian School Park from noon to 9 p.m. on Oct. 21 & 22, 2023. The Phoenix Pride Festival is a two-day celebration that brings LGBTQ+ and allied communities together for a festive weekend of diversity, camaraderie, entertainment, family, connections and more. The festival also features over 150 performances across multiple stages and more than 300 exhibitors showcasing a vast variety of food options, shopping opportunities and community resources. 

Additionally, the annual Phoenix Pride Parade takes place Sunday, Oct. 22. Kicking off at 10 a.m. at Third Street and Thomas Road in central Phoenix, the route continues down Third Street to Steel Indian School Park. Announcer stages are located at Third Street and Osborn Road. Parade attendance is free and open to all ages.

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