Families and Kids

Tempe Marketplace is a marvel!

Tempe Marketplace is a marvel.  It’s my one stop destination for super shopping, restaurants, entertainment and some personal pampering. All of this plus its central location off the 101 and 201 freeways makes getting there so convenient. It’s no wonder that Tempe Marketplace is one of the most popular gathering places in Tempe, and, for that matter, the entire state.

Now, I’m a shopper, but even if I hated shopping (and I’ve heard that there are those who do), Tempe Marketplace would make me a shopping lovin’ convert. Whether I’m looking for some snazzy new threads and shoes for me or my dog, a bottle of wine or other spirits, something new to spiff up my house,  workout gear and equipment, eyeware, a good book or the latest in electronics and cosmetics, I know I’ll find it at Tempe Marketplace.

Major retailers such as Target, Best Buy, JC Penney’s, DSW, Nordstrom Rack, Old Navy, Lane Bryant, Ulta Beauty, Cost Plus World Market, BevMo, Total Wines and PetSmart, line the Marketplace’s perimeter along Rio Salado Parkway and McClintock Road. In The District (more about The District to come) there are specialty stores like Charming Charlie’s, Lids, Journeys, Oakley, Sunglass Hut, and H&M, to name just a few.

If I need a little personal pampering, Tempe Marketplace has me covered from head to toe at Massage Envy, Arizona Hair Company, JCPenny Salon, 7 Day Nail Salon, European Wax Center, I Brow Threading, and Amazing Eyelash Studio.

Then there’s The District, which is truly the core of Tempe Marketplace and what makes it so unique and inviting.  It’s all outdoors and designed for walking with its decorative pavers under foot and cool features like fountains, a splash pad for the kids, fireplaces and comfortable seating. It also has the perfect mix of shops, restaurants and entertainment venues. I also appreciate the unlimited free wi-fi available throughout The District.

The restaurants are great, both in variety and quality. Whether I want a full course dinner, a quick bite to eat while shopping, or happy hour with friends, I’ll find what I’m hungry or thirsty for in The District.  The Thirsty Lion and Bar Louie are my go to spots for their delicious, creatively prepared bar food. They also offer terrific selections of beers. I love their happy hours. Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que is another of my favorites and all of my family (who are huge fans of the deep fried pickles). Even the little picky eaters will find something to love on the nicely thought out kids’ menu. (Adults have a hard time keeping their hands off the chicken tenders and mac and cheese).The smoky meats are luscious and the biscuits alone are reason enough to come to Lucille’s. I also enjoy MAD Greens, an awesome place for healthy salads and wraps.

There’s also a cluster of some very appealing smaller places like Slices, Genghis Grill, Panera Bread, Noodles & Company and Smashburger located close to the Harkins Theaters.

When I’m ready to unwind at the end of the week, I head strait to one of the aforementioned happy hours and some great live music. There’s a steady stream of music coming from two outdoor stages on Friday and Saturday nights from 7-10 p.m. The main area for concerts is The District Stage, located next to Dave & Buster’s. I love the variety of music that ranges from original rock to funk to cover and western cover bands. You can enjoy live music with dinner or drinks on a patio at one of the restaurants in the area. Or you can join others who gather in the area around the stage to listen or dance along to the music.

I also love to meet up with friends to catch a movie at the Harkins Theaters, located at the east end of The District.  There are sixteen theaters, including the magnificent Cine Capri with its huge screen and 600 seating capacity. Believe me, I experience pure bliss settling in to my super comfy rocking chair with a big bag of movie popcorn in hand, a cold drink nestled in the cup holder, and eyes glued to the screen for a couple of hours of flick watching happiness.

Other features that make Tempe Marketplace distinctive and wonderful are the beautiful landscaping, laser lights and piped in music. And parking is a snap because there’s plenty of it.

This is just my short list of things to love about Tempe Marketplace. There’s much more. I think it’s a perfect gathering spot for all ages, for families outings, for date nights—you name it! For information on all the big stores, specialty stores, restaurants and entertainment options, visit the Tempe Marketplace website.

Nancy Black
Written Nancy Black

Nancy came from Chicago to attend Northern Arizona University and liked Arizona so much she stayed. She loves exploring Arizona and hanging out with family in Flagstaff and Tucson. She’s also a fan of cats, dogs, chuckwallas, wine and whisky.