Families and Kids

Things To Do During Spring Training Season

Spring Training begins on Feb. 24, 2024, at Tempe Diablo Stadium

Enjoy sunny skies and all the spring vibes at this year’s Cactus League Spring Training games, Feb. 24 through March 26, 2024. Catch a fly ball, a tan and hopefully a few attractions while you’re in town, as Arizona’s warmer temperatures are the perfect backdrop for hiking, patio dining, rooftop cocktailing, endless events and other outdoor activities unique to this Sonoran Desert city.

Enjoy this roster of our favorite things to do during spring training season.

Innings Fest + Extra Innings

Each spring, Cactus League Spring Training fans flock to Innings Festival. This year marks the highly anticipated event’s biggest expansion to date. New for 2024, this annual celebration of baseball and live music will bring four full days —across two weekends — of performances, appearances by some of the biggest names in baseball, fan activations and culinary experiences to Tempe Beach Park.

Feb. 23 & 24: The first weekend’s lineup includes Red Hot Chili Peppers, Greta Van Fleet, Hozier, Macklemore, 311, Third Eye Blind and more. Off the Mound featuring Ryan Dempster includes MLB legends Matt Kemp, Luis Gonzalez, Dave Stewart and others.

March 1 & 2: The second weekend, known as Extra Innings, will feature Chris Stapleton, Dave Matthews Band, Sheryl Crow and many more. Off the Mound featuring Ryan Dempster includes MLB legends Adrián González, Ryan Braun, Tim Raines (to name a few).

Catch a Spring Training game

Just four months after hosting the 2023 World Series, Arizona is swinging into Cactus League Spring Training. Between Feb. 24 and March 26, 2024, 15 MLB teams with play more than 200 games across 10 stadiums in the Greater Phoenix area. View the updated game schedule.

Centrally located in the Valley of the Sun, Tempe Diablo Stadium has been home to the Los Angeles Angels for 30 years — and enthusiastic fans have been calling Tempe their home base for preseason play and pristine, sunny weather for just as long. This year’s most notable games for Mike Trout and the Angels facing off against Shohei Ohtani and the Los Angeles Dodgers on Feb. 24 and March 26, hosting the hometown Arizona Diamondbacks on March 2 and going up again the Texas Rangers, 2023 World Series champions, on March 11.

Hit the Trails

Now is the perfect time to dust off those hiking boots. Spring brings amazing colors to the desert, making it the perfect backdrop for exercise. If you’re looking for a quick and convenient hike, check out “A” Mountain in Downtown Tempe. Choose one of the mountains two trailheads: The Leonard Monti Trail begins behind the Tempe Transportation Center, and the Hayden Butte Trailhead is located behind Tempe Mission Palms Hotel. The two converge on a wide, paved path that goes on to include a series of steps and the peak is in its natural, craggy state. This short hike is high intensity with steep elevation gain. However, there are various points to stop, rest as needed and take photos along the way.

Papago Park is an urban oasis located that’s easily recognized by its unmistakable sandstone buttes. Among the worthy hikes here is Double Butte Loop is a perfect, leisurely 2.3-mile path that circumnavigates the massive rock formations. If you’re looking for an excellent place to catch a sunrise or sunset, a favorite is Hole-in-the-Rock Trail at Papago Park. Hiking to the top (0.2 miles and 200 feet elevation gain) only takes about 10 minutes. This spot is bustling during sunset, but you’ll understand why once you see the views overlooking the lagoon and the distant skyline.

For additional hiking ideas, check out this list of our favorite trails in Tempe and beyond.

Rooftops & Patios

There is no better time to soak up the sun, the views and the flavors of Tempe. Spring weather ushers in patio season for dining and drinking as well as rooftop season for lounging, sipping and the first pools days of the year. Whether you enjoy people watching in a buzzy downtown locale, dog-friendly outdoor dining or a serene alfresco escape that feels like a secret garden, you’ll find it on our complete list of restaurants with great patios.

As for Tempe’s best rooftops with pools — and festive food and beverage options in most cases — you can’t go wrong by planning to spend a day poolside. Just don’t miss the epic sunset view.

Craft Beer Tasting

For a sense of Tempe’s unique culture, flavor and relaxed vibe there’s no better way to spend a spring day than sipping on local brews at this city’s beloved craft breweries. The brewing operations here are known for their history, their top-rated and award-winning beers and the welcoming gathering places their operations inhabit. As a bonus, most of these spots have chill, pet-friendly patios and a delicious lineup of eats to pair your pint with.

Paddleboarding on Tempe Town Lake

A desert oasis, Tempe Town Lake offers a variety of exciting events and activities that are particularly perfect for spring. Located lakeside, at Tempe Beach Park, Boat Rentals of America – Tempe Town Lake can set you up with a solo sand-up paddleboard, a tandem kayak (for two) or electric donut boat for up to 10 people. They also offer swan pedal boats, which a super romantic and also perfect for Instagram.

You can also visit the Boat Rentals of America – Kiwanis Lake location for pedal boating and kayaks in another one of the city’s picturesque settings.

Desert Botanical Garden

Desert Botanical Garden is always gorgeous, but spring is when it really comes to life with a host of immersive events set against the Sonoran Desert landscape and wildflower blossoms. Through March 31, 2024, the garden is showcasing “Fernando Botero: The Master,” which includes two monumental cast bronze sculptures (Dressed Woman and Reclining Woman) nestled among the garden’s world-class collection of desert plants as well as well as paintings, drawings and sculptures in Dorrance Hall. Swing by Gertrude’s, the on-site restaurant that’s best-known its seasonal menus, botanic-infused cocktails and lovely garden patio.

The Phoenix Zoo

Springtime is one of the best times of year to visit The Phoenix Zoo. The weather is perfect for being outside, and the animals like it too. Stop by Orang-Hutan, the Orangutan habitat and the Sumatran tigers of the “Isle of the Tiger” habitat. And don’t miss out on the Camel rides, a favorite of both the kiddos and adults. Backstage Adventures offer tours behind the scenes with rhinos, flamingoes, elephants, stingrays and many other zoo residents.


Tempe Marketplace: Shop, sip and dine your way through this outdoor retail district, with such new additions as Nike Unite and Lululemon. The roster of restaurants, bars and dessert spots in equally impressive, explore the offerings in our Dining at Tempe Marketplace blog. Choose from such group activities as Lumberjaxes Axe Throwing Bar & Grill, Escapology: a live escape game, Dave & Buster’s and more. Art installations rotate seasonally, and the splash pad is a highlight once the weather is right. And don’t miss live musical acts at The District Stage every Saturday evening.

Arizona Mills: Plan for some retail therapy, catch a movie, play a game of pickleball or explore some of Tempe’s top indoor attractions — all located just minutes from Tempe Diablo Stadium. This outlet shopping destination offers more than 185 stores, a variety of dining options and tons of attractions, including SEA LIFE Arizona Aquarium, LEGOLAND Discovery Center Arizona, Harkins IMAX Theater and Tilt Studio.

Downtown Tempe Shops: Some of Tempe’s most unique retailers can be found in and around downtown. Favorites include Cactus Sports, the go-to for officially licensed Sun Devils gear for over 25 years; Cowtown Skateboards, which put the local skate scene on the map since 1996; Hackett House, a boutique shopping experience inside a historic building that once housed Tempe’s first bakery; and Lotions & Potions, the place for essential oils, candles, luxurious soaps and body lotions since 1969.

Tempe Sky Nav Open Tempe Sky Nav

Sports Newsletter

Get the inside scoop on the best sports in Tempe - straight to your inbox. We'll send you our list of local deals and activities when you do.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Meeting Planner Newsletter

Get the inside scoop on the best meeting venues, dining scene and hotels in Tempe - straight to your inbox. We'll send you our list of local deals and activities when you do.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.