It’s about that time in Tempe where the weather is beckoning me outside! I want to shop, eat, walk, play and relax in the sunny Arizona climate! Here is my top 6 list of fun things to do in Tempe that are all outside:
1. Shop at Tempe Marketplace – This outdoor shopping, dining and entertainment hub is great for window shopping, listening to live music and strolling under the misters. There are several restaurants that offer outdoor dining such as California Pizza Kitchen, Thirsty Lion Pub & Grill, Lucille’s Smokehouse BBQ, Bar Louie and more. I also love going to the free live music concerts that take place every Friday and Saturday night at the District Stage, located in the heart of Tempe Marketplace – loads of fun and always a seat open!
2. Stroll Through Downtown Tempe – fun shops, unique restaurants, cool public art and nearby outdoor activities makes Downtown Tempe one of my favorite spots to enjoy the Arizona weather. There’s lots to choose from for dining “al fresco.” The House of Tricks, Daily Jam, La Bocca Pizzeria and Rula Bula are just a few of my regular spots to enjoy a delicious meal in an amazing outdoor patio atmosphere.
3. See the Animals at the Phoenix Zoo – The Phoenix Zoo is exciting every time I go. My niece and nephew love this zoo and are entertained from the moment they enter. Exhibits that I can’t miss are the Orangutans, Monkey Village and Sting Ray Bay. If you get to Sting Ray Bay at the right time you can even feed them! For the kids, my niece and nephew love Harmony Farm, Leapin Lagoon and Yakulla Caverns – they can run around and play while you can sit and relax!
4. Explore the Desert at the Desert Botanical Garden – If you ever thought the Sonoran desert was barren, think again! Discover over 5,000 different types of desert plants on display here. The Succulent Galleries and Wildflower Loop Trail are among my favorite exhibits – they take my breath away. The Garden also offers a variety of outdoor events all year long such as live music concerts and a medley of holiday events.
5. Water Fun at Tempe Town Lake – Love the water? Try out one of the many boating options on Tempe Town Lake. Stand-up paddleboarding is both exceptionally fun and physically challenging. The pedal boats are a great choice when you want to relax on the water a bit more. For big groups I recommend renting a pontoon boat. They fit about ten people and are a blast! When you’re done on the water you can spread out a picnic at Tempe Beach Park and soak in the sun.
6. Take a Hike at Papago Park – Papago Park offers every level of hiking and bike trails galore. Breathtaking views can be seen from “Hole in the Rock,” just a short climb up the rock. The hiking and biking trails are abundant and offer stunning views of the Sonoran desert landscape. I love that it’s located in the heart of the Valley because it makes it such a convenient spot to meet up with friends and family to enjoy a hike, walk or picnic in a lovely spot!