Day Trips and Itineraries

Why we’re stoked about summer in Tempe

You might be wary of Arizona’s toasty temperatures during the summer. But you can rest assured that Tempe is open for business with lots of cool fun in the sun and money-saving deals all season long. Dare we say that you will perspire? Yeah, you definitely will. But, keep in mind that 100 degrees feels much more comfortable in our dry climate than in places with high humidity. We’re looking at you, Atlanta. Also, in Arizona, you’re never far away from one of mankind’s best inventions, air conditioning.

Here are a few of the things we love about summer in Tempe:

Lower Hotel Rates

Our hotels offer terrific summer rates, which means you’ll save a bunch of dough on accommodations. Included in your rate is unlimited free access to the hotel pool, where you can spend a lot of time just chill-axing. Learn more about Tempe’s cool, comfortable and inviting accommodations.

Magical Misters

Misters are magical inventions that provide a cool refreshing mist anywhere people like to congregate outside. It’s like air conditioning for the outdoors. They work wonders in dry heat. Misters cool down your walk between stores at Tempe Marketplace. They make dining on restaurant patios pleasant, especially in the evening. You can chill on a mister-cooled patio, enjoying friends, food, a cool cocktail and, in many instances, fun games like corn hole and ping pong. Check out our blog to learn more about Tempe’s restaurants with patios.

Get Outside

Even when temperatures are in the triple digits, you can get out and enjoy some of the fun outdoor activities such as paddleboarding on Tempe Town Lake, catching a wave at Big Surf Waterpark (opens May 4, 2019), taking a self-guided evening flashlight tour at Desert Botanical Garden Saturday nights from June 1-August 31, 2019 or attending free weekend concerts at Tempe Marketplace. And experienced golfers know that when temperatures rise, golf courses rise to the occasion by lowering green fees.

This is also the perfect season to try out the splash pads around town. The Cloud at Kiwanis Park is open daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. April through October. This shaded aquatics feature has 5,000 feet of water play with loops, jelly sticks, misting sprays and lots of other ways to cool off.  Tempe Marketplace has a popular splash pad near Barnes & Noble in the District. It is open daily from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Frozen Treats to Beat the Heat

Frosty frozen treats are the next best thing to ice cold beer when the heat has you frazzled. Unless you’re under 21, in which case your hot weather go to is probably a 7-11 Slurpee. However, there are lots of other sweet, cold and refreshing treats to be enjoyed in Tempe. Cool down with one of the seasonal flavors of froyo, like tropical key lime, at ZoYo Neighborhood Frozen Yogurt. Habitual ice crunchers will no doubt love shaved ice goodness at Rita’s Italian Ice or Bahama Buck’s. Or, you can go global and try a cold treat on the spicy side with scoop of Indian ice cream at Curry and Scoop. In any case, scooped, rolled or shaved, Tempe’s got lots of frosty options to cool your craving for something sweet and cold. Love that brain freeze!

Keep Cool Indoors

Gone are the days when the main refuges from the heat were movie theaters and department stores. Now there are loads of other cool, air-conditioned indoor activities to pursue. In Tempe, you’ll find lots of fun indoor activities to cure those summer doldrums.

  • Spend a day playing video games and laser tag, bowling and more at Main Event.
  • See beautiful sea creatures at SEA LIFE Arizona Aquarium and build something with your kids at LEGOLAND Discovery Center Arizona. Both are located at Arizona Mills Mall.
  • Visit our engaging museums. Some offer free summer workshops and programs that are fun for the entire family.
  • Shop and take in a movie (traditional and IMAX) at Arizona Mills or Tempe Marketplace.
  • Get the old heart pumping indoors at Phoenix Rock Gym and Tempe Paint Ball.
  • For a something a little more on the wild side, try your ax-throwing skills at LumberJaxes Ax Throwing
  • Throwing stuff can be fun and cathartic and it’s entirely acceptable at Simply Smashing Rage Release Room. They provide everything from plates to electronic devices for your throwing pleasure.
  • Board games are fun in any season and Snakes and Lattes has all your favorites and plenty of new games to try out.  Plus they offer a full menu of food and drinks so you can nibble and play in air conditioned comfort for hours. On Thursdays, they have a themed night of Acoustic Thursdays where they bring in live music for patrons to enjoy while eating and playing.
  • Challenge your brain and compete with your team. Check out escape rooms like Escape Zone or Alcatraz Escape Games. Pick out your favorite theme like The Island, Harry Potter or Rush Hour, grab a group of friends (or co-workers) and try to beat the clock in 60 minutes or less!

Hot Nightlife

Tempe has a lot going on after the sun sets. Live music is awesome any time of the year and Tempe’s music scene rocks all through the summer months. The Marquee brings some big name bands to Tempe year-round, Tempe Marketplace has live music every Friday and Saturday night at The District Stage, beginning at 7 p.m, and Downtown Tempe offers a variety of bars and taverns worth checking out. Many of Tempe’s restaurants and bars feature live music from local bands on weekends and sometimes during the week. The legendary Tempe Improv brings some of the best comics to Tempe throughout the year.

Ice Cold Beer

Hot, one-hundred degree temperatures pair perfectly with ice cold beer. (No doubt the best beer you’ve ever had is the one you’ve gulped down after mowing the lawn on a hot summer day.) You won’t have to go far to find your favorite thirst-slaking brew in Tempe. Cool down with a Kilt Lifter at Four Peaks Brewing Company, the original destination for great Tempe craft beer. Check out the summer brews at Huss Brewing Co. – Sunday Funday and Raspberry. Or, hang out with a hand-crafted Light Lager or Belgian-Style Tripel at the bike-friendly Pedal Haus Brewery.  Learn more about Tempe’s craft breweries.

Lighter Traffic

School’s out for summer, the snowbirds have left their winter desert nests and flown back to their other nests in the humid states. This means that the roads are less crowded and traffic is much lighter, so you can sit back and really savor the drive in the cool comfort of your air-conditioned car.

Day Trips

Tempe is centrally located in the Phoenix Metro area, making it easy to take fun day trips to other cities. Yes, you can hop in your air-conditioned car and enjoy a leisurely drive on roads less crowded and go north or south to explore other destinations that are just a day trip away. Experience the Apache Trail Loop, Flagstaff and Bearizona, St. Anthony’s Greek Monastery in Florence, Out of Africa Wildlife Park in Camp Verde, Sedona, Jerome, Antelope Canyon and many more destinations, with lots of good restaurants along the way. With a morning start, you’ll be back in time for dinner.  Learn more about day tripping from Tempe.

These are just a few of the reasons why we’re stoked about summer in Tempe. There’s a lot more. Learn about all the summer fun in Tempe on the Tempe Tourism web-page.

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.