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Top Things To Do In Tempe

Tempe is a college town at heart. Located at the center of the Phoenix metropolitan area, the city is family-friendly and forward-thinking. Both downtown Tempe and the outer neighborhoods have plenty of attractions for people of all ages, including excellent entertainment venues, shopping centers, and dining options. Look below for great deals on what to do in this city.

Tempe is centrally located between Scottsdale and Phoenix. Have a bite at Tempe favorites Chuck Box or House of Tricks, or spend some time near the Arizona State University campus to get the full college experience.

The best things to do near Tempe include:

  • Exploring the natural desert beauty at the Desert Botanical Gardens
  • Shopping at the the retail mecca Tempe Marketplace
  • Having a picnic at one of the many ramadas at Papago Park
  • Walking across the Tempe Town Lake Bridge to view the lights and the lake
  • Having dinner on the Cornish Pasty patio on Mill Avenue

With such a college and family-centered demographic, Tempe takes pride in providing affordable things to do for everyone. Check out the many art festivals held in downtown Tempe throughout the year. Spend some time in community centers found in neighborhoods like the Lakes, Broadmoor, and Tempe Royal Palms to take advantage of their parks and sports courts.

Cheap things to do near Tempe include:

  • Enjoying the walking paths and view at the Tempe Beach Park
  • Checking out the view from the Hole in the Rock at Papago Park
  • Bringing your tackle box and fish at the Kiwanis Park and Lake
  • Visiting the Arizona State University art museum on the Tempe campus
  • Splashing around in one of the many splash pads in public parks

Some of the best tourist attractions include riding the Valley Metro Rail to Phoenix or Mesa and seeing the Hayden Flour Mill near the lake. Take a tour at the Arizona Distilling Company or grab lunch at Four Peaks Brewery.

Popular attractions near Tempe include:

  • Learning all about the history of Tempe at the Tempe History Museum
  • Showing Arizona State University pride be taking a picture on “A” mountain
  • Checking out the Pat Tillman Statue at Sun Devil Stadium
  • Visiting the Tovrea Castle at Carraro Heights
  • Exploring the city and neighborhoods with GRID rental bike

Tempe is full of fun things to do on a whim. Encourage local business by grabbing a coffee at local favorites Cartel Coffee and King Coffee near the ASU campus. Take a yoga or spin class at Core Power Yoga on Mill Avenue or group fitness class at the local YMCA branch.

Exciting activities near Tempe include:

  • Buying tickets to a game at the Spring Training Headquarters, Diablo Stadium
  • Grabbing lunch and a brew at the Blasted Barley Beer Company
  • Getting some air at the Tempe Skatepark
  • Shopping for vintage clothes and accessories at Buffalo Exchange
  • Spending the day furniture shopping at the only IKEA location in Arizona

Tempe is where locals head to when looking for things to do at night. Enjoy dancing and music at Mill Avenue staples like Fat Tuesdays and Low Key Piano Bar. Or check out Tempe Improv to see famous comedians like Chelsea Lately and Jimmy Fallon.

Nighttime activities near Tempe include:

  • Betting on a game of billiards at Cue and Brew
  • Watching local and touring bands play at the Marquee Theater
  • Playing arcade games and have a dinner at Dave & Busters
  • Grabbing a cocktail at happy hour on the Patio of Salut Kitchen Bar
  • Spending the night out at the Wild Horse Pass Casino

Tempe has plenty of option for weekend fun, no matter the mood. Spend some time in the morning to shop local and organic at the 6th Street Market on Mill Avenue or take a workshop at the Desert Botanical Gardens.

Weekend activities near Tempe include:

  • Watching local productions near the ASU Campus
  • Conducting a Scavenger Hunt with your friends with Puzzling Adventures
  • Grabbing a boozy brunch at C.A.S.A. on Mill Avenue
  • Checking out the Rawhide Western Town and Rodeo
  • Unleashing your inner warrior at Tempe Airsoft and Paintball

Suburbs form a large section of Tempe, making the city an ideal family destination. There are plenty of things to do with kids, such as visiting the Arizona Mills Mall. Here you can explore the underwater world at Sea LIfe Arizona, create and learn at the LEGOLAND Discovery Center, and eat lunch at jungle themed restaurant Rainforest Cafe.

Family-Friendly things to do near Tempe include:

  • Learning all about the heart at the Halle Heart Children’s Museum
  • Getting frozen treats before the game at Rita’s Italian Ice
  • Lose yourself watching a play at the Childsplay Theatre Co
  • Checking out books and events at the local Tempe Public Libraries
  • Grabbing a slice with the family at Oregano's Pizza Bistro

With the amount of dining and entertainment options in Tempe, date ideas are a breeze. Have a romantic movie date at the Harkins Valley Art or the Alamo Drafthouse. Looking for a place for dinner with ambience? Try Postino’s Annex or La Boca for romantic settings and superb drink selections.

Date night ideas near Tempe include:

  • Taking a stroll along Tempe Town Lake
  • Falling in love in the cold at the Oceanside Ice Arena
  • Sharing some bruschetta at La Bocca Urban Pizzeria + Wine Bar
  • Learning all about each other on Trivia night at Spokes on Southern
  • Driving to the top of South Mountain for a breathtaking view of the city

Tempe has a wide array of entertainment districts that offer group activities for all ages. Go bowling at the AMF Tempe Bowling Lanes or battle it out at Stratum Laser Tag. Meet for dinner at the Then Yard in the Farmer Arts District or the Thirsty Lion Gastropub & Grill.

Things to do with your friends near Tempe include:

  • Taking a segway tour at Tempe Town Lake
  • Seeing a variety of local and touring bands at the Marquee Theater
  • Learning how to trust each other at the Phoenix Rock Gym in Tempe
  • Watching a show at the Yucca Tap Room on Southern Road
  • Challenging each other at arcade games at Dave & Buster’s

Not all of the best parts of Tempe are outside. There are plenty of things to do indoors that both relax and entertain. Try zero-gravity meditation at True REST Float Spa or get relaxed at Escape Massage Day Spa. Looking to learn? Take a cooking class at Whisked Away or paint pottery at As You Wish.

Tempe things to do indoors include:

  • Watching a performance at the Tempe Center for the Arts
  • Visiting Arizona State University’s Marston Exploration Theater and seeing a 3D Astronomy Show
  • Sipping some wine and letting out your inner artist at Painting with a Twist
  • Losing yourself in visual wonder at the IMAX Theater at Arizona Mills
  • Appreciating unique and engaging art from locals at Gersten Fine Art

As a walkable city, Tempe takes pride in the amount of outdoor activities and art installations. After attending a Tempe Beach Park event, head out of town to explore the natural desert landscaping along the edges of the metropolitan area.

Active things to see in Tempe include:

  • Bringing your clubs and hit the green at Karsten Golf Course
  • Riding a segway around the lake with Segways of Scottsdale
  • Taking horseback riding lessons at the Salt River in Mesa
  • Having a picnic at one of the many ramadas at Papago Park
  • Heading south to explore the South Mountain Preserve and Park

Tempe is surrounded by a number of great cities and outdoor destinations. Experience the best of the valley landscape by hiking Piestewa Peak and Camelback Mountain. Shop at beloved second hand shops like Changing Hands Bookstore and Plato’s Closet.

Must-see places near Tempe include:

  • Learning about sports at the free museums inside the Wells Fargo Arena
  • Finding a one of a kind pop culture treasure at Zia Records
  • Taking a day trip to the Biosphere 2 exhibit near Tucson
  • Grabbing a bite at local favorite Welcome Diner in Phoenix
  • Checking out the monthly art walk First Friday in Downtown Phoenix