1. Never Forget The Past
The Tempe History Museum tells the story of the city with surprising vivacity and caters to the little ones with a hands-on center for children. Tempe never wants you to forget your roots.
2. And Never Get Lonely
Tempe, Arizona had a population of 161,719 in 2010 and has since continued to grow its numbers. And, with its close proximity to city of Phoenix, it’s not a place where you will ever feel alone.
3. Better Than The North Star
Camelback Mountain sits above Tempe and can be seen anywhere in the city. Like the North Star, Camelback Mountain can always help the lost trekker find his way home.
4. Rock Out!
Every year, Tempe puts on a two day music festival at the Tempe Beach Park. Nestled against the Town Lake, the music of Tempe never sounded so good. Past performances include Kid Rock, Puddle of Mud, My Chemical Romance and more.
5. The Heart Of The Hip And Cool
Tempe is the location of Arizona State University and provides endless choices in entertainment and activities for those of age. Choices range from hoppin’ bars to the Mill Avenue shopping district to the city’s buzzing nightlife.
6. Um, The Largest IKEA On The West Coast-Do You Need More Reasons To Move?
Speaking of shopping, are you crazy about home decorating? Tempe is home to the largest IKEA on the West Coast. Don’t know what IKEA is? It’s like a toy store for adults.
7. Time To Weave A Good Story
The Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing is located on the campus of Arizona State University. It has room for receptions, seminars, classes, and even has a writing garden.
8. Never Without A Sunny Attitude
Tempe has 330 days (approximately) of sunshine each year and an average temperature of 85 degrees. Talk about a year-round summer vacation! For those escaping the wintry mixes in the north, this may be the paradise for you.
9. Be Cool
Big Surf Fun is the perfect escape from the infamous Arizona heat. Douse yourself in cold, clean water as you race down Hurricane Falls or relax in the sun on an inner-tube. You think I was kidding about a year-round summer vacation?
10. Experience Performance Art In Action
The ASU Gammage is one of the largest venues for performing arts in Arizona and houses the Desert School’s Broadway Across America-Arizona and Beyond series. It’s the perfect place to become immersed in that Broadway play you’ve been dying to see.
11. Shop ‘Til You Drop And Then Come Back For More
Arizona Mills is a shopping mall bustling with stores galore! You will never be bored in Arizona’s largest (indoor) attraction.
12. Get Lucky
Casino Arizona deals you a good hand with its 900 machines and gambling activities. Set in a plethora of lucky draws, this casino could be the door to early retirement.
13. Dream From Space
Air Apparent Skyspace is located within Arizona State University and was designed by artist James Turrell. This Skyspace is used to study the Earth and the Universe and welcomes visitors to partake in these extraordinary adventures.
14. The Importance Of Art Is Not Underestimated
The Arizona State University art museum is also home to the Ceramics Research Center. This kind of research focuses on the impact art has on society. You can also view the hundreds of exhibits throughout the museum ranging from contemporary art to new media.
15. Explore The Universe On The Mars Spacecraft
The Arizona State University Mars Space Flight Facility is a facility that, well, isn’t it obvious? If you have done any research on the Mars Odyssey trip, you’ll be satisfied to know that here they support the Thermal Emission Imaging System used on that spacecraft. The visitor center has information on this and much more in reference to Mars exploration in the United States.
16. This Kid Drama Is Worth Seeing
Childsplay is Tempe’s theatre company for children and is part of the Tempe Center for the Arts. The program runs during the school year, September through May. Get your child involved in Childsplay or simply take them to a show they’ll enjoy.
17. Free Fun
Gallery 100 is the art gallery hosted by Arizona State University and put on by students in the Herberger Institute School of Art. Admission to the art exhibits is completely free and open to the public. The gallery rarely stays the same for long so you always have new exhibits to view.
18. Adventure, Cowboy Style
Fort McDowell Adventures was featured on the television show, The Amazing Race, and they don’t let anyone forget it. If you’re into a Western style of life, this is your chance to test one out. You can off-road in a jeep tour, take a relaxing—or difficult—segway tour through time or climb aboard Da Rum Bus. Other activities include a Tequila Bus and Cowboy Cookout. If you’re a cowboy or cowgirl at heart, Fort McDowell plucks the Western heartstrings.
19. Become Addicted To Games
GameWorks follows in the footsteps of restaurants and venues like Dave and Buster’s and Chuck E. Cheese’s. With hundreds of games to choose from with varying prizes, it’s hard to pick a place to start and you’ll never want to end. GameWorks can keep a family occupied for hours.
20. Nothing Wrong With Playing Rough
Main Event Entertainment is similar to GameWorks, with more intense activities for the not-so-faint at heart. Some of the activities include laser tag, black light bowling lanes, and a high-ropes course. If you’re afraid of the dark or of heights, now is the time to combat that fear!
21. Explore Unda’ Da’ Sea’
Sea Life Arizona Aquarium holds more than 5000 ocean animals. Walk among the deep’s daring creatures in the 360 degree tunnel, which lets you feel like you’re in the water with them. Get a taste of ocean life at the aquarium and talk to the animals, hold a starfish, or look a shark in the eye.
22. Learn How To Take Aim
Time to try your luck in the world’s largest laser tag venue. Stratum Laser Tag has a massive arena and 15 levels that reach up to 20 feet. Shoot at other players or interactive targets as you carry out your mission. Stratum can fit as many as 60 people at one time, which makes for one epic birthday party.
23. Take A Personal Day
Tempe Marketplace has over 100 retail stores and restaurants waiting to help you blow your budget. It’s the perfect area to spend the day away from work, the kids or anything else worthy of escaping. Tempe gives you the pleasure of taking a day to yourself, or with your friends, and hiding out within a retail daydream.
24. Observe The World From Space
The Gallery of Scientific Exploration explores the science realm with interactive exhibits for the public. The gallery is housed on Arizona State University’s campus and you can attend a lecture or view a satellite’s observation of Earth from space.
25. Book Smart In Style
The citizens of Tempe keep it smart and classy with the Tempe Public Library. The library follows a state-of-the-art computer system and has over 400,000 volumes of books. Digital versions of books and magazines are also available for checkout. This is one library keeping up with the times.
26. Add A Little Spice To Your Sports Life
The Tostitos Fiesta Bowl for NFL is held each January in the University of Phoenix Stadium and attracts over 60,000 attendees. It’s an entertaining get-together as the NFL season reaches a close and it celebrates some of the best reasons America loves football.
27. Join The Green Scene (Golf, Not Environment)
Get your swing on at the Ken McDonald Golf Course. Complete with 28-holes and a pro shop, it is everything you need to be a champion on the green. This is the perfect escape into a dreamland of sand pits and lush, rolling hills.
28. Holiday Shopping Is An Event
The Tempe Festival of the Arts is held in the heart of Tempe’s shopping Mecca, the Mill Avenue District. The district closes down to allow for hundreds of entertainers, exhibits, and food vendors. This is our way to say “ready, set, go” to the holiday shopping season in early December.
29. Diamonds Don’t Sparkle As Bright As Our Holiday Lights
On Black Friday the Fantasy of Lights kicks off in Tempe with the lighting of its famous Christmas tree followed by a parade of lights through the Mill Avenue District. A couple weeks later, the same festivities occur over water in the Boat Parade on Town Lake. This parade of lit boats, jet skis and the like cruise around in front of an audience of thousands of people as Tempe comes together to celebrate the magic of the holiday season.
30. For A Different Way of Honoring Firefighters
The Hall of Flame Fire Museum is the largest fire museum in the United States. The museum is filled with exhibits about firefighting and fire trucks from years past and showcases a timeline of firefighting at its greatest. This is an affordable and educational experience that leaves you with a sentimental and inspired feeling.