23 Best & Fun Things to Do in Tempe (AZ)

In search of the best and fun things to do in Tempe, AZ?

Tempe is a city in Maricopa County, Arizona; Tempe is located on the east side of Phoenix in Arizona. The beautiful town is bordered by Phoenix, Guadalupe, Salt River Pima, Chandler and Mesa.

The city is named after the Vale of Tempe in Greece. Tempe traces its history to the Native Americans who had once inhabited the city.

Winters in Tempe are usually calm, while summers are dry and sweltering. Tempe is also the location of the main campus of Arizona State University. Here are the best things to do in Tempe, Arizona.

Things to Do in Tempe, AZ

1. Tempe Town Lake

Tempe Town Lake
Credits: Geoff Lay / Shutterstock
Tempe Town Lake

Have an all-in-one fun experience when you visit Tempe Town Lake. A visit to the beautiful Tempe town lake is one of the best things to do in Tempe.

Kayaking, bicycling, stand-up paddleboarding and sightseeing are one of the top things to do in Tempe, AZ. At the Tempe Town Lake, stop by the Town Lake Pedestrian Bridge and watch the lake below you, go to the Tempe centre for the Arts and feed your eyes with intriguing artworks or watch the artistic lights on the light trail bridge.

These many activities and beautiful spots at Tempe Town Lake make it one of Tempe’s top attractions. The place also is a hub for hosting events in Tempe. The Tempe town lake host over 50 events annually. The lake helps protect the community from flooding.

Tempe Town Lake is located in the heart of Tempe. The popular attraction has other exciting places like Town Lake Marina, a Veterans Memorial, a Public Safety Memorial, volleyball courts and a boating beach. Do well to visit these places with your family or friends.

Address: 620 North Mill Avenue, Tempe, AZ 85281

2. Explore Mill Avenue District

Mill Avenue District
Credits: Tradewinds [CC BY-SA 3.0], Wikimedia Commons
Mill Avenue District
Enjoying the nightlife in Tempe at the Mill Avenue District is an exciting thing to do in Tempe, Arizona.

Mile avenue district is a popular area in Tempe with a handful of excellent restaurants, bars, and coffee shops. It is the hotspot for Arizona State University students.

There are many activities at the Mill Avenue district, and watching the Arizona University games is part of them. You can also choose to stroll to the Tempe town lake with your partner or kids while you bask in the cool evening breeze.

The area is also dog friendly as most restaurants have outdoor seating. However, your dogs must be kept on a leash at all times; take your dog with you and enjoy a nice meal at any restaurant in the Mill Avenue District.

Address: 310 S Mill Ave, Tempe, AZ 85281-2867

3. Arizona State University

Arizona State University
Credits: Ken Wolter / Shutterstock
Arizona State University

Explore the Arizona State University campus (ASU) with your family and friends when visiting Tempe.

The University is Arizona’s largest institution of higher learning, with almost 34,000 undergraduate students. Arizona State University was established on March 12, 1885, as the Territorial Normal School at Tempe.

Arizona State University is a research-based university that aims to solve the challenges of life by connecting creative and creative minds to bring solutions to life’s challenges.

The university is filled with both local and international students. It is also a great place to meet people and connect in Tempe. Go on a ride with your family to the prestigious university as it is one of the best places in Tempe.

Address: University Drive and Mill Ave, Tempe, AZ 85287-0001

4. SEA LIFE Arizona Aquarium

SEA LIFE Arizona Aquarium
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The Sealife Aquarium is one of the best attractions in Tempe, Arizona. Explore the Sealife aquarium with your family when you visit Arizona.

The aquarium is a 360-degree ocean tunnel with over 500 creatures to marvel at you from their point of view. Look out for some sea sharks, octopuses, sea horses, green sea turtles, and many more.

Enjoy thousands of sea creatures in 30 displays with interactive touch tanks! You might also be lucky enough to see a scuba driver get in. It is always a fantastic sight to see at the Sealife aquarium.

Visit the aquarium with your camera device to capture the captivating view of the sea and the sea life creatures from a close point of view. The interactive touch tanks make the entire experience at the Sealife aquarium surreal!

Watching sea creatures at the Sealife aquarium is one of the most exciting things to do in Tempe, AZ.

Address: 5000 S Arizona Mills Cir Ste 145, Tempe, AZ 85282-6402

5. Tempe Marketplace

Tempe Marketplace
Credits: Kamil Macniak / Shutterstock

Shopping in Tempe Marketplace is one of the fun things to do in Tempe, AZ. The Tempe Marketplace is a 1.3 million square feet wide market with retail space, having over 100 shops and restaurants to explore. Visit the Tempe Marketplace with your friends or family and enjoy the lovely vibrant environment of the market.

Alongside the shops and restaurants, the marketplace also has entertainment areas that make the environment bubble with vibrancy and excitement.

Overall, the Tempe marketplace offers interactive shopping, dining and entertainment experience. Tempe marketplace sits at the heart of the Valley and is a few minutes from Scottsdale, Mesa, Phoenix, Chandler and Gilbert.

The Tempe Marketplace is visited by many people, including locals, neighbouring towns and even tourists; this makes it one of the attractions in Tempe, Arizona.

Address: 2000 E Rio Salado Pkwy Loop 101 and Loop 202, Tempe, AZ 85281-4877

6. Arizona Mills

Arizona Mills
Credits: Rawpixel.com / Shutterstock

Do you love shopping for unique wear and accessories? Then the Arizona mills is a must-visit when you go to Tempe, Arizona.

Arizona Mills is among the top attractions in Tempe, Arizona. The Arizona mills are the largest indoor, climate-controlled outlet, value and entertainment destination in Arizona. Arizona Mills is the one-stop place to shop for your clothes, jewellery, shoes, perfumes, cosmetics and lots more.

There are over 185 stores to explore at the Arizona mills. The stores range from designer retail fashion stores to other local stores in Arizona. Some of the stores you will find at Arizona mills are Nike Clearance store, Gap factory, Disney store, Tommy Hilfiger stores, H&M and Forever 21. Do visit the Arizona mills to explore more stores and choose a favourite if you can. Stores at the Arizona mills also sell at incredibly affordable prices.

Arizona mills is a harbour to some entertainment and relaxation spots in Tempe, Arizona. When you visit the Arizona mills, be sure to check out Legoland discovery centre, Sealife Arizona, Tilt Studio and Rainforest Café to relax and be entertained.

Address: 5000 S Arizona Mills Cir, Tempe, AZ 85282-6402

7. Kiwanis Park

Kiwanis Park
Credits: Susan Schmitz / Shutterstock
Kiwanis Park

Looking for a family hang out spot in Tempe? The Kiwanis Park has all it takes to give the family a memorable, fun and exciting day.

A visit to the 125 acres Kiwanis Park is one of the fun things to do in Tempe, AZ, with your kids or friends. The park has a lot of sports fields/courts for those interested in playing one sports activity or the other or watching exciting games. Kiwanis Park has basketball courts, batting range, baseball diamond, softball fields, soccer field, tennis court, volleyball courts, swimming pools and many more.

The park is also a perfect spot for family picnics; a beautiful lake (Kiwanis Lake), grills, picnic tables, and a playground for children.

There are lots of activities to keep you, and the kids occupied at the park. Go fishing, kayaking, boat riding on the Kiwanis Lake, playing on the playground, swimming, and picnicking are some exciting activities not to miss when visiting Kiwanis Park, Arizona. Kiwanis Park is a place to stay in Tempe, Arizona.

8. Hayden Butte Preserve

Hayden Butte Preserve
Credits: BalanceFormCreative / Shutterstock

Hayden Butte Preserve, also called “A Mountain or Tempe Butte,” is one of the most breathtaking natural attractions in Tempe, Arizona.

The Hayden Butte Preserve is an essential historical mountain in Arizona. The hill has served as a home to the Native Americans; it is a place of significance to the people of Tempe, the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community and the Arizona State University students and alumni.

Enjoy the beautiful scenic view of Hayden Butte Preserve with your family and friends when you visit Tempe, Arizona.

The A Mountain is an andesite butte of volcanic origin; it is located partially on Arizona State University’s Tempe campus in Tempe, Arizona. The highest point stands at 1,495 feet in elevation, while its base is approximately 1,150 feet in height.

When you go to Hayden Butte Preserve, lookout for the giant gold-painted letter A, it is a beautiful sight!

Address: E. Rio Salado Pkwy, Tempe, AZ 85281

9. Papago Park

Papago Park
Credits:Gregory E. Clifford / Shutterstock
Papago Park

Going hiking or biking at the Papago Park is one of the fun things to do in Tempe, AZ. Papago Park is a 1,500 acres park with biking and hiking trails. The beautiful natural park is also among the top attractions in Tempe, Arizona. Located in the Phoenix metro area, the park is one of the most easily accessible desert areas.

The large park is filled with exciting places and things in Tempe. At Papago Park, you can choose to go on a hike with your family or friends, bike on the trails, have a family picnic, visit the garden, and watch animals at the zoo too.

The Phoenix Zoo also has various animals to see. The Papago Park is a must-visit for the family and your friends. The AZ Heritage Centre also has lots of activities and fun stuff to keep you happy.

When you hike from the trailhead west of the parking lot, you will see the beautiful view of Tempe Town Lake. Enjoy hiking on Tempe and Phoenix trails in Tempe, Arizona.

Address: 1000 N College Ave Curry Rd. and College Ave., Tempe, AZ 85281

10. Tempe Diablo Stadium

Tempe Diablo Stadium
Credits:John Dvorak/ Shutterstock
Tempe Diablo Stadium

The Tempe Diablo Stadium Complex is a historic monument in Tempe. Visit the beautiful Tempe Diablo Stadium with your friends and family and enjoy a game or walk around the complex.

The stadium is large enough to accommodate over 9 500 people. The Tempe Diablo Stadium was founded in 1968, renovated in 2005 and rededicated in 2006.

The Tempe Diablo Stadium hosts the Spring training home for the Los Angeles Angels team; it is also the home field for night games of the Arizona League Angels. The legendary stadium is the oldest and smallest stadium in the Cactus League.

Look out for the two fields when you go to the Tempe Diablo Stadium. The Major League Fields and the Minor League Complex. Do not miss out on the baseball games in the stadium.

Address: 2200 W Alameda Dr, Tempe, AZ 85282-3124

11. Big Surf Waterpark

Big Surf Waterpark
Credits:Suzanne Tucker/ Shutterstock

Taking your family or loved ones to Big Surf Waterpark is one of the best ways to have fun in Tempe. The Big Surf Waterpark is all it takes for a family fun day or to hang out with friends.

There is a children fun zone in Big Surf Waterpark with water slides, a playground, swings, and many more. Teenagers and adults can have fun surfing and enjoying the wave pool. There are adventurous water slides for different ages.

Concerts, parties, and other events are hosted at the Big Surf Waterpark. The Big Surf Waterpark was established in 1969 and had the 3rd largest wave pool globally, Waikiki Beach. The Waterpark has over 3,000 feet of thrilling water slides; this makes the water park one of the top attractions in Tempe, Arizona.

Address: 1500 N McClintock Dr, Tempe, AZ 85281-1643

12. Tempe Centre for the Arts

Tempe Centre for the Arts
Credits:Suzanne Tucker/ Shutterstock

Tempe Centre for the Arts (TCA) is one of the finest venues in Arizona, and it is regarded as a jewel in the crown of a city. The Tempe Centre for the Arts features a state-of-the-art, 600-seat Proscenium Theatre, a 200-seat studio theatre and a 3,500 square-foot gallery.

Exploring the gallery watching live plays and performances at the studio and proscenium theatre is one of the most fun things to do in Tempe, AZ. The centre has free Wi-Fi access and plenty of parking space for residents and visitors. The centre is located on the southwest end of Tempe Town Lake.

The beautiful Tempe Centre for the Arts sits on a 17 – acre Lakeside Park. The area was developed by Design Workshop, a Tempe landscape architecture firm. The centre is a fantastic place to take memorable pictures with your friends and family.

Address: 700 W Rio Salado Pkwy, Tempe, AZ 85281-5293

13. AZ Heritage Center at Papago Park

AZ Heritage Center at Papago Park
Credits: Trevor Huxham / Flickr
AZ Heritage Center at Papago Park

Have fun learning about the history of Arizona and its proper at the AZ Heritage Center, the Heritage Centre. A visit to AZ Heritage Centre is an exciting thing to do in Tempe, Arizona.

The AZ Heritage Centre is home to the Centennial Museum. The history and cultural centre celebrate more than 100 years of Arizona history. Explore the historical exhibits with your family or friends as you learn about the history and growth of Central Arizona.

Visitors at the AZ Heritage Centre participate in many fun activities like educational and entertaining programming and events for adults and children. While at the cultural centre with your family or friends, you can check out the World War II AT-6 training aeroplane or take a picture with Bob’s Big Boy statue. You can also explore and feel unique rocks, gems and minerals; you would also be taught about the history of Arizona.

The exhibits at the AZ Heritage Centre makes it a top attraction in Tempe, Arizona and a must-visit when you come to Arizona.

Address: 1300 N College Ave, Tempe, AZ 85281-1211

14. Sun Devil Stadium

Sun Devil Stadium
Credits: Keeton Gale / Shutterstock
Sun Devil Stadium

Enjoy watching football games with your kids or friends at the Sun Devils Stadium.

The Sun Devils Stadium is an outdoor football stadium with a seating capacity of over 56,000 people. It once had a seating capacity for about 75,000 people. But the seating capacity was reduced after the renovation. The stadium is in the Arizona State University Campus and is also the original home of the annual Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.

The stadium, since its inception, has been home to so many games and teams. It is home to the Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League (NFL) from 1988 through the 2005 season.

The stadium has hosted the Fiesta Bowl from 1971 to 2006 and the Cactus Bowl from 2006 to 2015. The natural grass field in the stadium was named Frank Kush Field in 1996 in honour of the former coach of the Sun Devil football team.

Address: 500 E Veteran’s Way, Tempe, AZ 85287-0001

15. Arizona Distilling Co

Arizona Distilling Co
Credits: agbstock / Shutterstock

Do you enjoy trying out assorted spirits? If yes, then you should visit the Arizona Distilling Company.

The Arizona Distilling Company is one of the fun places to visit in Tempe with your friends or colleagues. Enjoy a unique selection of spirits when you visit Arizona Distilling Company. These spirit drinks are handcrafted with exceptional ingredients.

Enjoy the great taste of a mix of malt from a prominent local brewery and whiskey from Arizona Distilling Company. The drink is named after the tallest peak in Arizona and pays homage to Arizona History.

The Desert Durum Wheat Whiskey is another unique drink to taste when visiting Arizona Distilling Company. The Wheat Whiskey is a blend of molasses, pecan pie, caramel, black mission figs, peppercorn, allspice and cinnamon; this gives the Desert Durum Whiskey a balanced sweet and spicy taste.

Enjoy chatting over an exquisitely handcrafted spirit when you visit the Arizona Distilling Company.

Address: 601 W University Dr, Tempe, AZ 85281-3409

Arizona makes one of the top vacation spots in the United States, check out our guide on things to do in Winslow , things to do in Peoria and  things to do in Yuma for a memorable Arizona vacation.

16. Tempe History Museum

 Tempe History Museum
Credits: TEDxPhoenix / Flickr
Tempe History Museum

What other place to tell the history of Tempe than its very own Museum.

The Tempe History Museum is a must-visit when you go to Tempe, Arizona. Learning about the history of Tempe through interactive sessions at the Museum is one of the top things to do in Tempe, AZ.

The Museum features free live local music, kids programming, concerts, presentation and films, and galleries that offer exhibitions. The exhibitions at the Tempe History Museum are changed monthly and annually. There is also no admission required for any program or presentation at the Tempe History Museum. Admission is free.

At the Museum, there is something fun for everyone. Bring your kids to the Museum to have an exciting day while learning about the beautiful Tempe Town.

Address: 809 E Southern Ave, Tempe, AZ 85282-5205

17. Arizona State University Art Museum

The Arizona state university art museum is one of the most outstanding museums in Tempe, Arizona. The Museum takes a different turn and aims at reinventing the university’s models of art learning, engagement and innovation.

The Arizona State University Art Museum has a lot of contemporary art; its ideas are shared with the public through exhibitions, art programmes and contributions. The University Art Museum is looking to impact the world through its art.

Make it a date to visit the Museum with an art lover or enthusiast. The exhibitions are numerous and unique in an exciting way.

Address: 51 E 10th St Nelson Fine Arts Center on 10th Street and Mill Avenue, Tempe, AZ 85281

18. Kiwanis Recreation Centre

Kiwanis Recreation Centre
Credits: Kzenon / Shutterstock

The Kiwanis Recreation Centre is a beautiful 54,000 square foot complex. The recreation centre features an indoor wave pool, fitness centre, gymnasium, corporate ramada area, classrooms and a 15-court tennis centre.

Take your kids or loved ones to the wave pool to have fun surfing and swimming in the pool. Watching people play at the gymnasium is also a fun thing to do in Tempe. If you are skilled in playing tennis, visit the tennis courts to have an exciting exercise while playing. Kiwanis recreational centre is also a lovely place to meet and connect with people in Tempe.

The Kiwanis Recreation Centre is located in the heart of Kiwanis Park. The park is open from Monday to Thursday from 7 am – 9 pm. Friday 7 am -7 pm. While on Saturday and Sunday it opens from 8an – 6 pm.

Address: 6111 S All American Way, Tempe, AZ 85283-2800

19. Desert Arboretum Park

Desert Arboretum Park
Credits: GP PHOTOTRENDS / Shutterstock

Have you ever been to an Arboretum? If not, then you should visit the Desert Arboretum Park in Tempe.

The desert arboretum is an extensive arboretum containing more than 300 species of plants from various regions of the desert. Go on an adventurous sightseeing trip to the Desert Arboretum Park when visiting Tempe.

The Desert Arboretum Park is a place to be in Tempe. Enjoy looking at the various plant species and exploring them. The arboretum park is free and open to all. A visit to the park with your family or friends is one of the best things to do in Tempe, AZ.

The park is also filled with the Native plants of Arizona. As you explore the plants, look out for that beautiful breathtaking mountain near the park.

The Desert Arboretum Park is a 2.5-acre botanical park located at the “A Mountain” side. The park is also a hosting ground for special events, conferences and other fun activities.

Address: 556 S Packard DR Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287-0001

20. ASU Museum Ceramics Centre and Brickyard Gallery

ASU Museum Ceramics Centre and Brickyard Gallery
Credits: ASU Art Museum Ceramics Research Center / Facebook
ASU Museum Ceramics Centre and Brickyard Gallery

The Arizona State University (ASU) Art Museum is one of Tempe’s best places to visit. The ASU Art Museum Ceramics Research Centre contains over 3,000 pieces; the ceramics research centre is the country’s largest and best collection of 20th century and contemporary British and American ceramics; this makes the Museum one of the top attractions in Tempe, Arizona. The Ceramics research centre also has more than 5,000 square feet of open storage area.

The ASU Museum Ceramics Centre and Brickyard Gallery inspire artists, students, and art enthusiasts to explore and improve on the craft.

Some of these artists are; Otto and Gertrud Natzler, Rudy Autio, Hans Coper, Peter Voulkos, Shoji Hamada, Karen Karnes, Bernard Leach, Maria Martinez and many more.

The Ceramics Research Centre is located in the ASU Art Museum Brickyard. The uniqueness of the Museum makes it a national and international destination for art lovers and studying of ceramic pieces.

Address: 699 S Mill Ave Suite 108, Tempe, AZ 85281-3673

21. Coyotes Curling Club

Coyotes Curling Club
Credits:Robert Przybysz/Shutterstock

Curling at the Coyotes Curling Club is one of the fun things to do in Tempe, AZ. Whether you are curling for the first time or a professional, the Coyotes Curling Club has what you need to cater to your abilities.

Visit the Coyotes Curling Club to have a fun family time while in Tempe. The curling club offers classes on curling hosts corporate events, training and practice. Enrol your kids or friends in the curl classes to participate in the fun at Coyotes Curling Club.

The curling club is located in the heart of the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. The club is a great place to host that special event with your friends, family or colleagues. Create fun and exciting memories at the Coyotes Curling Club.

The Coyotes Curling Club also hosts a variety of professional and club level bonspiels. Enjoy premium curling service when you visit Coyotes Curling Club.

Address: 2202 W Medtronic Way #101, Tempe, AZ 85281-5107

22. Tempe Tourism Office

When you go to Tempe, Arizona, visit the Tempe Tourism Office for all your up-to-date information and unique opportunities as a tourist.

Visiting the Tourism Office should be at the top of your list for things to do in Tempe, AZ. Get information about unique activities, places to go, and things in Arizona. The office offers information on baseball spring training schedules and accommodations in the area.

Get information and details on the stores, hotels, restaurants, events, museums and many more when you visit the Tempe Tourism Office. The Tempe Tourism Office is a non-profit organization devoted to marketing Tempe, Arizona as a desirable visitor and group destination.

Tempe Tourism ensures that visitors are safe, comfortable and having fun during their stay. Tempe was made for fun in the sun.

Address: 222 S Mill Ave Suite 120, Tempe, AZ 85281-2889

23. Petersen House Museum

Petersen House Museum
Credits: Mcmillin24 [CC BY-SA 3.0], Wikimedia Commons
Petersen House Museum
A visit to the Peterson House Museum is a great place to visit in Tempe, Arizona.

The Petersen House Museum is named after Niels Petersen, a Danish immigrant, an entrepreneur and a well-known local farmer.

The Museum is a favourite spot for school excursions and private tours. Take your kids to the Petersen House Museum to see various artworks on display and participate in hands-on art projects. The curators at the Museum are friendly and knowledgeable on the paintings and exhibits in the Petersen House Museum.

The Petersen House Museum structure stands out and makes the Museum an attraction in Tempe. The building was designed by James Creighton, a well-known Arizona architect. The Museum was formerly the home of Niels Petersen, who had held many prestigious positions in Arizona.

Address: 1414 W. Southern Avenue, Tempe, AZ 85282

Explore more cities of Arizona, check out our list of things to do in Cottonwoodthings to do in Show Low, and things to do in Flagstaff.

Start planning your trip to Tempe, Arizona

Tempe is a fantastic city with many exciting activities to enjoy with your friends or family. The Arizona State University Ceramics Research Centre in Tempe is an international attraction and a must-visit in Tempe.

There are a lot of things to do in Tempe, AZ, with your family and friends for an exciting vacation. Go hiking, biking, curling, kayaking, shopping and sightseeing at museums in Tempe.

Visit the Hayden Butte Preserve, Coyotes Curling Club, the Desert Arboretum Park, Arizona mills and many more to have a wonderful experience in Tempe.

Start planning your trip to Arizona and plan for an exciting trip to Tempe. Happy travels!