Deciding where to spend your vacation is a whole other thing when you have kids. The destination has to offer something for everyone involved, which can be a tall order at home, much less when you’re travelling.
But if you haven’t considered the city of Tempe yet, hear us out.
Located east of Phoenix, Arizona, Tempe is a vibrant, offbeat oasis with a laid-back atmosphere and countless options when it comes to entertainment and the arts. Paddleboarding, kayaking, boating, and festivals are a big part of life in this city.
With a comfortable year-round climate (and less than nine inches of rainfall annually), it’s an easy choice to swap Calgary for the waves and sunshine this winter. Before you go and book your flights, here are some of the things your family can do in Tempe.
Get on the water at Tempe Town Lake
Stretching across 220 acres, Tempe Town Lake is one of Arizona’s most popular tourist attractions and it’s easy to see why. You can spend the afternoon kayaking across the sparkling water, picnicking on the grass or walking along the almost five-mile long paths surrounding the lake. This is one of the best places to visit on a sunny day (so, pretty much every day) because you can take the kids paddleboarding or share an electric boat while you’re there.
Experience the Electric Desert installation at Desert Botanical Garden
Be mesmerized as you see desert, light, and sound, light up during Electric Desert, an exciting sensory experience by Klip Collective at Desert Botanical Garden. You’ll be taken on an immersive journey through the Desert Botanical Garden using light and original music. Klip Collective previously designed an installation at Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania which was a huge hit. Get your family pass in advance via Desert Botanical Garden.
See a Broadway show at ASU Gammage
Tempe’s historic ASU Gammage theatre is set to host the best of Broadway during the 2018-2019 season. The new season features the winner of six 2017 Tony Awards and 2018 Grammy Award winner Dear Evan Hansen; Disney’s Aladdin; and the Tony Award-winning best musical revival Hello, Dolly! starring legend Betty Buckley. Additional shows include Rent, The Book of Mormon, and Wicked, among many others.
Explore the dining scene
Tempe’s culinary scene continues to grow and attract foodies from all over the world. The Phoenix New Times recently awarded the corner of Warner and Rural Roads in South Tempe as the hottest dining corner in Metro Phoenix. Here you can check out the new craft restaurant and bar, Cotton & Copper. The menu is filled with many specialty cocktails named after Arizona mining towns and local chef Tamara Stanger creates delicious handheld eats. Right next door you’ll find new concepts by local restauranteur and chef Aaron Chamberlin including Southwestern flavours at the new Ghost Ranch and the family friendly Tempe Public Market Café.
Go hiking or biking at Papago Park
The Tempe landscape will leave you speechless and if you’ve got a family full of adventure seekers, you’ll want to take them out to explore the trails of the Sonoran Desert at Papago Park. Whether you hit the trails on mountain bikes or venture around by foot, this place will remind you why you came to Tempe.
Find an amazing place to stay
Hotels and accommodation in Tempe are centrally located close to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and many of the attractions that you’ll want to visit. In 2019, there’s going to be a brand new 200-room Canopy by Hilton hotel built in the city featuring a rooftop pool, terrace bar, cabanas and a fire pit.
Coming soon a new Westin hotel will be located in the heart of downtown Tempe, boasting a rooftop pool lounge, the signature WestinWORKOUT fitness studio, full-service restaurant, coffee shop, and more. If you ask us, these spots will be very much family-perfect, too.