Hayden Butte (also called Tempe Butte) is very easy to find. It over looks Mill Avenue are and Arizona State and has a huge "A" on the side. There is an easy but steep paved path that leads up to a stair case to the summit. The summit is not much to speak of. You are better off seeing the view of Tempe a little lower on the path. The top is not flat but jagged and very slick rock. Very easy to slip.
There is a section of Mill Avenue, near Arizona State University, that has a some unique shops, restaurants and bars. It is a very happening place. The area is popular with tourist as well as locals and students from ASU. If you are in Tempe, it is a definite must see place for food and happy hour.
It was Easter Sunday afternoon and I just got off work (yes I had to work that day!), so I decided to bring the family to Tempe and I was surprised to find the Kiwanis Community Park Lake! It was awesome - families were everywhere and they were all having fun, a lot of them with their personal boom boxes - music everywhere. My son ran towards the lake and saw boats being paddled, so we had to search where we could rent a boat!
Unfortunately, the boat rental was already closed (open 10AM to 6 PM only; $15 per hour?)...so we will just have to come back. But the place also had a lot of lakeside ramadas where families can have personal parties. And the children's playground was also protected by a huge tent and kids were running wildly around!
It also looked like people were actually fishing! The lake is stocked with catfish (April to October) and trout (November-March). A special Arizona Urban Fishing License is required for ages 14 and up!
They also have volleyball, softball and basketball fields and a batting range! And guess what - they even have a Kiwanis WAVE pool! The pool features a double spiral slide and tube rentals. Talk about a well-stocked park!
UPDATE! UPDATE! UPDATE!
FOUR YEARS LATER...
We just finished Easter 2013, and it is weird that I just found through my pictures here on VT that we were there on same day 4 years ago! Haha...well, this time, I made a video! I was also working again on this Easter weekend 2013, but found time to have fun! Haha....and we did the boat ride for $20 and also the bike which I think was $25 (per hour)
Hope you like this:
EASTER WEEKEND AT KIWANIS PARK, TEMPE
The Tempe City Hall is one of the most architecturally unique I have ever seen. I am afraid if I had a corner office here I would be afraid of falling out through the window. The sculpture out front is made from a remnant of the historic Ash Street Bridge.
You can meander down the lake in a leisurely pontoon boat ride on a RioLago Cruise. 25-minute boat rides are available till about 10at night at $5 per person. Kids 5 & under are free. Or if you're feeling the urge to splurge, they also offer boat charters for larger groups at different rates. Check their website for more details. Ice cream bars are available for sale at the ticket kiosk when you pay for your boat ride.
We were driving around Tempe on a very hot 108 degree Sunday afternoon, and then we saw some activity by the road. It looked like people having fun with spraying water - we had to check it out!
It was the Tempe Beach Park and it had a Splash Playground. We parked on one of the two big parking lots and as you can see in the picture, the twins ran ahead of us towards the Splash playground. At the time, there were about 200 kids from diapered months-old to moms and dads all enjoying the cool break from the sun.
Fortunately, I was wearing my cargo pants whose lower leg can be "zipped" off and so I just joined into the wetness. The first thing my son went for were these giant water guns which you can use to spray at unsuspecting people...hehehe...There were 3 slides and lots of running ground.
Truly a place to be when it's hot in Arizona and your kids are bored. Just remember to bring sunscreen, hat and sunglasses....
54 W Rio Salado Pkwy, Tempe, AZ 85281
When the sun goes down, or even before, Tempe-ans head to this park. You can stroll, lay on the grass, picnic under the moon, rent a paddleboat or a small runabout, go on a little river cruise or even jog! Watch for the light effects on the bridge that the Metro runs on as everytime the tram goes over the bridge, the lights change! Pretty!
When in Tempe, you have to check out this wonderful piece of architecture right beside the Tempe Lake! I went on the ledges of the fountains and attempted to get a jumping picture as I had my "10 second timer" on the digital camera on - and after about three attempts, I realized the people in the lounge were laughing at my antics through the glass windows, hehehe...I just waved at them.
The design was made by Tempe-based Architekton and award-winning Barton Myers Associates of Los Angeles and the building has a very modern 600-seat proscenium theater, a 200-seat studio theater and a 3,500 square-foot gallery.
Beside the building is a 17-acre lakeside art park developed by Design Workshop which is a Tempe landscape architecture firm.
Plans are underway for a pedestrian bridge scheduled for completion in 2010 that will complete a loop around Tempe Town Lake and join the north bank with the south in front of the TCA.
The Arts Center has several regular activities for us Arizonians and visitors, and this included: Childsplay, Tempe Little Theatre, the Tempe Symphony Orchestra, the Tempe Community Chorus, A. Ludwig Dance, Desert Dance and the Tempe Wind Ensemble perform on the center’s stages.
10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday-Friday
11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday
Administrative office hours:
8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday except on
So, here I am lounging on a Scottsdale hotel patio right now May 17, 2009- but I plan to take the kids to Tempe Town Lake today so I can have more current pics of this great place.
Tempe has done a great job in transforming this place from the dry riverbed of Rio Salado (dried due to the upstream diversions) to a vibrant lake with a marina, boat rentals, a water playground, trails and even an archeological marvel - The Tempe Center for the Arts.
The engineers found a way to fill in the two mile water reservoir through inflatable dams in 1997 - now it is a favorite place for locals and tourists alike -- when a train passes through, the LED Bridge illuminates!
............just got back from the Tempe Town Lake and there were people fishing even under the 108 degree sun! There are several activities around the lake and Tempe thrives because of it --- the Tempe Beach Park where my kids had fun with the water fountains (we totally went into them with more than 200 kids around) and even a nice stroll by the Tempe Culture and Arts Center (well moire like a run that I did, hehehe). But I've never been around close here at night when a train passes by and the bridge lights up...maybe you will...
Going to Tempe is a great place to go if you're looking for things to do. I would suggest going to the Mill Ave. District because it has a lot of unique shopping, bars, restaurants, and Tempe Town Lake is right around the corner. You can visit Tempe Beach Park for a relaxing picnic or walk along the lake. Many of it's building have been there since, well, Tempe was born. It is also a sight for youth considering the ASU campus is located in the main strip of Mill Ave. There are plenty of things to do and see, not to mention the many street performers that are on each block.
Visit Arizona Mills and be amazed when you enter the food court that there is this giant golden carousel for the kids - right in the middle of the foodcourt! Amazing!
Of course, our kids ran directly to the carousel which charged only $2 per ride - and for our young kids, accompanying adults are free...
Then after the carousel ride, you can either eat and ride again, or just go around the wonderful shops in this amazing mall (close to the Arizona State University)...
Tempe is so lucky to have Gameworks!!! I am not really sure if it is wise to bring your kids here because once they're in, it's hard to get them out from playing the games!
When you get to the door, they sometimes give you a card which gives your free $10 playing benefits if you buy a gaming card (for $10 also I think). Then the fun begins there. Just be sure you keep a close watch on your small kids because they run around so much and it is confusing with all the noise...
In March of 1997, the first GameWorks opened in Seattle, Washington. It was considered an innovative concept formulated Dreamworks SKG/Steven Spielberg, Universal Studios, and Skip Paul, GameWorks Chairman & Co-founder.
Then, GameWorks was acquired by SEGA and the Sega Sammy Group in May 2005, and Sega Entertainment U.S.A., Inc. (SEUI) was formed. Now, there are branches in California, Minnesota, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, Texas...the company is booming!
SEDONA IS AN HOUR DRIVE NORTH FROM TEMPE. A SPIRITUAL VORTEX AND A TOWN LIKE NO OTHER. UNBELIEVABLE SITES TO SEE, HEALTHY HOMEADE FOOD AND MANY UNIQUE SHOPS ~
THE COLORS HERE ARE BREATH TAKING. ONE OF OUR FAVORITE PLACES ON EARTH ~
Not sure where to start on this take. the Heart Attack Grill in Tempe, Arizona. It's waitresses dresses its waitresses in "naughty nurse" costumes, and it's menu consists of only a few items. Namely beer, pop, bypass burger, double bypass burger, triple bypass burger, quadruple bypass burger. Don't forget the Flat-liner Fries as a "Taste Worth Dying For."(Cooked in lard) and the 3 types of cigarettes on the menu.
If you manage to eat the triple or quadruple bypass burger you can ride around in the wheel chair that they have in the place. Don't forget to stop in the bathroom where a full dinner table is set up next to the urinal. Condiments and all!
The "naughty nurse leave a little to be desired. It looks like they might have just got off a shift at a gentle mens club.
The manager sat at our table and told us some tasteless jokes.
Not for the closed minded, but definitely worth going to once. The burgers where actually great!
Make sure to look at all my pics of this place
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Each year during the first weekend in November the Ymca puts on this half marathon. It starts in south mountain and heads out the canals to a makeshift turnaround. Not the best course but at under $35 its a cheap race. You have over 3 hrs to finish so even if your not speedy gonzalas you can still finish in time. Tust me a half is not as hard as you would think. 3 months of training and almost anyone can finish one