Lots of family friendly things happening in Tempe!
$12 Million LEGOLAND® Discovery Center to Open at Arizona Mills in 2016
A LEGOLAND Discovery Center is slated to open at Arizona Mills in 2016. LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Phoenix will be Merlin Entertainment’s seventh location in the USA. It reflects the success of the concept and the enduring appeal of the LEGO brick. It will join Merlin’s popular SEA LIFE Arizona Aquarium at Arizona Mills.
LEGOLAND Discovery Center is a unique indoor attraction. Specifically designed for families with children 3-10 years old, LEGOLAND Discovery Centers offer a fun, highly interactive and educational two to three hour experience consisting of a range of exciting LEGO play areas including a brick pool, master classes from the LEGO Master Model Builder, a fun LEGO ride, special party rooms for birthdays and other celebrations, a 4D cinema, and of course, the popular MINILAND exhibit found in every LEGOLAND Park and attraction. MINILAND is designed to reflect the iconic buildings of each individual attraction’s location – at LEGOLAND Discovery Center Phoenix this will include both buildings from the city’s impressive skyline and landmarks from the surrounding area, all nominated by the local community.
The expected opening date is spring 2016.
SEA LIFE Arizona Aquarium
Explore SEA LIFE Arizona Aquarium’s newest exhibit, Octopus Hideout. On display through December 2015,Octopus Hideout features five tanks of cephalopods (meaning “head foot” because their heads are attached to their feet). The Giant Pacific Octopus will reside in one of the largest tanks in the exhibit. The Common Cuttlefish and Dwarf Cuttlefish are strangely adorable, with eight arms and two tentacles used for eating. The deep-dwelling Chambered Nautilus looks like something from a sci-fi movie with its 90 tentacles, hard shell and primitive eyes. Last but not least the Peacock Mantis Shrimp rounds out the exhibit. A common predator of cephalopods, the Mantis Shrimp can “punch” its claws fast enough to break glass- don’t worry; this creature will have a tank of her own!
SEA LIFE is home to more than 5,000 creatures in 30 incredible displays, including the amazing 360-degree ocean tunnel.
Phoenix Zoo 4-D Theater
Experience the wonder of 4-D at the Phoenix Zoo’s new 4-D Theater, the first of its kind in the Phoenix area. Each show will make you feel fully immersed in a truly magical way utilizing smells, water, wind and other various in theater effects. Current shows include “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs” and “Grizzly Bears.” Each show lasts approximately 10-15 minutes.
A 4-D Theater ticket is included in the Zoo’s Total Experience Ticket and Value Ticket packages, or can be purchased individually. Individual tickets are $4 for members and $5 for general admittance. Children 2 and under are free.
Arts and Culture
Childsplay Brings Theatre to Life for Young Audiences
Arizona’s professional theatre company for young audiences, Childsplay, just announced its 2015/2016 season at Tempe Center for the Arts. Childsplay’s 39th season features a mix of old favorites and world premieres.
Sideways Stories from Wayside School: September 13 – October 18, 2015
The Smartest Girl in the World *WORLD-PREMIERE*: October 25 – November 22, 2015
A Year with Frog and Toad: November 15 – December 27, 2015
Perô, Or the Mysteries of the Night: January 24 – February 7, 2016
Goodnight Moon: February 14 – April 10, 2016
Pete, Or the Return of Peter Pan *WORLD-PREMIERE*: April 24 – May 29, 2016
All performances, held on Saturdays and Sundays, take place at Tempe Center for the Arts, 700 W. Rio Salado Parkway.
For more information, including ticket prices and a description of each show, visit www.childsplayaz.org.
ASU Gammage Announces 2015/2016 Broadway Series
ASU Gammage, the historic Frank Lloyd Wright-designed theatre, has announced the 2015/2016 Desert Schools Broadway Across America –Arizona season.
It will be a Broadway extravaganza with a seven-show series and one special engagement. Fans can look forward to seeing some of the biggest Broadway hits in Tempe, including family favorites like ANNIE and NEWSIES.
In its 25th season, the Desert Schools Broadway Across America – Arizona series at ASU Gammage is the largest theatrical subscription series in the state of Arizona and is one of the most successful Broadway series in the country.
The full season and special engagements include the following productions:
THE BOOK OF MORMON – October 20 – November 8, 2015
A CHRISTMAS STORY – November 24-29, 2015
IF/THEN – January 12-17, 2016
THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY – February 16-21, 2016
A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER – March 15-20, 2016
42nd STREET – April 5-10, 2016
ANNIE – May 4-8, 2016
NEWSIES – June 14-19, 2016
Single tickets will go on sale this summer. For more information, visit www.asugammage.com.
New Tempe Hotels
Drury Inn & Suites Phoenix Tempe
The brand new Drury Inn & Suites Phoenix Tempe features 180 rooms and is conveniently located at I-10 and Warner Road, just 15 minutes from Downtown Tempe. It is minutes away from other Tempe attractions like Arizona Mills, Main Event and IKEA. Guests can start the day with a free hot breakfast. In the evening, guests can join the 5:30 Kickback for free hot food and cold beverages. The rotating menu features a variety of hot food plus beer, wine, mixed drinks and soft drinks.
New collegiate inspired hotel opens in Tempe
Take a journey back to the glory days of college where your intellectual curiosity meets your favorite place to stay. Tempe is now home to Graduate Tempe, part of a new brand of hotels by AJ Capital Partners. Just like the Tempe location, all of the Graduate hotels are or will be centralized around college towns across the country. Graduate Tempe is across the street from the Arizona State University Tempe Campus in the former Twin Palms Hotel.
There are subtle nods to the school, but guests will not find bold school colors in maroon and gold in Graduate Tempe. For example, given the school’s popular social insect program, guests will find a large ant farm behind the desk in the lobby. And, room keys resemble college I.D. cards.
The 140-room boutique hotel features two must-try eateries. The Normal is a diner-chic restaurant with homemade classics. Tapacubo is a Mexican street food outpost and bar that serves up high-octane margaritas and south of the border fare.
Hampton Inn & Suites Phoenix/Tempe-ASU Area
This brand new Hampton Inn & Suites in Tempe, Ariz. opened in January 2015. The Hampton Inn & Suites Phoenix/Tempe-ASU Area is a 117-room hotel conveniently located just one mile from ASU and four miles from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. Guests are just minutes from Tempe Town Lake, Desert Botanical Garden and Downtown Tempe. Enjoy the contemporary décor, spacious and comforting rooms and exceptional guest service. Soak up the Arizona sunshine at the outdoor pool and spa or get a workout in the well-equipped fitness center. The Hampton Inn & Suites Tempe also offers complimentary wireless Internet and complimentary hot breakfast.
New Family Dining Destinations
Snooze, an A.M. Eatery, recently opened its doors inside the remodeled Art Annex Building at the intersection of College Avenue and 6th Street. This all-new Snooze serves up their time-tested same menu of chef-crafted, farm-fresh breakfast and brunch classics that made it so popular back in Colorado, California, and most recentlyPhoenix. Housed inside a custom-designed 3,500 sq. ft. space, the new Tempe location showcases Snooze’s signature bold, colorful atmosphere and retro-futuristic décor. Plus, in a nod to the restaurant’s university setting, there will be plenty of community tables to accommodate both large groups and solo diners. And as always, Snooze will offer free coffee and games of cornhole to anyone waiting for a table.
At Snooze, guests are tempted by from-scratch menu items such as a choose-your-own flight of fluffy pancakes or house-made breakfast pot pie smothered in rosemary sausage gravy. Not to mention, Niman Ranch cage-free eggs benedict topped with spicy barbacoa beef and decadent cream cheese hollandaise sauce, or shaved Tender Belly ham, slow roasted pork and Dijon hollandaise. Furthermore, Snooze was built on a commitment to sustainability, from incorporating as much responsibly grown food and materials as possible to recycling and composting 90% of their waste.
Savory nosh, crafted cocktails and the next big names in local music have found a new home at Culinary Dropout, a recently opened glamorous gastro-pub that just happens to have an extensive kids’ menu. It is located in a renovated warehouse in Downtown Tempe that is collectively known as The Yard at Farmers Arts District. This project is providing Tempe’s visitors and residents alike a place to come unwind or refuel to begin or end their day. Culinary Dropout, is joined by the Madison, a spin class studio, two private dining venues, a stage for live performances, a large outdoor patio with eight seating sections and games like ping pong and corn hole. Over Easy, a locally-owned breakfast spot, is expected to open in 2015.
The Normal Diner
The Normal, the Graduate Tempe’s diner-chic restaurant, serves breakfast all-day along with sandwiches, salads, La Colombe coffee and shakes with signature menu items such as the Minimum Wage Meal and Hayden Mills Blue Corn Pancakes.