ASU’s “Memorial Union After Dark” series is popping-up in Downtown Tempe for ASU’s “Family Weekend” on Friday, November 8, 2019. From 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm. ASU students can bring their families to Centerpoint Plaza on 7th Street (located just west of Mill Avenue) and enjoy arts & crafts activities, engaging with community members, carnival games, and explore different ASU departments with resources available for students and parents.
BONUS! Show your ASU Student ID and receive a free portable charger.
Students and families will also be able to learn about things to do in Downtown Tempe during their stay.
But why wait until Friday night? Impress your family with your knowledge of the local community with this can’t-miss – insider’s list of things to do downtown. Whether you’ve got your grandparents and/or little siblings in tow – or it's just you, mom & pops, there is something for everyone to enjoy!
It’s probably been at least 3 months since you’ve seen each other, so a celebratory meal is in order! Call ahead for reservations Friday night or for Sunday lunch at one of downtown Tempe’s favorite, award-winning restaurants, like House of Tricks. It’s on the pricey side (thanks Mom & Dad!), but well worth it as you dine on the beautiful patio. Did we mention they’re award-winning? Be sure to look for a few of the resident cats, they’re usually not far from the koi pond. It’s not a stuffy place, so you’ll be fine in your shorts and sneakers.
Have a sweet tooth in your family? Be sure to stop by Sparky’s Old Time Creamery at the corner of 5th Street and Mill Avenue. You’ll find 22 fresh, house-made flavors of ice cream (includes 1 free mix-in), along with ice cream sandwiches, Hawaiian Ice, smoothies and Baby Belgium waffles. Can’t make up your mind? Go with the Mud Pie: coffee ice cream with Oreo, peanut butter and roasted almonds.
Looking to make an escape for about an hour? Bring the fam along to The Zone Escape Rooms. It’s definitely not your ordinary escape room experience. There are five separate rooms at The Zone that offer parallel play rather than linear play, meaning a ton of things are happening at the same time – giving everyone playing something mysterious to figure out (great for those siblings of yours). With rooms with names like Jail Break, The Island and Rush Hour, there’s something for everyone (to figure out).
Here’s a hare-brained idea: give your family a walking tour of downtown Tempe with Tempe Tales and soak in the vibe of downtown and the world-famous Mill Avenue. Fourteen life-sized jackrabbits have been hidden around downtown and are waiting to be found. Use the clues to find the rabbits while you are exploring downtown. Fun fact: the ginormous jackrabbits (the not life-sized) at Centerpoint Plaza outside of Pedal Haus Brewery are by the same artist, Mark Rossi.
Your family will definitely need some souvenirs commemorating Family Weekend, both of the ASU variety and some just plain Arizona desert stuff – you know… with saguaros & cacti on them. For the ASU variety, stop into the Sun Devil Marketplace at 7th Street & College Avenue or go to Cactus Sports near 5th & Mill, home of the best selection of OG ASU gear. For the best selection of cacti, desert-themed items, check out Lotions & Potions, next door to the Starbucks at 5th & Mill.
Last but not least, you might want to take a break from the campus fun and grab an electric scooter and scoot through Tempe Beach Park. Go ahead and show off Tempe Town Lake’s 20th Anniversary on November 9 (fun fact: the lake was the brain-child of ASU students in the 1960’s – yay innovation!) and head west down the lakeside to Tempe Center of the Arts (check out the Gallery) and the Elmore Pedestrian Bridge. Here, you’ll see the country's largest hydraulically-operated steel gate dam system and if you’re on the bridge at the right time (5:30 pm on Friday, November 8), the most beautiful sunset views in the Valley.
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