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Friday, 20 February 2015 19:00

Outdoor shopping in Tempe

Tempe Marketplace Tempe Marketplace

Malls…what good are they this time of year? Who wants to wander around indoors when the sun is shining and the weather is perfect. (I mean it. The weather is absolutely perfect right now.)The good thing is that commercial developers here in the Valley have finally come around and outdoor shopping experiences have popped up all over the place.

These retail spaces create a shopping and dining experience with live local entertainment, outdoor living and a community vibe.

 

Tempe Marketplace in Tempe is one of those places you might want to try for your next girls’ day, date night or a playdate.

Located where the 202 and 101 intersect on the northeast side of Tempe along the edge of Tempe Town Lake, this very cool space takes shopping to a new level.

The Marketplace is comprised of what’s outside the District, restaurants and larger stores that surround the parking lot and what’s inside the District, a strip of shops and restaurants that front an open air common area about two blocks long. Safe from vehicular traffic, the District is filled with misters, palm trees, fountains and fireplaces, tables, chairs, couches and umbrellas; inviting you to hang out and enjoy the Arizona weather.

This is more than an outdoor mall; Tempe Marketplace effectively creates a unique Arizona experience no matter the time of year.

On cooler evenings, grab a coffee at Barnes & Noble 0r a tea from Tea Infusion and find a cushioned seat beside one of the outdoor fireplaces. On weekends, you can listen to live local musicians. On hotter days, bring the kids for some of fun in the sun. Sit at one of the shaded tables while they romp through the padded water fountain (located in front of the Hallmark store). Or treat them to a frozen yogurt at nearby MoJo Yogurt. Date night might take you to Carlos Santana’s Maria Maria on the west end of the District for their indoor outdoor seating, fabulous sangria, tasty Mexican dishes and live music. Or try live blues and BBQ on Saturday evenings at Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que just outside the north end of the District.

Looking to hang with the guys (or gals), get some late night tacos and Tecate and listen to live music at San Felipe’s Cantina; order sushi at Kabuki Japanese Restaurant, ride the bull at Cadillac Ranch (overlooking the District Stage) or play pool at Dave & Buster’s. Or take to the east end for a full menu of Ireland-inspired dishes and drinks at D’Arcy McGee’s Irish Pub.

In the District, you’ll also find a 16-screen Harkins movie theatre, fast food favorites like Chipotle, Cheeburger Cheeburger and Paradise Bakery as well as specialty shops like As You Wish and shopping standards such as Bath & Body Works, Victoria Secret and Gap. In the area surrounding the District, are big stores like Target, Michael’s, Old Navy, Ross Dress for Less and JC Penney and restaurants like Red Robin, Ruby Tuesday and The Keg Steakhouse & Bar, to name only a few.