One of the best parades in Arizona! All the details on the Tempe Boat Parade including directions, the best time to go, and why we love this free holiday tradition!
The Tempe Boat Parade Information
Date Idea: Tempe Boat Parade
Location: Tempe Towne Lake in Tempe, AZ
Time: Plan about 1 hour for the parade and one hour to stake out seats
Website: There’s info on the Downtown Tempe Website
Tip: Bring your own lawn chair or a blanket to sit on
This date may have happened a few weeks ago, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share the Tempe Boat Parade. It’s one Tempe Town Lake event you’ll want to make a family tradition.
We had so much fun and it was this fun, quirky, and surprisingly romantic date that is completely free.
What is the Boat Parade at Tempe Towne lake?
It’s a parade of boats decorated in lights that light up the lake. Each boat goes all out decorated with holiday lights. Many have music, and all are will wave at you and your kids, or date.
You can expect all kinds of themed boats. Any holiday movie is likely represented. Several have music that matches their theme. You’ll even see live bands and soloists playing and singing while they drive by.
When is the Tempe Boat Parade?
It takes place in December, typically on the second Saturday of the month. It’s a great one to add to your Christmas date ideas plans!
It starts are 7:00, but there are often festivities with live bands and food trucks starting at 4:00.
How Do I Get There?
The boat parade at Tempe Towne Lake wraps around the entire lake!
You can certainly take the light rail and get off at Mill and walk down to the lake.
If you’re driving, it’s super easy to get to and there’s so many options for parking. I’d plug in the address right into Google Maps and find the best place to park. There’s really not a bad seat in the house so long as you can see the lake!
Where do I park?
We like to park in the ASU lots just South of the lake. You can also park in the free lots next to the State Farm Buildings. You’ll have less walking, but more crowds to deal with. The ASU lot right next to Sun Devil Stadium makes for an easy exit but has a little more walking.
From there you head North to Tempe Towne Lake, and stake out a seat! I’d recommend getting there an hour early if you have a big group. If it’s a date night, a half-hour should do!
Visiting the Boat Parade of Lights
Plan to bring some lawn chairs to sit and enjoy the boat light parade. You can also bring a blanket to sit on the incline in the grass. It’s a romantic spot to snuggle up and watch.
It’s also a great place to bring a picnic dinner, treats, or some hot chocolate too. Even though it’s Arizona, it still gets pretty chilly on those winter nights. I’d dress warm and think about some warm snacks.
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