Gilbert, Arizona, is a budget-friendly destination that offers a unique blend of culture and outdoor attractions. With its quaint small-town appeal and an abundance of free things to do, it has become a popular tourist destination in Maricopa County. Some of the best things to do in Gilbert Arizona include exploring recreational areas, visiting fantastic art galleries, strolling through local parks, and visiting historic sites. This city provides a different appeal compared to nearby cities like Phoenix and Scottsdale, but it still offers a wide range of free activities for tourists to enjoy.
Gilbert, Arizona is a unique destination where history meets modernity, attracting tourists with its fascinating blend of attractions. It offers a wide range of artistic expressions, delicious cuisine, and outdoor recreation opportunities. The town’s past and present collide in an intriguing way, making it a sought-after destination for visitors. From the Riparian Preserve, where you can go birdwatching, to Freestone District Park and the Gilbert Historical Museum, Gilbert has something for everyone.
Disclosure: Due to new safety regulations, some of the information regarding the attractions and sites listed below may have changed. For the most up-to-date information, please contact the location.
Here are the best things to do in Gilbert Arizona:
1. Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch
For those searching for the best things to do in Gilbert Arizona, consider visiting the Riparian Preserve for a bird-watching adventure. With over 200 species of birds spotted in the area, the preserve is a must-visit for any bird-watcher or nature lover. On the third Saturday of each month, join the Friends of Audubon Arizona Family Bird Walk, which takes place from 8am to 11am and is completely free of charge. Whether you go on a weekday or weekend, the preserve offers a peaceful stroll through its beautiful surroundings, complete with picnic tables and clean bathrooms. And for a special treat, keep an eye out for the numerous bunny rabbits hopping around the park.
2. Downtown Gilbert
Downtown Gilbert may be small, but it offers a diverse array of the best things to do in Gilbert Arizona. With a range of top-notch restaurants serving cuisines such as BBQ, Mexican, Italian, and country fare, food lovers are in for a treat. On Saturdays, don’t miss the farmer’s market located near the water tower where you can sample fresh produce and listen to local musicians performing various genres of music. Take a leisurely walk with your family, grab a coffee or soda, and enjoy the sunny weather while exploring this lively area.
3. Freestone District Park
One of the best things to do in Gilbert Arizona is to visit Freestone Park. This park is designed to cater to all members of the family, regardless of age or fitness level. It features a range of activities, including volleyball, basketball and tennis courts, a skating area, and picnic areas with BBQ grills. There’s also a five-acre lake for fishing, as well as a model railway, an amusement park, a mini Ferris wheel and carousel for children, and a completely accessible environment for those with disabilities. This park guarantees an enjoyable experience for all!
4. Gilbert Farmers Market
One of the best things to do in Gilbert Arizona is to visit the lively Saturday market. With a rotating selection of 60 to 100 vendors, you’ll find a diverse array of locally grown produce, meats, sauces, jams, pickles, and handcrafted goods. While you’re there, be sure to sample the tasty treats from one of the food trucks, offering freshly made quesadillas and tamales. After you’ve picked out your favorite goodies, take a seat at one of the available tables and chairs, and enjoy your food while the younger members of your family play giant games of Connect Four and Jenga.
5. Have a top time at TopGolf
One of the best things to do in Gilbert Arizona is to visit TopGolf. It’s a huge entertainment complex with a state-of-the-art driving range and a stylish lounge where you can drink and play games. The best part? You can enjoy unlimited play and a delicious lunch for a very affordable price. This is the perfect place to have fun with your family, friends, or significant other, regardless of your golfing skills. Take a break from your daily routine and hit some balls, score some points, and enjoy the laid-back atmosphere. Don’t forget to tell the kids about the amazing opportunity to make their own donuts with cream or jam!
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6. Gilbert Historical Museum
Discover the history of Gilbert at the Historical Museum, which has been showcasing the town’s past for over three decades. The museum is located in a building that is registered on the National Register of Historic Places, making it a unique and historic location. Visitors can explore a vast collection of artifacts and photographs that tell the story of the town, including a dedicated section for military history buffs. The museum also boasts a display of famous autographs, such as those of Jefferson and Churchill, among others. After visiting, don’t forget to stop by the gift shop to pick up a special keepsake.
7. SanTan Village
SanTan Village is a must-visit for shoppers and foodies alike. This regional lifestyle mall covers 1,200,000 square feet of prime retail space and offers an abundance of shopping and dining options to suit every budget. What sets SanTan Village apart is its unique design, featuring small streets that give the mall a charming, neighborhood feel. With a range of stores, from Macy’s and Dillard’s to Barnes and Noble, there’s something for everyone here. And after a day of shopping, refuel at one of the many delicious restaurants available on site.
8. Gilbert Rotary Centennial Observatory
One of the best things to do in Gilbert, Arizona is to visit the Gilbert Rotary Centennial Observatory (GRCO) at the Riparian Preserve at Gilbert’s Water Ranch. Kids will love the opportunity to explore the universe and learn about the planets, and the knowledgeable staff at the Observatory is available on Friday and Saturday evenings to answer any questions they may have. With a 16-inch diameter Meade scope and a computer-controlled German equatorial mount, the observatory offers a unique chance to gaze into the night sky and discover the wonders of the universe.
9. Agritopia Farm
One of the best things to do in Gilbert Arizona is to visit the Agritopia Farm. This educational farm offers a unique experience for those who want to learn about backyard gardening, sustainability, and organic food production. The farm is dedicated to producing enough food for its workers, with surplus to share. Whether you have a passion for sustainable living or simply want a fun family outing, a visit to the Agritopia Farm is a must-visit in Gilbert. It’s an excellent opportunity to learn about self-sufficiency and the lost arts of gardening.
10. Regal Gilbert Stadium 14
One of the best things to do in Gilbert Arizona is to experience the luxury of movie watching at the Royal Gilbert Stadium 14. This popular movie theater boasts big, comfortable recliner seats with ample arm space and spacious aisles, ensuring a comfortable experience for all its patrons. The theater complex has multiple screens that showcase all the latest releases at an affordable price. With a clean and well-maintained environment and friendly staff, a trip to the Royal Gilbert Stadium 14 is the perfect way to treat the family to a fun and enjoyable movie experience in Gilbert.
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11. Western Skies Golf Club
Western Skies Golf Club, located just a short drive from downtown Phoenix, is one of the best things to do in Gilbert Arizona for golf enthusiasts of all levels. It offers a traditional 18-hole, 6700 yard layout and is a moderately-priced, full-service facility that provides an affordable golfing experience. With its well-maintained course and a mix of challenging long par 3s, golfers can enjoy a leisurely pace even when the club is crowded. Despite being surrounded by houses, play is not hindered, making it the perfect spot for a relaxing day out for dad’s to treat themselves.
12. Hale Centre Theatre
One of the best things to do in Gilbert Arizona is to immerse yourself in a unique and exciting theatrical experience at this ‘small but mighty’ theater. With a rich history dating back to 1947, this privately owned venue is the longest-running American theater company, having received over 30 awards for its technical and artistic excellence. The stunning lobby leads to a spacious theater that still retains an intimate feel, with the stage placed in the center of the room.
From musicals and tributes to dramas and comedy events, the theater offers a diverse range of family-friendly productions. The performances, costumes, props, lighting, and sound are all top-notch, and shows typically run for no more than three hours with a short intermission. The high-quality productions are a true showcase of local talent and always thoroughly enjoyable.
13. SunDust Gallery Paint & Pottery Party Studio
SunDust Gallery offers painting, clay and batik classes, supplying all the necessary tools. You can work at your own pace, which is ideal for those new to painting. If you’re not sure a portrait will complement your home decor, there are over 100 alternative images to choose from. Don’t worry if you can’t finish your artwork before the gallery closes, for an affordable fee, you can return to complete it at a later time. You can also paint a portrait of your pet, or bring along your own snacks and drinks.
14. Joe’s Farm Grill
Visiting Joe’s Farm Grill should definitely be on your list of the best things to do in Gilbert Arizona. This beloved local hangout offers fresh, flavorful food that is sourced from local farms. You can enjoy delicious menu items like the famous farm burger, complete with in-house pickles and a butter bun, or one of their milkshakes that are out of this world. While you can sit inside, the outdoor seating under the trees is a true delight. Just be prepared for a wait, as there is often a line, but the wait is well worth it. This country location is also great for a day trip, surrounded by tall trees and spacious ranch-style surroundings.
15. Gilbert Central Trail System
One of the best things to do in Gilbert Arizona is to explore the Gilbert Central Trail System. Known as a “bicycle-friendly town,” the trail system boasts 54 miles of scenic trails that follow along canals and horseback riding tracks. With three distinct trails – the Marathon, Santan Vista, and Heritage Trails – all running from north to south and connecting Gilbert’s parks and canal systems, the trail system is a must-visit for nature enthusiasts.
In addition to the trails, the Gilbert Central Trail System also features several picnic areas and pocket parks, as well as interesting monuments to admire. Whether you’re visiting with your significant other or your family, a walk through this beautiful trail system is sure to be a memorable experience.
When it comes to vacations, you don’t need to break the bank to have a good time. Gilbert, Arizona is proof of this with its diverse range of activities and attractions, from art galleries to parks and beyond. This unique blend of modern and traditional elements results in a comprehensive list of things to do, which will leave you both overwhelmed and satisfied. Make sure to add these top-rated best things to do in Gilbert Arizona to your itinerary, and have the time of your life in this charming town.
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