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Things To Do in Gilbert, AZ

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Gilbert, Arizona, a gem in the heart of the Grand Canyon State, has evolved from an agricultural community into a thriving and vibrant town. Known for its sunny weather, welcoming community, and diverse attractions, Gilbert is a destination that offers something for everyone. From its historical roots to modern amenities, this town, with a population of over 250,000 as of 2023, blends traditional charm with contemporary living, making it an ideal place for tourists and residents alike. Exploring things to do in Gilbert, AZ is an adventure in discovering the heart and soul of this unique town.

Historical Attractions in Gilbert

Gilbert Historical Museum

Nestled in the heart of Gilbert, the Gilbert Historical Museum is a portal to the town’s rich past. Housed in a charming school building dating back to 1913, the museum showcases a range of exhibits detailing Gilbert’s journey from a small farming community to a bustling modern town. Visitors can explore rooms filled with artifacts, photographs, and stories that bring to life the town’s agrarian heritage.

Heritage District

The Heritage District, Gilbert’s downtown area, is a bustling hub of activity and history. This district, with its beautifully restored buildings, offers a picturesque stroll through the town’s early 20th-century history. It’s a perfect blend of old-world charm and modern convenience, with an array of shops, restaurants, and cultural venues that showcase the vibrant community spirit of Gilbert.

Outdoor Activities

Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch

Gilbert’s Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch is a natural oasis, attracting nature enthusiasts and families alike. This 110-acre preserve is home to over 298 species of birds and numerous mammals, reptiles, and amphibians, making it a paradise for bird watchers. The preserve’s network of trails invites visitors to explore the beauty of the Sonoran Desert, offering serene walks and educational experiences.

Freestone Park

As one of Gilbert’s largest parks, Freestone Park is a haven for sports and outdoor activities. The park boasts numerous amenities, including ball fields, a skate park, and playgrounds. For those seeking relaxation, the park’s picturesque lake and spacious picnic areas provide a peaceful retreat. Freestone Park is a perfect example of fun things to do in Gilbert, AZ, combining recreational facilities with natural beauty.

Culinary Experiences

Local Cuisine Highlights 

Gilbert’s culinary landscape is as diverse as its population. The town prides itself on a variety of dining options that cater to all tastes, from authentic southwestern flavors to international cuisines. Local eateries and cafes offer dishes that reflect the region’s agricultural heritage, using fresh, locally-sourced ingredients.

Top Restaurants in Gilbert

For food enthusiasts, Gilbert’s top restaurants provide an unforgettable dining experience. From gourmet establishments offering fine dining experiences to quirky local joints serving up unique culinary creations, Gilbert’s food scene is a delight. These dining spots not only serve great food but also offer a glimpse into the town’s culture and community.

Cultural and Art Scene

Hale Centre Theatre

The Hale Centre Theatre is a cornerstone of Gilbert’s cultural landscape. Known for its high-quality productions, the theatre offers a variety of shows ranging from classic plays to modern musicals. The intimate setting of the theatre, combined with its exceptional performances, makes it a must-visit destination for art lovers.

Art Walk in Gilbert

The Gilbert Art Walk is a vibrant event that showcases the talents of local artists and artisans. Held in the beautiful Heritage District, this event brings together a diverse range of artwork, from paintings and sculptures to handmade crafts. The Art Walk is not just an exhibition but a celebration of the creative spirit that thrives in Gilbert.

Family-Friendly Activities

Gilbert’s Farmers Market 

The Farmers Market in Gilbert is a bustling, vibrant event that takes place every Saturday. It’s a place where local farmers and artisans come together to offer a variety of fresh produce, artisan foods, and unique crafts. The market is a great way for families to enjoy things to do in Gilbert, AZ, offering an array of activities for children and a chance to engage with the local community.

Discovery Park

Discovery Park, a 48-acre park, is a wonderland for families and children. With amenities like a large lake, walking trails, and playgrounds, the park offers numerous opportunities for outdoor fun and learning. It’s a place where kids can explore, play, and learn about the natural environment in a safe and engaging setting.

Shopping Destinations

SanTan Village

SanTan Village is a premier open-air shopping destination in Gilbert, offering a mix of retail, dining, and entertainment options. With over 100 stores and restaurants, it caters to every shopping need and desire, from high-end brands to local boutiques.

Local Boutique Shops

Gilbert’s local boutique shops in the Heritage District provide a unique shopping experience. These shops offer a variety of items, from handmade jewelry and art to bespoke clothing and home decor. Shopping here supports local businesses and artists, making it a worthwhile experience for visitors.

Festivals and Events

Gilbert Days

Gilbert Days is an annual celebration that pays homage to the town’s heritage and community spirit. The festival includes a parade, rodeo, and various family-friendly activities, attracting residents and visitors alike. It’s a time when the community comes together to celebrate Gilbert’s history and culture.

Global Village Festival

The Global Village Festival is a testament to Gilbert’s cultural diversity. This event showcases the many cultures that make up the fabric of the town through music, dance, food, and art. It’s a vibrant, colorful celebration that offers a taste of the world in the heart of Gilbert.

Nightlife and Entertainment

Downtown Gilbert Bars and Clubs

The nightlife in Downtown Gilbert is lively and varied, with a range of bars and clubs that cater to different tastes. From cozy wine bars to lively dance clubs, there’s something for everyone in Gilbert’s downtown area.

Concerts and Live Music

Gilbert’s music scene is vibrant, with numerous venues hosting concerts and live music events. These events feature local and regional artists, offering a range of genres from rock and country to jazz and blues. It’s a great way to experience the local culture and enjoy what to do in Gilbert, AZ at night.

Relaxation and Wellness

Spas and Wellness Centers

Gilbert offers a variety of spas and wellness centers for those seeking relaxation and rejuvenation. These centers provide a range of services, from massages and facials to holistic wellness therapies, ensuring a restful and refreshing experience.

Yoga and Meditation Retreats

For those looking to unwind and find inner peace, Gilbert hosts several yoga and meditation retreats. These retreats offer a chance to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life and focus on personal well-being in serene surroundings.

Adventure and Sports

Hot Air Balloon Rides

One of the most thrilling things to do in Gilbert, AZ is to take a hot air balloon ride. These rides offer breathtaking views of the Arizona landscape, providing an unforgettable adventure.

Golf Courses in Gilbert

Golf enthusiasts will find several top-notch golf courses in Gilbert. These courses offer challenging layouts and stunning scenery, making for an enjoyable golfing experience for players of all skill levels.

Educational Attractions

Gilbert’s Science and Space Centers 

Gilbert’s commitment to education is evident in its science and space centers. These centers provide interactive and educational experiences for all ages, making learning about science and space both fun and engaging.

Educational Workshops and Tours

Gilbert offers a variety of educational workshops and tours, covering topics from local history to natural sciences. These programs are designed to educate and inspire, providing valuable learning experiences outside the traditional classroom setting.

Seasonal Activities

Summer Water Activities

The warm Arizona climate allows for a variety of summer water activities in Gilbert. From swimming and water parks to boating and fishing, there’s plenty of fun to be had in the water during the summer months.

Winter Festivities

Despite its desert location, Gilbert offers a range of winter festivities, including holiday markets, light displays, and community events. These activities bring a festive spirit to the town during the cooler months.

Day Trips from Gilbert

Nearby Attractions

Gilbert’s location in the Phoenix metropolitan area makes it an ideal base for exploring nearby attractions. Day trips can include visits to the Superstition Mountains, the Tonto National Forest, and the historic town of Jerome.

Scenic Drives 

Arizona is known for its stunning landscapes, and Gilbert is no exception. Scenic drives from the town offer breathtaking views of the desert, mountains, and valleys, providing a relaxing and enjoyable way to explore the beauty of the region.


Gilbert, AZ, offers an incredible mix of history, culture, and modernity, making it a destination that caters to a wide range of interests and lifestyles. The town’s unique blend of small-town charm and big-city amenities has not only made it a popular destination for tourists but also a desirable place to live. 

From its tranquil parks and engaging historical sites to its lively downtown and diverse culinary scene, Gilbert embodies the essence of a well-rounded community. This balance of leisure and lifestyle is one of the many reasons people find themselves not just visiting, but also moving to Gilbert.

The trend of people relocating to Gilbert is evident, with movers in Gilbert, AZ, reporting a significant increase in moving activities in recent years. This uptick is attributed to the town’s growing reputation as a family-friendly, safe, and vibrant community. Its excellent schools, thriving job market, and high quality of life are drawing new residents from all over the country. The influx of new residents is adding to the diversity and dynamism of the town, further enriching the community spirit and expanding the range of activities and services available.

As Gilbert continues to grow and evolve, it retains its welcoming atmosphere and commitment to preserving its unique character. Whether you’re planning a short visit, considering a longer stay, or even contemplating a permanent move, Gilbert, AZ, offers a wealth of opportunities and experiences. It’s a place where history is cherished, innovation is embraced, and community is celebrated. So, whether you’re exploring the many things to do in Gilbert, AZ, or seeking a new place to call home, Gilbert extends a warm welcome to all.