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12 Best Things to Do in Gilbert, AZ

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A Cook, Software analyst & Blogger.

Best Things to Do in Gilbert: Located in Maricopa County, Gilbert boasts plenty of unique offerings. Known as the “Hay Capital of the World”, Gilbert used to be an agricultural town in the 1900s and also has a rich railroad history. 

It has evolved since then and now features a lively entertainment scene as well as a host of cultural and historical attractions.


Enjoy a Broadway show at the Hale Center Theater, go for a picnic at Freestone Park, witness a wide variety of flora and fauna at Riparian Preserve, or go stargazing at the Gilbert Rotary Centennial Observatory, there is an array of activities to enjoy here for a memorable holiday. 

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Planning a trip to this charming town? 

Let’s help you curate the best itinerary with our list of the best things to do in Gilbert, Arizona.

Dive in!

Soak in some history at the Gilbert Historical Museum #1

Explore the artefacts, archives, and memorabilia from the past at this impressive museum.

It used to be a school in the early 20th century and today houses nine exhibit rooms, a century-old classroom as well as a military exhibit.

Best Things to Do in Gilbert

If you’re visiting with kids, they’ll especially love the train exhibit that showcases train models from the time of World War II.

What’s more?

They offer many educational programs for an immersive learning experience. 

Rejuvenate your senses amidst nature at Riparian Preserve #2

Want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the town? Head to this beautiful preserve at Water Ranch.

The landscape design is such that you’ll feel like you’re in Arizona’s deserts. It also features seven artificial lakes and a dinosaur fossil dig pit.

Don’t forget to carry your binoculars as you’ll find around 200 species of birds and animals here.

Visiting with kids?

There’s also a playground here to keep the little ones engaged.

Enjoy a nature walk, lounge by the lake, or go birdwatching, there is something here for everyone. Feel like spending the night? There are three campsites to spend the night in. 

Catch a show at Hale Center Theater #3

Owned and run by the Hale family, Hale Center Theater is the go-to place in town for theatre lovers.

Best Things to Do in Gilbert

With a seating of 350, it has hosted various popular shows such as “The Little Mermaid”.

With the seats arranged around the stage, viewers have a better look and can enjoy an intimate experience. You can book your tickets online to ensure you get your preferred spot. 

Gaze at the stars at Gilbert Rotary Centennial Observatory #4

How about an evening of gazing at countless stars in the sky?

Head to this public observatory to look through a high-powered telescope at the fascinating night sky and witness its sublime beauty.

Interested in exploring more about astronomy?

Join their SkyWatch program that takes place every second Friday.

Planning to have a more intimate experience?

You can also book a personal viewing session. It is one of the best things to do in Gilbert, AZ. 

Take a swing at Western Skies Golf Club #5

With a backdrop of the stunning Superstition Mountains and surrounded by desert landscapes, this scenic golf course in East Valley is a picture-perfect destination for those who love to golf.

Best Things to Do in Gilbert

Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, this 18-hole golf course offers a delightful experience.

Get golfing equipment and apparel from the on-site pro shop and get ready for a fun golfing experience. 

Play at Freestone Park  #6

Play tennis, volleyball, softball, and basketball, ride a Ferris Wheel, or hop on a miniature train, there is no dearth of fun outdoor recreational activities to enjoy here.

Located on E. Juniper Road, the park is sprawled over 120 acres and also features a lake area where you can enjoy fishing.

Make sure you have your fishing license. When hunger strikes, cook something delicious on the barbeque grills as you soak in the beautiful surroundings. 

Go cafe hopping in Downtown Gilbert #7

If you’re a foodie, you’ll love it here. The charming Downtown area is home to several cafes and restaurants that offer a host of diverse cuisines, from Mexican and Italian to French and more.

Best Things to Do in Gilbert

Enjoy smoked meats at Joe’s Real BBQ, or dig into some Asian fusion delicacies at Clever Koi, there are plenty of options to suit every taste.

You’ll also find many food trucks here and live music sessions by the locals.

What’s more?

It even hosts Farmer’s Market on Sundays where you can buy some fresh produce including homemade sauces and freshly baked bread. 

Unleash your creativity at Art Intersection #8

How about letting your inner artist out?

An initiative by local businesses, Art Intersection hosts various events for all ages allowing visitors and locals to express their creativity.

Best Things to Do in Gilbert

From displays of paintings and sculptures to theatre, music, and dance performances, it offers something for everyone.

You can witness performances and creations by local artists for an artsy evening. 

Unwind at Discovery District Park #9

The 48 -acre Park takes its name from the fact that fossils were discovered from a Columbian Mammoth near the site.

It features a butterfly garden where you can see these colourful creatures fluttering all around you.

Some of its other notable attractions include multi-use trails, volleyball, and basketball courts as well as a playground with a rock-climbing structure.

Love to fish?

It is popular for its fishing programs and features two ponds where participants can get a good catch. 

Enjoy retail therapy at SanTan Village #10

If you love to shop, add this open-air shopping complex to your itinerary. It has around fifty stores featuring many top brands as well as several restaurants and bars to satiate your cravings.

Best Things to Do in Gilbert

What’s more?

With local musicians performing around the year, there is no dull moment in this lively place.

They also host many interactive events and offer complimentary Wi-Fi.

Visiting with kids?

There’s a children’s splash pad and play area to keep the little ones delighted. 

 Feel the tranquillity at St. Anne Roman Catholic Parish #11

Built in 1936 and renovated in 1943, this beautiful church exudes a tranquil vibe. The largest registered congregation in the country, it can seat around 220 people.

Best Things to Do in Gilbert
You’ll find one of the eight exact replicas of Michelangelo’s Pieta in the world.

Attend one of the daily masses or bask in the serenity of the place.

Planning to visit on a Sunday?

Don’t forget to dig into the delectable and reasonably priced breakfast offered by the church. 

 Stroll around Morrison Ranch #12

Morrison Ranch is a master-planned community and is also known to be the largest dairy farm and cropland business in the city.

Best Things to Do in Gilbert

Owned by the Morrison family, it has four giant silos and features beautiful tree-lined streets.

You can stroll or bike around its scenic streets, and even attend community programs such as Fall Festival or the Youth Fishing Day for a fun outing. 

So, begin with the one that attracts you the most and get ready for an unforgettable vacation in this vibrant town. 

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Q. What are the top attractions to visit in Gilbert?

Hale Center Theater, Riparian Preserve, and Freestone District Park are the top attractions to visit in Gilbert. 

Q. What are the best outdoor activities in Gilbert?

Fishing, playing volleyball, golfing, biking, and hiking are some of the best outdoor activities to enjoy in Gilbert. 

Q. What is Gilbert Arizona known for?

The town is known for its Central Trail System and its rich agricultural history as the “Hay Capital of the World”. 

Q. Does Gilbert AZ have a downtown area?

Gilbert’s Downtown Area is known as Heritage District by locals. It features plenty of shops and restaurants. 

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