Gilbert Things To Do
This page is dedicated to the Town of Gilbert. It lists a variety of destinations and activities for both residents and visitors to take advantage of around the town. Scroll down to see suggestions for things to do in Gilbert in the following categories: Outdoor Activities, Indoor Activities, Shopping, Unique Dining, Where to Stay and Great Day Trips. The list includes indoor and outdoor activities, kid-friendly, free or reasonably priced and a wide variety of things to do.
I have tested all of these venues out as a matter of research prior to putting this list together. All are good in their own way but I composed general overviews for each so you can hopefully decide what is best for you and your family. If you are not sure… my suggestion is to try them all!
Romeo’s Euro Café: Nothing else like this place. Take a look at the photo gallery on their website and you will get the idea. Also look into the Taste of Euro Cafe private dinner and wine pairing on Thursday nights. Best dining experience for the money.
Postino’s: Great food, wine, and ambiance in the patio seating section. Lunch, fine dinner and a “rockin’ brunch” on the weekend.
Bergies Coffee House: Cute and cozy right on Gilbert Road in the Heritage District. Blissful outdoor garden seating complete with bird feeders and umbrellas. Baked goods and great coffee drinks. Good place for a meeting or just to hang out.
Liberty Market: This one-time market and convenience store icon was renovated a few years ago and turned into a classy restaurant. Great dinners or breakfasts and (in my opinion) the best cappuccino in Arizona.
The Farmhouse: Hearty American classics for breakfast and lunch. Come hungry and expect a line for breakfast. Seating is at a premium but the food is well worth the wait.
The Gilbert House: This charming renovated house sits in a unique plaza of curio shops and offers great breakfast, lunch, and dinners. Family owned and the food is excellent.
Joe’s Farm Grill: Classic American dining with burgers, onion rings, and shakes. Fresh fixin’s from Agritopia. Dine inside or out on the picnic tables under the huge shade trees.
Joe’s Real Bar-B-Q: Owner Joe Johnson’s “other” restaurant offering everything you would expect from a great Bar-B-Q joint. Housed in what used to be the old movie theater on the Leadership History Walk on Gilbert Rd.
New Mexican Grill: Growing up in New Mexico meant it was hard to find traditional New Mexican cuisine when I moved to Arizona. This place gets it right! Meals are smothered in Hatch green chili, cheese, and all the extras. Great breakfast burritos and huevos rancheros. I go to the tiny, easy to miss location on Lindsay Rd.
Buffalo Wild Wings: Yes, this is a chain restaurant but the difference between this BWW and any other out there is the owner, Gayle Schmidt. Gayle hires and trains her staff for excellence. She takes a great model for a sports/bar, wing joint and adds her own personality, which is nothing short of exceptional. Two locations in Gilbert. Elliot and McQueen and Gilbert Town Square. Both feature indoor/outdoor seating and all the games on t.v.
Blue 32: Buffalo Shrimp?? Yes! Great food and atmosphere in both a dining section and large bar area. The food is great and the service has always been.
Kneaders Bakery and Cafe: Amazing fresh baked goods and wonderful for breakfast or lunch. Great atmosphere in this beautiful cafe.
Flancer’s: Great pizza and subs with some rock and roll attitude from owner Jeff lancer. In Gilbert you can find Flancer’s on Gilbert Rd. just north of Juniper, the second location in Mesa. Great for lunch or dinner.
Sal’s Gilbert Pizza: One of my favorites in Gilbert Town Square. Pizza, garlic knots, salads, and great Italian dishes. Family friendly and reasonably priced. Pizza by the slice during lunch.
Pomo Pizzeria: Authentic pizzas and Italian entres. Full bar and great atmosphere.
JC’s Steakhouse: One of our favorite places to dine. Casually elegant dining for great steak and seafood. Family friendly.
Backyard Taco: Located in Agritopia. They are known for their namesake tacos, the restaurant’s menu offers burritos, quesadillas, gorditas, and tostadas. The second location in Mesa.
Discovery Park: This great outdoor open space is located in the heart of Gilbert. It is bordered by Pecos Rd on the south and west, Greenfield Rd (San Tan Village Parkway) on the east, and the 202 freeway on the north. This park is featured in one of our video segments. Amenities include: 2 lakes, 3 lighted multi-use fields, 2 lighted sand volleyball courts, 2 lighted basketball courts, 3 large group ramadas, 5 picnic ramadas, restrooms, playground area, benches, bike racks, and trails throughout.
Freestone Park: Freestone Park is located on Lindsey Rd. between Guadalupe and Elliot and has been a great venue for outdoor activities for many years. Lakes, soccer fields, playgrounds, batting cages, baseball/softball fields even a miniature train.
The Riparian Preserve: By far one of my favorites. The Riparian Preserve is located on the south side of Guadalupe Rd. just east of Greenfield. This specifically designed preserve has a number of basins that are flooded on rotation and produce wetland habitats for migrating and local birds. There are activities for children, an observatory, urban fishing areas, and miles of trails throughout. Great for photography, bird watching or just exploring. A must see for nature lovers, families with young children and photography enthusiasts. The Riparian Preserve is featured in one of our video segments.
Water Tower Park: Great place to hang out with small kids. Saturday mornings the Farmers Market takes place right next door. There is an in-ground water feature “splash and play” area for youngsters and benches and grass around. Look for history walk plaques in the area. Lots of restaurants to choose from, all within walking distance.
Farmer’s Market: Saturday mornings from 8-11 by Water Tower Park in Downtown Gilbert. Fresh veggies, jams, and jellies, crafts and wares are sold in this family-friendly outdoor market experience. Also found in Gilbert’s Power Ranch neighborhood on Wednesday’s from 3-7. Click here for more details on the Power Ranch Farmer’s Market.
Big League Dreams Sports Complex: Settle in here to watch a softball or baseball tournament and maybe, just maybe catch sight of a star of the future.
Gilbert Historical Museum: Explore the rich history of the one time “Hay Capital of the World” at the Gilbert Historical Museum. Plenty of historic photos and interactive displays depicting early life in Gilbert. Outdoors there is a large static display of farm equipment and tools.
Hale Theater: Live theater performances regularly performed in this intimate theater. No bad seats and affordable pricing on classic productions for all ages.
The Higley Center provides comfortable accommodations for live theater and event performances.
Southeast Regional Library: This beautiful library is located next to the Riparian Preserve on the southeast corner of Greenfield Rd. and Guadalupe Rd. Internet access and a large selection of books or movies to browse. Great atmosphere for kids and adults.
Flipside Fun and Bowling Center: Family fun at this huge bowling center. Arcade, laser tag, mini bowling and great food to go with the fun.
Harkins Theaters: All the latest big-screen movies in a comfortable theater. Locations at San Tan Village and in nearby Chandler Crossroads.
Located in Gilbert Town Square this is bowling to the extreme. Game room, lounge, and loads of lanes. Excellent food and beverages to round out the experience.
Indoor ice skating and hockey. Great for hockey enthusiasts, birthday parties, or for those who just want to slide around on the ice. Located on Greenfield Rd. North of Ray.
McQueen Park Activity Center: This 15,000 square foot facility has four classrooms, four multi-use activity rooms with wood parquet flooring, full-length wall mirrors and dance bars, a prep kitchen, a game area, restrooms, an outdoor terrace, front reception office and a spacious lobby with a large screen television. Outdoors you will find two tot lots, two basketball courts, numerous ramadas, ball fields, two sand volleyball pits, and a horseshoe pit. You could come here every week and find something new every time.
Gilbert Community Center: This center has a dance studio, computer room open to the public, a fitness center, three classrooms, two multi-purpose rooms, and a full commercial kitchen. In the Leisure Learning Class Program, preschool, youth, and adult classes are offered. It also includes the Gilbert Senior Center where seniors can enjoy activities that include arts and crafts, exercise, cards, bingo, creative writing, parties, movies, trips, and social dancing.
Freestone Recreation Center: Located in Freestone Park, this is a 50,000 square foot family recreation center that offers amenities such as a climbing wall, fitness/weightlifting rooms, steam rooms, aerobic rooms, full locker facilities, childcare, and an assembly room. The recreation center also offers a variety of classes and programs for preschool, youth, adults, and seniors.
San Tan Village: All the big stores and retail chains are found in this outdoor mall setting and are featured next to boutique shops and restaurants. You can walk the streetscapes and window shop or take in a movie at the Harkins Theater. Plenty of play areas for kids and benches to take a rest on.
Heritage District: Quaint shops and local dining are the theme of the Heritage District on Gilbert Rd. north of Elliot. Farmers Market on Saturday mornings.
Gilbert Town Square: This combination of quaint shops and great restaurants struggled during the recession but is making a comeback. Buffalo Wild Wings is a longtime favorite. Sal’s Pizza, Bowlero Gilbert, and Regal Theaters.
Downtown Concert Series: Bring your picnic basket or get takeout from one of Gilbert’s local restaurants and enjoy outdoor evening entertainment at the Water Tower Plaza in the heart of Gilbert’s Heritage District. Concerts scheduled year round.
Gilbert Fourth of July Celebration: Gilbert goes patriotic! Bring the family and watch our spectacular fireworks.
Gilbert Off the Street Festival: Enjoy the sights, sounds and vibrant energy at the inaugural Gilbert “Off the Street” Festival. The festival will be held in Gilbert’s popular Heritage District in Downtown Gilbert. The event will be filled with live music, street performers, kids activities, food, artisan and craft vendors. Chalk artists will “chalk it up” in the downtown with colorful and exciting chalk murals. Generally takes place in Fall.
Veterans Day Ceremony: This ceremony honoring American veterans features the presentation of colors, music by local schools, special guest speakers, food and refreshments, and much more.
Gilbert Days: This traditional celebration of the heritage of Gilbert is generally held in the Fall and includes a 5k Run and 1 Mile Run as well as a parade and festival. Great fun for the whole family!
Riparian After Dark: The Riparian Preserve comes alive with a holiday glow! On the enchanting candle-lit trails, you will find hundreds of luminarias and festive light displays. Enjoy a variety of school choirs, carolers and other live holiday entertainment as well as light refreshments available for purchase.
Gilbert Outdoors Expo: Held at the Riparian Preserve, this two-day event lets you find your inner outdoorsman with a variety of outdoor activities and the opportunity to learn new skills, including fishing, camping, hunting, hiking and much more. Expo generally held in early Spring.
Ka-POW! Superhero Adventure Run: Get ready to tie on your capes and be a Superhero at The KA-POW!This is a costumed run fit for the whole family with fun and challenging obstacles. Runners are encouraged to wear their favorite superhero costume as they participate in a family friendly course with 20 + playful obstacles, with a distance of just under 2 miles. The Adventure run course includes many challenging obstacles such as the Spiderman Tower, Thor Tires, Iron Man Crawl, Wonder Woman Wall, and back by popular demand the Aquaman’s waterside. Plus, this year there will be a 4 story high water slide- Don’t miss out! Typically held in Spring.
Gilbert Global Village Festival: This multi-cultural celebration is open to all ages and brings neighbors together. Community members, schools, non-profits and service organizations come together to create opportunities to celebrate, share and sustain the arts and the rich cultural traditions of countries from around the world! It features some of the traditional and contemporary forms of dance, music, children’s activities, arts & crafts, and ethnic foods from countries far away. Festival is generally held in Spring.
Where To Stay:
Best Western Legacy Inn & Suites: Off Power Rd. and close to Phoenix/Mesa Gateway Airport and ASU Poly.
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Phoenix-Gilbert: Located right across the street from San Tan Village with great access to all areas of Gilbert. Features the Elegante Conference center for meetings and events.
Four Points By Sheraton at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport: Located on the Toka Sticks Golf Course and just minutes away from Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport.
Courtyard by Marriott Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport: Located just minutes from many businesses; like ASU Polytechnic campus, Apple Inc, Aviation Performance Solutions, Cessna/Citation, Embraer, ATP, FujiFilm, Bridgestone and of course the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport.
Residence Inn by Marriott: Extended stay suites in Gilbert’s newest hotel. Convenient to MD Anderson Center and Banner Gateway Hospital. Near HWY 60 with good access to north Gilbert and Mesa.
Hampton Inn and Suites: On Market Street near the 202. Clean and comfortable with great amenities and friendly staff.
Hyatt Place Phoenix/Gilbert: Also on Market Street in the center of Gilbert. Close to everything and excellent accommodations.
Great Day Trips:
Arizona is an amazing state and part of the appeal of living in Gilbert is access to tall pines, scenic drives and great areas to explore, all on one tank of gas! This section is good for Gilbert residents and extended visitors with some extra time on their hands.
Tonto Natural Bridge State Park (Payson): 90 minutes north of Gilbert on Highway 87 is an amazing geological park that I recommend to anyone visiting Arizona. Not as grand as the Grand Canyon but also not as far away and not as crowded. The park has trails along the stream and through the tunnel. Cathedral ceilings 100 ft. high! Great for kids 8 and up. Picnic tables and charcoal grills are available. Admission is reasonable. Drive up in the morning, stop in Payson for lunch on the way back and you are home by 4:00. By far my favorite day trip.
Boyce Thompson Arboretum (Superior): East of Gilbert on Hwy 60, the scenic drive takes you past my favorite mountains (The Superstitions) towards Globe. Don’t miss the turn off because it doesn’t look like much. Down the hill is the Arboretum with walking trails, gardens, greenhouses and a couple of homes from the early settlers. Bring your camera and take your time exploring. Canyon Lake, Saguaro Lake, and Roosevelt Lake: These three reservoirs use water from the Salt River for boating and recreational activities. The drive through the Superstition Mountains and Salt River Canyon are spectacular and scenic. Roosevelt Lake is the furthest out but still less than 2 hours away.
San Xavier Mission: Located south of Tucson this historic Mission site is made for an interesting day trip. Stop in Tucson for lunch, light a candle at the Mission and connect with history and the Holy Spirit.
Jerome, Mingus Mountain, and Prescott: Take an easy drive up to Jerome and enjoy lunch in this quirky little mining town. We recommend the Haunted Hamburger for lunch and views that are hard to match. Follow HWY 89 over Mingus Mountain and down into the beautiful Prescott Valley. To make the most of the trip stop off at the town center of Prescott, AZ for some ice cream. Whiskey Row and the old Courthouse are all right there for exploring. Leave around 10:00 am and be back in Gilbert by 5:00 depending on traffic and how long you investigate Jerome and Prescott.