Top 12 Free Things to Do in Chandler

As a popular suburb of Phoenix, Chandler has plenty to offer visitors looking for fun activities without breaking the bank. From outdoor recreation to cultural sites, this vibrant city provides an array of free things to see and do.

Tumbleweed Park100-acre park with trails, picnic areas
Chandler Public LibrariesFour libraries with books, programs
SanTan Sunrise Trail5-mile recreational path
Downtown Chandler Art WalkMonthly art showcase with music, food
Harvest Farmers MarketSeasonal market with local produce, crafts
Dr. A.J. Chandler ParkPark with playground, museum, events
Gallery at Chandler Center for the ArtsArt exhibits by local artists
Folley ParkNeighborhood park with sports facilities
Erie Street Entertainment DistrictArea with eateries, shops, kid-friendly fun
Dobson Ranch Library Trail3-mile nature trail
Payne Park & Sunflower TrailPark with tennis courts, nature trail
Scenic DrivesDrives through desert landscapes

Whether traveling solo, as a couple, or with the whole family, you can experience the best of Chandler without spending a dime. Here are the top 12 free activities and attractions in Chandler, Arizona.

Tumbleweed Park

Name and Location: Tumbleweed Park, 2250 S McQueen Rd, Chandler, AZ 85286

History and Significance: This large regional park opened in 2001, known for its nature areas, lake, and sports facilities. Popular spot for hiking, biking, fishing, and picnics.

What to Expect: Hiking trails, mountain biking, lakeside fishing, picnic areas, playground, basketball courts, sand volleyball. Peaceful natural setting near residential areas.

Visitor Information: Open daily from 5am-10:30pm. Free admission. Parking lot and restrooms onsite. Leashed dogs permitted on trails.

For no-cost outdoor fun, Tumbleweed Park can’t be beat. The expansive 100-acre park contains ramadas, picnic areas, playgrounds, volleyball and horseshoe pits, fishing, and five miles of multi-use trails perfect for walking, jogging or cycling.

Wander through cacti and native plants like mesquite trees and creosote bushes as you spot some of the birds and wildlife that call the park home. Bring your own picnic or use one of the free BBQ grills on-site. With its beautiful desert scenery and wealth of amenities, Tumbleweed Park makes for an enjoyable no-cost day.

Chandler Public Libraries

Name and Location: Chandler Public Libraries, Multiple locations in Chandler, AZ

History and Significance: The Chandler Public Library system was established in 1914 and has grown to 4 branch locations across the city. The libraries host events and provide services to the community.

What to Expect: Access to books, movies, music, computers, free wifi, printing services. Story times and events for kids and adults. Study spaces and meeting rooms.

Visitor Information: Locations across Chandler with hours that vary. Check online calendar for special events. Library cards available for temporary visitors.

Chandler offers four public libraries across the city, all free to visit and use. The main branch downtown includes special amenities like technology classes, 3D printing, and family story times. Browse over 500,000 books, movies, music, magazines, and more.

Sit and read in cozy nooks, use the computers, or bring the kids to play learning games in the children’s area. Libraries also host free programs like Lego Clubs, teen gaming nights and author talks. Enjoy this community resource for learning and entertainment without opening your wallet.

SanTan Sunrise Trail

Name and Location: SanTan Sunrise Trail, Loop path from E San Tan Vista Dr to S McQueen Rd, Chandler, AZ 85249

History and Significance: This paved multi-use trail opened in 2019, providing an important bike and pedestrian route through south Chandler. Part of regional trail system.

What to Expect: Paved 4-mile loop trial for biking, running, walking. Accessible trail through residential areas and parks. Benches and shade ramadas along the way.

Visitor Information: Open daily from sunrise to sunset. No fees or permits required. Trailhead parking at E San Tan Vista Dr. Restrooms at Folley Park.

Get your workout in with a peaceful walk, run or bike ride along the San Tan Sunrise Trail. This paved recreational path stretches over 5 miles one way, following an old railroad line. Take in views of the San Tan Mountains and enjoy the serenity of the surrounding Sonoran Desert.

The trail can be accessed from several Chandler parks including Folley, Sunset and Tumbleweed. Don’t forget to bring water. Reward your exercise by watching the stunning Arizona sunrise along the trail.

Downtown Chandler Art Walk

Name and Location: Downtown Chandler Art Walk, Dr. A.J. Chandler Park West, 178 E Commonwealth Ave, Chandler, AZ 85225

History and Significance: Monthly evening art walk held on 3rd Friday that showcases downtown Chandler shops, restaurants, and galleries. Launched in 2009.

What to Expect: Shops and restaurants stay open late. Local artists sell paintings, crafts, jewelry in park. Galleries and businesses host receptions. Street performers out.

Visitor Information: Held on 3rd Friday monthly from 6pm-10pm. Activities centered around Dr. A.J Chandler Park. Free event, no tickets needed. Parking garages available.

Every second Friday of the month, Downtown Chandler hosts a fun Art Walk from 6 to 10pm. Galleries and businesses stay open late showcasing local artists and artisans. Enjoy live music and entertainment along the walk plus food vendors.

Beautiful crafts, jewelry, paintings and more are available from the talented creators themselves. Wander along the tree-lined streets and take in the small-town charm of central Chandler. With free admission, it’s a budget-friendly night out discovering local culture and cuisine.

Harvest Farmers Market

Name and Location: Harvest Farmers Market, Dr. A.J. Chandler Park West, 178 E Commonwealth Ave, Chandler, AZ 85225

History and Significance: Open air farmers market held in downtown Chandler park since 2009. Features Arizona growers selling fresh produce, breads, crafts and more.

What to Expect: 60+ vendors selling fruits, vegetables, baked goods, jams, arts and crafts. Live music. Food trucks onsite. Dog friendly. Relaxed Saturday morning vibe.

Visitor Information: Saturdays 8am-1pm, October through April. Free to attend. Parking garages nearby, plus on street parking. ATMs available onsite.

From October to May, the Chandler Farmers Market sets up downtown every Saturday morning. Peruse the vendors for fresh, locally grown produce like vegetables, fruits and nuts. Sample artisanal baked goods and other tasty treats.

Browse stalls selling arts and crafts plus bath and body products, many using locally sourced ingredients like AZ honey and oils. Enjoy live music performances as you shop. With access to so many fresh, healthy foods and handcrafted items directly from the source, it’s a great free activity for the whole family.

Dr. A.J. Chandler Park

Name and Location: Dr. A.J. Chandler Park, 178 E Commonwealth Ave, Chandler, AZ 85225

History and Significance: Named after Chandler’s founder and opened in 1989, this 22-acre downtown park hosts events and has public art installations.

What to Expect: Open green space, fountain, gazebo, paths for walking. Hosts concerts, festivals, farmers market. Art pieces scattered throughout park.

Visitor Information: Open daily from 5am-11pm. Leashed dogs allowed. Parking garage below park, street parking nearby. Restrooms onsite.

This expansive city park contains something to enjoy for everyone. Nature lovers can stroll along the paths and pond watching for birds and other wildlife. Have a picnic under one of the covered ramadas or in the grassy areas. Kids will love the playground, splash pad, fishing pier and interactive Chandler Children’s Museum.

There are also ballfields, sand volleyball courts and a bike park with ramps. Concerts, festivals and movies in the park happen throughout the year. With so many amenities in one beautiful setting, it’s a great place to play and explore for free.

Gallery at Chandler Center for the Arts

Name and Location: Gallery at Chandler Center for the Arts, 250 N Arizona Ave, Chandler, AZ 85225

History and Significance: The gallery inside Chandler Center for the Arts exhibits works by local and international artists in a variety of mediums. Opened in 1989.

What to Expect: Changing exhibits that include paintings, sculpture, ceramics, glass works, fiber art. Gift shop onsite. Art classes and camps held here.

Visitor Information: Free admission. Open Monday-Saturday 10am-5pm. Closed Sundays and major holidays. Validated parking in garage.

Chandler’s performing arts center offers more than just ticketed shows. The art gallery located in the lobby features rotating exhibits by local artists that visitors can enjoy at no cost. Mediums like paintings, photography textiles and jewelry highlight talent from emerging creators across Arizona.

Be sure to explore the Chandler Museum located right next door, also free to visit. Make an afternoon of cultural enrichment and discovery without having to pay for admission.

Folley Park

Name and Location: Folley Park, 450 E Queen Creek Rd, Chandler, AZ 85248

History and Significance: Historic park established in 1911, known as Chandler’s first park. Recently renovated with new amenities while maintaining historic features.

What to Expect: Shaded ramadas, paths, playground, basketball court, large grass field. Home of Chandler Museum. Restrooms and parking onsite.

Visitor Information: Open daily 5am-11pm. Leashed dogs permitted. Museum open Tues-Sat 10am-4pm. Ramadas can be reserved for events.

Located near downtown Chandler, this smaller neighborhood park still packs a lot of punch. Jog the 1 mile running track loop or walk the paths lined with citrus trees. Have a picnic under the ramadas or let kids burn off energy at the playground.

Two lighted tennis courts are available for use as well as a basketball court and sand volleyball. Leashed pets can enjoy the dog park area. With its central location and variety of amenities, Folley Park is a great pocket park to while away an afternoon.

Erie Street Entertainment District

Name and Location: Erie Street Entertainment District, Between Arizona Ave and Ottawa St, Chandler, AZ 85225

History and Significance: Popular downtown district filled with restaurants, bars, boutiques and events along Erie Street. Heart of downtown since Chandler founding.

What to Expect: Trendy shops, chef-driven restaurants, wine bars, breweries and cafes. Events like craft fairs, music, art walks held here. Lively urban vibe.

Visitor Information: Location borders Dr. A.J. Chandler Park. Parking garages, street parking available. Gets busy during events – arrive early.

For a lively night out, head to Chandler’s Erie Street downtown filled with fun free things to see and do. Allow the kids to splash around in the Walking Man water feature as you grab an affordable bite from the many restaurants’ patios.

Let them dance and play in the open grassy areas and on the playground during one of the kid-friendly music performances. Pop into shops and galleries like the Maker House with unique artisan goods. With its community spirit and energy, Erie Street offers free evening entertainment the entire family can enjoy.

Dobson Ranch Library Trail

Name and Location: Dobson Ranch Library Trail, 1875 S Price Rd, Chandler, AZ 85286

History and Significance: Paved walking trail that loops around the Dobson Ranch Branch public library, completed in 2019. Part of city’s trail network.

What to Expect: 1-mile paved loop for walking, running, biking. Benches scattered around. Nearby playground, basketball court. Restrooms at library.

Visitor Information: Open daily 5am-10:30pm. No fee or permit needed. Trailhead parking at library lot. Restrooms accessible during library hours.

Escape into nature along this scenic 3-mile paved trail that connects the Dobson Ranch Library to SanTan Village Mall. Shaded by native trees, it follows a wash area home to desert plant species like prickly pear cactus. Keep your eyes peeled for local birds and wildlife.

The trail has several access points from local neighborhoods and parks if you don’t wish to do the entire out and back. It’s a perfect spot to enjoy a tranquil walk immersed in the natural beauty of Chandler.

Payne Park & Sunflower Trail

Name and Location: Payne Park & Sunflower Trail, 155 E Frye Rd, Chandler, AZ 85225

History and Significance: New park opened in 2020 featuring a paved trail lined with sunflower sculptures created by local artists. Located near downtown.

Located in south Chandler, Payne Park contains a nice playground, lighted tennis courts, and ramadas for picnicking. It also serves as the trailhead for the Sunflower Trail, a 2.5 mile loop that takes you through beautiful desert scenery.

Interpretive signs identify native plants and describe the wildlife habitat. Benches are available if you need a break. Dogs are allowed on leash. Whether you stick to the park area or venture out on the trail, it’s a nice spot to enjoy Chandler’s outdoors free of charge.

Scenic Drives

You don’t have to spend a dime to take in lovely desert vistas. Go for a scenic drive along the Bush Highway in north Chandler with Saguaros towering on both sides. Or cruise down Queen Creek Road to see the agricultural side of Chandler’s heritage, passing citrus groves, farms and ranches. Load up some tunes or a podcast and admire the landscape through your car windows.


With sprawling parks, historic sites, art walks and scenic spots, Chandler offers many free things to do suitable for all tastes and ages. Get active hiking and cycling city trails or relax with an al fresco picnic. Learn something new through library resources or be entertained at a lively downtown festival.

Sample fresh local flavors from farmers markets and food vendors. Whether on your own or with family and friends, Chandler provides many opportunities to experience the culture, nature and heritage of this vibrant Arizona city without spending a dime.

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