12 Things To Do With Family In Gilbert, Arizona

Last Updated on February 9, 2024 by Emily Johnson

Nestled in the southeast valley of the Phoenix metropolitan area, Gilbert is a thriving and family-friendly town with lots to see and do. Known for its excellent schools, amenities, events and attitude towards families, Gilbert has repeatedly ranked highly in lists of the best places to live in Arizona.

With warm weather year-round, Gilbert offers outdoor adventures galore along with kid-approved museums, farms, sports activities and seasonal events. From hiking trails winding through desert landscapes to splash pads for cooling off on hot summer days, Gilbert has something to entertain visitors of all ages.

Read on for 12 of the top things to do with family in Gilbert, Arizona.

Explore Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch

One of the most unique things about Gilbert is the Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch. This large park contains various ecosystems, walking trails and glimpses of wildlife along the riverbanks. Wander through and you may spot quail, lizards, jackrabbits, roadrunners and more.

Interpretive signs explain the importance of riparian habitats. After exploring, take a break at the playground next to the visitor center. With covered ramadas and running water, it’s an ideal spot for a picnic too.

Address: 3005 South Lindsay Road, Gilbert, AZ 85295

Get Up Close at Ostrich Farm

For a truly unique experience, visit Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch. This working ranch offers guided tours where you can feed ostriches by hand, collect eggs and even sit on the tall birds. Kids will get a kick out of seeing these unusual creatures up close. Tours run continuously from 9am to 5pm daily.

The ranch also hosts seasonal events like Halloween parties and Christmas light displays. Don’t miss the gift shop filled with ostrich-themed souvenirs.

Address: 10221 South Hackamore Road, Gilbert AZ 85298

Play on Splash Pads

When Phoenix summer temperatures climb into the 100s, Gilbert’s splash pads offer family-friendly relief. These zero-depth water play areas feature fountains, buckets dumping water and various water toys. Many have shade sails, play structures and places for parents to sit.

Popular splash pad parks include McQueen Park, Discovery Park, Sunset Park and Zanjero Park. Or hop between multiple splash pads on the self-guided Splash Passport tour each May. Just remember swimsuits, water shoes, sunscreen and towels.

Make New Friends at Schnepf Farms

Schnepf Farms offers downhome entertainment perfect for families. Say hello to the goats, donkeys, chickens and peacocks wandering the farm. Hop on a tractor-pulled wagon ride winding through alfalfa and citrus orchards. Let kids burn off energy in huge play areas with tunnels, treehouses, zip lines and more.

Weekends feature live music, crafts, beekeeping demos and flavored honey samples. October brings the annual Pumpkin & Chili Party with train rides, costume contests, corn mazes and fireworks. With so much included, Schnepf Farms makes an excellent value family outing.

Address: 24610 S Rittenhouse Rd, Queen Creek, AZ 85142

Hike Through Desert Landscapes

Gilbert has an extensive system of scenic hiking and biking trails right in town or along desert washes. One favorite is the Riparian River Reserve Path starting at Velocity Sports Performance Center or Mesquite Park with its scenic wood pathway bridges. The Eastern Canal Trail offers an easy hike under a canopy of trees.

For breathtaking desert panoramas, tackle the moderate Crossroads Trail or challenging Hawes System Trails with far-reaching views. Early mornings and late afternoons provide the most comfortable temperatures for hiking here. Be sure to bring plenty of water, hats, closed-toe shoes and sun protection.

Practice Ninja Moves at Circus School

Aspiring little ninjas will enjoy Circus School 4-in-1 activities. Kids ages 5 and up can learn trapeze, tightrope walking, tumbling and acrobatics at these professional circus training studios. Lessons promote strength, balance, coordination and self-confidence…plus they’re just plain fun!

The Circus School also hosts exciting birthday parties complete with pizza, cupcakes, activities and a special circus show just for the birthday child. It’s the perfect place for your tiny daredevil to challenge himself and burn off excess energy.

Address: 33 N Lindsay Rd #12, Gilbert, AZ 85233

Splash into Aquatic Fun

When the Arizona heat sizzles, nothing beats water fun to cool down. The Gilbert Aquatic Center near Freestone Park offers plenty of wet and wild family amusement all summer long. Shoot down three-story waterslides, brave the 500-gallon dump bucket or drift along the lazy river.

This massive 20-acre complex also contains a beach volleyball court, concession stand, grassy lawn, playground and adult pool. Daily admission fees apply. For more affordable splash time, visit the town’s community pools like Perry or Greenfield with recreational swimming, slides and kid pools.

Root for Home Teams

Gilbert youth can get involved in America’s favourite pastime all year long thanks to the warm local weather. Sign up little sluggers for tee ball, coach pitch and competitive baseball and softball leagues organized by the Town of Gilbert or Gilbert Youth Sports Association.

When they’re not on the field themselves, take the family out to cheer at professional home games. The Arizona Diamondbacks MLB team plays at downtown Phoenix’s Chase Field just 25 minutes away. Additionally, spring training with the Diamondbacks or other MLB teams happens right in Gilbert and neighbouring Mesa each March.

Launch Model Rockets

Blast off homemade rockets 400 feet in the air at Gilbert’s Stellar Airpark, a dedicated model airplane facility with FAA clearance. Families can launch model rockets the fourth Saturday morning monthly following free orientation sessions.

Staff supervises launches, helps prepare rockets and ensures proper safety protocols. Construct and decorate rockets beforehand or purchase ready-to-fly rockets at the event. This hands-on hobby lets kids apply science and engineering principles outside the classroom. Combine model rocketry with hiking beautiful Stellar Airpark afterward. Please check park regulations before visiting.

Address: 3033 South McQueen Road, Gilbert AZ 85297

Bounce at Urban Air Adventure Park

Let kids literally bounce off the walls at Urban Air Adventure Park inside SanTan Village Mall. This enormous indoor playground contains trampoline dodgeball courts, tumbling lanes, sky rider coaster, indoor zipline, warrior obstacle course, tubes playground and more.

Participants wear grip socks over trampoline attractions, ensuring high-flying fun. Different activity zones accommodate specific ages and daredevil levels. Kids earn stamps for completed challenges. Urban Air hosts birthday parties too. Visit early as capacity fills fast for this popular rainy day destination.

Address: 2174 East Williams Field Road, Gilbert AZ 85295

Saddle Up at Horseback Riding Centers

Even longtime residents may not realize equestrian centers operate right inside Gilbert town limits. Family-owned RS Stables by Freestone Park offers one-on-one country riding lessons plus horseback trail tours meandering through desert landscapes with spectacular mountain views.

Just down the road, Sahuaro Ranch Park historic property also provides guided trail rides and riding lessons. Experienced equestrians can board horses at both locations too. Families may enjoy observing stable activities or petting docile horses even without riding themselves.

Get the Blood Pumping at AZ Ice Arcadia

Glide across the ice hand-in-hand or rev up competitive play during public skating sessions at AZ Ice Arcadia rink. This skating complex with dual NHL-sized ice sheets lets families enjoy traditional pastimes year-round. Kids can learn basic skills in group lessons then progress towards hockey goals or graceful maneuvers.

Public skate times also feature free small train rides on ice, allowing beginners to gain confidence on the slippery surface. Concessions sell hot chocolate and snacks to warm up with after play. AZ Ice also houses leagues, camps, and tournaments to feed older kids’ hockey fever.

Address: 23833 N Scottsdale Rd #60, Scottsdale, AZ 85255


Families visiting Gilbert, Arizona discover plentiful attractions catering to children’s special brand of fun. Farms, canals, preserves and parks create opportunities for outdoor exploration and discovery. Spots like Circus School encourage athletic skill-building indoors. Of course, the town’s splash pads and pools provide hours of cooling entertainment in the arid desert climate too.

Baseball facilities and stadiums promote America’s favorite pastime among all ages. And equestrian centers connect people to the region’s cowboy history. With options spanning gentle to daring, educational to zany, and classic to cutting-edge, every family can craft amazing memories during their stay in Gilbert, Arizona.

Leave a Comment