Things to Do in Gilbert, Arizona With Kids

by Nikki M. Mascali
Originally Published: 
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If you’re looking for a family-friendly vacation destination out west, you might want to consider Gilbert, Arizona. This Phoenix suburb boasts more than 300 sunny days a year. So, that means there are plenty of outdoor things to do in Gilbert with kids but, when the family is ready to get out of all that sun for a while, there’s a lot to do indoors, too. Here are the best things to do in Gilbert with kids.

Kids Attractions in Gilbert

Learn all about Gilbert’s past at the Gilbert Historical Museum. It’s housed in HD South, the city’s former elementary school that was built in 1913 and is its oldest building. In addition to a bunch of interesting exhibits, there are free weekly storytimes for kids ages three to five.

The whole family can drive some balls at Topgolf Gilbert. If the kids don’t want to, the high-tech complex also offers free Xbox and games on the terrace. In addition, the food and cocktail menu is a, ahem, hole-in-one.

When the Arizona heat gets to be too much, you won’t have to look far for indoor kid attractions in Gilbert. FatCats Entertainment offers bowling, a movie theater with recliners, arcade and a pirate-themed glow-in-the-dark mini golf course. Bonus: all movies are $5 on Tuesdays.

Let the kids bounce out all their energy at Bounce U. In addition to all-age open bounce, the facility hosts cosmic bounce on select Friday nights, and special playdates for kids under six and under three. In addition, Bounce U offers sensory bounce the first Wednesday of every month.

Best Restaurants in Gilbert for Kids

If you don’t mind sauce-covered kids, head to Joe’s Real BBQ Restaurant. Meats here are smoked only in Arizona pecan wood. The kids menu features a sandwich or ribs with two sides. And, the rest of the menu is pretty mouth-watering, too.

The three locations of Barro’s Pizza have more than just Grandma Barro’s pizza pies. There are wings, salads, sandwiches and pastas, too. The kids menu features French bread pizza, spaghetti with or without meatballs and chicken fingers.

Joe’s Farm Grill literally brings the farm to your table. The eatery is located in the Johnston family’s former residence on their 12-acre farm. The varied menu includes barbecue, pan pizza, salads and more. The kids menu features burgers, chicken tenders, grilled cheese and corn dog bites. Plus, they serve breakfast.

Gilbert Farmers Market downtown isn’t a restaurant, but you’ll find lots of just-picked fare. It’s open every Saturday morning with dozens of vendors, food trucks and family-friendly entertainment.

Best Hotels in Gilbert for Kids

In addition to its welcoming chocolate chip cookies, the DoubleTree by Hilton has a 24-hour pantry market, laundry, on-site restaurant and bar and outdoor pool. Plus, they have a kids menu, cribs and high chairs on site.

Breakfast is free at the Hampton Inn & Suites. The property is close to the Gilbert Historic District and offers a free local shuttle to get around town. It, too, has cribs and high chairs.

Outdoor Activities in Gilbert for Kids

With more than 300 days of sunshine, there are tons of outdoor activities in Gilbert for kids. Obviously, just make sure to keep everyone hydrated and slathered in sunscreen.

For starters, walk, bike or hike along the 135-mile Central Trail System. And fear not, there are parks along the way with shade, drinking fountains and other amenities.

The kids can stretch their legs at Freestone Park. There are two lakes, sports fields and courts, three playgrounds (including one that’s accessible) and a skate park. On weekends, pop over to the Freestone Railroad area. There, the kids can get all aboard a mini railroad, mini Ferris wheel, vintage carousel or waterless wave runner ride.

Summer temperatures in Gilbert often hit the high 90s and up, so some water-based fun will be welcome. Luckily, you can all cool off in one of Gilbert’s public pools for just a few dollars a pop. Greenfield Pool has a kiddie slide, tumble buckets, sprinklers, and a zero-depth area. Similarly, Mesquite Aquatic Center has waterslides, play mushrooms and diving boards. Amenities at Perry Pool also include a playground and splash pads, while Williams Field Pool has tumble buckets, splash pads and a zero-depth area.

Water Tower Plaza is named for the historic Gilbert Water Tower. Here kids can enjoy a splash pad, water wall and feel like super kids when they magically move the 9.5-ton granite ball water feature.

Golfland Sunsplash in nearby Mesa has dozens of waterslides for kids of all ages. In addition, there’s mini golf, bumper cars, go-karts and a huge arcade.

Other Things to Do in Gilbert With Kids

Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch is an educational and recreational park. You can go on bird walks, fish in the lake, take a tour, camp, visit the observatory and more.

There’s more than 35,000-square feet of fun at Altitude Trampoline Park. In addition to wall-to-wall trampolines, it offers trampoline basketball, trapeze swings, log rolling, rock walls and zip lines. Plus, there’s a special section just for the littler ones.

Give the kids a handful of quarters to take a swing at the Cactus Yards batting cages. Or, catch a local youth or adult league game at one of the the sports complex’s eight small-scale replicas of famous ballparks. For example, Diamondback Field pays homage to Phoenix’s own MLB team.

Or, take your sluggers to a Cactus League baseball game since a bunch of MLB teams come to the Phoenix area for spring training every year. Games are played at stadiums just a short distance from Gilbert.

In fall and winter, a visit to Mother Nature’s Farm should be on your list of things to do in Gilbert with kids. Feed farmyard animals, take a hayride or trip through Alexander’s Adventure Maze, or pick a pumpkin from the patch in October. Come December, find a Christmas tree and frolic during the farm’s annual snow day celebration.

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