Living in Gilbert, Arizona, means you’re close to some amazing, family-friendly activities. There are so many things to do, from hiking outside and enjoying the Southwestern heat to staying cool inside with some sports or water fun. That’s why Crème de la Crème of Gilbert has put together this list of the best family attractions in our hometown.


TopGolf isn’t just a fancy driving range. You and your whole family are sure to enjoy playing a variety of games that involve hitting golf balls. But unlike a regular course or driving range, all of the golf balls are micro-chipped for precision tracking that shows your actual distance and location. It also means you don’t have to find your ball and retrieve it.

Technology aside, this place has dozens of games for all types of players, including beginners and pros of all ages. You can try out different target practice games, play Angry Birds, have a round on a virtual golf course, compete against your group to get the ball as close to the hole as possible, hit the ball the farthest, and collect jewels as you hit targets. While you play, enjoy delicious food like wings, chips and dip, tacos, pizza, burgers, adult beverages, and more.

TopGolf is located at 1689 S. Santan Village Parkway in Gilbert. They’re open Sunday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Friday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to midnight.

Mesquite Aquatic Center

A young girl uses a frog shaped floaty at the aquatic center in Gilbert, Arizona

Little girl in swimming pool at Staunton River State Park” licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Flickr by vastateparkstaff

Looking to beat the Arizona heat? Then head to your local water park at Mesquite Aquatic Center. This place has a lap pool, and the kiddie slide and other water slides empty out into other pools on-site. You and your kiddos can enjoy splashing around the zero-depth wading area, a perfect place to stay cool and play with your children. There are also diving boards in the deeper pools, so you and your kids can have some jumping fun. Dry off and hang out under the shady ramadas, and consider grabbing grub at the concession stand.

To come here, purchase a day pass, which ranges from $1 for kids and $3 for adults. Or, save money with a local pool pass punch card, which gives you 30 child pool pass visits or 10 adult pool pass visits for $25.

The Mesquite Aquatic Center is open Monday through Friday from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. You can find it at 100 W. Mesquite St. in Gilbert. 

Fat Cats

Fat Cats is an all-in-one family fun destination right here in Gilbert. Whether you want to play arcade games, watch a movie, go bowling, or play mini-golf, Fat Cats has it all. Plus, they have a full menu of yummy bar and grill foods, like burgers, pizza, hot dogs, appetizers, and adult beverages.

Come for family-friendly movies, like the latest kids animation film or superhero flick. Visit the arcade full of classic machines as well as new video games. Most of the games at the arcade cost less than a dollar per round, and on Wednesdays, you can play for half-price. Or, bowl a few rounds, and at night, enjoy neon bowling during their Thunder Alley events throughout the week. If your kiddos are a bit too young for TopGolf, then the Glow Golf putt-putt course at Fat Cats is the perfect alternative. It’s nine holes of glow-in-the-dark, pirate-themed fun.

You can find Fat Cats at 4321 E. Baseline Road in Gilbert. They’re open every day from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Be on the lookout for special holiday events, like Halloween and the winter holidays.

Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch

If you’re looking for outdoor activities that will help your family connect with nature, then you should pay a visit to the Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch. This natural education and recreation area strives to protect the state’s natural resources and wildlife habitats. You can hike around the preserve on the marked trails, too. There’s also a lake on-site that’s stocked with rainbow trout, largemouth bass, sunfish, and channel catfish, so it’s a great place for the anglers in your family to retreat to. 

You can come here to learn more about the preserve’s efforts and the local wildlife that call the area home through a variety of cool events. Every third Saturday of the month, the Riparian Preserve hosts family bird walks, where you and your kids can meet up with the Desert Rivers Audubon and stroll around the area while birdwatching. The Audubon loans binoculars to those who don’t have them and helps you identify and learn more about the birds you spot. Plus, your kids can even join the kids’ birdwatching club that meets once a month to go birdwatching.

You’ll find the Riparian Preserve at 2757 E. Guadalupe Road in Gilbert. It’s open from 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m, but the trails are open from dawn until dusk to make sure everyone stays safe on the property.

Hale Centre Theatre

The Hale Centre Theatre is a local theater that hosts amazing live theater shows that are perfect for the whole family. You can book tickets to see adaptations of Broadway musicals, like “Mary Poppins,” “Brigadoon,” and “The Little Mermaid.” Or, take the kids to see family-friendly plays and holiday shows, including “A Christmas Carol.”

What’s even better is that there’s no bad seat in the house. That’s because the stage is in the center surrounded by seats, so you can see everything. Plus, that means the performance plays to all four sides of the stage, making for a truly unique theater experience. In addition to these local destinations, you are also within a short drive to some of Phoenix’s best family-friendly attractions, including the Phoenix Art Museum, Enchanted Island Amusement Park, the Children’s Museum of Phoenix, and the Arizona Science Center. Did we miss any of your family’s favorite local fun-filled destinations? If so, contact us and let us know. We’ll be sure to add it to our list!