When you’re planning a child’s party or another family celebration, you want to make sure you find a venue that delivers fun for everyone involved. The area in and around Gilbert boasts a range of venues that take party time to the next level. From museums to aquariums to fun centers, there’s a venue close to home that suits your needs.

This list from Crème de la Crème of Gilbert will make planning a unique party easier than ever before. Check out these family-friendly locations the next time you’re celebrating a special day.

Freestone Railroad

Three kids blow out the candles on a birthday cake at a party venue near Gilbert, AZ

boy and girl blowing candles” used with permission via Unsplash by Nathan Dumlao

Kids are sure to delight in a special occasion at Gilbert’s own Freestone Railroad. With acres upon acres of fun, this local spot transforms any birthday party or family gathering into a memory kids and adults will treasure for years to come.

Start with a ride on the miniature railroad, which boasts both shady, covered coaches and open-air coaches that take passengers on a tour of the park. The Sante Fe Style Engine brings travelers on a three-quarter-mile journey, passing grassy fields and sparkling lakes as it goes. This train travels on weekends from Labor Day through Memorial Day, 

That’s just the start of the fun. The Allan Herschell Antique Carousel boats 30 beautiful ponies to choose from, treating riders to old-fashioned fun on a refurbished 1951 carousel. Lights, music, and gorgeous horses create one of the Southwest’s most beautiful carousels, and you’ll find it right here at Freestone. You’ll also find a mini Ferris wheel designed especially for young children, not to mention the Wave Runner, a waterless ride that zooms kids around on realistic water skis.

You can book an Engineer Party Deal for an organized birthday celebration, or just stop by with loved ones for a fun time together outdoors. No matter what you plan, this family-friendly venue makes for a special day.

Arizona Museum of Natural History

You can’t go wrong with a visit to the Arizona Museum of Natural History when you want to celebrate a special occasion with your family. Located nearby in Mesa, this unique museum provides an educational experience with tons of opportunities for kid-friendly fun that adults will also enjoy.

This is the place to go for a birthday party for kids that love dinosaurs, but just about everyone will love a day spent here. The three-story Dinosaur Mountain, complete with animatronic dinosaurs, shows dinos from different periods roaring and moving. The hands-on Paleo Dig Pit lets kids dig for fossils, and a range of exhibitions teach visitors about Native cultures from the area, dinosaurs, and more.

Whether you’re planning an outing to celebrate a child or adult’s birthday or another occasion, the Arizona Museum of Natural History offers the perfect setting. You’ll love spending quality time with loved ones in this popular local museum.

i.d.e.a. Museum

If a museum celebration sounds perfect for your group, you’ll also want to have i.d.e.a. Museum on your list of places to check out. The museum used to be known as the Arizona Museum for Youth, and it’s also located in Mesa. This is the place to go for fun, educational, interactive art activities to enjoy as a family.

The name i.d.e.a. comes from the words imagination, design, experience, and art, and you’ll see why the minute you start enjoying the multi-sensory activities that encourage all members of your family to get creative. When birthday parties are available, you can book packages designed for kids of all ages, children ages 1 to 3 years old, or kids 5 years old or older. If you’re not booking a party, you can also simply book regular tickets online and explore with kids and friends.

The museum’s exhibitions and activities are designed for kids 0 to 12 years old, but they’re dedicated to providing fun experiences that lead to lifelong fun and learning. In fact, i.d.e.a. Museum strives to create experiences “for your child and the child within you,” making it the ideal place for a family day out.

Makutu’s Island

Makutu’s Island in Chandler is a family favorite for fun celebrations. The fun center takes you on a trip to worlds of fantasy and adventure, all while giving you a way to beat the heat in Arizona.

The tropical indoor setting boasts lush island trees for sliding as well as activities that let you climb or bungee. There’s also an arcade, mysterious caves, a toddler zone, and more. Teens and adults are also allowed to climb and slide, so this is a great place to check out for a younger kid’s birthday party when you want the whole family to be able to get involved.

Makutu’s Island even offers birthday party packages, taking the guesswork out of planning your next celebration. You can make use of private party rooms and unlimited play time as you enjoy a memorable party with your whole family.

Arizona SEA LIFE Aquarium

Head over to Tempe for another amazing place for a party. That’s where you’ll find the Arizona SEA LIFE Aquarium, an amazing place to spend time together as a family while reveling in an underwater adventure.

This aquarium close to home features the only 360-degree OceanTunnel in Arizona, so kids and adults curious about life underwater are sure to find inspiration here. The aquarium even hosts kids’ birthday parties, letting kiddos get nose-to-nose with cool creatures like seahorses, stingrays, sharks, rescued sea turtles, and more.

With 10 themed exhibits and 250 species calling this aquarium home, a visit to SEA LIFE Aquarium makes any day special. Make the aquarium the backdrop for a celebration and you’re sure to see smiles on the faces of everyone attending.That concludes Crème de la Crème of Gilbert’s list of some fun and unique local spots that would make the perfect place for your next family celebration. No matter if you want an organized party package or you want to create your own outing at a fun place close to home, this list has you covered. But maybe we skipped a go-to party spot your family loves? If we did, reach out to us so we can add your recommendation!