Loading Image Top 10 Free Things to Do in Gilbert, AZ this Fall and Winter

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November 18, 2022

Top 10 Free Things to Do in Gilbert, AZ this Fall and Winter  

Looking for something entertaining to do this weekend – or any weekend – in Gilbert, AZ? We’ve got good news for you … there are plenty of free, fun things to do in Gilbert. Whether you’re seeking activities for couples, for families or for a solo Saturday jaunt, you don’t have to spend money to find them. Take a look at our top 10 favorite fall and winter activities today.

1. Tour the Gilbert Riparian Preserve

No need to pay for this sublime natural experience. The Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch is a lake destination that boasts beautiful plants, wildlife and educational experiences. It was designed in 1999 to conserve water and create habitat for plants and animals. Wildlife on viewing includes ducks, finches, woodpeckers, doves, swallows, warblers, sandpipers and more – making it a birdwatcher heaven.

Aerial shot of Downtown Gilbert, Arizona on a clear sunny day

2. Visit Old Town Gilbert

Gilbert’s Heritage District is a lovely place to wander day or night. With oodles of shopping destinations, modern art installations and restaurants, you’ll find no lack of things to do there without paying a cent. Go window-shopping with your family or stroll arm-in-arm with your partner in the late evening. Before heading out, grab a bite to eat or an icy treat from eegee’s before visiting the theater, historical museum or gallery.

3. Hit the Gilbert Farmers Market

Open-air markets get put on hold in many places in the United States due to adverse weather conditions. Not in Gilbert, where the farmers market is open every Saturday year-round. Come enjoy some of the area’s best foodie delights, such as:

  • Agritopia Farm’s certified organic produce
  • Plants and starts from Jeff’s Nursery
  • AZ Zen Tea’s organic loose-leaf tea and accessories
  • Absolutely Delightful Honey’s raw honey offerings
  • Wild-caught fish and more from Alaska’s Best Seafoods
  • Amigos AZ’s fresh heritage drinks, such as horchata
  • Lovely, fresh booch from the Arizona Kombucha Company
  • Steaming-hot fried goodness from Beignet Babe

We could go on. Surely that’s enough to tempt you though, right? Plus, even though the treats will run you a few dollars, the exercise is free!

4. Check Out the Comstock Christmas Lights

A street where all the houses are linked to the same Christmas radio station? Um, yes, please. Christmas on Comstock is a time-honored Gilbert tradition, where you can enjoy beautiful lights and tunes at the same time. While it gets pretty busy on December weekends, you can usually get some quiet time to yourself with your loved ones earlier in the month or on weekdays. Make sure to pick up a quick dinner on the go, whether you’re walking or driving.

Happy family walking on a beautiful grass field going on a picnic

5. Picnic at a Park

Gilbert has a range of amazing public parks, where you can enjoy its gorgeous outdoor weather, which often stretches well into fall. Bring a picnic blanket, some lawn games and a hearty lunch. Need some ideas for quick, satisfying meals that will feed the whole family? Pick up some subs, ranch fries and eegees before you head out.

If you’re wondering where to visit, try the Freestone District Park, Gilbert Regional Park or Discovery District Park. With walking trails, water features and plenty of lawn space, you’ve got all the ingredients for a perfect fall or winter day.

6. Head to Mother Nature’s Farm

If you visit Gilbert early enough in the fall, you’ll be in time for Mother Nature’s Farm, an adorable and rustic visit for any couple or family. The pumpkin patch is free, and you can choose whether to buy pumpkins, treats and more. Its haybale formations, pumpkin forest and fall-tastic décor make great backdrops for pictures of little ones – and, let’s be honest, little ones at heart too.

Young girls walking after shopping

7. Walk Around SanTan Village Mall

If you’re a mall rat, you can’t do better than SanTan Village. This open-air shopping center features a huge range of shops and eateries. Get your Apple computer serviced there while you shop for the holidays, visit the Luxe Salon and Spa to treat yourself to something nice, or head to Beard Papa’s – an establishment devoted entirely to cream puffs. Yes, you heard correctly: cream puffs. If that doesn’t entertain, what will? There’s also an eegee’s close by!

8. Pay Homage to a Tucson Favorite

Okay, so technically buying an affordably priced sub or icy beverage isn’t free. But heading to a drive-thru is, right? Whether you choose to indulge in delicious food is, at that point, up to you. If you’re feeling peckish, though, eegee’s is the place to go.

This fan favorite is one of Gilbert’s most hopping lunch destinations, with several locations throughout the city. Enjoy fabulous fare and old-time vibes at any of our spots, then head on to your free destination for the day.

9. St. Anne’s Roman Catholic Church

You don’t have to be religious to enjoy a tour of this beautiful building. Built between 1677 and 1799, this is Spanish architecture at its finest. Enjoy its lovely sanctuary and grounds, and make sure to get some good photographs from all around the building. Note that while it puts on a wonderful service during the holidays, it does get crowded. If you’re going to go to mass, get there early!

10. Gilbert Rotary Centennial Observatory

Who doesn’t love looking at the stars at night? Gilbert’s clear skies make stargazing possible even during the fall and winter, where other states see clouds roll in. The Gilbert Rotary Centennial Observatory, located at the Riparian Preserve, is here to oblige.

They host free public star parties every second Friday from sunset to 9:30 PM. Bring your own telescope, or use the ones provided by the East Valley Astronomy Club. Note that although the event is free, they love a good donation (who doesn’t?) and suggest $5 for families or $3 for adults.

See? There’s no excuse not to get out and do something fun and free in this sunny, charming Arizona town. And remember … don’t forget to bring a snack from eegee’s, collect those rewards and celebrate all things Gilbert with some fun merch!

What!?! FREE eegee’s? Yes!

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