Blake Walsh

15 Free Things to Do in Chandler, AZ

  • Published 2022/12/06

Known as the top suburb in Phoenix, Chandler is a charming city in Maricopa County, Arizona.

Chandler is the fourth biggest city in Arizona, celebrated for being one of the top technology and innovation centers in the whole country.

It may be a renowned city today, but Chandler had humble beginnings.

The city was founded by the first veterinarian surgeon in Arizona, Dr. Alexander John Chandler, in 1912.

Dr. Chandler established the city in hopes of turning it into a destination that would attract many visitors in the future.

The city of Chandler realizes its founder’s dreams, offering many attractions that visitors frequent.

This city has everything you need, from fun outdoor areas to attractive cultural and historical hubs.

Don’t worry about a budget-friendly adventure with these free things to do in Chandler, Arizona.

Learn Local History at Chandler Museum

Building sign of the Chandler Museum

Around the World Photos /

Uncover stories of the city’s past and its cultural heritage through the artworks and exhibits at Chandler Museum!

Chandler Museum on South Chandler Village Drive is the top cultural attraction in the city.

Here, you can enjoy gazing at artworks, photographs, and sculptures reflecting the region’s history and evolving culture.

You can also participate in public programs and discussions where you can broaden your knowledge of Chandler’s history and culture.

Exterior of the Chandler Museum

Around the World Photos /

There are also programs for kids where you can create art with your child.

Explore the Chandler Museum and deepen your appreciation for creativity as you gaze at the artwork.

Stop by the iconic shade sculpture outside the museum and take pictures while it’s lighted with vibrant colors!

See Stunning Artwork at Vision Gallery

Feast your eyes on colorful and intriguing artwork at the Vision Gallery.

Nestled along Chicago Street, Vision Gallery is a creative space that welcomes all art lovers and artists to see and appreciate beautiful artworks.

Roam the gallery and check out different artworks made by regional and local artists.

You can find many artworks in this gallery, from paintings and photographs to sculptures and ceramics.

There are also textile works and drawings that you can check out as you visit each corner of this institution!

Stroll around the Lake at Desert Breeze Park

Feel the relaxing wind blowing as you take a peaceful walk around the scenic Desert Breeze Park.

Desert Breeze Park is a popular destination among families in the city; you can find it on North Desert Breeze Boulevard.

With its numerous amenities, guests of all ages will find something fun to do when they visit this location!

This park features sports areas, a playground, splash pads, and a stunning lake that you’ll surely want to take pictures of.

There are also walking trails here that would take you all around the must-see areas of the park.

Walk on these trails and unwind as you take in the sight of the picturesque lake.

Bring your kids and check out the other fun amenities, including a mini train.

Learn to Take Care of the Environment at Chandler Nature Center

Experience the beauty of nature and become inspired to preserve it at the Chandler Nature Center.

Chandler Nature Center is on Chandler Heights Road and is a must-visit destination for all nature lovers.

Without leaving the city, you’ll explore an oasis by visiting this center.

Here, you’ll learn more about the environment through fun recreational activities.

You’ll walk around a fishing lake while learning more about its ecosystems and how to take care of it properly.

You can also freely explore the exhibits on reclaimed water and many other eco-friendly topics at this center.

This center is a must-visit if you are a dedicated nature lover and want to be more environmentally friendly.

Step Back in Time at the Zelma Basha Salmeri Gallery

Learn about Western and Native American history through the personal art collection at the Zelma Basha Salmeri Gallery.

Located on South Basha Road, the Zelma Basha Salmeri Gallery features the Eddie Basha Collection, an art collection teeming with history.

Eddie Basha, an art collector interested in the American West and its history, owns this collection.

Due to his admiration for the American West and his deep appreciation for artworks, he collected hundreds of works and grew his collection.

Today, visitors can see this private collection of artworks at the Zelma Basha Salmeri Gallery.

Catch a glimpse of the past as you explore this gallery and set your sights on paintings and drawings that depict significant events in American West history.

You’ll also be able to check out artworks made by both Cowboy artists and American Indian contemporary artists.

Spot Local Flora and Fauna at Veterans Oasis Park

Ducks on the water of Veterans Oasis Park

Sean Xu /

Find stunning flowering plants or unique wildlife when you explore Veterans Oasis Park.

Nestled along Chandler Heights Road, Veterans Oasis Park is a large park with walking trails, play areas, and a stunning five-acre lake.

This lake enjoys high ratings among individuals who love fishing since it’s always stocked with fish.

This park also features luscious greeneries and unique plants, like cacti.

A bird on a plant at Veterans Oasis Park

AZ Outdoor Photography /

This park has become home to many creatures with its beautiful natural areas and healthy water systems.

From extraordinary birds to small reptiles, you can find a lot of wildlife at this park.

Bring your binoculars and spend the day spotting unique plants and animals here!

Coyote at Veterans Oasis Park

Sean R. Stubben /

Keep Active at Tumbleweed Park

Bring out your inner sportsman as you compete with your loved ones at Tumbleweed Park.

Located on McQueen Road, Tumbleweed Park features several amenities where you can play sports with your friends or family.

There is a bocce ball area, multi-use fields, sand volleyball, and a tennis court.

There are also walking trails in the park where you can jog or run if you want to break a sweat.

If you want to appreciate the natural areas within the park, you can stroll around and check out the beautiful flower shrubs.

Spend a day being active at this park!

Find Your Next Favorite Book at Chandler Public Library

You must drop by Chandler Public Library if you’re a certified bookworm.

Chandler Public Library is on South Delaware Street and is the go-to destination for bookworms, students, and researchers.

Many people who want to spend an afternoon reading also frequent this library.

This library features a wide range of books, magazines, and newspapers that you can freely browse to choose which one piques your interest.

They also have an extensive collection of music, movies, and other media resources that you can use.

Whether you like reading fiction or nonfiction, you’ll find something to enjoy at this library!

Remember the Brave Veterans at the Field of Honor

Pay homage to the courageous individuals who sacrificed their lives for the nation at the Field of Honor.

Based on Chandler Heights Road, the Field of Honor is a memorial dedicated to veterans from all the branches of the country’s armed forces.

Apart from being a memorial, this field also offers educational resources to discover more about the country’s history.

A visit to this destination will surely provide you with a solemn experience.

Explore this field and reflect on the lives of the brave soldiers who fought for the country.

This is a great place to deepen your appreciation for the dedicated veterans of the nation.

Discover the Distance between Planets in the Solar System Walk

Follow the Solar System Walk to discover the great distances between the heavenly bodies in the solar system.

The Solar System Walk is a pathway on Chandler Heights Road with displays that will tell you about the distances between Earth and other planets.

This path is 2,500 feet long and has signs and monuments representing different celestial objects.

These monuments are installed at distances simulating the solar system’s actual scale.

Each measured foot on the pathway represents about 1.5 million miles!

At 62 feet, the distance between the Earth Monument and Sun monument on this walk equals the 93-million-mile distance between the two celestial bodies!

Have a fun educational time during the Solar System Walk!

Bond with Your Kids at Lantana Ranch Park

Spend quality time with your kids at Lantana Ranch Park!

Located on Appleby Road, Lantana Ranch Park is a large, extraordinary playground with a unique aircraft theme!

This is the perfect destination if your kids love everything related to planes and aviation!

There are rock walls, toddler swings, and an airplane tower structure where your kids can play.

There is also a spinning play structure that’s also accessible for children with disabilities.

Aside from the large play area, there’s also a basketball court for kids and teens who lean more toward sports!

You don’t need to worry about getting too tired running after your kids, too, since this playground floor is squishy enough for your weary feet.

Other Free Things to Do Nearby

While there are many more exciting destinations you can explore in Chandler, you can have more fun if you check out some of the must-visit attractions outside the city.

Don’t worry about traveling too far because the following locations are only a few minutes from Chandler!

Go Birdwatching at the Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch

A bird on the waters of Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch

Christopher M Hall /

Set your sights on unique and majestic birds when you visit Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch!

This preserve is on Guadalupe Road in Gilbert, Arizona, which is only 17 minutes away from Chandler.

Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch combines habitat preservation with water resources management.

This destination is also dedicated to educating people about its advocacies and outdoor recreation.

Bird perched on a branch at Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch

Christopher M Hall /

Apart from this, the preserve has also been certified as an Important Bird Area, making it the perfect place to visit if you want to go birdwatching.

About 298 different species of avian creatures have been found here, along with reptiles, amphibians, and even mammals.

Lace up your walking shoes and prepare to explore this preserve’s trails to find unique birds!

Egret at Riparian Preserve at Water Ranch

Christopher M Hall /

See the Stars and the Planets at the Gilbert Rotary Centennial Observatory

If you are into astronomy, a visit to the Gilbert Rotary Centennial Observatory is a must!

Nestled along Guadalupe Road in Gilbert, 17 minutes from Chandler, the Gilbert Rotary Centennial Observatory offers a free, fun experience for your whole family.

You can see planets like Mars and Jupiter using telescopes at this observatory.

You’ll surely be amazed by the beauty of these celestial bodies as you see them clearly through state-of-the-art equipment.

Depending on the time of your visit, you’ll see planets, comets, and even meteors.

If you visit in the morning, you will have the chance to see Venus and Mercury.

In the evening, you’ll witness Neptune and Uranus and maybe even the rings of Saturn.

Marvel at the Breathtaking Altar in St. Anne Roman Catholic Parish

Step inside St. Anne Roman Catholic Parish and admire its beautiful altar.

Located on Elliot Road in Gilbert, this church is commonly described as different from other Catholic churches in the Phoenix area because of its simple architecture.

Despite this, many would be surprised at its stunning altar.

The best part is that you only have to travel 12 minutes from Chandler to see this beautiful building.

The altar at this parish features a total of three paintings that depict important events from the Bible.

These works of art will truly take your breath away, whether you’re a devout Catholic or an art enthusiast.

Feed the Ducks at Freestone District Park

Bring snacks to share with the adorable little ducks at Freestone District Park.

Freestone District Park is on Juniper Avenue in Gilbert, just 12 minutes from Chandler.

This park is the first ever major park in Gilbert and opened in 1988.

It features a carnival for kids, spacious play areas, walking trails, and a scenic lake swarming with ducks!

There’s also a free skate park where you can practice your skateboarding tricks.

Explore this park and check out all the fun amenities it has to offer.

If you want to chill by the lake, you can sit on the grass and enjoy the view while giving the ducks some snacks.

Final Thoughts

When you visit Chandler, you’ll see beautiful and unique sights and participate in activities you won’t forget!

Check out these free things to do in Chandler, Arizona, and enjoy your vacation in the city.

Plan your budget-friendly vacation today!

© All rights reserved.