Positioned on the southeast edge of the Phoenix suburb of Chandler, Arizona, the residents of Sun River have the advantage of enjoying the open Arizona desert to the south and the perks of the city life just to the north with restaurants and shopping centers, golfing and more!!
Following are 10 things to do within 10 minutes of this wonderful southwestern town:
1) Hamilton Aquatic Center
The Hamilton Aquatic Center was named the “2001 Outstanding Facility” by the Arizona Parks and Recreation Association! Enjoy a variety of amenities including a zero depth play pool, current river, two water slides and an eight-lane competition pool. The pool is located at Arizona Avenue and Ocotillo. This large aquatics center is jam packed with swim lessons and other water programs for young and old alike. You can reserve the center for swimming parties, take advantage of the lap pool (which has designated hours specially for lap swimmers), join a swim team and more. Or just come out and enjoy some time in the water with your family.
2) Chandler Center For The Arts
The Chandler Center For The Arts is jointly owned and operated by the City of Chandler and the Chandler Unified School District, and programmed by the Chandler Cultural Foundation, a separate non-profit corporation. In addition to providing big-name entertainment, the Center hosts nearly 40 performing arts groups in the Phoenix metropolitan area, and prides itself on community education and outreach. Tickets for events can be purchased online at Ticketmaster online or onsite at the Chandler Center for the Arts Box Office located at 250 North Arizona Avenue in Chandler. The box office is open Monday through Saturday. You can call 480-782-2680 for hours of operation.
3) Chandler Skate Park
The mild Phoenix climate makes this a perfect area, all year long, for outdoor skating. Whether you have inline skates, roller skates or a skateboard, it is likely that there will be a skate park near you where you can skate on a great surface and get the most of your skating experience. Since the day it opened to the public, the Chandler Skate Park has earned a reputation that attracts some of the best skateboarders in the world to south Chandler. This spacious, 35,000-square-foot facility has been designed for all skaters no matter how skilled. It is a free, non-supervised facility for use by skateboarders and in-line skaters. The Skate Park is located at 4500 S. Basha Rd. Amenities include concrete bowls, decks, blocks, and metal rails, as well as a ramada and playground adjacent to the Skate Park.
4) Chandler Museum
Take a step back in time at the Chandler Historical Museum. The facility, located at 178 E. Commonwealth Avenue, displays artifacts from Chandler’s long and storied past. New exhibits are displayed regularly. Entrance is FREE and the museum is open Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., holidays excluded.
5) Chandler Fashion Center
Right off the Loop 101 Price Freeway at Chandler Blvd., shoppers from Chandler, Gilbert, and south Tempe find this mall very conveniently located. The Chandler Fashion Center offers an indoor/outdoor shopping experience and boasts over 180 stores including all the big names like Ann Taylor, Eddie Bauer, Abercrombrie and much, much more. Very near the mall you’ll find a wide variety of eateries as well including Kona Grill, Chipotle Mexican Restaurant, Firebirds Rocky Mountain Grill, My Big Fat Greek Restaurant, Rockfish, and Dave’s Barbecue just to name a few. There is also a 20 theater Harkins movie complex at the Fashion Center. (Image courtesy of Dean Ouellette)
6) Rawhide At Wildhorse Pass
Rawhide is an authentic frontier town, and is considered Arizona’s largest western-themed attraction. Located off I-10 in Chandler, Arizona on the Gila River Indian Community, activities at Rawhide include gunfights and stunt shows, mechanical bull rides, gold panning, real blacksmiths and live country music. You can take an old fashioned western photo with your family in authentic old west garb. You can shop for clothes, hats, toys, and gifts. You can also enjoy the Rawhide Steakhouse and Saloon with live entertainment and a full, sit-down western meal. If you want to visit an attraction or go on a ride, prices are posted and tickets are available at several ticket booths on Main Street. The “Town Pass” entitles the holder to enjoy all the shows and attractions as many times as they’d like in one day and only costs $15 per person. The Town Pass may not be offered during the summer months. Parking is free at Rawhide.
7) Bear Creek Golf Complex
Bear Creek Golf Complex is a 36-hole inland links golf facility consisting of both a long and short course. The Bear Championship Course stretches to 6,825 yards from the back tees and plays to a par 71, The Cub Executive Course is a fun, sporty par 59, 3,501-yard course. Bear Creek is a unique and exciting place. In addition to two golf courses they have a full Practice and Learning Center, staffed by PGA Professionals who are available for both individual and group lessons. Bear Creek Golf Complex is located at 500 East Riggs Road in south Chandler, 1/4 mile east of Arizona Avenue.
8) Historic Downtown Chandler
Recently designated a National Register Historic District, Historic Downtown Chandler offers a unique collection of eclectic art galleries, trendy shops, a micro-brewery, the Arizona winery and award-winning, independent restaurants making Downtown Chandler a favorite stop on your Arizona itinerary. While the area has the unique distinction of being the only downtown area in Arizona to feature both a micro-brewery and Arizona winery, this is also a great place to spend an afternoon, wandering through the one-of-a-kind shops, taking in a festival, breaking for a delicious lunch, and perhaps spend some time in the park. You can visit the Downtown Chandler Community Partnership website for more information.
The Chandler area around Sun River hosts many festivals at different times of the year. The annual Jazz Festival offers residents and visitors an opportunity to enjoy a fine selection of jazz musicians. The weekend long event takes place in the spring each year. Another popular festival is the Ostrich festival which is a community family event featuring live ostrich races and ostrich-themed activities, national and regional entertainment, a Saturday morning parade, a carnival, food, interactive activities for children, and much more. The City of Chandler has a colorful and long standing tradition of Ostrich Ranching. Chandler and Maricopa County led the nation in raising ostriches for their stylish and expensive plumes. A complete list of festivals by month can be found on the Chandler Festivals and Special events website.
10) Veterans Oasis Park
Veterans Oasis Park in Chandler is more than simply a recreational area with grass, paths and a pond. This is actually an important part of Chandler’s reclaimed water processing where treated waste water is redistributed to recharge basins in the area. That gave the city the opportunity to develop the park as a riparian and wetland habitat to share with the community. The entire park covers about 113 acres, 78 acres of which are designed for groundwater recharge and wetlands. The park can be found at 4050 E. Chandler Heights Rd. Chandler, AZ and their phone number is 480-782-2890.