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03 January . 2022

30 Free or Nearly Free Things to Do in the West Valley

It’s always fun to find free things to do when entertaining family or friends. Estrella boasts a wide range of community amenities including multiple Residents' Clubs, resort-style pools and a waterpark, 72 acres of lakes, 50-plus miles of paths and trails, the Yacht Club of Estrella, the award-winning Nicklaus Design course at the Golf Club of Estrella, a community Welcome Center at Casa Lucero, and more than 40 signature and neighborhood parks. Additionally, we found 30 free or nearly free things to do in and around Goodyear, and all close to Estrella.

Have some free time? Start exploring a few of the many nearby reasons we love calling Estrella home!

  1. Hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding at Estrella Mountain Regional Park

We’ve found more than 33 miles of trails for hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding at Estrella Mountain Regional Park. Trails range in length from 2.3 miles to 8.8 miles and range in difficulty from easy to strenuous. If you are looking for an easy, relatively short hike, the 2.4-mile Baseline Trail is recommended. If you are looking for a long, all-day hike, the Pederson Trail encompasses 8.7 miles. Don’t forget to carry plenty of water and let someone know where you are going.
Maps here.
Cost: Fees vary, general admission is $7 per vehicle
Location: 14805 W. Vineyard Ave., Goodyear, 2 miles from Estrella

  1. Goodyear Skate Park

Goodyear Skate Park is an unsupervised skate park used by both experienced and inexperienced skaters and riders. The park provides big transitions, pool coping, cradles and a 12-foot-high range pro bowl.
Cost: Free
Location: 3151 N. Litchfield Rd., Goodyear, about 10 miles from Estrella

  1. Baseball at Estrella Mountain Regional Park

​Play ball! Two lighted ball fields face Vineyard Avenue within the boundaries of Estrella Mountain Regional Park. Each ball field has bleachers, backstops, lights, bathrooms and a large parking lot that can accommodate groups and buses.
Cost: Fees vary, general admission is $7 per vehicle
Location: 14805 W. Vineyard Ave., Goodyear, 2 miles from Estrella

  1. Goodyear Recreation Campus

The remarkable 86-acre Goodyear Recreation Campus is now open and provides free fun for the public, as well as access to a state-of-the-art recreational facility for Goodyear residents for a small fee. Pass holders have access to the aquatic center, elevated waking track, fitness and weight training area, group fitness classes and the multipurpose gym. Additionally, the public has free access to a gorgeous 30-acre park, lounge with wi-fi, outdoor patio and teen activity space. Perfect destination for seniors, teens, families and more.

Cost: Day passes start at $3 for Goodyear residents
Location: 420 S. Estrella Pkwy., Goodyear, about 6 miles from Estrella

  1. Culture Pass and Events at the Goodyear Library

The Goodyear library offers a vast variety of books, computers, events, and classes including regular story times and take-home crafts, dedicated children’s area and computers just for kids, teens space and computers, SMART table, Citizen Science Kits to check out with tools to measure light in the night, air quality, map streams and waterways or hunt the illusive Zombie fly. Additionally, the year-round Culture Pass provides two free admissions to a variety of local attractions including the Heard Museum, Botanical Garden, Reid Park Zoo, Superstition Mountain Museum, Cave Creek Museum and more. Check-out one a week, all you need is a Goodyear Library card (Maricopa County Library District), available here.
Cost: Free
Location: 14455 W. Van Buren St C-101, Goodyear, 7.1 miles from Estrella

  1. Camping at Estrella Mountain Regional Park

Staying overnight? Seven RV sites are available. Each site has a large parking area to accommodate up to a 45’ RV and provides water and electrical hook-ups, a picnic table and a barbecue fire ring.
Cost: Fees vary, general admission is $7 per vehicle
Location: 14805 W. Vineyard Ave., Goodyear, 2 miles from Estrella

  1. Picnicking at Estrella Mountain Regional Park

With our amazing year-round weather anytime is practically perfect for a picnic.  Estrella Park offers eight ramada areas for picnicking and celebrations. The ramadas all have lights, electrical outlets, cement slabs, large grills and parking areas nearby.
Cost: Fees vary, general admission is $7 per vehicle
Location: 14805 W. Vineyard Ave., Goodyear, 2 miles from Estrella

  1. Nature Center/Estrella Mountain Regional Park Playground

Explore and learn at The Nature Center at Estrella Mountain Regional Park. It’s a great place for all ages, with live animal displays and interpretive panels and photos, plus souvenirs, snacks and drinks.
Cost: Fees vary, general admission is $7 per vehicle
Location: 14805 W. Vineyard Ave., Goodyear, 3 miles from Estrella

  1. Estrella Star Tower

Star gaze away from the big city lights. The West Valley is a great place for star-gazing and the Estrella Star Tower on Estrella Parkway is the perfect place to inspire a love of astronomy. The 50-foot-tall Star Tower is a beautiful sight set next to a bubbling waterfall. At night, hundreds of stars light up the structure’s surface. Climb its many steps to the top during the day and be rewarded with a spectacular view of the surrounding Estrella Mountain landscape.
Cost: Free.
Location: Estrella Pkwy and Hillside Drive, inside the Estrella community

  1. Estrella Mountain Community College

Many events at Estrella Mountain Community College are free and open to the public. Visitors will love the fine art exhibitions, art walks and Performing Arts Center events. The main theater seats 300 people and is equipped with high-end technologies.
Cost: Varied prices, many are free
Location: 3000 North Dysart Road, Avondale, about 10 miles from Estrella

  1. View petroglyphs, hike, bike, picnic or camp at the White Tank Mountain Regional Park

Take a walk back in time at White Tank Mountain Regional Park which has 11 archeological sites, occupied during the time period A.D. 500-1100, plus ancient petroglyphs! The Black Rock Trail circles through a Hohokam village site. The largest group of rock-art panels is along the popular Waterfall Canyon Trail at Petroglyph Plaza. Another group of rock art is near the entrance to the box canyon. Please don’t touch the petroglyphs, skin oils can damage them.
Cost: Fees vary, general vehicle entry is $7.
Location: 20304 W. White Tank Mountain Rd., Waddell, about 25 miles from Estrella

  1. Goodyear Community Park

Tons of activities for all ages, plus a dog park! Ramadas, grills, tennis courts, pickleball courts, ball fields, splash pad, skate park, walking trails and more.
Cost: Free
Location: 3151 N. Litchfield Rd., Goodyear, about 10 miles from Estrella

  1. Avondale Friendship Park

We love this park! Avondale Friendship Park offers something for everyone including athletic fields, a multi-purpose room, and reservable ramadas. The park also has walking trails, a Japanese garden, playgrounds, basketball courts, tennis courts, and a dog park.
Cost: Free
Location: 12325 W. McDowell Rd., Avondale, about 12 miles from Estrella

  1. Roscoe Dog Park

Take your pooch on an adventure to Roscoe Dog Park! Areas for passive and active dogs, open daily all year.
Cost: Free
Location:
15600 W. Roeser Rd., Goodyear, 2 miles from Estrella

  1. Base and Meridian Wildlife Area

Nature lovers will be excited to explore nearly 200 acres along the Gila River where many riparian wildlife species inhabit the area, plus cottonwood, willow and salt cedar trees are abundant.
Cost: Free
Location: 6500 S. Avondale Rd., Phoenix, about 7 miles from Estrella

  1. Attend an Arizona Cardinals Training Camp

If your children love football, the Arizona Cardinals Training Camp at the State Farm Stadium in Glendale is a great way to see how players practice and execute plays without spending a small fortune. Check the website to verify times, but most practices are held during the summer in the morning.
Cost: Admission and parking are free!
Location: 1 Cardinals Dr., Glendale, about 22 miles from Estrella

  1. Luke Air Force Base

Luke Air Force Base was named for World War I pilot Frank Luke Jr., the first aviator awarded the Medal of Honor, who was born in Phoenix in 1897. The base’s primary mission is to train fighter pilots, including those who fly the F-35, the nation’s most sophisticated fighter jet. On Tuesdays and Thursdays from September through May, members of the general public without base ID can schedule tours from 9 a.m. to noon to see a static display of a dozen aircraft in which Luke pilots have been trained over its history. You can also stop at the Medal of Honor Memorial and pay respects to Arizona heroes whose names are displayed. Thousands flock to the base each year (typically in March) for the Lightning in the Desert Open House and Air Show, featuring aircraft displays and aerial performances, especially the precision maneuvers of the Air Force Thunderbirds.
Cost: Free
Location: 14185 W. Falcon St., Glendale, about 20 miles from Estrella

  1. Tour State Farm Stadium

You’ve seen it on TV. The stadium has hosted two Super Bowls, the College Football Playoff National Championship Game, and hosts the annual Fiesta Bowl. Now you can go behind the scenes and tour the facility recognized as one of the best sporting venues in the world. Public tours are available on select days throughout the year.
Cost: Under $10
Location: 1 Cardinals Drive, Glendale, about 25 miles from Estrella

  1. Robbins Butte Wildlife Area

Beautiful scenery abounds! Robbins Butte Wildlife Area has a 25.5-mile loop trail near Buckeye that is good for all hiking or biking skill levels. The area offers scenic views and various activity options including camping, fishing, hunting and hiking.

You’ll find amphibians, reptiles, ringtail cats, coyotes, javelina, rabbits, mule deer and a variety of bats. It’s an important birding area as well, with a great deal of bird diversity.
Cost: Free
Location: Take I-10 to exit 112, go south on SR 85 for 6 miles. Turn west at milepost 147. About 25 miles from Estrella.

  1. Litchfield Park Historical Society Museum

Learn more about the history of the Southwest Valley at Litchfield Park Historical Society and Museum. From the growth of the rubber tire industry (that’s how the city of Goodyear got its name!) to advances in medicine, you’ll learn about the area through history exhibits, artifacts, photographs and special events.
Cost: Free
Location: 13912 W. Camelback Rd., Litchfield Park, about 11 miles from Estrella

  1. City of Buckeye Aquatic Center

Cool off with a dip in the Buckeye Aquatic Center. Try the zero depth, beach front area with a 10-foot-high dive, low dive and, best of all, a 160-foot water slide.
Cost: $2 per person for open swim
Location:
207 N. 9th St., Buckeye, about 15 miles from Estrella

  1. South Mountain Park

South Mountain Park has 16,000 acres to explore. Visitors can hike, bike and ride more than 58 miles of trails, or follow the road to the top of the mountain for spectacular views. Dobbins Lookout is near the top at 2,330 feet with north-facing views of the city. Reward your hard work with the gorgeous view at sunset. South Mountain observes “Silent Sunday,” for certain hours when the main roadway is closed to cars and reserved for non-motorized activities.
Cost: Free
Location: 10919 S. Central Ave., Phoenix, about 25 miles from Estrella

  1. Brass Armadillo Antique Mall

Up for the most unique window shopping? Try the Brass Armadillo Antique Mall in Goodyear, with a little bit of everything from records, toys, clothes, antiques, jewelry, paintings and more. New items arrive every day so you’ll never know what you’ll find, and you don’t need to spend a dime as you peruse these found and salvaged treasures.
Cost: Free
Location: 1322 W. McDowell Rd., Goodyear, about 10 miles from Estrella

  1. Cerreta Candy Company

Indulge your sweet tooth with a free tour of Arizona’s beloved family-owned Cerreta Candy Factory. The magic of candy making is unveiled in their 30-minute guided factory tours which are offered Monday-Friday at 10:00am and 1:00pm. Learn how their team combines ingredients to create picture-perfect treats. It’s a bit of a drive but your taste buds will thank you!
Cost: Free
Location: 5345 W Glendale Ave, Glendale, about 28 miles from Estrella

  1. Adobe Mountain Desert Railroad Park

Take the family for a ride on one of five routes operated by Maricopa Live Steamers. Every Sunday the park offers free train rides for visitors along their 13 miles of railroad track. Guests can also enjoy railroad artifacts and model-train layouts and browse research materials.
Cost: Free train rides
Location: 22822 N. 43rd Ave., Glendale, about 40 miles from Estrella

  1. Pioneer Living History Museum

Step back in time to more than 100 years ago, before cars filled the streets. At Pioneer Living History Museum, visitors can explore 30 historic buildings, including a blacksmith shop and a mercantile store. You can even look through an 1890s dress shop and tour a sheriff’s office.
Cost: Under $10, children under 5 are free
Location: 3901 W. Pioneer Road, Phoenix, about 50 miles from Estrella

  1. The Bible Museum

If you’re fascinated by rare religious artifacts and texts, this unusual Goodyear destination may be of interest. Located inside the Hampton Inn and Suites in Goodyear the free Bible Museum includes displays of portions of the Dead Sea Scrolls, copies of the original 1611 King James Bible, and excerpts from the Gutenberg Bible. The museum is open 24/7, but a docent is available M-F from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. if you have questions.
Cost: Free
Location: 2000 N. Litchfield Road, Goodyear about 9 miles from Estrella

  1. Challenger Space Center

The Challenger Space Center is a fun stop for kids (and adults) interested in NASA. They offer free tours that are best suited for older children who can read the exhibits and have the patience to listen to the tour guide. Families with little ones can explore at their own pace, there are interactive exhibits and a large play area at the bottom level.
Cost: $10 adults, $8 Child, Under 5 free
Location: 17835 N. 44th St. Phoenix, about 45 miles from Estrella

  1. Cabela’s

Cabela’s is a fun and frugal stop especially for visitors who don’t have a Cabela’s nearby. It has trophy animals on display in re-creations of their natural habitats, plus large aquariums full of LIVE fish. If you do want to spend a few bucks, head upstairs to the shooting gallery and enjoy the old west-themed set up. Reminiscent of the shooting gallery in Frontierland at Disneyland.
Cost: Free
Location: 9380 W. Glendale Ave., Glendale, about 25 miles from Estrella

  1. Sahuaro Ranch Park

Tours of the Main House Museum at Sahuaro Ranch Park Historic Area allow visitors to learn more about the building, built from 1891 to ‘98 and the history of the people who lived there. Although tours stop for the month of August, the historic buildings, barnyards and fruit orchards remain accessible. You’ll also see colorful peacocks on the grounds. Regular touring hours resume in September.
Cost: Free
Details: Grounds open 6 a.m.-sunset. Tours available 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays in July; no tours in August.
Location: 5850 W. Glendale Ave., Glendale, about 30 miles from Estrella.

  1. Arizona Museum of Innovation, Science, and Technology OPENING 2022

A new museum is coming to the West Valley! The Arizona Museum of Innovation, Science and Technology will be a hands-on science and innovation center with maker space, an e-gaming venue, a gallery and a wide variety of events.
Cost: To be announced
Location: 16253 W. Yavapai St., Goodyear, about 6 miles from Estrella

Enjoy your adventures!

Find your new home at Estrella.com and discover why 7,000 families already call this diverse, welcoming West Valley master-planned community home. Located in Goodyear, Arizona amongst pristine mountains and a dramatic desert landscape, Estrella amenities include multiple Residents’ Clubs, resort-style pools and a waterpark, 72 acres of lakes, 50-plus miles of paths and trails, the Yacht Club of Estrella, the award-winning Nicklaus Design course at the Golf Club of Estrella, community welcome center Casa Lucero, and more than 40 neighborhood parks.