This past Friday, Dayton-area families kicked off the holiday season during The Grande Illumination and the Dayton Children’s Parade Spectacular in Lights, but the Dayton Holiday Festival, presented by DP&L, continues to delight with special events and programs in downtown Dayton all month long, just as it has for the past 44 years.
Coming up, the First Friday celebration takes place at businesses throughout downtown from 5 to 10 p.m. this Friday, Dec. 2. Shop for unique and locally made items, view festive window displays that are part of the Whimsical Windows display contest, enjoy live holiday-themed entertainment, and take advantage of sales events and special offers. See the list of locations below.
Celebrate the season with families and friends in downtown Dayton during December. The Dayton Holiday Festival’s Family Weekends, sponsored by DP&L, include:
Family Movie Series
Dec. 3, 10 & 17 — noon
The Neon, 130 E. Fifth St.
Bring the family for fun, festive films. Enjoy the following movies during this year’s series: Dec. 3, Arthur Christmas; Dec. 10, The Grinch; and Dec. 17, It’s a Wonderful Life. Titles subject to change. Free for kids 12 and younger, $2 for adults. Media sponsor: Channel 99.9 (937) 222-7469.
Uno’s Pizza with Santa
Dec. 3, 4, 10, 11, 17 & 18; 11 a.m.
Uno Pizzeria & Grill, 126 N. Main St.
Have a special lunch with Santa and then visit The Tike’s Shoppe and other downtown holiday attractions. Reservations required. Call for cost. (937) 910-8000.
Virginia Kettering’s Train Display
Nov. 25-Jan. 2; Mon.-Fri. 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Kettering Tower lobby, Second and Main streets
Visitors can view this one-of-a-kind model train display that was given to the community by Mrs. Virginia Kettering. This community treasure has been refurbished thanks to the Virginia W. Kettering Foundation, Schultz Electric Train Layouts & Hobbies and the Miami Valley Garden Railway Society. The display can also be viewed through the building windows at Second and Main anytime. (937) 224-1518.
November 23-December 31; Mon.-Fri.: 9 a.m.-6 p.m., sat.: noon-4 p.m.; closed on non-performance Sundays
Schuster Center Wintergarden, Second & Main Sts.
Come see one of the area’s longest-running holiday traditions — the magical Rike’s department store holiday window displays! Experience the wonder of the animated elves, woodland animals, violinists and skaters right at the corner of Second and Main streets in downtown Dayton, where these displays delighted people beginning more than 70 years ago. (not accessible during private events. Call to confirm hours.) 228-7591.
The Tike’s Shoppe
Dec. 2 – noon-6 p.m. (Santa 2-5 p.m.)
Dec. 3 – 10 a.m.-6 p.m. (Santa 2-5 p.m.)
Dec. 4 – noon-6 p.m. (Santa 2-5 p.m.)
Dec. 9 – noon-7 p.m. (Santa 2-5 p.m.)
Dec. 10 – 10 a.m.-7 p.m. (Santa 2-5 p.m.)
Dec. 11 – noon-7 p.m. (Santa 2-5 p.m.)
Dec. 12-15 – CLOSED
Dec. 16-23 – 10 a.m.-7 p.m. (Santa 2-5 p.m.)
Schuster Center Wintergarden, Second and Ludlow entrance
A special shop run by kids, for kids ― and priced within a kid’s budget. Santa is available for pictures from 2-5 p.m. each day of the Tike’s Shoppe. Managed by YES! For Youth with support from ABC 22/FOX 45 and the Victoria Theatre Association. (937) 750-3076.
Various downtown buildings
Downtown’s towers are ringing with the sound of music this holiday season. Groups from throughout the Miami Valley will perform holiday selections during the 2015 Dayton Holiday Festival’s Noontime Entertainment Program. Starting at noon, performing groups will present their holiday selections as lunchtime entertainment in selected building lobbies. Take a break from your chaotic schedule to get in the holiday spirit and enjoy the carols and instrumental sounds. Each musical group has a unique way to bring in the holiday season and entertain you with an upbeat performance you’re sure to love.
Dec. 7 – Joseph Glenn at KeyBank Tower, 10 W. Second St.
Dec. 7 – Viva la Strings at Kettering Tower, 40 N. Main St.
Dec. 9 – Miami Valley Music Men at KeyBank Tower
Dec. 9 – Sweet Betsy at Kettering Tower
Dec. 13- Lipstick Scoundrels Gem City Quartet at KeyBank Tower
Dec. 13 – Miami Valley Music Men at Kettering Tower
Dec. 14 – Joseph Glenn at KeyBank Tower
Dec. 14 – Berachah Valley at Kettering Tower
Dec. 15 – Viva la Strings at KeyBank Tower
Dec. 15 – St. Helen Choir at Kettering Tower
First Friday: Celebrate the Season Edition
Along with other holiday activities, it’s also time for December’s First Friday! From 5-10 p.m. on Friday, December 2, enjoy the festive displays of local businesses participating in Whimsical Windows contest. Check out the First Friday or Downtown Dayton Facebook pages for details on how to help the small business with the best display win a cash prize. Shoppers, diners and other downtown visitors will encounter roving choral groups performing holiday favorites. The activities listed below are just some of the sales events, special exhibits, and other entertainment found in downtown Dayton for First Friday!
• Color of Energy Gallery, 16 Brown St.: Featuring a new artist and holiday baked goods. 266-3491
• Dayton Society of Artists, 48 High St.: The opening reception for the latest gallery installation takes place from 5-8 p.m. “Intact (Part 2)” is a week-long exhibition at DSA that is part of Heather Lea Reid’s graduate project at Wright State University. Reid’s body of work and written thesis focus on maternal subjectivity in art.
• The Front Street Building Co., 1001 E. Second St.: It’s time for another 1st Fridays at Front Street! This event features over two dozen art studios and artists all in one location, including painters, sculptors, glass makers, jewelry makers, and much, much more. Call 331-9061.
• K12 Gallery & TEJAS,341 S. Jefferson St.: View the exhibition, meet the artists, create a take-home work of art, and shop for local art while enjoying refreshments and music from 6:30-9 p.m. Call 461-5149.
• Blind Bobs, 430 E Fifth St.: Live music by Founding Fathers and KTB. For more information, visit blindbobs.com or call 938-6405.
• De’Lish Café, 139 N. Main St.: Featuring Friday Nights Unplugged with live soul, jazz and R&B music from 9-11 p.m. with no cover charge, plus $5 drink specials all night. Call 461-2233.
• Dublin Pub, 300 Wayne Ave.: Featuring Irish First Fridays, with a happy hour from 3-6 along with a performance by Miami Valley Pipes and Drums at 7 p.m. and live music The Rice Brothers, a Celtic Music group from Columbus specializing in Celtic Folk, Americana, Rock & Country. Call 224-7822.
• Gilly’s, 132 S. Jefferson St.: Old Skool Groove Night from 8 p.m. to midnight, $5 admission charge. Call 228-8414.
• Oregon Express, 336 E. Fifth St.: Linda Prevo Band takes the stage at 6:30 p.m. Enjoy 25% off all specialty pizzas from 4-8 p.m. (dine in only). Call 223-9205.
• The Black Box Improv Theater, 518 E. Third St.: Audience members share their social media profile and enjoy watching a whole improvised show devoted to those stories. BYOB. Call for ticket prices and availability: 369-0747.
• Courteous Mass Dayton, Don Crawford Plaza, 220 N. Patterson Blvd.: Bring a bike every First Friday for a relaxed-pace group ride, starting at 6:30 p.m. All riding levels welcome. Visit www.courteousmassdayton.com.
• Dayton Chess Club, 18 W. Fifth St.: Dayton Chess Club hosts a Quick tournament for US Chess Federation members. Games are perfect for club chess players and those experienced with online chess games who would like to test their skill over the board. The club opens at 6:30 p.m. and registration ends at 7:25 p.m. The first of four games begins at 7:30. Visit daytonchessclub.com for more details. Call 461-6283.
• Dayton Theatre Guild, 430 Wayne Ave.: The Dayton Theatre Guild presents The Unavoidable Disappearance of Tom Durin by Steven Levenson. Show begins at 8 p.m. Call 278-5993 for tickets and availability.
• Link Dayton Bike Share, 4 S. Main St.: First Friday launches the second annual Link Dayton Bike Share Winter Warrior challenge! Win great prizes throughout the challenge. The more you ride, the more you can win! Call 496-3825.
• Nucleus, 411 W. Fifth St.: Do you need a new routine? Working from home can become a challenge of getting up every day, putting on pants and being more productive. Entrepreneurs, freelancers and startups benefit from a collaborative environment by engaging with others in their field. Join Nucleus from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. to see how co-working can change what you do on a daily basis! Call 259-4686.
• The Schuster Center, 1 W. Second St. (Mathile Theatre): Jailbait presented by The Playground Theatre Co. is a complicated and darkly comic cautionary tale about illusion of intimacy at any age. Show begins at 8 p.m. Call 228-3630 for ticket prices and availability.
• Trolley Stop, 530 E. Fifth St.: Enjoy the December First Friday musical performance along with “Trolley Hour” $5 appetizer specials and a photo booth featuring “bad Santa.” Call 461-1101.
• Wiley’s Comedy Joint, 101 Pine St.: Featuring comedian Andrew Frank, tickets are $10 with a two-item minimum. Show starts at 8 p.m. Call 224-5653.
Food and Drink
• Deaf Monty’s Wine, 22 Brown St.: $2-$3 tastings of select wines. Call 225-9463.
• Fifth Street Brewpub, 1600 E. Fifth St.: Pub grub specials from 4-5 p.m. and happy hour ($1 off all draft beer and wine and $1 off all sharing plates) from 4-6 p.m. Call 443-0919.
• BRIM, 464 E. 5th St.: Shop the Jean Jacket Event. What’s the best kind of jacket? A jean jacket. Layer it with sweaters, scarves, gloves, and your favorite hat. Brim is changing their windows and selling all the jackets you’ve been eyeing since September. Come and get one. You know you want to. Event is from 6-9 p.m. Call 222-4287.
• Clash Dayton, 521 E 5th St.: Take your photo with Santa for only $1 from 6-9 p.m. Local handmade vendors will be on display along with a special sale on vintage clothing. Call 241-9434.
• Dayton Visual Arts Center, 118 N Jefferson St.: Stop by the first Holiday Gift Gallery Trunk Show, Graphic Botanical-New Ceramic by Dianne Collinson. These unique and beautiful products will only be for sale through December 2 & 3. Call 224-3822.
• Epic Life Fitness, 118 N. Jefferson St.: Patrons can stop by between 4-8 p.m. to schedule a free assessment and receive 20% off their first package with the purchase of four sessions or more. Call 371-8258.
• theNorthGate, 138 S. Wilkinson St.: Art on 5th is a gallery art show and artisan market celebrating local Dayton area artisans, makers and small businesses. Celebrate the holidays and stop by for live music, hors d’oeuvres, Woodburl coffee + lattes, and shopping. Starts at 6:00 p.m. Call 641-8332.
• Old Yellow Cab Building, 700 E Fourth St.: Featuring over 30 talented local artisans selling handmade items for your shopping pleasure at this year’s Handmade Holiday Dayton! Enjoy local craft beer, swag bags, raffles, a food truck and more!
• Spice Paradise, 8 Brown St.: Shop yummy holiday baked goods! Call 409-7221.
• The Tike’s Shoppe, Schuster Center Wintergarden, 1 W. Second St.: This special shop is run by kids for kids – and priced within a kid’s budget! The shop is open from noon to 6 p.m. Visit Santa from 2-5 p.m. The Tike’s Shoppe is managed by YES! for Youth. Additional support from ABC 22/FOX 45 and the Victoria Theatre Association. Call 813-0037.
• Twist Cupcakery, 25 S. St. Clair St.: Stop by twist for a game night and happy hour! Enjoy the buy 3, get one free special! Call 771-4099.
The Dayton Holiday Festival is presented by Dayton Power and Light, the Downtown Dayton Partnership, the City of Dayton, Montgomery County and the Mrs. Virginia W. Kettering Dayton Holiday Festival Fund. A complete list of festival events is available online, as well as a calendar of other downtown holiday events.
The DDP’s website has a complete list of downtown’s events, a dining guide, parking map and more at www.downtowndayton.org. Follow the DDP on Facebook to keep up with downtown events and news.