Memorial Day is the unofficial kick-off of the summer season and the perfect time to head outside for some of your favorite warm-weather activities. From water play fun to mountain biking, the Dayton region’s parks and outdoor facilities provide people of all ages with opportunities to try something new in the great outdoors without breaking the bank.
Interested in a Memorial Day adventure? Check out the suggestions below:
Make a splash: Suit up, grab a beach towel and cool off at your local park! Island MetroPark features an interactive “spray ground” with traditional playground equipment and water play system. Open Memorial Day through Labor Day, the spray ground is the perfect place for kids to cool off and explore. Visit metroparks.org/island for spray ground hours.
If you are downtown and need a quick cool-off, head to the interactive fountain at RiverScape MetroPark. Splash in the fountain and then head to the Fountain Snack Bar for a cool treat. Visit metroparks.org/RiverScape for hours of operation and additional information.
Grab gear and go: RiverScape MetroPark is positioned at the center of more than 300 miles of paved recreation trails in the Dayton region – the nation’s largest paved trail network. If you find yourself downtown and inspired by cycling passersby or just don’t have a bike suitable for a cycling adventure, visit RiverScape Rentals and gear up so you can hit Dayton’s spectacular paved trails.
With a variety of bikes and a host of bike attachments for kids, it’s easy for the entire family to head out for a cycling session. Equipment is available for 1-, 2- or 3-hour time blocks on Saturdays and Sundays, Memorial Day through Labor Day weekend. Helmets, water bottle cages and trail maps are included with your rental, and most bikes are available starting at $8 an hour.
MetroParks pro tip: Take your cycling experience to the next level and challenge yourself by hitting the trails at MetroParks Mountain Biking Area (MoMBA) at Huffman MetroPark. Equipment rentals are available on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., June through September. Trails are available for all levels, from tots to advanced riders. Youth bikes start at $6 an hour and adult bikes start at $8 an hour. Visit metroparks.org/momba for more information.
Horseback Riding: Saddle up and get ready to connect with nature on horseback! The Riding Center at Carriage Hill MetroPark offers weekend trail rides on Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., June through October. Rides are one hour and are on guided trails through the woods at Carriage Hill MetroPark. Limited walk-ins may be available, online registration is recommended.
Hand-led pony rides are available for little ones beginning in June. Visit the Riding Center on Saturday between noon and 3 p.m. to participate. Pony rides are offered through October and are for children ages 2 to 8-years-old.
Did you know? Summer Horse Camps at Carriage Hill MetroPark are available to children ages 8 through 17. Camps run June through August, with beginner and advanced classes available. Registration is required and available online.
Beautiful views: Take a walk or bike to RiverScape MetroPark and snap a selfie in front of the Five Rivers Fountain of Lights. Memorial Day through Labor Day, the Fountain of Lights shoots water about 200 feet high and 400 feet across at the confluence of the Great Miami and Mad Rivers.
Did you know? The five streams of water, symbolizing the region’s five rivers, meet in an impressive center spray honoring our region’s fortunate abundance of water within the Great Miami Buried Valley Aquifer, one of the nation’s most plentiful aquifers and the source of the fountain’s water.
Stock up and celebrate: Stop by the 2nd Street Market to pick up goodies for your Memorial Day family barbeque. Grab delicious prepared food, fresh produce and flowers to create the perfect tablescape and outdoor meal for your family.
Did you know? Starting the weekend after Memorial Day, the 2nd Street Market will be open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sundays through August 27. Additionally, the outdoor farmers market kicks off on June 3 and offers fresh produce, herbs and plants from local farmers.
Nearly 30 Market vendors accept now SNAP tokens, with the new Produce Perks program kicking off on June 3. An incentive program for those who use an Ohio Direction Card (SNAP) to purchase produce, Produce Perks provides a dollar-for-dollar match to every dollar spend (up to $10 per visit).
Learn more about Five Rivers MetroParks by visiting www.metroparks.org.