40 Free Things to do in August

Summer may have come and gone quickly but Dayton still has more in store! See what we found to do for free this month.



August 1

Family First Tuesday Free Tram Tours

Families have a great time touring Cox on our trams! Volunteer guides make sure you have a wonderful visit and learn something too! We’ll meet in the parking lot. Weather Dependent.
Details: Cox Arboretum MetroPark, 6:00 pm-7:30p m.  Registration required.

August 3

Story Time: Soil

Join us for a story about soil, accompanied by an adventure or activity in the park. This program is designed for toddlers and their caregivers. Weather Dependent.  Registration requested.
Details: Possum Creek MetroPark, 10:00 am-11:00 am.

August 4

Beavercreek Movie in the Park

On August 4, join us at Dominick Lofino Park for a free movie (Disney’s Moana), inflatables, face painting and food!  Festivities will begin at 7pm; the movie begins at dark (approximately 9:30).  Bring a blanket!
Details: Dominick Lofino Park, 7:00 pm.

Pickin in the Park

Enjoy our Pickin’ in the Park series featuring progressive bluegrass music, craft beer and food from a variety of food trucks. Bring your dancing shoes and a lawn chair for seating in case you need a break. Weather Dependent.
Details: Riverscape MetroPark, 5:30 pm-10:00 pm.

August 5


Wear comfortable clothes and bring your own water. No registration required for these free, all-ages workouts. Weather Dependent.
Details: Riverscape MetroPark, 10:00 am-11:00 am.

Peach Daze

Peach Daze is ALL about the homegrown peaches at Hidden Valley Fruit Farm! We have peach pies, peach sundaes, peach everything! We celebrate everything peaches! Shop in our country store for unique gifts and antiques!  We have entertainment for the kids outside – the bounce house, train ride & barnyard will be open.  We will have craft and food vendors set up, too.
Details: Hidden Fruit Valley Farm, 11:00 am-5:00 pm.

KidX A-GO-GO Dance Party

Kids deserve to have one last party before heading back to school so we’re turning Dayton Mall’s Center Court into the KidX A-GO-GO!  Our dance floor will be filled with Superheroes like Spiderman & Super Girl grooving to the tunes, plus Dayton Mall will ramp up the fun with a free photo booth and far-out prizes for everyone!
Details: Dayton Mall (Center Court near Macy’s), 2:00pm-4:00pm.

Grand Opening and Community Celebration of Main Library

The Grand Opening celebration includes a street fair, an expansive ribbon cutting ceremony along Third Street, and the Library Open House.  Families can also enjoy a wide variety of entertainment, activities for children, music, appearances by Library mascots Cosmo & Pip, and a few surprises too.
Details: New Dayton Metro Library, 12:00 pm-5:00 pm.

Lebanon Blues Festival

In historic downtown Lebanon, Ohio! Enjoy blues bands, your favorite festival foods, music and beer garden.  Gaze at over 150 classic cars in the Blues, BBQ, and Bumpers Car Show!  The festival also includes “Kids Row” and a Kids Run.
Details: Historic Downtown Lebanon, 11:00 am-11:00 pm.

August 8

Wetland Exploration 

Get into the muck and explore dragonflies, water scorpions, backswimmers, tadpoles, and many other creatures that call the ponds home. Weather Dependent.  Part of Conservation Kids: Explorers & Voyagers (Ages 6-13) series.
Details: Cox Arboretum MetroPark, 1:00 pm-2:30 pm.

Library in the Park

Come out and enjoy an afternoon in Bellbrock Park.  Bring a blanket or chair, sit back and relax as a story is read by Winters Library staff.  After the story, you will get to participate in activities that go along with the story and bring it from page to real life!  Pre-registration and minimum of 10 required.
Details: Bellbrock Park, 1:00pm-2:00pm. 

August 9

Incredible Bug Bonanza

Join our park naturalist as we search the prairie and meadow of our largest nature park for summer time’s interesting insects. Become an amateur entomologist as we capture and identify some of Ohio’s amazing “bugs”. Bring a butterfly net, plastic containers (no glass please) for this catch and release program.  Pre-registration by 8/7 is required.
Details: Sweet Arrow Reserve, 10:00am-11:30am.

Try Fly Fishing

Join us to see if you can entice a fish to bite and catch a fish on fly. Instructor is available for questions and will teach basic fly fishing techniques in a controlled and safe environment. Equipment is provided. No fishing license required at this location.  Ages 12 and up.  Registration requested.
Details: Carriage Hill MetroPark, 5:00pm-8:00pm.

August 11

GermanFest Picnic

Dust off the dirndls and lederhosen, grab your favorite beer stein, and get ready to “Get your Gemütlichkeit on” at the 34th annual Germanfest Picnic on August 11, 12 and 13! We look forward to welcoming you to our new home at RiverScape MetroPark with authentic German food, live fest music, the 5K/10K Race (with a new, fast route), the Polka Mass at 10 a.m. on Sunday, KidZone, Genealogy, and a Culture Display.
Details: Riverscape MetroPark, 5:00pm-11:00pm Friday, 11:00am-11:00pm, and 11:00-5:00 Sunday.

Runway Fest & Fireworks

Runway Fest is an evening the whole family can enjoy, including multiple aircraft displays, hot air balloons, a bounce house and other inflatables, face-painting and a live performance by Ashley Martin.  Festivities will end with a bang when a Fireworks display lights up the night sky at 9:30 p.m.
Details: Dayton-Wright Brothers Airport, 6:00pm-10:00pm.

Community Movie Night in Bellbrook

Join us for a movie, popcorn and other fun treats at the Park District Headquarters! Gather up your family and friends; bring a blanket to sit together so you can all relax under the inflatable movie screen. In the spirit of the summer reading program “Build a Better World”, we will be showing “The Lego Movie”.
Details: Park District Headquarters, 8:00pm-10:30pm.

August 12

Amazing Race- Park District Challenge

Physical and mental challenges will take teams of families on a race against time. Teams will compete by solving clues and silly tasks at secret locations in 5 different parks. In order to finish first you need to work together, move quickly, and most importantly, have fun!  Registration required.
Details: Starts at Bellbrock Park, 1:00pm-2:30pm.

Gourmet Food Truck Competition

In addition to a bunch of gourmet food trucks, the daylong event will also continue to feature a beer garden and musical acts on the entertainment stage into the evening hours. Those visiting the competition are encouraged to bring their families and lawn chairs to make a full day of the event.

Details: Veterans Park, 11:00am-9:00pm.

Bring Back the Funk

Our first annual Roosevelt Neighborhood Festival called “Bring Back the Funk!!! 2017: Community Development through Art, Music, and Culture.  The outdoor event includes competitions family fun, vendors, live music, art, and raffles.  Bring chairs and blankets!
Details: Dayton Boys Prep Academy, 12:00pm-8:00pm.


Learn how to eat all your summertime veggies, especially plentiful things like kale and zucchini! Watch demonstrations and taste new veggie dishes. Build your own summer-fresh pizza with Wheat Penny’s baker and collect and eat it after the bake!
Details: Grace United Methodist Church, 1:00pm-4:00pm.

Creek Exploration

Treat your tike to a cool, refreshing creek and find creatures like crawdads, salamanders, and rainbow darters! Kids and parents should wear clothes that can get wet. Weather Dependent.  Part of Conservation Kids: Tikes (Ages 3-5) series.

Details: Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark, 2:00pm-3:00pm. 

Total Eclipse of the Sun: A Family Storytime

Join us as we learn about the upcoming solar eclipse. We’ll read stories about the sun, and then have fun crafts to complete and take home afterwards. Be sure to visit the library again on August 21 to view the actual eclipse with special sunglasses! For the Family.
Details: Centerville Library, 11:00am-12:00pm.

August 13

Butterflies and Dragonflies

Late summer is a very active time for incredibly colored butterflies and dragonflies. Walk through the prairie with nets (provided) to see what we can find! All insects will be released at the end of the program. Weather Dependent.  Part of Conservation Kids: Explorers & Voyagers (Ages 6-13) series.

Details: Possum Creek MetroPark, 1:00pm-2:30pm.

August 15

Pollinator Discovery

From the flutter of a butterfly to the buzz of a bee, come see flowers through a pollinator’s eyes and celebrate the diversity of insects! Weather Dependent.  Part of Conservation Kids: Tikes (Ages 3-5) series.
Details: Hills & Dales MetroPark, 10:00am-11:00am.

August 17

Dayton Jazz Orchestra

RiverScape MetroPark’s Summer Music Series, presented by Dayton.com, continues with the Dayton Jazz Orchestra! Bring a lawn chair and your dancing shoes for a great night of music!
Details: Riverscape MetroPark, 7:30pm-9:30pm.

August 18

Carlisle Railroad Days

Railroad Days is an annual, end of summer, celebration for the Village of Carlisle, Ohio. Held on the third weekend in August each year.  Firecreek will be headlining the festivities this year at the 2017 Carlisle, Ohio Railroad Days!  Family fun, delicious food, games, vendors, and great bluegrass music.
Details: Chamberlain Middle School, all day event.

August Free Fireworks Friday 

Enjoy a spectacular night of music and excitement as Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway presents Free Fireworks Fridays. Featuring a beer garden, BBQ Specials, live music and a jaw dropping display at dusk! These shows are free and open to all ages! So bring your family and get ready to party!

Details: Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway, 6:00pm-10:00pm.

August 19

Yoga in the Park

Wear comfortable clothes, bring your own water and mat. No registration required for these free, all-ages workouts. Weather Dependent.
Details: Riverscape MetroPark, 10:00am-11:00am.

Dayton African American Culture Festival

This family event brings the richness of the African American experience to Dayton and its surrounding communities through culture, arts, education and music. Come see The African Village, youth and writers pavilions, and enjoy live presentations of R&B, Gospel and Jazz.
Details: Island MetroPark, 12:00pm-8:00pm.

Family Day: National Aviation Day

Learn about aerospace technology and history from 1903 to 2016 and beyond in honor of National Aviation Day (and Orville Wright’s birthday).
Details: National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, 9:00am-3:00pm.

Super Science Saturday

The Boonshoft Museum is committed to providing the greater Dayton community with science-focused programming and fun for the entire family.  These special learning days include access to our Special Exhibitions, Space Theater Shows (limited seating available), and public programming.
Details: Boonshoft Museum of Discovery, 10:00am-4:00pm.

Under the Dome

Celebrate the impending eclipse, by discovering new worlds and exploring the universe! This visiting planetarium will run 20-35 minute shows all day long!
Details: Centerville Library, 10:00am-5:00pm.

Festival of Nations

Residents of Troy Ohio, Miami County and beyond will be able to experience and celebrate 15-20 nationsand cultures from around the world through interactive booths/displays, food, dance, music, story-telling and arts and crafts. For kids, there are games, face-painting and other activities. All ages will enjoy learning about various countries which are represented by local residents who want to share their heritage.
Details: Great Miami River Levee, 2:00pm-8:00pm.

August 21

Solar Eclipse Viewing at the Library

Take time out of your busy day and drop by the library to watch an eclipse of the sun right out on the library lawn! (We won’t have a total eclipse, but we will be at 89% totality, which is still incredible.) For the first time in one hundred years, the U.S. will be the prime location world-wide to watch the eclipse occur!  Bring your lawn chairs, kids, blankets and snacks and watch the sky with us!
Details: Centerville Library, 1:00pm-4:00pm.

August 23

Storytime: Soil

Join us for a story about soil, accompanied by an adventure or activity in the park. This program is designed for toddlers and their caregivers. Weather Dependent.  Ages 2-5.  Registration required.
Details: Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark, 10:00am-11:00am. 

August 25

Throwback Family Movie Night

Join us for a throwback movie, popcorn and snacks! This month, we will be watching Angels in the Outfield, a Walt Disney film. Bean bags or pillows are welcome.
Details: Centerville Library, 6:30pm-8:30pm.

The Lebanese Festival

The Festival will feature Middle Eastern dancing and entertainment, cultural displays, craft booths and amusement rides for all ages. Authentic hand-made Lebanese food will be available for sale.  Middle Eastern band will provide live entertainment.
Details: St Ignatius of Antioch Maronite Catholic Church

Silver Screen Under the Stars Movie

Aloha! We’re having a luau! When the sun sets, find a place on the lawn to enjoy Lilo and Stitch on the big screen! Bring chairs or a blanket, we’ll bring the popcorn!  Registration requested.
Details: Yankee Park, 7:00pm-10:00pm.

August 26

The Ohio Valley Indigenous Music Festival

A family friendly event with performers and vendors from across the U.S. Come and enjoy great music, vendors with Native American style flutes, arts & crafts, free educational workshops & presentations, and great food.
Details: Patricia Allyn Park, 10:00am-8:00pm Saturday and 10:00am-7:00pm Sunday.

Free Movie Night at Austin Landing

Join us for Kettering Physician Network Movie Night under the stars! We will feature a hit movie and play it outside on the big screen in our beautiful park at Austin Landing!  The night starts with goodie bags and games, so make sure to get a spot early!
Details: Austin Landing, starts at 7:00pm.

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