A flurry of school plays, shopping excursions, cooking and wrapping presents: The holiday season can be so hectic, you don’t actually get to enjoy it. Because the reason for the season is giving and spending time with loved ones, MetroParks encourages families to slow down and enjoy the holidays with a variety of festive activities.
Lace up your skates
Boasting beautiful views of the Great Miami River and downtown Dayton, the MetroParks ice rink offers the region’s only open-air skating experience. Visitors can rent skates, sign up for lessons, cozy up with a cup of hot chocolate and more.
Ice skating is a great way for the family to stay active during the winter months. Make a new holiday tradition with a family skate on Christmas Day or start the new year right by getting some fresh air and exercise on the ice. The MetroParks ice rink is open Nov. 23 through Feb. 28, 2019. Admission plus skate rental is $7 per person.
Ice Rink Opening Weekend
Friday, Nov. 23, 11 am to 10 pm
The holiday season officially kicks off with the grand opening of the MetroParks ice rink.
Christmas Eve Skate
Monday, Dec. 24, 11 am to 5 pm
Enjoy holiday music, hot cocoa and more as you make lasting memories with your family on the ice.
Christmas Day Skate
Tuesday, Dec. 25, 1 to 8 pm
Make a visit to the MetroParks ice rink part of your family Christmas tradition and skate to holiday music under the pavilion.
New Year’s Eve Skate
Monday, Dec. 31, 11 am to 10 pm
Before the ball drops, visit the rink for some fun with your family.
New Year’s Day Skate
Tuesday, Jan 1, 1 to 8 pm
Many families make resolutions to be more active, so start the new year right by hitting the ice for some heart-pumping family fun.
Shop small, fresh and all season long
Downtown Dayton is your destination for shopping small during the holidays. Offering fresh and local produce, prepared dishes, gifts and more, the 2nd Street Market offers a one-stop shopping experience for busy families. New this year, the market is open on Sundays through Dec. 30, which provides shoppers with more time to stock up on kitchen staples, festive goodies and gifts.
Stock Up Wednesday
Wednesday, Nov. 21, 11 am to 3 pm
Open the day before Thanksgiving for your last-minute shopping needs, Stock Up Wednesday is a great opportunity to create a fresh, delicious meal or pick up prepared dishes for your holiday feast. Many vendors take advance orders.
Santa Visits the Market
Saturday, Dec. 15, 10 am to 1 pm and Sunday, Dec. 16, 11:30 am to 1:30 pm
Meet the jolly man himself and snap a picture before enjoying lunch and shopping for gifts at the market.
Festive fun in the MetroParks
MetroParks offers programs in all of its 18 clean, safe parks year-round, and the holidays are no exception. Enjoy engaging, holiday-themed programs guided by MetroParks’ professional educators. Check out what this season has in store:
Christmas on the Farm
Sunday, Dec. 2, Noon to 4 pm at Carriage Hill MetroPark
Experience what holiday fun was like on an 1880s farm while your family strings cranberries and popcorn, samples warm chestnuts and plays traditional parlor games.
Aullwood Winter Luminary
Sunday, Dec. 2, 6 to 8 pm at Aullwood Garden MetroPark
Welcome winter with a peaceful evening walk through the luminary-lit paths of Aullwood Garden MetroPark, and then enjoy a warm beverage, cookies and a visit with Santa in the house.
A Holiday Evening at Carriage Hill
Saturday, Dec. 8, from 6 to 8:30 pm at Carriage Hill MetroPark
Enjoy a candlelight stroll through the farm and experience what it was like at night in the 1880s. Listen to holiday music, play parlor games and more.
Learn more about all the ways you can enjoy the holiday season in your Five Rivers MetroParks by visiting www.metroparks.org.