Dayton has a wealth of hidden gems and great places to have some fun for local families, date nights, girl trips and more. Here are some of our favorites…
1. National Air Force Museum– To think that this Museum is free is just amazing to us. The Air Force Museum houses such a wide variety of airplane history starting with the Wright Brothers (which coincidentally were born in Dayton!) to present day. There are several different hangers that allow us to peruse and go back in time. We especially love the displays that allow you to get in and get your picture taken as if you were the pilot. This is a museum for all ages and they are even updating it soon to have the President’s Wing.
2. Carillon Park– Dayton history lives at Carillon Park. Here you are able to see the first and last vehicle to go through the GM Plant, you can walk through old school houses and even stop in and have a drink at the Brewery. Our family fave here is the personalized Carousel that offers different seats representing history of Dayton. The campus is beautiful and the bells during the holiday were a sight to be seen when they are lit up.
3. Five Rivers Metroparks– We love every season with the Metroparks here in Dayton. They are all popular spots for photographers as well as families and couples to stroll through. Three of our most popular parks are Cox Arboretum, Wegerzyn Gardens and RiverScape. There is something going on in each season between Butterfly Houses, Discovery Gardens, Hiking Trails and Ice Skating.
4. Scene75– This is a newer Entertainment complex that was built just a couple years ago and was much needed for the Dayton area. Scene75 is the perfect place to release some steam during a go kart race, get some exercise at a Sand Volleyball game, treat the little ones to some big inflatable fun or have drinks and kick back with your friends. Black Light Mini Golf, Bounce Zone, Bumper Boats, Lazer Tag, Chaos Room, Go Kart Track, full bar with restaurant, light up cotton candy and lots of party rooms make this the ideal place to have some fun.
5. Dayton Dragons– Daytonians are proud Dayton Dragon’s fans. We hold the record for the most sold out games ever and for good reason. They know how to make it a relaxed and fun day or night out with friends or family for a reasonable cost. Between the down to earth players that are appreciative to be playing and often move up to Cincinnati Reds level to every seat having a great view to the hilarious entertainment put on by the Green Team- it is a can’t go wrong event you must do if in Dayton.
6. Boonshoft Museum– If you are looking for a way to let your children use their imagination and have fun exploring then Boonshoft is a perfect outing. There is so much to do and it is all indoors which is great for rainy days or hot summer sun. Let the kids climb up the giant treehouse rope, build Legos, pretend play in different scenerios, meet an adorable otter, dig in the sand and slide down a two story playset. They will have fun getting all of their energy out and you can have piece of mind knowing you are offering an educational day of learning at the same time.
7. Yellow Springs– Only about a 20-30 minute drive from Dayton is an adorable and eclectic area known as Yellow Springs. This town is like going back in time and puts off a “hippie” vibe. There are really cool shops, fun fairs, beautiful Nature Preserves and State Parks and delicious restaurants like Young’s Dairy Farm which offers a unique experience as well with the animals nearby and working farm.
8. Fraze Pavilion– Dayton is very lucky to have Fraze Pavilion. It amazes us every time we are there about how they can bring in such big names and yet all of the seats have excellent views. It represents Dayton very much in the sense that we have big things in a small, more easy going and friendly atmosphere. Some of the past or upcoming headliners included Kenny Rogers, Foreigner, Huey Lewis and the News, B.B. King, Backstreet Boys, Alabama, Bare Naked Ladies and so many more Legends. Along with the great concerts they bring us, we also get to enjoy some fun festivals such as Bacon Fest and Breakfast with the Beatles.
9. The Greene– This is an outdoor shopping experience that brings in nice entertainment throughout the year. They do a good job of channeling all ages. During the holidays, the place is lit up beautifully and Santa is there often along with horse drawn carriage rides. In the Summer, kids love to run through the water feature in the center court area. There is a nice variety of unique and everyday shops as well as delicious restaurants and a large movie theatre complex. An entire day could easily be spent here with getting your hair and nails done, doing some shopping, catching an act at the Funny Bone, eating at a favorite restaurant and then ending the day with drinks.
10. Schuster Center– This performing arts center is enclosed in stunning architecture that graces downtown. It has been open since 1912 and has brought many exciting shows to our area. Anything from Lion King to Jersey Boys to Pink Floyd Tribute have been on the stage giving joy to the Dayton area. There is a very nice restaurant, Citilites, on hand to cover your dinner and then many places nearby for drinks after. Or maybe you stop at Fronana, which is not far, to end the night with a healthy ice cream alternative.
All in all, Dayton has a ton to offer and everything is really close in distance which is nice and convenient. Dayton is called the “Gem City” and we are pretty sure it is because of all of the awesome people and things to do in the area. Have fun exploring!