10 Things to Do in Dayton, OH for First Time Visitors


Dayton, Ohio is a fun-filled vacation spot that boasts incredible attractions, museums, parks, and a dynamic performing arts scene. For couples and families, you will find so much going on in Dayton, OH that it’s not possible to see everything in just one trip.

1. Dayton Art Institute

Modeled after an Italian Renaissance building in Rome, the Dayton Art Institute opened its doors in 1919 before moving to a new location in 1930. There is a vast collection of over 20,000 pieces. Permanent displays such as 18th and 19th century American pieces, Asian pieces, 17th century Baroque pieces, and contemporary art are also available for viewing. The Dayton Art Institute can be found at 456 Belmonte Park N; 937-223-4278.

2. Carillon Historical Park

Boasting 65 acres, this enormous park has many historical structures on its grounds. Besides these structures, you can also find various artistic interpretive displays to educate visitors about Dayton history and early residents. One of the most exciting parts of the park is the Wright Brother’s Aviation Center, something not to be missed.

3. The Dragons

Hit a minor league baseball game while you’re in town. The Dragons are Dayton’s official minor team and hold the record for setting the most consecutive sold out baseball games with eight hundred people in attendance! Be forewarned, this team’s tickets are quite sought after. If you’re lucky enough to snag some tickets, you can expect a lively, high energy game. The Dragons play at the Fifth Third Field located at Fifth Third Field, 220 North Patterson Blvd; 937-228-BATS.

4. Boonshoft Museum of Discovery

This is a wonderful children’s center with an emphasis on science. Its collection includes an aquarium, live animal sanctuary, planetarium, and a natural history collection. Permanent exhibits, including an interactive solar system and an Egyptian mummy are also on site. The large facilities also include a zoo, enclosed tree house, and tidal pool with sea creatures. 937-275-7431

5. Benjamin and Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center

This community based center hosts entertainment and performing arts in the area. Shows include the Dayton Ballet, the Dayton Philharmonic and the Dayton Opera. Seasonal shows and traveling acts also grace the stage. Before or after taking in a show, you can eat at one of the center’s many restaurants and spend time in the winter garden. 937-228-7591

6. SunWatch Indian Village/Archaeological Park

This open-air park is a actually a reconstructed Native American village located on the shores of the Great Miami River. It boasts three acres of dwellings and excavation sites. As a visitor, you can step into another time to learn about this ancient culture and their way of life. 937-268-8199.

7. Meadowlark Restaurant

This cozy and casual restaurant serves American fusion cuisine for lunch and dinner. American fusion food is basically American food with a global inclusion. The ingredients are sourced locally and for aesthetic appeal, colorful artwork adorns the walls. The dining space contains exposed brick and beautiful mahogany furniture. Located Lamplighter Square Shopping Center, 5531 Far Hills Ave; 937-434-4750. http://www.meadowlarkrestaurant.com/

8. Carriage Hill MetroPark and Farm

This 900 acre farm brings so much joy to visitors. The center uses education, historical artifacts, demonstrations, and period actors to bring the past to life. Learn about the Arnold family who used to own the farm. Also, visit the barn to see the livestock and then go for a horseback ride. The farm is surrounded by lush greenery, grasslands, and forest. 7800 Shull Huber Heights, OH 45424, 937-278-2609. https://www.metroparks.org/places-to-go/carriage-hill/

9. Second Market Street

This lively market is a hot spot for shopping in this city. In fact, it is the largest and oldest market in all of Dayton. During the holidays you will find many entertainment events. Local vendors sell meats, cheeses, produce, coffee, honey, baked goods, and more. Second Market Street is open three days a week: Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

10. RiverScape Metro Walk

Considered a green oasis in the downtown area, RiverScape Metro Walk lies on the shores of the Great Miami River. A community center at the park, along with various concerts and community events, is also available. You can walk, run, or bike the trails. 111 Monument Ave; 937-274-0126.

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