There's no better time of year to get to know Dayton's museums.
Outstanding archives and collections have enabled Dayton to offer the community many ways to explore its arts, culture, history and heritage.
Take your pick from aviation to local history and beyond, it can all be found here.
1. Dayton Art Institute
When you're visiting Dayton or if you are new to Dayton, one of the first recommendations you'll hear from Daytonians is to visit the the Dayton Art Institute. The museum has an impressive permanent collection, a great area for kids and an eclectic mix of special exhibitions and special events. You can’t miss it, as you’re taking tours of the city. If you’re a lover of art of all genres, the DAI as we like to call it, is where to go.Want to go? WHAT: Dayton Art Institute WHERE: 456 Belmonte Park North, Dayton
COST: Suggested donation:
- Adults: $8
- Seniors (60+), Active Military and Groups: $5
- College Students (18+ with ID): Free
- Youth & Children (17 and under): Free
- Members: Free
- Special exhibits may carry additional fee
2. Boonshoft Museum of Discovery
Known for interactive science and learning experiences that enrich the lives of children and adults, the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery is just plain cool. The museum combines learning and fun on topics including anthropology, geology, paleontology and biology. No matter what, there is a collection here designed to promote deeper understanding of the world. And don't forget the animals. The museum has its own mini zoo with beloved animals, including some river otters with some serious personality.
Want to go? WHAT: Boonshoft Museum of Discovery WHERE: 2600 Deweese Parkway, Dayton
COST: Children (3-16) $10
Seniors (60+) $11
Children under 3 and members are free HOURS: 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 12 p.m.–5 p.m. Sunday INFO: Website | Facebook | 937-275-7431
3. Carillon Historical Park
If you yearn to learn more about how Dayton became such an amazing city, then there’s plenty to learn at Carillon Historical Park. The park is located on a 65-acre campus and you simply can’t miss Dayton's landmark, Carillon tower that overlooks the Great Miami River. Inside the museum at Carillon Park, you will have a chance to immerse yourself in Dayton history. The museum includes exhibits that showcase the original 1905 Wright Flyer III, the 1835 B&O steam locomotive and the first automobile self-starter, not to mention an expansive collection of old NCR cash registers. You can also enjoy a nifty carousel ride that pays homage to Dayton History.Want to go? WHAT: Carillon Historical Park WHERE: 1000 Carillon Boulevard, Dayton
COST: Adults $8
Seniors (ages 60 and over) $7
Children (ages 3-17) $5 HOURS: 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Sunday, 12 p.m.-5 p.m. Sunday INFO: Website | Facebook | 937- 293-2841
4. Dayton International Peace Museum
Hear from folks at the Dayton International Peace Museum about nonviolent strategies Dayton has used to achieve peace. The peace museum is all about telling the stories of peace heroes who’ve helped make the world a better place by shaping a culture of goodwill. Want to go? WHAT: Dayton International Peace Museum WHERE: 208 W. Monument Ave., Dayton
COST: Free HOURS: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday INFO: Website | Facebook | 937-227-3223
5. Paul Laurence Dunbar House
Schedule a tour of the former home of Paul Laurence Dunbar, an African-American poet who published an extensive post-Civil War collection. His work details the many challenges facing African-Americans amid cultural conflict and social-racial unrest after the war. See famous artifacts and more here. Want to go? WHAT: Paul Laurence Dunbar House WHERE: 219 N. Paul Laurence Dunbar St., Dayton
COST: Free HOURS: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday INFO: Website | Facebook | 937-224-7061 or 937-225-7705
6. America’s Packard Museum
Automotive buffs, what do you know about the Packard Motor Car Company? If you're interested in expanding your knowledge about the industry, then the Packard Museum is a must. This museum is dedicated exclusively to the Packard Motor Car Company, and educating you about its products and philosophies.
Want to go? WHAT: America’s Packard Museum WHERE: 420 Ludlow St., Dayton COST: Adults $6
Students $4 HOURS: 12-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, 1-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
INFO: Website | Facebook | 937-226-1710
7. National Museum of the U.S. Air Force
One of Dayton's biggest tourist attractions is the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. This spectacular destination includes an aviation museum with some pretty amazing planes, a flight simulator, a 3D theater, war-themed exhibits and more.Want to go? WHAT: National Museum of the U.S. Air Force WHERE: 1100 Spaatz St., Wright-Patterson AFB
COST: Free HOURS: Open daily 9 a.m.-5 p.m. INFO: Website | Facebook | 937-255-3286
8. Mound Science and Energy Museum
Learn about energy, nuclear power and more. The Mound Science and Energy Museum showcases dedicated scientists and workers who have spent over 50 years researching the world’s energy use and development. Check them out on Tuesdays and Saturdays or schedule an appointment.Want to go? WHAT: Mound Science and Energy Museum WHERE: 1075 Mound Road, Miamisburg
COST: Free HOURS: 1-3 p.m. Tuesday, 9 a.m.-12 p.m. Saturday and by appointment INFO: Website | Facebook | 937-353-4457
9. The Miami Valley Military History Museum
Learn about and support the veterans of our Armed Forces past, present and future. The Miami Valley Military History Museum is all about helping you preserve the memory of those who’ve fought for the nation by providing you with special artifacts, research materials and literature centered around our nation’s military.
Want to go? WHAT: The Miami Valley Military History Museum WHERE: 120 Ohio Ave., Building 120, Dayton HOURS: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Friday INFO: Website | Facebook |937-267-7629
10. WACO Historical Society and Air Museum
The WACO Historical Society works at providing you with the important history about local aviation history. See the planes and learn the history of how this region became the birthplace of aviation. Want to go? WHAT: WACO Historical Society and Air Museum
WHERE: 1865 S. County Road 25-A, Troy
COST: Adults $6
Military (with ID) $5
Under 6 free
HOURS: 8 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, 12-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday
INFO: Website | Facebook | 937-335-9226
11. Dayton Aviation Heritage
Learn about Dayton heroes, the Wright Brothers and Paul Laurence Dunbar. The Dayton Aviation Heritage Museum preserves and interprets the history and legacies of these extraordinary men through artifacts and education. Want to go? WHAT: Dayton Aviation Heritage WHERE: 16 S. Williams St., Dayton
COST: Free HOURS: 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Sunday
INFO: Website | Facebook | 937-225-7705
12. Sunwatch Indian Village
Sunwatch Indian Village works in conjunction with the Boonshoft Museum mentioned above. So, you know they’re good! Explore the actual Indian Village and Archaeological Park aimed at supporting and protecting the cultural remains of the Sunwatch National Historic Landmark.