Photo: Lisa Powell
Photo: Lisa Powell

This weekend, get your family off the couch and into the holiday spirit 

After the Thanksgiving festivities have nearly come to an end, you might be wondering how you can extend that feeling of cheer past Thanksgiving Day and into the weekend. Well, lucky for you, we’ve come up with a comprehensive list of the best holiday activities to partake in throughout the weekend after Thanksgiving Day. These are the post-Thanksgiving events in Dayton (no Scrooges allowed): 

🌟Check out some Christmas lights

As soon as the leftovers are put in the fridge, Dayton is illuminated in Christmas lights. Two of the most popular area displays begin on Friday, with the Legendary Lights of Clifton Mill, Woodland Lights, PNC Festival of Lights, and, new this year, the Holiday Lights at Lostcreek Reserve in Troy. Even better, many of these attractions don’t even require you to exit your vehicle! For a more thorough roundup of the best Christmas lights displays in the Miami Valley, click here

🌟Legendary Lights of Clifton Mill

When: Nov. 29–Dec. 30, 2019

Times: 5-9 p.m. Lights go on at 6 p.m. Closes at 8 p.m. on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day. Closed on New Year’s Eve. 

Location: 75 Water St., Clifton

Cost: $10. Kids 3 and under are free. Parking is free. 

More info: 937-767-5501 | Website | Facebook

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🌟Woodland Lights

When: Nov. 22-Dec. 23, 2019. The display is open Friday through Sunday, Nov. 22-Dec. 1 and nightly Dec. 6-23.

Hours: 6-9 p.m. 

Location: Countryside Park on the Washington Township Recreation Campus, 895 Miamisburg-Centerville Road, Washington Twp. 

Cost: Tickets are available at the gate, any Washington Twp. recreation facility or online. Tickets are $9 age 3 and up. Tickets are free for children 2 and younger. 

More info: Website | Facebook

🌟Land of Illusion Christmas Glow

When: Nov. 22-Dec. 30, 2019

Hours: Monday-Wednesday drive-through only, 6-10 p.m. Thursday to Sunday drive-through and Christmas Village open, 6-10 p.m. Thursday-Sunday 6-11 p.m.

Where: Land of Illusion, 8762 Thomas Road, Middletown  

Cost: Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday drive-through only $18 per carload. Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday drive through and village tickets $22 per carload. Bring a canned good for $2 off park admission and it will be donated to The Hope House Mission of Middletown. Additionally, there will be a Toys for Tots drop-off location at the venue. Group tickets by bus load (eight or more people) are $35 Monday to Wednesday drive-through only and $45 per bus load Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday (drive-through and village).

More info: Website | Facebook

Holiday Lights at Lostcreek Reserve in Troy will open on Nov. 29, 2019. The new drive-through lights display will be open weekends only and is set on a picturesque historic farm and wooded area. Here is sneak peek at what to expect from a media preview event on Nov. 23, 2019. DAVID MOODIE/CONTRIBUTED

🌟Holiday Lights at Lost Creek Reserve

When: Open Fridays and Saturdays from 6 to 10 p.m. and Sundays from 6 to 9 p.m. Nov. 29-Dec. 29

Where: Lost Creek Reserve, 2385 E. State Route 41, Troy

Cost: $10 for cars and $30 for 15-passenger vans

More info: WebsiteFacebook

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🌟PNC Festival of Lights

When: Nov. 16, 2019 to Jan. 4, 2020. Open Sundays through Thursdays from 5-9 p.m. and on Fridays and Saturdays from 5-10 p.m. Visits with Santa begin at 4 p.m. Closed Thanksgiving (open during the day), Christmas Eve (open during the day) and Christmas Day.

Where: The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens, 3400 Vine St., Cincinnati

Cost: Event is included with zoo admission. Admission varies for dates and times. Discount tickets available at Kroger. Plan-ahead pricing can be found at

More info: WebsiteFacebook

🎄Community Christmas tree lightings

The Dayton Holiday Festival Grande Illumination waill be held Friday night. About 100,000 lights will illuminate tree on Courthouse Square. A variety of activities were held at the annual event including live entertainment, wagon rides and a gingerbread house decorating contest. The evening will be capped off with the Children's Parade which will be filled with seasonal floats, horses and bands. LISA POWELL / STAFF
Photo: Lisa Powell

‘Tis the season to gather ‘round the Christmas tree with your closest friends and family members. Dayton and surrounding areas are doing the same by inviting the community to celebrate the illumination of their own Christmas trees.

Celebrations this weekend include the Grand Illumination in Dayton, the tree lighting in Troy and the Holiday Illumination tree lighting in Lebanon.

🎄Grand Illumination Tree Lighting

When: Friday, Nov. 29, beginning at 7:45 p.m., and followed by the Children’s Parade

Where: Courthouse Square, Third and Main Streets, Dayton

Cost: Free

More info: WebsiteFacebook

🎄Troy Tree Lighting

When: Friday, Nov. 29 5-8 p.m. The tree lighting will take place at 6:45 p.m.

Where: The Prouty Plaza at 405 Public Square in Troy

Cost: Free

More info: Website

🎄Holiday Illumination

When: Nov. 29, 6:30-8 p.m.

Where: Christmas Tree Park, Corner of Main Street and Broadway, Lebanon

Cost: Free

More info: Facebook 

❄Kings Island WinterFest

Scenes from opening night of Kings Island's Winterfest 2019. During Winterfest the park is transformed into an enchanted winter wonderland. The Eiffel Tower is look like a 314-foot tall Christmas tree and there is ice skating on the Royal Fountain. Live shows, rides, delicious holiday treats, millions of lights and holiday characters are also spreading merriment throughout the park. GREG LYNCH / STAFF

On Friday, Nov. 22, Kings Island opened for WinterFest, a series of 10 enchanting winter wonderlands featuring ice skating on the Royal Fountain, the Eiffel Tower turned into a magical Christmas tree and more than five million lights.

There are also 19 rides that will be running in addition to the live entertainment and holiday characters spreading the cheer of the season.  

WinterFest operating hours are 5-10 p.m. each night except for Saturdays (4-10 p.m.) and New Year’s Eve (5 p.m.–1 a.m.). For more information, call 513-754-5700 or  visit

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⛸️RiverScape Ice Rink opens

UpDayton hosted a free ice skating night at RiverScape Ice Rink on Friday, Jan. 19, 2018. Here’s who we spotted.
Photo: Tom Gilliam

The region’s largest outdoor ice skating rink officially opens on Friday, Nov. 29 at 2:30 p.m., for season-long, family-friendly fun on the banks of the scenic Great Miami River in downtown Dayton.


What: RiverScape MetroParks Ice Rink

When: Beginning Nov. 29. Check website for dates and times.

Where: 237 E. Monument Ave., Dayton

Cost: $6 per person per skate, $2 skate rental. Seasonal passes available.

More info: WebsiteFacebook

🎅🏻Head downtown to hop on The Polar Bear Express

Photo: Pedal Wagon Dayton

The train that literally “chugs” along the streets of Dayton during the winter has made its return. A 15-passenger pedal-powered “winter adventure” takes participants through festive streets to Dayton’s favorite bars and restaurants to enjoy season specials. The themed pedal wagon rides run now through the end of February. The Polar Bear Express pickup location is at 28 N. Patterson Blvd., Dayton. Make reservations online here.


What: Polar Bear Express Pedal Wagon

When: Now through Feb. 29 

Where: Pickup location is 28 N. Patterson Blvd., Dayton 

Cost: $19 for weekday ticket, $25 for weekend ticket and $249 for a private ride

More info: Tickets, details and reservations: Website | Facebook

🎄Pick out your Christmas tree

Scenes from Young’s Christmas Tree Farm outside Yellow Springs. (Staff file photo by Bill Lackey)

It’s time to find your perfect Christmas tree! This is the perfect weekend to load up the family and head to a tree farm to find a tree and get to decorating. We’ve got a county-by-county guide on where to purchase your fresh-cut tree.

🎧Relive the 1990s at Asylum Nightclub Reunion

The Asylum Nightclub reunion is planned for Friday, Nov. 23. 2018.
Photo: Matt Freeman

The DJ boat booth, heavy duty shark cage used for dancing and nude mannequins were moved out long ago. The building it once inhabited now provides shelter for homeless teenagers, but the spirit of that Asylum Nightclub lives on, Matt Freeman says. Freeman, a longtime DJ at the alternative music dance club, will host the 2019 installment of the annual Asylum Reunion from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. Friday, Nov. 29, at Therapy Cafe, 452 E. Third St. in downtown Dayton. 


What: Asylum Nightclub Reunion 

When: 9 p.m. to 3 a.m., Friday, Nov. 29 

Where: Therapy Cafe, 452 E. Third St., in downtown Dayton

Cost: $5 at the door 

More info: Facebook event page link

🦃Family fun at Gustafer Yellowgold’s Thanksgiving Performance

Dayton native Morgan Taylor has received a Grammy nomination for Best Children's Album for 2015's Gustafer Yellowgold's Dark Pie Concerns. Photo source: Facebook.

A Dayton-native who happens to also be a two-time Grammy nominated children’s songwriter, cartoonist and author is coming back home for a free concert this weekend.  Morgan Taylor will be in Centerville for his annual Gustafer Yellowgold Thanksgiving Food Drive performance meant for all ages at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 30 at the Southminster Presbyterian Church. The drive is accepting non-perishable food donations to support Southminster’s FISH Food Pantry, which provides groceries to lower income individuals and families in the south Dayton region.


What: Gustafer Yellowgold Thanksgiving Food Drive 

When: 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 30

Where: Southminster Presbyterian Church, 7001 Far Hills Avenue, Centerville 

Cost: Free 

More info: Website | Facebook