Dayton is teeming with great things to do. Here are some of our favorites in downtown Dayton. Video by Amelia Robinson

Dayton Bucket List: 100 things to do in Dayton in 2019

Happy New Year, Dayton!

What better resolution in 2019 than to truly experience your city?

See the sights, hear the sounds, savor the tastes.

Eat somewhere new, many times.

Try something you’ve never tried before.

Go to a festival you’ve never experienced.

Visit a charming suburb for the first time to dine, sip and shop.

We guarantee everyone will discover something new to love about Dayton and surrounding communities.

Here are 100 ideas for things to enjoy in Dayton in 2019, in no particular order. You’ve got 365 days to make it happen, so start now!! 

Ann Alyanak of Bellbrook won the U.S. Air Force Marathon on Saturday with a time of 2 hurs, 56 minutes, 57 seconds. NICK DUDUKOVICH/CONTRIBUTED
Photo: Contributing Writer

1. Train for a local race. Resolve to get in shape now for the Air Force Marathon, Turkey Trot and other big races in 2019. There are tons of  area runners groups that can help you train or find a buddy to do it with you.

The free Flyer shuttle. Service begins this morning. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF
Photo: Staff Writer

2. Ride the FREE Flyer shuttle. Hop on The Flyer to make the trip from downtown Dayton to the University of Dayton and entertainment destinations in between a lot easier. There are 70 stops on the route.

>> How to use downtown’s free new shuttle

Giordano’s Pizza may be headed to Beavercreek. FILE/CONTRIBUTED
Photo: Staff Writer

3. Eat a slice of deep-dish pizza from Giordano’s. This might be one of the most anticipated restaurant openings of 2019. Dayton will get its first Giordano’s (famous Chicago deep dish pizza restaurant). It will be located at the site of a former Logan’s Roadhouse restaurant near the Mall at Fairfield Commons and Wright State University, and is tentatively scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2019.

>> Giordano’s reveals details of its first Dayton-area deep-dish pizza restaurant

Valley Vineyards in Morrow captured the top spot for Best Date Night in the Best of Warren County online vote. /STAFF
Photo: MARK FISHER

4. Put together your own Miami Valley winery tour. Make a pact to visit all of the great wineries surrounding Dayton in Warren, Preble, Butler, Greene, Clark, Miami and Darke counties. The Winery at Versailles, Old Mason Winery, Caesar Creek, Olde Schoolhouse and Valley Vineyards are just a few must-visit stops.

>> Guide to Southwest Ohio wine

5. Go to a Dayton-area comedy club every night for a week until you crack three ribs from laughter. Wiley’s in the Oregon District and the Funny Bone in Dayton have shows every weekend and many weeknights. The Black Box Improv Theater has shows every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night. You can even take a class.

6. Arrive at Warped Wing on Whiskey Rebellion Release Day early enough to actually buy the variants rather than watching them run out while I’m still standing in line. 

Bob Moats has worked behind the historic bar at Jay’s Restaurant in Dayton for 33 years. The bar was originally hand carved for the Pony House Restaurant in 1882. LISA POWELL / STAFF
Photo: Staff Writer

7. Have a drink at Jay’s and admire the historic carved bar. It’s truly a sight to behold with a rich, storied history.

>> Downtown restaurant’s gorgeous antique bar has seen more than a century of history — from Buffalo Bill to the birth of the cash register

8. Attend a University of Dayton-Wright State University regular season “Gem City Jam” men’s basketball game. 

Mac-A-Cheek was built by Abram Sanders Piatt, a farmer and soldier in the Civil War. He and his brother, Donn Piatt, built a pair of homes in West Liberty called the Piatt Castles. LISA POWELL / STAFF
Photo: Staff Writer

9. Visit the Piatt Castles in West Liberty. The Piatt Castles are two enchanting Logan County homes whose names, Mac-O-Chee and Mac-A-Cheek, come from the Shawnee who lived in a village called Mackachack. The Piatt Castles, two 19th century homes, are located in West Liberty in Logan County. The castles have been open as house museums for more than a century.

>>WORTH THE DRIVE: Piatt Castles an enchanting sight on Ohio farmland

Eat your way through this sweet trail celebrating Ohio s most beloved candy tradition, the Buckeye. CONTRIBUTED
Photo: Staff Writer

10. Eat your way through some of Ohio’s best buckeyes. There is now an official statewide Ohio Buckeye Candy Trail. The Ohio Buckeye Candy Trail is a 31-stop trail highlighting local, family-owned and nationally known chocolate artisan from across the state. The Dayton area is well-represented: Golden Turtle Chocolate Factory in Lebanon, Holly B’s Sweets in Waynesville, Friesinger’s Chocolates in Springboro, Esther Price in Dayton and Winan’s Chocolates + Coffees.

Since the late 1930s people have stuck chewing gum on the brick exterior of the Maid-Rite Sandwich Shoppe in Greenville. The tradition is a draw for locals and visitors to the community. Ashely Beem, 18, of Sacramento, Calif. made a visit to the restaurant with her family recently. LISA POWELL / STAFF
Photo: Lisa Powell

11. Stick a wad of gum on the “gum wall” at the Maid-Rite in Greenville. It may sound disgusting, but it’s a tradition. While you’re there, grab one of those famous little Maid-Rite loose meat sandwiches.

>>A wacky tradition that has stuck literally - with famous little sandwich shop for 80 years

Greenville's Maid-Rite Sandwich Shoppe is known for its steamed loose-meat sandwiches. The shop opened in 1934. LISA POWELL / STAFF
Photo: Lisa Powell

12. Book a room at a hotel in Dayton for a full weekend and pretend like you’re visiting from out of town and experiencing it for the first time.

ISO Heaven has solidified its designation as Toxic Brew Co.’s favorite, among both tasting-room visitors and the brewery’s bar-and-restaurant retail accounts. The beer is named for Iso-Alpha acids, which are imparted by hops during the brewing process, and which help give IPAs their signature hit of bitterness. Co-founder Shane Juhl calls the brew a “well-balanced single IPA.” JIM WITMER/CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER
Photo: Jim Witmer, Contributing Photographer

13. Kick back with some Dayton-made beer. The easiest way to do this is with a walking brewery tour. Start at the Fifth Street Brewpub and walk down Fifth to the Oregon, you can then hit Toxic, Warped Wing, Barrel House and the Dayton Beer Company. The best part of the tour is you can stumble to all five breweries in just under a mile.

>> How to walk Dayton’s craft brewery trail

>> 12 must-try signature Dayton beers

14. Taste some new Dayton brew. Have you tried Dayton’s newest brewery, Branch & Bone? Try the purple drink (Pea Blossom sour). 

The RiverScape River Run officially opened downtown on the Great Miami River on Friday, May 5, 2017. CONTRIBUTED BY FIVE RIVERS METROPARKS
Photo: Kyle Nagel

15. Get out and paddle. The Miami Valley has plenty to offer when it comes to water attractions/recreation. In fact, this region is considered a destination for water sports. When sunny skies arrive, grab some friends and enjoy the thrill of canoeing, kayaking and rafting (and check out our guide to paddling for tips on where to go). Be sure to check out RiverScape River Run

>> Why RiverScape River Run is a huge deal

July's Yellow Cab Food Truck Rally was held Friday, July 21, 2017. PHOTO /
Photo: Tom Gilliam

16. Check out the Yellow Cab. The popular Yellow Cab Tavern in Dayton is home to lots of great music events and festivals, food truck events, craft beer, night markets and more. The Yellow Cab is famous for off-the-beaten-path fun. Get the latest upcoming event info on their Facebook page

Travis Tritt and The Charlie Daniels Band will hit the road in 2019 for the Outlaws & Renegades Tour. The tour will feature support by The Cadillac Three and will include a stop at Rose Music Center in Huber Heights, OH on Saturday, June 1, 2019. CONTRIBUTED

17. Splurge on tickets for an outdoor summer concert. Dayton is beyond lucky to have some incredible outdoor music venues to fill your summer nights with great music and great fun. The Rose Music Center in Huber Heights and Fraze Pavilion in Kettering both bring in a variety of national acts, from nostalgia tours, to up-and-comers. Acts coming to town so far include Whitesnake, Chicago, Travis Tritt and The Charlie Daniels band, STYX, Air Supply, Weird Al Yankovic and more. 

Levitt Pavilion, downtown Dayton’s new outdoor music venue, held its first concert on Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018. Gina Chavez, a multi-ethnic Latin pop songstress, held the first show, preceded by the Chaminade Julienne High School band. CONTRIBUTED BY E.L. HUBBARD
Photo: Staff Writer

18. See a FREE summer concert at Levitt Pavilion. In 2018, the Levitt Pavilion made its debut, offering TONS of free concerts on weeknights and weekends and bringing more people downtown. We can’t wait for the second season!! 

>>Everything you need to know to make the most of your Levitt Pavilion experience

Country singer Thomas Rhett is one of the headliners for Country Concert ‘19 in Fort Loramie. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO JOSEPH LLANES
Photo: Contributing Writer

19. If you’re really up for a memorable time, head up north to Fort Loramie for Country Concert, a multiple day country music campout in July featuring some of the biggest artists in country music all on one stage (and some pretty darn amazing people watching and partying). This year’s lineup includes Kid Rock, Chris Stapleton, Thomas Rhett, Dustin Lynch and more.

>>PHOTOS: Did we spot you at the County Concert ‘18?

Celtic music and dance, beer and food are the stars of one of Dayton's signature festivals of summer. Here are scenes from Dayton Celtic Festival 2017 on Sunday, July 30, 2017. CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS BY
Photo: E.L. HUBBARD

20. Experience The Celtic Festival. This is the festival of festivals and it should be on everyone's list of events to attend. Experience the luck of the Irish and immerse your senses in the rich Celtic heritage. The 2018 festival will take place July 26-28, 2019so mark your calendars.

>> Reasons to go to the Dayton Celtic Festival

The 20,000-light Carillon Holiday Tree was lit on Wednesday evening to kick off the Holiday festivities at Carillon Historic Park and Dayton History. TY GREENLEES / STAFF
Photo: Ty Greenlees

21. Spend a day at Carillon Historical ParkRide the Dayton Carousel of Innovation, experience pioneer history, climb the new Brethren Tower, tour the Patterson Homestead, drink fresh-brewed craft beer and enjoy German-style hearty fare. You have to see Carillon during the holiday season. The Tree of Light is a sight to behold.

The historic Callahan Clock has been returned to the Dayton skyline. Carillon Historical Park has brought one of Dayton’s most famous landmarks back. The historic Callahan clock was the centerpiece of downtown Dayton for more than a century. The clock was the crown on top of the Callahan Building, sometimes referred to as Dayton’s first skyscraper. Later knows as the Gem City clock, Reynolds and Reynolds stepped up to preserve the iconic time piece, and it became a long-time fixture visible from Interstate 75 until 2006. That clock is now secured atop the 100-foot Brethen Tower at Carillon. Guests are welcome to climb the Brethren Tower's 120 steps to witness breathtaking views of Carillon Historical Park and the surrounding landscape. TOM GILLIAM/CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS
Photo: Tom Gilliam
The highest point in Dayton is at Lookout Point in Woodland Cemetery.
Photo: Connie Post

22. View Dayton from the Woodland CemeteryAside from visiting the famous Daytonians who are buried here, Woodland offers a view like no other. Lookout Columbarium stands at the highest point in the city and is the ultimate spot for sightseers, lovers and lunch breaks. 

>> 17 things to see at Woodland Cemetery

Nick Kizirnis, leader of the Nicky Kay Orchestra, brings his instrumental sounds to Dayton Music Fest 2017 at Blind Bob’s and the Yellow Cab Bldg. in Dayton on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 3 and 4. CONTRIBUTED
Photo: Contributing Writer

23. Experience the local music scene. We have tons of talented local bands playing local music venues routinely. Not sure where to go? Every September, music venues including Blind Bob’s, Trolley Stop and the Yellow Cab come together to present the Dayton Music Fest. The event is a celebration of live music in Dayton with an emphasis on the bands that have connections to our city.

>> Best places to see live music in Dayton

courtesy DaytonWanderingdotcom.files.wordpress.com

24. Hike the Gorge. The prettiest 2-mile stretch of the Little Miami State and National Scenic River, east of John Bryan State Park, is a must-do adventure (especially in the fall). It’s the perfect example of post-glacial canyon cutting and offers the most rad views for hikers. 

>> Why this is the best trail to hike

>> 12 amazing hiking trails in Dayton

A biker travels along the Great Miami River bike path Wednesday evening, June 8, 2011.
Photo: Staff photo by Nick Daggy

25. Hit the Great Miami River trailAre you ready for an adventure? With 75 miles of trails, it’s the ultimate spot for runners, skaters or cyclists. The trail winds through downtown Dayton, Riverscape, museums and several monuments. 

>> The 5 best Miami Valley bike trails and how to make the most of them

>> The best place for an indoor biking adventure

SECONDARY PHOTO: A view of Main St., Tipp City. Next summer, the city is tearing up the entire street and resurfacing. They are also widening the sidewalks. The area being redone is between First Street and Fourth Street. There are over 50 shops in the area that will be affected. Staff photo by
Photo: Jim Witmer

26. Discover some of the Dayton's finest communities. Spend some time in a community you may not know too well. Some of the area's most charming communities worth the drive include WaynesvilleTipp CityYellow Springs and Lebanon. Great shopping, great eats!

Marion’s Piazza has been named No. 1 in Pizza Today’s “Hot 100” list. It’s the fourth year out of five that Marion’s topped the list, which is based on annual sales. FILE PHOTO
Photo: Staff Writer

27. Eat Dayton-made food. Eat all Dayton-made food for a day. Who doesn’t enjoy Mikesells potato chips, Esther Price Chocolates and Marion’s famous square-cut pizza? Here’s a list of “Dayton classic” foods to make it easier for you! 

Rock climbing at Urban Krag in downtown Dayton. TEESHA MCCLAM / STAFF FILE PHOTO
Photo: HANDOUT

28. Get your climb on at Urban KragWhen that adventurous spirit strikes, you know where to head. The indoor rock climbing wall is designed to test your strength, provide a safe atmosphere and brings families together with a fun activity. 

Tasty treats await you at the end of Cowvin's Corny Maze.
Photo: Contributed

29. Get lost in a corn mazeOne of the perks of living in the Midwest is fun on the farm. Farm owners across the region have gotten creative by creating corn mazes and fall family activities to offer weekends of fun throughout the fall.

>>It’s your last chance to get lost in a-MAZE-ing fall fun this year

The Dayton Ballet Company will give the Verdi “Requiem” an entirely new look. Here, dancers rehearse for the Sept. 16 -17 performance at the Schuster Center. CONTRIBUTED
Photo: Staff Writer

30. Support Dayton performing arts. It's no secret that Dayton has one of the best arts/cultural scenes for a town of its size. Experience it for yourself. If you like theater, check out a Human Race or Playground Theatre production. If you like dance, check out the Dayton Ballet or DCDC. Music? The Dayton Philharmonic has shows for just about every musical preference. If you've never seen the Opera, do it in 2019. 

The 3rd on Third market returned to Dayton on Sunday, April 19, featuring live music, food trucks, baked goods and a variety of vendors carrying everything from locally made goods to antiques and collectibles. The rain-or-shine market is held on the third Sunday of each month from April through October at 1121 E. Third Street.

31. 3rd on Third. Check out some of the area’s hottest vendors at this outdoor market that runs from April through October.

The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force opened the Memphis Belle exhibit to the public on Thursday after a 13-year restoration. Staff and volunteers worked 55,000 hours to restore the iconic World War II bomber. TY GREENLEES / STAFF
Photo: Staff Writer

32. Check out some sweet planes. The National Museum of the United States Air Force has some pretty badass planes that you’ll want to see with your own eyes, including the Memphis Belle. Grab the family for an all-day airplane extravaganza. Admission is free.

The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds perform the Diamond Pass and Review during their performance at the Wings of Freedom Open House & Air Show, Altus AFB, OK, September 13, 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo/Master Sgt. Stan Parker)
Photo: MSgt Stan Parker

33. Don't miss the annual Dayton Vectren Air Show in June with high-flying entertainment. The 2019 show will take place June 22-23, 2019 and feature the famous U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds.

>>PHOTOS: Get ready for these amazing aerial acts at the Vectren Dayton Air Show

Rowdy members of the Red Scare, a student group that attends sports games, are the “pulse of UD Arena.” photo
Photo: Contributed

34. Go see a University of Dayton Flyers basketball game! Dayton is home to one of the top-ranked college basketball programs in attendance, and there are a few reasons why. UD Arena is conveniently located, the atmosphere is fun thanks to the Red Scare, there isn’t a bad view in the building and it’s always fun to cheer for our very own Cinderella team that has beaten the odds time and time again. Plus, the arena was recently renovated and it’s pretty sweet!

>> Flyer Faithful traditions run deep

Eat your way through more than a dozen restaurants at The Taste of The Greene on Aug. 10. CONTRIBUTED
Photo: Contributing Writer

 

35. Eat local. Dayton has some pretty darn delicious food destinations. Make a vow to try somewhere new or try something new off the menu at one of your go-to spots. If you aren't sure where to go, visit the Miami Valley Restaurant Association's website to learn more about our network of local dining. Still not sure? There is no better time to try someplace new than Restaurant Week (one in winter, one in the summer). You'll get great deals. If you can, try the sneak preview event before each and sample foods from a bunch of places in one stop. During the summer, food events like Taste of the Greene, Taste of All Things Oregon, Taste of Miami Valley and The Taste (Fraze Pavilion) won't disappoint.

>>Hungry for something new? 15 crave-worthy restaurants that opened in 2018

Photo from the dedication of the Dayton Region's Walk of Fame mural wall in Dayton Wright-Dunbar neighborhood. The mural was designed by Dayton artist James Pate. The dedication followed the 2017 walk of fame induction ceremony. Photo by
Photo: Amelia Robinson

36. Take a walk and learn about Dayton history. There are a couple easy ways to do this. At Riverscape Inventor’s Walk, you can admire Daytonian inventions by strolling down the green-and-white towers at Patterson Boulevard Canal Parkway. If you want to learn about some of the people who have shaped Dayton’s past, present and future, take a stroll down the Dayton Region’s Walk of Fame at the corner of West Third and South Williams streets. 

Young’s Jersey Dairy will unveil its “Young’s On The Moove” food truck this summer. Photo courtesy of Young’s Dairy Facebook page.

37. Enjoy a delicious treat from Young's Jersey Dairy. Enjoy some of the most delicious homemade ice cream treats while hanging out with farm animals, playing mini golf and more. Find more tasty frozen treats here

A new and independently owned bakery founded by a local father-daughter duo has set an opening date of July 27 near the University of Dayton campus. “Partial to Pie” is gearing up to open at 200 Shroyer Road, at the intersection of Shroyer and Wilmington Pike. STAFF PHOTO / MARK FISHER
Photo: Mark Fisher

38. Try the best pie in Ohio. Partial to Pie is brand new and already has been named the Best Pie Shop in Ohio in a USA Today poll.  The retail bakery, founded by Marie Clark and her father Mike Clark of Kettering, provides dine-in and carry-out services, specializing in pies, quiche and sweet treats. The bakery is located at the corner of Shroyer Road and Wilmington Pike.

>>The secrets to a perfect pie from Dayton’s newest pie bakery

The Five Rivers Fountain at the confluence of the Great Miami and Mad rivers runs Tuesday, May 20, in downtown Dayton. Staff photo by Chris Stewart
Photo: CHRIS STEWART/DAYTON DAILY NEWS/Chris Stewart

39. Get to know downtown. Downtown Dayton is a great place to live, work or play. Downtown is home to the city's top arts/cultural destinations. You'll find more than 50 restaurants, more than 30 bars/clubs, a ballpark known for routinely selling out home games, plus tons of museums and galleries. The best way to experience downtown is at the monthly showcase event, First Fridays, held the first Friday of the month. During the summer, Summer in the City will return with a series of themed special events.

When you're getting ready for family get-togethers and parties, stop in at 2nd Street Market for local produce, baked goods, spices, and other culinary delights. There are also many artisans and vendors to find gifts for everyone on your list. CONTRIBUTED

40. Shop and dine at 2nd Street Market. Visit your local growers, bakers, artisans and culinary specialists at the one and only 2nd Street Market. 

>>7 things to know about one of downtown’s most popular shopping spots

Photo inside of the Funk Museum and Exhibition Center in downtown Dayton. Photo: Amelia Robinson

41. Visit Dayton’s funk museum. The funk music genre put Dayton on the map as the Land of the Funk in the 1970s and '80s, thanks to a stable of groups that included the Ohio Players, Steve Arrington’s Hall of Fame, Zapp, Faze-O, Heatwave, Sun, Slave and Lakeside. A museum honoring Dayton’s contributions to funk music years in the making opened in 2018. George Clinton stopped there on a recent visit!

>> 8 Dayton bands you should give a funk about

Zombie Dogz on Brown Street in Dayton.
Photo: Photo by Amelia Robinson

42. Try a Zombie Dogz gourmet hot dog. This famous Dayton food institution started out as a food truck then turned into a brick-and-mortar store near the University of Dayton campus. You can still catch the food truck at some of the area’s biggest festivals. These hot dogs are legit. You can’t go wrong with the Calling in Dead (housemade white truffle mac’n’cheese topped with parmesan garlic cracker crumbs).

>> Why the food at Zombie Dogz is making people lose their brains

A sporty Packard convertible.
Photo: Photos by Lauren Rinehart

43. Visit one of Dayton’s specialty museums. Check out the Packard Museum dedicated to extravagant, gleaming masterpieces of transportation. At the Dayton International Peace Museumkids will fall in love with the Children’s Room that’s decked out with games and instruments. Not a kid? No worries. Stop by and tour the exhibits, recline on cozy couches and curl up with a good book.

Col. Charles Ormsby, acting director, Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, views displays at the site of the original Wright Brothers’ Bicycle Shop in downtown Dayton Sept. 13. Ormsby accompanied a group of military and civilian scientists, staff and engineers from the directorate on a visit to significant aviation history sites across Dayton during an Aviation Heritage Tour to gain a better understanding of the evolution of innovation in Dayton, the legacy of which the AFRL carries on today. (U.S. Air Force photo/Marisa Alia-Novobilski)
Photo: Air Force Research Laboratory

44. See the Wright Brothers’ Bicycle Shop. Whether you’re visiting Dayton or a local Daytonian, you have to add the Wright Cycle Company Complex as a point of interest. 

The Dayton Metro Library's grand opening for the main branch was held on Aug. 5, 2017.
Photo: Amelia Robinson

45. Spend an afternoon at downtown Dayton’s new library. Sure you can grab your favorite book and curl up in a quiet corner. But this library offers so much more. Make a video in a green screen room, let the kids have fun in an interactive children’s area or check out the stunning sculpture by Terry Welker in the main atrium. 

>> 10 things you’ll love about the new downtown Dayton library

Dayton Ballet’s holiday classic The Nutcracker is on stage from Dec. 15-23 at the Schuster Center in Dayton. CONTRIBUTED
Photo: Contributing Writer

46. Go see the Nutcracker. It's a Dayton holiday tradition. If you missed it this year, don't repeat that mistake. The Dayton Ballet, with support from the Dayton Philharmonic, puts a Dayton spin on a classic. While you're there, browse the historic old Rike's Department Store windows that are housed in the Schuster Center lobby during the holiday season.

>>Behind the scenes with costume designers for “Nutcracker” ballet

Emily Howbert, 7, of Kettering peers at "Rosie," the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery's groundhog. "Rosie" saw her shadow Monday morning during the annual museum event and predicted six more weeks of winter. A groundhog has been predicting when winter will end for the museum for over 15 years. This is the fourth year Rosie has served as the official prognosticator. LISA POWELL / STAFF
Photo: Lisa Powell

47. Be a kid again at the BoonshoftNo matter your age, the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery is going to steal your heart. Check out animals up close, watch an array of laser shows, see yourself in a heat image camera and take part in presentations. Dinosaur Discovery is coming to the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery, running from Jan. 26 through April 14. The newest running exhibition will showcase dinosaurs that roamed Earth during the Mesozoic era — the “Age of Reptiles” that ended 65 million years ago.

Osage Orange Tunnel at Sugarcreek MetroPark.
Photo: Submitted

48. Hit up all of the MetroParks. With 19 MetroParks in the Dayton area, this could keep you pretty busy all year. Pack a picnic and take a hike. Be sure to check out the living tree tunnel at Sugarcreek Metropark and the free fall festival OutdoorX (Oct. 5-6, 2019) and try something new for free at Eastwood Metropark. Need some inspiration? Here are more than 20 ways to experience all our MetroParks have to offer.

McNasty's Mobile Food Truck makes a stop at Courthouse Square in downtown Dayton.
Photo: Connie Post

49. Get your noms at local food trucks. Dayton has some tasty food trucks. We challenge you to eat your way through each and every one of them. Yellow Cab holds food truck rallies regularly. There are Friday night rallies, weeknight themed food truck battles and brunch rallies. Miami County, Darke County, West Chester and Springfield all hold HUGE food truck events in the spring/summer where you can catch many of them in one spot. 

Education and fun combine with Native American dances, historical presentations and more during the Keeping the Tradition Pow Wow at SunWatch Indian Village and Archaeological Park this weekend. (Staff file photo)

 

50. Travel back in time at Sunwatch Indian VillageStep back in time to about 800 years ago and see how the Fort Ancient Indians lived. You’ll get to see reconstructed structures and villages, found artifacts and more. A great way to experience Sunwatch is through the annual Keeping the Tradition Pow Wow in the summer.

An assortment of Elsa’s legendary “Bad Juan” margaritas. File photo by TY GREENLEES/STAFF
Photo: Staff Writer

51. Drink margaritas! Grab your friends and refresh your thirst with Bad Juan Margaritas from Elsa’s. Try one at Elsa’s Corner Cantina, the newest location with a killer new patio. Or check out a new spot. Find some of our favorites here: 5 best places to find margaritas

Charleston Falls Preserve in Miami County includes a 37 foot waterfall. CONTRIBUTED
Photo: HANDOUT/Photographer Bill Garlow

52. Go see a breathtaking waterfallBeautiful. Peaceful. Serene. Visit waterfalls at Clifton Gorge, Charleston Falls, Ludlow Falls  and West Milton. 

>>4 breathtaking waterfalls near Dayton you must visit

The Troy Strawberry Festival was held June 3-4, 2017 in Troy, Ohio. PHOTO /
Photo: Tom Gilliam

53. Eat a famous Troy Strawberry Festival donut. These delicious donuts are addictive, attract a long line at times and support Troy music programs. It’s a donut for a cause and it’s well worth it. While you’re there, indulge in more strawberry treats than you can possibly imagine. This year’s festival will take place June 1-2, 2019.

The Oakwood Historical Society hosted its inaugural Holiday Home Tour on Saturday, Dec. 8. The tour included seven architecturally unique homes ranging from Craftsman, American Foursquare, Swiss Chalet, Tudor, Prairie Style and Italian Renaissance Revival. TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER
Photo: Tom Gilliam

54. Nose through someone else’s beautiful living space. Dayton’s historic neighborhoods host some of the most amazing holiday home tours (that frequently sell out fast). The Downtown Dayton Partnership also hosts a housing tour every summer. 

>>You are not going to want to miss these Dayton holiday home tours

The Dayton Art Institute was in the midst of construction when the Great Depression hit. Because the startup budget was dedicated to building, when the new museum opened in 1930 the galleries were filled with donated art. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

55.Celebrate a milestone with the Dayton Art Institute. The museum is turning 100 this year, and there will be tons of special events coming up to celebrate. But for now, consider a membership or at least spend the day there browsing some of the treasures in the permanent collection.

The Dayton Art Institute held its 46th annual Oktoberfest celebration last weekend, Sept. 22 to 24 on the grounds of the museum, located at 456 Belmonte Park N. in Dayton. As one of the Dayton-area's biggest festivals, Oktoberfest typically draws more than 25,000 people to the museum grounds during the weekend. TOM GILLIAM / STAFF
Photo: Tom Gilliam/Tom Gilliam

56. Drink up at celebrate Oktoberfest. When it comes to fall fun, it’s hard to top an Oktoberfest celebration. The Dayton region is home to some pretty incredible Oktoberfest celebrations, all offering a little something different. The Dayton Art Institute’s Oktoberfest (Sept. 27-29) is its signature fund-raiser and a must do. Springboro’s Oktoberfest (Sept. 7-8) is the newest fest on the block that is getting a lot of attention for good reason. And if you’re up for a drive, you have to check out Minster Oktoberfest (Oct. 4-6) complete with beer tray relays and more.

>>PROST! It’s officially Oktoberfest season! Here are the best celebrations near Dayton

Heater and Gem are the Dragons' beloved mascots and love to have a good time with fans. They especially like playing tug o' war.
Photo: Contributed photo

57. Catch a Dayton Dragons game. America would not be America (and summer would not be summer) without its favorite pastime. Whether you’re a sports nut or not, there’s plenty for everyone to enjoy at a Dragons game. Here’s a guide to making the most of it. Don’t forget to have your picture taken with Heater and Gem! The 2019 home opener takes place April 4.

The 1902 Wright Glider Replica.
Photo: Lauren Rinehart

58. Hit the Aviation TrailWhether you’re a Wright Brothers fanatic or a full-on aviation enthusiast, this is something you’ll want to check out. Make sure you check out the Parachute Museum!

>>Make your way down the Aviation Trail

The Clifton Mill "Eggs Benedict" is a twist on an old favorite, with eggs and ham served on a biscuit.
Photo: Connie Post

59. Go get brunch. Indulge on a weekend with a fantastic meal and some boozy drinks (Bloody Mary, anyone?) at one of our fantastic local restaurants. One of the newest brunches on the block is at Wheat Penny, just launched in 2018. A must-read: 10 of the best brunch spots in Dayton

This LED blinking heart is a project you can easily make on a first date at Proto Build Bar in Dayton. (TABATHA WHARTON/STAFF)

60. Make something at this maker’s space. Proto BuildBar in Dayton is a 3-D printing shop. And a bar. And a coffee shop. It’s all three all at the same time so you can eat, drink, socialize and make stuff.

Guide to Dayton's Drive-in Movie Theaters
Photo: Chakeres Theatres, Inc. Facebook

61. Go old-time at the drive-inTake the family to see a double feature at one of the area’s retro drive-in movie theaters in Dayton or Brookville.

>> Luxury movie theaters in Dayton

Link: Dayton Bike Share kicked off on Courthouse Square Tuesday, May 5, 2015 with a celebration during Downtown Dayton Partnership’s 'The Square is Where.'

62. Take a bike tour of Dayton. Rent a bike from Link Dayton and tour the downtown Dayton area.

>>Why those adorable green bikes downtown will be the star of this special celebration

Electric go-carts zip around the track at Scene75, a perfect destination for indoor family fun. TY GREENLEES/STAFF
Photo: Contributing Writer

63. Challenge your friends. Head to Scene75 and challenge your friends in video-game contest, laser tag, mini-golf, go-karts, bumper cars, and mini-bowling.

Ozone Zipline Adventures at YMCA Camp Kern offers an adventure close to home. This facility offers four zipline tour options, ranging from five to 11 lines, and a series of special events. CONTRIBUTED
Photo: Contributing Writer

64. Take a mini road tripThe possibilities are endless. Check out THE famous Yellow Spring, or head underground to the Ohio Caverns. Zipline at Camp Kern or see the Devil’s Bathtub at Hocking Hills. Plan your trip with 7 must-see sights in driving distance of Dayton.

>> Zipline adventures across Ohio

THE NEON MOVIE THEATER, 130 E Fifth St. in downtown Dayton is a great destination to see top-notch films and Oscar contenders that you may not get to see elsewhere. (Photo source: Facebook)

65. Visit the Neon moviesPlaza Theatre or the Little Art Theatre. Moviegoers of all ages will find much to love about these local independently-owned and run theaters.

Hat with accessories at BRIM in downtown Dayton's Oregon District. PHOTO / Tess Vella-Collette

66. Spend a day in the Oregon District. Whether you’re looking for a place to eat, shop or hang out with friends, the Oregon District is the place to go. Grab a cocktail from a locally-owned restaurant or enjoy a local craft beer at Toxic or Lucky’s. Look for vintage goods at Clash Consignment or Feathers, check out records at Omega Music or find a new hat at BRIM. Buy a slightly inappropriate T-shirt or mug from Heart Mercantile (seriously, they have the BEST gifts). 

>>10 reasons we love the Fifth Street and Oregon District, and why you should, too

The gamers’ paradise bar called “D20: A Bar with Characters” at 2144 E. Whipp Road in the Oak Creek Plaza will host a euchre tournament and beer event at 7 p.m. next Monday, Feb. 20. SUBMITTED
Photo: Staff Writer

67. Check out one of Dayton’s bar arcades. Nothing pairs better with a game of Donkey Kong or Pac Man than a nice cold brew. A similar idea, turn gaming night into a night out with games and brews at D20: A Bar with Characters.

Bill’s Donut Shop order ready in the box on Wednesday, February 27 in Centerville. TY GREENLEES / STAFF
Photo: Staff Writer

68. Make your own Dayton donut trail. While there may not be an official donut trail, you can make your own. Bill’s. Jim’s. Ashley’s. Evan’s. Stan the Donut Man. Duck Donuts. Donut Palace. 

>>8 local delish doughnuts to indulge in

Jason’s Deli wants to open its first Dayton area shop. It has locations in Cincinnati and Columbus. CONTRIBUTED
Photo: Staff Writer

69. Eat at Jason’s Deli. This is another highly anticipated restaurant opening in 2019. Jason's Deli, which operates a restaurant in Cincinnati and three in Columbus, is gearing up to open its first Dayton-area restaurant in Beavercreek with another to follow near Austin Landing. The menu includes specialty sandwiches, salads, wraps, paninis, muffalettas, pasta and potato dishes and 12 original-recipe soups.

The little secret is out. Warped Wing Brewing Company and Esther Price Candies have teamed up once again to brew the beer that’s become a mainstay of the holiday season in Dayton. Esther’s L’il Secret 2018 was revealed on Thursday, Nov. 8, at a special event. Drumroll please ... This year’s brew is Chocola te Cherry Cordial Stout and is available now. CONTRIBUTED

 

70. Try Esther’s Lil Secret. This is one of the best Dayton collaborations, and it’s only available for a limited time each  year. Warped Wing Brewing Company and Esther Price Candies team up for a special holiday brew that pairs two Dayton brands. The flavor changes each year. The 2018 special brew was a Chocolate Cherry Cordial Stout.

>>Warped Wing’s Esther’s L’il Secret revealed

The Dayton community came together to carve over one thousand pumpkins for this year's annual Stoddard Avenue Pumpkin Glow. You can bask in the glow of these pumpkins near the Dayton Art Institute and Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church on Oct. 30-31. MARSHALL GORBY / STAFF PHOTO

71. Volunteer to carve a pumpkin for the beloved annual Stoddard Pumpkin Glow and then see the gorgeous hill illuminated with creative jack-o-lanterns for Halloween. It’s one of our favorite Halloween traditions.

>>Organizers of Stoddard Avenue Pumpkin Glow need your help carving record number of pumpkins

One thing you must try at Ohio's 46th annual Sauerkraut Festival is the German Sundae served by the Sons of the American Legion.  (Source: Facebook)

72. Try the sauerkraut sundae at the Ohio Sauerkraut Festival in Waynesville. It has nothing to do with ice cream. The festival will take place Oct. 12-13, 2019.

Next time you're in the Oregon District, check out the #DaytonInspires selfie wall on the outside of Brim on East Fifth Street, painted by Dayton-based artist Atalie Gagnet. (Source: , Facebook)
Photo: Libby Ballengee

73. Take a Dayton selfie. Some of our favorite spots are the Dayton Inspires mural in the Oregon District, in front of Fifth-Third Field, in front of the Deeds Carillon, or with the Wright Brothers statue at Deeds Point.

An early WACO airplane is one of several on display at the WACO Aircraft Museum in Troy, Ohio; April 25, 2016 (Dispatch photo by )
Photo: Steve Stephens

74. Take a ride in a WACO. See Troy from a new view by taking a ride in a biplane. While you’re there, check out the museum with tons of treasures for all ages to enjoy.

The Van Buren Room, a 1900's-inspired cocktail bar connected to Belle of Dayton distillery at 122 Van Buren St., will open on Friday, Oct. 5. The room is next to the distillery operations and designed to pay homage to the original Belle of Dayton bottle discovered in a pile of broken glass near a Prohibition-era speakeasy that once operated in downtown Dayton. AMELIA ROBINSON / STAFF PHOTO

75. Find a new signature cocktail. Whether that’s at Belle of Dayton, The Century Bar or the new Van Buren room, taste away.

>>New craft cocktail bar in the Oregon District shooting for October opening

Hartman Rock Garden. Contributed photo by Alexis Larsen

76. Visit the Hartman Rock Garden in Springfield. See some unique rock artwork, including meticulously crafted replicas of the White House, Independence Hall and other well-known national landmarks that were crafted out of small stones by H.G. “Ben” Hartman during the Great Depression (admission is free).

>>PHOTOS: This amazing Springfield ‘garden’ made completely of rocks will blow your mind

77. Try the purple condiment (on a charcuterie board) from Crafted & Cured.

78. Get in the ring at Drake’s Downtown Gym. 

79. Enjoy a glass of wine with a view of the Great Miami River at Bar Granada.

Kings Island will turn into a winter wonderland during the holiday season with gorgeous lights, including an illuminated Eiffel Tower, and an outdoor ice rink. WinterFest returns bigger and better in 2018 with rides, shops, shows, treats, carriage rides, skating and more. The special event opens on Friday, Nov. 23, 2018. CONTRIBUTED

80. Visit Kings Island’s WinterFest. Ice skating, rides, holiday shows, La Rosa’s pizza, gourmet hot cocoa and a gorgeous illuminated Eiffel Tower.

Penelope, a 2 1/2 week-old kitten, was found in a Dumpster. She is now being bottle fed and cared for at the Humane Society of Greater Dayton. LISA POWELL / STAFF

81. Foster and bottle feed an orphan kitten for the Humane Society. 

>>Teeny tiny furry ‘bottle babies’ will melt your heart - and they need your help

The Hunger Paynes Beer and Wine Garden is now open at the Dayton Mall.
Photo: hunger Paynes

82. Drink a wine slushie with your croquettes at Hunger Paynes Beer & Wine Garden inside the Dayton Mall.

>>Hunger Paynes Beer and Wine Garden now open at the Dayton Mall

The Dublin Pub hosted its annual St. Patrick's Day celebration on March 17, 2018. Now in its 20th year, the 2-day block party is one of the biggest in the state. PHOTO / TOM GILLIAM PHOTOGRAPHY
Photo: Tom Gilliam

83. Drink a green beer or two, and soak it up with ooey-gooey Pub Fries or a traditional Irish breakfast at the Dublin Pub's famous St. Patrick's Day celebration.

“Les Miserables” has become a musical classic. CONTRIBUTED
Photo: Staff Writer

84. See Broadway classic in Dayton. A new production of the celebrated musical “Les Misérables” featuing new staging and scenery inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo will be at the Schuster Center. The show will run April 2-7, 2019.

The 60th annual Greek Festival took place over the weekend from Friday, Sept 7 to Sunday, Sept 9 at The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, 500 Belmonte Park North in Dayton. This year's event had amazing food, devoted volunteers and the support and attendance of the community, despite it raining throughout the weekend. TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER
Photo: Tom Gilliam

85. Eat lots of baklava at the Dayton Greek Festival. Last year’s festival was dampened by a rainy, dreary weekend. Let’s hope for sunny skies in 2019.

The antique cars will return to Kings Island in 2019.
Photo: ED RICHTER/STAFF

86. Take a ride on the classic antique cars at Kings Island, returning for the 2019 season.

The Lewisburg Cave. (CONTRIBUTED PHOTO BY MICHAEL BURGE)
Photo: Contributed

87. Get scared silly at the Lewisburg Cave. The cave was the No. 1 haunted attraction in a USA Today’s readers poll in 2018. What’s eerier than a real cave with fluttering bats overhead? 

 

88. See a music show at the brand new Brightside Music and Event Venue. 

Fireworks burst over the City of Dayton Thursday night at the culmination of the Dayton Lights In Flight Fireworks Festival. A multi-cultural festival was held downtown at RiverScape MetroPark earlier in the evening that featured food and live entertainment including Alexis Gomez, Son del Caribe, American Bombshells and Damien Lawson. LISA POWELL / STAFF
Photo: HANDOUT

 

89. Watch fireworks over the river at Riverscape MetroPark in Dayton to celebrate Independence Day. 

 

90. Enjoy chips and salsa and a cold margarita from the brand new patio, tequila from the new tequila bar and eat with plenty of room to spare at the new and improved La Pinata restaurant coming soon to Centerville. 

>>New Mexican restaurant proposed for Centerville

Photo from The Barrel House Facebook page

91. Enjoy a beer with your favorite dog pal from the Barrel House patio. It’s the latest bar to open its patio space to furry friends. But certain people are prohibited.

The Market at the Park, a new creative space located at 221 Crane St. in Dayton, kicked off its new regular open hours with Dia de Los Muertos: A First Friday Celebration on Nov. 2. TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER
Photo: Tom Gilliam

 

92. Support local artists and musicians at the Market at the Park. It’s a new space for artisans and to support budding entrepreneurs. 

The PNC Arts Annex is a 12,000 square foot space divided into a theater, studio and gallery space iin downtown Dayton. The grand opening will be the wekend of Nov. 30 - Dec. 2. LISA POWELL / STAFF

 

93. Take a class or see a show at new PNC Arts Annex. This is Dayton’s newest performing arts space with a little something for everyone. 

>>How to be among the first to ‘create art’ in Dayton’s newest arts space

 

94. Raise your glass to the Ohio Renaissance Festival, celebrating 30 years in 2019. Make sure you plan to visit sometime during the fall festival season. The festival runs weekends Labor Day through the end of October. 

The Wright Flyer III

 

95. Visit the Wright Brothers NATIONAL Museum. That’s right. In 2018, the museum housed at Carillon Park earned a national designation. The museum has more Wright artifacts on display than any other place in the world, including the 1905 Wright Flyer III: the only airplane designated a National Historic Landmark, the first practical flying machine. 

The Dayton Visual Arts Center hosted its 24th Annual Art Auction at The David H. Ponitz Center at Sinclair Community College on Friday, April 27, 2018. DVAC’s mission is to open the door for Dayton to have a closer relationship with art. The center helps sustain the arts community by providing a place to show, market and sell work. All the money raised goes to educational programs and events through the center. PHOTO / TOM GILLIAM PHOTOGRAPHY
Photo: Tom Gilliam/TOM GILLIAM

 

96. Start your local art collection and support The Contemporary Dayton (formerly the Dayton Visual Arts Center) and local artists during its annual art auction on April 26, 2019. More than 100 works of arts will be available for bid at affordable prices. 

>>Major changes announced by 27-year-old downtown arts institution

includes a spaghetti eating contest.
Photo: Italian Fall Festa

 

97. Play a game of bocce, devour homemade Italian food, and sip a special Warped Wing lemon brew at the Italian Fall Festa. 2019 surely will promise sunny, clear skies! 

Oakwood city officials are considering allowing food trucks, like The Flyby BBQ food truck, to operate on public streets. FILE
Photo: Staff Writer

 

99. Be among the first to visit Flyby BBQ’s new brick-and-mortar location at the Mall at Fairfield Commons. The popular food truck is the latest to open a restaurant, coming soon. 

 

100. Become a member of the new Gem City Market co-op, coming soon.

And here’s a bonus one, just for fun!

101. Be the first person ever to skip the line, pay by credit card and be served dessert at the Pine Club — all on the same night. Wink, wink!

Happy 2019!

X