The best things to do to get into the Christmas spirit this weekend

Christmas is here!

Hard to believe, but it’s the second weekend of December. Time is a wasting, and we hope you try to fit in as much holiday cheer into each and every weekend. Here are the best holiday happenings going on around Dayton this weekend: 

Did we miss an awesome Holiday event? Let us know and we’ll be sure to add it to the list. Contact us at

>> 7 Dayton holiday traditions we LOVE

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2018 Santa Pub Crawl

>>Grown-up holiday fun awaits at Dayton’s 2018 Santa Pub Crawl

Christmas trees, elves and the big man himself partied in the Oregon District during the Oregon District's 12th Annual Santa Pub Crawl on Saturday, Dec. 9. PHOTOS BY E.L. HUBBARD (E.L. Hubbard)

It’s the 13th year for the annual Toys for Tots Santa Pub Crawl in the Oregon District. Either bring a $10 unwrapped toy for a child or donate a minimum of $10 to get a crawl card, then proceed to stop at at least eight of the 10 participating OD bars to be eligible for door prizes. Don’t forget a costume! “Check in at Oregon Express, Troll Pub or Dublin Pub to get your punch card. Visit all participating bars and end up at Blind Bob's at 6:30 p.m. for the costume contest.

Costume categories: 

-Best Santa 

-Best Mrs. Claus 

-Best Couple 

-Best Group (3 or more) 

-Best Large Group (6 or more) 

-Sexiest Santa-female 

-Sexiest Santa-male 

-Best Christmas character (non-Santa) 

-Best Overall Costume

When: 3 p.m.- 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec.8

Where: Oregon District, E 5th St., Dayton

Admission: $10 donation or $10 unwrapped toy


>>The best Christmas light displays across the region

Paws to celebrate Family Winter Festival

(SICSA Pet Adoption Center)

Join SICSA as they celebrate the holiday season with family, friends, and everyone’s favorite furry friends, too! “They’ll be plenty of family-friendly activities, a visit from Santa, cookie competition, and the traditional pet blessing.”

When: 7 p.m.- 9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8

Where: SICSA Pet Adoption Center, 2600 Wilmington Pike, Kettering

Info: Facebook


The wooded trail at Woodland Lights is full of lighted figures and objects, both Christmas and non-Christmas. CONTRIBUTED (Jerry Huffman)


The Woodland Lights of Washington Township is one of the longest-running and most popular annual lights festivals in the Miami Valley area.

The half-mile wooded path is perhaps the signature feature of Woodland Lights, featuring lighted holiday-themed figures and vignettes such as reindeer, elves and snowflakes, but also regular objects such as airplanes and helicopters. In addition to the lights, the event includes amusement rides, live animals, concessions and activities for kids. The display is open from 6-9 p.m. Friday through Sunday, Nov. 23-Dec. 2 and nightly Dec. 7-23. Countryside Park on the Washington Township Recreation Campus, 895 Miamisburg-Centerville Road, Washington Twp. Tickets are available at the gate, any Washington Twp. recreation facility or online. Tickets are $8 age 3 and up. Tickets are free for children 2 and younger. 

More info: FacebookWebsite

>>This breathtaking holiday lights festival is one of Dayton’s longest running displays

Deeds Carillon is now transformed into the Carillon Tree of Light during the holiday season. The breathtaking Tree of Light an unmistakable symbol of Christmas in the Miami Valley signals the return of Carillon Historical Park s month-long holiday celebration: A Carillon Christmas. CONTRIBUTED


It will be the second weekend for Dayton’s newest holiday lights tradition. See Carillon Historical Park’s 65-acre campus at 1000 Carillon Blvd. transformed into a winter wonderland of sparkle, magic and holiday cheer. The Carillon Tree of Light with thousands of lights stands at 200 feet, affixed to the top of 151 foot tall Deeds Carillon. The tree consists of over 20,000 light bulbs on nearly 100 separate strands that come to life each night at dusk and blaze through until dawn for the entire month of December. Special activities include photos with Santa, carolers, model train displays, plus train ride, carousel ride and scavenger hunts for extra fee. Hours are Sunday-Thursday, 5-9 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 5-10 p.m. The cost is $10 per adult (18-59), $9 seniors (60 and older), $7 children (3-17), free for children under 3 and Dayton History members.

>>The breathtaking Tree of Light and 7 more ways to find your Christmas spirit at Carillon Park

More Info: FacebookWebsite

>> The story behind Carillon’s Tree of Light

>> Our favorite photos of the Carillon Tree of Light

The Legendary Lights at the Historic Clifton Mill drapes their scenic features — cliffs, gorges, a covered bridge — in four million brilliant lights. CONTRIBUTED (Contributing Writer)


Unlike other light displays where the lights are already on when you arrive, Clifton Mill, 75 Water St., in Clifton, stages a dramatic opening where people who arrive at 6 p.m. get to see all four million lights turn on at once, producing that “ooh and aah” moment. Throughout the evening, either on the hour or every half hour, the lights will be turned off and then turned on again so the later-comers can experience it as well. Don't miss the Santa Claus Museum on site. Refreshments for sale. Open 5-9 p.m. nightly. Lights go on at 6 p.m. Closes at 8 p.m. on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve. Cost: $10. Kids 6 and under are free. Parking is free.

More info: FacebookWebsite

>>Legendary Lights of Clifton Mill wins $50,000 prize on national TV special

>> How you can help Clifton Mill lights win in USA Today poll

>> PHOTOS: Gorgeous photos of historic Clifton Mill in lights


Fitton Christmas show to feature Nancy James and The River City Band

The Fitton Christmas Spectacular featuring Nancy James and The River City Band will return for the third year in a row with one show on Saturday, Dec. 8, at 7:30 p.m., and a second concert on Sunday, Dec. 9 at 2 p.m. The family-friendly, two-act show will deliver a mix of holiday classics and contemporary favorites. The program will showcase four singers, a 10-piece live band, along with several special guests. Santa Claus also will make an appearance.

Where: Fitton Family Theater, Fitton Center for Creative Arts, 101 S. Monument Ave., Hamilton. 

When: Saturday, Dec. 8 at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, Dec. 9 at 2 p.m. 

Admission: $27 for members; $35 for non-members. 

More info: or call (513) 863-8873, ext. 110. Also, visit and




The Christkindlmarkt is an annual German Bazaar hosted by the Dayton Liederkranz-Turner German Club in downtown Dayton. This year’s bazaar is a two-day event held at the Liederkranz building from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8 and noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 9. The Liederkranz is located at 1400 E. Fifth St., across from Stivers High School.

When: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8 and noon-4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9  

Where: Dayton Liederkranz Turner German Club, 1400 E. Fifth St.

>>A centuries-old German Christmas market selling unique gifts is coming to town for one weekend only

-Trolley Stop Annual Holiday Bazaar 

“This year’s bazaar will feature jewelry by Katie Gast, knitted and crocheted items by Feather Bee, Candles by Sarah, and Ashley Simons Art, along with pottery, jams, jellies, pickles, wood crafts and other Christmas items.  

Come support your local artists! We will be in the party house at the Trolley Stop from 1 p.m.- 5 p.m., so grab some food, a drink, and shop shop shop!”

When: 1 p.m.- 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9

Where: Trolley Stop, 530 E. 5th St., Dayton

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