VIDEO: Step into a vintage wonderland at the Schuster

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

A Dayton tradition is alive and well inside the Schuster Center in downtown. (Video by Tabatha Wharton)

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Whether you’re heading downtown to see the Dayton Ballet’s Nutcracker or looking for something to pass a bit of time between shopping stops, make sure not to miss this gem of Dayton history tucked inside the Wintergarden at the Schuster Center.

The animated elves and animals first appeared in NCR’s New York office windows in 1943, but many Daytonians remember them from their annual holiday pilgrimage to the Rike’s Department Store, which sat on the corner of Second and Main Streets (where the Schuster Center now sits).

Several of the display items were saved before the demolition, while others have been donated from across the country.

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While visiting the Rike’s Wonderland Windows at the Schuster Center this season, be sure to participate in the “Santa’s Secret” contest. Santa and his magical team of crafty reindeer made a special stop at the Schuster Center to check in on the elves’ progress.

To find "Santa's Secret," look for the common object hidden in each window box. Once you've solved it, fill out an entry form and drop it into the entry box! (Here's a clue: The common thread always relates to Dayton.)

>>RELATED: See what keeps the Nutcracker performances going at the Schuster

Kids of all ages take in the Wonderland Window displays in the Wintergarden of the Schuster Center in downtown Dayton. (TABATHA WHARTON)
Kids of all ages take in the Wonderland Window displays in the Wintergarden of the Schuster Center in downtown Dayton. (TABATHA WHARTON)

WANT TO GO?

WHAT: The Rike’s Wonderland Windows

WHEN: Now through Dec 31; hours vary daily (check website for details)

WHERE: The Wintergarden in the Schuster Center, 1 West Second Street, Dayton, 45402

COST: FREE

INFO: https://victoriatheatre.com/shows/wintergarden-wonderland/