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25 ideas for December fun in Dayton

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NOTABLE EVENTS

1) DAYTON PERFORMING ARTS ALLIANCE NEW YEAR’S EVE 

The evening will have a decidedly Latin flavor when Dayton Performing Arts Alliance hosts its annual New Year’s Eve concert at the Schuster Center, Second and Main streets, Dayton, at 8 p.m. Monday, Dec. 31. DPAA New Year’s Eve features The Dayton Ballet, Dayton Opera and Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra and spotlight performances from soprano Zulimar López-Hernández and Dayton Ballet dancers Margot Aknin, Claire Bergman, Isaac Jones and Evan Pitts. The program includes Maurice Ravel’s “Bolero,” “Estrellita” by Manuel Ponce and Leonard Bernstein’s “Mambo” from “West Side Story.” Cost: $18-$75. Call 937-228-3630 or visit www.ticketcenterstage.com

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Dayton Ballet presents the timeless holiday staple “The Nutcracker” Dec. 14-23 at the Schuster Center. CONTRIBUTED (Contributing Writer)

2) THE NUTCRACKER 

Dayton Ballet’s production of its holiday staple, “The Nutcracker,” opens a new run at the Schuster Center, Second and Main streets, Dayton, on Friday, Dec. 14. “The Nutcracker” is presented through Sunday, Dec. 23. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with 2:30 p.m. matinees on Saturday and Sunday. A special sensory-friendly show is offered at 2 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 20. Cost: $18-73. Tickets are $25 for the sensory-friendly show. Call 937-228-3630 or visit www.ticketcenterstage.com

 

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)

3) SANTA PUB CRAWL 

Since it was founded in 1947, Toys for Tots has distributed more than 540-million toys to more than 250-million children. For more than a decade, Daytonians have supported the cause through the Santa Pub Crawl, which returns to The Historic Oregon District for the 13th annual event in Dayton at 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8. Check in at Oregon Express, Troll Pub or Dublin Pub. Cost: $10, unwrapped toy or donation. Participants are encouraged to dress as Santa, an elf or other another Christmas character. Blind Bob’s hosts a costume contest at 6:30 p.m. Categories include Best Male, Best Female, Best Couple and Best Group. Visit www.toysfortots.org

 

4) T.J. MILLER 

Actor-comedian T.J. Miller has endured his share of controversy this year. Some he can’t discuss, like his arrest in April for allegedly calling in an Amtrak bomb threat; others he denies, like accusations of bullying during his co-starring stint on the HBO series, “Silicon Valley.” Through it all, Miller continues to do stand-up, including shows at the Funny Bone Comedy Club, 88 Plum St., The Greene, Beavercreek, at 7:30 and 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 14 and 15. Cost: $25-$50. Call 937-429-LAFF (5233) or visit www.daytonfunnybone.com

 

5) MONSTER JAM  

Jimmy Creten, Kayla Blood, Jack Brown and Tyler Menninga are among the drivers competing in the colorfully named monster trucks Bounty Hunter, El Toro Loco, FTI Torque and Grave Digger during the annual local stop of Monster Jam. The motorsport tour, which was founded in 1992, returns to the Nutter Center, 3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy., Fairborn, on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 7 and 8. Show times are 7 p.m. Friday, and 1 and 7 p.m. Saturday. Cost: Tickets start at $18. Please note, trucks and drivers are subject to change. Call 937-775-4789 or visit www.nuttercenter.com

 

6) J. TODD ANDERSON 

For the uninitiated, local artist J. Todd Anderson is the man behind the storyboards of classic Coen Brothers films such as “Raising Arizona and “Fargo.” Anderson, who still has a home in Kettering, is launching his new coffee table book, “The Big Lebowski: The Official Storyboards,” at Yellow Cab Tavern, 700 E. Fourth St., Dayton, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 5. There will be an author Q&A, book signing and screening of the film. Cost: Free but donations accepted. Books will be on sale for $30. Visit www.yellowcabtavern.com

 

Paul Mecurio, who worked in investment banking and acquisitions lawyer before turning to stand-up, performs at the Funny Bone Comedy Club at The Greene in Beavercreek, Thursday through Sunday, Dec. 6 through 9. CONTRIBUTED

7) PAUL MECURIO 

There’s not a lot of humor in investment banking and acquisitions law, which is just one of the reasons Paul Mecurio left those jobs behind for a life as a stand-up comedian. The Rhode Island native returns to town for a run at the Funny Bone Comedy Club, 88 Plum St., The Greene, Beavercreek, Thursday through Sunday, Dec. 6-9. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Sunday, 7:30 and 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Cost: $15-$47.75. Call 937-429-LAFF (5233) or visit www.daytonfunnybone.com

 

8) HANDMADE HOLIDAY  

Yellow Cab Tavern, 700 E. Fourth St., Dayton, is getting into the spirit of the season with Handmade Holiday Dayton on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 7 and 8. More than 30 area artisans such as Artifact Pottery, Barmaid Soap Company, Humble Hive Homemade and Yellowquill Creations will be selling items. Handmade Holiday runs from 5 to 10 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. Cost: Free. Visit www.yellowcabtavern.com

 

9) RYAN SINGER 

When he was first honing his craft, Los Angeles-based comedian Ryan Singer spent a lot of time at Wiley’s Comedy Joint, 101 Pine St., Dayton. On Friday and Saturday, Dec. 21-22, the 1994 graduate of Alter High School and host of the podcast “Me & the Paranormal You,” returns to the friendly confines of the Oregon District club for three performances. Show times are 8 p.m. Friday and 7:15 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday. Cost: $10. Call 937-224-5653 or visit www.wileyscomedy.com.

HOLIDAY EVENTS

1) HOLIDAY GIFT GALLERY

Holiday Gift Gallery continues a new season at The Contemporary (Dayton Visual Arts Center), 118 N. Jefferson St., Dayton. Work from more than 50 local and regional artists will be available during the annual sale. Holiday Gift Gallery runs through Dec. 22. Gallery hours at 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, with extended hours to 8 p.m. the first Friday of each month. Call 937-224-3822 or visit www.daytonvisualarts.org.

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Pottery, like this raku vase by Stephanie Beiser, is available at DVAC’s Holiday Gift Gallery. CONTRIBUTED (Contributing Writer)

2) THE LITTLEST ANGEL 

In Charles Tazwell’s 1946 book “The Littlest Angel,” a young boy struggles with his new role as an angel while also searching for the perfect gift for Baby Jesus. A dance program based on the tale has become a holiday tradition for Dayton Contemporary Dance Company. “The Littlest Angel” is presented at UD Boll Theatre, 300 College Park Ave., Dayton, on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 14 and 15. Show times are 7:30 p.m. Friday, 3 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Cost: $25 adults, $22.50 military and seniors 60 and older, $12.50 students. Call 937-228-3630 or visit www.ticketcenterstage.com

 

2) AMERICANA CHRISTMAS 

“Americana Christmas” is inspired by Normal Rockwell’s classic “Saturday Evening Post” cover images. The show, created by Scott Stoney and visual artist J. Chris Moore, is presented by Human Race Theatre Company at the Loft Theatre, 126 N. Main St., Dayton, Friday through Sunday, Dec. 14 through 16. Show times are 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. matinees on Saturday and Sunday. Cost: $32. Call 937-228-3630 or visit www.ticketcenterstage.com

 

3) NOËL THE MUSICAL 

When her mom disappears, a young girl sets out to find her. That’s the simple premise for the powerful play, “Noël the Musical,” written by author Eoin Colfer and film composer Liam Bates. Victoria Theatre Association’s Projects Unlimited Star Attraction Series presents “Noël the Musical” at Victoria Theatre, 138 N. Main St., Dayton, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8. Cost: $38-$58. Call 937-228-3630 or visit www.ticketcenterstage.com

 

4) SOUTH DAYTON’S NUTCRACKER  

Young Clara, the Nutcracker Prince and the Sugar Plum Fairy are just a few of the memorable characters that have made “The Nutcracker” an audience favorite for more than 100 years. The South Dayton Dance Theatre presents its 25th annual holiday show at Dayton Convention Center, 22 E. Fifth St., Dayton, on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 8 and 9. Show times are 1 and 7 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday. Cost: $25 adults, $15 children 12 and younger. Call 937-435-5052 or visit www.sddt.org

 

5) BELIEVE 

X-Act Theater presents its annual holiday show — “Believe!” — at X-Act Theater, 45 E. Second St., Xenia, Friday through Sunday, Dec. 7 through 9. The show, written by Faye Couch Reeves, is also presented Friday through Sunday, Dec. 14 through 16. “Believe!” is directed by Jennifer Sparks. Show times are 6:3 p.m. opening night Santa Gala. 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday. Cost: $17 general admission, $14 seniors and students, $7 children. $20 opening night. Call 937-372-0516 or visit www.xeniaact.org.

6) WHITE CHRISTMAS

“Irving Berlin’s White Christmas” is based on the classic film starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye and Rosemary Clooney. The holiday musical opens at La Comedia Dinner Theatre, 765 W. Central Ave., Springboro, on Thursday, Nov. 1. Show times are 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday, and 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. Arrive 90 minutes to two hours before show time. “White Christmas” is presented through Monday, Dec. 31. Cost: $61-$75 adults, $30 children 11 and younger. Call 937-746-4554 or visit www.lacomedia.com.

7) DAYTON GAY MEN’S CHORUS 

The holiday season promises to be fabulous when the Dayton Gay Men’s Chorus presents its annual holiday concert. “Make the Yuletide Gay!” is the theme of this year’s show at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 125 N. Wilkinson St., Dayton, at 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8. Cost: $20. Visit www.daytongaymenschorus.org

 

8) DPO HOLIDAY SHOWS 

Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra has two very different seasonal programs in December. First up is Hometown Holiday at the Schuster Center, Second and Main streets, Dayton, at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Dec. 7 and 8. Cost: $14-$80. The other offering is the DPO’s annual presentation of “Handel’s Messiah” at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 125 N. Wilkinson St., Dayton, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 19. Cost: $31 adults, $29 educators, military and seniors 60 and older, $14 students. Call 937-228-3630 or visit www.ticketcenterstage.com.

The Drifters, Cornell Gunter's Coasters and the Platters (all pictured here), three groups behind some of the most indelible R&B hits of the 1950s, will share the stage during a holiday concert at Victoria Theatre in Dayton on Friday, Dec. 21. CONTRIBUTED

9) DRIFTERS, COASTERS AND PLATTERS 

On their own, the Drifters, the Coasters and the Platters had some of the most indelible R&B hits of the 1950s. All these years later, the groups continue to engage audiences so it should make for a special evening when the Drifters, Cornell Gunter’s Coasters and the Platters share the stage for a holiday concert at Victoria Theatre, 138 N. Main St., Dayton, at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21. Cost: $28-$58. Call 937-228-3630 or visit www.ticketcenterstage.com

 

10) BACH SOCIETY 

Bach Society of Dayton presents “Sweet Sounds of the Holidays” at Kettering Adventist Church, 3939 Stonebridge Road, Kettering, at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2. This program also features Kettering Advent Ringers and the Kettering Children Chorus Choral. Cost: $20 adults, $10 students, free children 12 and younger. Call 937-294-2224 or visit www.bachsocietyofdayton.org

 

11) EBONY HERITAGE SINGERS 

The Ebony Heritage Singers is a University of Dayton vocal group that sings Christian songs in the traditional gospel style. The choir, directed by Dr. Donna Cox, presents its annual winter concert at Dayton Metro Library, 215 E. Third St., Dayton, at 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2. Cost: Free. Visit www.udayton.edu

 

12) JAMY HOLLIDAY 50 

Jamy Holliday, the former leader of seminal Dayton punk bands like Haunting Souls and Mystery Addicts, is turning 50. To celebrate the occasion, his friends are hosting a one-of-kind birthday party at The Brightside Music & Event Venue, 905 E. Third St., Suite B, Dayton, at 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8. A Friars Club-style roast hosted by his former band mate Eric Purtle is followed by reunion performances by Toxic Reasons and Holliday’s Luxury Pushers with Milwaukee-based opener Wanda Chrome & the Leather Pharaohs. Cost: $10. Call 937-410-0450 or visit www.thebrightsidedayton.com

 

13) SOULFLY 

It has been more than 20 years since Max Cavalera left Brazilian metal band Sepultura to form Soulfly and the band is still roaring along. The group’s 11th studio album, “Ritual,” was released by Nuclear Blast Records on October. 19. Soulfly returns to town for a show at Oddbody’s Music Room, 5418 Burkhardt Road, Dayton, at 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16. Cost: $30. Call 937-813-4272 or visit www.oddbodys.com

 

14) BLUES SOCIETY CHRISTMAS 

Dayton Blues Society hosts its annual Christmas Party featuring winners from its 2018 Road to Memphis Challenge at The Phone Booth, 1912 E. Whipp Road, Kettering, at 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8. The Doug Hart Band, winner of the band challenge, performs with opener Allen Talbott, winner in the solo category. Like previous years, the party closes out with an open blues jam. Cost: Free. Call 937-298-8712. 

 

15) DAYTON MUSIC CLUB 

Dayton Music Club and program manager Kathy Durig present a holiday concert at Dayton Women’s Club, 225 N. Ludlow St., Dayton, at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 11. Performers are soprano Becky Schatzberg and Kathleen Durig (flute) with Thomas Wittberg (guitar). Cost: Free. Reservations are required for the after-concert Christmas luncheon. Visit www.daytonmusicclub.org

 

Jasper the Colossal, Abertooth Lincoln, the Raging Nathans and the 1984 Draft (pictured) are among the acts performing at the Story Changes'16th annual HoliDayton at Blind Bob's in Dayton on Friday, Dec. 21. CONTRIBUTED

16) HOLIDAYTON 

The Story Changes hosts HoliDayton 2018 at Blind Bob’s, 430 E. Fifth St., Dayton, at 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21. The 16th annual show also features special guests Jasper the Colossal, Abertooth Lincoln, the Raging Nathans, the 1984 Draft, Yardboss and others. Call 937-938-6405 or visit www.blindbobs.com.

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