The top 10 things to do this week


December is still a few days away, but from the high number of Christmas events in this week’s Top 10, it’s clear the 2017 holiday season has begun. First up is the big daddy of downtown Christmas celebrations, the 45th annual Dayton Holiday Festival at Courthouse Square in Dayton at 4 p.m. Friday, Nov. 24.

The Grande Illumination tree lighting is at 7:45 p.m. followed by the Dayton Children’s Parade Spectacular in Lights at 8 p.m. The festival also includes the Gingerbread Homes for the Holiday Contest, a visit from Santa Claus and two of his reindeer and performances by Alexis Gomex Trio, the Dayton Gay Men’s Chorus, the Miami Valley Music Men and others.

The Tike's Shoppe and Wintergarden Wonderland both open in the Schuster Center's Wintergarden that day, as does Virginia Kettering's Holiday Train Display and the Holiday Village in the Kettering Tower lobby. Cost: Free. Call 937-224-1518 or visit

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While he remains firmly rooted in jazz, Brad Mehldau has always drawn from rock, roots music and other styles. This has led to collaborations with musicians as diverse as jazz saxophonist Joshua Redman and bluegrass musician Chris Thile. Through it all, the pianist works regularly with his trio, which has released albums such as "Where Do You Start" in 2012 and "Blues and Ballads" in 2016. University of Dayton's 2017-2018 ArtsLive season presents Mehldau in concert with his trio in UD's Jesse Philips Humanities Center's Sears Recital Hall, 300 College Park, Dayton, at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 29. Cost: $18. Discounts are available for seniors and University students, faculty, staff and alumni. Visit

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For more than two decades, people throughout the region have celebrated the Christmas season with a visit to the Legendary Lights of Clifton. Despite massive damage from a recent storm, the massive holiday display is scheduled to open its 30th season at Clifton Mill, 75 Water St., Clifton, on Friday, Nov. 24. The Legendary Lights of Clifton is open 5 to 9 p.m. daily through Dec. 31, with more than 3.5 million lights illuminating the mill, the gorge, the riverbanks, trees and bridges. Cost: $10, free for children 6 and younger. Call 937-767-5501 or visit


Another local holiday favorite, Woodland Lights opens at Washington Twp. Recreation Center, 895 Miamisburg-Centerville Road, Washington Twp., on Friday, Nov. 24. The annual holiday display features a half-mile of lights, a laser light show, trackless train ride and other activities. Woodland Lights is open 6 to 9 p.m. through Dec. 30. The display is open weekends through Dec. 3, and nightly starting Dec. 8. Cost: $8 admission, free ages 2 and younger. Call 937-433-0130 or visit

>> PHOTOS: Breathtaking lights display in Washington Twp.


It has been 40 years this month since the Commodores hit the Top 10 with the dance-floor classic, "Brick House." However, that song and other hits such as "Sail Away," "Easy" and "Three Times a Lady" still resonate with music fans, which keeps the band working steadily. The classic R&B group, which features longtime members William King, Walter "Clyde" Orange and J.D. Nicholas, headlines KMCF's 29th Annual Heart to Heart concert at the Schuster Center, Second and Main streets, Dayton, at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 28. Cost: $27-$67. Call 937-228-3630 or visit


Charles Dickens created plenty of memorable characters, but few have had the staying power of Ebenezer Scrooge, Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim from the writer's holiday classic, "A Christmas Carol." Victoria Theatre Association presents the Nebraska Theatre Caravan in the Projects Unlimited Star Attraction Series production of the play at Victoria Theatre, 138 N. Main St., Dayton, at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, Nov. 28 and 29. Cost: $30-$50. Call 937-228-3630 or visit


Christmas music has been a huge part of the musical repertoire of Mannheim Steamroller since 1984. It helped expand the fan base of the neo-classical group, which was formed by Ohio native Chip Davis in 1974. This led to more than two dozen holiday-themed releases, including a live album in 2015. Victoria Theatre Association's Projects Unlimited Star Attractions Series presents A Mannheim Steamroller Christmas at the Schuster Center, Second and Main streets, Dayton, at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 29. Cost: $57-$77. Call 937-228-3630 or visit


For the first time since the 1990s, Kings Island, 6300 Kings Island Drive, Mason, is hosting Winterfest. The once-popular event returns on Friday, Nov. 24, with more than 15 rides open, including the new Mystic Timbers. Winterfest is presented 5 to 10 p.m. through Dec. 30. Open Friday, Saturday and Sunday through December 10, open daily Dec. 15 through 23 and Dec. 26 through 30. Cost: Tickets start at $25. Call 513-754-5700 or visit

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Dayton History is getting into the holiday spirit with Carillon Christmas. The nightly holiday celebration opens at Carillon Historical Park, 1000 Carillon Blvd., Dayton, from 5 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 29. Opening night includes the Carillon Christmas tree lighting, traditional holiday fare, a visit from Santa Claus, live music and historical craft demonstrations. Cost: $8 adults, $7 seniors 60 and older, $5 children 3-17 and free for Dayton History members and children under 3. A Carillon Christmas continues through Dec. 30. Carillon Historical Park is closed Christmas Eve and Christmas. Call 937-293-2841 or visit

>> Must-see holiday light displays


Martina McBride is in the mood for Christmas music. She has been in the studio recording a new holiday album, her first since "White Christmas" in 1998, which is scheduled for release next fall. Last week, the country singer took a break from the studio to embark on The Joy of Christmas Tour. McBride brings the special holiday show to Hobart Arena, 255 Adams St., Troy, at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 29. Cost: $32-$75. VIP packages are available. Call 937-339-2911 or visit

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