Luna Botanicals and Gifts opens Friday, Sept. 16, 2016 in Dayton's Oregon District.  (Photo contributed by Downtown Dayton Partnership)
Photo: Downtown Dayton Partnership
Photo: Downtown Dayton Partnership

Shop, sip, dine and unwind at First Friday

It’s beginning to look a lot like the holidays in downtown Dayton. Local businesses are decking their halls in anticipation of another fun and festive holiday season. This Dec. 6 First Friday offers plenty of opportunities to “shop small” and support local businesses.

>> The best places to shop in the Oregon District

With such a large variety of locally owned places to dine, shop, and engage in fun activities downtown, the perfect gifts for friends and family can be found in downtown Dayton.

>> DAYTON BUCKET LIST: 100 things to do in Dayton in 2019

Here’s what to expect: 


December’s First Friday is also the official launch of the 2019 Whimsical Windows contest. Downtown businesses go pane-to-pane to out decorate one another for the holidays.

Starting Friday, you can vote here at for your favorite window display and help downtown small businesses win a cash prize and the title of “most festive” display. 

>> Cast your vote now in downtown Dayton’s Whimsical Windows contest

>> DAYTON BUCKET LIST: 100 things to do in Dayton in 2019

>> GUIDE: 9 shopping treasures you will discover in downtown Dayton 

>> GUIDE: 7 amazing things to do in downtown Dayton

RTA and the Downtown Dayton Partnership are teaming up for Trivia on the Flyer March 1, 2019.
Photo: RTA


Getting to all the listed locations is easy with the help of the free Flyer shuttle buses operating until 11 p.m., connecting dozens of locations between RiverScape MetroPark and the University of Dayton. 

>>GUIDE: Here’s how to use downtown Dayton’s free shuttle

New year, fresh start. The first First Friday of 2019 was jam-packed with winter fun, with plenty to do throughout downtown. Here's who we spotted. DAVID MOODIE/CONTRIBUTED

Here are a couple highlights this First Friday:


● Edward A. Dixon Gallery, 12 S. Ludlow St.: Visit the Edward A. Dixon Gallery's Gift of Art (First Friday) event this First Friday. Discover gifts for your family, friends or yourself. eGift Cards also available. Visit or purchase in-store. The gallery features many styles of visual artwork from local and international artists, as well as jewelry and other creative items. Call (937) 331-8454.
● Dutoit Gallery, 1001 E. Second St.: The Dutoit Gallery Annual Member's Exhibition features artists whose work spans various media, methodology, concept and subject. The exhibit opens First Friday, Dec. 6 from 6-9 p.m. Call (201) 752-4353.
● The Front Street Building Co., 1001 E. Second St.: Take a stroll through Front Street on First Friday. Local artists invite you to explore their 60+ working studios and galleries on Oct. 4. You will find painters, printmakers, jewelry artists, sculptors, glass artists, photographers, mixed media artists, potters, woodworkers and more. 5-9 p.m.
● Reza’s Dayton, 438 Wayne Ave.: Artist Arabian Jemm will be featured at Reza’s. The medium is acrylic/ glitter and the style’s modernism. It is also Teacher’s Happy Hour at Reza’s, with free shots of espresso for teachers with a work ID from 4-10 p.m. Call (937) 813-1748.

Blind Bob's in Dayton's Oregon District. LISA POWELL / STAFF


● The Barrel House, 417 E Third St.: Join The Barrel House for their December Funky Friday! Come for the beer and food and stay for the funk that DJ Cooley will be spinning from 6-10 p.m. Call (937) 222-4795.
● Blind Bob's Bar, 430 E. Fifth St.: This First Friday, Blind Bob’s will be hosting Salvadore Ross, Starving in the Belly of the Whale, Ramey, and Amber Hargett. 21 & up happy Hour is from 4-8 PM With $1 off wells. Call (937) 938-6405.
● The Dublin Pub, 300 Wayne Ave: It is another Irish First Friday at Dublin Pub! Happy Hour is from 3-6 p.m. Achill Crossing returns to the Dublin Pub. Head on over for a pint and a night of Celtic/Americana Acoustic Roots Music. Call (937) 224-7822.
 Oregon Express Bar and Restaurant, 336 E. Fifth St.: The Linda Prevo band will be performing at the Oregon Express this First Friday. Happy Hour 4-7 p.m. includes $10 pitchers of Stella, Fat Tire, and Lagunitas IPA. Live music starts around 9 p.m. Call (937) 223-9205.
● Benjamin & Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center, 1 W. Second St.: Get into the Irish Christmas Spirit this First Friday with A Celtic Tenor Christmas. The music of Ireland: the passage of ages, the ache of loss and the joy of triumph. The world-class Celtic Tenors perform holiday traditions, Irish favorites, classical arias, and popular songs that consistently bring audiences around the world to tears, to laughter, and to their feet. Tickets can be found at Call (937)-228-7591.
● Trolley Stop, 530 E. Fifth St.: Miller and Other Sinners, a blues and rock band, will be live at the Trolley Stop this First Friday night starting at 9:30 p.m. Half-price happy hour including appetizers and drinks specials from 4-7 p.m. Call (937) 461-1101. 
● Tumbleweed Connection, 454 E. Fifth St.: Hey There Morgan will be performing at Tumbleweed Connection starting at 9:30 p.m. Call (937) 228-5500.

>> Dayton Music Insider: The best in local music this week

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The Rubi Girls (Photo: Rubi Girls Facebook Page)


● AUSRA Art Studio, 1001 E. 2nd St.: Calling all French speakers! Head on down to the French conversation meet up in AUSRA Art Studio from 6-8 p.m. The primary objective is to improve your speaking French and to have a good time. All levels are welcome. Call (937) 520-0039.
 The Black Box Improv Theater LLC, 518 E. Third St.: Beginning at 8 p.m., Tyler and Aidan, aka "Strictly Platonic," take a one-word suggestion and create a full one-act play full of zany characters. BYOB (Bring Your Own Bottle/Beer). Tickets are $15. Call (937) 369-0747.
● Dayton Chess Club, 18 W. Fifth St.: Every Friday evening (except when there are weekend tournaments), there is a USCF-rated tournament ($10 for DCC members /$20 for non-DCC members), plus a few players who opt to play casual chess. For First Friday, this will be Quick rated (G/24, 5 sec. increment). Call (937) 270-4016.
● MJ's on Jefferson, 20 N. Jefferson St.: Foxx-Ayers Productions presents Amateurlesque at 11 p.m. It is a revue and holiday benefit show for Spike, Betty and Baby Holycow. Call (937) 223-3259.
● Mudlick Tap House, 135 E. Second St.: Join Mudlick for their Ugly Christmas Sweater Party. Come for the food and drink, stay for the festive evening. (937) 895-4066.
● Proto BuildBar, 534 E. First St.: Starting at 6 p.m., enjoy a fun-filled Board Game Night at Proto BuildBar while sipping a delicious drink or coffee! There will be 25% off all board game-related 3D prints. Call (937) 222-6253.
● RiverScape MetroPark. 237 E. Monument Ave.: Ice skating at the outdoor rink from 2:30-10 p.m. Visit for hours and pricing. Call (937) 274-0126.
● Urban Krag Climbing Center, 125 Clay St.: Enjoy the First Timers Friday deal and get a day pass, belay certification, shoe, and harness rental, all for $30. 3 to 11 p.m. Call (937) 224-5724.
● Wiley's Comedy Club, 101 Pine St.: This weekend, head on over to Wiley’s to see stand-up comedian Paul Spratt. 18+. Two-item minimum purchase. The show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are on sale now. Call (937) 224-5653.


● Basil's On Market, 312 N. Patterson Blvd.: Basil’s will be hosting Happy Hour from 3-6 p.m. A $5 bar menu includes bruschetta, fries, wings, artichoke dip and tacos. They will also have $5 house wine and $5 select craft beer. Call (937) 818-4390.
● Crafted & Cured, 531 Wayne Ave.: There will be a holiday inspired beer infusion event at Crafted and Cured this First Friday. It will feature the tastes of December including peppermint, ginger, cranberry, cinnamon, and more! Or warm up with a glass of their house made mulled wine. Call (937) 623-6177.
● Crowne Plaza Dayton, 33 E. Fifth St.: The Crowne Plaza is serving pretzels and beer cheese for $9 and crab cakes with chili mayo for $13 this First Friday. Call (937) 224-0800.
● Fifth Street Brewpub, 1600 E. Fifth St.: Stop in to wind down after work or get your night started. Enjoy $1 off beers, wine and appetizers. Call (937) 443-0919.
 Pedal Wagon Dayton, 28 N. Patterson Blvd.: The Polar Bear Express! is back at 6 p.m. this First Friday. Take a 2-hour pedal-powered winter adventure to Dayton's best bars and restaurants, where you will enjoy seasonal specials! There is truly no better way to take in the entire Dayton holiday splendor as you pedal through the festive streets. And, don’t worry, their wagons are equipped to keep you dry and toasty if the pedaling itself isn’t enough to warm you up. Reservations required and can be made at Call (937) 388-3006.
 Salar Restaurant and Lounge, 400 E. Fifth St.: Salar offers happy hour from 5 to 7 p.m. at the main bar, including options for a Build-Your-Own Pisco Bar. Bar patrons can enjoy $5 house wines, $1 off draft beer and select $5 bar bites. Call (937) 203-3999.
● Toxic Brew Company, 451 E. Fifth St.: Toxic is hosting a Drink Special: 50% off Toxic's winter seasonal cocktail: Hot Dickens (hot apple cider, mulling spices and Sailor Jerry rum) for $4. Call (937) 985-3618.

>> GUIDE: Fine dining in the Oregon District

>> GUIDE: Casual and late-night eats in the Oregon District

Now and Zen Terrariums is opening a new location at 37 S. St. Clair St. in Dayton. NOLAN SIMMONS


● Agnes & Orson Gifts and Goods, 514 E. Third St.: Head on down to Agnes and Orson to play a round of Holiday Wheel of Fortune, munch on festive snacks or shop. Call (937) 640-1500.
● Clash Dayton, 521 E. Fifth St.: Clash will have their annual free photos for customers in their shop on 5th Street- First Friday of December with Krampus and Robert Walker. This year, they have an internationally known artist, Robert Walker that will be airbrushing a local model into Krampus for their photos that will be taken by Gem City Pinup Photography. Call (937) 259-8986
● The Contemporary Dayton, 118 N. Jefferson St.: There will be a Holiday Gift Gallery 2019 from 8-10 p.m. at the Contemporary Dayton. This annual show transforms the downtown gallery into an all-art, all-original, all-local, fine art and fine craft gift gallery where guests can shop their gift list from hundreds of unique items created by 60+ Miami Valley artists. Prices vary and there are items available for every budget. Call (937) 224-3822.
● Dayton Dragons Professional Baseball Team – Dragons Den Team Store, 220 N. Patterson Blvd.: Got a Dragons fan in the family? The Dragons Den is having a 20% off everything sale (some exclusions apply) from 12-7 p.m. Call (937) 228-2287.
● Dayton Society of Artists - DSA, 48 High St.: Join DSA for their small works show: “Small but Mighty,” where all artwork is 12”x 12” or smaller. This artwork by regional artists will be on sale from 12-5 p.m. and 6-9 p.m. Call (937) 228-4532.
● Grace Lane Boutique, 133 E. Fourth St.: Grace Lane Boutique will be hosting a First Friday Sip 'n' Shop. Grab a drink at their hot cocoa bar while you check out their latest in ethical winter fashion. Call (937) 903-2729.
● Heart Mercantile, 438 E. 5th St.: Heart Mercantile is selling $20 tees in select styles. Call (937) 250-6020.
● Now and Zen DIY Studio, 37 S. St. Clair St.: This First Friday, stop by Now and Zen DIY Studio between 5-8 p.m. and create a fun Air Plant Wreath during their Holiday Wreath Workshop! Feel free to create a terrarium at their terrarium bar as well. Call (937) 287-1733.
● Space Three, 39 S. St. Clair St.: Space Three is a brand new boutique fitness studio in downtown Dayton! This First Friday, they are hosting a “Sweat & Shop”. There will be fun workout classes for you to participate in as well as a pop-up shop with local vendors. And, they also have a Kids’ Space for your little ones. Call (937) 604-0231.
● Yellow Cab Tavern, 700E Fourth St.: It's that time of year again! Handmade Holiday 2019 is back! On December 6th at 5 p.m., there will be plenty of vendors, food trucks, cocktails and more! Call (937) 424-3870.


What: First Friday December

Where: Downtown Dayton

When: Friday, Dec. 6, 2019

Cost: Varies by location

More info: |  First Friday Facebook page