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10 reasons we LOVE spring in Dayton

Spring is here (even if the forecast says otherwise!!)

With longer days, more sunlight and warmer temperatures, we’ve been thinking about all the amazing things to do in Dayton this spring. Find your happy place with 10 things to look forward to when the warm sunshine returns. 

>> The BEST spring hikes in Dayton

>> 7 things to know about the spring equinox

There are plenty of winter hikes to take with a friend or loved one. Germantown MetroPark is pictured. PHOTO / Jan Underwood for Five Rivers Metroparks

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1.) A walk in the park

There's no better way to welcome spring than with a beautiful hike through nature. The Dayton-area has an overabundance of scenic parks and trails, and they each offer something a little different. If you’re just interested in taking in some beautiful scenery, we recommend a walk through the paths at Cox Arboretum or a walk through the beautiful Charleston Falls. Looking for a more rigorous hike? Try the trails at John Bryan State Park in Yellow Springs. 

>> 12 top hiking trails in and around Dayton

>> 4 breathtaking waterfalls you must visit
KARA DRISCOLL/STAFF (Staff Writer)

2.) A day shopping outside

There's just something about spending money while also taking in some fresh air. Spend a day at The Greene in Beavercreek for a complete shopping, dining and entertainment experience. Shop in tons of great stores, including anchor store Von Maur. Grab a quick bite at Potbelly or E.O. Burger or enjoy a sit-down meal and drinks at places like The Cheesecake Factory, Fleming’s, Bar Louie, Pies and Pints and more. 

>> 6 restaurants that shut down at The Greene

If you want a more unique shopping/dining experience, head to Yellow Springs instead. The village is known for its unique shops and dining destinations, including Ha Ha PizzaThe Winds CaféThe Sunrise CaféPeach’s Grill and the Yellow Springs Brewery

>> 5 things to do in Yellow Springs

>> 13 places to eat, shop and explore in Tipp City

Young’s Jersey Dairy will have discounts on ice cream and other treats to celebrate its 149th anniversary from Jan. 12-15. CONTRIBUTED (Contributing Writer)

3.) An activity-packed day at the dairy farm

Young's isn’t just for kids. It’s for the young at heart. Spend the day at the dairy barn and see animals, impress your date by showing off your skills in the batting cages or take in a game of putt-putt golf. 

>> Where to find the best ice cream in (and around) Dayton

>> This ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ star was spotted at Young’s Dairy

If you’re hungry, you can grab a casual lunch at The Dairy Store or some comfort food at the Golden Jersey Inn. End your day with a delicious ice cream treat with Young’s homemade ice cream. We recommend the Buckeye sundae – it’s a peanut butter and chocolate lover's dream. 

>> Where to get FREE ICE CREAM on first day of spring

The plane atop The Hangar greets you as you enter the Wing Walker Patio. (Jim Ingram)

4.) Dinner and drinks on a perfect patio

One of the best parts about spring is taking your dining and drinking experience outdoors. Dayton area bars and restaurants have some amazing patios to grab a quick drink or a full meal. Here are a few of our favorite patios: El Meson in West Carrollton, The Winds Café in Yellow Springs, The Trolley Stopand Lily’s Bistro in the Oregon District, Jimmie’s Ladder 11 in Dayton and The Dublin Pub in the Oregon District. 

>> The best patios in Dayton

Dayton Inspires partners with Dayton Dragons for spring clean-up in West Dayton.

5.) A day at the ballpark

A true sign of spring and warm weather is Dayton Dragons baseball. A Dragons game should be on everyone’s Dayton bucket list. Even if you aren’t into baseball, Dragons games offer a fun experience for all ages. 

>> Dayton Dragons: 5 things to know about the team

It’s the perfect setting for a family outing, to enjoy a beer and baseball with friends or even a date. The Dragons’ home opener is set for April 7.  

Scenes from the Junior League of Dayton's Run for the Health of It on Saturday, April 22, 2017. Contributed photos by Tom Gilliam

6.) Walk or run for a great cause

With the arrival of spring comes an abundance of charity 5K walks and races that will help you take your workout outdoors and help a good cause while you’re at it.

Finding the perfect place to BYOB (bring your own basket) is a breeze with our favorite parks to spread out that blanket and relax with good friends and good food. (Video by Tabatha Wharton)

7.) A picnic in the park

Nothing says romance like a picnic in the park. Make up your own meal, or take advantage of some pre-made goodies from places like the 2nd Street Market or Dorothy Lane Market and head to Cox Arboretum, RiverScape or any park of your liking for a scenic lunch or dinner with your love, your besties or your family. 

>> Plan the perfect Dayton picnic: what to eat

>> Best places to picnic in Dayton

Brian Whitten, of Dayton, right, and Ulrike Fiedler, of Dayton, take off on their bikes from the Bike Parking area outside the Miami Valley Cycling Summit at the Hollenbeck-Bayley Conference Center Friday, May 31, 2013. Whitten and Fiedler along with several dozen other cyclists from all over the Miami Valley rode their bikes to the summit in downtown Springfield. Bill Lackey/Staff

8.) A scenic bike ride

One of the best things about living in the Dayton area is a wonderful, interconnected system of bike paths that allow you the flexibility to take a short ride or basically bike across the entire Miami Valley. 

>> 5 of the best bike paths in the Miami Valley (and how to make the most of them)

This is the perfect activity if you want some quiet reflection time while getting some great exercise, or something you can do alongside friends and family. Choose your own biking adventure with more than 300 miles of trails in the region. 

Journal-News photographer Greg Lynch and writer Eric Schwartzberg ride Mystic Timbers, the new wooden roller coaster at Kings Island.

9.) A day of thrills and more thrills

OK, it may not technically be in Dayton, but Kings Island amusement park is definitely worth the short drive on a spring weekend. 

>> 5 of the best rides at Kings Island

Filled with thrills and adventures, the theme park in Mason in Warren County offers roller coasters, water rides, a robust area with kiddie-sized thrills, plus great food like LaRosa’s Pizza and beer galore. The season kicks off on April 14. 

>> PHOTOS: Kings Island through the years

>> Looking for more adventure? Try ziplining
Fans enjoy a performance during the annual Country Concert at Hickory Hill Lakes in Ft. Loramie this July. DAVID A. MOODIE/CONTRIBUTED (Staff Writer)

10.) Start planning your summer fun

Spring means it’s time to start thinking about SUMMER. It’s never too early to start planning your summer weekends around the concerts planned at Fraze Pavilion in Kettering and the Rose Center at The Heights.

>> Who’s coming to Country Concert 2018?

For those seeking a more, let’s say, “festive” atmosphere, Country Concert at Hickory Hill Lakes in Fort Loramie will feature a three-day outdoor concert with some of the biggest names in country music. Signature summer festivals include Troy’s Strawberry Festival and Dayton’s Celtic Fest, among many others. 

>> Here’s the lineup for Bunbury Music Fest in Cincy

What’s your favorite thing about spring in Dayton? Let us know: contact@dayton.com.

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