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7 things to look forward to when the weather warms up

Well, it’s officially spring and has been for awhile. But this might be a weekend that actually feels like spring.

Find your happy place with 10 things to look forward to when the warm sunshine returns. 

>> Dayton Bucket List: 50 things to do this year

Inside the Butterfly House at Cox Arboretum Metropark on Springboro Pike. CONTRIBUTED

1. A WALK IN THE PARK

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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. 

>> 6 of Dayton’s best trails to walk in the spring

>> 5 scenic, challenging running trails in Dayton

>> RELATED: Where to take a nature hike in Dayton

>> RELATED: Best undiscovered playgrounds near Dayton

A view from the fountains at The Greene in Beavercreek. CONTRIBUTED

2. A DAY SHOPPING OUTDOORS

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, The Pub and more. 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 Pizza, The Winds Café, The Sunrise Café, Peach’s Grill (noted as one of Dayton’s best patios) and the Yellow Springs Brewery. 

 >> Check out three new, independent restaurants coming to The Greene

>> RELATED: 5 things to do in Yellow Springs

>> RELATED: 8 beers to try at Yellow Springs Brewery

Young’s Jersey Dairy in Yellow Springs offers more than 50 flavors of creamy, delicious homemade ice cream. Heaven! CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

3. ICE CREAM!!!

Sure, you can eat ice cream anytime you want. But ice cream can also be an experience. Especially if it’s at Young’s Dairy!! 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. 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.

>> RELATED: 7 great places to get frozen treats in Dayton

4. PATIO DRINKING AND DINING!!!

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 Stop and Lily’s Bistro in the Oregon District, Jimmie’s Ladder 11 in Dayton, Basil’s Dayton with a river view and The Dublin Pub in the Oregon District.

>> Your guide to the best patios in Dayton

You know spring has arrived when Dragons baseball begins. Heater and Gem and the rest of the Dragons will play at home Sunday through Friday. (Source: Contributed)

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. It’s the perfect setting for a family outing, to enjoy a beer and baseball with friends or even a date.

>> 7 things to get excited about this Dayton Dragons season

>> 7 places to get game-day grub near the Dragons ballpark

>> RELATED: How to make the most out of a Dragons game

Yellow Cab Food Truck Rallies

6. FOOD TRUCKS!!!!

Oh, sweet heavenly food trucks. A sure sign of spring is when you can get your paws on a Fat Cat Burger from McNasty’s, devour a bite-sized mac and cheese croquette from Hunger Paynes, or feast on a Pig Apple sandwich from PA’s Pork.

>> RELATED: Dayton food truck guide

Take a spin on one of the more than 300 miles of connected trails in the Miami Valley. CONTRIBUTED

7. 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. 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.

>> RELATED: 10 things to know about Miami Valley bike trails

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