HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE: Give the gift of experience in Dayton this season

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Thoughtful gifts come in many shapes and sizes. Sometimes they come with no shape at all.

Since the COVID pandemic, in-person experiences and getting out to try something new have become more valuable than ever. As the big day gets closer and time to secure gifts for loved ones winds down, giving the gift of experience can be an excellent way to quickly check-off everyone on your list.

A night out on the town is always a winner — it’s thoughtful, unexpected, different and one of the easier options if you are looking for something impressive that’s easy to secure and gift on your end. And then there are the tickets and passes that last all year long.

Here are some ideas to get you started down the experiential gift giving path to find the perfect gift that will surprise and impress even the hardest to buy for.

Did we miss a great gift of experience you have thought of this season? Contact this reporter at and we’ll add it to the list.

🎁Give the gift of winter tradition

The MetroParks Ice Rink, located within RiverScape MetroPark features stunning winter views of both the Great Miami River and the downtown Dayton skyline. It’s a perfect gift for the winter-loving Daytonian in your life who enjoys being outside and getting in the festive mood.

Season passes are available for $90 (family membership) and $30 (individual membership). The rink is open now through the last Sunday in Feb. For more information and to purchase the gift of membership, visit

🎁Purchase the gift of experiencing Downtown Dayton in a new way

During warmer months, bright green bicycles can always be seen crawling around Dayton’s urban landscape. Stations all throughout downtown make the Link: Dayton Bike Share system one of the easiest and most environmental-friendly ways to get to know Dayton. Even during cooler months when a bike ride is sure to turn cheeks red, the bikes are still available for a quick ride.

Link Bikes can be rented by paying a fee each time a person rides. Or, a thoughtful friend — like you — could get them a 90 day membership pass for $26 or an annual membership pass for $90.

More information is available at

🎁Purchase a ticket to summer fun



Fraze Pavilion Gift Certificates

“Give the gift of summer’s best music.” You choose the amount, your recipient chooses how and when to spend it! Available in denominations of $5, $10, $25, $50, $75 or $100, a gift of a Fraze Pavilion gift certificate is the worry-free option for a music-loving friend who has a hard time making plans far in advance. More information is available at

Rose Music Center Insider Membership

Because the Rose Music Center is always boppin' come summertime, choosing a single concert to give as a gift can be incredibly hard for a friend who wants to be there for it all. That's why there's no going wrong with the Insider Membership. Members will have access to free preferred VIP parking, private restrooms, exclusive access to The Circuits & Cables VIP Club, guaranteed seating in the reserved Insider section and other perks that will make them feel like VIP all summer long. More information is available at

🎁Purchase the gift of an epic bike ride

Mike’s Bike Park, located at 1300 E. 1st St. in Dayton, is the city’s premier bike shop and indoor riding facility. There’s two floors of fun for the whole family, including a full-service bike shop, arcade and indoor riding facility that welcomes bikes, scooters, skateboards and more.

A gift card to Mike’s Bike Park is a gift that any thrill seeker or bicyclist in your life would be stoked to get this holiday season. Visit to see gift card options.

🎁Give the gift of membership

Museum memberships offer an entire year of special events and entertainment and many come with reciprocal benefits to other locations across the state. Memberships make a great gift for families looking to stretch a dollar and expand their children's minds and world view.

Dayton History at Carillon Historical Park ( tells the story of how Dayton changed the world through vision, ingenuity and hard work. It’s a 65-acre history lesson waiting to be explored.

A membership comes with unlimited free admission to Carillon Historical Park, Carillon Historical Park, Patterson Homestead, Dayton Heritage Day, Carillon Park Rail Festival, Dayton Concours d’Elegance, Make it Dayton Festival and A Carillon Christmas. Members also have access to discounts for dining and shopping, discounted tours and much more.

The Boonshoft Museum of Discovery ( is one part zoo, one part science museum, one part children's museum and one part huge playground. This is sure to be a hit with the younger kids.

A standard family membership runs $135 and comes with a reusable tote, a Boonshoft Branded lightbulb water bottle and other Boonshoft swag. Memberships come with unlimited admission to all Dayton Society of Natural History sites and a list of other benefits. Individual memberships ($45) and duo memberships ($65) are also available.

🎁Plan on a music festival

A music festival is something exciting for ticket holders to look forward to all year long. The past two concert seasons have been met with one cancellation after another. But one of Ohio’s most anticipated concerts of the year, Buckeye Country Superfest at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, has given the green light and has announced superstar Luke Combs as 2022′s headliner.

Tickets are now on sale at or at The Schottenstein Center box office, located on the NE corner of the Schottenstein Center. The box office is open Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

🎁Buy the ticket to ride

Giving a Kings Island season pass to a loved one this year will result in an entire year of thank you’s. This is one of the priciest gifts on the list, but it will be a gift that will last through every holiday and every season. It’s a must for any adrenaline junkie in your life.

Memberships can be purchased in-full for $110 (Gold Pass) $195 (Platinum Pass) or paid for in monthly payments starting at $9.50 or $17 a month.

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