The Dayton Contemporary Dance Company (DCDC). Submitted photo.
Photo: HANDOUT
Photo: HANDOUT

7 ways to give the gift of experience in Dayton

The big day is almost here and time is of the essence. Now is the time to secure gifts and shop till you drop to ensure you aren't purchasing gift cards from Kroger an hour before you're supposed to celebrate with family. 

A night out on the town is always a winner — it's thoughtful, unexpected, different and is 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. 

🎁Explore the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance 

If you haven't before, visit daytonperformingarts.org to see the wealth of options that are out there to explore. There's something for everyone— opera, ballets, family shows, musicals and so much more. It's a one-stop shop with a viable option for just about anyone you know. There are ticket options, as well as passes and memberships. Visit the website for all the details on upcoming performances happening in 2019. 

Dayton Ballet dancers performed at the upcoming "American Mosaic" concert. Submitted photo.
Photo: HANDOUT

🎁Purchase the gift of experiencing Downtown Dayton in new way

Country-rocker Brantley Gilbert is one of the big names coming to perform in the region in 2017. CONTRIBUTED
Photo: HANDOUT

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 environmentally-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. 

If you really think your friend deserves to be the coolest kid on the block, one membership package even comes with name recognition on handlebars. More information is available at linkdayton.org

🎁Purchase a ticket to summer fun 

The Cincinnati-based cover band The Menus
Photo: HANDOUT

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 fraze.com

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 rosemusiccenter.com. 

🎁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. 

Brady Kress, president and CEO of Carillon Historical Park, stands besides a keg of beer along with samples at the Carillon Brewing Company museum/restaurant. CONNIE POST/FILE PHOTO

• Dayton History at Carillon Historical Park (www.daytonhistory.org) 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. 

• The Boonshoft Museum of Discovery (www.boonshoftmuseum.org) 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 membership to The Dayton Art Institute (www.daytonartinstitute.org) is the gift of a year of world-class art. All membership levels include reciprocal admission to 14 other Ohio museums while memberships at the reciprocal level and higher receive privileges at 750 museums around the country, making a great gift for the traveling art lovers in your life. 

All museum memberships have benefits including free admission, discounts to special events and programs and other discounts on shopping and food. 

🎁Plan on a music festival 

Bunbury Music Festival in Cincinnati is set to take place May 31 to June 2. Three-day general admission tickets are on sale now at the best prices you will get all year. The lineup has not been announced, but that's part of the fun. If you have a live music lover who is into alternative rock, this gift will hit the spot. Learn more at www.bunburyfestival.com/tickets. 

ZZ Ward thrilled her fans with rocking set on the Main Stage during the last day of the Bunbury Music Festival in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Photo: Brian Glass | Concert-Captures

🎁Score a ticket to a special Dayton event for the beer, wine or bourbon lover in life 

You can't go wrong with a ticket that comes with food and beverage. 

Scenes from Jungle Jim’s Big Cheese Festival last year.

Alefeast

Hard to believe, but it’s almost time for the 11th annual Alefeast on Feb. 2, featuring more than 75 handcrafted beers and wines, as well as food stations. It’s always a popular event at the Dayton Convention Center. Visit alefest.com for more information.

Bourbon & Bubbles

On April 12, Bourbon & Bubbles is spilling into its third year. Billed as an artsy cocktail party, featuring handcrafted bourbons, refreshing bubbly, gourmet bites, world-class art and incredible entertainment, in the beautiful setting of the The Dayton Art Institute's Shaw Gothic Cloister. Tickets for the event include up to eight tastings of bourbons and/or champagnes. A cash bar will also available, offering bourbons, champagnes and specialty cocktails. A very limited number of VIP Lounge tickets will be available again this year, offering exclusive food and drink selections. Visit daytonartinstitute.org for more information. 

🎁Buy the ticket to ride 

GREG LYNCH / STAFF FILE PHOTO

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. 

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

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