10 great things to do in Dayton this weekend



A delightful world premiere comedy, a chance to celebrate the holidays at a Dayton landmark, and a few notable concerts are among events to keep in mind this weekend.



1. “Reindeer Sessions”

When: Through Dec. 23; 8 p.m. Dec. 21, 22 and 23; and 2 p.m. Dec. 23. Special Nights at The Loft: Parent’s Day Out: Saturday, Dec. 23 at 2 p.m. with theater workshops available for kids ages 5-12.

Where: Loft Theatre, 126 N. Main St., Dayton

Details: The Human Race Theatre Company presents a delightfully breezy world premiere of Eric Ulloa’s adult comedy in which familiar aspects of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” are hilariously debunked. In this bawdy one-act breezily directed by Igor Goldin and set at the North Pole, foul-mouthed Blitzen (charming Rico Romalus Parker in a breakthrough portrayal full of streetwise attitude and swagger) is assigned to anger management therapy after a fight left Rudolph with a broken red nose. His appointments with Dr. Arbor (Teri Clark Linden, terrific and exhibiting great patience) ultimately reveal the root cause of his jealousy and inner turmoil, which has a lot to do with pent-up feelings harbored since childhood. Ulloa’s relatable script has potential for a very bright future, especially for theaters in search of holiday alternatives. Before this play becomes a film someday perhaps starring Kevin Hart and Allison Janney, be sure to say you saw it first right here in Dayton.

Cost: $10-$53. Two sections of $20 seats are available at any time through the box office. Also, ten $10 rush seats are available 90 minutes before any performance.

More info: 937-228-3630 or visit www.humanracetheatre.org.

2. A Carillon Christmas

When: Through Dec. 30; 5-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 5-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Where: Carillon Historical Park, 1000 Carillon Blvd., Dayton

Details: The Carillon Tree of Light, standing 200 feet tall, is among the main attractions at this holiday winter wonderland.

Cost: $10-$14. Free for children ages 2 and younger.

More info: daytonhistory.org



3. Ryan Mundy

When: 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 22

Where: Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway, 777 Hollywood Blvd., Dayton

Details: Ryan Mundy is originally from Springfield but is now based in Nashville. The country singer has been performing regular solo sets at that city’s famous venue Tootie’s since early 2023. Mundy, who returns to the Miami Valley for a free concert with his band, released his latest single, “Payin’ My Dues,” on Oct. 6.

Cost: Free

More info: 937-235-7800 or hollywooddaytonraceway.com

4. “Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec: The Birth of Modern Paris”

When: Through Jan. 14, 2024; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 12-5 p.m. Sunday. Closed Christmas Day.

Where: Dayton Art Institute, 456 Belmonte Park North

Details: French painter and pioneer of modern poster design and lithograph art, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Known internationally as a leading Post-Impressionist, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec made art that explores the cabarets, racetracks, music halls, circuses, cafés and brothels of Paris during the late 19th century. Filled with empathy and humor, his images offer a captivating, nearly journalistic view of Paris in la belle époque (the beautiful era).

Cost: $5-$15. Free for children ages 6 and younger.

More info: www.daytonartinstitute.org



5. This Pine Box

When: 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 22. Cover starts at 8 p.m.

Where: Yellow Cab Tavern, 700 E. Fourth St., Dayton

Details: Level Up Productions presents Cincinnati-based rock band This Pine Box, which was formed by Jake Knight (vocals, guitar) in March 2016 when he was still a high school student in Springboro. The group released its debut EP later that year. “Holding Back,” the latest single from This Pine Box, was released digitally Nov. 24. Seth Canan & the Carriers and Holly & Logan will also perform. (Don Thrasher)

Cost: $9 in advance, $12 day of show

More info: 937-424-3870 or www.yellowcabtavern.com

6. MetroParks Ice Rink

When: Dec. 22-Dec. 28 hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Christmas Eve; Closed Christmas Day; 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday

Where: RiverScape MetroPark, 237 E. Monument Ave., Dayton

Details: The rink offers beginners’ lessons, open skating, broomball and curling, hot chocolate, music and more.

Cost: Admission fee: $7 daily; Ice skate rental: $3 daily

More info: metroparks.org

7. “Poor Things”

When: Screenings for Dec. 22-28: 1:15 p.m., 4:20 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Fri.-Thurs.

Where: Neon Movies, 130 E. Fifth St., Dayton

Details: Oscar buzz! Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos (”The Lobster,” “The Favourite”), this film stars Emma Stone as a woman brought back to life by an unorthodox scientist who ultimately “grows steadfast in her purpose to stand for equality and liberation.”

Cost: $8.50-$10.50

More info: 937-222-7469 or neonmovies.com

8. Clifton Mill

When: Through Dec. 30; Open seven nights a week from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Gates open at 5 p.m.

Where: 75 Water St., Clifton

Details: Be prepared for a dazzling array of over 4 million lights covering the mill, gorge, riverbanks, trees and bridges. The festivities include a Miniature Village and Santa Claus Museum. Refreshments for sale.

Cost: $15 per person. Children ages three and younger get in for free.

More info: cliftonmill.com/christmas

9. Woodland Lights

When: Through Dec. 23; 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Gates close at 8:30 p.m.

Where: Countryside Park on the campus of the Washington Twp. RecPlex, 895 Miamisburg-Centerville Rd.

Details: This holiday attraction has been entertaining families in Ohio since 1993. This year, instead of amusement rides, the park has added a train ride that takes guests through a separate path to see even more lights.

Cost: Tickets may be purchased for $9 at www.woodlandlights.org or at the gate. Children 2 and under are admitted free.

More info: www.washingtontwp.org/recreation/woodland_lights



10. “Miracle on 34th Street: The Musical”

When: Through Dec. 30; Thursday and Friday matinees and evenings, Sunday brunches and evenings, Saturday evenings.

Where: La Comedia Dinner Theatre, 765 W. Central Ave., Springboro

Details: Director/choreographer Chris Beiser helms a feel-good, nostalgic presentation of this heartfelt holiday story of family and faith in 1940s New York City. Jonathan Fluck charms with gleeful goodwill as Kris Kringle, who absolutely believes he’s Santa Claus in spite of numerous naysayers. Keenan Patrick Buckley also shines as devoted neighbor Fred and reliably comical David Thomas delights as the intensely irritable, frustrated Dr. Sawyer.

Cost: $70-$79 adults; $39 kids 11 and under.

More info: 937-746-4554 or www.lacomedia.com

About the Author