By Michelle Fong, Staff Writer
Cabin fever? Yep. We all have it, unfortunately. If you want to get all of this cold, wintry weather out of your mind, here is something to think about. Find your happy place with 10 things to look forward to when the warm sunshine returns.
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.
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, Crazy Mango, Pies and Pints 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 and the Yellow Springs Brewery.
3. An activity-packed day at 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. 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.
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 Stop and Lily’s Bistro in the Oregon District, Jimmie’s Ladder 11 in Dayton and The Dublin Pub in the Oregon District.
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. The Dragons’ home opener is set for April 12.
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.
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.
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. 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.
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. 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 16.
10. Plan a day around summer concert, festival
Summer may be a long way off, but 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. 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, including Carrie Underwood, Jake Owen, Florida Georgia Line and The Band Perry. Signature summer festivals include Troy’s Strawberry Festival and Dayton’s Celtic Fest, among many others.