10 ideas for spring-break fun around Dayton

By Michelle Fong, Staff Writer

It’s spring break time. The kids are rejoicing. The parents, maybe not so much. If you’re living it up in Florida right now, we’re jealous. If instead you’ve opted for that staycation, here are 10 ideas for some fun kid-friendly excursions close to home while school is out. We promise these activities will offer fun, get the kids out of the house and maybe cut down the bickering just a little bit … Happy spring break!

  • 1. Boonshoft Museum of Discovery

    12 ideas for spring-break fun around Dayton, item 1

    Source: Dayton Daily News archive photo

    The fun: An indoor mini-zoo complete with entertaining river otters, meerkats, a bobcat and more; space and astronomy exhibits and a space theater; an interactive color wall perfect for dancing; water tables; indoor playground; tidal pool for interacting with sea critters; a treehouse perfect for bird-watching; pretend play stations including a vet’s office, courtroom/jail, shopping and more. Plus, a play area complete with fossil pit for little ones. Discover abandoned ships, deep sea creatures, geologic features and the science that brings it all to the surface with the special exhibit Extreme Deep: Mission to the Abyss.

    Location: 2600 DeWeese Parkway, Dayton

    Hours: Monday-Saturday 9 a.m.–5 p.m. (special exhibits 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.), Sunday noon-5 p.m. Closed on major holidays, including Easter.

    Prices: Children (3-17) $11.50, seniors (60+) $12.50, adults $14.50. Children under 3 and members are free.

    Info: Website or Facebook

  • 2. Scene75 Dayton

    12 ideas for spring-break fun around Dayton, item 3

    Source: Dayton Daily News archive photo

    The fun: More than 120 arcade games, an inflatable play area complete with a 36-foot-high slide, mini-bowling, laser tag, indoor go-karts, spinning bumper cars, virtual reality arcade and black light mini golf.

    Location: 6196 Poe Ave., Vandalia.

    Info: 937-619-3200

    Hours: Wednesdays and Thursdays 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Fridays 11 a.m. to 1 a.m., Saturdays 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. and Sundays 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Closed to the public Mondays and Tuesdays.

    Prices: No admission charge. Priced per attraction. Preload gaming cards and swipe at each attraction. Attraction prices range from $2-$12 per person and arcade games range from $0.25 to $3 per game.

    Info: Website or Facebook

    Looking for other arcade experiences? Check out Magic Castle, the Englewood Fun Center  attached to TJ Chumps or Jumpy's Fun Zone in Troy.

  • 3. Air Force Museum

    12 ideas for spring-break fun around Dayton, item 4


    The fun: It’s no secret Dayton has a rich history in flight and aviation. And there’s a whole museum dedicated to just that. See some impressive aircraft or check out flight simulators or 3D films. The National Museum of the United States Air Force features more than 360 aerospace vehicles and missiles along with thousands of historical items and powerful sensory exhibits that bring history to life and connect the Wright brothers' legacy with today's technology.

    Location: 1100 Spaatz St., Wright-Patterson AFB

    Hours: Open daily 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Closed Christmas Day, Thanksgiving and New Year's Day.

    Prices: Free admission and parking

    Info: Website or Facebook

  • 4. Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm

    12 ideas for spring-break fun around Dayton, item 5


    The fun: Step back in time when you visit an 1880s barn with draft horses, cattle, sheep, goats and hogs. Surrounding pastures are home to cattle, sheep, goats and donkeys. See chickens in portable pens spring through fall. Outlying buildings and paddocks house turkeys, more chickens and an educational garden. Best for a warmer day.

    Location: 1000 Aullwood Road, Dayton

    Hours: Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. Closed most holidays.

    Prices: Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for children 2-18 and free for children under age 2. Members of Friends of Aullwood and National Audubon Society receive free admission with membership card.

    Info: Website or Facebook

  • 5. Brukner Nature Center

    12 ideas for spring-break fun around Dayton, item 6

    Source: Dayton Daily News archive photo

    The fun: Brukner Nature Center operates the largest licensed wildlife rehabilitation unit in the Miami Valley. It also doubles as a great family-friendly destination to experience nature. Go take a nature walk with your family on easy-to-navigate trails that span 6 miles. Visit some 50 animals from birds, to owls to possums that can no longer survive in the wild housed in indoor and outdoor exhibits. Go birdwatching in a tree-top vista accessible from the interpretive building. Don’t miss the historical 1804 log house.

    Location: 5995 Horseshoe Bend Road, just outside of Troy

    Hours: The interpretive building is open Monday-Saturday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday 12:30-5 p.m. Trails are open from sunrise to sunset.

    Prices: $2.50 per person or $10 per family (parents and children under 18) for admission to the interpretive building. Cash or check only. Sunday admission is free. Admission free for BNC members.

    Info: Website or Facebook

  • 6. Carillon Historical Park

    12 ideas for spring-break fun around Dayton, item 7

    Source: Dayton Daily News archive photo

    The fun: At Carillon, learning is fun. Learn about Dayton’s role in history by strolling through the park’s 25 historical buildings and interacting with the hundreds of artifacts in the exhibits. See the original 1905 Wright Flyer III, the world’s first practical airplane, built by Wilbur and Orville Wright. Visit Dayton’s oldest building from 1796, Newcom’s Tavern. See the largest carillon in Ohio. Take a ride on the carousel of Dayton innovations or see some of Dayton’s innovators come to life in an interactive theater presentation (sort of like the Hall of Presidents at Disney). Hungry? Stop by the 1940s-style diner Culp’s Café (which opens for the season April 1 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.).

    Location: 1000 Carillon Blvd., Dayton

    Hours: Monday to Saturday: 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday: noon-5 p.m.

    Prices: $8 per adult (ages 18-59), $7 per senior, $5 per child (3 –17). Children under 3 and Dayton History members free. Carousel is $1 per ride for every person who rides.

    Info: Website or Facebook

  • 7. Dayton Art Institute Experiencenter

    12 ideas for spring-break fun around Dayton, item 8


    The fun: The museum’s interactive Experiencenter is the perfect spot for the younger set to experience art. Find creative play stations including a puppet theater and problem-solving activities. Create your own work of art on easels. While you’re there, don’t miss a major work of art created with jelly beans. After you experience the Experiencecenter, stroll through the museum’s permanent collection.

    Location: 456 Belmonte Park North, Dayton

    Hours: Wednesday - Saturday: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sunday: noon – 5 p.m. Extended hours until 8 p.m. on Thursdays. Closed Mondays, Tuesdays and on major holidays.

    Prices: Suggested general admission to The Dayton Art Institute's permanent collection:

    - Adults: $8
    - Seniors (60+), Active Military & Groups: $5
    - College Students (18+ with ID): Free
    - Youth & Children (17 and under): Free
    - Members: Free
    - Some special exhibits carry a separate admission charge.

    Info: Website or Facebook

  • 8. Wegerzyn’s Children’s Discovery Garden

    12 ideas for spring-break fun around Dayton, item 9


    The fun: On a warm, sunny day, Wegerzyn Gardens Metropark is a must-see. This child-friendly place to discover and experience gardening offers nature play for kids. Navigate a musical maze, water plants using an old-fashioned water pump, build a home for gnomes and fairies, crawl through a cave and find fossils or design your own garden.

    Location: 1301 E. Siebenthaler Ave., Dayton

    Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Hours will extend until 6 p.m. starting in April. This activity is weather contingent, so it’s best to call ahead at 937-277-6545 to confirm the Children’s Discovery Garden is open.

    Prices: Free admission

    Info: Website or Facebook

  • 9. Young's Jersey Dairy

    12 ideas for spring-break fun around Dayton, item 10


    The fun: Petting zoo with goats, cows and more, an 18-hole farm-themed mini-golf course, driving range, batting cages, three-lane slide. Easter egg hunt on Easter, April 5. Did we mention the delicious homemade ice cream?? This destination is also best-suited for a warm day.

    Location: 6880 Springfield-Xenia Road, Yellow Springs

    Hours: Spring hours: Sunday-Thursday, 7 a.m.-10 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 7 a.m.-11 p.m.

    Prices: No admission fee, but costs per activity. Wristband deals are available.

    Info: Website or Facebook

  • 10. Sky Zone Trampoline Park

    12 ideas for spring-break fun around Dayton, item 11


    The fun: No better way than to bounce off some energy than this place. Bounce and flip on trampolines. Soar into a cushy foam pit or play a friendly game of dodgeball.

    Location: 976 Senate Drive, Washington Twp.

    Hours: Hours vary

    Hourly capacity is limited to a specific number of jumpers, so to guarantee a jump time, buy your tickets online and fill out waiver. Special socks required.

    Prices (include sky socks):

    - 30-minute jump: $12
    - 60-minute jump: $16
    - 90-minute jump: $20
    - 120-minute jump: $22

    Info: Website or Facebook