10 activities to enjoy during the dog days of summer

Food festivals, concerts, baseball games, berry picking among fun options.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

The dog days of summer have officially kicked in, which can lead to some sluggish summer days under the record-breaking heat. Across the Dayton area, there are numerous ways to get active, stay in, spend time with the family, hang out with friends or go on a solo adventure as the summer months wind down.

Check out these 10 ways to stay entertained this July and August throughout the Miami Valley.

⚾Dragons Games

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Baseball is the nation’s favorite pastime, and in Dayton, a Dragons game can be a well-spent night out for the whole family. Lawn seat tickets are just $10 a piece to see the minor league team, and puts baseball fans in the perfect spot to catch a home run ball hit to right field. The sunset view from the lawn — or anywhere in the ballpark — can be a spectacle all on its own.

Dragons’ fan have the opportunity to watch up-and-coming players up at bat before they break into the major leagues. After games, fans can get memorabilia signed by that evening’s featured Dragons player.

Upcoming, the Dayton Dragons will play a homestand beginning Tuesday, July 18 through Sunday, July 23 versus the Wisconsin Timber Rattles. Tickets and more information can be found by visiting https://www.milb.com/dayton.

📽Movie Theatres

One of the most anticipated movies of the summer opens this month. “Barbie” from actress and director Greta Gerwig brings to life the iconic Mattel dolls in a feature film with an ensemble cast starring Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, America Ferrera, Simu Liu, Kate McKinnon and more.

While “Barbie” will be playing in theaters nationwide, Dayton-area independent theaters will have showtimes for a more intimate experience. The film opens at The Neon in Dayton, Gloria Theatre in Urbana and Englewood Cinema on Thursday, July 20. The Little Art Theatre in Yellow Springs will screen the movie beginning Friday, July 21.

Audiences can also catch film festivals and special screenings at independent Dayton movie theaters in the coming months, including The Neon’s upcoming screenings of “The League” — a Negro League documentary with Dayton ties — and its Family Summer Film Fest Saturday, July 15.

For tickets, showtimes and more information, visit The Neon, Gloria Theatre, Englewood Cinema, and Little Art Theatre’s website.


Getting active in the summer months can be just as fun as lounging by the pool. The Great Miami riverway is a hub for watersports including kayaking, canoeing and paddle boarding. Five Rivers MetroParks manages 39 miles of waterways that offer paddle sport outings.

Vandalia’s Stillwater River, Dayton’s Mad River, Germantown’s Twin Creek and Dayton’s Great Miami River all have access points for kayakers, canoers and paddlers to take to the water.

For beginner paddlers, Stillwater River’s 5-mile route from Englewood MetroPark to Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark, the Great Miami River’s 5.7-mile route from West Carrollton to Miamisburg and the Great Miami and Mad River’s 4-mile route from Eastwood MetroPark to RiverScape MetroPark offer an easy adventure for a day on the water, according to Five Rivers MetroParks.

A more moderate float can be enjoyed along the Great Miami River’s 9.3-mile route from Taylorsville MetroPark to Island MetroPark and Twin Creek’s 3-mile route from Germantown MetroPark to Cherry Street.

Through September, kayaks can be rented from Taiter’s Kayak Solutions on Tuesdays and Thursdays at RiverScape MetroPark in downtown Dayton beginning at $12 an hour.

For more information, visit https://www.metroparks.org/paddling/.

🎢Kings Island

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

For an all-day adventure close to home, Kings Island in Mason offers a family outing full of thrills. The amusement park is split into eight themed sections with rollercoaster, thrill rides and family rides throughout. Some of Kings Islands’ most iconic rides include The Beast, a wooden coaster; Orion, the park’s latest rollercoaster and first gigacoaster; and Banshee, the world’s longest inverted rollercoaster.

Kings Island is also home to Soak City, a waterpark where the family can cool off on hot summer days. Soak City has over 50 water activities, which includes 36 water slides.

New to the park this year is Adventure Port, which features two new rides family rides and two new dining locations. Enrique’s Cantina in Adventure Port serves traditional burritos, bowls, salads, tacos and more while The Mercado offers a full-service bar including frozen drinks and craft beers. Sol Spin sends riders in open air, suspended passenger vehicles flying 60 in the air at 25 mph. Cargo Loco, also in Adventure Port, climb aboard shipping barrels and go for a spin in this manually controlled spinning ride.

Kings Island is open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Soak City is open daily from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Daily passes can be purchased online or at park gates beginning at $44.99.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit https://www.visitkingsisland.com/.

🎶Summer Concerts

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Music is a universal language, and spending time with friends and family outside on a cool summer evening at a concert can be the perfect way to relax and connect. The Dayton area is home to several concert venues that provide open-air access to fan-favorite performances.

Levitt Pavilion, the Rose Music Center at The Heights, Fraze Pavilion and several local park amphitheaters have long summer lineups of artists and bands spanning genres, decades and notorieties. Levitt Pavilion, offering free shows this summer in downtown Dayton, is home to Dayton’s Reggaetón, Blues and Funk festivals, the Rose will host bands including The Doobie Brothers, Train and Straight No Chaser, and Kettering’s Fraze Pavilion will bring Nelly, Peppa Pig’s Adventure and Donny Osmond to town.

Upcoming concerts in the Dayton area feature artists Dave Greer’s Classic Jazz Stompers will be at Levitt Pavilion on Thursday, July 20, Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons will take stage at the Rose Music Center on Saturday, July 22, and Boney James and Lalah Hathaway will play Fraze Pavilion Sunday, July 23.

For additional summer acts and to purchase tickets, visit the websites for Levitt Pavilion, the Rose Music Center and Fraze Pavilion.

🎡County Fairs

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

It’s time once again to saddle up for county fair season going on across the Miami Valley and beyond.

Fourteen surrounding counties are beginning to celebrate all things farm animals, fair rides and fried foods. While the Montgomery County, Clinton County and Logan County fairs are drawing to a close Saturday, July 15, several more fairs are preparing to open their gates in the coming weeks. Warren County’s fair runs Monday, July 17, through Saturday, July 22; the Clark County Fair will be Friday, July 21, through Friday, July 28; and the Shelby and Butler County fairs run Sunday, July 23, through Saturday, July 29.

For additional county fair details, check out our 2023 County Fair Guide.

📚Local Library

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

There’s still time to take part in your local libraries summer reading challenge!

Local libraries are a great space to get kids involved in clubs and activities alongside getting them into reading. The Dayton Metro Library’s summer reading challenge ends July 31, but children 18 and under can still register to win prizes. Readers can earn a free book after 15 days and 30 days of reading activity logged. At 45 days, kids earn a free book and a free Dayton Metro Library tote bag.

One child participating in the summer reading challenge will win a grand prize sweepstakes. Parents can enter children to win $2,529 in CollegeAdvantage Savings Award money through Ohio’s 529 College Advantage Plan by visiting https://www.collegeadvantage.com/daytonmetrolibrary.

The Dayton Metro Library has 17 branches across Montgomery County, including a main branch at 215 E. Third St. in Dayton and a brand new branch in Huber Heights at 6243 Brandt Pike.

For more information on the Dayton Metro Library’s summer reading challenge and to register and log reading hours, visit https://www.daytonmetrolibrary.org/summer/.

🤹‍♀️Summer Festivals

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Summer is ripe with festivals throughout the Dayton area celebrating everything from chicken wings to funk music.

Coming up for the rest of July, the Dayton region will celebrate several summer festivals. A few foodie-focused festivals will go down including the Dayton Mac N’ Cheese Fest at Yellow Cab Friday, July 14, and Pineapple Fest at Austin Landing, Blueberry Festival at Berryhill Farm in Xenia, the Springfield Noodle Fest and Honey Harvest in Yellow Springs, all on Saturday July 15. The Dayton Blues Festival at Levitt Pavilion in downtown is coming up on Sunday, July 23 as is the Dayton Celtic Fest, which is set for Friday, July 28 through Sunday, July 30 at RiverScape MetroPark in Dayton.

For more information and additional summer festivals going on throughout the area this summer, check out our 2023 Summer Festivals Guide.

🍓U-Pick Farms

The summer months call for berry picking season. Around the Miami Valley, several farms and orchards let customers pick their own for a fun day outing that ends with a basketful of berries to take home.

Blackberries, blueberries and raspberries are all in-season during the late summer months.

Three orchards in Greene County — Berryhill Farm in Xenia, Peifer Orchards in Yellow Springs and the Homestead Berry Farm in Fairborn — and Butler County’s Indian Springs Berry Farm in Hamilton offer U-Pick blackberry opportunities in July and August. For blueberries, U-Pick days are available at Once in a Blue Moon Farm in Dayton, Berryhill Farm and Hidden Valley Orchards in Lebanon. Berryhill Farm and Peifer Orchards also will have U-Pick raspberries.

Berry availability and U-Pick hours are variable, so each farm recommends checking picking schedules posted on their websites and Facebook pages. For more information, visit the websites for Berryhill Farms, Peifer Orchards, the Homestead Berry Farm, Indian Springs Berry Farm, Once in a Blue Moon Farm and Hidden Valley Orchards.

🍻Dayton Ale Trail

Sometimes taking to the trails doesn’t necessarily require a lot of hiking; sometimes it requires a pint and gang of friends.

The Dayton area is home to several breweries complete with Gem City-themed beers. Conveniently, the 2023 Dayton Ale Trail hits a lot of the breweries around town to give visitors a chance to check out new and cornerstone bars in a organized and incentivized route. Dayton Ale Trail passports can be picked up at any of the trail stops branching all the way from Springfield to Middletown. Each brewery or bar will give trail-hoppers a stamp on their passport. Yellow Cab Tavern serves as the final destination of the trail, and participants can pick up their 2023 Dayton Ale Trail beer glass from there once all stamps are collected.

Stops along the trail include Eudora Brewing in Kettering, Lock 27 in Dayton, Toxic Brew Co. in the Oregon District, Loose Ends Brewing in Centerville and 24 more around the Miami Valley.

For a full list of 2023 Dayton Ale Trail stops, visit https://www.daytoncvb.com/things-to-do/dayton-ale-trail/.

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