Celebrate holidays, downtown Dayton businesses at First Friday



To celebrate the arrival of the holidays, the First Friday festivities from 5 to 10 p.m. on Dec. 1 in downtown Dayton will be appropriately themed to the spirit of the season. Even though Black Friday is over, this doesn’t mean the deals are. Local businesses across Dayton will offer special discounts for First Friday. Live music, art exhibits and more will also be available for guests to enjoy during the evening.

Not sure what to get for the special people in your life? The Downtown Dayton Partnership has created a holiday gift guide for 2023, which can be found at issuu.com. Included in this e-book are products from a variety of local businesses, from the Dayton Art Institute to Square One Salon and Spa. Shopping, dining and activities can all be found inside, making sure that Daytonians are celebrating the holidays while also supporting local businesses, restaurants and venues.

Also available for purchase for First Friday are Downtown Dollars. A press release written about this First Friday describes them as an e-gift card that over 80 downtown businesses accept. You can purchase Downtown Dollars online and use them once you arrive.

For a full list of events, as provided by Downtown Dayton Partnership, see below:


  • Blind Bob’s, 430 E. Fifth St.: Come and rock with Maharaja, Rattlesnake Venom Trip, Takacs, Gromulous! Doors open at 8 p.m., 21+ with $10 cover.
  • The Contemporary Dayton, 25 W. Fourth St.: See “Shon Walters: The Hole Belly” now on display. At the heart of the exhibition is an ambitious series of tableaus that push visitors to kneel, jostle and duck, forcing them to relate to the heft and power — as well as the graceful intricacy —of the forms.
  • Dayton Art Institute, 456 Belmonte Park North: Visit the latest special exhibitions, “Around Tokyo: Hiroshige II’s Views of Famous Places in Edo,” “Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec: The Birth of Modern Paris,” and “You Don’t Know Me: Works by Unknown Photographers.” Open until 5 p.m. on Friday.
  • Dayton Society of Artists, 48 High St.: The Dayton Society of Artists welcomes you to “Small but Mighty Gift and Fine Art Exhibition.” All work is 12″x12″ or smaller and includes a wide variety of mediums and styles. DSA will also have a gift shop full ow original and handmade goods such as ornaments, cards, jewelry and more.
  • Dublin Pub, 300 Wayne Ave., 937-224-7822: Live music at the Dublin Pub! Stop by for a pint and listen to live music for Irish First Fridays. Happy Hour from 3-6 p.m.; music by Dulahan starting at 9 p.m.
  • Edward A. Dixon Gallery, 222 N. St. Clair St.: The gallery has extended hours to conveniently be part of your First Friday Art Hop. See artwork from the Dayton area, around the U.S. and around the world. Light refreshments provided.
  • Front Street, 1001 E. Second St.: Explore art studios, galleries, boutiques and workshops across our campus. With more than three industrial-sized buildings to explore, you will want to get here early! Food trucks and our newest community member, Kool Beanz Cafe, have dinner plans covered! Parking and attendance is free. Don’t forget your holiday shopping list and give the gift from the heART.
  • The Neon movie theater, 130 E. Fifth St.: See “Dream Scenario” on First Friday! See the full schedule online: www.neonmovies.com. Also enjoy beer and cocktail specials during First Friday, and you can purchase a DORA drink at the Neon to walk around downtown Dayton’s Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area before or after the show.

Credit: Photo: Amelia Robinson

Credit: Photo: Amelia Robinson


  • Jimmy John’s, 220 N. Main St.: Stop in to try the new Peppermint Chocolate Cookie! Catering is now available for your holiday party. Call 937-951-2001 to order now.
  • Lily’s Dayton, 329 E. Fifth St.: Lily’s will be serving its special Prime Rib week menu in addition to its full dinner menu. Check out the bonus buy on gift cards — $10 each for each $50 purchased!
  • Local Cantina, 503 E. First St: Happy Hour is from 3 to 6 p.m. with $5 Mustache Rides & Same Same Margaritas along with $2 off dips. Now taking reservations and catering orders.
  • Lock 27, 329 E. First St.: Happy Hour is back from 4 to 6 p.m. Enjoy $2 off flagship, core, and seasonal Lock 27 Brewing drafts.
  • Moeller Brew Barn, 416 E. First St.: It’s $5 Pint Happy Hour from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Mudlick Tap House, 135 E. Second St., 937-895-4066: Join us for Happiness Hours from 4-6 p.m. with $2 off draft beers and $2 off shareables, ½ price bottles of wine, $8 Old Fashioned, and $9 Manhattans.
  • Oregon Express, 336 E. Fifth St., 937-223-9205: Every First Friday, join us for Happy Hour deals from 5 to 8 p.m. Stop in for some of the best pizza in Dayton. Dine in, carryout and curbside pickup available.
  • Salar Restaurant and Lounge, 400 E. Fifth St., 937-203-3999: Kick off your First Friday with happy hour at Salar from 4-6 p.m. with cocktail specials, $5 house wine pours, $1 off of all beers, and bar bites specials. Enjoy dinner, too, available for dine in or carryout.
  • Table 33 Dayton, 130 W. Second St.: Fridays are wine night at Table 33, with $3.33 wine pairings with any entree.

  • Third Perk Coffeehouse and Wine Bar, 146 E. Third St.: Enjoy an evening of music and delicious food from 7 to 11 p.m.
  • Troll Pub Dayton, 216 Wayne Ave.: Every Friday at the Troll Pub is part of W.T.F Happy Hours: Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 4-7 p.m. featuring 1/2 Priced Pints & 1/2 priced apps, and $4 Fireball Shots.
  • Trolley Stop, 530 E. Fifth St., 937-461-1101: Enjoy half-off Happy Hour every day 3-7 p.m. $3 wells and half-off select appetizers.
  • Two Social, 123 E. Third St.: New menu launch, every first Friday! Try all six drinks on the new menu and get a free shirt! You have all month to collect all six drinks on the punch card.


  • After5, 111 E. Third St.: Mention First Friday at checkout to take 20% off of your total purchase!
  • Choice Juice Boxx, 31 S. St. Clair St.: Spend $50 at Varsity House to receive 10% off from your Choice Juice Boxx purchase.
  • The Contemporary Dayton, 25 W. Fourth St.: Shop the CoSHOP for a curated collection of over 500 holiday and winter-themed fine art and fine craft from select community-driven artists. Open 11-6 p.m.
  • Club Evolution, 130 N. Patterson Blvd.: Audience applause chooses the winner of a karaoke contest and $75! No cover. Karaoke starts at 8:30 p.m. with the contest starting at 10:30 p.m.
  • Golden Hour Piercing, 411 E. Fifth St.: It’s Golden Hour’s best sale of the year! BOGO on $100 gift cards all December long.
  • International Peace Museum, 10 N. Ludlow St.: Kick off the holiday season with live music, hors d’oeuvres, wine, beer, mocktails and more! $25 admission at the door.

  • Omega Music, 318 E. Fifth St.: New release day! Explore the new releases on vinyl, CDs and more. All day from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the Oregon District.
  • RiverScape MetroPark. 237 E. Monument Ave.: Sheltered under the covered pavilion, the MetroParks Ice Rink sets the scene as a perfect winter wonderland in downtown Dayton. While the rink is open, you can enjoy delicious treats from the concession area, including a cup of hot chocolate. Visit metroparks.org/ice-rink to learn more, find daily open hours, and see a schedule of events. Admission: $6 daily, ice skate rental: $2 daily. Ages 3 and under are admitted for free with a paying adult. 278-2607.
  • Pedal Wagon Dayton: The weather outside might be frightful, but good times are still to be had aboard the Pedal Wagon. Adults 21+ can grab a seat on the Polar Bear Express for $25 or book a private ride starting at $299 pedalwagon.com/dayton/polar-bear-express/
  • Picture Perfect Paint Parties, 123 N. Ludlow St.: Come and enjoy our grape tastings of the month and a mini-paint party canvas. Register at www.pictureperfectpaintparties.com or call 937-265-0691 for more information.
  • Rabbit Hole Books, 29 W. First St.: Enjoy milk and cookies and extended hours to kick off a Kids’ Holiday Weekend.
  • Sole Touchers, 37 S. St. Clair St.: Mention First Friday to receive 25% off all shoes in store!
  • Talbott Tower, 131 N. Ludlow St.: Visit the businesses of Talbott Tower. Enjoy live music, food and beer while you shop special discounts at more than 20 businesses.
  • Vidia’s Closet, 27 S. St. Clair St.: When you shop this women’s clothing boutique in the St. Clair Lofts on First Friday, you can take 20% off your entire purchase. Shop in-store and enjoy a complimentary glass of wine.
  • Wild Whiskers, 33 S. St. Clair St.: It’s day 1 of December Deals! All month long, enjoy 50% off Fussie Cat Pouches and Fine Dining Pate Cans, $3 off Boxie Cat Clay Litter, $2 off Answers Pet Food Frozen Kefir, $5 off Vital Essentials frozen dog food, and 25-50% off of other select items.
  • Yellow Cab Tavern, 700 E. Fourth St.: Handmade Holiday returns on Dec. 1 and 2 with more than 30 local artists and vendors selling handmade jewelry, pottery, fiber arts, paintings, candles, soaps, food and more!

About the Author