How to kick off summer and stay cool this Memorial Day weekend

Memorial Day weekend has arrived. With schools letting out and the weather heating up, cooling off and relaxing can be essential after a long winter in the Miami Valley.

Whether a tasty treat, a place to bathe in the sun or an annual festival to attend, we’ve got you covered for how to kick off your summer.

Check out our guides on all-things summer in the Dayton area.

🍦Treat yourself to some ice cream

Sometimes a cool treat can just hit the spot on a hot summer day. There are dozens of parlors and shops around Dayton ready to scoop up your favorite flavor. Several local ice cream shops offer unique treats to try this summer.

Ducky’s Snowballs & Ice Cream in Troy offers a frozen treat combination of shaved ice and ice cream called the Stuffed Snowball. Goldies Flavored Soft Serve is new to Washington Township and just opened in May. People have been lining up daily for their soft serve ice cream since opening. JD’s Old Fashioned Frozen Custard in Englewood sells the Trash Can Sundae — two flavors of custard, any two toppings, candies or nuts, whipped cream, crushed Oreo, candy eyes and a gummi worm.

🌞Patio hop through Dayton

‘Tis the season for eating outside! Warm weather means you can enjoy your favorite Dayton-area restaurant while taking in the sunshine. Patios all over the region are now open and serving customers.

Enjoy a margarita and Mexican food on the patio at Condado Tacos at The Greene, Chuy’s at Austin Landing or Local Cantina in downtown Dayton. Taste test local beers at several breweries around Dayton that offer patio seating including Lock 27 Brewing Company, Crooked Handle Brewing Company, Eudora Brewing Company and Mother Stewart’s Brewing. Guests can enjoy a slice of pizza on the patios of Old Scratch Pizza in Dayton and Centerville, Little York Tavern & Pizza in Vandalia and Ron’s Pizza in Miamisburg.

🍓 Find a foodie festival

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Summertime in Dayton is stocked with local festivals for nearly every interest. Some festivals are returning for their 72nd year while others are new to the area and quickly becoming annual traditions.

Passport to MetroParks — a sneak peek of upcoming festivals, events and more happening in Dayton — starts the festival season Friday, May 26 at RiverScape MetroPark with live music, live animals, food trucks and family-friendly games and activities.

Food festivals like the Cheese Fest, Troy Strawberry Festival, the Germantown Pretzel Festival, Versailles Poultry Days, the Dayton Potato Festival and the Miami Valley Pickle Fest spotlight one specific food and offer it up in hundreds of different varieties. Regional music festivals including the Dayton Jazz festival, the Dayton Reggae Festival and the Dayton Blues Festival offer musical experiences spanning the genres. Cultural festivals can also be found all over the Miami Valley, with the Dayton Celtic Festival, Celtic Fest Ohio and the Jewish Cultural Festival going on in the summer.

🎶Music Festivals

Credit: Photo by E.L. Hubbard

Credit: Photo by E.L. Hubbard

If you want to explore the state while taking in the tunes of local and national artists, Ohio is home to several music festivals throughout the summer months.

The Sonic Temple Festival in Columbus, Dark Star Jubilee in Thornville and Buckeye Country Superfest 2023 in Columbus all begin during Memorial Day weekend. Artists including Tool, Godsmack, Agenged Sevenfold, Queens of the Stone Age, Kiss, Rob Zombie, Foo Fighters, Deftones, Bruce Hornsby and The Noisemakers, Sam Bush, Joan Osborne George Strait, Chris Stapleton, Little Big Town and Warren Zeiders will be performing across those three festivals.

Throughout the summer, festival shows will be headlined by artists including Pit Bull, Demi Lovato and Caamp at Wonderbus; Snoop Dogg, Babyface, P-Funk Connection, Avery Sunshine and Norman Brown at the Cincinnati Music Festival; and Tim McGraw, Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan and Jon Pardi at Country Concert.

💦Take a dip in the pool

From private swim clubs to public pools and aquatic centers, dozens of area pools are opening this weekend for the summer season. Hot weather for the holiday weekend offers ideal conditions for making splash at your local pool.

Black Oak Swim Club in Centerville, Melody Pool Swim Club in Clayton and Greene Valley Recreation Club in Beavercreek all kick off their swim season on Friday, May 26.

The Kroger Aquatic Center at The Heights, the Troy Aquatic Park, Gardner Memorial Pool in Oakwood, the Germantown Aquatic Center, the New Carlisle Pool, the Tippecanoe Family Aquatic Center in Tipp City, Adventure Reef Water Park in Kettering, Sycamore Trails Aquatic Center in Miamisburg, Fair Valley Swim & Tennis in Dayton, Cardinal Hill Recreation Club in Beavercreek, Woodhaven Swim & Tennis Club in Dayton and Splash Zone Aquatic Center in Springfield all open Saturday, May 27.

🛶Paddle along Dayton waterways

Paddling can be a scenic way to cool down and get some activity into the day this summer.

The MetroParks Try Paddling program can help newcomers to the activity get a taste for paddling with three free opportunities to get out on the water in a kayak. Taiter’s Kayak Solutions at RiverScape MetroPark in downtown Dayton offers kayak rentals all summer long on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays for $12 an hour.

Stillwater River, Great Miami River, Mad River and Twin Creek all offer easy to moderate, self-guided paddling routes for adventurers who want to take to the water this summer.

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