Make a game plan to explore Dayton’s April First Friday event

Live music, tasty treats and many open studios and galleries will be available at Front Street.  TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER
Live music, tasty treats and many open studios and galleries will be available at Front Street. TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Every first Friday of the month, downtown Dayton becomes even more lively, with something to do and see at every corner.

April’s First Friday event, happening this Friday, April 2, beginning at 5 p.m., will feature shopping, dining and drinks, local arts and, of course, small businesses of downtown Dayton.

“As a reminder to the community: The State of Ohio has lifted the curfew on local businesses, but the health and safety of staff and patrons continues to be the top priority for downtown business owners, managers and workers,” stated a Downtown Dayton Partnership press release. “With the current state of the virus in our community, businesses continue to follow socially-distanced protocols and expand their ‘from afar’ options that include delivery and takeout.”

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Here’s the nitty-gritty on what’s going on in Dayton on Friday. For more information on updated retail and restaurant hours and their expanded patio options, visit the

Art, Dance, Music and Film

  • Dayton Art Institute, 456 Belmonte Park N.: Kick off your First Friday with a trip to the Dayton Art Institute, which is open with limited hours of 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, noon-5 p.m. on Sundays. Find info about visitor health policies on the DAI website.
  • Dayton Society of Artists, 48 High St.: The Dayton Society of Artists is pleased to invite you to the opening of the Spring Juried Show; Unite. Visit or call 937-228-4532 to book an appointment.
  • Dublin Pub, 300 Wayne Ave., 937-224-7822: Stop by for a pint and listen to live music for Happy Hour from 3-6 p.m. with a special performance from Paul Cullen playing an acoustic set from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m., no cover. Social distanced seating inside and on the extended patio.
  • Edward A. Dixon Gallery, lobby of 131 N. Ludlow St.: In this new location within the lobby of the Talbott Tower, find a collection of curated art curated by gallerist Edward A. Dixon. The gallery will be open from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Call the gallery at (937) 985-2115 or shop the gallery online at:
  • First Friday at Front Street, 1001 E. Second St.: Live music, tasty treats and many open studios and galleries that allow a one-of-a-kind look behind the scenes. There will be woodshops, sew shops, glass, ceramic, and painter’s studios open to the public, along with exhibitions and live demonstrations. Art hops at Front Street are always free to attend and conveniently located in Dayton just off St. Route 35. Free, lit, onsite parking is available in surrounding lots. Please wear a face covering and practice social distancing during your visit.
  • The Neon movie theater, 130 E. Fifth St.: Visit the theater’s website at for the latest offerings for both in-person and virtual viewings.
  • Picture Perfect Paint Parties, 123 N. Ludlow St., 937-265-0691: For First Friday, register for a Friday Night Live Paint, pre-registration required, $31.99, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. or grab a Take Home Wine Tasting Kit with four 3-ounce wine containers, which is a little over two full glasses of wine with cheese, crackers and a slice of chocolate, a sure treat. Choices are “The Sweet Side-Our Sweet Wines” and/or “Roses are Red- Our Red Wine Selections” Find registration and kit information on
  • Wiley’s Comedy Club, 101 Pine St.: 8 p.m. comedy show: Presenting Wendi Ferguson — she’s short in stature and big on laughs! Due to COVID-19 restrictions, tickets are only available online or by calling 937-224-JOKE. Tickets are not currently being sold at the door. Find more information at

Dining and Drinks

  • Local Cantina, 501 E. First St: $5 Mustache Ride Margaritas and $3 draft pints from 3-6 p.m.
  • Table 33 Dayton, 130 W. Second St.: $3.33 wine pairings with any entree.
  • Trolley Stop, 530 E. Fifth St., 937-461-1101: Enjoy Half-off Happy Hour.
  • Winans Chocolates and Coffee, 221 N. Patterson Blvd: $15 wine flights and a free piece of chocolate with the purchase of a latte (enjoy inside or on our patio). Open until 9:30 p.m. 937-732-1001.
  • Lily’s Dayton, 329 E. Fifth St., 937-723-7637: For social-distanced dine in, delivery with 937Delivers or carryout, join us for local food and hand-crafted tiki or traditional cocktails.
  • Mudlick Tap House, 135 E. Second St., (937) 895-4066: Happiness Hours from 4-6 p.m. with $2 off glasses of wine, a $6 cocktail feature, $2 off draft beers and half off of shareables.
  • Oregon Express, 336 E. Fifth St., 937-223-9205: Stop in for some of the best pizza in Dayton. Happy hour specials, with all to-go beer at $3 and Bring your Own growler for a fill for $6. Dine in, carryout and curbside pickup available.
  • Salar Restaurant and Lounge, 400 E. Fifth St., 937-203-3999: Happy hour 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.
  • Salt Block Biscuit Company, 115 E. Third St.: New dinner service available from 5-8 p.m. Chef Justin Mohler will prepare two or three dinner specials, and also offer the Tinned European/American Seafoods Planks and sweet and savory bakery offerings for your evening meal.
  • Troll Pub Dayton, 216 Wayne Ave.: Every Friday at the Troll Pub is part of W.T.F Happy Hours: Wednesday, Thursday & Friday from 4-7 p.m. featuring half-priced pints and apps, $4 Fireball Shots & $4 Wheatly Vodka specials. Troll Pub’s special menu for the Lenten season includes Fish n’Chips and Pub Crab cakes or a Krabby Patty sandwich.

Shopping and Activities

  • Grace Lane Boutique, 133 E. Fourth St., 937-903-2729: Shop Grace Lane Boutique for ethically sourced and sustainable clothing, gifts and more. Open extended evening hours for First Friday.
  • Luna Gifts and Botanicals, 261 Wayne Ave., 937-522-0240: Receive double stamps on loyalty stamp cards with any purchase.
  • Vidia’s Closet, 27 S. St. Clair St., 937-813-2144: Stop by Vidia’s Closet on First Friday to shop fashion-forward trends for all.

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