Things to Do in Dayton, Ohio – Tourist Attractions in Downtown Dayton and Fun Places off the Beaten Path

If you’re looking for things to do in Dayton, Ohio, you’re in luck! There are plenty of parks and museums to visit. History buffs will love exploring the many historical sites, and art lovers can check out the world-renowned Dayton Art Institute.

things to do in dayton ohio

Things to Do in Dayton, Ohio – Downtown

Downtown Dayton is a great place to start your exploration of the city. Soon, you’ll realize there are more things to do in Dayton, Ohio than you have time for!

  • The National Museum of the United States Air Force is a must-see for anyone interested in aviation history. The museu
  • m features over 360 aircraft and missiles, as well as interactive exhibits and displays. Admission is free, except for the museum’s theater and flight simulators.
  • The Dayton Art Institute is one of the country’s leading art museums. It houses a collection of more than 27,000 objects, spanning 5,000 years of history and a wide range of styles. There are also family and children’s programs to enjoy.
  • The Contemporary Dayton Art Gallery is a great place to see the work of local artists. The gallery features rotating exhibitions, as well as classes and workshops for all ages.
  • America’s Packard Museum is the perfect place to learn about the history of one of America’s most iconic car brands. The museum features a collection of over 50 Packard vehicles, as well as exhibits on the company’s history.
  • Benjamin & Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center is the perfect place to catch a show. The center is home to the Dayton Opera, Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Victoria Theatre Association. It also hosts a variety of other events throughout the year.
  • Levitt Pavilion Dayton is a concert venue that features 50 free concerts every year. The pavilion is located in Dave Hall Plaza, and you can bring your own food and drink to enjoy during the show.
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If you’d like to see some historical sites downtown, check out the Memorial Hall and the Old Court House. The Memorial Hall – representing the French Renaissance style – was built to commemorate local Civil and Spanish-American War veterans. The Old Court House is a fine example of Greek Revival architecture.

Sports enthusiasts will enjoy the Dayton Dragons – the city’s minor league baseball team. Catch a game at Day Air Ballpark, located in downtown Dayton.

RiverScape MetroPark

A visit to Dayton wouldn’t be complete without a hike or ice skating session in RiverScape MetroPark. It’s a blend between an urban park and a nature preserve, and it’s the perfect place to get some fresh air. It belongs to Five Rivers MetroParks, which serves the Dayton metropolitan area.

Things to Do in Dayton, Ohio – Away from Downtown

If you’re looking for things to do in Dayton, Ohio that are away from the hustle and bustle of downtown, here are some options.

  • Walk through Carillon Historical Park. It’s a 65-acre park that features a working farm, a museum, and walking trails. You can see Wright Flyer III on display in the Wright Brothers Aviation Center. For a taste of good beer, visit Carillon Brewing Company.
  • If you have kids, take them to the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery. It has hands-on exhibits on science and nature, as well as a planetarium and live animal demonstrations. Tickets are $11.50 for children and $14.50 for adults.
  • Spend an afternoon in John Bryan State Park. It features hiking and biking trails, as well as a playground, pavilions, and a swimming beach.
  • Take a scenic drive down the Great Miami Riverway. The route takes you through some of Dayton’s most beautiful neighborhoods.
  • Visit SunWatch Indian Village. It’s an archaeological site that includes a reconstructed Fort Ancient village. You can also learn about the area’s Native American history at the on-site museum. Tickets are $7 for adults and $6 for seniors and students.
  • Tour the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park. It’s a great place to learn about the Wright brothers and their contributions to aviation. Admission is free to most sites in the park.
  • Visit Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm. It’s a nature center that features hiking trails, a working farm, an education center, and most importantly, the iconic troll statues!
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Follow the Miami River north, and you’ll find the Island MetroPark. It’s a great place to go for a walk, spot some wildlife, have a picnic, or go fishing. There’s also a playground, a stage, and a rowing club.

A Bit of History Away from Downtown

Historical sites away from downtown include Orville Wright Hawthorn Hill and Patterson Homestead. The former serves as an event venue, while the latter is a museum where you can learn more about Dayton’s history. There’s also Paul Laurence Dunbar House – a National Historic Landmark that was the home of African-American poet Paul Laurence Dunbar.

Nightlife in Dayton – Casinos, Bars and Nightclubs

If you’re looking for things to do in Dayton, Ohio at night, there are plenty of options. For a night of gambling, head to Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway. It’s one of the state’s newest casinos, and it features slot machines and live harness races.

If you’re looking for a place to grab a drink, check out Lucky’s Taproom & Eatery. It’s a relaxed bar that has a great selection of beer and pub food. For a more lively nightlife scene, head to Oregon District. It’s home to several bars and nightclubs, as well as restaurants and shops.

These are just a few of the things to do in Dayton, Ohio. Whether you’re interested in history, art, or nature, you’ll find something to enjoy in this city. So what are you waiting for? Start exploring!

Fun Places to Visit around Dayton, Ohio off the Beaten Path

If you are looking for some fun places to visit that are a bit more secluded, here are some suggestions. For example, there’s Yellow Cab Tavern with its free Dayton Poetry Slams held every Thursday night. You can come and listen to local artists – that’s a more unique experience than touring a popular museum.

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Another idea is to walk around the parks and MetroParks located in the suburbs. For example, East Park has well-maintained hiking trails with a few waterfalls to spot. Taylorsville MetroPark is praised for its wooded paths, and is home to the ruins of the city Tadmor.

Best Restaurants in Dayton, Ohio

If you are looking for the best places to eat in Dayton, here are some suggestions. For a casual meal, try out Pine Club known for its juicy steaks. If you want something more upscale, there’s the Oakwood Club which has been around since 1881. The menu features American classics such as steak and potatoes.

Some of the best options include:

  • Salar Restaurant and Lounge,
  • Lily’s Dayton,
  • Roost Modern Italian.

Planning to Visit Dayton? Your Itinerary Should Be Full by Now!

There are countless things to do in Dayton, Ohio, no matter what your interests are. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip today! And if you need any help, feel free to contact a local visitors’ bureau. They will happily help you plan a perfect getaway.


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