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15 Things to Do in Dayton, OH, for Fun Loving Families

Most families who want to go on holiday might not even think of Dayton, Ohio as the first place that comes to mind. Still, this mid-sized city in the Midwest is anything but dull. It has a lot to offer families with children, making it a great place to spend the weekend or longer. These 15 things are great for families and kids to do in Dayton: These 15 things are great for families and kids to do in Dayton:

1. Check out the National Museum of the United States Air Force. This is one of the most famous museums in Ohio based on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base; it’s about 10 miles from Dayton; here you can see more than 360 aerospace vehicles, and missiles and there are many exhibits on the history of aviation. As for entertainment, families can try out the flight simulators, 4D cinema, and numerous other quests and games for children.

2. Most people would love to attend a Dayton Dragons baseball game. Minor league baseball is always a cheap event and a fun night for the family and the Dragons have a particularly nice home in Fifth Third Field. The child section will be enjoyable for the little ones and you can catch the Friday night fireworks during the summer.

3. Swim in the clear waters of Adventure Reef Water Park. During summer, the hottest season of the year, you can visit Ohio’s one of the biggest water parks located in the Convention Center of Mandalay Bay. Adventure Reef, based on the tropical island, has slides, a wave pool, and other attractions for the children as well as several others to entertain its visitors.

4. Visit the largest Dayton Art Institute you have ever come across. Featuring a diverse range of artworks and artifacts in the permanent collection as well as temporary exhibitions, the Dayton Art Institute spans two interconnected buildings and is among the most popular with children. Children will enjoy creating artwork at the ARTventures area where the creativity of the kids is encouraged.

5. To also spend time on RiverScape MetroPark. Located in Downtown Dayton along the Great Miami River this park has a water play feature for kids, bike & boat rental services, and outdoor music and food events during the spring-summer. You will also discover ample room for jogging and taking meals, especially in the form of a picnic.

6. Visit a farm; Young’s Jersey Dairy Farm is perfect for that. To experience the typical Midwest hospitality at its best, check out this operating dairy farm that has many attractions like a cow train, jumping pillow, golf, hitting the ball, and, of course, delicious ice cream.

7. In Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark you can relax. Sure, Dayton has a great network of metroparks, and one of the most family-friendly parks to take a quiet walk is Wegerzyn Gardens. Children will have fun peeping at beautiful flowers that grow near the trails and playing a game of hide and seek with water ducks in the marshes.

8. Visitors should also not miss the mammoth Carillon Historical Park. 25 acres of structures and relics coupled with trains planes and automobiles evokes a historical feel of Dayton’s prowess in innovations and inventions. Families could easily spend a whole afternoon strolling around this rather interesting piece of architectural art.

9. Experience the USAF Marathon. Each September the Dayton area hosts the United States Air Force-sponsored marathon held at the National Museum of the United States Air Force; novice and expert runners from all over the world attend it. It is okay to bring the whole family to cheer on the runners!

10. Get to know more about inventors by visiting the National Aviation Hall of Fame. Dayton is a culturally flight-innovated city since it is acknowledged as the birthplace of aviation. People of all age groups particularly children will appreciate finding out more about cool airplanes and the lives of pioneers such as the Wright brothers in this educative and engaging museum.

11. Spend an hour or two at the Adventure Golf Center, and play a round of mini golf. For miniature golfing in a fun environment that young kids can also enjoy, check out this place near the University of Dayton campus that provides 18 holes of golf with a picturesque scenery of waterfalls and, caves among other entertaining themes. Another advantage is the presence of the onsite games arcade with the games and rides.

12. Visit the Fifth Third Field where you can watch a minor league baseball game with the Dayton Dragons. Baseball is a fun activity that doesn’t have to cost a lot of money, and the Fifth Third Field, which was built in a small downtown area of Dayton, is very unusual. Children will enjoy having fun at the playground, and the rolling Gem City Ice Cream cart and have the opportunity to interact with mascot Gem.

13. Following the trail of the sights, visit Woodland Cemetery and Arboretum. It may sound rather gloomy, but it is: this national historic landmark cemetery spans several acres with lush lawns and is often frequented by locals for strolls, jogging, and cycling on the smooth asphalt and shaded trails.

14. Get to watch a performance at the Victoria Theatre Association. From Broadway musicals to children’s theater performances and concerts, the historic Victoria Theatre in downtown Dayton has always boasted a wonderful array of family entertainment in perfectly restored historical spaces.

15. Visit the Dayton Funk Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Indeed, as a funk music capital of the world, Dayton boasts of the input it has had to offer in this kind of music and scene. Families that appreciate music can visit artifacts, costumes, and other historical information within the building before purchasing gifts at the shop that sells various items associated with funk music.

From museums that can be traversed through as well as parks and recreational centers, and sports and amusement attractions, Dayton is filled with family-friendly activities good for a weekend stay or an entire vacation. Food and drink options, art and history programs, and outdoor recreation give this Midwest city a surprisingly diverse selection of things to do for any age group. Whether your family’s hobby involves arts, history, sports, science, nature, or outdoor activities, there is always something to see and do in Dayton, Ohio.


What kind of family-friendly activities are included in the 15 things to do?

Dayton offers a variety of exciting experiences for families! This list will likely cover a mix of options, including:

Are there options for all ages within a family?

Absolutely! The focus will likely be on activities that cater to a range of ages, keeping everyone entertained. Look for keywords like "family-friendly" or mentions of specific age groups the activities might suit.

We are interested in [specific interest, e.g., science, history, animals]. Are there any activities related to this?

While we can't say for sure without seeing the list, Dayton offers something for all interests. Look for keywords in the descriptions that match your interests. The Dayton Air Force Museum is a great choice for history and aviation buffs, while the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery caters to science enthusiasts.

How much do these activities typically cost?

Admission fees will vary depending on the specific activity. Some museums might have free or discounted admission days, while others may charge entrance fees. The descriptions will likely mention if an activity is budget-friendly or has free admission options.

Is there enough to do in Dayton to keep us busy for a long weekend?

With 15 things to do on this list, Dayton offers a good variety for a fun-filled family trip. Depending on the ages and interests of your family, a long weekend might be perfect.