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Dayton Summer Bucket List

This summer promises to be much different for my family. Last summer we had a newborn and didn’t get to do a whole lot. This summer, we’ll have a one-year-old and are looking forward to explore all that Dayton has to offer!

This is our Dayton summer bucket list. I challenge you to join me at these events and tag us on Instagram if you do with the hashtag #DMBsummer17

Festivals & Events

If you’re bored in Dayton in the summer, you’re not doing it right. There are too many awesome, cultural, and family-friendly events to list. So, I’ll just tell you about some of the ones you’ll catch my family at this summer.

Yellow Cab Food Truck Rallies: These regular rallies include diverse choices in food truck fare, entertainment, and even retail! The trucks are spread out enough that you have space to breathe, but not too far to walk around and check them all out. Best of all? These rallies have free admission!

  • Good for: The whole family.
  • How to go: 700 E. 4th St. Dayton, OH 45402 the 3rd Friday of the month (through October).
  • Mom tip: Bring the big stroller with the cup holders and/or some folding chairs. Seating is limited.

A World A’Fair: Two full-time stages, attractions, food, and beer! Thirty-two countries and customs are represented in the entertainment and food offerings. Ticket prices are $3-$5 (advanced) and $4-$8 (door).

  • Good for: The whole family.
  • How to go: Dayton Convention Center, 22 E 5th St, Dayton, OH 45402 from May 19-21.
  • Mom tip: This festival sees over 25,000 people over 3 days. Make a plan before you go so you don’t get lost in the crowd.

Boonshoft Super Science Saturday: Science-focused programming offered for FREE at the Boonshoft Museum. Includes access to special exhibits and space theater shows.

  • Good for: Fun for the whole family.
  • How to go: 2600 DeWeese Pkwy, Dayton, OH 45414, May 20 & August 19 & November 18 at 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Miamisburg Rock ‘n’ Green Tomato Festival: Start the day with the Rock ‘n’ Donut Run to make room for green tomato pie, green tomato pizza, and fried green tomatoes! Be ready for live entertainment, contests, and lots of inflatables.

  • Good for: The whole family.
  • How to go: Downtown Miamisburg (next to Ron’s Pizza), June 10 at 12 p.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Mom tip: This is a smaller festival, so make a day of it and see what else Downtown Miamisburg has to offer after you’ve experienced the festival.

Gem City Catfe: Raising over $36,000 on KickStarter to bring “cats, coffee, community” to Dayton, the Gem City Catfe is slated to hold their grand opening in summer 2017. Working with the Humane Society of Greater Dayton to find homes for adoptable cats, the catfe will offer Boston Stoker Coffee and the opportunity to interact with adoptable kitties.

  • Good for: All ages of cat & coffee lovers.
  • How to go: 2710 Dayton-Springfield Road, Springfield, Ohio 45506

Breakfast with the Beatles: Enjoy breakfast and Beatles covers as 104.7 WTUE broadcasts live in Lincoln Park (outside of the Fraze Pavilion).

  • Good for: The whole family.
  • How to go: Fraze Pavilion, Kettering, June 18, July 23, Sept 10 at 9 a.m.
  • Mom tip: There’s not a lot of shade, so be sure to bring the sunscreen.

Dayton Celtic Festival: As a former Irish dance kid, this one is my favorite. You’ll find multiple stages hosting Irish dancing and Irish music throughout the weekend. Tons of festival fare and vendors selling Celtic-themed items.

  • Good for: The whole family.
  • How to go: Riverscape MetroPark, Dayton, from July 28-30.
  • Mom tip: The best time to take kids is during the day if you want to avoid to more raucous atmosphere in the evening.

MetroParks’ New Attractions

A Dayton summer bucket list isn’t complete without mentioning Five Rivers MetroParks. These public parks span 15,418 acres across the Dayton-area and include scenic hiking, education, exciting recreation, and (most importantly) splash pads. Summer 2017 welcomes some new attractions to the Five Rivers MetroParks. Clark County Parks is also seeing some exciting additions this summer.

Riverscape RiverRun: Located on the Great Miami River near Riverscape and the Dayton Art Institute, Riverscape RiverRun offers both a smooth-water passageway and a white water area for paddling. In addition, there are areas to fish and sunbathe.

  • Good for: Older kids & teens (paddling) and younger kids (fishing).
  • How to go: Riverscape RiverRun has multiple access points throughout Dayton.

Mad River Gorge & Nature Preserve: Great news for rock climbers! The Clark County Park District recently purchased some land that will allow the park to offer the largest natural rock climbing area in Ohio.

  • Good for: Teens.
  • How to go: 2710 Dayton-Springfield Road, Springfield, Ohio 45506

These are some of the places you’ll find my family this summer.

What else is on your Dayton summer bucket list?

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