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October Dayton Dozen :: 12 Must-Do Family Friendly Events

october-02Can you smell fall in the air?  No?  It’s probably because we’ve all still been enduring 88+ degree days – but it is coming.  Fall is right around the corner – pumpkin everything has already hit the shelves and October delivers on some amazing family festivals.


1.Toms Corn Maze – Germantown, OH

***DMB Tip – Go with a group and rent a campfire spot – you can hang out eat & explore all the activities from a fun home-base

  • Open now – 10/30/2016
  • Amazing corn maze, pumpkin train, campfires, food and an amazing “Goat Boardwalk” – this a place to keep you and the kids busy for hours.

toms2. 40th Annual Fall Farm Pumpkin Festival – Yellow Springs, OH

***DMB Tip – The tractor ride is a great tour of the farm that the kids will love – without all the itchy hay to deal with in your typical hayride!

  • 10/1/2016 – 10/2/2016
  • Caramel apples making, pumpkin painting, pumpkin donuts holes, cow milking, corn maze, 800+ lb pumpkin and tons more fun!

3. Ohio Cider Festival – Lebanon, OH

***DMB Tip – Buy some extra cider to use in grown-up drinks after the kids go to bed (think bourbon or rum)!

  • 10/1/2016-10/2/2016
  • One of the best places in Dayton to get apple cider – the real deal!  There cider festival celebrates all things apple and cider with food, drink, kids activities, hayrides and a visit to the barnyard.

4. Midwest Outdoor Experience – Eastwood Metro Park – Dayton, OH

***DMB Tip – Don’t leave your dogs at home – bring them!  There is a whole array of dog activities including a Bark Zone with off-leash swimming & there are hidden dog treats all over the event.

  • 10/1/2016-10/2/2016
  • One of the most unique and not to be missed events in Dayton.  All things outdoors -for you and your kids to experience – try an any activity, compete in one or just watch: Backpacking, camping, climbing, cycling, disc golf, dog fun, fishing, fitness, geocaching, inline skating, mountain biking, outdoor play, paddling, skateboarding, slacklining, snow-tubbing…and so much more!!

5. Stargazing at Washington Mills Park – Bellbrook, OH

***DMB Tip – Download a sky-map app on your phone or ipad and you will be able to find everything in the sky for your little one (I recommend Star Chart); also grab a laser pointer so you can direct little eyes to the right place.

  • 10/6/2016 8pm-9:30pm
  • Come gaze at the stars with local astronomy enthusiasts – they will provide telescopes or bring your own and they will help you find Saturn, Mar, the Moon…

6. Yellow Spring Street Fair

***DMB Tip – 2- things a)If you have a choice – bring kids in a carrier vs. a stroller – it makes navigating the cowds so much easier b) Lots of people take the bike path from downtown Dayton right into Yellow Springs – its a beautiful ride.

  • 10/8/2016
  • It only happens twice a year – so don’t miss it!  This full day event has an amazing selection of food trucks/booths, 250+ vendors, two stages of music all day long and roaming street performers.  One of my favorite ways to spend a fall day!

7. Ohio Sauerkraut Festival  – Waynesville, OH

***DMB Tip – Try the German Sundae <not sweet – savory>  – potatoes, sauerkraut, olives, sour cream – delicious!

  • 10/8/2016 – 10/9/2016
  • Huge festival filled with sauerkraut, crafts and entertainment – perfect fall festival!

8. Build a Scarecrow – Dayton, OH – Wegerzyn Gardens

***DMB Tip – If you’ve never been to Wegerzyn then build time in your day to explore this gem including a Children’s Discovery Garden and beautiful trails.

  • 10/16/2016
  • This event is open to all ages – they supply the straw and clothes – you supply the creativity to make the friendliest or scariest scarecrow around (registration is required.)

9. Halloween Howl – Fun for Little Ones – Kettering, OH

***DMB Tip – We try to get as many uses out of our costumes every year as possible – this is a great during the day place to let the littles burn off some energy.

  • 10/17/2016 10am-Noon
  • Games, crafts, inflatables – sure to be a not-so-spooky great time!

10. Glow – Nature at Night -Dayton, OH @ Aullwood Farm

***DMB Tip – Pick up a couple of cheap glow items from the dollar store and you can save some cash and be a part of the glow-ey festivities.

  • 10/21/2016 – 10/22/2016
  • Simply a must – glow art installations, fire-dancing, kids area with glowing art projects, all kinds of glow items to adorn yourself with –  basically a kids dream!

11. Boonshoft Museum Super Science Saturday – Dayton, OH

***DMB Tip – If you don’t want to lug your stroller – they rent them at the Boonshoft, but you might find it easier to navigate with a carrier.

  • 10/19/2016
  • This is a FREE day at the Boonshoft in conjunction with the Regional Science fair – in addition to the usual Boonshoft fun – there will be all kinds of STEM science project – from very cool sponsors (such as NASA.)

12. Dayton Dia de Muertos – Downtown Dayton in the Oregon District

***DMB Tip – It is a beautiful and colorful parade – but if skeletons will bother your children – then this might be one to skip – because they will be everywhere!

  • 10/23/2016
  • This is a beautiful Day of the Dead celebration – where everyone is encouraged to paint your face or wear a sugar skull mask- many families participate in the parade or just stay on the sidelines and marvel at the wonderful face art & costumes.

These are a few of my favorites – are there any October festivities that I missed?

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