Within an hour’s drive from Dayton (sometimes much shorter depending on where you live in the area), is an urbanesque city with a small town feel. Born and raised in Springfield, it’s the place I’ve called home for 27 years, and is where my husband and I have chosen to raise our family. It’s the perfect mix of city and country living, with a revitalized and vibrant downtown area surrounded by acres of farmland that pay homage to our town’s roots.
There’s so much to do in Springfield on any given day, but especially so during the summer months! Here’s a breakdown of all the family-friendly events and activities going on in the Champion City these next few months:
Springfield Arts Council’s Summer Arts Festival – A FREE series of concerts and plays in Springfield’s beautiful Veterans Park that runs through July 21, with shows most Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings. The Journey tribute band, Resurrection, is a favorite date night outing of my hubby and I each summer (July 14 at 8 p.m.). Food and adult beverages are available for purchase in the park. Insider tip – if you want primo seats for a certain show, you’ll want to rise and shine early the day of and head on down to the park to setup your seats.
Champion City Kings – Play ball with the Champion City Kings, a college summer baseball team in Springfield. Kings’ games are a low-key and inexpensive way to take in a game of America’s pastime at Carleton Davidson Stadium but with all of the excitement of a bigtime ballpark. Tickets range from $6-$10 a piece, and children 5 and under are free! And while you’re there, don’t forget to get your little slugger’s picture taken with the team’s mighty lion mascot, Fastpaw King!
Clark County Fair – The beloved Clark County Fair is my favorite week of the summer; actually, it’s probably my favorite week of the entire year! I grew up showing animals in 4-H, so the Fair was always the highlight of my summer. Not to mention, it’s where I met my hubby 10 years ago! Anything your family is looking for, you’ll find at the Clark County Fair (it’s one of the largest county fairs in the state) – from oinks, moos and cock-a-doodle-doos to up-and-coming entertainment acts, rides for all ages and the best fair food around. Running from July 20-27 this year, Kids Day is Wednesday, July 25 and all kids 14 and younger get in free!
5th Annual Springfield Rotary Gourmet Food Truck Competition – 35+ food trucks from all over the country + a beer garden + live entertainment = need I say more? This is Springfield’s “must-taste event of the summer” and seriously so much fun! This event also takes place in Veterans Park and is set for Saturday, Aug. 18 from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Not to mention, all of the proceeds from drink sales benefit the Rotary Club’s various charities, including Services to People with Disabilities, Polio Plus and the International Project in Lesotho. You better bring your appetite to this one!
Springfield Farmers Market – Every Saturday morning from June through September, 35+ vendors line the cobblestone street next to Springfield’s iconic Heritage Center selling locally-grown veggies and produce, local baked goods, artisan goods and more. I’m a sucker for the pretty, fresh flowers that you can usually pick up there. A fun outing for the entire family or even a mid-morning date with your SO. Fun idea – if you take your kiddos along, give each of them $5 to spend on whatever yummy goodness they choose!
National Trail Parks and Recreation District – The parks and rec district in Clark County is second to none, with tons of activities and amenities offered for kids of all ages. On a hot summer day, you’ll find many families in the Springfield area at Splash Zone, an outdoor waterpark, or enjoying Bethie’s Sprayground in Snyder Park. In addition to top-notch NTPRD facilities like this (our family’s favorite is Central Bark Dog Park), the organization’s programming includes everything from outdoor movie nights and yappy hours to foam frenzies and letterbox adventures.
And that’s just to name a few! Summer in Springfield is a vibrant and happening time in our community, with something to do for everyone. Trust me, it’s the worth the drive from Dayton.