Dayton is teeming with great things to do. Here are some of our favorites in downtown Dayton. Video by Amelia Robinson

Dayton Bucket List: 100 things to do in Dayton in 2020

Think there’s nothing to do in Dayton?

This Dayton Bucket List is here to prove the naysayers wrong.

See the sights, hear the sounds, savor the tastes.

Eat somewhere new, many times.

Try something you’ve never tried before.

Go to a festival you’ve never experienced.

Visit a charming suburb for the first time to dine, sip and shop.

We guarantee everyone will discover something new to love about Dayton and surrounding communities.

Here are 100 ideas for things to enjoy in Dayton in 2020, in no particular order. You even have an extra day to make it happen -- Feb. 29 -- so make the most of this leap year!! 

Scenes from the finish line at the Air Force Marathon on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019, at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Fairborn. David Jablonski/Staff
Photo: David Jablonski - Staff Writer

1. Train for a local race. Resolve to get in shape now for the Air Force Marathon, Turkey Trot and other big races in 2020. There are tons of  area runners groups, like the Tuesday Night Turtles and WPAFB Running, that can help you train or find a buddy to do it with you.

2. Ride the FREE Flyer shuttle. Hop on The Flyer to make the trip from downtown Dayton to the University of Dayton and entertainment destinations in between a lot easier. There are 70 stops on the route.

Sweet and savory treats await at Reza's Roast in Dayton. ALEXIS LARSEN

3. Grab a coffee along the Wayne Avenue Coffee Trail. Destinations include Ghostlight Coffee, Press Coffee, Reza’s Roast, and Wholly Grounds, and more on the way! Just a short drive away are the Gem City Catfé and St. Anne the Tart, both on East Fifth Street.

 >> Dayton’s Wayne Avenue is turning into a coffee trail

Valley Vineyards will be providing the wine for Lebanon Oktoberfest. MARK FISHER/STAFF
Photo: Contributing Writer

4. Put together your own Miami Valley winery tour. Make a pact to visit all of the great wineries surrounding Dayton in Warren, Preble, Butler, Greene, Clark, Miami and Darke counties. The Winery at Versailles, Old Mason Winery, Caesar Creek Vineyards, Olde Schoolhouse, Hanover Winery, Brandeberry Winery and Valley Vineyards are a few must-visit stops.

5. Go to a Dayton-area comedy club every night for a side-splitting time. Wiley’s in the Oregon District and the Funny Bone in Beavercreek have shows every weekend and many weeknights. The Black Box Improv Theater has shows every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night. You can even take a class.

6. Arrive at Warped Wing on Whiskey Rebellion Release Day early enough to actually buy the variants, rather than watching them sell out while standing in line. 

Bob Moats has worked behind the historic bar at Jay's Restaurant in Dayton for 33 years. The bar was originally hand carved for the Pony House Restaurant in 1882. LISA POWELL / STAFF

7. Have a drink at Jay’s and admire the historic carved bar. It’s truly a sight to behold with a rich, storied history.

Greater Dayton RTA held a launch party to introduce scooters to the city of Dayton. Spin Electric Scooters were available for test rides at Courthouse Square on Wednesday. Dayton residents, civic leaders, Dayton Police and Fire Department members rode the scooters a few blocks around downtown Dayton. Sheila Back, left, and Lettia,Younger, ride east on Second Street. TY GREENLEES / STAFF
Photo: Ty Greenlees

8. Hop on a scooter. Download the Spin app, find the closest e-scooter and zip around Dayton's streets for a fun time.

 >> Downtown Dayton welcomes Spin electric scooters

Mac-A-Cheek was built by Abram Sanders Piatt, a farmer and soldier in the Civil War. He and his brother, Donn Piatt, built a pair of homes in West Liberty called the Piatt Castles. LISA POWELL / STAFF
Photo: Staff Writer

9. Visit the Piatt Castles in West Liberty. The Piatt Castles are two enchanting Logan County homes whose names, Mac-O-Chee and Mac-A-Cheek, come from the Shawnee who lived in a village called Mackachack. The Piatt Castles, two 19th century homes, are located in West Liberty in Logan County. Mac-A-Cheek castle will re-open for tours in the spring.

>> WORTH THE DRIVE: Piatt Castles an enchanting sight on Ohio farmland

Eat your way through this sweet trail celebrating Ohio s most beloved candy tradition, the Buckeye. CONTRIBUTED
Photo: Staff Writer

10. Eat your way through some of Ohio’s best buckeyes. There is now an official statewide Ohio Buckeye Candy Trail. The Ohio Buckeye Candy Trail is a 31-stop trail highlighting local, family-owned and nationally known chocolate artisans from across the state. The Dayton area is well-represented: Golden Turtle Chocolate Factory in Lebanon, Holly B’s Sweets in Waynesville, Friesinger’s Chocolates in Springboro, Esther Price in Dayton and Winan’s Chocolates + Coffees.

Since the late 1930s people have stuck chewing gum on the brick exterior of the Maid-Rite Sandwich Shoppe in Greenville. The tradition is a draw for locals and visitors to the community. Ashely Beem, 18, of Sacramento, Calif. made a visit to the restaurant with her family recently. LISA POWELL / STAFF
Photo: Lisa Powell

11. Stick a wad of gum on the “gum wall” at the Maid-Rite in Greenville. It may sound disgusting, but it’s a tradition. While you’re there, grab one of those famous little Maid-Rite loose meat sandwiches.

>> A wacky tradition that has stuck literally - with famous little sandwich shop for 80 years

Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott in downtown Dayton. The hotel opened in 2018. TY GREENLEES / STAFF
Photo: Staff Writer

12. Book a room at a hotel in Dayton for a full weekend and pretend like you’re visiting from out of town and experiencing it for the first time. 

ISO Heaven has solidified its designation as Toxic Brew Co.’s favorite, among both tasting-room visitors and the brewery’s bar-and-restaurant retail accounts. The beer is named for Iso-Alpha acids, which are imparted by hops during the brewing process, and which help give IPAs their signature hit of bitterness. Co-founder Shane Juhl calls the brew a “well-balanced single IPA.” JIM WITMER/CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER
Photo: Jim Witmer, Contributing Photographer

13. Kick back with some Dayton-made beer. The easiest way to do this is with a walking brewery tour. Start at the Fifth Street Brewpub and walk down Fifth to the Oregon District, you can then hit Toxic Brew, Warped Wing, Dayton Beer Company and Lock 27. The best part of the tour is you can stumble to all five breweries in just under a mile. Feeling ambitious? Hit up Branch & Bone on Wayne, too.

>> How to walk Dayton’s craft brewery trail

>> 12 must-try signature Dayton beers

The Medusa Chicken Sandwich from The Chicken Spot. LISA POWELL / STAFF

14. Try the Medusa sandwich from The Chicken Spot. This sandwich has it all with a boneless chicken breast topped with macaroni and cheese, collard greens and pickled onions served on a buttered toasted bun. 

>> HIDDEN GEM: One of the best chicken sandwiches can be found at a new local spot

The RiverScape River Run officially opened downtown on the Great Miami River on Friday, May 5, 2017. CONTRIBUTED BY FIVE RIVERS METROPARKS
Photo: Kyle Nagel

15. Get out and paddle. The Miami Valley has plenty to offer when it comes to water attractions/recreation. In fact, this region is considered a destination for water sports. When sunny skies arrive, grab some friends and enjoy the thrill of canoeing, kayaking and rafting (and check out our guide to paddling for tips on where to go). Also, be sure to check out the RiverScape River Run

>> Why RiverScape River Run is a huge deal

July's Yellow Cab Food Truck Rally was held Friday, July 21, 2017. PHOTO / Tom Gilliam
Photo: Tom Gilliam

16. Check out the Yellow Cab Tavern. The popular Yellow Cab Tavern in Dayton is home to a lot of great music events and festivals, food truck events, craft beer, night markets and more. The Yellow Cab is famous for off-the-beaten-path fun. Get the latest upcoming event info on their Facebook page

The city of Kettering is infusing $1 million into the Fraze Pavillion next year as it hires a promoter for the first time and makes other changes to help attract acts to the concert venue. LISA POWELL / STAFF
Photo: Staff Writer

17. Splurge on tickets for an outdoor summer concert. Dayton is beyond lucky to have some incredible outdoor music venues to fill your summer nights with great music and great fun. The Rose Music Center in Huber Heights and Fraze Pavilion in Kettering both bring in a variety of national acts, from nostalgia tours, to up-and-comers. Acts coming to town so far include STYX, the Tedeschi Trucks Band, and the double bill of Jeffrey Osborne and Peabo Bryson.

Levitt Pavilion, downtown Dayton’s new outdoor music venue, held its first concert on Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018. Gina Chavez, a multi-ethnic Latin pop songstress, held the first show, preceded by the Chaminade Julienne High School band. CONTRIBUTED BY E.L. HUBBARD
Photo: Staff Writer

18. See a FREE summer concert at Levitt Pavilion. In 2018, the Levitt Pavilion made its debut, offering TONS of free concerts on weeknights and weekends and bringing more people downtown. We can’t wait for the third season!

>>Everything you need to know to make the most of your Levitt Pavilion experience

NASHVILLE, TN - AUGUST 23: Alan Jackson performs onstage during the 11th Annual ACM Honors at the Ryman Auditorium on August 23, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Terry Wyatt/Getty Images for ACM)
Photo: Terry Wyatt/Getty Images for ACM

19. If you’re really up for a memorable time, head up north to Fort Loramie for Country Concert, a multiple day country music campout in July featuring some of the biggest artists in country music all on one stage (and some prime opportunities to people-watch). This year’s lineup includes Alan Jackson, Luke Combs, Jason Aldean, Old Dominion and more.

The Dayton Celtic Festival took over downtown at Riverscape MetroPark and the surrounding areas from Friday, July 26 to Sunday July, 28. The free festival featured workshops, vendors, food, beer, children’s activities and Irish music. TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER
Photo: Tom Gilliam

20. Experience The Celtic Festival. This is the festival of festivals and it should be on everyone's list of events to attend. Experience the luck of the Irish and immerse your senses in the rich Celtic heritage. The festival will take place July 24-26 at RiverScape MetroPark, so mark your calendars.

>> Reasons to go to the Dayton Celtic Festival

The 20,000-light Carillon Holiday Tree was lit on Wednesday evening to kick off the Holiday festivities at Carillon Historic Park and Dayton History. TY GREENLEES / STAFF
Photo: Ty Greenlees

21. Spend a day at Carillon Historical Park. Ride the Dayton Carousel of Innovation, enjoy brunch in the new Culp’s Cafe, experience pioneer history, climb the Brethren Tower, tour the Patterson Homestead, drink fresh-brewed craft beer and enjoy German-style hearty fare. You also have to catch a glimpse of Carillon during the holiday season. The Tree of Light is a sight to behold.

>> Brand new Culp’s Cafe includes all-day breakfast, throwback Dayton recipes, shakes, phosphates and cocktails

A restored 1903 Barney & Smith interurban car is the centerpiece of the new re-imagined Culp's Cafe at Carillon Historical Park. Diner can take a seat inside for meals. LISA POWELL / STAFF
The highest point in Dayton is at Lookout Point in Woodland Cemetery.
Photo: Connie Post

22. View Dayton from the Woodland Cemetery. Aside from visiting the famous Daytonians who are buried here (including Paul Laurence Dunbar and the Wright brothers), Woodland offers a view like no other. Lookout Tower and Columbarium stands at the highest point in the city and is the ultimate spot for sightseers and lunch breaks. 

>> 17 things to see at Woodland Cemetery

Nick Kizirnis, leader of the Nicky Kay Orchestra, brings his instrumental sounds to Dayton Music Fest 2017 at Blind Bob’s and the Yellow Cab Bldg. in Dayton on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 3 and 4. CONTRIBUTED
Photo: Contributing Writer

23. Experience the local music scene. We have tons of talented local bands playing local music venues routinely. Not sure where to go? Every September, music venues including Blind Bob’s, The Brightside and the Yellow Cab come together to present the Dayton Music Festival. The event is a celebration of live music in Dayton with an emphasis on the bands that have connections to our city. Or try Dayton Porchfest, a neighborhood music festival held in the St. Anne’s Hill Neighborhood in late summer.


24. Hike the Gorge. The prettiest 2-mile stretch of the Little Miami State and National Scenic River, east of John Bryan State Park, Clifton Gorge is a must-do adventure (especially in the fall). It’s the perfect example of post-glacial canyon cutting and offers the most scenic views for hikers. 

A biker travels along the Great Miami River bike path Wednesday evening, June 8, 2011. Staff photo by Nick Daggy
Photo: Staff photo by Nick Daggy

25. Hit the Great Miami River trailAre you ready for an adventure? With 75 miles of trails, it’s the ultimate spot for runners, skaters or cyclists. The trail winds through downtown Dayton, RiverScape, museums and several monuments. 

SECONDARY PHOTO: A view of Main St., Tipp City. Next summer, the city is tearing up the entire street and resurfacing. They are also widening the sidewalks. The area being redone is between First Street and Fourth Street. There are over 50 shops in the area that will be affected. Staff photo by Jim Witmer
Photo: Jim Witmer

26. Discover some of Dayton's finest communities. Spend some time in a community you may not know too well. Some of the area's most charming communities worth the drive include WaynesvilleTipp CityYellow Springs and Lebanon. Great shopping, great eats!

Marion’s Piazza has been named No. 1 in Pizza Today’s “Hot 100” list. It’s the fourth year out of five that Marion’s topped the list, which is based on annual sales. FILE PHOTO
Photo: Staff Writer

27. Eat Dayton-made food. Eat all Dayton-made food for a day. Who doesn’t enjoy Mikesell’s potato chips, Esther Price Chocolates and Marion’s or Cassano’s famous square-cut pizza? 

Rock climbing at Urban Krag in downtown Dayton. TEESHA MCCLAM / STAFF FILE PHOTO

28. Get your climb on at Urban KragWhen that adventurous spirit strikes, you know where to head. The indoor rock climbing wall is designed to test your strength, provide a safe atmosphere and brings families together with a fun activity. 

Tasty treats await you at the end of Cowvin's Corny Maze.
Photo: Contributed

29. Get lost in a corn mazeOne of the perks of living in the Midwest is fun on the farm. Farm owners across the region have gotten creative by creating corn mazes and fall family activities, like Tom’s Maze and Pumpkin Farm and Katie’s Pumpkin Barn, to offer weekends of fun throughout the fall.

The Dayton Ballet Company will give the Verdi “Requiem” an entirely new look. Here, dancers rehearse for the Sept. 16 -17 performance at the Schuster Center. CONTRIBUTED
Photo: Staff Writer

30. Support Dayton performing arts. It's no secret that Dayton has one of the best arts/cultural scenes for a town of its size. Experience it for yourself. If you like theater, check out a Human Race or Playground Theatre production. If you like dance, check out the Dayton Ballet or DCDC. Music? The Dayton Philharmonic has shows for just about every musical preference. 

The 3rd on Third market returned to Dayton on Sunday, April 19, featuring live music, food trucks, baked goods and a variety of vendors carrying everything from locally made goods to antiques and collectibles. The rain-or-shine market is held on the third Sunday of each month from April through October at 1121 E. Third Street.

31. 3rd on Third. Check out some of the area’s hottest vendors at this outdoor market that runs from April through October, on the third Sunday of the month.

The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force opened the Memphis Belle exhibit to the public on Thursday after a 13-year restoration. Staff and volunteers worked 55,000 hours to restore the iconic World War II bomber. TY GREENLEES / STAFF
Photo: Staff Writer

32. Check out some sweet planes. The National Museum of the United States Air Force has a vast collection of planes that you’ll want to see with your own eyes, including the Memphis Belle. Grab the family for an all-day airplane extravaganza. Admission is free.

33. Don't miss the annual Dayton Vectren Air Show in June with high-flying entertainment. The 2020 show will take place June 27-28, 2020 and feature the famous U.S. Navy Blue Angels.

Rowdy members of the Red Scare, a student group that attends sports games, are the “pulse of UD Arena.” Contributed photo
Photo: Contributed

34. Go see a University of Dayton Flyers basketball game! Dayton is home to one of the top-ranked college basketball programs in attendance, and there are a few reasons why. UD Arena is conveniently located, the atmosphere is fun (thanks to the Red Scare), there isn’t a bad view in the building and it’s always fun to cheer for Obi, Ibi and the rest of the top-20-ranked Flyers.

>> Flyer Faithful traditions run deep

On Friday, Dec. 27, raise a mocktail to your 2019 accomplishments at Gem City SoberBar's Celebration Pop-Up.
Photo: Whitney Brewer Photography

35. Look out for an alcohol-free alternative to an enjoyable night out on the town with the Gem City SoberBar’s and Tonic Dayton’s pop-up events. 

Photo from the dedication of the Dayton Region's Walk of Fame mural wall in Dayton Wright-Dunbar neighborhood. The mural was designed by Dayton artist James Pate. The dedication followed the 2017 walk of fame induction ceremony. Photo by Amelia Robinson
Photo: Amelia Robinson

36. Take a walk and learn about Dayton history. There are a couple easy ways to do this. At RiverScape Inventor’s Walk, you can admire Daytonians’ inventions by strolling down the green-and-white towers at Patterson Boulevard Canal Parkway. If you want to learn about some of the people who have shaped Dayton’s past, present and future, take a stroll down the Dayton Region’s Walk of Fame at the corner of West Third and South Williams streets. 

Young’s Jersey Dairy will unveil its “Young’s On The Moove” food truck this summer. Photo courtesy of Young’s Dairy Facebook page.

37. Enjoy a delicious treat from Young's Jersey Dairy. Enjoy some of the most delicious homemade ice cream treats while hanging out with farm animals, playing mini golf and more.  

A new and independently owned bakery founded by a local father-daughter duo has set an opening date of July 27 near the University of Dayton campus. “Partial to Pie” is gearing up to open at 200 Shroyer Road, at the intersection of Shroyer and Wilmington Pike. STAFF PHOTO / MARK FISHER
Photo: Mark Fisher

38. Try the best pie in Ohio. Though Partial to Pie is relatively new to the Dayton community, it has already been named the Best Pie Shop in Ohio in a USA Today poll. The retail bakery, founded by Marie Clark and her father Mike Clark of Kettering, provides dine-in and carry-out services, specializing in pies, quiche and sweet treats. The bakery is located at the corner of Shroyer Road and Wilmington Pike.

The Five Rivers Fountain at the confluence of the Great Miami and Mad rivers runs Tuesday, May 20, in downtown Dayton. Staff photo by Chris Stewart

39. Get to know downtown. Downtown Dayton is a great place to live, work or play. Downtown is home to the city's top arts/cultural destinations. You'll find more than 50 restaurants, more than 30 bars/clubs, a ballpark known for routinely selling out home games, plus tons of museums and galleries. The best way to experience downtown is at the monthly showcase event, First Fridays, held the first Friday of the month. During the summer, Summer in the City will return with a series of themed special events.

When you're getting ready for family get-togethers and parties, stop in at 2nd Street Market for local produce, baked goods, spices, and other culinary delights. There are also many artisans and vendors to find gifts for everyone on your list. CONTRIBUTED

40. Shop and dine at 2nd Street Market. Visit your local growers, bakers, artisans and culinary specialists at the one and only 2nd Street Market. 

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 03: Gene Simmons, Tommy Thayer and Paul Stanley of KISS, perform during their opening show for the Australian leg of their 40th anniversary world tour at Perth Arena on October 3, 2015 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)
Photo: Paul Kane/Getty Images

41. Catch a concert or a game at the Nutter Center. Cheer on the Raiders during a Wright State basketball game, or catch a show. On the don't-miss-party list: KISS will rock and roll all nite at the Nutter on Sept. 14, as part of the band's End of the Road Tour. David Lee Roth will be there, too.

Zombie Dogz on Brown Street in Dayton.
Photo: Photo by Amelia Robinson

42. Try a Zombie Dogz gourmet hot dog. This famous Dayton food institution started out as a food truck then turned into a brick-and-mortar store near the University of Dayton campus. You can’t go wrong with the Calling in Dead (housemade white truffle mac’n’cheese topped with Parmesan garlic cracker crumbs).

A sporty Packard convertible.
Photo: Photos by Lauren Rinehart

43. Visit one of Dayton’s specialty museums. Check out the Packard Museum dedicated to extravagant, gleaming masterpieces of transportation. At the Dayton International Peace Museum, kids will fall in love with the Children’s Room that’s decked out with games and instruments. Not a kid? No worries. Stop by and tour the exhibits, recline on cozy couches and curl up with a good book.

Col. Charles Ormsby, acting director, Air Force Research Laboratory Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, views displays at the site of the original Wright Brothers’ Bicycle Shop in downtown Dayton Sept. 13. Ormsby accompanied a group of military and civilian scientists, staff and engineers from the directorate on a visit to significant aviation history sites across Dayton during an Aviation Heritage Tour to gain a better understanding of the evolution of innovation in Dayton, the legacy of which the AFRL carries on today. (U.S. Air Force photo/Marisa Alia-Novobilski)
Photo: Air Force Research Laboratory

44. See the Wright Brothers’ Bicycle Shop. Whether you’re visiting Dayton or a local Daytonian, you have to add the Wright Cycle Company Complex as a point of interest. 

Therapy Cafe hosts a Silent Disco at 452 E 3rd St. in downtown Dayton monthly. The event is best described as a party for one, in a room of hundreds -- all you have to do is set your headphones and dance! The concept started in bigger cities and has been a traveling hit at large music festivals like Bonnaroo. TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER
Photo: Tom Gilliam

45. Dance to the beat of your own drum at one of Therapy Cafe’s famous Silent Discos.

Dayton Ballet’s holiday classic The Nutcracker is on stage from Dec. 15-23 at the Schuster Center in Dayton. CONTRIBUTED
Photo: Contributing Writer

46. Go see the Nutcracker. It's a Dayton holiday tradition. If you missed it this year, don't repeat that mistake. The Dayton Ballet, with support from the Dayton Philharmonic, puts a Dayton spin on a classic. While you're there, browse the historic old Rike's Department Store windows that are housed in the Schuster Center lobby during the holiday season.

Emily Howbert, 7, of Kettering peers at "Rosie," the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery's groundhog. "Rosie" saw her shadow Monday morning during the annual museum event and predicted six more weeks of winter. A groundhog has been predicting when winter will end for the museum for over 15 years. This is the fourth year Rosie has served as the official prognosticator. LISA POWELL / STAFF
Photo: Lisa Powell

47. Be a kid again at the BoonshoftNo matter your age, the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery is going to steal your heart. Befriend the animals, watch an array of laser shows, see yourself in a heat image camera and take part in presentations. 

Osage Orange Tunnel at Sugarcreek MetroPark.
Photo: Submitted

48. Hit up all of the MetroParks. With 19 MetroParks in the Dayton area, this could keep you pretty busy all year. Pack a picnic and take a hike. Be sure to check out the living tree tunnel at Sugarcreek Metropark and the free fall festival OutdoorX (Oct. 3-4) where you can try something new at Eastwood Metropark. 

BEER! A Celebration of Dayton Brewing brought all of Dayton’s craft breweries together at the Yellow Cab Tavern on Friday, Aug. 16. The beer event, which previews Dayton Beer Week, occurred in conjunction with the Yellow Cab's August food truck rally. TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER
Photo: Tom Gilliam

49. Get your noms at local food trucks. Dayton has some tasty food trucks. We challenge you to eat your way through each and every one of them. Yellow Cab holds food truck rallies regularly. There are Friday night rallies, weeknight themed food truck battles and brunch rallies. Miami County, Darke County, West Chester and Springfield all hold HUGE food truck events in the spring/summer where you can catch many of them in one spot. 

Education and fun combine with Native American dances, historical presentations and more during the Keeping the Tradition Pow Wow at SunWatch Indian Village and Archaeological Park this weekend. (Staff file photo)

50. Travel back in time at Sunwatch Indian VillageStep back in time to about 800 years ago and see how the Fort Ancient Native Americans lived. You’ll get to see reconstructed structures and villages, artifacts and more. A great way to experience Sunwatch is through the annual Keeping the Tradition Pow Wow in the summer.

Chicken Potstickers appetizer at Cooper's Hawk Winery & Restaurant.
Photo: Mark Fisher

51. Wine and dine at the new Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant at Cornerstone in Centerville.

Charleston Falls Preserve in Miami County includes a 37 foot waterfall. CONTRIBUTED
Photo: HANDOUT/Photographer Bill Garlow

52. Go see a breathtaking waterfall. Beautiful. Peaceful. Serene. Visit waterfalls at Clifton Gorge, Charleston Falls, Ludlow Falls and West Milton.

The Troy Strawberry Festival was held June 3-4, 2017 in Troy, Ohio. PHOTO / Tom Gilliam
Photo: Tom Gilliam

53. Eat a famous Troy Strawberry Festival donut. These delicious donuts are addictive, attract a long line at times and support Troy music programs. It’s a donut for a cause and it’s well worth it. While you’re there, indulge in more strawberry treats than you can possibly imagine. This year’s festival will take place June 6-7.

The Oakwood Historical Society hosted its inaugural Holiday Home Tour on Saturday, Dec. 8. The tour included seven architecturally unique homes ranging from Craftsman, American Foursquare, Swiss Chalet, Tudor, Prairie Style and Italian Renaissance Revival. TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER
Photo: Tom Gilliam

54. Nose through someone else’s beautiful living space. Dayton’s historic neighborhoods host some of the most amazing holiday home tours (that frequently sell out fast). The Downtown Dayton Partnership also hosts a housing tour every summer. 

The Dayton Art Institute was in the midst of construction when the Great Depression hit. Because the startup budget was dedicated to building, when the new museum opened in 1930 the galleries were filled with donated art. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

55. Visit one of the many interesting exhibits on display at the Dayton Art Institute. Just recently, DAI announced the impending arrival of several new exhibits, set to debut in 2020. These exhibits include “Samurai, Ghosts and Lovers: Yoshitoshi’s Complete 100 Aspects of the Moon,” a rare Japanese woodblock printmaking show, which goes on view Feb. 22 through May 3, and “New Beginnings: An American Story of Romantics and Modernists in the West,” opening May 30 and on view until Sept. 12. 

The Dayton Art Institute held its 46th annual Oktoberfest celebration last weekend, Sept. 22 to 24 on the grounds of the museum, located at 456 Belmonte Park N. in Dayton. As one of the Dayton-area's biggest festivals, Oktoberfest typically draws more than 25,000 people to the museum grounds during the weekend. TOM GILLIAM / STAFF
Photo: Tom Gilliam/Tom Gilliam

56. Drink up and celebrate Oktoberfest. When it comes to fall fun, it’s hard to top an Oktoberfest celebration. The Dayton region is home to some pretty incredible Oktoberfest celebrations, all offering a little something different. The Dayton Art Institute’s Oktoberfest (Sept. 24-27) is its signature fundraiser and a must-do. Springboro’s Oktoberfest is the newest festival on the block that is getting a lot of attention (and for good reason). And if you’re up for a drive, you have to check out Minster Oktoberfest, complete with beer tray relays and more.

Heater and Gem are the Dragons' beloved mascots and love to have a good time with fans. They especially like playing tug o' war.
Photo: Contributed photo

57. Catch a Dayton Dragons game. America would not be America (and summer would not be summer) without its favorite pastime. Whether you’re a sports nut or not, there’s plenty for everyone to enjoy at a Dragons game. Don’t forget to have your picture taken with Heater and Gem! The 2020 home opener takes place April 9.

The 1902 Wright Glider Replica.
Photo: Lauren Rinehart

58. Hit the Aviation TrailWhether you’re a Wright brothers fanatic or a full-on aviation enthusiast, this is something you’ll want to check out. Make sure you also check out the Parachute Museum!

Appetizer portion of Mussels in White Wine Sauce  ($11)  served with garlic bread  from Club Oceano. MARK FISHER / STAFF PHOTO

59. Have a classy night at the new Club Oceano restaurant at The Greene. Or enjoy some crazy-good fish and chips for lunch (or dinner).

Wild Axe Throwing will open this week on Thursday, June 20. Owners and business partners, Daniel Huiet and Michael Keggan, also own and operate Great Escape Game in Beavercreek.
Photo: Contributed

60. Give axe throwing a try at Wild Axe Throwing in Beavercreek.

Guide to Dayton's Drive-in Movie Theaters
Photo: Chakeres Theatres, Inc. Facebook

61. Go old-time at the drive-in. Take the family to see a double feature at one of the area’s retro drive-in movie theaters in Dayton or Brookville.

Link: Dayton Bike Share kicked off on Courthouse Square Tuesday, May 5, 2015 with a celebration during Downtown Dayton Partnership’s 'The Square is Where.'

62. Take a bike tour of Dayton. Rent a bike from Link Dayton and tour the downtown Dayton area.

Glo Juice Bar + Cafe is scheduled to open Monday, Sept. 30, 2019 on Brown Street near the University of Dayton

63. Stick to your New Year’s resolutions and sip on some green juice from Santa Clara, Power Plant or Glo. 

Ozone Zipline Adventures at YMCA Camp Kern offers an adventure close to home. This facility offers four zipline tour options, ranging from five to 11 lines, and a series of special events. CONTRIBUTED
Photo: Contributing Writer

64. Take a mini road tripThe possibilities are endless. Head underground to the Ohio Caverns, zipline at Camp Kern, see the Devil’s Bathtub at Hocking Hills, or go glow tubing in Mansfield.

THE NEON MOVIE THEATER, 130 E Fifth St. in downtown Dayton is a great destination to see top-notch films and Oscar contenders that you may not get to see elsewhere. (Photo source: Facebook)

65. Visit the Neon moviesPlaza Theatre, Englewood Cinema or the Little Art Theatre. Moviegoers of all ages will find much to love about these local independently owned and run theaters.

Hat with accessories at BRIM in downtown Dayton's Oregon District. PHOTO / Tess Vella-Collette

66. Spend a day in the Oregon District. Whether you’re looking for a place to eat, shop or hang out with friends, the Oregon District is the place to go. Grab a cocktail from a locally owned restaurant or enjoy a local craft beer at Toxic or Lucky’s. Look for vintage goods at Clash Consignment or adorable home goods at Luna Gifts & Botanicals, check out records at Omega Music or find a new hat at BRIM. Buy a slightly inappropriate T-shirt or mug from Heart Mercantile (seriously, they have the BEST gifts). 

New Challenger opened at  221 Crane Street on Nov. 29, 2019. It is behind Mike’s Indoor Bike Park in Dayton.
Photo: Submitted

67. Play vintage games at the new Challenger Arcade at Mike’s Bike Park. Enjoy some family-friendly fun at this arcade, decked out in a plethora of vintage arcade games.

>> New family-friendly, ‘classic’ video arcade now open in Dayton

Bill’s Donut Shop order ready in the box on Wednesday, February 27 in Centerville. TY GREENLEES / STAFF
Photo: Staff Writer

68. Make your own Dayton donut trail. While there may not be an official donut trail, you can make your own. Bill’s. Jim’s. Ashley’s. Evan’s. Stan the Donut Man. Duck Donuts. Donut Palace. 

Photo: Gem City Catfe

69. Sip coffee and socialize with furry felines at the Gem City Catfe on East Fifth Street. And if the time is right to adopt, you can take one home.

The little secret is out. Warped Wing Brewing Company and Esther Price Candies have teamed up once again to brew the beer that’s become a mainstay of the holiday season in Dayton. Esther’s L’il Secret 2018 was revealed on Thursday, Nov. 8, at a special event. Drumroll please ... This year’s brew is Chocola te Cherry Cordial Stout and is available now. CONTRIBUTED

 70. Try Esther’s Lil Secret. This is one of the best Dayton collaborations, and it’s only available for a limited time each  year. Warped Wing Brewing Company and Esther Price Candies team up for a special holiday brew that pairs two Dayton brands. The flavor changes each year. 

The Dayton community came together to carve over one thousand pumpkins for this year's annual Stoddard Avenue Pumpkin Glow. You can bask in the glow of these pumpkins near the Dayton Art Institute and Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church on Oct. 30-31. MARSHALL GORBY / STAFF PHOTO

71. Volunteer to carve a pumpkin for the beloved annual Stoddard Pumpkin Glow and then see the gorgeous hill illuminated with creative jack-o-lanterns for Halloween. It’s one of our favorite Halloween traditions.

One thing you must try at Ohio's 46th annual Sauerkraut Festival is the German Sundae served by the Sons of the American Legion.  (Source: Facebook)

72. Try the sauerkraut sundae at the Ohio Sauerkraut Festival in Waynesville. It has nothing to do with ice cream. The festival will take place Oct. 10-11.

Next time you're in the Oregon District, check out the #DaytonInspires selfie wall on the outside of Brim on East Fifth Street, painted by Dayton-based artist Atalie Gagnet. (Source: Libby Ballengee, Facebook)
Photo: Libby Ballengee

73. Take a Dayton selfie. Some of our favorite spots are the Dayton Inspires mural in the Oregon District, in front of Fifth Third Field, in front of the Deeds Carillon, or with the Wright brothers statue at Deeds Point.

An early WACO airplane is one of several on display at the WACO Aircraft Museum in Troy, Ohio; April 25, 2016 (Dispatch photo by Steve Stephens)
Photo: Steve Stephens

74. Take a ride in a WACO. See Troy from a new view by taking a ride in a biplane. While you’re there, check out the museum with tons of treasures for all ages to enjoy.

The Van Buren Room, a 1900's-inspired cocktail bar connected to Belle of Dayton distillery at 122 Van Buren St., will open on Friday, Oct. 5. The room is next to the distillery operations and designed to pay homage to the original Belle of Dayton bottle discovered in a pile of broken glass near a Prohibition-era speakeasy that once operated in downtown Dayton. AMELIA ROBINSON / STAFF PHOTO

75. Find a new signature cocktail. Whether that’s at Belle of Dayton, The Century Bar (be sure to check out its new location!) or the Van Buren room, taste away. In moderation, of course.

Hartman Rock Garden. Contributed photo by Alexis Larsen

76. Visit the Hartman Rock Garden in Springfield. See some unique rock artwork, including meticulously crafted replicas of the White House, Independence Hall and other well-known national landmarks that were crafted out of small stones by H.G. “Ben” Hartman during the Great Depression (admission is free).

77. Try the purple condiment (on a charcuterie board) from Crafted & Cured on Wayne Avenue.

78. Shake up your workout routine by taking a class at Space Three, Rinse Cycle, Spenga or Orangetheory.

79. Enjoy a glass of wine with a view of the Great Miami River at Bar Granada.

Kings Island will turn into a winter wonderland during the holiday season with gorgeous lights, including an illuminated Eiffel Tower, and an outdoor ice rink. WinterFest returns bigger and better in 2018 with rides, shops, shows, treats, carriage rides, skating and more. The special event opens on Friday, Nov. 23, 2018. CONTRIBUTED

80. Visit Kings Island’s WinterFest. Ice skating, rides, holiday shows, La Rosa’s pizza, gourmet hot cocoa and a gorgeous illuminated Eiffel Tower.

Round1 Entertainment will open at Mall at Fairfield Commons on Saturday, offering dining, bowling, arcade games, billiards, karaoke, ping pong, darts and a play land for children. Round1, similar to Dave and Buster’s, also offers all-inclusive party room rentals. Food includes pizza, burgers, wings, salads, sides and drinks, including alcohol.

81. Get your game on at the new Round1 Entertainment at the Mall at Fairfield Commons in Beavercreek.

Local Cantina has opened in the Centerfield Flats at Water Street. The chain’s Dayton restaurant is the first location outside of central Ohio. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF
Photo: Staff Writer

82. Try all of the new taco places in Dayton, including Local Cantina, Condado (opening date still undetermined) and La Costenita. 

The Dublin Pub hosted its annual St. Patrick's Day celebration on March 17, 2018. Now in its 20th year, the 2-day block party is one of the biggest in the state. PHOTO / TOM GILLIAM PHOTOGRAPHY
Photo: Tom Gilliam

83. Drink a green beer or two, and soak it up with ooey-gooey Pub Fries or a traditional Irish breakfast at the Dublin Pub's famous St. Patrick's Day celebration.

84. Show off your Dayton Strong spirit with tees from local shops like Heart Mercantile, Clash, The Olde Farmstead in Beavercreek, and others.

The 60th annual Greek Festival took place over the weekend from Friday, Sept 7 to Sunday, Sept 9 at The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, 500 Belmonte Park North in Dayton. This year's event had amazing food, devoted volunteers and the support and attendance of the community, despite it raining throughout the weekend. TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER
Photo: Tom Gilliam

85. Eat a lot of baklava at the Dayton Greek Festival.


86. Make stops at Dayton's trifecta of steakhouses: Pine Club, Oakwood Club and Paragon Supper club.

Photo: Contributed

87. Get scared silly at the Lewisburg Cave. The cave was the No. 1 haunted attraction in a USA Today readers’ poll back in 2018. What’s eerier than a real cave with fluttering bats overhead?  

88. Visit all of the new breweries expected to open in 2020, including (but perhaps not limited to) Loose Ends Brewing in Centerville, Sojourners Brewstillery in Washington Twp., Southern Ohio Brewing in Beavercreek and Nowhere In Particular Cabinet of Curiosities in Kettering.

Jess Hess and Brandon Meadows moved into the infamous Dayton “castle” in November 2018 and have spent every month since falling in love with all of its quirks and beauty. They chose to name their dream home Castle Morningstar to keep some of the building’s historic roots in tact.
Photo: Sarah Franks

89. Get your goth on (and take a photo or two) at Castle Morningstar. This event venue and rental studio space in Dayton is unique for its Gothic charm. 

90. Spice things up at one of the new Thai restaurants. Singha Thai Homestyle Thai Food, Thai Street Noodles and Massaman Curry (expected to open in 2020).

>> Once a rare breed, Thai restaurants are now surging on the local dining scene

91. Try some Cajun-style seafood at Blue Juicy Crab or Hook & Reel (coming soon!).

The Market at the Park, a new creative space located at 221 Crane St. in Dayton, kicked off its new regular open hours with Dia de Los Muertos: A First Friday Celebration on Nov. 2. TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER
Photo: Tom Gilliam

 92. Support local artists and musicians at the Market at the Park. It’s a newer space to spotlight artisans and to support budding entrepreneurs. 

The Cheesesteak Hoagie at 416 Diner in Dayton's Oregon District, is made with grilled ribeye, onions, red and green peppers, diced mushrooms and provolone cheese seasoned with house made herbed mayo. LISA POWELL / STAFF

 93. Pull an all-nighter and enjoy late-night eats from 416 Diner. The Oregon District diner has officially extended its hours (now open until 4:30 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays) to accommodate late-night crowds in the area.

One of the most cherished traditions of The Ohio Renaissance Festival is the two-pound turkey legs. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
Photo: Staff Writer

94. Raise your glass to the Ohio Renaissance Festival. Make sure you plan to visit sometime during the fall festival season. The festival runs weekends Labor Day through the end of October. 

The Wright Flyer III

 95. Visit the Wright Brothers NATIONAL Museum. That’s right. Two years ago, the museum housed at Carillon Park earned a national designation. The museum has more Wright artifacts on display than any other place in the world, including the 1905 Wright Flyer III: the only airplane designated a National Historic Landmark, the first practical flying machine. 

The Dayton Visual Arts Center hosted its 24th Annual Art Auction at The David H. Ponitz Center at Sinclair Community College on Friday, April 27, 2018. DVAC’s mission is to open the door for Dayton to have a closer relationship with art. The center helps sustain the arts community by providing a place to show, market and sell work. All the money raised goes to educational programs and events through the center. PHOTO / TOM GILLIAM PHOTOGRAPHY
Photo: Tom Gilliam/TOM GILLIAM

 96. Start your local art collection and support The Contemporary Dayton (formerly the Dayton Visual Arts Center) and local artists during its annual art auction on April 24. More than 100 works of arts will be available for bid at affordable prices. 

Italian Fall Festa includes a spaghetti eating contest.
Photo: Italian Fall Festa

97. Play a game of bocce, devour homemade Italian food, and sip a special Warped Wing lemon brew at the Italian Fall Festa. 

Now and Zen Terrariums is opening a new location at 37 S. St. Clair St. in Dayton. NOLAN SIMMONS

 98. Build your own terrarium at Now & Zen in downtown Dayton. 

A nomadic adult bald eagle traveling alone, according to Jim Weller, founder of Eastwood Eagle Watchers, has been spending time in Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark among the broken branches caused by the Memorial Day tornados. JIM WELLER / CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

 99. Search for bald eagles at Carillon Historical Park or at Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark.

>> Tornado-damaged park provides perfect perch for bald eagles: ‘It’s got all the things they like’

Kid Clubhouse will open in Sprinboro at the end of January.
Photo: Staff Writer

100. Head to the indoor playground opening in SpringboroThe 14,000 square-foot building at 865 W. Central Ave. in Springboro will include four party rooms, a 2,000 square-foot, multi-level indoor playground and space for large inflatables. It is set to open at the end of January.

Happy 2020!

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