How to celebrate the holidays all month in downtown Dayton

The Victoria Theatre Association unveiled the final installment of the redesigned Rike’s Wonderland Windows on Nov. 26. CONTRIBUTED/TOM GILLIAM

The Dayton Grande Illumination and Children’s Parade may be over, but the holiday festivities will continue all month long downtown.


Here's how to join the celebration during the Dayton Holiday Festival.

The Tike’s Shoppe's in the Schuster Center Wintergarden, downtown Dayton, Second & Ludlow entrance. Local youth will operate the shop, where children can purchase gifts for their loved ones at a shop just their size. The Tike’s Shoppe officially opens to the public during the 2013 Grande Illumination at 3 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 29. JIM WITMER / STAFF

Credit: Jim Witmer

Credit: Jim Witmer


Through Dec. 23 | Hours vary. Schedule below and you can call to confirm at 937-416-4504 | Schuster Center Wintergarden, Second & Ludlow entrance 

This is a special shop run by kids for kids with items priced for a kid’s budget. Visit Santa during special hours.

• Dec. 7 – 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

• Dec. 8 – noon–5 p.m.

• Dec. 13 – 3-7 p.m.

• Dec. 14 – 10 a.m.-7 p.m.

• Dec. 15 – noon-6 p.m.

• Dec. 19 & 20 – 3-7 p.m.

• Dec. 21 & 22 – 10 a.m.-7 p.m.

• Dec. 23 – 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

>> Fill your December days with holiday cheer before a happy new year

The Victoria Theatre Association unveiled the final installment of the re-designed Rike’s Wonderland Windows Nov. 26, 2019, at a special event for donors, designers, staff and their families. Designed by critically acclaimed theater and opera set designer and Dayton native, Adam Koch, along with Adam Koch Associates’ partner Steven Royal, the animated elves and animals have been a holiday tradition for Dayton families. The elves first appeared in the windows of Rike’s Department Store in the 1940s. The Rike’s Wonderland Windows displays are free and open to the public and can be viewed inside the Schuster Center lobby starting Friday, Nov. 29, 2019. TOM GILLIAM/CONTRIBUTED

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam


Nov. 29-Dec. 31; Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday noon-4 p.m.; closed on non-performance Sundays | Schuster Center Wintergarden, Second & Main streets | Not accessible during private events. Call to confirm hours. 937-228-7591


This is one of Dayton’s longest-running holiday traditions — the magical Rike’s department store holiday window displays. See the animated elves, woodland animals, violinists and skaters at the corner of Second and Main streets in downtown Dayton, where these displays delighted people at Rike’s department store beginning more than 70 years ago.

>> Designer gives iconic Rike’s display a makeover: ‘I loved those windows!’

Dayton philanthropist Virginia Kettering commissioned this holiday train display in 1996. The gift for the community is displayed in the lobby of the Kettering Tower during the Dayton Holiday Festival. LISA POWELL / STAFF

Credit: Lisa Powell

Credit: Lisa Powell


Nov. 29-Jan. 2; Mon.-Fri. 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. | 937-224-1518 |

Stratacache Tower lobby, corner of Second and Main streets


View the one-of-a-kind model train display that was given to the community by Mrs. Virginia Kettering. The display can also be viewed through the building windows at Second and Main anytime.

>> Virginia Kettering’s train display is a long-standing Dayton holiday tradition

Uno Pizzeria and Grill is hosting “Lunch with Santa” events in December. PHOTO / Uno Pizzeria and Grill Facebook


Dec. 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, and 22 at 11 a.m. | Uno Pizzeria & Grill, 126 N. Main St. 

Have a special lunch with Santa and then visit the Tike’s Shoppe at the Schuster Center! Reservations required. Call for cost and reservations. 937-910-8000.

Ralphie (Peter Billingsley) visits a department store Santa (Jeff Gillen) as part of his campaign to find a BB gun under his tree in the classic holiday film “A Christmas Story.” The film will be screened today as the last offering in the Krog Holiday Week movie series. CONTRIBUTED: MGM


December 7, 14, and 21; noon | The Neon, 130 E. Fifth St. 

Bring the family to The Neon for fun, festive holiday films. Titles subject to change. Call the theater for confirmation. Free admission for kids 12 and under, $2 for adults. 937-222-7469.

Scheduled Films (subject to change): 

• Dec. 7 – The Wizard of Oz (1939)

• Dec. 14 – A Christmas Story

• Dec. 21 – The Grinch (2018)


Dec. 10-13 and Dec. 17-20, beginning at noon

Groups from throughout the Miami Valley perform a mix of holiday selections during the Dayton Holiday Festival’s noontime entertainment program in a rotating schedule at different building lobbies. Take a break from your chaotic schedule to get in the holiday spirit and enjoy the carols and instrumental sounds.

• Dec. 10 – Keith Lykins at Stratacache Tower

• Dec. 10 – Edde Osbourne at KeyBank Tower

• Dec. 11 – Viva La Strings at Stratacache Tower

• Dec. 11 – Abbey Bower at KeyBank Tower

• Dec. 12 – Centerville Chorus at Stratacache Tower

• Dec. 12 – Joseph Glenn at KeyBank Tower

• Dec. 13 – Berachah Valley at Stratacache Tower

• Dec. 13 – TBD at KeyBank Tower

• Dec. 17 – Abbey Bower at Stratacache Tower

• Dec. 17 – Keith Lykins at KeyBank Tower

• Dec. 18 – Joseph Glenn at Stratacache Tower

• Dec. 18 – Viva La Strings at KeyBank Tower

• Dec. 19 – Centerville Chorus at Stratacache Tower

• Dec. 19 – Danny Voris at KeyBank Tower

• Dec. 20 – Berachah Valley at Stratacache Tower

• Dec. 20 – Horace Mann Choir at KeyBank Tower



Several businesses throughout downtown 

This annual contest shows off the creativity of downtown Dayton’s collection of small businesses as they decorate their storefront windows for the holidays in their own unique ways. Vote for your favorite window display online at beginning Dec. 6.

Heart Mercantile in the Oregon District will be open longer hours starting this week. For small business Saturday, the store will give away a free tote to anyone who spends more than $100. STAFF PHOTO / HOLLY SHIVELY


Dec. 14 | Downtown Dayton local businesses 

The Downtown Dayton Partnership will host a special #ShopStrongSaturday on Dec. 14 for holiday shoppers. For #ShopStrongSaturday, shoppers can support downtown’s independent businesses while enjoying roving entertainment and other holiday surprises.

For every $1 spent at a local, small business, approximately 67 cents stays in the community, so spend your money locally to support the downtown.

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