Mason Johnson from Kettering feeds the goats at Young’s Jersey Dairy. JEFF GUERINI/STAFF

15 things that make Dayton area one of a kind

Dayton may be known for its association with aviation and being the birthplace of Orville Wright, but the Gem City has a lot more to offer than just that.

With some of the best ice cream, craziest parties and possibly a few ghosts hanging around, the area has plenty of interesting attractions.

Here are 15 things that make the Dayton area just a little bit different than anywhere else:

Young’s Jersey Dairy

Young’s Jersey Dairy is an iconic place in Yellow Springs that serves up ice cream and family fun. And it’s hard to miss, with a giant cow on its sign.

Back in the spring, a bad wind storm came through the area and tore the cow from its sign.

Luckily, the famous cow statue didn’t sustain any major damage and has since made a full recovery.

This working dairy farm can be found at 6880 Springfield Xenia Road, Yellow Springs.

Madame Delluc

Madame Delluc is an artisan chocolate shop that opened in 2016 in Oakwood, and is one of only two shops in the U.S. representing Belgium-based Mary Chocolatier.

This shop offers a variety of Belgian pralines that consist of a dark, milk or light chocolate shell with a softer, creamy filling; a half-dozen truffle-style confections; candied orange peel, lemon peel and ginger; and solid chocolate wafers in various flavors, among other items.

Madame Delluc Artisan Chocolatier shop opened today, Dec. 1, at 2510 Far Hills Ave. (Ohio 48) in the Shops of Oakwood. It is the first shop in the U.S. for the Belgium-based Mary Chocolatier, founded in Brussels in 1919. MARK FISHER/STAFF

Esther Price Candies

Speaking of delicious chocolate, the Dayton-based Esther Price Candies just recently hit its 90-year mark of being in business.

This milestone spurred a contest of a 90-second shopping spree within the store at 1107 Wayne Ave.

While you can get your chocolate fill from one of several Esther Price locations, the candy is also available in select Kroger stores.

Esther Prices Candies in Dayton sells over half a million boxes of assorted chocolates every year.
Photo: Hannah Poturalski/ STAFF

Killer Brownies

Killer Brownies are famous in the Miami Valley and are sold at the extensive bakery counters at any of the three local Dorothy Lane Market locations.

These brownies were also the winner in gourmet food website’s Munch Madness, according to the website’s own vote total and Dorothy Lane Market officials.

Scott Fox, Dorothy Lane Market bakery and Killer Brownie vice president, said, “We are very thankful and humbled by the overwhelming number of fans all over the country who know just how ‘killer’ our Killer Brownie is.”

Dorothy Lane Market’s Killer Brownies are one of their specialty products. LISA POWELL / STAFF
Photo: Lisa Powell

The Legendary Lights of Clifton

For over 20 years, people from all over the area have made their way to see the Christmas Light display that features more than 3.5 million lights at Clifton Mill, 75 Water St. in Clifton.

This Christmas tradition continues through Dec. 31, hours are daily from 5 to 9 p.m.

The Legendary Lights of Clifton Mill will open for the season on Nov. 25. STAFF FILE PHOTO

Carillon’s Tree of Light

Keeping with holiday traditions, the Deeds Carillon – one of Dayton’s best known landmarks -- is transformed into a bright, shiny tree with 20,000 white lights. This is just the second year that the bell tower is decked out for the holidays.

The first attempt at transforming the landmark into a tree was not able to make it to Christmas; a strong wind and rain storm came through mid-December 2015 and caused severe damage to the lights on the bell tower.

The display was taken down, but has returned for 2016.

“We want everyone who is driving on I-75 to see this and say, ‘Wow, that’s neat. Dayton has some really great things going on,’” Brady Kress, president and CEO of Dayton History, said last year.

You can visit this Christmas monument at 1000 Carillon Boulevard.

Ohio’s largest tree of lights, 200 feet tall, is now lighting up the night sky at Carillon Historical Park in Dayton. The holiday fun continues with a month-long celebration filled with holiday-themed activities at the park. TODD JACKSON/STAFF
Photo: Contributing Writer

The Woodland Cemetery

If you’re looking for eerie footsteps or a ghost story, Dayton has got plenty of that.

The Woodland Cemetery at 118 Woodland Ave. was founded in 1841 and is one of the oldest garden cemeteries in the United States.

Several ghost stories have been associated with this place.

And it’s also where some of Dayton’s most famous sons and daughters are buried, with the graves of the Wright brothers, Paul Laurence Dunbar and Erma Bombeck located here.

Asa McMillan's "Angel" is the most photographed gravestone at Woodland Cemetery.

St. Patrick’s Day at UD

The University of Dayton takes St. Patrick’s Day very seriously, sometimes, too seriously.

Party goers begin the holiday festivities as early as 12:01 a.m., referring to their early start as “kegs and eggs” or “40’s at 4.”

An entertainment website ranked UD No. 1 for “the best college St. Patrick’s Day parties in the U.S.”

Hundreds of University of Dayton students gathered in the neighborhood of UD-owned student houses on Monday, March 17, 2014, to celebrate St. Patrick's Day.
Photo: Jim Noelker/Staff

Wandering Griffin Brewery & Pub

If you’re looking for something a little more casual than a St. Patrick’s Day celebration, there are plenty of breweries to choose from that offer a unique selection and taste.

One of the most recent to open is The Wandering Griffin. The coffee bar and brewpub held a grand opening in early December.

The menu includes a variety of sandwiches, salads, entrees, appetizers and pizza. 

The Wandering Griffin Brewery & Pub will host its grand opening today, Dec. 2. MARK FISHER/STAFF
Photo: Staff Writer

Marion’s Piazza

Marion’s Piazza first entered the restaurant scene in Dayton on Aug. 19, 1965, and has been going strong for over 50 years.

Marion Glass developed a thin crust pizza that is often referred to as “Dayton-style” pizza, according to his son, Roger Glass.

There are seven locations scattered throughout the Dayton area.

One of Marion's Piazza's pepperoni pizzas is cut into the iconic squares.
Photo: Lisa Powell

Oregon District

The Oregon District has been a beloved place in Dayton to eat and shop with hip retailers and trendy restaurants.

The district was recently named one of the five “great” U.S. streets by a national organization.

Juggler Tony Steinbach entertaining people during the spring 2013 installment of Urban Nights in the Oregon District. CONTRIBUTED

Dayton Arcade

The Dayton Arcade was the crowning jewel of the city when it opened its doors in 1904. But the doors to the structure closed for good in 1991.

In recent years, plans have been being made to bring the Arcade back to life.

“We’re really focusing on what we call this whole kind of collision of arts and innovation and how that starts to reset downtown,” said Dave Williams, vice president of urban development with Miller-Valentine Group.

The Dayton Arcade, which opened in 1904, closed its doors for good in 1991. The centerpiece of the Dayton landmark is the three-story domed rotunda. LISA POWELL / STAFF
Photo: Staff Writer

Dayton Art Institute

If art is more your style, the Gem City has you covered with the Dayton Art Institute.

Currents exhibits include: The Nature of Art, Water in Japanese Art and Ravaged Sublime: Landscape Photography in the 21st Century, according to the Dayton Art Institute’s website.

Paul Cezanne's "The Pigeon Tower at Bellevue" went on loan to the Dayton Art Institute from the Cleveland Museum of Art in October 2015. The DAI's preparator Erich Reith (left) and Per Knutas, chief conservator for the Cleveland Museum of Art, unpack and prepare to hang the painting. Painted between 1888 and 1892 the piece depicts a towering rock formation in the town of Bellevue in southern France where the artists brother-in-law lived. LISA POWELL / STAFF
Photo: Lisa Powell

Hawthorn Hill

Hawthorn Hill is a historic mansion in Oakwood where Orville Wright, the world’s first pilot, lived.

Many famous people have visited the mansion including Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Carl Sandburg and Charles Lindbergh.

According to, tours are available Wednesday and Sundays at 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. at 1000 Carillon Blvd.

Admission is $12 per person and $10 per Dayton History member.

A record number of guests attended Dayton History's annual open house at Orville Wright's success mansion, Hawthorn Hill, on Sunday, April 26.
Photo: Connie Post

Air Force museum

Since Dayton is usually associated with aviation, it seems only fitting that we would be the place to go for your chance to see military planes on display.

The National Museum of the United States Air Force usually attracts about a million visitors a year.

A new $40.8 million expansion was completed in 2016, and the Air Force museum now houses the largest collection of U.S. presidential and exotic research aircrafts in the world under one roof.

The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force ranked third in the nation among free museums in a readers poll. TY GREENLEES / STAFF Approximately 1,500 visitors attended the ribbon cutting for the fourth building at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on Wednesday, June 8, 2016. TY GREENLEES / STAFF
Photo: Staff Writer