5 things you should do at RiverScape this summer to enjoy the outdoors

It’s summertime, which means we’re looking for things to do outdoors.

Dayton’s RiverScape, a Five Rivers MetroPark, is full of activities for anyone looking to escape the indoors and visit nature on the northeastern edge of downtown Dayton.

Here are five things you should try at RiverScape this summer:

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1. Bike rentals and trails

A cyclist rides along a backdrop of a noon-hour display of the spraying fountains at the Deeds Point area of Riverscape recently in downtown Dayton. JIM WITMER / STAFF
Photo: JIM WITMER

You can rent a bicycle on weekends for one to three hours and enjoy one of the nation’s largest paved trail networks. 

The rental center is first-come, first-served and has several different bicycle styles and sizes as well as accessories to help create a safer, more enjoyable experience.

You must be at least 16 years old to rent bikes, and helmets are provided for free. 

2. Get out on the River Run

RiverScape River Run offers a smooth-water channel for novice paddlers and a whitewater play feature for more experienced paddlers. CONTRIBUTED
Photo: HANDOUT

Dayton’s riverfront lets people rent kayaks and paddleboards and travel along the river while enjoying the view of the city’s skyline. People can also fish, sunbathe or take classes or camps to improve their abilities in kayaking or paddling. 

The River Run was built with two passages so that novices and experienced paddlers can enjoy smooth or whitewater sections.

River Run’s development allows for better flood protection while improving the water quality.

3. See the Fountain of Lights

Lee Wolf of Dayton took this photo on Aug. 17, 2015 near RiverScape MetroPark in downtown Dayton. He said, "We were hiking along the river when my wife and I saw this rainbow magic over the fountain."
Photo: HANDOUT

A key feature of Dayton’s RiverScape MetroPark is the series of five fountains reaching 200 feet high and 400 feet across where the Great Miami and Mad rivers converge. 

Each fountain symbolizes one of the five surrounding rivers and features 60-foot spires that create patterns from sunlight display many colors when lit at night. 

The fountain operates for eight minutes at a time every hour from Memorial Day to Labor Day. It functions until 9:54 p.m.daily, and individual jets are disabled when wind may interfere with the safety of traffic or park activities. 

4. Experience the Festival Grounds

The City of Dayton kicked off a week of Fourth of July festivities and parades around the region with its annual fireworks show in 2013 to cap the annual Cityfolk Festival at RiverScape. Contributed photo by E.L. Hubbard.
Photo: E.L. Hubbard

RiverScape hosts a plethora of summer events, from cultural festivals and summer concert series to 5Ks and classes. 

The festival grounds allow for anyone and everyone to enjoy the MetroPark however they choose. 

RiverScape’s calendar contains information on the upcoming events. 

5. Pavilion music and lunch 

Barbara Bayliff of Dayton took this photo in Dayton on June 6, 2014 at a free concert at Riverscape MetroPark during the downtown's First Friday celebration.
Photo: HANDOUT

On weekdays from May 8 to Sept. 29, the park offers live music and local food trucks from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. There are a variety of musical artists and a rotating cast of food vendors for people to enjoy their lunch break. 

RiverScape has metered parking that is free after 6 p.m. on weekdays and all day on weekends. The park features art and landscaping that help the beauty of the city along with interactive fountains for kids to cool off on hot summer days.

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