Top 5 Things to do in Dayton, Ohio

The Air Force moves us across the country and we spent the last 4 years in Dayton, Ohio at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. We can just pretend that the first six months I wasn’t in Afghanistan and New Mexico. My husband was there the whole 4 years so that is when I start counting the time. Anyways, we made lots of fun memories and I wanted to do a quick post about the 5 best things to do in and around Dayton, Ohio.

Top 5 Things to do in and around Dayton Ohio according to Airman2Mom Top 5 Things to do in and around Dayton Ohio according to Airman2Mom Top 5 Things to do in and around Dayton Ohio according to Airman2Mom

1. The National Museum of the United States Air Force: If you ever have a chance to visit the Air Force Museum in Dayton you should go. It will amaze you. There is so much history within those hangars, you could spend days inside, I went a number of times and still think there are hangar I missed. I would recommend checking out the Space Shuttle Exhibit. There is also a nice park that is great for a picnic. There is no fee for the museum check out their website for hours.

Top 5 Things to do in and around Dayton Ohio according to Airman2Mom Top 5 Things to do in and around Dayton Ohio according to Airman2Mom 1306_CliftonGorge_015

2. John Bryan State Park: There is so much to offer at this park no matter what time of the year it is. There is camping, hiking, biking and places for picnics and fun. We spent many weekends mountain biking here, an easy trail that is great for beginners and fun for experienced riders too (11 miles). If you are up for a longer hike, hike into Clifton Gorge for even more spectacular views. There is dining near by in Yellow Springs or in Clifton at Clifton Mill. John Bryan and Clifton Gorge are free.  Another great spot for hiking near Yellow Springs is Glen Helen Nature Preserve there is a $2 fee for parking.

Top 5 Things to do in and around Dayton Ohio according to Airman2Mom Top 5 Things to do in and around Dayton Ohio according to Airman2Mom

3. Young’s Jersey Dairy: If you are in the mood for ice cream you can always check out Graters (my personal favorite), but if you are in the mood for fun too, I recommend Young’s Dairy. There is mini golf, tractors for climbing, a driving range, a barn where you can feed the animals, a kiddie corral, batting cages, a huge slide and much more. You won’t be disappointed with a stop here.  Check out their website for more details.

Top 5 Things to do in and around Dayton Ohio according to Airman2Mom

A tasty treat from 2nd Street Market

4. Second Street Market: It is part of the Five Rivers MetroParks is a great spot for breakfast and local produce on a Saturday morning. You may have a hard time finding a place to sit, but it will be worth it to see all the different local vendors.  2nd Street Market operates in an historic block-long former 1911 B&O railroad building. It was saved from demolition and renovated in 2001.  Local growers, bakers, culinary specialists, and artisans fill this charming historic freight house. Reminiscent of European markets, it’s alive with vendors, people and activity during market hours.  Hours change with the seasons so check out the link to find out when you can visit.

5. Carillon Historical Park: If you are looking for the history of Dayton all in one place you need to stop at Carillon Historical Park.  At the park you can see the original 1905 Wright Flyer III, the world’s first practical airplane and National Historic Landmark, the 1835 B&O (Grasshopper) steam locomotive, and the first automobile self-starter. As a visitor, you will also get to experience Dayton’s pioneer history complete with costumed interpreters and a visit to Dayton’s oldest building, Newcom’s Tavern, erected in 1796.  There is free admission and a concert by the Dayton philharmonic Memorial Day weekend.  Check out their site for details on admission and hours.

There are so many other things to do in Dayton that I could have made this list go on. Now reflecting back we had so many great memories and took advantage of the time we had to see many things. Hopefully we can continue our exploring in our new location. If you have been to Dayton what is your favorite place to visit? Comment below.

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