Top 5 Things to do in Dayton, Ohio

We learned there are lots of things in Dayton, Ohio for the four years we were stationed there. Part of military life is living in different parts of the world. My last assignments in the military took me to Dayton, Ohio. While in Dayton my husband and I went from a couple to a family when our oldest son was born at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. This event also cued my decision to leave the military behind. Because we were in Dayton with both with and without kids we had a lot of opportunities to travel around the Dayton area and see both the adult and parent life. Truthfully, we spent most of our time mountain biking at John Bryan before our son’s arrival.

Top 5 Things to do in Dayton, Ohio

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 is a hangar I missed. I would recommend checking out the Space Shuttle Exhibit. There is also a shuttle to take you on base to see the Presidential Planes. There is also a nice park that is great for a picnic. There is no fee for the museum and you can spend hours or multiple visits and still probably have more to see and do.

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

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 nearby 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

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 a 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.

We learned there are lots of things in Dayton, Ohio for the four years we were stationed there. Part of military life is living in different parts of the world. My last assignments in the military took me to Dayton, Ohio. While in Dayton my husband and I went from a couple to a family when our oldest son was born at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. #dayton #ohio #travel

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