The Air Force Museum Theatre – Experience Aviation History

You might be thinking, “An aviation museum in the Midwest, how unique.” But the National Museum of the United States Air Force is anything but your run-of-the-mill aircraft museum. It’s actually the oldest and largest military aviation museum in the entire world. The Air Force Museum Theatre lies within the greater National Museum of the United States Air Force. This special auditorium brings aviation history to life through two types of immersive movies experiences. IMAX movies shown on a six-story screen with 12,000 watts of digital surround sound put you right in the middle of fighter jets soaring through the sky. The Air Force Museum Theatre is also one of the few locations in the country that screens movies in 4K 3D. These movies shine spotlights on topics like NASA missions or retell stories of famous battles and operations. You’ll feel like you’re really transported back in time with the vivid visuals. Adding a show at the Air Force Museum Theatre can be the perfect way to enhance your visit to the National Museum of the United States Air Force. The two attractions pair together wonderfully to create a fully immersive educational experience. Plus, you won’t find an aviation theatre of this caliber anywhere else.

1100 Spaatz St, Dayton, OH 45431 (937) 253-4629

Benjamin & Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center – The Heart of Arts in Dayton

Dayton loves and supports the arts, from music and plays to Broadway tours and ballet. The Benjamin & Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center serves as the epicenter of Dayton’s lively arts and culture scene. Known more commonly as just “The Schuster Center,” this visually stunning performing arts complex opened in 2003. Some recognizable theaters that call The Schuster home include the Mead Theatre, Mathile Theatre, and Citilites Theater. Throughout the year, you’ll find hundreds of high-quality music, theater, dance, and comedy acts grace these Schuster stages. The center consistently attracts well-known shows and performers ranging from touring Broadway productions of Waitress and Hairspray to icons like Jay Leno and Frankie Valli. Even if you don’t have tickets to a show, peek inside the soaring glass lobby and Schuster Center Wintergarden. This impressive space hosts a variety of community events like weekly jazz nights. With panoramic views of downtown Dayton’s skyline, you’ll be amazed at what a gem for the arts this complex is.

1 W 2nd St, Dayton, OH 45402 (937) 228-3630

Boonshoft Museum of Discovery – Hands-On Family Fun

The Boonshoft Museum of Discovery first opened its doors in 1964 as the Dayton Museum of Natural History. After undergoing major renovations in 2005, the museum reopened with its current name and had nearly doubled in size. Now, the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery serves as one of the best interactive children’s museums in the region. Families with kids of all ages will love exploring the museum’s fun hands-on permanent exhibits that cover topics like science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Some of the most popular sections include Kids Crossing for early learners, the Discovery Zoo with small animals like chinchillas, and an impressive Planetarium with astronomy shows. Historic artifacts and nature scenes at the Naturalist Center showcase local flora and fauna. The Boonshoft Museum of Discovery has new temporary exhibits rotate through as well, giving locals a reason to come back again and again. After a visit here, your little ones will be bursting at the seams with new knowledge waiting to be shared!

2600 Deweese Pkwy, Dayton, OH 45414 (937) 275-7431

Dayton Art Institute – Appreciate Classic and Contemporary Art

Founded in 1919, the Dayton Art Institute proudly reigns as one of the country’s oldest art museums. The museum’s collections encompass over 27,000 pieces ranging from ancient artifacts and iconic European masterworks to contemporary multimedia displays. Spread throughout 38 galleries, the Dayton Art Institute’s diverse collections allow visitors to travel through time and artistic movements. The museum does an exceptional job at curating exhibits in ways that tell compelling stories and highlight relationships between classic and modern genres. Must-see galleries include the popular 17th Century Baroque collection, stunning American paintings like those by Mary Cassatt, and provocative contemporary mixed media works. The photography collection here is also considered one of the best in the nation. Beyond the galleries, the Dayton Art Institute campus itself is a work of art. Regal architecture crafted from Italian marble and the scenic setting overlooking downtown Dayton make every visit special. Don’t miss the sculpture garden and NCR Glass Wall that dazzles visitors with ever-changing light displays.

456 Belmonte Park N, Dayton, OH 45405 (937) 223-5277

Dayton Dragons Baseball – Cheer on a Local Favorite

You can’t talk about fun things to do in Dayton without mentioning the wildly popular Dayton Dragons. This minor league baseball team has been playing home games at Day Air Ballpark since 2000 as a Class A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds. The team has lead the minor leagues in attendance per game every single season since their first year—that’s over 15 consecutive years as number one. The electric game-day environment and family-friendly prices keep locals and visitors coming back. From the first pitch to the fireworks finale, a Dayton Dragons game promises nonstop entertainment for all ages. The stadium is praised as one of the best sites to watch a ballgame with superb sightlines that put you right in the action. Grab some friends or the whole family and get in on cheering on a true Dayton tradition. The Dragons’ long season from April to September gives you plenty of chances to have a ball at the ballpark.

220 N Patterson Blvd, Dayton, OH 45402 (937) 228-2287

Engine House No. 5 – Learn About Dayton’s Past

Dayton has no shortage of museums highlighting topics like aviation, local history, and the arts. But one you really shouldn’t miss is Engine House No. 5, a historic firehouse converted into an exhibit space. Originally built in 1902, Engine House No. 5 operated as an active fire station staffed with horse-drawn fire carriages until 1975. Thankfully in 1982, Five Rivers MetroParks stepped in to save and restore the iconic firehouse on West Third Street. Now the building serves as a one-of-a-kind museum commemorating Dayton’s history of firefighting. Visitors can view historic engines and equipment during self-guided exploration of three floors filled with engaging exhibits. Knowledgeable docents are often on-site to answer your firefighting questions too. The Engine House No. 5 museum is run by volunteers and only open on Saturdays, making this a true Dayton hidden gem. Add it to your list of quirky off-beat attractions that help tell Dayton’s unique story.

116 N York St, Dayton, OH 45403 (937) 252-4141

Day Air Ballpark – Minor League Baseball Action

If you’re looking for affordable family fun during warmer months, catch a Dayton Dragons game at Day Air Ballpark. This lively minor league baseball park has been home to the Class A Dragons since 2000. The team holds the record for most consecutive sellouts in professional sports, with over 1,300 games selling out since their inaugural year. It’s easy to see why Dragons games are so popular with locals. Tickets start at just $8 for adults and $7 for kids and seniors on weekdays. Beyond ticket prices, the overall game day experience is what makes Day Air Ballpark a must-do. The open-air park is praised for its comfortable seats, unbeatable sightlines, and kid-friendly atmosphere. Live entertainment like mascot fun and in-game competitions keep energy levels high. Pack up the whole family or a group of friends and cheer on the Dragons during their action-packed 70-game home season each year. With a spot in downtown Dayton along the Great Miami River, the ballpark is also centrally located and easy to access from anywhere in the city or suburbs. Add a Dragons game to your Dayton summer bucket list!

220 N Patterson Blvd, Dayton, OH 45402 (937) 228-2287

Carillon Historical Park – Experience Dayton’s Past

History buffs will adore Carillon Historical Park, an expansive 65-acre open-air history museum along the east bank of the Great Miami River. Through dozens of preserved buildings and exhibits, the park effectively transports visitors back in time to experience what life was like in early Dayton. The park is centered around the iconic 1905 Deeds Carillon, which stands tall as one of the largest freely swinging bells in the world. The collection of buildings moved to and reconstructed in the park include the 1848 John Van Cleve Stoddard House, an early workshop, a general store, and an operating canal boat. Costumed interpreters and reenactors bring Dayton’s past fully to life through engaging demonstrations and activities. Visit during a special event like Heritage Day for even more immersive living history experiences like military reenactments and interactive performances.

1000 Carillon Blvd, Dayton, OH 45409 (937) 293-2841

Downtown Dayton Food Tours – Taste Your Way Around Town

Explore downtown Dayton in an entirely new (and delicious) way with a fun and filling progressive meal on a Downtown Food Tour. These walking tours take you to 4 locally-owned restaurants to indulge in a multicourse lunch or dinner. Tasting portions at each stop allow you to experience Dayton’s diverse culinary scene without getting too stuffed. Friendly guides share plenty of history about the neighborhood, restaurants, and menu items too. You’ll walk away with a full belly and newfound appreciation for Dayton! The lunch and dinner tours take slightly different routes but visit spots like Troll Pub known for savory European fare, trendy sushi at Lily’s Bistro, and Oakwood staple Dorothy Lane Market. Specialty tours focusing on topics like coffee and baked goods are offered seasonally as well. Downtown Dayton Food Tours last around 3 hours and cover 1 to 1.5 miles of leisure walking. Bring your appetite and comfortable shoes!

Plan Your Trip With Dayton Party Bus Company

Don’t let transportation challenges hold you back from an epic day of exploring Dayton’s amazing hidden attractions. Dayton Party Bus Company offers charter bus rentals that make it easy for groups to hit multiple destinations conveniently in a single day. With a charter bus from Dayton Party Bus Company, you’ll avoid the hassles of driving and parking yourself in unfamiliar areas. Your professional chauffeur will expertly navigate Dayton while you relax in comfortable seats en route to that next hidden gem. Day trips are more enjoyable when transportation is a breeze. Contact Dayton Party Bus Company at (937) 396-7255 to learn more about charter bus rentals for your perfect Dayton daycation! With flexible bus sizes and amenities catered to your group, we create transportation solutions that fit your unique needs. Start planning your off-the-beaten-path Dayton adventures.