By Holly McElwee
We are fortunate to live just north of a decent-sized city, Dayton, where there are plenty of activities and fun to fill your time in the Gem City.
National Museum of the US Air Force. Planes, rockets, missiles, the space shuttle trainer, and a former Air Force One….it’s all found here, at the National Museum of the US Air Force, the oldest and largest military aviation museum in the world. This extensive museum is the #1 most visited tourist site in Ohio. Plan an entire day, or more if you’re an aircraft aficionado. Allow time for a movie on the new digital 3D theatre, and a jaunt out to the presidential aircraft center to see one of the past Air Force One plans. You’ll have a fun-filled day for the entire family! Daily admission is free, but there is a fee for the 3D theatre. Plan your visit at www.nationalmuseum.af.mil .
Carillon Park. Take a walk back into the history of Dayton at Carillon Park. Cruise through the 65-acre park and see exhibits housed in 25 historical buildings. Ride the Carousel of Dayton Innovation, which was made in Ohio. See the original 1905 Wright Flyer III, the B&O Steam Locomotive, speak with costumed interpreters, and view unique Dayton innovations from 1796 to the present. All the while you can enjoy beautiful music from the nearby Deeds carillon, the largest one in Ohio. The park is open year-round and charges a reasonable price for admission with discounts for AAA members. Visit the website at www.daytonhistory.org/ .
Boonshoft Museum of Discovery. For a day of hands-on fun, visit the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery. Located in the heart of Dayton, this child-oriented museum keeps kids of all ages occupied for hours, and there’s plenty for the adults, too. Be sure to step into the MeadWestvaco tree house to view the surrounding natural habitat and bird watch from over 15 feet in the air. Learn about many of Ohio’s native animals, as well as ones from around the world, at the indoor Discovery Zoo. Preschoolers will have a blast in the Kids Playce, while older kids can expand their science knowledge in Oscar Boonshoft Science Central. Don’t miss the three-story climbing tower and slide, or the tide pool. Add in the Space Theatre and outdoor hiking trails, and you’ve got the perfect spot for an entire day of fun and science exploration. Begin your visit at the website, www.boonshoftmuseum.org .
Scene 75 Entertainment Center. Inflatables, arcade games, laser tag, go karts, bowling, the chaos room, bumper cars, outdoor sand volleyball, miniature golf…the question here is not how long do you HAVE to stay, but how long do you WANT to stay? The sky’s the limit at Scene 75 Entertainment Center! There’s an activity for everyone in the entire family, especially for kids age 8 and up. Food is also available, from quick snack stand service to a sit down restaurant, the Scene 75 Bar & Grill. Voted as Ohio’s best arcade and entertainment center, it’s conveniently located off I-75. Check out their website at www.scene75.com/ for pricing information and specific details.
Dayton Dragons Baseball. Baseball is the great American pastime, and you can see future MLB stars get their start in the minor leagues right here in Dayton. The Dayton Dragons have consistently sold out every season, and for good reason. The Dayton Dragons experience is packed with family fun, great food, and an accessible ballpark, right in downtown Dayton. Tickets can be had for as little as $9, depending on the game, but they sell out quickly, so don’t delay. Visit www.daytondragons.com for ticket information and details on special events.
Zip down the interstate for your next fun, family-filled adventure. Try Dayton and see what a great time you can have in the Gem City.
Holly McElwee, a Piqua City Schools’ teacher, writes parenting columns for the Daily Call. Read more at www.travelingteacheronline.com