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12 Dayton holiday traditions you won't want to miss

Published: Tuesday, November 17, 2015 @ 12:20 PM
Updated: Friday, December 04, 2015 @ 11:40 AM

12 Dayton Holiday Traditions

It’s never too early to start thinking about holiday fun, right?


Here are some of our favorite Dayton holiday events and traditions. Mark your calendars now:




Nov. 27-Dec. 23, Schuster Center Wintergarden, Second & Ludlow streets


A special shop run by kids for kids and priced within a kid’s budget. Also, visit Santa during special hours.

  • Nov. 27 - 3-9 p.m. (Santa 4-7:45 p.m.)
  • Nov. 28 - 10 a.m.-6 p.m. (Santa 2-5 p.m.)
  • Nov. 29 - noon-6 p.m. (Santa 2-5 p.m.)
  • Dec. 4 - noon-6 p.m. (Santa 2-5 p.m.)
  • Dec. 5 - 10 a.m.-6 p.m. (Santa 2-5 p.m.)
  • Dec. 6 - noon-6 p.m. (Santa 2-5 p.m.)
  • Dec. 11 - noon-7 p.m. (Santa 2-5 p.m.)
  • Dec. 12 - 10 a.m.-7 p.m. (Santa 2-5 p.m.)
  • Dec. 13 - noon-7 p.m. (Santa 2-5 p.m.)
  • Dec. 14-17 - CLOSED
  • Dec. 18-23 - 10 a.m.-7 p.m. (Santa 2-5 p.m.)



Nov. 27-Dec.31; 9 a.m.-7 p.m.; closed Christmas Eve/Day and during private events, Schuster Center Wintergarden, Second & Main streets


Come see one of the area’s longest-running holiday traditions — the magical old Rike’s department store holiday window displays. Experience the wonder of the animated elves, woodland animals, violinists and skaters right at the corner of Second and Main streets in downtown Dayton, where these displays delighted people beginning more than 70 years ago.




Nov. 27-Jan. 2; Mon.-Fri. 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.; Kettering Tower lobby, corner of Second & Main streets


Visitors of all ages can view this beloved, one-of-a-kind model train display that was given to the community by Mrs. Virginia Kettering. The display can also be viewed through the building windows at Second and Main anytime. Call (937) 224-1518.




Dec. 5, 6, 12, 13, 19 & 20; 11 a.m.; Uno Pizzeria & Grill, 126 N. Main St.


Have a special lunch with Santa in close proximity to tons of downtown holiday events. Reservations required. Call for cost and reservations. 937-910-8000.




Dec. 5, 12, & 19; noon; The Neon, 130 E. Fifth St.


Bring the family for fun, festive films. Titles subject to change, call the theater for confirmation. Free admission for kids 12 and under, $2 for adults. Scheduled films:

  • Dec. 5 — Jingle All the Way
  • Dec. 12 — The Polar Express
  • Dec. 19 — A Christmas Story



Sure, you can drive through your neighborhoods, OR you could go see one of these two amazing holiday light displays.


The Legendary Lights of Clifton


For more than two decades, people throughout the region have celebrated the Christmas season with a massive holiday display featuring more than 3.5 million lights illuminating the mill, the gorge, the riverbanks, trees and bridges at Clifton Mill, 75 Water St., Clifton. 5 to 9 p.m. daily starting Friday, Nov. 27. Cost: $10, free for children 6 and younger.  Call (937) 767-5501.


Woodland Lights


The annual holiday display features a half-mile festival of lights and displays along a wooded path with costumed characters, Grinch World, amusement rides for kids, live deer and foxes, food trucks and other concessions. Visits with Santa Claus take place nightly in an historic log cabin before Christmas, followed by nightly visits with the Grinch after Christmas. Weekends feature revolving performances by arts organizations and interactive experiences with life-size puppets by the Zoot Theatre Company. Weeknights include a Kids Party in the Park with storytellers, giant games and free cookies for kids. Revolving Activities & Entertainment include carriage rides, pet nights and Star Wars Weekend. Washington Township Recreation Center, 895 Miamisburg-Centerville Road, Washington Township. 6 to 9 p.m. nightly. Closed Dec. 24 and 25. $8. Free children 2 and younger. Call (937) 433-0130.




Usher in the winter season on the outdoor ice skating rink at RiverScape MetroPark Ice Rink, 111 E. Monument Ave., Dayton. Open daily beginning Nov. 27, but hours vary. Warm up with hot chocolate from the food concession and warm up at the outdoor fireplaces. No registration required. $7. All ages. Special holiday hours will be offered. (937) 278-2607.



  • Beginning with the Holiday on Ice Preview on Nov. 19: DVAC’s ARTtoBUY gallery features fine art and craft by area artists in a special setting created by guest designers. ARTtoBUY is THE place to find one-of-a-kind, artist-made gifts that will be treasured forever. 118 N. Jefferson St., Dayton. (937) 224-3822.
  • Dec. 4-5: Handmade Holiday: Dozens of local artisans will be selling unique locally-made goods such as jewelry, handbags and home decor. Old Yellow Cab Building, 700 E. Fourth St., Dayton. 5-10 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday. Free. Swag bags for the first 25 purchasers each day.



Dec. 12: Santa Pub Crawl: The 10th annual event is a benefit for the Marine’s Toys for Tots. The Oregon District, Fifth Street, Dayton. 5 p.m. $10 toy or donation. Visit for more info. 



  • Dec. 5: The symphonic rock band Trans-Siberian Orchestra brings its current tour, “The Ghosts of Christmas Eve,” to Nutter Center, Fairborn. 3 and 8 p.m. $37.50-$72. 
  • Dec. 5-6: “A Christmas Carol”: The 2015-2016 Projects Unlimited Star Attractions presents the Dickens classic. Victoria Theatre, 138 N. Main St., Dayton. 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday. $25-$50. 
  • Dec. 10-19: “The Santaland Diaries”: Human Race Theatre Company presents this David Sedaris tale about the misadventures of an elf-gone-bad. Loft Theatre, Dayton. 7 p.m. weeknights, 5 and 9 p.m. Saturdays. $24. 
  • Dec. 11-22: “The Nutcracker”: The Dayton Ballet presents its annual holiday show with special guests the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra. The Schuster Center, Dayton. Various times. $17-$72. 
  • Dec. 16-19: “A Charlie Brown Christmas”: This holiday favorite is back by popular demand. Sinclair Community College, Blair Hall Theatre, 444 W. Third St., Dayton. 10 a.m. and noon Wednesday and Thursday, noon and 7 p.m. Friday and 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday. $8.
  • Dec. 20: Handel’s Messiah: Ring in the season with this holiday classic. Westminster Presbyterian, 125 N. Wilkinson St., Dayton. 6:30 p.m. $29 adults, $27 educators, military, seniors, $14 students.



Take a romantic carriage ride or a fun family ride at The Greene in Beavercreek. Carriage rides will be available Saturdays Nov. 21, Nov. 28, Dec. 5, Dec. 12 and Dec. 19 from 6-10 p.m. The cost is $10 per person of $15 per couple (cash only). Children under 15 can ride free with a paying adult. Pick-up and Drop-off is located on the south side of the Town Square on Glengarry Drive.

What are your favorite Dayton holiday events and traditions? Drop us a line at

WATCH: 5-year-old dancer steals the show at Cavs-Warriors’ game

Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 4:46 PM

From the Facebook page of the NBA.
From the Facebook page of the NBA.

The halftime show of Monday night’s game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors featured a dancing 5-year-old whose moves amazed thousands of NBA fans around the world. 

With the Cavaliers’ Scream Team in the background, young Tavaris Jones danced to the song “Rolex” by Ayo and Teo, according to media reports. 

The video has gone viral as nearly 50,000 people have watched in on YouTube alone. 

LAST CHANCE to get your tickets for’s Best of 2017 party!

Published: Tuesday, December 26, 2017 @ 6:00 AM
Updated: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 2:34 PM's Best of 2016 Party was held Jan. 18, 2017 at Top of the Market in downtown Dayton. PHOTO / TOM GILLIAM PHOTOGRAPHY's Best of 2016 Party was held Jan. 18, 2017 at Top of the Market in downtown Dayton. PHOTO / TOM GILLIAM PHOTOGRAPHY

Well, folks, that’s a wrap!

Final voting for’s Best of 2017 poll ended on Dec. 22, 2017. We’ve been working hard to tally the votes, and will host a party celebrating our community on Jan. 17, 2018. 

The theme: Prohibition. 1920’s-style dress is encouraged, but not required. 

General admission tickets are on sale for $14, and VIP tickets are on sale for $22 (UPDATE: VIP tickets are sold out!)

>> Buy your tickets here's Best of 2017 Party will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018.

VIP ticketholders will receive admission to a special Speakeasy VIP lounge, a free bourbon glass, a free drink, a swag bag, appetizers and more. VIP ticketholders will also have no wait, and their party starts a little earlier at 5 p.m.

Tickets are on sale now, and can be purchased on Eventbrite

Winners will be announced Jan. 18, 2018 online at  

>> Restaurants that opened in Dayton in December

The festivities will be held from 6-10 p.m. at Top of the Market Banquet Center, 32 Webster St., Dayton. Ages 21 and up only, please.

A portion of ticket proceeds will benefit the Artemis Center, Dayton’s Domestic Violence Resource Agency.

>> 2018 New Year’s Eve events in Dayton: the best places to eat, drink and party

Are you a local business that wants to participate? 

If you’re a Best of 2017 food and dining finalist who wants to be involved in the party in some way, please let us know. Fill out this Eventbrite link to connect with us. We have a limited amount of booths available for restaurants, and it’s first come, first serve.

If you’re an entertainer who’d like to be involved, we’d like to hear from you, too.

>> PHOTOS: Best of 2016 party

A few tempting dishes you’ll want to try at Winter Restaurant Week preview event

Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 1:54 PM

Basil’s on Market will open a new location in Mason in early 2018, and has plans to add more restaurants. Photo from Basil’s on Market Dayton Facebook page.
Staff Writer
Basil’s on Market will open a new location in Mason in early 2018, and has plans to add more restaurants. Photo from Basil’s on Market Dayton Facebook page.(Staff Writer)

The Miami Valley Restaurant Association has teamed up with Buckeye Vodka and Prime Time Party Rental for a night of gourmet samples, music, photos and fun. 

On Wednesday, Jan. 17, the association presents the anticipated Sneak Peek to Winter Restaurant Week. Fifteen restaurants will share exclusive menu samplings, including tastings from three new restaurants on the Winter Restaurant Week lineup. 
>> 5 new restaurant openings in 2018 you should know about

Don't forget dessert! Here's "Steve's Favorite Carrot Cake" from Nibbles up for sampling at the Sneak Peek to Winter Restaurant Week event on Jan. 18, 2017. ALEXIS LARSEN/CONTRIBUTED

The Sneak Peek menu includes:

Amber Rose

  • Reuben Chowder
  • Chicken Rouladen

Basil's On Market - Dayton, OH 

  • Short Ribs Risotto

Bravo! Cucina Italiana (new this year!)

  • Bravo Pasta

Brio Tuscan Grille (new this year!)

  • Pasta ala Vodka

Canal House Chili (opening soon!)

  • Chili

Chappys Social House 

  • Buffalo Chicken Tacos and Pork Tacos with samples of Sangria

Coco's Bistro 

  • Winter Salad and Creme Brulee

Dewberry 1850 (new this year!)

  • Rooted Grounds Coffee Rubbed Braised Beef Short Ribs, Parmesan & Sweet Pea Orzo, Fried Quail Egg finished with Crispy Onions

elé Cake Co. Bistro & Wine Bar 

  • Shrimp and Grits

El Meson 

  • Chicken Enchilada Soup

Firebirds Wood Fired Grill 

  • Lobster Spinach Queso with Tortilla Chips

Lily's Bistro 

  • Marinated Black Grape Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette, toasted almonds and local Lettuces


  • Cuban Style Braised Pork Taco

Watermark Restaurant

  • Red Velvet Cake

Wheat Penny Oven and Bar 

  • Braised Pork and Polenta

>> 5 things we loved at Winter Restaurant Week Sneak Peek 2017

The best way to navigate this sensational menu? As Miami Valley Restaurant Association’s executive director Amy Zahora puts it, “dive right in!” Bring a curious palette and appetite to the affair – there’s a lot to revel in.

Wandering Griffin handed out beef and IPA chicken sliders during the Sneak Peek to Winter Restaurant Week on Jan. 18, 2017. ALEXIS LARSEN/CONTRIBUTED

In addition to the food, DJ and photo booth, guests can enjoy a cocktail crafted by Buckeye Vodka with their drink ticket (included with ticket purchase), as well as a glass of the newly-launched Walking Dead-themed wine for $5. For even more fun, Dayton’s Beer Bike QuadracycALE will be on display at the event booking their portable pub for summer festivities.  
Winter Restaurant Week kicks off Jan. 21 and runs through Jan. 28 offering three tiers of reduced price-points on curated three-course meals, with $1 from each meal donated to a local charity.

>> The 12 best restaurants in Dayton

Want to go?

WHAT: Sneak Peek to Winter Restaurant Week

WHERE: Prime Time Party Rental, 5225 N. Springboro Pike

WHEN: Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018 from 5:30-8:30 p.m.

COST: $20.18 in advance, $25 day of. Includes 1 drink ticket

Get ready to snap your best #museumselfie tomorrow — here’s why

Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 10:55 AM

January 17th is national Museum #Selfie Day.
January 17th is national Museum #Selfie Day.

If only Mona Lisa had lived long enough to show us her #selfie. We’re almost positive she would have been a pro. 

Wednesday, January 17, is National Museum Selfie Day, and there’s no better day to pose with your favorite portrait.

It’s not every day you get to shamelessly snap away in public. But on this national day of exquisite art and cheesy photo-ops, it’s not time to stop until your arm gets tired.

>>PHOTOS: Dayton Art Institute’s Oktoberfest 2017

"In many ways, the chief curator position is the best role at an art museum," says the Dayton Art Institute's new chief curator Jerry Smith, pictured on the right. Submitted photo.(HANDOUT)

The Dayton Art Institute wants to see how strong your selfie game is. 

>>PHOTOS: Dayton Art Institute Art Ball 2017

So visit the museum, snap a selfie, and tag it on social media with #MuseumSelfie and #DAIselfie and the Art Institute will share their favorites  on their social media accounts. 

Of course, you’re free to “selfie” all over town at any one of Dayton’s exciting museums — so don’t hold back! 

“Have fun and be creative, but please remember to be mindful/respectful of other museum guests, keep an appropriate distance from the art, and no selfie sticks or tripods in the galleries!” the DAI advises on its Facebook page.

The Cincinnati Museum Center is getting in on the fun as well. Take selfies with the museum’s collection items at any of its #CurateMyCommunity locations. Use the hashtags #MuseumSelfie and #CincyMuseumSelfie.