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7 cheap, family-friendly summer movie programs

Published: Tuesday, June 06, 2017 @ 6:00 AM
Updated: Tuesday, July 11, 2017 @ 10:01 AM

“The Muppets Take Manhattan.” FILE PHOTO
Staff Writer
“The Muppets Take Manhattan.” FILE PHOTO(Staff Writer)

There’s nothing quite like the magic of going to the movies, especially for kids. Summer is the perfect time to take a break from the heat for a couple of hours. 

However, catching a flick isn’t the cheapest activity, so we’ve rounded up the area programs, events and discounts to bring family fun to the silver screen ... sometimes for free.

1.) VTA COOL FILM FAMILY SERIES

Victoria Theatre/FILE(Staff Writer)

Bringing classic movies back to the beautiful Historic Victoria Theatre on Thursday mornings, the Family Series of films are $3 a ticket. This summer’s offerings include The NeverEnding Story (July 13)The Muppets Take Manhattan(July 20) and the original Flipper (July 27). Tickets are available day of the show, or you can purchase passbooks through Ticket Center Stage (which are good for all of the Cool Film Series, not just the family shows).

>> MORE: This summer’s VTA Cool Film Series is full of can’t-miss blockbusters

2.) FAMILY-FRIENDLY SATURDAYS AT THE PLAZA THEATRE

The Historic Plaza Theatre, located on 33 S. Main St. in downtown Miamisburg, December 9, 2016. Photo credit: Tom Gilliam(Tom Gilliam)

The historic Plaza Theatre in Miamisburg is in the throes of a revitalization, and the awesomeness just keeps on coming. This summer, in partnership with ThinkTV, the Plaza will be offering FREE family-friendly shows on nearly every Saturday in June and July. This is a great chance to visit the theater, and spend some quality time with your littles and their favorite PBSKids characters. Up next? “Wild Kratts — Predator Power” shows at noon on Saturday, July 15, and “Curious George Red Planet Monkey” and “Wild Kratts Koala Ballon” on Saturday, July 29. Find more events on the theater’s Facebook page.

>> RELATED: Check out the historic theater you didn’t know existed

3.) The Greene Town Center Family Movie Night

As soon as it opened, there were lines to the vendors during the 3rd Annual The Taste of The Greene in the Town Square at The Greene in Beavercreek, Thursday, August 13, 2009.(Peter Wine for MediaMoments.com)

This once-monthly Friday night event brings an inflatable screen to the center of the outdoor shopping center for family fun. Just remember to bring your own chairs or blankets. Brought to you by Dayton Children’s, the event is in partnership with PROJECT: READ, and patrons are asked to please bring a gently new or used book(s) to donate the night of the movie. Mark your calendars for “Moana” on Aug. 4. The movie begins at dusk.

>> Cool off at these area spray parks all summer long

4.) Movie Night at Austin Landing

The Park at Austin Landing’s Food Truck Frenzy will include six vendors and live music. STAFF

The area’s other outdoor shopping destination is also offering a FREE Friday night movie event throughout the summer. Visitors are encouraged to come early, dress for the weather, and bring your own chairs and concessions (or pick some up from one of the many eateries on site). You can order carryout pizza from Dewey’s and popcorn from Grandpa Joe’s Candy Shop. Movies will be at the park at Austin Landing beginning at 9:15 p.m.

  • Friday, July 21: Moana 
  • Friday, Aug. 18: The Secret Life of Pets

More info: website

>> Check out these area art galleries this summer for a change of pace

5.) Cinemark

Cinemark is in the midst of a $1 million project to its Huber Heights 16 movie theatre that will be completed by the end of the month. LISA POWELL / STAFF(Lisa Powell)

The parent company behind theaters in Beavercreek, Huber Heights, and West Carrollton offers a couple of different ways to save money on the latest releases. Their Early Bird program offers discounts for the first matinee showtime of the day that starts before 1 PM (restrictions apply) and they offer a Discount Day once a week (days and prices vary by theater). Check with your preferred theater for the specifics.

>> RELATED: Your guide to area drive-in movie theaters (yes, we still have them!)

6.) Regal Movie Theaters Fairfield Commons

Theare exterior at Fairfield Commons, Beavercreek. Regal Entertainment Group's upcoming 14-screen movie theater at the Village at Austin Landing will give the area more competition in a movie theater industry that last year made $10.2 billion ticket sales and improved 19.6 percent in the first quarter of 2012 compared with 2011. Industry leaders say technology updates and theater placement are important in competition, which can hurt smaller theaters. Take, for example, the site of the former Showcase Cinemas Cross Pointe, which closed around the time The Greene opened and has been since razed.

All day on Tuesday, tickets are only $6.20, and everyday before noon tickets are $5.75. Check their website for showtimes and other restrictions.

>> RELATED: We’ve got 20 FREE (and fun!) things to do with the kids this summer

7.) Danbarry Dollar Saver

Danbarry Cinemas in Middletown on June 27, 2007. (FILE PHOTO)

If you don’t know about these area gems, then you’ve been missing out. With locations in both Dayton and Huber Heights, this cash-only theater already corners the market on cheap movies. With added promotions for discount days, senior citizen days, and last-day movies, it’s worth checking out.

Know of more family-friendly movie steals & deals? Email us at contact@dayton.com!

Lace up your skates: RiverScape Ice Rink opens Thanksgiving weekend

Published: Thursday, November 17, 2016 @ 10:42 AM
Updated: Thursday, November 09, 2017 @ 4:46 PM

Open skating and beginners’ lessons are available for all ages at the Riverscape ice rink. CONTRIBUTED
Contributing Writer
Open skating and beginners’ lessons are available for all ages at the Riverscape ice rink. CONTRIBUTED(Contributing Writer)

The region’s largest outdoor ice skating rink opens Friday, Nov. 24, for season-long, family-friendly fun on the banks of the scenic Great Miami River in downtown Dayton.

Opening weekend hours for the MetroPark Ice Rink are: 

• Friday, Nov. 24, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. 

• Saturday, Nov. 25, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. 

• Sunday, Nov. 26, 1 to 5 p.m. 

>> A few ways to get active Thanksgiving weekend

The MetroParks Ice Rink is sponsored by WMMX and will be open through the end of February, including special holiday hours during Christmas, New Year’s and more. Visit metroparks.org/icerink for a complete schedule.

>> RELATED: Best holiday light displays to get you feeling festive

COST

Daily admission to the MetroParks Ice Rink under the pavilion at RiverScape MetroPark, 237 E. Monument Ave., is $5 daily, and visitors can rent ice skates for $2.  

Season passes $90 family passes cover season-long admission and skate rentals for up to five people, and $30 individual passes cover the same costs for one person. New this year, season pass-holders will also enjoy 25 percent off all products at the RiverScape Café. Buy season passes before Friday, Nov. 24 and receive 20 percent off your purchase. Those who visit the rink on opening day and purchase a season pass will receive an extended 15 percent discount. Gift certificates are also available for purchase on location. 

 >> Some of our favorite Dayton holiday traditions

The ice skating rink at RiverScape Metropark was a popular place to be on Sunday, Jan. 24, as a large crowd of Daytonians, young and old, enjoyed the brisk winter air while doing their best to stay balanced. (ANDREW SMITH/STAFF)

FRIDAY NIGHT SKATES

Friday nights throughout January and the beginning of February are reserved for themed music and family-friendly fun. All events are held from 7 to 10 p.m. Themes include: 

• Jan. 12: Top 40 

• Jan. 19: Michael Jackson 

• Jan. 26: Frozen on Ice 

• Feb. 2: School Pride

 

REFRESHMENTS

While at RiverScape MetroPark, visitors can warm up by the fire and grab snacks, hot chocolate and more at the adjacent snack bar which will be open during rink hours. 

LESSONS

Skating lessons for children, teens and adults are held at the rink throughout the season and cover basic skills that will have participants moving comfortable on the ice. Visit metroparks.org/skating to register or to view a list of lessons and other events that will be held at the MetroParks Ice Rink.

 

PRIVATE EVENTS

Families, neighborhoods, clubs and groups can rent the ice rink for private events. Available dates are limited. For more information, call 937-275-PARK. 

>> What to know about RiverScape River Run

WANT TO GO?

WHAT: RiverScape MetroParks Ice Rink

WHERE: 237 E. Monument Ave., Dayton

WHEN: Beginning Nov. 24th. Check website for dates and times.

COST: $5 per person per skate, $2 skate rental. Seasonal passes available

INFO: metroparks.org/icerink

VIDEO: Step into a vintage wonderland at the Schuster

Published: Friday, December 16, 2016 @ 12:45 PM

A Dayton tradition is alive and well inside the Schuster Center in downtown. (Video by Tabatha Wharton)

Whether you’re heading downtown to see the Dayton Ballet’s Nutcracker or looking for something to pass a bit of time between shopping stops, make sure not to miss this gem of Dayton history tucked inside the Wintergarden at the Schuster Center.

The animated elves and animals first appeared in NCR’s New York office windows in 1943, but many Daytonians remember them from their annual holiday pilgrimage to the Rike’s Department Store, which sat on the corner of Second and Main Streets (where the Schuster Center now sits).

Several of the display items were saved before the demolition, while others have been donated from across the country.

>>RELATED: Things to do with your kids for winter break

While visiting the Rike’s Wonderland Windows at the Schuster Center this season, be sure to participate in the “Santa’s Secret” contest. Santa and his magical team of crafty reindeer made a special stop at the Schuster Center to check in on the elves’ progress.

To find “Santa’s Secret,” look for the common object hidden in each window box. Once you’ve solved it, fill out an entry form and drop it into the entry box! (Here’s a clue: The common thread always relates to Dayton.) 

>>RELATED: See what keeps the Nutcracker performances going at the Schuster

Kids of all ages take in the Wonderland Window displays in the Wintergarden of the Schuster Center in downtown Dayton. (TABATHA WHARTON)

WANT TO GO?

WHAT: The Rike’s Wonderland Windows

WHEN: Now through Dec 31; hours vary daily (check website for details)

WHERE: The Wintergarden in the Schuster Center, 1 West Second Street, Dayton, 45402

COST: FREE

INFO: https://victoriatheatre.com/shows/wintergarden-wonderland/

6 things to see at Ringling Bros. circus

Published: Wednesday, September 23, 2015 @ 2:59 PM
Updated: Wednesday, September 23, 2015 @ 2:59 PM


            Ringling Bros. ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson is married to production manager Priscilla. Their children are Matthew Felipe, 10, and Lila Simone, 6. CONTRIBUTED
Ringling Bros. ringmaster Johnathan Lee Iverson is married to production manager Priscilla. Their children are Matthew Felipe, 10, and Lila Simone, 6. CONTRIBUTED

WANT TO GO?

What: Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents Legends

When: Sept. 24-27

Where: Wright State University’s Nutter Center

Show times: 7 p.m. Thursday; 7 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday; 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. next Sunday, Sept. 27

Tickets: $15-$50 available at the Nutter Center box office or at www.ticketmaster.com

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Legends by the numbers

16: Number of hours it takes to set up for the first performance in each city

85: Animals on tour including Asian elephants, tigers, African lions, horses, dogs and kangaroos

200: Pounds of hay, fresh fruits and vegetables that elephants eat daily

300: Show members including performers, staff, train crew, animal crew, backstage departments and concessionaires.

2,500: Pounds of popcorn are consumed in each city that Ringling Bros. visits

18,000: Pounds of ice are used to make snow comes in each city

Animals, acrobats, high-flying artists and more will parade into the spotlight this week when Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Legends takes over Wright State University's Ervin J. Nutter Center. The all-new Ringling Bros. show opens on Thursday, Sept. 24, for seven performances over four days.

Here are six things you can't miss:

Great Britain’s Alexander Lacey will display his special bond with lions, tigers and a majestic leopard as he presents a mixed cat display that has garnered him numerous awards.

The Solar Hawks, an international, elite group of high-flying artists from the United States, Brazil, Venezuela, Ecuador and Mexico, will demonstrate precision, stamina, strength and perfect form.

The Riders of the Wind Cossack equestrians thunder into the arena on the backs of thoroughbred horses.

The China National Acrobatic Troupe, from Beijing, includes a number of diverse acts including pole climbers, a bicycle act, hoop diving and juggling.

The Torres Family shatters records and dares the impossible by putting family members on speeding motorcycles inside the Globe of Steel.

• And, of course, animals from around the globe — from the Ringling Bros. Asian elephants to lions, goats, llamas, dogs and, even, pigs — will delight audience members of all ages.

>>>>The Dayton Daily News chats with some of the people behind the circus at MyDaytonDailyNews.com.

This is one of the best free family events in August

Published: Wednesday, July 27, 2016 @ 6:00 AM
Updated: Wednesday, July 27, 2016 @ 6:00 AM


            Families and friends gather to watch a movie at Fifth Thrid Field. This year's feature is
Families and friends gather to watch a movie at Fifth Thrid Field. This year's feature is "Minions: The Movie" (FACEBOOK)

WANT TO GO?

WHAT: Donatos Pizza Family Movie Night featuring "Minions: The Movie"

WHEN: 6 p.m. Saturday, August 20

WHERE: Fifth Third Field, 220 N. Patterson Blvd., Dayton

INFO: daytondragons.com | Facebook | 937-228-2287 ext. 142

Don't be alarmed if you hear shouts of "BANANA!" coming from Fifth Third Field in August.

The Dayton Dragons, in partnership with Donatos Pizza, are once again hosting the Donatos Pizza Family Movie Night on Saturday, August 20. That's right -- a free movie AND free pizza.

This year's special feature is a showing of  the hilarious “Minions” (rated PG) on the 2,000-square-foot HD video board at Fifth Third Field. The gates for the event open at 6 p.m., with the movie beginning at 8 p.m.  Families are invited to bring a blanket and find a spot on the stadium’s outfield grass and enjoy a night of fun at the ballpark.

>>RELATED: Dragons announce 2016 entertainment

>>RELATED: Turkey legs, more now on menu at Fifth Third Field

It's suggested that large groups should arrive early not only to secure a great spot, but also to enjoy the festivities before the movie begins. Children will get to meet Dragons mascots Heater and Gem, enjoy inflatable games, participate in skits with the Green Team and eat fun ballpark food. Donatos will also be providing one free slice of pizza to each person in attendance (while supplies last).

In order to gain an entry ticket, all fans have to do is order a large pizza from a Dayton-area Donatos location to get information on how to request up to five tickets to Family Movie Night.

>>RELATED: New brewery to come downtown

I attended last year's Movie Night showing of "The Lego Movie" with my children, and I can assure you that this event is not one to be missed. Kids of all ages will love being on the actual baseball outfield, and the view of the giant HD screen really can't be beat. Plus, we spontaneously met up with friends, so it ended up being like a big backyard party in the coolest yard in Dayton.

A photo posted by Tabatha (@tabathaetc) on

Just please leave the cookie robots, fart guns and evil heist plans at home.