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4 places you should visit within driving distance of Dayton

Published: Friday, May 19, 2017 @ 6:35 AM

4 cities to visit within driving distance of Dayton

Summer is here and with it comes warm days, long nights and road trips. Explore these unique cities that are all within driving distance of Dayton (by driving distance).


Drive time: 1 hour to 90 minutes

Columbus’ Short North is perfect for either a day trip or a night on the town. With a multitude of eclectic shops and eating establishments running along High Street, there’s a little something for everyone. 

Large murals like this rendition of American Gothic grace the exterior walls of buildings in the Short North Arts District in Columbus. BAILEY LYTLE/SHORT NORTH ALLIANCE


Drive time: 2.5 hours
Home to both the Kentucky Derby and the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory, Louisville is steeped in Southern charm and bourbon. The city is also home to the Louisville Mega Cavern, which is the world’s only fully underground zip lines, bike course and ropes course which spans 100 acres under the city. 



Drive time: 2.5 hours

Toledo, situated on Lake Erie and the Maumee River, is known as both the Glass City and the “Water Recreation Capital of the Midwest.” The city showcases its past and present at the internationally known Toledo Museum of Art and the National Museum of the Great Lakes. 

At the Toledo Museum of Art you can see Alexander Calder's piece "Stegosaurus," painted steel, 1973. CONTRIBUTED


Drive time: 4 hours

Pittsburgh, known as the City of Bridges, boasts of having the most bridges of any city in the world. The city has reinvented itself from a struggling steel town to a modern city that attracts those who love fine dining and the arts. 

The Duquesne Incline gives people an especially scenic view of the city. PITTSBURGH CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU

Map detailing directions:

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Cool off with these Dayton-area spray parks and splashpads

Published: Tuesday, June 02, 2015 @ 12:00 AM
Updated: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 @ 5:00 PM

If full-on pool days aren't quite what you want, these area splash pads are sure to help you beat the heat this summer. (Video by Tabatha Wharton)

Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer. This means outdoor fun and finding unique ways to stay cool.

If you don’t want to immerse yourself in water, a spray park might be the best option for your little ones. 

Here are some of the best places in Dayton to let your kids run around among a variety of fountains to cool off and make a big splash. Most of these destinations open for the summer season starting this weekend.

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8/31/07 -- ddn090207salestax --Brian Knuth, 2, (left) and his brother Kyle, 3, of Atlanta play in the fountain at the the Greene while visiting his grandparents in Beavercreek with his family. PHOTO BY JAN UNDERWOOD(Jan Underwood)

⛲Interactive Fountains at Greene Town Square

WHERE: 102 Plum St., Beavercreek 

WHEN: The fountains are open 10 a.m.-10 p.m. daily through Labor Day. For certain events, the fountains may be shut off. 

INFO: Free to the public. For more info, call 937-490-4990.

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Sister and brother Amariya Hill, 9, left, and Khirya Hill, 5, play on the splash pad at McIntosh Park in Dayton on Thursday during an outing with their grandmother. A rare stretch of dry weather is expected to last into the weekend. TY GREENLEES / STAFF(Ty Greenlees)

⛲McIntosh Park

WHERE: 882 Riverview Ave., Dayton

WHEN: Open daily from noon to 8 p.m. from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

INFO: Free to the public. This park is themed after Paul Laurence Dunbar’s poem “The Seedling” and features various flower water elements. Call 937-333-8400 for more information. 

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⛲Five Oaks Spray Park

WHERE: 329 Five Oaks Ave., Dayton 

WHEN: Open daily from noon to 8 p.m. from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

INFO: Free to the public. The kids will definitely love the giant pencil shooting out water. Call 937-333-8400 for more information. 

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⛲Mallory Park

WHERE: 3037 Germantown St., Dayton 

WHEN:  Open daily from noon to 8 p.m. from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

INFO: Free to the public. If you’re a techie, this is a cool place to play as computer cables shoot water over a diskette. Call 937-333-8400 for more info.

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Cianna Richarson gets immersed in the cooling water jets of the spray at McIntosh Spray Park on Riverview Ave.

⛲Stuart Patterson Spray Park

WHERE: 238 Baltimore St., Dayton

WHEN:  Open daily from noon to 8 p.m. from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

INFO: Free to the public. Enjoy some medieval fun with dragons, horses and knights at this park. Call 937-333-8400 for more information.

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Walnut Hills Park, at Wayne and Woodman Avenues, was established in 1926 by the city of Dayton, sits on over 9 acres and features a ball diamond, pavilion, viewing platform, playground, sprayground, along with tennis courts and a roller hockey rink. Walnut Hills sits on about 250 acres of Dayton land running the length of Wayne and Wyoming Avenues up to Watervliet Avenue and Pursell Avenue. VIVIENNE MACHI / STAFF

⛲Walnut Hills Spray Park

WHERE: 2340 block of Wayne Ave., Dayton

WHEN: Open daily from noon to 8 p.m. from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

INFO: Free to the public. For all of you music lovers out there, you’ll absolutely love the piano that plays with water. Call 937-333-8400 for more information.

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The aviation-themed Washington Spray Park in Dayton is one of the city’s several spray parks. There are many splash pads and spray parks located throughout the Miami Valley. CONTRIBUTED

⛲Washington Park

WHERE: 3620 E. Second St., Dayton

WHEN: Open daily from noon to 8 p.m. from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

INFO: Free to the public. Aviation fans will love this park. Check out Orville and Wilbur Wright with the Wright Flyer overlooking a map of the world. Call 937-333-8400 for more info.

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Children walk through the fountains on Riverscape to beat the heat Wednesday. A heat advisory from the National Weather Service is set for noon to 8 p.m. today. Highs will be in the low-90s, but the extreme humidity will push the heat index up. The real feel temperature is 100 degrees. JIM WITMER / STAFF(Jim Witmer/

⛲Riverscape Metropark Interactive Fountains

WHERE: 111 E. Monument Ave., Dayton

WHEN: Open daily from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

INFO: Free to the public. On hot summer days, children can enjoy water play in the interactive fountains located in RiverScape’s Festival Plaza. Multiple fountain jets shoot water as high as 20 feet into the air choreographed to the sounds of family friendly music.

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Jamarcus Anderson, 3 of Dayton climbs a tower during the grand opening of the Fairview Commons Spray Park and Playground on Elsmere Avenue in Dayton, Saturday, June 11, 2011.

⛲Fairview Aquatic Center 

WHERE: 2262 Elsmere Ave., Dayton

WHEN: Open daily from noon to 8 p.m. from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

INFO: Free to the public. This spray park is beach-themed. Call 937-333-8400 for more info.

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Kristina Rader of Kettering and her two sons Trenton, 4 and Alex, 2, take a break from fun in the spray park at Orchardly Park in Oakwood Thursday June 2. As of April 1, the state requires local health agencies to inspect and license splash pads to make sure the water is filtered and treated. Rader said she thought monitoring the parks was " a good idea to make sure kids are healthy."

⛲Orchardly Park Splash Pad 

WHERE: 2599 Delaine Ave., Oakwood

WHEN: Open daily from sunrise to sunset through Labor Day.

INFO: Free to the public. This park was designed by children for children and includes a playground, basketball court, two tennis courts, green space and a shelter house to enjoy when the kids decide to take a break from the water. Call 937-297-2935 for more information.

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Beating the heat was a blast for everyone at Island MetroPark's water playground despite Wednesday high temperature and even higher heat index.

⛲Orchardly Park Splash Pad 

WHERE: 101 E. Helena St., Dayton

WHEN: The park is open every day 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Open Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. Hours are subject to change based on weather conditions. 

INFO: Free to the public. Grab a picnic basket and your swimsuits and get ready for a day of water fun at this state-of-the-art accessible playground. Basketball court, playground, tennis courts also on site. Call 937-275-7275 for more info.

Addison McCormick, 6, plays at Kennedy Park in Kettering July 19, 2013. AARON MAX/STAFF(

⛲Kennedy Park Splash Pad

WHERE: 5073 Bigger Road, Kettering

WHEN: The park is open from sunrise to sunset daily from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

INFO: Free to the public. The park is farm-themed and features water cannons, various spray features and tall water dumping buckets. The playground alongside the splash pad is also farm themed with a soft surface and encourages active play with multiple climbing features, slides, swings, ladders and more.For more information, call 937-296-2454.

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The splash pad, in Thomas A. Cloud Park, in Huber Heights, officially opened on Saturday July 4, 2010.

⛲Thomas A. Cloud Park Splash Pad

WHERE: Cloud Park, 4707 Brandt Pike, Huber Heights

WHEN: Open from 11 a.m.-8 p.m. daily from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

INFO: Free to the public. This splash pad is rainbow colored and located within Cloud Park, which features 1.2 miles of walking trails, various outdoor facilities and six rental shelters. For more info, call 937-236-9622

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Sprayground at Activity Center Park off N. Main Street in Centerville lets children of all ages have fun getting wet in hot weather.

⛲Centerville Activity Center Park Splash Pad

WHERE: 221 N. Main St., Centerville

WHEN: The sprayground is open from dawn to dusk (sprays have daylight sensors) daily from May 25 through mid-August.

INFO: Free to the public. The sprayground is not only for cooling off, but also has an all-access playground. Call 937-433-5155 for more info.

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⛲Bennett Play Depot and Splash Pad at Xenia Station

WHERE: 150 S. Miami Ave., Xenia, OH 45385

WHEN: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day.

INFO: This brand new water play feature is a zero-depth area filled with interactive water sprayers and fountains. Visit or call 937-376-7232 for more information.

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Kettering business asked to leave shopping center after 25 years

Published: Wednesday, May 16, 2018 @ 4:00 PM
Updated: Friday, May 18, 2018 @ 7:57 AM

Martha's Skin Care is being forced to leave Fountain Square shopping center

UPDATE: A representative of a company that recently purchased a Kettering shopping center in a high-profile location said “the health and safety of shopping center patrons” was a factor in recent decisions to end leases with some businesses in the center.

Owners of two businesses featured in recent articles published by this news organization have disputed claims Heather Murphy-Zahora, the vice president of Fountain Square shopping center owner Miami Valley Commercial Group, issued through a third party representative in the following statement.

>>READ THE FULL STATEMENT HERE: Kettering shopping center owner says tenants told to leave for violations


For nearly 25 years, the routine was the same when it was time for Dr. Carol Ryan to renew the lease for the space in Fountain Square Shopping Center in Kettering that she rented for Martha’s Skin Care. 

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She’d simply sign a new one. 

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That changed in April. 

Instead of signing a new lease with the center’s new owner Miami Valley Commercial Group, Ryan said she and her staff learned they would have to leave the shopping center located at 3109 Far Hills Ave.

A formal letter soon followed.  

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Ryan said she understands that business is business, but learning she’d have to leave and that the space was leased to someone else left her and her staff feeling shocked. 

“It makes me tear up every time I talk about it,” Ryan said. “It was just the fact of it suddenly happening. We are like a refugee business. Where do you go? You just go.”

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Martha's Skin Care is closing after its lease was not renewed. Cindy Gray a Martha’s nail technician 24 years, said the loss of lease has prompted her to retire. She is pictured with her client Charlene Sims(Photo: Amelia Robinson)

Ryan taped the letter signed by Murphy-Zahora to her shop’s window. She said she hopes it helps explain the situation to her clients. 

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The letter reads: 

“As you are aware, The Lease will expire on May 31, 2018. After careful consideration, we have decided that we are not interested in renewing the Lease or otherwise continuing the tenancy of Martha Skin Care in Fountain Square Center. 

Accordingly, we will expect Martha Skin Care to pay the full rent due under the Lease for the month of May 2018 and to vacate the Premise on or before the Lease Expiration Date, in a broom clean condition and otherwise in compliance with the Lease. Upon vacating, please remove all personal property, furniture, products and equipment. A Miami Valley Commercial Group representative will meet you, Dr. Ryan, at 6:00 p.m. on May 31, 2018 at the Premises for you to deliver all keys to the Premises. 

Thank you for your tenancy at Fountain Square. We wish you success in your future endeavors.”

This news organization contacted Heather Murphy-Zahora, the vice president of Fountain Square owner Miami Valley Commercial Group, seeking additional information on May 16 after learning Martha’s would be leaving the building. Murphy-Zahora issued a statement via a third party on May 17. According to the statement, “the health and safety of shopping center patrons” was a factor in recent decisions to end leases with some businesses in the center. >> Read full statement here

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Elizabeth Wiley, the owner of Wheat Penny and Meadowlark restaurants, confirmed earlier this month that she and her partners would not open their gourmet sandwich shop ScissorTail Sandwich Shop in Fountain Square shopping center in part because of a leasing issue.

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Contacted for that article, Murphy-Zahora said her company purchased Fountain Square in late March and is excited about improvements on the horizon for the shopping center. 


Ryan, a family physician, will celebrate the 25th anniversary of owning the shop in September. 

She hopes to reopen Martha’s in the months to come, but said things will never be the same. 

The shop founded 35 years ago by Martha Fano has loyal customers and staff, she said.

“It is my heart,”  she said of the shop. “We’ve shared in their special events.” 

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Ryan said the shop employs seven people. They had to make  decisions about their futures quickly. 

“It was very abrupt,” she said. “ You never like to end a business on such short notice. We have nowhere to go and no time.”

Manicurist Angie Ault started working at Martha’s when her son was 18 months old. Dylan Turner is now 19 and in the Air Force. 

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On Wednesday, she recounted how he weaved between the legs of her co-workers at Martha’s when he was a little boy and how he recovered from strep throat in a back room. 

Ault said she has provided services to generations of women at the shop.

“They aren’t clients; they are family,” she said. 

Martha's Skin Care is closing after its lease was not renewed. A letter from Heather Murphy-Zahora, vice president of Miami Valley Commerical Group, is taped to the door.(Photo: Amelia Robinson)

Kettering resident Patty MacDonald, Ault’s long-time client, said she started going to the shop when Fano still owned it. 

“It’s been great,” she said. “It is local. It is quick. I know these gals.” 

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Ault said she has found work at LaDeDa Le Salon in Oakwood. 

Cindy Gray, a Martha’s nail technician for 24 years, said the loss of lease has prompted her decision to retire.

“I could have hung in there a few more years,” she said. 

Gray pulled out a greeting card from a customer. In it, the customer expressed how much she’ll miss Gray. 

“You get to know the clients and their families. You go to funerals. You go to weddings,”  Gray said. “(The closing) is heartbreaking.”  

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Martha's Skin Care is closing after its lease was not renewed.(Photo: Amelia Robinson)


Martha's Skin Care is closing after its lease was not renewed.(Photo: Amelia Robinson)

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4 places to go swimming in the Dayton area you might have forgotten about

Published: Monday, May 21, 2018 @ 6:00 AM
Updated: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 @ 2:17 PM

Water Safety Tip

Memorial Day weekend is the official kickoff to summer, and the perfect weekend to head to the pool.

If you’re looking for something beyond your neighborhood pool, Dayton has plenty of good options a short drive away.

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Here are 4 great places to go swimming in and near Dayton that you should totally consider the next time you need a day by the water. We’ll be updating this list throughout the summer, so keep checking back for more pool ideas. 

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Did we miss your favorite summer swimming spot? Please let us know and we’ll add it to the list!

🌞Kroger Aquatic Center At The Heights

8625 Brandt Pike, Huber Heights

Swimmers at the Kroger Aquatics Center at The Heights float around the Lazy River on a warm Tuesday afternoon. The parking lot of the water park was almost full by noon.(Ty Greenlees)

This water park in Huber Heights has it all. The family can enjoy the sun with water slides, a leisure pool, a “spray-ground,” and a lazy river.

Hours and info:

>> Kettering business asked to leave shopping center after 25 years 

🌞Adventure Reef Water Park

2900 Glengarry Drive, Kettering

Adventure Reef Water Park has the biggest waterslide in Montgomery County.(Dayton Daily News)

The 3-acre outdoor water facility has some of the highest and fastest slides in Montgomery County, according to its website. With deck seating, a large water playground and a splash pad, this could be your summer destination.

Hours and info:

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🌞Gardner Memorial Swimming Pool

105 Patterson Rd., Oakwood

Gardner Memorial Swimming Pool was a gift to the residents of Oakwood.(Gardner Memorial Swimming Pool)

The Gardner Memorial Swimming Pool was gifted to the residents of Oakwood to “provide relaxation from Memorial Day to Labor Day.” Although it is a smaller community pool, Gardner still sells lunch and drinks— perfect for a couple of hours poolside to help break up your day. You do, however, need to be an Oakwood resident and purchase a pool membership to go. 

Hours and info: Facebook

>> Dayton-area splashpads and sprayparks

🌞Black Oak Swim Club

1570 Ambridge Rd., Centerville

Black Oak Swim Club in Centerville.(Swim at Black Oak)

There are year-round activities at this member-owned pool facility in Centerville. But in the summertime, it’s all about splashing and sliding into the pool. 

Hours and info:

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State park slashes prices for rest of the month 

Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2018 @ 6:00 AM

Hueston Woods Lodge Facebook
(Hueston Woods Lodge Facebook)

Need a quick getaway? 

A trip to Hueston Woods Lodge and Conference Center might be calling. 

The state park at 5201 Lodge Road in College Corner near Oxford is offering 50 percent discounts on rooms through May 30. 

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The weekend dates have been gobbled up since the park first announced the deal, but weeknight rates for cabins and rooms are up for grabs for $69.50.

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The Lodge and conference center at Hueston Woods State Park. (Contributed photo)

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