Things to Do with Kids In and Around Dayton, Ohio

Dayton is one of the top 10 largest cities in the state of Ohio. Nicknamed the "Gem City" and the "Birthplace of Aviation," Dayton is filled with many interesting destinations. From historical attractions to cultural adventures, there is a variety of things to do with kids in and around Dayton, Ohio.


There are a handful of museums in Dayton. One of the more popular museums for children is the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery. Located on the second floor of Boonshoft Museum is Discovery Zoo; a unique exhibit that features more than 100 animals and insects.

A few miles south of Boonshoft Museum is SunWatch Indian Village Archaeological Park. This archaeological site provides an outdoor adventure, as well as a museum and various events for children. After exploring this historic site, adults and kids can experience more of Dayton's past at the National Museum of the US Air Force. Located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, this museum is the largest and oldest military aviation museum with exhibits covering the early years of aviation, World War II and more.

Animals and nature

Dayton has more than a dozen MetroParks, with each park offering various attractions that kids will enjoy. Possum Creek MetroPark is home to a working farm with an array of farm animals including lambs and goats. Along with viewing the animals, children can study nature, hike one of the trails or fish in one of the stocked lakes. Many of the same attractions at Possum Creek are also offered at Carriage Hill MetroPark.

The 189-acre Cox Arboretum MetroPark provides various year-round educational programs. However, it's the Butterfly House at Cox Arboretum that will amaze children and adults. For an experience that will heighten all of the senses, the Children's Discovery Garden at Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark is the place to be. Along with the horticultural facilities at Wegerzyn Gardens, the park provides a nature trail and boardwalk.

Cultural attractions

From theatrical plays to visual art, Dayton offers a variety of theaters and cultural events. Located in the downtown Dayton area are Victoria Theater, Blair Hall Theater and Dayton Art Institute. The art institute hosts concerts, classes and special youth programs. Also in downtown, is the Dayton Playhouse where children can participate in the Youth Theater and special workshops designed specifically for kids.

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