The 51 Best Things To Do In Dayton In Summer (2023)

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Want to know all the best things to do in Dayton in Summer? We’ve got you covered with everything you need to know!

Best Things To Do In Dayton in Summer

I personally prefer Summer over every other season and it’s the time of year when there is the most to do in Dayton.

Here are some of the best things to do in Dayton in Summer!

Explore The Local MetroParks 

Summer is a great time to get out and explore the local MetroParks. Here are a handful of parks that are great in Summer.

There are more than what are on this list that I shared in my post about the best things to do in Dayton in Spring if you want to check out those parks.

1. Carriage Hill MetroPark

Location: 7800 East Shull Road

Carriage Hill is known for it’s historical farm from the 1880s.

There are preserved house and farm buildings along with demonstrations of historical skills and crafts by living-history interpreters.

You can learn about blacksmithing, woodworking, cooking, quilting, canning, and more.

The animals on the farm are also specific to the breeds that would have been on this farm at the time like Percheron draft horses, Merino sheep, barred Plymouth Rock chickens, and Jersey cows.

Just like everything else, the crops are also crops that would have been grown on this farm at the time like wheat, barley, rye, and oats.

The schedule is subject to change, but in the Summer, the visitor center is open 10 am – 5 pm Tuesdays through Saturdays and from 12 pm – 5 pm on Sundays.

The Historical Farm Grounds are open 8 am – 10 pm Tuesdays through Sundays.

The Historical Farm Buildings are open from 10 am – 12 pm and 1 pm – 3 pm on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

2. Englewood MetroPark

Locations: 4361 W. National Road, Vandalia, Ohio 45377 (East Park)

500 Old Springfield Road, Vandalia, Ohio 45377 (North Park)

9331 Meeker Road, Dayton, Ohio 45414 (South Park)

100 E. National Road, Englewood, Ohio 45322 (West Park)

Englewood MetroPark is split into 4 distinct parks (North, East, South, and West).

During the Summer, these parks are open from 8 am – 10 pm.

In North Park, the fishing ponds are open 24/7 during the Summer for fishing only.

There is also a lake on Martindale Road that is open 24/7 year round for fishing only.

Some other highlights of Englewood MetroPark include the Stillwater River Trail, which is a bike trail that connects Grossnickle Park to Englewood Park in the North section.

The East Park is home to the Pumpkin Ash & Swamp Forest. This trail leads to a boardwalk area in the forest. East Park also has an 18-hole disc golf course.

There are also 3 waterfalls in this park. Take the green trail to Martindale Falls, Patty Falls, and Oaks Falls. This trail loops around the Stillwater River. This trail is in the East Park.

In the West Park, you can see one of the famous old Blue Ash trees named “Big Blue”. It’s located just past the stone gate entrance of West Park.

3. Germantown MetroPark

Location: 7101 Conservancy Road, Germantown, Ohio 45327

Germantown MetroPark is known for it’s hiking trails. The 9.3 mile orange trail is one of the most popular hikes in the area.

If you’re looking for backcountry backpacking, check out the Twin Valley Trail. It’s over 27 miles long and includes 3 areas for overnight camping.

The Wetland and Monarch Habitat Prairie area has also recently opened up some hiking trails for those wanting to enjoy the scenery and the wildlife of the area.

I know this is a Summer post, but the Valley Overlook in this park is perfect for seeing all the Fall colors too!

4. Sugarcreek MetroPark

Location: 4178 Conference Road, Bellbrook, Ohio 45305

Explore the Osage Orange Tunnel 1.3 mile trail and look for some barred owls.

Follow the 0.7 mile long Orange Trail to see the “Three Sisters” trees, dating back to around 1440.

In the Planted Prairie, flowers and grasses reach their flowering peak around mid to late Summer.

5. Taylorsville MetroPark

Location: 2101 US 40, Vandalia, Ohio 45377 (East Park)

2005 US 40, Vandalia, Ohio 45377 (North Park)

2000 US 40, Vandalia, Ohio 45377 (South Park)

1200 Brown School Road, Vandalia, Ohio, 45377 (West Park)

Taylorsville MetroPark is another park with multiple designated areas.

The Great Miami River Trail runs from North to South. On the North end of the park, you can see remnants of the village of Tadmor that used to be here.

You can also see remnants of the Miami-Erie Canal on this trail.

Along the Orange Trail you can find the Rock Outcrop where massive rock falls have opened up small caverns over time.

The easiest access to this trail is through the East Park entrance.

6. Twin Creek MetroPark

Location: 9688 Eby Road, Germantown, Ohio 45327

The Twin Valley Trail I mentioned earlier passes through this park as well.

Twin Creek is home to almost a hundred different species of fish and mussels. It’s a great place for fishing and paddling.

High View is a great look out point day or night overlooking the Twin Creek Valley.

At Lake George you can fish without a license. You’ll want to enter through the old Camp Hook at 8539 Morningstar Road.

You can also find Hopewell Indian Mounds in this park at Carlisle Fort, a 2,000 year old site.

Hike the green trail at 8502 Chamberlain Road to find the ceremonial Indian mounds.

7. Wesleyan MetroPark

Location: 1441 Wesleyan Road, Dayton, Ohio 45406

Wolf Creek Trail is the main activity in Wesleyan MetroPark.

This trail connects through other parks like Sunrise MetroPark, The Paul Laurence Dunbar Bikeway, and the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park.

Explore Local Conservation Areas

Part of Dayton’s Fiver Rivers MetroParks system are dedicated local conservation areas. Each one has unique aspects to explore.

8. Dull Woods Conservation Area

Location: 8199 Cole Street, Brookville, Ohio 45309

Park at the location above to get to the conservation area, then walk or bike a half mile southeast on the paved trail to arrive at the Dull Woods Conservation Area.

There is a boardwalk trail that winds through 8 acres of the old woods from the Wolf Creek Trail.

9. Medlar Conservation Area

Location: 4558 Medlar Road, Miamisburg, Ohio 45342

Medlar Conservation Area is a 416 acre protected area of woodlands, wetlands, fields, and more.

The Great-Little Trail passes through this area. The Medlar portion is 2.25 miles.

On this trail is Eagle Hill, which is an overlook across the valley.

The “Future Forest” area is a cool place to check out each Summer to see how the 20,000 trees planted in 2012 and 2013 are growing.

10. Woodman Fen Conservation Area

Location: 2409 Newcastle Drive, Dayton, Ohio 45420

Woodman Fen is a 33 acre protected area. A fen is a ground-water fed wetland area.

This one is being restored with over 100 different native wetland plants.

There is an 1,800 foot boardwalk that is under repair, so check their website before you visit to confirm if it is completed or not.

If you’re not afraid to get a little dirty, there is a 0.6 mile loop nature trail through the wetlands that is a bit muddy.

The Iron Horse Trail passes through this conservation area. It’s a 7 mile long trail connecting several parks.

Explore Montgomery County Parks

One of the other best things to do in Dayton in Summer is visiting some of the county parks.

Now that we’ve explored some of the city parks and conservation areas, let’s explore some of the county parks.

11. Art Van Atta Park

Location: 3180 Benchwood Road, Dayton, Ohio 45414

Art Van Atta Park has baseball fields, picnic shelters, fishing, tennis courts, volleyball courts, and basketball courts.

12. Judge Arthur O. Fisher Park

Location: 5661 Dayton-Liberty Road, Dayton, Ohio 45417

Judge Arthur O. Fisher Park has baseball fields, basketball courts, tennis courts, volleyball courts, fishing, and walking paths.

13. Madison Lakes Park

Location: 581 Olive Road, Dayton, Ohio 45417

Madison Lakes Park has fishing, picnic shelters, volleyball courts, and a children’s play area. There is a 6 acre lake and a 10 acre lake for fishing.

Explore Greene County Parks 

If you’re looking to get outside of the city a little more or just go to an area you’ve never been before, then I recommend checking out some of Greene County’s parks.

These aren’t all of the Greene County parks, as I’ve showcased some in other posts like Best Things To Do In Dayton In Spring, so these are mostly parks that are best visited in the Summer.

14. Glen Helen Nature Preserve

Location: 405 Corry Street, Yellow Springs, Ohio 45387

Parking is $5 per car and the park is open from dawn to dusk, daily. They are not park of the Greene County Parks system, but it’s in Greene County, so I’m listing it here.

There are plenty of hiking trails here, an outdoor education center, trailside museum, and an ecological center.

Some highlights in the park include The Old Dam Bridge, The Grotto, The Old Quarry, The Covered Bridge, The Yellow Spring, The Cascades, Hopewell Indian Mound, Pompey’s Pillar, and more.

15. Pearl’s Fen

Location: 4535 Byron Road, Fairborn, Ohio 45324

Pearl’s Fen is a wetlands preserve with a short boardwalk loop of .194 miles and a larger outer loop trail that is .625 miles long.

16. Twin Towers Park

Location: 501 Yellow Springs-Fairfield Road, Bath Township, Ohio 45324

Twin Towers Park is home to a large horse barn plus a stadium ring, dressage rings, a stadium jump course, and more.

There is also a designated space here for glider enthusiasts.

17. Jacoby Road Canoe Launch

Location: 669 Jacoby Road, Xenia, Ohio 45385

Canoe, kayak, or go tubing down the Little Miami State and National Scenic River. You can also get a primitive camping permit for this area too.

18. Indian Mound Reserve & Cedar Cliff Falls 

Location: 2750 US Route 42 E., Cedarville, Ohio 45314

This park is over 169 acres with 8 trails, a waterfall, Indian mounds, and a restored log house from pre-1825.

I’ve been out just to the Falls Trail, which is barely over a quarter of a mile to a waterfall and back to the parking lot.

Different parking lots lead to different trailheads throughout the park. To see the log house, you’ll want to take the 1.2 mile Peterson Trail.

To see the Indian Mound, you’ll want to take the 1.1 mile Mound Trail. Some trails connect to others or run side by side, so it’s possible to explore it all in one day.

19. Koogler Wetland Prairie Reserve

Location: 2735 Beaver Valley Road, Beavercreek, Ohio 45434

Koogler Wetland Prairie Reserve has a short loop trail with a portion of it being a boardwalk trail.

I couldn’t find exact distances online, but I’ve been many times and I’m pretty certain you can walk the whole loop in only 10-15 minutes.

20. Glenn Thompson Reserve 

Location: 509 Trebein Road, Xenia, Ohio 45385

Glenn Thompson Reserve is great for fishing and canoeing along the river. It also has hiking trails.

I’m pretty sure in high school my environmental science class came here on a fieldtrip to get samples of the water and test the minerals in it.

21. Kinsey Road Mound 

Location: 965 Mound Court, Xenia, Ohio 45385

As you can probably tell by now, the Adena and Hopewell Indians left behind plenty of mounds throughout the Dayton area over 2,000 years ago.

The loop trail to this mound only takes about 10-15 minutes round trip and it’s actually a nice area for a picnic.

22. Narrows Reserve 

Location: 2575 Indian Ripple Road, Beavercreek, Ohio 45385

This is one of my personal favorites. I used to take my nephew on walks here in the late afternoons in the Summer when he was about 3-5 years old.

We’d walk the trails along the river, occasionally stopping along the river to try to skip rocks.

You can bring canoes, kayaks, inner tubes, and probably even pool floaties to enjoy a day on the Little Miami River.

There are primitive camping sites at this park as well, though I’ve never tried it here.

23. Mill Bridge Launch

Location: 2754 Graf Mill Road, Bellbrook, Ohio 45305

This is another park that runs along the Little Miami River. It’s another great spot for fishing, canoeing, kayaking, or any other way you want to get in the water.

There are primitive camping sites here too.

Actually, since I’ve mentioned this at a few places so far, considering getting a group of friends or family together to go camp at one of these places just for a night.

Make s’mores, tell ghost stories, pack sandwiches and snacks for dinner, and just enjoy the great outdoors for awhile.

24. Constitution Park

Location: SR 42 & SR 725, Spring Valley, Ohio 45370

Constitution Park is another park along the Little Miami River. You can also go fishing, canoeing, and kayaking here. There are also picnic tables.

If you don’t own your own equipment, you can get some from River’s Edge Canoe and Kayak Outfitters (937-903-6468).

25. Frank Seaman Park 

Location: 4730 Cottonville Road, Jamestown, Ohio 45335

The last of the Greene County parks for now. This one is way out in Jamestown.

There are 7 baseball and softballs fields, soccer fields, tennis courts, and more.

Ride your bike along the Xenia-Jamestown Corridor.

There are also picnic shelters with grills and a children’s playground. You can even bring your own games to this park like cornhole or set up a flag football game.

Just don’t disrupt any actual leagues that might be playing in the park.

Explore Ohio State Parks In Dayton

Let’s go bigger and explore some of the State Parks that happen to be in close proximity to Dayton.

These aren’t all of the parks, but I’ve shared others that are better for other seasons during the year in Dayton.

The parks listed below are best ones to do in Dayton in Summer.

26. Sycamore State Park

Location: 4675 N Diamond Mill, Trotwood, Ohio 45426

Popular activities in Sycamore State Park include paddling, fishing, hiking, and horseback riding. There is even a youth-only pond for kids to fish in.

There are also picnic shelters and an archery range. The archery range is open to the public, but you have to have your own equipment.

The Storybook Trail is a 0.6 mile path that runs through the woods and along a creek.

The storybook changes throughout the year and there is a Free Little Library where you can borrow a book while you’re in the park.

Some other trails include the 2.7 mile Ghost Hedge Nature Trail, and the 1.5 mile Beech Ridge Trail.

If you want an even longer hike, The Meadowlark Trail and Heron Run Trail connect the Ghost Hedge Nature Trail and Beech Ridge Trail for an 8 mile hike.

27. Kiser Lake State Park 

Location: 4889 OH-235, Conover, Ohio 45317

Kiser Lake State Park is about 45 minutes north of Downtown Dayton. The lake has 5 miles of shoreline with several spots to take boats, kayaks, and canoes out into the lake.

These can all be rented at the marina.

There are campgrounds and cabins for overnight camping and plenty of picnic areas.

There are several short hiking trails like the 0.11 mile Marina Trail, 1.5 mile North Bay Trail, 0.6 mile Rabbit Run Trail, and 0.7 mile Red Oak Trail.

During the Summer you can swim at the 300 foot swimming beach with refreshments at the marina.

Play At Water Parks Around Dayton

Summer is pretty much the only time of year most of these are open, so definitely take advantage of these while you can.

Checking out the local water parks is one of the best things to do in Dayton in Summer.

28. Adventure Reef Water Park

Location: 2900 Glengarry Drive, Kettering, Ohio 45429

Adventure Reef Water Park is located at the Kettering Rec Center. It usually opens around Memorial Day Weekend.

There is a leisure pool, water playground, water slides, splash pad, and baby pool.

29. Germantown Aquatic Center 

Location: 75 N Walnut Street, Germantown, Ohio 45327

Germantown Aquatic Center also usually opens around Memorial Day Weekend.

This place has an Olympic sized pool with a diving board, water slides, and a wading pool.

30. Kroger Aquatic Center at The Heights 

Location: 8625 Brandt Pike, Huber Heights, Ohio 45424

Kroger Aquatic Center opens around Memorial Day Weekend. They have a leisure pool, water slides, lazy river, and more.

31. Sycamore Trails Aquatic Center 

Location: 400 S Heincke Road, Miamisburg, Ohio 45342

Sycamore Trails Aquatic Center opens around Memorial Day Weekend. It is located just outside of downtown Miamisburg.

32. Tippecanoe Family Aquatic Center 

Location: 225 Parkwood, Tipp City, Ohio 45371

Tippecanoe Family Aquatic Center opens around Memorial Day Weekend. They have a spray ground area, water slides, diving boards, and 3 separate pools.

33. Troy Aquatic Park 

Location: 460 West Staunton Drive, Troy, Ohio 45373

Troy Aquatic Park opens around Memorial Day Weekend.

They have 2 water slides, a drop slide, a diving board, a heated baby pool, a water playground, and plenty of shaded areas.

Attend Dayton’s Summer Festivals and Events

Dayton’s local festivals are one of the best things to do in Dayton in Summer.

I consider Fall to be peak festival season, but Summer has plenty of their own including popular local church festivals.

34. Troy Strawberry Festival 

Location: Downtown Troy 

This festival usually takes place the first weekend in June.

Celebrate all things Strawberries with over 60 food and drink vendors, and over 100 arts and crafts vendors.

There is also live entertainment and activities for kids.

35. St. Christopher Summer Festival 

Location: 435 E National Road, Vandalia, Ohio

This festival usually takes place the second weekend in June.

There will be live music and entertainment, rides, bingo, and even gambling.

The St. Christopher Festival is known for their pork tenderloin sandwiches and deep fried pickles.

Craft beer has also become a popular element of the festival with rotating beer taps.

36. Versailles Poultry Days 

Location: 459 S. Center Street, Versailles, Ohio

This festival usually takes place the second weekend in June. 

There is a Grand Parade on Saturday and an Antique Car Parade on Sunday.

You can also participate in the ultimate frisbee tournament.

There are rides, plenty of food, and tractor pulls for the kids.

37. St. Helen Festival 

Location: 5086 Burkhardt Road, Dayton, Ohio 

This festival usually takes place the second weekend in June. 

There are rides, live entertainment, a beer garden, raffles, and more.

My family has always been a big part of this festival, so I can highly recommend trying the corn on the cob, funnel cakes, and trying your hand at Over and Under.

38. Wine Fest and the Front Street Art Show 

Location: The Greene, Beavercreek, Ohio

This festival usually takes place the second Saturday in June. 

This is an evening event where you can participate in a 10 wine tasting of 2 oz samples.

There is also a Bud Light Beer Garden if wine isn’t your thing. You can also check out the live entertainment and the art vendors.

Admission to this event is free, but if you want to do the wine tasting, tickets are usually about $25-$30, which is a steal for 10 2 oz wine pours.

It’s almost like getting a 2 for 1 tasting for that price!

39. Jewish Cultural Festival 

Location: Temple Israel, 130 Riverside Drive, Dayton, Ohio

This festival usually takes place the second Sunday in June. 

There is food, live entertainment, arts and crafts, raffles, and more. You can also tour the temple or attend an education session to learn more about Jewish culture.

40. Levitt Pavilion Events

Location: 134 S. Main Street, Dayton, Ohio

The Dayton Jazz Festival usually takes place the second Sunday in June.

Dayton Blues Festival usually takes place the last Sunday in July. 

The Dayton Funk Festival usually takes place the second Sunday in August.

41. Celtic Fest Ohio 

Location: Renaissance Park, 10542 East State Route 73, Waynesville, Ohio

This festival usually takes place the 3rd Saturday in June. 

There is music, dancing, arts and crafts, food and drinks, and plenty of activities to keep you busy.

You can also participate in several tasting events, workshops, and a scavenger hunt.

42. The Miami Valley Pickle Fest 

Location: Austin Landing, 10400 Innovation Drive, Miamisburg, Ohio 

This festival usually takes place the last Saturday in June. 

There are many food vendors here serving all kinds of foods with all kinds of pickles.

You can also enjoy live music and the Bud Light Beer Garden.

43. Americana Festival 

Location: Centerville High School Stadium, 500 E. Franklin Street, Centerville, Ohio

This festival usually takes place over 4th of July weekend. 

There will be fireworks, a 5k, a parade, arts and crafts vendors, food vendors, live entertainment, and plenty of activities for kids.

44. Special Events at Fraze Pavilion

Location: 695 Lincoln Park Blvd, Kettering, Ohio

The Kickin’ Chicken Wing Fest usually takes place the second Sunday in July.

Bacon Fest usually takes place the second Saturday of August.

45. Polish Summer Fest 

Location: Polish Picnic Grounds, 2690 Needmore Road, Dayton, Ohio

This festival usually takes place the first Sunday in August.

Enjoy polka music, dancing, food, and drinks.

46. Germanfest Picnic 

Location: 1400 E. Fifth Street, Dayton, Ohio

This festival usually takes place the second weekend of August. 

Enjoy authentic German food and beer, live music, fun activities, and arts and crat vendors.

47. St. Brigid Parish Festival 

Location: 312 Fairground Road, Xenia, Ohio 

This festival usually takes place the second weekend of August. 

Enjoy gambling, food, drinks, rides, kids games, and more.

48. Dayton Potato Festival 

Location: Dayton Courthouse Square, 23 N. Main Street, Dayton, Ohio

This festival usually takes place the second Saturday of August. 

Enjoy all things potatoes from food and craft vendors.

49. Dayton Porchfest 

Location: St. Anne’s Hill, Dayton, Ohio 

This festival usually takes place the third Saturday of August.

Dayton Porchfest is free mini concerts on the front porches of homes in the St. Anne’s Hill neighborhood.

50. Fairborn Sweet Corn Festival 

Location: Community Park, 691 E. Dayton-Yellow Springs Road, Fairborn, Ohio

This festival usually takes place the third weekend of August. 

One of the last big festivals before the Fall festival season, enjoy all the sweet corn your heart desires.

They also serve great bbq chicken and have plenty of arts and craft and food vendors.

Other Fun Things To Do In Dayton In Summer 

We’ve covered all the outdoor things and the festivals, but here is one more of the best things to do in Dayton in Summer.

51. Ohio Donut Trail

 Explore Dayton’s rich donut history by visiting some of the city’s top shops on this trail.

You’ll first want to print out your donut passport, because you get a cool prize at the end once you’ve visited them all!

While you’re at it, you an print out the trail map or just save it to your phone.

There are currently 13 donut shops on the donut trail that go throughout Butler County and surrounding areas.

  • Central Pastry Shop (1518 Central Ave, Middletown, Ohio 45044)
  • Holtman’s Donuts (9558 Civic Centre Blvd, West Chester, Ohio 45069)
  • Jupiter Coffee & Donuts (5353 Dixie Hwy, Fairfield, Ohio 45014)
  • Kelly’s Bakery (1335 Main St, Hamilton, Ohio 45013)
  • Martin’s Donuts (4 W. State St, Trenton, Ohio 45067)
  • Milton’s Donuts (3533 Roosevelt Blvd, Middletown, Ohio 45044)
  • Mimi’s Lil’ Kitchen (2267 Millville Ave, Hamilton, Ohio 45013)
  • Oxford Doughnut Shoppe (120 S. Locust St., Oxford, Ohio 45056) (Optional Stop)
  • Ross Bakery – 2 location options (1051 Eaton Ave, Hamilton, Ohio 45013) (4421 Hamilton Cleves Road, Hamilton, Ohio 45013)
  • Stan The Donut Man (7967 Cincinnati Dayton Road, West Chester, Ohio 45069)
  • The Donut Dude (7132 Cincinnati Dayton Road, Liberty Township, Ohio 45069)
  • The Donut Hole By Milton’s (8268 Princeton Glendale Road, West Chester, Ohio 45069)
  • The Donut Spot (5130 Pleasant Ave, Fairfield, Ohio 45014

What is the weather like in Dayton in Summer?

During the summer months, temperatures in Dayton tend to average between 65-85 degrees Fahrenheit.

This can be hot and humid but with a nice breeze coming off the Great Miami River, it can make for some pleasant days outside.

Rainfall is also common in the area during this time, so don’t forget to bring an umbrella!

On sunny days, you’ll find plenty of people taking advantage of the outdoors.

Whether they are out exploring nature trails or just enjoying a water park, there’s something here for everyone during summertime in Dayton. 

So come visit us and experience all that Dayton has to offer!  You won’t regret it.

More Fun Things To Do Around Ohio

While you’re enjoying the best things to do in Dayton in Summer, consider checking out the top restaurants in the area or a day trip to Cincinnati or Columbus.

➡️ Best Restaurants in Dayton

From the regional favorites like Skyline Chili, to some of the best pizza places in the world, there are endless dining possibilities here.

➡️ Cincinnati Day Trip Itinerary

Consider taking a day trip down to Cincinnati to get a little change of scenery.

➡️ Columbus Day Trip Itinerary

Head up to Columbus to check out some new attractions and some classic restaurants you might not have tried yet.

Conclusion: Things To Do In Dayton In Summer

With so many things to do in Dayton in the summer, you won’t want to miss out on all the fun! 

From festivals and concerts to outdoor activities and shopping, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant Ohio city. 

With so many things to do in Dayton during the summer months, you’ll be sure to find something fun and exciting for everyone! 

Whether you’re looking for ways to explore nature, learn about local history or just have some fun, Dayton has something for you. 

So get out and enjoy all that the city has to offer!