35 Can’t-Miss Winter Events

 35 Can’t-Miss Winter Events

Don’t let Ohio’s harsh winter keep you inside all season. Bundle up and brave the cold because you won’t want to miss our list of the top 35 events in the Dayton area.


ArtToBuy Gift Gallery

Nov. 1-Dec. 21

The Dayton Visual Arts Center’s annual gift gallery gets a brand new vibe this year. Stop by DVAC to shop for all your holiday favorites from local Dayton artists.

TEDx Dayton

Nov. 15, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

See what all the hype is about as TEDx comes to Dayton’s Victoria Theatre to “infuse and inspire!” TEDx unleashes more than thirty speakers who will share unique ideas and insights in the traditional style of TED talks.

The Sugarplum Festival of Trees

Nov. 22-24

This TWIG-organized event, held at the Presidential Banquet Center, kicks off the holiday season in the Miami Valley with a festival comprised of a formal gala, a champagne luncheon, and a breakfast with Santa. All proceeds benefit Dayton Children’s Hospital.

Ringing in the Holidays

Nov. 23, 6:30-10 p.m.

Jingle, jingle, mix and mingle with family and friends at this festive celebration hosted by Dayton History at Carillon Historical Park. Enjoy holiday tunes and participate in “Dayton’s Most Delightful Dessert Contest.”

Handel’s Judas Maccabaeus

at Dayton Masonic Center

Nov. 24, 3-5 p.m.

The Miami Valley Symphony Orchestra and community chorus perform Handel’s glorious oratorio Judas Maccabaeus to celebrate the beginning of Chanukah.

Dayton Holiday Festival

Nov. 29

The Downtown Dayton Partnership encourages you to light up your holidays with the traditional Grande Illumination tree lighting in Courthouse Square, followed by the nighttime Children’s Parade Spectacular in Lights. Bring the kiddos and enjoy more than 100,000 lights, along with other holiday festivities.

Cut your own Christmas Tree

at Young’s Jersey Dairy

Nov. 29-Dec. 15 (or until sold out), 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

There’s no better way to celebrate a good old-fashioned family Christmas than to cut your own Christmas tree. Young’s Jersey Dairy in Yellow Springs provides complimentary hot chocolate and popcorn while you explore their wide selection of trees for cutting.

Dayton Gay Men’s Chorus and Sinclair Community College Handbell Choir

Dec. 7, 6 p.m.

Ring (and sing) in the holidays with the DGMC as they team up with the Sinclair Community College Handbell Choir to wow you with holiday favorites at the Westminster Presbyterian Church.

Jingle Bell Run

Dec. 7

Be there with bells on for this festive holiday-themed 5K. Run or walk your way into raising funds to fight arthritis, the nation’s leading cause of disability. Jingle up your shoes or don a Santa hat and beard, and head to the Dayton Mall for this annual fun run.

“Sweet Sounds of the Holidays” presented by Kettering Children’s Choir and Bach Society of Dayton

Dec. 8, 7:30 p.m.

Fun for all ages, this holiday concert held at the Kettering Seventh Day Adventist Church features the talents of the Bach Society, the angelic voices of the Kettering Children’s Choir, and the handbell styling of the Kettering Advent ringers.

The Nutcracker at the Schuster Performing Arts Center

Dec. 13-15, 20-22

Featuring talented dancers from the Dayton Ballet and Tchaikovsky’s famous score performed by the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, this performance will delight the senses and transport you to a fantastic world of wonder. Fans of all ages won’t want to miss this cherished holiday tradition.

DCDC’s “In the Spirit of … Behold His Holy Name”

Dec. 14-15

Explore the origins of the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company in this unique, holiday-themed concert experience at the Dayton Convention Center.

Legendary Lights benefits

Relay for Life

Dec. 18

Nothing lights up the holidays like the 3.5 million twinkling lights that illuminate the beautiful winter landscape of Clifton Mill. This unparalleled light display runs from the day after Thanksgiving through Jan. 1. On Dec. 18 cancer survivors are admitted free and a portion of the day’s proceeds will benefit Relay for Life.

Big Hats and High Tea Luncheon

Dec. 29, 1-3 p.m.

Put on your favorite hat and take in the view of the city as you enjoy tea, dessert and finger sandwiches at the Crowne Plaza’s View 162 Restaurant and Lounge. Win a prize for “Best Hat” and check out the special hat display by the Oregon District’s Brim Hat Shop.

New Year’s Eve Around the World

Dec. 31, 8-10 p.m.

Kick-off New Year’s Eve at the Schuster Performing Arts Center with a multicultural celebration of music and dance performed by the Dayton Ballet, Dayton Opera and Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra. The evening includes scrumptious food-by-the-bite in the Wintergarden before the show, a flute of champagne at intermission and a balloon drop to end the concert.


Blind Bourbon Tasting

Jan. 11, 3:30 p.m.

Join the bourbon masters at the Century Bar as they guide you through a blind bourbon tasting. Bourbon connoisseurs and novices alike are welcome. Reservations begin Dec. 1.


Jan. 17-18

Muse Machine presents its 2014 Winter Musical, Seussical, at the Victoria Theatre. Come out and support the Dayton area’s talented young actors as they sing and dance their way through a plot based on the many books of Dr. Seuss.

Grounded (A REACH Across

Dayton Exhibition)

Jan. 17-Feb. 28

REACH (Realizing Ethnic Awareness and Cultural Heritage) Across Dayton is a collaborative program put on by the Dayton Visual Arts Center, Sinclair Community College and EboNia Gallery. REACH seeks to support the area’s diverse cultural populations and promote learning in the arts and humanities.

MLK Memorial March/Rally

Jan. 20

This annual march commemorating the life and teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. travels approximately 1.6 miles. The march begins at the Charles R. Drew Health Center on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Way, passes the Dayton Cultural Center (Peace Bridge), and ends with a rally at the Dayton Convention Center.

Science of Wine

Jan. 25

The Boonshoft Museum of Discovery celebrates wine in a unique way as they pair dozens of wines with heavy hors d’oeuvres and live music to create an experience designed to entice the senses. Sip some of Kentucky’s finest at the Bourbon Bar, chat with friends and roam the museum’s exhibits at this casual evening gathering.

Sweet Treats Festival

Jan. 26, 1-4 p.m.

Swing on down to Commander Aero in Springboro for a tasty gathering of all things sweet. Dayton Most Metro hosts this showcase of the area’s best bakeries, chocolatiers and confectioners at an afternoon event that’s sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Winter Restaurant Week

Jan. 27-Feb. 3

The Miami Valley Restaurant Association encourages you to “dine out Dayton” during a weeklong celebration of the region’s favorite restaurants. Participating locations offer a special prix fixe menu, consisting of an appetizer, main course and dessert for $20.14, $25.14 or $30.14.

Art at the Trace

Feb. 8

View and purchase fine art in a variety of mediums at this fantastic art event, held at The Golf Club at Yankee Trace and sponsored by the Centerville Arts Commission. Mingle among local artists, nosh on an assortment of gourmet appetizers and desserts, and enjoy the cash bar as you “ooh and ahh” over hundreds of works of art.

Family Day at the National

Museum of the USAF

Feb. 15

Pique your budding pilot’s interest with a visit to the Air Force Museum for Family Day. Featuring a new theme at each event, families enjoy free admission, story time and aerospace demonstration stations.

Isabella Kirkland: Stilled Life

at Dayton Art Institute

Feb. 22-May 18

View contemporary artist Isabella Kirkland’s collection of luscious portraits of flora and fauna in an exhibition that delivers an arresting and timely narrative about environmental degradation and homogenization. Art lovers and scientists will enjoy this exhibition that opens with an artist talk at 3 p.m. on Feb. 22.

Day of Caring Pancake Brunch

Feb. 23

Hosted by churches and service organizations across the Tristate area, Day of Caring features pancake brunches held at various locations throughout the region in an effort to raise awareness of hunger and homelessness, and support the organizations that serve them.

Knockout Dayton

March 1

Let’s get ready to rumble! Local Daytonians go head-to-head for the third year running in this VIP Fight Night boxing event presented by Drake’s Downtown Gym benefitting Dayton History.

Dorothy Lane Market

Bridal Event

March 2

Held in the mezzanine at DLM Springboro, this ultra-classy bridal event provides brides a smaller, more intimate setting in which they can mingle with a select crew of bridal vendors showcasing wedding essentials such as invitations, jewelry, gowns, accessories, videography, and more. Sample bakery and culinary delights from DLM, sip champagne and enjoy music by local wedding musicians.

Dessert with Oscar

March 2, 7-11:30 p.m.

“And the Oscar goes to…Film Dayton!” This Oscar-watch party, presented by Film Dayton, welcomes guests to view the Oscars on multiple screens broadcasting the show while indulging in tasty desserts themed after Best Picture nominees and created by your favorite local chefs.

The Cline Show at DVAC

March 2-Apr. 19

The Dayton Visual Arts Center proudly presents the work of area college art and design students who were nominated by their professors to curate, install, market and jury this collaborative exhibition.

Annual Artemis Center Gala

March 8, 7 p.m.

Join the Carnival again this year at the Dayton Masonic Center for an amazing night of food, dancing, live music, and silent and live auctions to raise money for alternatives to domestic violence.

Fairy Godmother Project

March 15

Clothes That Work, in partnership with the Dayton Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, is looking for volunteers to help with their Fairy Godmother Project, an annual event that collects prom dresses and distributes them to local high school girls who can’t afford to buy them on their own.

Dayton Heart Ball

March 22

Ladies, put on a red dress, and gentlemen, suit up for one of the premiere social events in the Dayton area- the 2014 Heart Ball. Celebrate the life-saving work of the American Heart Association at this annual black-tie affair.

Harrigans 5K

March 22

Since 2009, this 5K walk/run has benefited four local charities: the Alzheimer’s Association, United Rehabilitation Services, JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation), and South Community. This event boasted a whopping 1,215 runners and record proceeds in 2013.

Doors of Compassion

March 29

This unique dining experience blends community hosts and their beautiful homes with the culinary creativity of elite area chefs. Reserve your seat at one of several coveted tables for a night of delicious cuisine, great company, and a fabulous after-party celebration, all benefiting the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Miami Valley Region.

For information on more winter happenings in Dayton, check out the events calendar starting on page 16 and at TheDaytonMagazine.com.