From the last Friday in November, downtown Dayton, Ohio will be the location of the spectacular Dayton Holiday Festival. The fun starts at 4 pm on November 24th with the Grande Illumination & Dayton Children’s Parade Spectacular in Lights. Watch the holidays light up during Dayton’s traditional tree lighting at 7:45 pm. The switch will be thrown and approximately 100,000 colored lights will brighten the three-story-tall holiday tree on Courthouse Square.
One of the highlights of the year and one of many free or affordable things to do in Dayton, there is no admission fee to enjoy the festival.
Immediately following the tree lighting, the Children’s Parade will round the corner of Second and Main streets to start its route through downtown. More than 100,000 colored lights will illuminate the parade, featuring a variety of festive floats, horses, entertainers, and several holiday surprises. Maybe even the big man in red himself!
Meet our North Pole ambassadors! Two of Santa’s reindeer will be available to meet on Courthouse Square between 4 pm and 9 pm. Don’t miss your chance to take your picture on Santa’s sleigh! Sponsored by DP&L.
Gingerbread Homes For The Holidays
Contest entries will be on display in the Old Courthouse. The top amateur and professional houses each will receive $500. Winners will be announced on the Main Stage before the Grande Illumination.
Enjoy live holiday entertainment on the main Courthouse Square stage. Performances begin around 4 p.m.
- 4:00-4:20 p.m. – Miami Valley Music Men
- 4:40-5:00 p.m. – Deron Bell Band
- 5:10-5:30 p.m. – Berachah Valley
- 5:40-6:05 p.m. – Dayton Gay Men’s Chorus
- 6:20-6:55 p.m. – Alexis Gomez Trio
- 7:10-7:45 p.m. – Dayton Celebration Chorus
The Holiday Village
Located in the lobby of the Kettering Tower from 4-9 p.m., this is a favorite stop for children, featuring free crafts and games, Mrs. Virginia Kettering’s holiday train display, and lots of other surprises for the kids. The Holiday Village is sponsored by Spectrum Reach, with games and crafts hosted by Hollywood Gaming – Dayton Raceway.
The Street Fair On Third With Free Carnival Rides
Blinking lights and whirring sounds are just a small part of the wonder you’ll find at the Street Fair on Third. Enjoy free carnival rides for kids throughout the evening! Street Fair on Third is sponsored by Fifth Third Bank.
Horse-Drawn Wagon Rides
From 4 to 7:30 p.m., wagons will pick up passengers at the corner of Second and Main streets for a ride through downtown. Trips are $1 per person. The rides are extremely popular, and lines can be long, so plan to come early!
The Tikes Shoppe
For decades, children in Dayton have been able to shop for their loved ones in a store that’s just their size. The Tike’s Shoppe will be located in the Schuster Center Wintergarden near the entrance at Ludlow and Second streets, and will officially open the day of the Grande Illumination from 3 to 9 p.m (Santa will be present from 4 to 7:45). Guests also can relive the magic of Rike’s animated holiday windows, on display in the Wintergarden. The shop will also be open on selected dates in December. For more information, click here.
Junior League Of Dayton’s Holiday Hunt
Don’t miss this free downtown scavenger hunt for kids! Start at the Junior League tent on Courthouse Square 4-8pm, where you’ll receive your map and instructions. Then follow the quest to downtown locations to earn prizes and a free book.
For fun and a unique added touch, we’ll be handing out free “magic glasses,” courtesy of CareSource. Grab a pair on Courthouse Square before watching the tree lighting and parade to see the holiday lights in a whole new way!
The Holiday Fun Continues through December
The Dayton Holiday Festival continues throughout the month of December with these activities:
- Family Movie Series at The Neon
- Tike’s Shoppe
- Virginia Kettering’s Holiday Train Display
- Rikes animated window displays
- When: November 24, 2017 from 4-9pm with the tree lighting at 7:45pm followed by the Grande Illumination & Dayton Children’s Parade Spectacular in Lights. Festival runs until the end of December.
- Location: (Map It) downtown Dayton, Ohio
- Phone: 937-224-1518
Source: Dayton Local
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