Dayton Staycation: Saving on Summer Fun with the Kids 2012

Here are some great budget friendly activities to do with the kids this summer in Dayton, OH! You do not have to spend lots of money to keep the kids entertained. Check out your best bests for this year!

Kids Skate Free

Right now, Skateworld of Kettering is the only local skating rink participating in this program.  Each child will receive 2 Free Skating Passes each week through email on Mondays.  This program will end 6/30/2012.

Movie Deals

Rave Motion Pictures: Free Family Movie Festival 2012

Rave Motion Pictures: $5 Discount Days

Danbury Middletown: Free Movies

Danbury Dollar Saver: $1.75 Admission on Tuesdays

Kids Bowl Free

Kids can bowl 2 Free Games every day this summer.  Just sign-up the kids and you will receive your passes each week on Sunday.  There are several bowling centers in the Miami Valley participating this year.

Local Water & Splash Parks

Kettering: Adventure Reef Water Park

Located at the Kettering Recreation Complex on 2900 Glengarry Drive.  They have the fastest water slide in Montgomery County along with an interactive splash pad.  They even have a leisure pool with a large water playground.

Admission for kids is $3.50 for Residents and $7 for Non-Residents.  Adults are $4 for Residents and $8 for Non-Residents.  However, you can purchase a season pass for $182 for Residents or $273 for Non-Residents. Kids 2 and Under are Free

Coupons:B1G1 Admission found in the Reach Magazine, May and June Issue 2012.

Huber Heights: Kroger Aquatic Center *New for 2012*

This park just opened for the first time over Memorial Day Weekend 2012.  It has a lazy river, water slides, wave pool, diving board and more.  I have not been there yet but I heard it is really nice.  It is on our to-do list for the summer.

Admission for Adult is $6 and $5 for Children (3-17).  Kids under 2 are Free.  You can also purchase a family pass for $205 for Residents and $265 for Non-Residents.

Local Spash Park/Pads *Free*


Boonshoft Museum of Discovery

This is a great place to take the kids to learn all about Science in a fun environment. Some of our favorite activities include:

  • Water table
  • Looking at the stars in the planetarium
  • Watching wildlife through binoculars in the Tree House
  • Touching the Starfish in the Tidal Pool
  • Visiting animals in the Discovery Zoo
  • Digging for fossils
  • Working on Cars, Go to the Grocery Store in the Pretend Play Area

Admission for Adults is $9 Seniors $8, Kids ( 2-12)-$8 and Under 2 are Free.  Family Memberships start $85 and Military Memberships start at $85 and include free admission to the Sunwatch Indian Villiage, and Fort Ancient in Oregonia, OH.

If you choose to purchase a  Membership, check out the reciprocity list for hundreds of museums and zoos throughout the country.  You will receive Free admission to the Cincinnati Museum of Natural History and Science.  However, you can visit COSI in Columbus, Columbus Zoo and the Cincinnati Zoo for Half Price Admission.

They have a picnic tables and vending machines on site.  If you would like to get outdoors, you can visit nearby Wegerzyn Gardens.

National Museum of the US Air Force

This is affectionately known as the Airplane Store since my boys were very small.  My boys love looking at all the military planes,helicopters and especially the guns and bombs.  They love all of the the hands on activities in the Space Hall of Fame, especially trying to land the plane on the aircraft carrier.  You can also get your picture taken in a Space Suit.

The Air Force Museum is Free to all visitors.  You can pack a lunch and eat outside on picnic tables or upstairs in the cafe.  You can purchase food if you would like as well.

You can view an IMAX Movie during your visit.  You can purchase tickets as you walk in the museum doors.  Tickets for Adults-$7.75, Active Military $7,  Seniors-$7, Students (8yr-College ID) $5.75 and Kids (3-7) $4.

Dayton Art Institute

The Dayton Art Institute is a gem near Downtown Dayton.  As you walk into the rotunda, you are amazed by its beauty and this place is a personal favorite of mine.They have art from the American, African, Asian, Photography and so much more.  You can spend hours walking through the quiet halls looking at all the beautiful artwork.  You can even see Monet's Waterlilies on display when you visit, which is my favorite.

They have the Experiencenter for the kids.  They can touch, play, and experience art in this space.  Currently, Inside the Box is on display where artists create art using a box.  I will be taking the kids this summer!

The museum is Free.  However, they do have suggested ticket prices for Adults-$8, Seniors and Students-$5, Kids under 17 are Free.  Special exhibits do have an admission fee and will include admission to the permanent collection.

Family Memberships start at $70 and include recipicol benefits to 15 other Ohio Art Museums along with 500 Nationwide.  It includes the Cincinnati Art Museum and the Columbus Museum of Art.

Ohio Caverns

The Ohio Caverns are located about an hour northeast of Dayton in West Liberty, OH.  My boys loved visiting a real life cave and all the beautiful formations formed beneath the earth.  They really liked it when the turned the lights out for  a brief moment and it was pitch black.

You can try mining for gemstones, fossils, and arrowheads when you purchase a bag of mining rough from the gift shop.  They retail for $4.5-$9.00 for 3-5lb bags.  My boys had a blast mining their treasures while waiting for our turn for the tour.    They have picnic tables and shelters if you would like to pack a lunch.

Adults are $14-$25, Children 5-12 are $8-$15.

Young's Jersey Dairy Farm

Located in Yellow Springs, you can spend the entire day with the family. You can choose from two courses to play 18 holes of miniature golf at Udders and Putters, practice your swing at the driving range or the batting cages and a fast slide.  They have the Moovers and Shakers rides for the kids, a petting zoo, and Cowvins Kiddie Corral for kids under 48 inches.

To maximize your fun at Young's Dairy, you can purchase a Young's Family Fun Pass.  You can choose between the 3-Tab for $11.50 or the 5-Tab for $16.50, which is the best value depending how much time you have for your visit.  You can even go hiking or camping at John Bryan State Park, or bike at the nearby bike path to Xenia.

Also, if you visit from 3-5pm, you can get $1.50 off Milkshakes during Happy Hour.

Carillon Historical Park

Carillon Park has just completed a 28,000 sq ft. addition and has 30 historical buildings to explore on its 65-acre campus.  This park celebrate Dayton's rich history in creativity and inventions. You will see the original 1905 Wright Flyer III, 1835 B&O steam Locomotive and so much more!  This is a must do on my list this year!

Admission is $8 for Adults, $5 Kids ages 3-17 and Free to kids under 3 years old.  Annual Family Membership starts at $50.

Membership will also give you free admission to the Patterson Homestead, and the Paul Lawrence Dunbar House.

Coupons: $5 off Dayton History Membership or $1 off Admission in the April Issue of the Reach Magazine 2012.  Valid through 12/31/2012
B1G1 Admission in the Entertainment Book 2012 Edition. Expires 11/1/2012

Dayton Dragons Baseball

We love to take the kids to a Dayton Dragons Game every year.  We love to watch the baseball game and their mascots, Heater and Gem, along with entertainment between innings.  The McDonald's Family Night tickets are $11 for Lawn Seating and$15 for Stadium Seating and include the following:

  • Dragons Ticket
  • McDonald's Extra Value Coupon
  • Dayton Dragons Hat

You can choose from the following dates this season:
Tuesday, June 26
Monday, July 9
Sunday, August 26

Also, new this year is the Frisch's Dragons Kids Club which is only $20 per child to join.  It includes the following:

  • 2 Dragon Game Tickets
  • 2 Kid Fun Zone Tickets
  • Free T-shirt
  • Free Lanyard with credentials
  • Free Kids Meal at Frisch's
  • Opportunity to Meet Dragons Players
  • Exclusive Dragons Events for Kids Club Members

For General Ticket information, check out the Dragons website.

Five River MetroParks

We have some of the best parks in the country!  I love visiting Cox Arboretum to see the Butterfly house, and walk through the trails.  Wegerzyn Gardens has the perfect place for the kids to play and get wet in the Discovery Garden.  You can pack a lunch and spend the day!  Parks are FREE.

For Upcoming Free Events, Check out the Dayton Savings Calendar!

by Savings Lifestyle: Andrea on June 04, 2012

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