I know I had intended to make a post about local family fun, but since we're taking a trip to Dayton on Saturday to visit family, I thought I'd mention a couple of our favorite attractions in that area! It's not a terrible drive (roughly 1.5 hours between Columbus and Dayton), and there are inexpensive things to do for all ages!
A personal favorite of mine is the National Museum of the United States Air Force. The place is huge, there's all sorts of awesome planes (and what kid doesn't like planes?) to see and explore, and it's FREE! There are areas devoted to the history of aviation, the different wars in which aircraft played a role, the space program, and the presidential planes. Many of the planes are open to allow visitors to see the interior. There's also a nice cafe and gift shop, and an IMAX theater.
Another place that's geared for kids is the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery. I used to nanny in my past life (lol), and the Boonshoft was a favorite destination of ours. While there is an admission fee (8.50 adults, 7.50 kids 2-12 and seniors), it's not outrageous, and I think it's a good value for what they offer. There are two levels, featuring an imaginative play area for younger kids, sections devoted to learning about topics like outer space, recycling, and the environment, a two-level climbing area, a treehouse for bird watching, and a zoo featuring animals native to Ohio. If you have memberships to another science center or zoo, check and see if it offers reciprocal admission!
And, last but not least, is my absolute favorite thing about Dayton-the Dayton Celtic Festival, being held on July 29-31 this year. It's their 10th anniversary this year, and it promises to be a showstopper! Live bands, dancers, storytellers, a kids' play area, crafts, food, proper Irish beer-it's worth staying for a day, or for the whole weekend! The festival itself is free, and you are welcome to bring your own food and drinks onto the premises. If you do choose to buy your nosh, there are lots of vendors to choose from, and I've never found the prices to be too high. Sadly, this is also the first year that I won't be able to attend, and I'm honestly depressed about it. We'll be going to the Dublin Irish Festival the following weekend, but it won't be the same.
And for those of you who would rather stay home for your fun, don't forget that the Scioto Mile is having its grand opening this weekend! WaterFire Columbus is also underway, and the Columbus Commons are celebrating their first summer with a full schedule of fun for all ages. There's plenty of free fun close to home!