6 Day Trips from Dayton, OH You'll Want to Take ASAP

Looking for a fun day out, or a weekend getaway? Here are 6 day trips from Dayton, OH you’ll want to add to your list!

Photo courtesy of Yelp.


Kaitlyn Harris


Jan 21, 2021

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Dayton, OH is a large city with plenty of things to do and see anytime of the year. With the bustling sounds and atmosphere of city life and the large crowds, you might find yourself wanting to get away for the day. Well, it’s time to put that PTO to use. Or, take a weekend and make a trip out of it! Regardless, Dayton, OH is close to many other cities and places you can visit, even if it’s only for a day or two. One of the best things about Dayton, OH is that it is close to many other cities so you won’t have to go far to get a completely different experience. 

If you’re looking to escape the city life for a day, there are relaxing and less crowded places to see and things to do that are just a short drive from Dayton, OH. If you’re in the mood for something fun and you don’t care so much about the crowds, we’ve got you covered with that too! Whatever kind of getaway or adventure you’re in the mood and looking for, there are plenty of options close to Dayton, OH to check out. So if you’re looking for ideas on your next day trip from Dayton, OH here’s a list of 6 places to go see on your next day trip out!

1. Kings Island 

A roller coaster at kings island
Ride a roller coaster or play some games at Kings Island. Photo courtesy of Yelp

6300 Kings Island Dr. | Kings Island, OH | visitkingsisland.com

Time from Dayton, OH: 50 minutes

If you’re looking for a fun-filled day out of the house and away from the city, Kings Island is a great place to go to let out some stress and have some fun! Whether you’re a fan of roller coasters or you prefer to keep your feet firmly on the ground, there’s something for everyone to do here. You can choose to ride the biggest roller coaster you can find (and they have plenty) or you can choose to try your luck with one of the many games they have offered around the park to play! 

From giant roller coasters that will have you screaming in excitement, to plenty of game choices to try your hand at winning a prize, Kings Island is a great place to visit with friends or family. After you enjoy some rides and games, settle down for something to eat at one of their many food stops. If you’re looking for a day getaway, Kings Island is a short drive from Dayton, OH and you can spend a few hours or the whole day here without running out of things to do!

“Kings Island is always alot of fun. They have something for everyone ranging from "kiddie land" for the kids, amazing coasters (both wood and steel), carnival games, a huge waterpark, and sooo much more.Kings Island also has many different food and beverage options.” – Yelp Review 

2. American Sign Museum 

Different neon signs
Come see a variety of cool, antique signs at the American Sign Museum. Photo courtesy of Tripadvisor

1330 Monmouth St. | Cincinnati, OH | American Sign Museum | 

Time from Dayton, OH: 1 hour 

Whether you’re an antique lover, collector, or you just find vintage signs cool, the American Sign Museum is a cool place to check out! Wanting to get a look at the history and evolution of signs, or just looking for your next, perfect Instagram background? The American Sign Museum can give you both. With large neon signs and a detailed history to go with each sign, the American Sign Museum is a cool place to check out to both see some cool signs and learn a little more about them.

The museum has signs dating from 1870 to 1970, and has signs for a variety of things and businesses. Their signs range from carved, wooden signs to neon signs with blinding colors and cool art. If you’re looking for a fun day out with the kids, the museum’s website has  downloadable scavenger hunt lists you can print and bring with you to have fun playing a game. The scavenger hunt themes include food themed signs, science signs, and they even have scavenger hunt lists for children of certain ages. Or, bring your friends and race to see who can find all the items on the list first. Loser buys drinks for the group!

“The sign museum is a cool experience with lots to see, learn, and great people! The workers were very friendly and helpful. You can take as little or as long as you want in the museum. We did a scavenger hunt throughout the museum! There were also places where you could see them working on signs. Family fun!” – Tripadvisor Review

3. Ludlow Falls

A frozen waterfall
Ludlow Falls are beautiful both in the summer and the winter. Photo courtesy of Tripadvisor

10 Greenville Ave. | West Milton, OH | Ludlow Falls -Tripadvisor

Time from Dayton, OH: 30 minutes

Just a short drive from Dayton, OH, Ludlow Falls is a must see and is a hidden gem right in Ohio! These waterfalls are a great day adventure that you can take with friends or family if you’re feeling outdoorsy and want to explore what nature has to offer! If you’re not that into hiking, no worry. You don’t have to be a big hiker to find these falls as it’s an easy walk on the trail to the site where the waterfalls are. However, Ludlow Falls can’t be located on a map or by using GPS. If you’re looking to find these falls, the easiest way is to head to the Ludlow Falls fire department, and follow the trails that will lead you right to the falls. Check out these waterfalls both in the summer and the winter for very different, but equally as breathtaking, views. 

“If you like waterfalls and Ludlow falls are on your list then stop by and check it out. Like all waterfalls it depends on weather and rainfall in the days prior to visit. The day I visited the falls were pretty and flowing well. Not hard to find, easily accessible and nice to listen to. There is a cliff so be careful when viewing.” – Tripadvisor Review 

4. Otherworld 

A large tree art exhibit with light up balls on it
Otherworld is an immersive art experience in Columbus, Oh. Photo courtesy of Yelp

5819 Chantry Dr. | Columbus, OH | otherworldohio.com

Time from Dayton, OH: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Otherworld in Columbus, OH is an art experience like no other. With 32,000 square feet of immersive art to explore, you can easily spend the whole day here and never get bored. There are over 40 rooms at Otherworld for you to explore, and you’re encouraged by the staff to touch, play, and spend as long as you want within each room. Photos are encouraged, so be sure to snap your next perfect Instagram photo with your friends to remember your trip. Each room is meant to transport you to a fantasy world with LED light exhibits that are so cool and beautiful you won’t want to leave, and plenty of exhibits to explore. 

Some of the exhibits are small, and some are so large you’ll have to step back to get the full effect. If you’re planning a family day out, Otherworld is a great place for the kids to explore. They encourage you to interact with the art, so you won’t have to worry about stopping your kids from touching the art. In fact, you’re encouraged to join them! Whether you’re only here for a few hours or you stay the whole day, Otherworld is a must see for anyone whether you’re an art connoisseur or not!

“Otherworld is an experience like no other. They tap into an alternate world where there is no standard convention. When you enter otherworld you enter a space that you would think of in a dream. Good for all ages and especially for those under the age of 50 or so.” – Yelp Review 

5. Contemporary Arts Center 

Two clown sculptures sitting back to back in a museum
Enjoy thought provoking art at the Cinncinati’s Contemporary Arts Center. Photo courtesy of Tripadvisor

44 E 6th St. | Cincinnati, OH | Home | Contemporary Arts Center

Time from Dayton, OH: 1 hour

The Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center is an art museum with 6 floors for you to explore. The exhibits change frequently at the museum so there is always something new to see. The Contemporary Arts Center is a great place to have your next date night out or family day trip away! There are 5 floors of thought provoking art, with the 6th floor being the “Unmuseum” that features interactive and hands-on art and activities to explore and interact with. This part of the museum encourages you to interact with the art and let your inner child out. 

The Contemporary Arts Center offers free admission and is a fun place to visit for all ages! The Contemporary Arts Center also offers guided tours that you can take to learn more about the art you’re seeing. Or, you can just walk around at your own pace and explore all on your own! If you want to spend the whole day here and get hungry, Fausto is a restaurant that serves seasonal California inspired cuisine inside the Contemporary Art Center. 

“Super cool art museum downtown right by Fountain Square! It’s free to go through and there are 5 floors of different exhibits. I really liked the top floor since is the “Unmuseum” where you get to interact with and touch the art up there, which was really cool because you don’t normally get to touch art in museums! They change out their art every so often and the exhibits they have now are super cool and thought-provoking.” – Tripadvisor Review

6. Legoland Discovery Center

People walking outside of a building with legos on it
Experience Legos like never before at Legoland Discovery Center in Columbus, OH. Photo courtesy of Tripadvisor.

157 Easton Town Center | Columbus, OH | LegolandDiscoveryCenter.com 

Time from Dayton, OH: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Legoland Discovery Center is a fun, family friendly experience in Columbus, OH. With a 4-D theater, two interactive rides, tours of the factory, and plenty of exhibits to explore, this is a great trip to take for a fun day away. While there, you can participate in workshops where you can get tips and tricks from Legoland’s master builders on how to create the perfect masterpiece, and there are plenty of areas to play with the different lego sets throughout the factory. Legoland Discovery Center is the perfect place to let your inner child out and just have some fun!

If you’re not looking for a family getaway for the day, grab some friends or your date and let your inner child out with some friends. Legoland also offers adult nights throughout the year where you can come and experience Legoland at night. Adults only nights offer adults access to all the rides and exhibits that are offered to kids throughout the day (without the wait) as well as a chance to have a one on one session with a master builder, and themed events and treats are offered as well for purchase! If you’re looking for your next date night idea, Legoland Discovery Center might just be it!

“My daughter and my granddaughter, who is 6, and I visited Legoland on Monday, June 28th. We loved it! The tiimed tickets are great , so there isn't a crowd. She loved the rides, the movie and the climbing set.” – Tripadvisor Review

Whether you’re planning a trip with friends, family, or just by yourself, Dayton, OH is surrounded by cities with so many options of things to do and see that the only hard part of your getaway will be choosing where you want to go. The possibilities of places to explore are endless, and there’s something for everyone to see, do, and enjoy. You can take the kids to an amusement park, spend a quiet day exploring some waterfalls, or have a date night at an interactive art experience. Or, grab a group of friends and go check out some vintage signs and make a game of it with a fun scavenger hunt! 

Whatever your plans are for your next adventure, this list of 6 places to take a day trip from Dayton, OH can help get you started. If you’re looking to make your summer fun, or just need an excuse to get away every now and then, use this list as a checklist that you can use to cross off the places as you go each weekend. Or, take a weekend and check off multiple places on the list at one time! Dayton, OH has a lot to offer, but sometimes you might want to explore some other places, or you might just be looking for some time away. This list of day trips can help get you started!


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