Has extreme heat, cold, rain, or snow spoiled your outdoor plans? Fortunately, there are tons of indoor things to do in Dayton Ohio instead. From recreational activities and entertainment centers to museums and performing arts studios, the options are suitable for all ages and interests. Take a look at these Dayton Ohio indoor things to do for some ideas.
Dayton Ohio Indoor Recreation & Sports
Sky Zone Trampoline Park
Doling out fun in all kinds of ways, Sky Zone Trampoline Park offers several activities. The Foam Zone is the perfect place to practice daring stunts into a pool of foam squares. You can practice the Freestyle Jump on the wall-to-wall trampoline courts, the Skyladder to improve your balance, and the Free Climb to test your bouldering skills. The facility has a Parkour Box, Skyjoust, Ultimate Dodgeball, and Warped Wall as well.
Downtown Dayton YMCA
The Downtown Dayton YMCA has numerous Dayton Ohio indoor things to do. No matter the weather, you can plan an enjoyable day of excitement with this impressive list of activities:
- 2 basketball courts
- 2 full-size gyms
- Boxing room
- Fitness center with cardio machines and weightlifting
- Handball and racquetball courts
- Running track
- Sauna and 2 steam rooms
- Swimming pool and whirlpool
Northwest Recreation Center
Just northwest of downtown Dayton, Northwest Recreation Center has a large gym with a lot of recreational opportunities. The facility has a big indoor pool, and you can use it for kids’ birthday parties. Also, there’s a fitness room if you can’t exercise outdoors because of bad weather.
Wild Axe Throwing
For a truly unique experience, go to Wild Axe Throwing, one of the top things to do in Dayton Ohio for anyone 13 and older. The facility has 11 lanes that are 6 feet apart, and each lane can have up to six people. It has a party room too, which accommodates up to 15 people. A trained ax master oversees every group to ensure safety.
Bowling & Skating in Dayton Ohio
Opened in 1960, Capri Lanes is less than 1 mile from the University of Dayton. It provides various bowling experiences from simple open bowling to serious league tournaments. In fact, it’s an official practice facility for the Professional Women’s Bowling Association, and it has held several Professional Bowlers Association events.
Along with bowling lanes, the facility features a large horseshoe-shaped bar, a kitchen that makes Southern dishes from scratch, and a pro shop for experienced players.
Skateworld of Kettering
Since 1974, Skateworld of Kettering has been a source of family-friendly entertainment and indoor things to do in Dayton Ohio. However, it offers more than just a roller skating rink. The company added The Trails Miniature Golf Course in 1987.
It hosts multiple events every year, bringing the community together. On top of that, the facility has a Soft Play playground and arcade games.
Kettering Ice Arena
Do you prefer ice skating to roller skating? Kettering Ice Arena has been hosting youth and adult activities on the ice — ice skating, figure skating, ice hockey, and leisure skating. Throughout the week, the arena hosts freestyle figure skates, open skates for the public, and lessons and stick time for groups and individuals.
The arena has rental skates and lockers to store your belongings while you have fun. Additionally, the seating area is heated for spectators.
Dayton Ohio Gaming & Entertainment Venues
As one of the best entertainment centers in North America, Scene75 has Dayton Ohio indoor things to do for the entire family. With so many activities in one place, it’s ideal for indoor birthday parties. The 160,000-square-foot indoor amusement park is the largest indoor entertainment center in the country.
Here’s a list of attractions at Scene75:
- 4D motion theater
- Atomic rush
- Blacklight mini golf
- Bumper cars
- Chaos room
- Indoor Go-Karts
- Laser maze
- Laser tag
- Mini bowling
- Virtual reality
Englewood Fun Center
The locally owned Englewood Fun Center has a variety of activities. The arcade features more than 60 classic and modern games, such as Deal or No Deal, Pop-a-Shot, and Skee Ball.
You can test your skills at hitting slow, medium, and fast baseball and softball pitches in the indoor batting cages.
Children will love the bounce house arena, which has a 14-foot slide, mini combo inflatable, and obstacle course.
There’s also an 18-hole, custom-designed mini-golf course with two ponds and a cascading waterfall.
Laser Web Dayton
One of the most exciting indoor things to do in Dayton Ohio is laser tag, which you can do at Laser Web Dayton. The family-owned facility is located in nearby Centerville and has a 5,000-square-foot area with upper-level platforms, state-of-the-art equipment, a dynamic sound system, and special lighting effects.
Each mission lasts for 20 minutes, and several game modes are available — solo game, team game, zombie infection, and more.
Other attractions include an arcade, laser maze, and virtual reality.
Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway
For some adult gaming action, check out Hollywood Gaming at Dayton Raceway. You can wager on simulcast horse races or live harness racing. Perhaps you want to take your chances on winning a jackpot, which you can do at any of the more than 1,000 video lottery terminals.
On the other hand, you could grab a bite at the Skybox Sports Bar, which overlooks the raceway and gaming floor.
Art, History, & Science Museums in Dayton Ohio
Boonshoft Museum of Discovery
Creating entertaining and meaningful learning experiences for children and adults alike, Boonshoft Museum of Discovery is an engaging experience. It started as the Dayton Museum of Natural History in 1893. Over the years, it has added history and science to its displays.
Some of the museum’s programs include an artifact encounter, discovery table, hands-on science lab, science theater, and planetarium shows. You can even see live animals.
National Museum of the U.S. Air Force
Located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force is the largest military aviation museum in the world at 19 acres (827,640 square feet). The museum has more than 350 aerospace vehicles and missiles, as well as thousands of aviation artifacts.
Some of the permanent exhibits include World War II, Korean War, Southeast Asia War, Cold War, space, and presidential galleries. Getting a look at all of this is free, and so is parking.
National Aviation Hall of Fame
Honoring the people who harnessed aviation technologies to take us into the sky, the National Aviation Hall of Fame is located next to the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.
While touring the facility, you’ll learn about the stories of aviation legends who will be remembered for their courage, vision, and ingenuity. It’s one of the most humbling indoor things to do in Dayton Ohio.
Wright Cycle Company Complex
The former home of the Wright brothers’ bicycle business between 1895 and 1897, the Wright Cycle Company Complex. It’s where the Wright brothers started manufacturing their own bicycles, giving them the means to experiment with human flight.
Alongside the Wright Cycle Company building, the complex consists of the Aviation Trail Visitor Center and Museum and the Wright-Dunbar Interpretive Center.
America’s Packard Museum
The only restored Packard Dealership in the country that operates as a museum, America’s Packard Museum building was constructed in 1917.
The Art Deco showroom is home to the biggest public collection of Packard vehicles and memorabilia anywhere. The museum was founded by Robert Signom II, a long-time car collector, in 1992.
Dayton Art Institute
What started as the Dayton Museum of Arts in 1919 transformed into the Dayton Art Institute in 1928 to reflect the importance of the art school.
During the first 10 years that the museum was open, it outgrew its original downtown home and was moved to a newly constructed home designed by Edward B. Green, a renowned museum architect.
A trained guide can take you on a tour of the art museum.
Dayton Ohio Performing Arts Centers & Theaters
Dayton Performing Arts Alliance
With a mission to transform lives through dance and music, the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance is an indispensable source for diverse, innovative, and traditional experiences in ballet, orchestra, and opera.
You can get tickets to see the Dayton Ballet, Dayton Opera, Dayton Philharmonics, Family Series, Rockin’ Orchestra, and SuperPops perform.
Benjamin & Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center
The Benjamin & Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center was built in 2003 and is a world-class facility. The center consists of the Mathile Theatre, Mead Theatre, and Wintergarden, the latter of which features palm trees in a six-story glass-enclosed atrium.
The Mead Theatre is the heart of the complex with 2,325 seats, superior sightlines, and state-of-the-art acoustics. Watching a performance here is one of the best indoor things to do in Dayton Ohio.
Since 1866, the Victoria Theater has been the home of performing arts. The historic building is on the National Register of Historic Places and was barely saved from a wrecking ball in 1975. It was restored in 1976 and became the home of the Dayton Ballet Company in 1977.
The Victory Theatre Association bought the building in 1978, after which it underwent further renovations. You can enjoy a variety of entertainment and performances throughout the year.
Providing fantastic theatrical productions, the Dayton Playhouse has been part of the community since 1959. It’s known for the festival of new plays — FutureFest — which features six plays over the course of one week in the summer. Tickets for live shows are also available throughout the year.
Fun Fact: Actor Rob Lowe started acting on this stage.
Wiley’s Comedy Niteclub
One of the best indoor things to do in Dayton Ohio at night is catching a performance at Wiley’s Comedy Niteclub. While you’re enjoying a comedy act by one of the world’s best, you can have some local draft beer.
The nightclub hosts parties too. Keep in mind that only people 18 and older with valid identification are allowed inside.
Indoor Shopping in Dayton Ohio
There are a few indoor shopping opportunities in and around Dayton Ohio. One of the most interesting is Antiques Village, the biggest antique mall in the city.
Antiques Village Dayton
Initially opened in 2013, it consists of 80,000 square feet and more than 350 shops that sell antiques, home decor, and items that are handcrafted, reclaimed, and repurposed.
Another shopping destination of note is the Dayton Mall, the largest mall in the region. It boasts more than 90 specialty retailers, including major brands such as JCPenney, Macy’s, and H&M.
You can take a break from shopping in the food court or at the Dayton Children’s Flight Zone Play Area.
Frequently Asked Questions About Indoor Things to Do in Dayton Ohio
What is there to do in Dayton Ohio on a rainy day?
There are plenty of Dayton Ohio indoor things to do on a rainy day — museums, entertainment centers, bowling alleys, ice skating, and more.
What is there to do in Dayton Ohio in the winter?
Even in the cold and snow, Dayton Ohio is full of indoor activities — roller skating rinks, a trampoline park, performing arts theatres, shopping malls, and more.
Are there indoor activities for toddlers in Dayton Ohio?
Yes! Several Dayton Ohio places feature indoor attractions that are suitable for toddlers — such as Boonshoft Museum of Discovery, Scene75, Englewood Fun Center, and Dayton Art Institute.