Santa’s not invited

Salsa Saturdays at Therapy Café. Salsa Saturdays at Therapy Café.

Some great non-holiday events not to miss

By Maha Kashani

Salsa Saturdays at Therapy Café.

Salsa Saturdays at Therapy Café.

Although the holiday season is upon us, we know that some of you are either already looking for break from all the madness or just want to put off your holiday shopping a little longer. We can’t blame you. Here are some great non-holiday events around the Dayton area that can help take your mind off the holiday stress and keep you entertained throughout the season. Sorry Santa, you’re not invited.


Best bets:
Blacktop Friday
Not looking forward to Black Friday? Then Blacktop Friday is the perfect event for you. Escape the madness and check out Ohio’s most unique collection of Porsches and private artwork/murals at the Taj Ma Garaj. Friday, November 25, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Cost: $10 donation

Monthly beer tasting at Trolley
The first Wednesday of every month, Belmont Party Supply hosts a special craft beer tasting offering nine different samples, tasty snacks and an opportunity to raise your beer IQ. Check out this interesting and rewarding way to discover new beers at Trolley Stop in the Oregon District on Wednesday, December 7 from 7 to 9 p.m.
Cost: $20 in advance

Candle Dipping at Aullwood
If you’re looking for an enjoyable afternoon project, try making your own hand-dipped beeswax candle. This is a great activity for groups, families and individuals at Aullwood Audubon Farm. December 3, 4, 10, 11, 17 and 18 at 2:30 p.m.
Cost: $4/adult or $2/child

Intro to Zentangle
You’re probably asking, what the heck is Zentangle? Zentangle is an easy-to-learn method of creating beautiful images from repetitive patterns. It is a new art form that is fun and relaxing while increasing focus and creativity. This intro session will teach you the basics. Attendees are welcome to stick around for the free Zentangle Lovers Group session at 6:30 p.m. at the Gallery 510 Fine Art in the Oregon District. All materials included. Reservations required. Friday, December 16 at 5:30 p.m.
Cost: $35

Mid-Day Arts Cafe featuring Muse Machine
If you’re curious about what goes on behind the scenes of Muse Machine, including their upcoming Wizard of Oz performance in January, then this performance and educational event is were you can get the inside scoop at the Schuster Performing Arts Center. Tuesday, December 20, 12-1 p.m.
Cost: $15

Recurring events:
Karaoke Wednesdays at Blind Bob’s
If you need an outlet during this hectic season, then head to downtown Dayton for an opportunity to get on stage and sing your heart out. This classic American tavern located inside a historic building in the Oregon District is the place to be on a Wednesday night. 9:30 p.m. every Wednesday.
Cost: Free

Acoustic Thirstdays at Trolley Stop
Some of Dayton’s most talented artists can credit their roots to this friendly neighborhood tavern in the Oregon District. If you want to take your turn on stage, then make sure you arrive early to sign up. All acoustic instruments are welcome. If you’re looking for a laid back and relaxing way to spend your Thursday, then this is your spot. Musician sign-ups begin at 8 p.m., music starts at 9 p.m.
Cost: Free

National Museum of the U.S. Air Force: Behind the scenes tour
This free, guided tour of the museum’s restoration area is a real treat. Participants are shuttled to the restoration hangars, located about one mile from the main museum complex. The Air Force Museum is one of Ohio’s most popular tourist sites and a true gem in our region. Tours are offered every Friday at 12:15 p.m.
Advanced registration is required

Live entertainment Saturdays at 2nd Street Market
Enjoy live entertainment by local musicians, featuring a variety of genres, while shopping for local produce and goods at the PNC 2nd Street Market in downtown Dayton. The 2nd Street Market is open Fridays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Live entertainment every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Cost: Free

Salsa Saturdays at Therapy Café
Experience a little taste of Miami in downtown Dayton with Latin beats that will make you shake your bon-bon all night long. Don’t salsa? Enjoy free dance lessons. 8 p.m. every Saturday.
Cost: $5 at the door

Arts & culture:
Les Misérables
Hailed by the London Times as a “Five-star hit,” Les Misérables is born again! Don’t miss your unique opportunity to experience the brand new 25th Anniversary production of this blockbuster Broadway musical at the Schuster Performing Arts Center from November 22 through 27.
Cost: Tickets starting at $40

Golden Dragon
Recognized worldwide, this 25-century-old tradition of Chinese acrobatics is coming to Dayton. A combination of award-winning acrobatics, traditional dance, spectacular costumes, ancient and contemporary music and theatrical techniques come together to present a show of awe-inspiring skill and mesmerizing beauty at the Victoria Theatre December 3 and 4.
Cost: $20

Monday Night Shakespeare
Free Shakespeare!, a local not-for-profit theatre company, will perform readings on the first Monday of every month in public for “the love of it.” Head to the Culinary Company in Cross Pointe Center for this unique evening of culture, gourmet deli food, beer and wine. Monday, December 5 from 7 to 10 p.m.
Cost: Free

American Chronicles: The Art of Norman Rockwell
This legendary American painter and illustrator is best known for his cover illustrations of everyday life scenarios that were created for The Saturday Evening Post. Now Daytonians can experience his contributions to American popular culture right here in our backyard at the Dayton Art Institute through February 5.
Cost: $15

Active living:
Nature at Night Celebration
Celebrate nocturnal wildlife at this special family-friendly after-hours event. Enjoy hot chocolate while participating in various activities including stargazing with the Miami Valley Astronomical Society, natural history presentations, campfire stories and night hikes at Germantown MetroPark on Saturday, December 3 from 7 to 9:30 p.m.
Cost: Free

Grapes and Lotus: A Wine and Yoga Practice
Stretch yourself through the practice of yoga and invigorate your body while stimulating your palate with samples of wines. You will learn to appreciate that the indulgence in one leads to the greater enjoyment of the other. Class sizes are limited, so register in advance for this unique session at the Metropolitan Arts Center on Friday, December 16 at 6 p.m.
Cost: $20
To register, call Emily at (937) 603-9212.

Dayton Ballroom Dance
Thanks to Dancing with the Stars, ballroom dance has made a huge comeback. Dayton Ballroom is offering classes for those of all skill levels covering styles like Swing, Rumba, Cha Cha, Waltz, Foxtrot, Tango, Bolero, Mambo/Salsa, Samba, Merengue and Quickstep from 7:30 until 9:15 p.m., followed by an open dance social until 10:30 p.m. at Hara Arena. Mondays, November 28, December 5 and 12.

Ice Skating at Riverscape
Five Rivers MetroParks brings so many unique values to the region, one of those being the opportunity to enjoy views of downtown Dayton and the Great Miami River while on ice. Take advantage of several activities all season long including beginner lessons, DJ skates, star-late skates, curling (yes, like in the Olympics) and even broomball at Riverscape MetroPark.
Mondays through Thursdays for free and Fridays through Sundays for only $5 including skate rentals.

Reach DCP freelance writer Maha Kashani at

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