Parks & Recreation

Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm

The Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm entranceThe Aullwood Audubon Center and Farm is community gem located in the heart of Butler Township. An Audubon center of the National Audubon Society, it features woods, streams, ponds, prairies, meadows, an organic farm and a nature center. From “summer earth adventures” and full-moon walks to draft horse pulled wagon rides and farm experiences to wildlife-discovery walks and art classes, this facility offers learning and leisure opportunities for people of all ages.

The Center, located at 1000 Aullwood Rd., features more than 50 hands-on exhibits, a butterfly-hummingbird garden a shop for bird-related gifts and books and more. It is also the starting point for many hiking trails.

The Farm, located at 9101 Frederick Pike, is the perfect setting for many educational and entertaining events. Its “residents” include cows, pigs, horses, chickens, turkeys, sheep, goats and barn swallows. This is also the site of the sugar bush, organic and herb gardens, as well as the access point for many trails.

Art VanAtta Park

Art VanAtta ParkLocated at North Dixie Drive and Benchwood Road, Art Van Atta Park is 148 acres just made for fun right in the heart of Butler Township. Part of the Montgomery County Parks and Recreation system, the park includes everything from facilities for high-intensity sports to beautiful areas for picnics overlooking the pond. In addition to three lighted softball diamonds, there are six tennis courts, four volleyball courts and a full-sized basketball court. Fishing in the pond is also a popular pastime, and no fishing license is required.

Picnic shelters with electric, including one with a fireplace, may be reserved at Art Van Atta Park during the months of April through October. Call Montgomery County Parks and Recreation at 937-496-7134 for more information or to make a shelter reservation.

Five Rivers MetroParks

The Englewood MetroPark signEnjoy the great outdoors at the Englewood MetroPark, just minutes from your Butler Township home or business. You and your family can spend hours here hiking, fishing, horseback riding, bicycling, canoeing and picnicking– or just kicking back and enjoying the sites and sounds of nature. This is also a favorite spot for bird watchers. Covering nearly 1,956 acres, this large park straddles the Stillwater River and offers many scenic views of the river and the deeply wooded Stillwater Valley.

The nationally recognized Aullwood Garden MetroPark is also located in Butler Township, and the Taylorsville MetroPark is just minutes away in nearby Vandalia/Huber Heights.

Additional recreational resources in the area include the Englewood Reserve Bikeway and the Englewood Lakes Nature Reserve/Dr. Michael Bowers Lake.

Great Miami River Recreation Trail

Good times await those who like to spend their leisure time on the go. The Great Miami Recreation Trail is the perfect way to take in many sites in the Dayton region and get your exercise at the same time. The Miami Conservancy District provides a map for your convenience.

Dayton and Beyond

Whether you prefer a serene walk in the woods, a high-charged workout, or a night on the town, you’ll find what you’re looking for in the Dayton region. Countless parks, natural areas, recreation facilities, fitness centers, historical areas, museums and entertainment venues provide plenty to do and – and look forward to – when it comes to enjoying your leisure hours.

Dayton’s role as the “birthplace of aviation” is a point of pride for the area. Topping the list of aviation-related attractions is the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park, established to commemorate the lives of three exceptional Daytonians: Wilbur Wright, Orville Wright and Paul Laurence Dunbar.

The history of U.S. military aviation is preserved and displayed at one of the Dayton area’s most popular attractions, the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. Featuring more than 300 aircraft and missiles as well as thousands of aviation artifacts, it is considered one of the world’s largest military aviation museums. The facility also includes an IMAX Theatre, which offers a unique – and often breathtaking – movie experience.

Dayton is rich in performance venues. The centerpiece of the area’s cultural life is the Benjamin and Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center, located in downtown Dayton. Designed by world-renowned architect Cesar Pelli, the center features a 2,300-seat theater with impeccable acoustics, a restaurant, and an 18-story tower with office space, luxury penthouses, and upscale condominiums. Attached to the Schuster Center is the Wintergarden, a glass atrium gathering space where people come together for community events and special celebrations.

The home of many of the area’s performing arts groups, Victoria Theatre, preserves the elegance of yesteryear with its 19th century architecture, many embellishments of brass and lavish use of marble throughout. The 1866-vintage theater underwent a $17.5 renovation in 1989, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Another community favorite is the Fraze Pavilion in Kettering’s Lincoln Park Civic Commons. Every summer, this 4,300-seat outdoor amphitheater features more than 50 concerts by top-name performers. The Commons is also the site of many festivals and special events.

Links of Interest

To learn more about these opportunities, visit these Web sites about things to do in Dayton.

National Museum of the United States Air Force and IMAX Theatre.

Boonshoft Museum of Discovery

Carillon Historical Park

Dayton Art Institute

Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park

Dayton Dragons Professional Baseball

Fraze Pavilion


Schuster Performing Arts Center

SunWatch Indian Village/Archaeological Park

Wright B Flyer

For a full lineup of area attractions and entertainment venues, visit these sites:

Dayton Montgomery County Convention and Visitors Bureau