Published November 20, 2023
MetroParks Monthly: Programs & Events for December
Below you’ll find a list of programs and events for all ages, from children to lifelong learners, in addition to MetroParks must-dos, sustainability tips and information on what’s growing in the parks this month.
Know before you go: Your Five Rivers MetroParks are closed on Christmas Day (including the MetroParks Ice Rink) and New Year’s Day. Visit metroparks.org for more information on park and facility hours.
- Learn to Skate (Children’s Course): Dec. 3 – 10 to 10:30 a.m. at RiverScape MetroPark
- Learn to Skate (Youth/Teen Course): Dec. 3 – 10:30 to 11 a.m. at RiverScape MetroPark
- Fly Tying: Dec. 5 – 6 to 8 p.m. at MetroParks’ Main Office
- Discover Paddlesports: Types of Equipment: Dec. 6 – 6 to 7:30 p.m. at MetroParks Main Office
- Backcountry Cooking: Dec. 6 – 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the 2nd Street Market
- Dayton Backpacker Campfire: Amy and Brent Anslinger – Remembering the Buckeye Trail: Dec. 7 – 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Cox Arboretum MetroPark
- River Rescue Knots: Dec. 12 – 6 to 8 p.m. at MertroParks’ Main Office
- Advanced Fly Tying: Dec. 14 – 6 to 8 p.m. at MetroParks’ Main Office
Youth & Family
- Coyote Search: Dec. 1 – 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Cox Arboretum MetroPark
- Winter Exploration: Dec. 2 – 11 a.m. to noon at Possum Creek MetroPark
- Gamifying Conservation: Dec 2 – 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. at Germantown MetroPark
- Owl Prowl: Dec. 2 – 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Germantown MetroPark
- Animal Keepers: Dec. 9 – 10 to 11:30 a.m. at Germantown MetroPark
- Saw Whet Owl Search: Dec. 9 – 1 to 3 p.m. at Germantown MetroPark
- Animal Footprints: Dec 15 – 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. at 2nd Street Market
Adult Nature Exploration
- Bus Trip: Indianapolis, IN – Festival of the Trees & Warm Glow Candle Outlet – 8:15 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark
- Nature Photography Critique: Dec. 9 – 10 to 11:30 a.m. at Cox Arboretum MetroPark
- December EcoTalk: Callery Pear – How America’s Favorite Tree Became an Ecological Nightmare: Dec. 13 – 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Cox Arboretum MetroPark
Earth Friendly Living
- Fiber Arts Meetup: Dec. 5 – 6 to7:30 p.m. at Possum Creek MetroPark
- Paint-A-Park: Dec. 3 – 2 to 5 p.m. at Cox Arboretum MetroPark
HAVE BIG FUN WHILE SHOPPING SMALL
There are so many ways to check people off your list and enjoy the magic of the holiday season at the 2nd Street Market this month.
New this holiday season, the Market is collaborating with Friends of the Dayton Arcade for a fun, festive evening of dining and shopping downtown on Thursday, Dec. 7.
That evening, the 2nd Street Market will host Sunset at the Market from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. This event was launched this past August and will be held throughout 2024. During these extended Market hours, visitors can enjoy dinner from a variety of local food vendors, shop locally sourced gift and other items, and enjoy such festivities as roaming carolers. The Arcade, 35 W. Fourth St., will host Holly Days at The Arcade from 3 to 8 p.m., featuring holiday shopping from small business vendors on The Arcade’s multiple levels, live entertainment, cash bars and more.
Thanks to Dayton RTA’s sponsorship, a free shuttle will run every 15 minutes between the two events and the Oregon District garage. Shoppers can pick up a punch card, and those who visit both destinations and make a purchase will be entered to win a holiday vendor basket and 2nd Street Market Money.
On Thursday, Dec. 14, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., the 2nd Street Market will host Artisan Night, its popular annual holiday event. Guests can make holiday gifts, décor and more during make-and-take holiday workshops. Select vendors will be open, but not all.
Shoppers also can meet the Market’s vendors off-site during Holiday Mini Markets at the MetroParks Ice Rink at RiverScape MetroPark the first three Saturdays in December from 4 to 8 p.m.
Learn about more shopping opportunities and programs at the 2nd Street Market.
Programs at the 2nd Street Market are sponsored by Dayton Children’s.
METROPARKS ICE RINK
MetroParks Ice Rink is open for the season and offering families the opportunity to have fun, stay active and enjoy beautiful views of the Great Miami River. Admission is $7 and skate rentals are $3. Those who utilize SNAP/EBT benefits can present their card when purchasing admission for a 50% off discount thanks to the Five Rivers MetroParks Foundation.
Snacks and beverages will be available at the RiverScape Café. New this year, alcoholic beverages — including a variety of beer, seltzer, wine and spiked drinks — also will be available at the Café for customers 21 and older.
The MetroParks Ice Rink is sponsored by PNC, MSD, media sponsor WKEF22/FOX45, Butler Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing, USI Insurance Services, Ed Smith Flowers & Gifts and Winans Chocolates + Coffees.
HOLIDAY EVENTS AT METROPARKS
As the weather cools down, holiday spirit winds up. Your Five Rivers MetroParks offers numerous activities to help you celebrate the season, including the Aullwood Winter Luminary Walk on Dec. 2, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Aullwood Garden MetroPark. Additionally, Christmas on the Farm and Christmas on the Farm: A Holiday Evening will be on Saturday, Dec. 9 at Carriage Hill MetroPark’s historical farm. For more fun, season programs visit our blog.
FEDERAL EMPLOYEES CAN SUPPORT METROPARKS THROUGH COMBINED FEDERAL CAMPAIGN
The Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) allows federal employees and retirees to connect to causes they care about. Select a charity of their choice to support through payroll deduction or learn how to volunteer. Giving just $5 per paycheck can make a huge difference and allows the Five Rivers MetroParks Foundation to support special programs and projects it would not otherwise be able to fund. Start the process by visiting this page and using the Five Rivers MetroParks Foundation’s number: 14501.
Monthly must-dos in your MetroParks
- Sledding: If we’re lucky enough to see some snow during the holidays, be sure to grab a sled and head to the hills at Englewood, Germantown or Taylorsville MetroParks.
- Seasonal greenery: We have beautiful outdoor displays to admire year-round. Visit Cox Arboretum, RiverScape and Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark to see the landscape all dressed up for the holiday season.
- Winter solstice sunrise: Enjoy the first day of winter with a hike as the sunrises and take a peek at the world while frost still hugs the ground and plants.
Sustainability Tip: Have a greener holiday
Having a greener holiday can be as easy as recycling your old holiday lights and DIYing gifts for people on your list. Check out our monthly blog to learn how to reduce your carbon footprint and send less to the landfill this season.
December Challenge: Set a New Year’s Resolution to get out in the great outdoors!
A popular resolution that nearly 50% of people adopt is to exercise more to improve health and fitness. Thanks to changing terrain and extra sunshine, moving your body outside is often more productive than working out at the gym. As an added bonus, time spent outdoors is also great for your mental health!