TONIGHT: Your guide to the most festive First Friday of the year



Every First Friday in downtown Dayton is unique and different than the one before, but December’s event is always a little extra magical.

Downtown Dayton is definitely getting in the holiday spirit — local businesses are decking their halls in anticipation of another festival season, twinkling lights are strung throughout the downtown district and Santa himself is even hanging out in the Oregon District.

First Friday starts tonight, Dec. 3, at 5 p.m. The Downtown Dayton Partnership is using this First Friday edition to encourage people to shop small and support downtown’s local businesses.

“With such a large variety of locally owned places to dine, shop, and engage in fun activities downtown, the perfect gifts for friends and family can be found in downtown Dayton,” said DDP in a release.

There’s tons of shopping, activities and entertainment to check-out tonight. For more information on tonight’s First Friday, visit the Facebook event page. The DDP also put together a map to help families plan their “Holiday Family Fun Day” in Downtown Dayton.

Santa will be in the Oregon District for selfies with the whole family from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Trolley Stop Plaza near Fifth and Pine Streets.

Here’s the rundown of tonight’s First Friday festivities, according to the DDP:


- Dayton Art Institute, 456 Belmonte Park N.: Visit the latest special exhibitions, “Ralston Crawford: Air + Space + War” and “Norman Rockwell: Stories of Emotion.” Open until 5 p.m. on Friday. Find great gifts for art lovers online at

- Dayton Performing Arts Alliance, Schuster Center, 1 W. Second St.: Enjoy the Dayton Philharmonic’s Holiday Pops concert at 8 pm.- Dayton Society of Artists, 48 High St Dayton, OH 45403: It’s the final few weeks for The Dayton Society of Artists’ “Small But Mighty” exhibition, featuring works 12″x12″x 12″ or smaller, priced at less than $400.

- Denise Danielle Photography, 120 W. Second St.: Take advantage of 12 days of Christmas sessions only $150 (comes with 10 images).- Dublin Pub, 300 Wayne Ave., 937-224-7822: Live music at the Dublin Pub! Stop by for a pint and listen to live music for Irish First Fridays. Happy Hour from 3-6pm; music by Paul Cullen starting at 7pm. Seating inside and on the extended patio.

- Edward A. Dixon Gallery, lobby of 131 N. Ludlow St.: Visit this gallery inside the lobby of the Talbott Tower at 131 N. Ludlow St., open on First Friday until 6 p.m. Free to the public and open weekends - Fridays and Saturdays, call the gallery at (937) 985-2115 for hours. And shop the gallery online at:

- First Friday at Front Street, 1001 E. Second St.: Dayton’s largest community of artists invites you to Front Street! Celebrate and support your local art community by touring art studios, art galleries, shops, and boutiques. Get a jump start on holiday shopping and find original art and unique, handmade gifts from the heart. Live music, live art demos, and new exhibitions can be found across the campus. It is always free to attend Art Hops at Front Street. We are family and (leashed) pet friendly.

- iMadeThis DIY Art Studio, 411 E. Fifth St.: Stop by iMadeThis for Open Studio Crafting Fridays every Friday from 5-9 p.m., Saturdays 12-9 p.m., and Sunday 12-6 p.m. iMadeThis offers hundreds of design-your-own activities for children and adults. Find more information on their website:

- The Black Box Improv, 518 E. Third St.: Take in comedy from local improv group Low Hanging Fruit followed by a special show. For tickets and other information, visit

- The Brightside, 905 E. Third St.: ‘Tis the Season to get funky with Dayton’s own Jah Sol and Solistic! This is a semi-formal event, so don’t feel shy about strutting your stuff as we dance the night away. Tickets and more info at

- The Contemporary Dayton, 25 W. Fourth St.: Our popular Holiday Gift Gallery exhibition is back in person this year with handmade, “giftable” art by more than 50 local and regional artists and artisans. Shop glass, handbags, ornaments, jewelry, prints and so much more. Find more information on the exhibits at or call 937-224-3822 for more information.

- The Human Race Theatre, 126 N. Main St.: “Who’s Holiday” runs live at The Loft Theatre through Dec. 19. Our special holiday show is a wildly funny and heartfelt adults-only comedy with Cindy Lou Who as she recalls that Christmas Eve she first met the Grinch and the twisted turn of events her life has taken since. Tickets and info at

- The Neon movie theater, 130 E. Fifth St.: “Benedetta” opens on First Friday! See the full schedule online: Also enjoy beer and cocktail specials during First Friday, and you can purchase a DORA drink at the Neon to walk around downtown Dayton’ Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area before or after the show. Don’t forget to come back Saturday for the first free family holiday movie – “Polar Express” rolls at 11 am.

- Yellow Cab Tavern, 700 E. Fourth St.: The Yellow Cab hosts Love U: A ‘90s R&B Night at 8 p.m. with genre-defying hits from artists like Usher, Destiny’s Child, TLC, Whitney Houston, Jade, Monica, Jennifer Lopez, Aaliyah and more, who all made this the golden era of R&B.


- Bozacks Cocktail Lounge, 142 E. Third St: In association with 1eleven Flavorhouse, Bozack’s presents First Friday. A nice way to unwind and relax while you network amongst professionals. Drink specials and a great positive chill vibe.

- Grist, 46 W. Fifth St.: Get one bag of our meringues free with any purchase over $30. Open till 7pm.

- Local Cantina, 501 E. First St: For First Friday specials you’ll find $5 Mustache Ride Margaritas and $3 Draft pints from 3 p.m. - 6 p.m.

- Lily’s Dayton, 329 E. Fifth St., 937-723-7637: $6 glass of mulled wine. (Dine-in or Dora cup) Also, we’ll be doing a Victorian-themed prix fixe menu all weekend long to celebrate being part of the Oregon District.

- Mudlick Tap House, 135 E. Second St., (937) 895-4066: Join us to kick of First Friday for Happiness Hours, from 4-6 p.m. with $2 off glasses of wine, a $6 cocktail feature, $2 off draft beers and ½ off of shareables. The igloos are back! Reserve your private space for a holiday party by calling or visiting

- Oregon Express, 336 E. Fifth St., 937-223-9205: Every First Friday join us for Happy Hour deals from 5-8 p.m. with music from the Linda Prevo Band. Stop in for some of the best pizza in Dayton. Happy hour specials and LIVE music. Dine in, carryout and curbside pickup available. Find our menu on our website here.

- Salar Restaurant and Lounge, 400 E. Fifth St., 937-203-3999: Kick off your First Friday with happy hour at Salar from 4-6 p.m. with cocktail specials, $5 house wine pours, $1 off of all beers, and bar bites specials. Enjoy dinner, too, available for dine in or carryout.

- Salt Block Biscuit Company, 115 E. Third St.: Way more than just breakfast -- Salt Block has expanded dinner hours, with a special dinner menu for in-house dining, or your favorites to-go. Find specials listed on the Salt Block Facebook page Or order for pickup on our website

- Table 33 Dayton, 130 W. Second St.: Fridays are wine night at Table 33, with $3.33 wine pairings with any entree.

- Third Perk Coffeehouse and Wine Bar, 146 E. Third St.: Friday nights are Cigars, Cocktails and The Patio at Third Perk from 7 p.m. to midnight. Enjoy your favorite coffee drinks, or specialty cocktails with our full-service bar. Saturday nights are Reggae Night from 8 p.m. to midnight.

- Toxic Brew Co, 431 E. Fifth St.: Have a $5 Jolly Dickens (hot spiced apple cider with spiced rum or other shot of choice) all day. Plus, “A Very Murray Christmas,” Bill Murray-themed art show opens tonight!

- Troll Pub Dayton, 216 Wayne Ave.: Every Friday at the Troll Pub is part of W.T.F Happy Hours: Wednesday, Thursday & Friday from 4-7 p.m. featuring 1/2 Priced Pints & 1/2 priced apps, $4 Fireball Shots & $4 Wheatly Vodka specials.

- Trolley Stop, 530 E. Fifth St., 937-461-1101: Enjoy Half-off Happy Hour!- Two Social, 123 E. Third St.: It’s the new Holiday menu and decor launch! Check out our holiday decorations and try one of our delicious holiday cocktails or drafts at your favorite Fireblocks District activity bar.

- Zen Lounge, 121 N. Ludlow St.: We will be “rolling” out or holiday menu with themed, specialty sushi rolls and cocktails. Free edamame with any order of $25 or more all day.


- 2nd Street Market, 600 E. Second St.: Create a “cool” holiday door decoration or centerpiece with upcycled skates from the MetroParks Ice Rink at a special time -- 5:30-7:30pm. “Holiday Décor- Upcycled Ice Skate Door Hanger” is conducted in collaboration with Second Street Market vendor Consider the Lilies. Participants will use local greenery and festive treatments to create a one-of-a-kind treasure. Materials are included. Fee to participate; registration required. More information available at

- Beaunique Boutique, 29 W. First St.: Enjoy a Santa Sip and Shop event with a live DJ and local guest vendors.

- Connect E-Sports, 212 Wayne Ave.: Stop by Connect E-Sports gaming in the Wheelhouse to play your favorite console or computer games in online tournaments or with your friends. A special First Friday deal for new guests: Any new account at Connect E-Sports will receive one free hour of gaming. Find info about the games you can play on the website:

- Grace Lane Boutique, 133 E. Fourth St.: This December, make an impact by becoming an advocate and join the fight to end human trafficking. Your purchase not only supports a local business but helps create sustainable fashion worldwide. Stop by the St. Clair Lofts clothing shop for discounted merchandise during First Friday!

- Hall’s Jewelers, 110 N. Main St. (gallery shops at Premier Health building): Join your downtown local jeweler for special event pricing! Take 35% off our regular prices on in-stock gold and silver jewelry, and 25% off Citizen Eco Drive watches. Free gift wrap also available. Open 11am-6pm.

- Oregon District: Take pictures with Santa and his sleigh! Santa will be under the Oregon arch at Fifth and Pine from 6-8 p.m.

- Space Three, 39 S. St. Clair St.: Grab your sweetie for a sweat sesh during Couples TRX class. Registration required; visit to sign up.

- Vidia’s Closet, 27 S. St. Clair St.: When you shop this women’s clothing boutique in the St. Clair Lofts on First Friday, you can take 25% off your entire purchase!

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