One fateful day 24 years ago, a group of doomed souls got lost amid the shadows of 22 acres of wooded land and were never found. Each year following that, more and more people met the same fate. Dayton Scream Park dares guests to gather their courage and walk—or run—down the haunted trail where these souls were last seen, confronting characters from horror movies and being chased by four-wheelers that were deprived of their afternoon nap. During the 30-minute adrenaline-filled adventure, participants encounter more than 30 scenes and more than 40 live monsters that will soon join their nightmares.
For wee ones and those who would rather smile than scream, Dayton Scream Park also hosts Hillbilly Hayrides that set out in the crisp autumn air, while the sun is still duct taped to the sky. In addition to free parking, the amenities include onsite concessions for fortifying the strength of those who have fainted.
Though they operate more than 200 locations in upwards of 30 states, the team behind U.S. Baseball Academy aims to make each young athlete's experience a personal one. Their four- or six-week camps are taught by local instructors who are current or former coaches at the high school or college level, and typically offer a 6:1 or better player-to-teacher ratio for intense, professional-style training. The Academy's proven itinerary of hitting, pitching, fielding, and baserunning drills was developed by an advisory board of college coaches and Major League players, including Cy Young Award–winner and ace pitcher Brandon Webb.
Dixie Twin Drive-In transports moviegoers back to the 1950s with a constantly changing selection of first-run films on two outdoor screens, one 120’ x 52’ and the other 100’ x 65’. Cars pull into the drive-in’s tree-enclosed grounds and tune into a private FM radio station, which provides the audio accompaniment to movies’ car chases, star-crossed love affairs, and alien invasions wedged awkwardly in the middle of historical biopics. The theater starts the season with weekend screenings, then kicks into full swing with daily screenings during the warmest weeks of summer.
For three generations, the Morgan family has equipped adventurers with the accouterments they need to conquer the great outdoors. The outfitters supply canoes, kayaks, and rafts for excursions at both their Fort Ancient location on the Little Miami River and Brookville location on the Whitewater River. Adventurers choose from a range of downstream floats, with river jaunts stretching from 3 miles up to 18 miles. The company also operates campgrounds with cabins and tent space on the banks of both rivers, allowing guests to stop overnight to rest their muscles or practice non-native birdcalls while everyone else sleeps.
Racket-wielding instructors at Schroeder Tennis Center help elevate players' tennis acumen with clinics and leagues for athletes of all ages and experience levels. Children's classes acclimate younger players to the game with smaller-sized racquets and courts, and this helps develop basic, size-appropriate skills at an earlier age. Adult classes range from beginner basic courses to high-level clinics, which teach players to smash tennis balls and small planets into orbit. The facilities include climate-controlled indoor courts—five in the summer and seven in the winter—as well as six outdoor courts.
Every time the Darke County Historical Society unearths a new finding, there’s a good chance that the public’s first look at it will come in the exhibition halls of Greenville’s Garst Museum. More than 300,000 American artifacts fill the museum's six wings, many of which were discovered—or rediscovered, as the case may be—over the course of the society's archeological digs, genealogical research, and historic preservation activities.
Among the century-spanning exhibits, the softer side of sharpshooter Annie Oakley unfolds in the Coppock Wing, and antique cannonballs and Humvees speak of the wartime exploits of General "Mad" Anthony Wayne. Down on the first floor, a painting of Chief Tarhe, Grand Sachem of the Wyandots, presides over a collection that focuses on America during the 1700s but leaves room for anachronistic elements such as mastodon bones. The newest exhibit, "Diversity in Darke County: The Story of Longtown," celebrates local history with its visual chronicle of a tri-racial settlement in Greenville.
Aside from the main two-story brick Colonial home—which was built as an inn in 1852, according to Touring Ohio—the society and the museum maintain several properties of historic note. A free, self-guided tour of Bear's Mill and its 800-foot water channel can be capped with a cup of gourmet coffee, and the Lowell Thomas house provides insights into the childhood of the broadcaster and adventurer who once famously dined with the Prince of Wales inside an actual whale.