Ken Oswalt awakened to his love of wine during a tour of Sonoma's rolling vineyards in 1990. An instant oenophile from that moment forward, Oswalt has spent the past few decades furthering his understanding of grapes' greatest gift to mankind. Now the principle expert behind Decoding Wine, he organizes in-home tastings in which he teaches clients to pair wines with foods and distinguish between different varietals. His courses help students apply all of their senses to the enjoyment of wine, from using the sense of smell to detect the oaky notes of a cabernet sauvignon to using the vestibular sense to stay upright after drinking a bottle of merlot.
Over the course of one intensely laugh-filled week, 40 comics vie for the chance to perform across the country. The skilled performers arrive from all over North America, bringing their sharpest, most surprising, and banana peel-filled material to the stage. As the field is whittled down—nine comedians perform on Friday, six compete at 7:45 on Saturday, and the top three duke it out later that evening at 10:30—the Regional Grand Prize draws ever closer. The winner receives an all-expenses paid trip to the Las Vegas finals, where the victorious comic will receive a year-long performance contract to appear at clubs nationwide.
With its winding creek, cascading waterfall, and lush vegetation, Indian Trails Miniature Golf would be a peaceful place to spend an afternoon even if it didn't have a single hole of mini-golf. But of course, it has twin 18-hole links that snake along hills and rocky inclines. While navigating the landscape, golfers can cool down in the shade of foliage or listen as birds peck the course's 19th hole into a tree. Off the greens, the clubhouse staff serves up ice cream and hosts birthday parties replete with pizza, popcorn, and custom birthday golf balls.
RiverScape MetroPark is one of 25 outstanding facilities operated by your Five Rivers MetroParks system. Founded in 1963 to serve the greater Dayton area, MetroParks protects over 15,000 acres of open space and provides year-round recreation, education and conservation opportunities. Today, Five Rivers oversees biking and hiking trails, campgrounds, and scenic locales for things like ice skating and cross-country skiing.
On October 5, 1905, years of invention and failure culminated into history as Wilbur Wright took to the sky in a craft that soared through the air for 24 miles. More than a century later, just a few miles from the field over which it first flew, the 1905 Wright Flyer III—now designated a National Historic Landmark—spreads its wings at Carillon Historical Park, inspiring visitors with its tale of innovation, persistence, and progress, and the aptly named "Wilbur Wright: A Life of Consequence" exhibit. Nearby, the park's Heritage Center features the year-round Carousel of Dayton Innovation, which contains 31 figures, a 38-foot hand-painted mural illustrating the turn of events in the Wright Brothers flying exhibits, and rides for $1.
As impressive as they are, the airplane and carousel are only a few of Carillon Historical Park’s myriad attractions. Named for the 151-foot-tall Deeds Carillon, whose 57 bells have been pealing since 1942, the campus spreads across 65 acres. Just south of downtown, 30 historical buildings, including the 28,000 sq.ft. Heritage Center of Dayton Manufacturing and Entrepreneurship, draw visitors into Dayton’s past and share in the park's devotion to history, heritage, and progress. Early settlement structures such as the Newcom Tavern—the oldest building still standing in Dayton—sit alongside other original buildings such as an 1815-era stone cottage. The park also includes replica buildings, such as the Deeds Barn and the Wright Cycle Shop, which recreate the birthplaces of the automobile self-starter and the airplane.
The park’s transportation theme continues with an 1835 B&O steam locomotive and an interactive 1/8 scale railroad available to ride on select days for an extra fee and whose train cars carry passengers more effectively than 1/8 scale feet would. Nearby, the first Chevy S-10 truck minted by GM’s Moraine Plant in 1988 mingles with a fleet of vintage and classic autos. After admiring their hulls, visitors can swing by Culp’s Café—named and modeled after the eatery where widow and mother of six Charlotte Gilbert Culp served pies in the '30s and '40s—and order burgers or soda-fountain creations off a '40s-style menu. Before leaving, guests can peruse Wright brothers paraphernalia and items from the park’s 1930s letterpress printing shop at the museum store or sign up for educational programming that teaches lost arts such as candle dipping and butter churning.
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.