12 days of Holiday Activities 2018 – Day #6

A Carillon Christmas – Carillon Historical Park Dayton

Our review of the park

The Carillon Historical Park is amazing. it is one of the best open air museums is the state and has a lot to offer. At the Holidays they go all out. The large bell tower in the front of the park (a Carillon, which gives the place its name) is turned into the second largest, behind King’s Islands Eiffel Tower, christmas tree in Ohio. The buildings and paths are decorated  with a nod to history. At night some of the buildings even take on new meanings with the working fireplaces becoming kitchens baking cookies to sell. With Carolers, card printing on real printing presses, model trains (some large enough to ride), puppet shows on the half hour, and plenty of food there is bound to be something to see all night.

Make sure to visit the Carillon for a breath taking view inside the tree. Just try “not” to spin around too much while looking up at the lights.

While the Christmas event start later in the evening the park is open all day for the same ticket. Come early, get a parking spot, and enjoy the museum and grounds before the crowds. Then when the park opens have you’ll have time for the festivities.

Carillon Historical Park

1000 Carillon Blvd,
Dayton, OH 45409

A carillon is a bell tower. Dayton’s Carillon is a historical park as well as a tower.

A day at Carillion starts with the Interpretive center. It is a large museum with great displays on the major players in the history of Dayton.  One room houses a grand collection of cash registers. Another houses the original Deeds barn gang’s barn where the car electric start motor was invented. Others display information on the major manufacturers who changed Dayton, and the larger world. One not to miss attraction is the show. Here 4 of Dayton’s most famous sons tell the story of change in the region. In the back of the museum is a large carousel with some of the most unique ride options around. This is a great chance to ride a plane, train, cash register, or even potato chip bag. The show, carousel, along with the rest of the Audio animatronics and displays are with the price of admission to the park alone.

The rest of the park is set up as a small village, like most other open air museums, Carillon seems grounded but still enthralling. Although each of the buildings may come from different eras of Dayton’s unique history the layout is well designed and none seem out of place. From the entrance, with its one room school house and log tavern, to the back transportation building, every building seems to transport visitors from time period to time period.

If necessity is the mother of invention then Dayton must be its birthing room. The park seems to dwell less on the day to day life of old Dayton and more on the major inventions made here. The biggest sector of this early inventing boom is transportation. Did you know that somebody from Dayton invented the airplane? Yes the park actually has a portion of the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Park in it. This section houses a mock-up of the Brothers original workshop and the ORIGINAL 1905 Wright Flyer III. This is the plane that took flying from an idea to a reality.

The park also has an interesting Transportation building dedicated to the ways Daytonians moved throughout the years. Mostly just street cars and buses, it is nice to see the evolution of mass transit from a trolley to the modern bus. Also on site is a working small scale train that kids can ride on.

Overall the park is a nice way to see what Dayton was like in the past and to marvel at all that it has accomplished.