While you’re out and about enjoying the 50th anniversary Dayton Holiday Festival and the riches of Dayton holiday lights (some of the BEST in Ohio), you can also explore many unique holiday shopping options around the Dayton & Montgomery County area. Sure, it may be easy to point, click and buy online, but there’s a certain joy to shopping in person, as well as that warm feeling you’re sure to get by supporting the local economy and local businesses.

We’ve put together a brief roundup of our top 5 recommendations for unique holiday shopping options. For those of you who still prefer shopping online, we’ve included some cyber options as well (but with distinctly local components!).

1. Local Holiday Markets

The Dayton area offers a number of unique holiday markets, featuring a wide range of items from local vendors and artisans. We’ve highlighted a few here:

Christkindl Markets at Front Street Galleries and the Dayton Liederkranz Turner German Club: Two German style Christmas Markets take place this year, one on November 26 at the Front Street Galleries and the other on December 10 & 11 at the Dayton Liederkranz Turner German Club.

Holiday Craft & Gift Show at Montgomery County Fairgrounds: Taking place on November 25 & 26, this show features over 110 vendors.

Winter Gift Gallery at K12 Gallery for Young People & TEJAS: From December 1-23, artists will showcase paintings, ceramics, blown glass, prints and jewelry for sale.

Handmade Holiday at Yellow Cab Tavern: On December 2 & 3 Yellow Cab Tavern will host an event featuring specialty cocktails, food trucks, and an art and craft bazaar that brings together dozens of local artisans and vendors selling unique, locally made goods.

Holly Days at The Dayton Arcade: The Arcade’s flagship holiday event returns, December 6-8.  This year’s three-day event includes holiday performances, a festive artisan market, food trucks.

2. Downtown Dollars – Holiday Bonus Buy Edition

Downtown Dollars is an e-gift card program created by the Downtown Dayton Partnership to keep local dollars with Dayton’s downtown businesses. When you purchase Downtown Dollars, you receive a digital e-gift card that can be redeemed at more than 80 participating locations around the downtown Dayton area – everything from local shops to restaurants and even the Dayton Dragons!

See the participating businesses

How it Works: Select the total amount of Downtown Dollars you wish to purchase. Choose your recipient (family, friends or yourself) and send via email or text message. The recipient can use that value to make purchases at participating gift card merchants!

For a limited time, you can also get a special Holiday Bonus Buy: an additional $25 bonus gift for every $50 in Downtown Dollars you purchase!

Read more about the program and purchase your Downtown Dollars at the Downtown Dayton Partnership website.

3. Museum Store Sunday

Sure you’ve heard of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, but did you know that Museum Store Sunday is a thing? It is! On Sunday, November 27, consider supporting local museums and galleries like the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, Boonshoft Museum of Discovery, Dayton Art Institute, Carillon Historical Park, The Contemporary Dayton (The Co) and Aullwood Audubon Center & Farm by shopping at their stores.

4. Give the Gift of Experiences

Studies have shown that experiences can be some of the best holiday gifts, whether it’s tickets to an event or a membership to an area attraction. Here are a few suggestions:

A gift membership to one of our area attractions like the Dayton Art Institute, Carillon Historical Park or the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery is the gift that keeps on giving, as they say, offering free admission throughout the year.

Through December 4, the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance Holiday Sale offers a buy one, get one 20% off discount on tickets to select performances, using the promo code HOLIDAY22.

For sports lovers, the NCAA’s 12 Days of Holideals offers $30 off select seats to the 2023 First Four tournament in Dayton by using the promo code CELEBRATE (offer good through December 3).

5. Explore Local Shopping Districts & Centers

Don’t forget to explore the many unique stores in the various Dayton-area shopping districts and centers, including the Oregon Historic District, the Shops of Oakwood, Town & Country Shopping Center, the historic downtowns in Centerville and Miamisburg, Austin Landing and more.

Where do you love to shop? What’s the best holiday gift you’ve received? Let us know in the comments! While you’re out doing all that shopping, grab a bit to eat at one of our many local restaurants. See restaurant listings here at DaytonCVB.com for some great suggestions.

Thanksgiving is almost here–check back later this week for our top 5 things to do in Dayton over Thanksgiving weekend!

Image: Holly Days at The Dayton Arcade


For more information on things to do in Dayton, contact the Dayton Convention & Visitors Bureau at 937-226-8211 (Monday-Friday) or download the free Visit Dayton App from Google Play or the Apple Store. Be in the Know on All Things Dayton!

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