Amateur radio enthusiasts look forward to Hamvention every year. And this year, after 52 years at the now-closed Hara Arena in Dayton, Hamvention has moved to the Greene County Fairgrounds and Event Center in Xenia, Ohio. The fairgrounds are located just about 16 miles east of Dayton center off US Route 35, meaning Hamvention attendees are still well situated to take in all of Dayton’s best attractions.
Check out just a few of the great accessible places to visit in and around Xenia and Dayton.
Take in some culture and visit one of the region’s top fine arts museums, the Dayton Art Institute, which houses a collection that spans 5,000 years of art history, and features Asian, pre-Columbian, European, American and Contemporary works. For kids and families, the Lange Family Experiencenter is an interactive gallery offering exhibitions that stimulate curiosity and creativity. Current exhibitions include Blossoming Spring, “ukiyo-e woodblock prints drawn from the museum’s collection that depict cherry and ume plum blossoms amid the celebrations of human life.”
Dayton is, of course, the birthplace of the Wright brothers, so if you’re an aviation enthusiast you must check out The National Museum of the United States Air Force. It’s the oldest and largest military aviation museum in the world -- located at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, near Dayton. More than 360 aerospace vehicles and missiles, many rare and one-of-a-kind, are on display, along with thousands of historical items and “sensory exhibits that bring history to life.”
Another great place to entertain the kids is the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery, a children's natural history museum and science and technology center with an indoor zoo and aquarium. The natural history collection is extensive and the zoo houses mammals, reptiles, birds, and amphibians native to Ohio. The Boonshoft also houses an astronomical observatory and is the only zoo, aquarium, planetarium, and science center in Dayton.
Take a breath of fresh air, and maybe a picnic, to Carillon Historical Park. At this 65-acre park you will find more than 30 historic structures and three million artifacts. The park houses the Kettering Family Education Center, the Wright Brothers Aviation Center; Newcom Tavern, which is the oldest building in Dayton; a heritage school house, and a 19th century stone cottage, among other attractions. There’s also a Pavilion, should you wish to have that picnic but the weather isn’t cooperating. Sunday, May 21 is the annual Fleurs de Fête, a “party in the park,” where guests enjoy more than 400 wine samplings and dishes from local restaurants, live music, and a silent auction.
Love cars? America's Packard Museum has the largest collection of Packard automobiles and memorabilia anywhere in the world, with car models dating from 1903 to 1958. The museum lives in an original Packard dealership building, constructed in 1917, in what is now known as Dayton's Motorcar District. Showcased are more than 50 automobiles, displayed in the service department, pavilion, and restored Art Deco showroom. There is also a collection of memorabilia and “significant artifacts.” Car Collector magazine has named the Packard Museum one of the "Top Ten" Auto Museums in the United States.
Need a break? Take some time out for a wine tasting at the Caesar Creek Vineyards, located right in Xenia on a historical tract of land. The tasting room is open Fridays and Saturdays and is fully integrated with the adjacent wine making facility. Winery tours are available upon request. There is also a Pavilion where customers can congregate and enjoy their tastings in warm weather.
We hope you have a chance to enjoy some of these accessible attractions while in Xenia for Hamvention. By renting an electric wheelchair or scooter from Scootaround in advance of your trip, you’ll be sure not to waste a minute of your time getting around these attractions and more.