Last Friday, Kurt and I ventured east for a day trip to Dayton, OH. While Dayton might seem like a strange choice, Kurt has wanted to visit the Air Force Museum for quite a while. I looked for other things to do in the area and was surprised by how many options there were. We may head back someday to check out the places that didn't make the cut. Since Kurt wanted to spend most of the day in the museum, we opted for the following four destinations:
1) National Air Force Museum. Anyone with an interest in aviation will love the National Air Force Museum. There are three hangars filled with restored aircraft spanning over 100 years of flight. It was amazing to see the progression of technology and to get up close and personal with fighter jets and bombers. My favorite was the SR-71 "Blackbird". In its day, it held records for speed (Mach 3) and altitude (85,000 feet). Truly a remarkable aircraft! There is an IMAX theater on the premises, and we caught the noon showing of Fighter Pilot which we both enjoyed. Another must-see exhibit is the Apollo 15 spacecraft. It's amazing that such a small, low tech (to modern eyes) craft was able to visit the moon and arrive safely home. Tip for the photographers: The lighting is consistently low, so bring a tripod/monopod if you want to get shots inside the museum.
2) Young's Dairy. Young's Dairy is located about a half hour northeast of the museum in Yellow Springs, OH. In addition to excellent homemade ice cream (don't miss the chocolate-peanut butter!), they have batting cages, mini-golf, a driving range, a petting zoo, and a restaurant. The environment is cheerful and kid-friendly and well worth the drive over from Dayton.
3) The Cox Arboretum. The Cox Arboretum is located on Dayton's southside. Although a major shopping area is nearby, once inside, you feel miles away from the city. The grounds are beautifully landscaped with topiary, several ponds, and a meditation garden. August visitors can also enjoy a stroll through their Butterfly House which is open daily until 4pm.
4) Amar Indian. Located minutes from the arboretum, Amar Indian is one of the best-reviewed Indian restaurants in the Dayton area. Kurt tried the chicken korma and bhatura (layered fry bread), while I sampled the vegetarian thal. Both dishes were excellent, with the bhatura being a surprise favorite. Be warned though that the dishes are spicier than you might expect. Our "medium" dishes were solidly "hot" in my book. If you're uncertain, opt for the milder version.