Muse at Bunbury Music Festival

102 Days + Nights of Summer: June 2018

Check out Jack White at Cincinnati's Bunbury Music Festival, celebrate the opening of John Glenn Astronomy Park and head back to the beach for Edgewater Live.

Whether you’re looking for small-town festivals or big-city events, great live music or outdoor fun, we have plenty of ideas to fill your calendar this summer. Select a month below and check out our suggestions for each day. If you’re looking for more Ohio happenings, visit our searchable event calendar at


Whichever way you prefer to eat summer’s star fruit, you’ll likely find it at the Newark Strawberry Festival. We suggest digging into the Kiwanis Club’s famous strawberry shortcake, but there’s more food, rides, crafts, fireworks and entertainment to help you get your fill. June 1–3,

6/2: Celebrate National Trail Day on foot, by bike or on horseback. Events are set to take place across Ohio, including a communitywide trek starting at Springboro’s Rotary Park and a naturalist-led hike through Lucas County’s Oak Openings Preserve Metropark.

6/3: Bunbury Music Festival rocks with a lineup featuring Jack White, The Chainsmokers, Blink-182, Fitz and The Tantrums, Dropkick Murphys, Third Eye Blind, Post Malone and more alternative acts on four stages along the Ohio River at Cincinnati’s Sawyer Point and Yeatman’s Cove. June 1–3,

6/4: Take your pick of land, sea and air: biking, paddling and climbing, that is. Marietta Adventure Co. offers a full-service shop with rentals for the independent outdoorsman and information about southeast Ohio’s trails and waterways. You can also opt for one of the company’s guided kayak excursions.

6/5: Travel the Silk Road. Explore outer space. Dive beneath the sea. At COSI, Columbus’ Center of Science and Industry, learning feels more like an adventure than a chore. Don’t miss the new permanent Dinosaur Gallery, a partnership with the American Museum of Natural History.

6/6: Leave it to Kenny Chesney to encourage you to slow down and embrace the days and nights of summer. The Country Music Association award-winning artist takes the stage at Blossom Music Center to play hits such as “The Good Stuff” and “Don’t Blink.”

6/7: Defy gravity as “Wicked” soars into Toledo. Before Dorothy sets foot on the Yellow Brick Road, a fiery girl with emerald green skin fights to prove that what’s good and evil isn’t just skin deep, and sometimes friendship can be found in the unlikeliest of places. June 6–17,

6/8: It’s swine time in Harrod! The Allen County town celebrates the 30th anniversary of its Pork Rind Heritage Festival with a parade, entertainment, a car show and plenty to pig out on, including the annual event’s famous fresh-popped namesake. June 8–9,

6/9: Not long after departing the Nelsonville depot, a group of horseback-riding bandits gallop up to rob guests aboard the Hocking Valley Scenic Railway. But don’t worry, this is Ohio’s Friendliest Train Robbery and only provided play money is at stake on this popular excursion. June 9, July 7, Aug. 4,

6/10: Versailles has celebrated its poultry-producing industry since 1952, and the Poultry Days festival serves more than 25,000 of its chicken dinners each year. Gearing up to dish out its one-millionth plate, this year’s theme is “Poultry Going Platinum.” June 8–10,

6/11: The battle is on at Lvl Up Sports Paintball Park. The Grove City attraction brings the action with multiple playing areas, including seven themed scenario fields that cover a total of 36 acres. Weekdays call for group reservations, but anyone ready for a challenge can walk up during

6/12: From the serenity of the Japanese Garden to the excitement of the meet-and-greet with animals in the Madagascar Biome, the Cleveland Botanical Garden is a place for both relaxation and fun, inspiration and exploration. With its bubbling fountain, manicured arrangements and peaceful pond, the Hershey Children’s Garden is an adventure all its own.

6/13: Horses and sheep and wheat, oh my! Sauder Village focuses on history and farm life year-round, but the weeklong Agricultural Adventures divides the days into themes, from poultry to dairy to corn, and offers hands-on activities to bring out the farmer in you. June 12–17,
Duck Tape Festival
6/14: If the Avon Heritage Duck Tape Festival has one rule, it is to live brightly. This 15th annual event bursts with color and creativity, featuring a parade, the Duck Tape Fashion Show, live music, rides and games. June 14–16,

6/15: Chart toppers and Grammy Award winners, including the David Sanborn Electric Band and the Urban Jazz Coalition, are among the regional and national groups performing at Gahanna’s 20th annual Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival. Kids can jam out, too, with amusement rides, a Fun Zone and more. June 15–17,

6/16: The power of purple is on full display during the 10th annual Summer Solstice Lavender Festival. Clinton County’s Peaceful Acres Lavender Farm hosts personal-growth workshops, meditation sessions, music, lavender products for sale and the chance to pick your own blooms. June 16–17,

6/17: Fort Meigs was built on a bluff overlooking the Maumee River rapids during the War of 1812. A site of sieges and a depot for supplies, the Perrysburg historic site welcomes visitors to see the evolution of the common solider, weapon demonstrations and more during Muster on the Maumee. June 16–17,

6/18: Ninety plots situated along the Miami River were offered for sale to Miamisburg’s first residents in 1818. Celebrate the history of the Star City during the Miamisburg Bicentennial, complete with two parades, fireworks and performances by Ricky Skaggs and the philharmonic concert band. June 16–23,

6/19: Betty Friedan, Cesar Chavez and Erma Bombeck are a few of the characters brought to life during Ohio Chautauqua at Rossford. The five-day community event, which also visits Piqua, Gallipolis and New Richmond this year, combines living-history performances, workshops, education and live music. Rossford June 19–23,

6/20: Take a ride to Gervasi Vineyard for weekly Car Cruise-ins from June through September. The theme changes each week, ranging from early models straight out of a museum display to modern sports cars fit for James Bond, with the Canton vineyard’s beautiful, Tuscan-inspired setting serving as the backdrop. Wednesdays,
John Glenn Astronomy Park
6/21: Turn your eyes to the sky for the summer solstice opening of John Glenn Astronomy Park in the Hocking Hills. An 80-foot-wide Solar Plaza greets visitors by day, while the enclosed 540-square-foot observatory is perfect for viewing once the sun drops.

6/22: With legend Willie Nelson at the helm, the Outlaw Music Festival hits the road again this summer. Head to Cincinnati’s Riverbend Music Center to hear the country music legend top a bill that includes Sturgill Simpson, The Head And The Heart, Old Crow Medicine Show and more.

6/23: Treasures and history abound inside the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library & Museums, but the grounds at Spiegel Grove are noteworthy in themselves. Explore the outdoor spaces of the 19th president’s Fremont estate during GroveFest, featuring vendors, live animal demonstrations and games and crafts for kids.

6/24: Dayton’s Carillon Park Rail Festival rolls back to town. (see below)

6/25: Make a splash at Zoombezi Bay. The nearly 23-acre water park adjacent to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium features 17 waterslides, a wave pool, a lazy river, private cabanas, a kiddie play pool and plenty more attractions to get your feet wet.

6/26: Formed from two rival Bay Area bands in 1979, Huey Lewis and the News has garnered numerous Top 10 hits and Grammy Awards. Hear the rock ‘n’ roll group’s classics such as “The Heart of Rock & Roll,” “Stuck With You,” “Hip To Be Square” and “The Power of Love” at Dayton’s Rose Music Center.

6/27: From Jenny in “Forrest Gump” to Axel Foley in “Beverly Hills Cop,” clothing plays a major role in on-screen personas. Lancaster’s Decorative Arts Center of Ohio showcases 40 authentic, defining costumes at “Creating the Illusion: Costumes & Characters from the Paramount Pictures Archive.” May 19–Aug. 12,

6/28: Dig your toes into the sand and welcome the sunset over Lake Erie: Edgewater Live heads back to the beach for its fifth season. Enjoy musical acts, recreational activities and an array of choices from local food trucks. Plus, there’s happy hour at the Edgewater Beach House. Thursdays May 31–Aug. 2,

6/29: There’s something magical about watching the glow of lightning bugs on a summer night. Take that nostalgia from your backyard and into the Geauga Park District’s Swine Creek Reservation. Firefly Frolic offers a guided hike where you can learn to identify species by their colors, flash patterns and flight paths.

6/30: With the full moon above you and the peaceful water of the Hocking River below, take your sweetie on a Romantic Moonlight Trip. Hocking Hills Adventures offers numerous summer canoeing excursions, and this one ends with live music, wine and a marshmallow roast over a fire. June 30, July 28, Aug. 25, Sept. 22,

Carillon Park Rail Festival
Railroad Days
Dayton celebrates the train at the Carillon Park Rail Festival on June 23 and 24, featuring displays, food, entertainment and even rides on a miniature train. 

Dayton’s Carillon Historical Park is packed with insight into the people and innovations that shaped our country, from the Wright brothers to National Cash Register’s Edward Deeds. The Deeds Carillon, a soaring bell tower, is immediately noticeable, while other discoveries come as guests browse the park’s 30 historical buildings.

“It’s one of the best places, certainly in the Midwest, to learn about Ohio’s unique contributions to American history and American progress,” says Dayton History’s director of education and museum operations Alex Heckman.

Each June, the two-day Carillon Park Rail Festival highlights the role trains played in the evolution of both Ohio and the nation. Now in its 13th year, the festival features multiple model-railroad displays, as well as food, railroad vendors and historical exhibits. There’s also live music, including a barbershop quartet and the Carillon Park Concert Band, which performs railroad tunes from nearly a century ago.

The star of the weekend is the fully functioning miniature train operated by the Carillon Park Rail & Steam Society that offers passengers of all ages $1 rides along its mile-long track. The train is 1/8 full-scale size, meaning it’s big enough for kids and (most) adults alike.  

“There are a lot of places where people can go to a railroad show,” says Heckman. “The difference here is … we have the train-show elements, we have the historical-park elements, and then the idea of going on a train ride.”

Dayton’s locomotive history began in 1849 when Barney and Smith Co. opened and began shipping train cars to Cincinnati via canal boats. Known for its first-class passenger cars, the company began a niche market for wooden cars after many companies reverted to steel. George Pullman purchased several of these passenger cars, retrofitting them for the design of his sleeping cars. 

Carillon Historical Park is home to three full-size train cars that visitors can walk through during the festival, including a 1903 Barney and Smith wooden parlor car with stained-glass windows and plush mohair seats.

“Many people have never been to the park,” Heckman says. “They come here for the first time to the rail festival.”  — Jordana Joy 

1000 Carillon Blvd., Dayton 45409, 937/293-2841,

Photo Credits: Duck Tape Festival: Courtesy of Avon Heritage Duck Tape Festival; Astronomy Park: Courtesy of Friends of the Hocking Hills; Rail Festival: Courtesy of Dayton History