Dayton, Ohio: Carousel of Inventions, Wright Bros. Airplane

Over-the-top historical theme park includes a carousel of rideable Dayton inventions, the Wright Bros. 1905 airplane, an entire building devoted to the city's 1913 flood, and much more.

Carillon Historical Park

Address:
1000 Carillon Blvd, Dayton, OH
Directions:
Carillon Historical Park. I-75 exits 50B or A. Drive north, then turn right onto Arbor Blvd. Follow it until it ends. Turn right onto Carillon Blvd. Drive a quarter-mile. Park entrance on the right.
Hours:
M-Sa 9:30-5, Su 12-5 (Call to verify)
Phone:
937-293-2841
Admission:
Adults $8.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
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Giant can pull tab entrance.

Carousel of Inventions, Wright Bros. Airplane

This park/museum has recently been renovated. Normally the high-gloss would take the quirkiness factor down a few notches, but instead it's shot through the roof.

You walk in and are greeted by an animatronic woman, Mrs. Deeds, who is here to tell you why Dayton is the best. You then pass a staggering wall of ornate NCR cash registers [made in Dayton] and are ushered into a theater, where animatronic Dayton notables give a 17-minute synopsis of their world-altering inventions. Normally that would be a staid Hall of Presidents-type affair, but speakers directly under the seats surprise you with rumbles and booms, fans blast you with wind and cold air, and water mists and drips from the ceiling when the Flood of 1913 is mentioned (It also drips when the invention of the pop-top can is discussed, making the audience feel as if a giant soda can is being cracked open over their heads).

From there it's on through a maze of interactive exhibits to the carousel. Along with the more expected animals, you can also ride enormous fiberglass representations of Dayton inventions. Maybe you'd like to sit in the enormous cash register? How about straddling a bag of Mike-Sells Potato Chips, or a gigantic box of Esther Price Chocolates? There is even a bag of Iams dog food, with the head of a canine poking out the side.

The 64-acre property is an entire little town of restored buildings, canal locks, and standalone museums. There are schoolhouses, taverns, working grist mills, a blacksmith shop, a little gas station, a hillside of tube slides that follow a glacial groove, and the Wright Brothers museum, where you walk through their bicycle shop and wind up in a room that houses the actual 1905 Wright Flyer III.

There is also a standalone "The Great 1913 Flood Exhibit Building," with a loop of modern-day Dayton meteorologists giving the 1913 forecast against the familiar green screen, but in olde-timey clothing. Recreations of the chaos include a dog looking forlornly from a rooftop, waiting to be rescued.

[Kitsa, 09/04/2016]

Nearby Offbeat Places

Largest Collection of Cash RegistersLargest Collection of Cash Registers, Dayton, OH - < 1 mi.
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In the region:
Pancakes and Pigs Sculpture of Goodness, Cincinnati, OH - 42 mi.

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