Taking The Kids To The Races: What To Know Before

Horse racing is one of the most attended sports across the world, with hundreds of thousands of visitors passing through the famous entrances for some of the most iconic events on the racing schedule.

Events such as the Kentucky Derby, Belmont Stakes, and Breeders’ Cup attract international visitors annually, while racing is also staged at more local tracks throughout the season to offer potential new fans a route into following the sport.

If you are an adult, you might be worried that horse racing free bets will be all that the sports have to offer. However, there are a lot of other activities to do on the track.

Bringing new eyes to the sport of horse racing is always the biggest challenge that faces the sport, but it has been done to great effect in recent years across the globe by making it a more accessible option for families.

Related reading: Why are Dressage Saddle Pads Important?


One of the biggest assets in the favour of horse racing when it comes to a family day out is the fact that it is one of the most affordable sports to go and see live. Unlike sports such as soccer and American Football, horse racing tracks don’t see families as a route to make more money from visitors.

In fact, they embrace family days by offering free or discounted tickets to younger visitors. Free tickets for visitors under the age of 18 are a popular incentive across the world when it comes to racing, as it offers potential new fans a route into the sport from the earliest possible stage. Therefore, racing is one of the few family activities on the calendar that is as affordable, as it is exciting.

Kids Activities

While many grow up attending the racing to have a few drinks and to socialise with friends, it has quickly become a family day out for those with young ones due to the sheer number of activities that are available at the track to keep the younger visitors engaged.

Most of the family-friendly fun days will have a specified area for those with families, and this could include set ups that include bouncy castles, face painting, and play areas. Therefore, younger visitors to the track are unlikely to get bored while they are at the racing, and they are free to play with friends in a safe environment while the parents can watch from a distance.

Many tracks also offer a number of competitions that younger visitors can get involved with, whether that be a fashion display or even competitions that focus on our furry four-legged friends. One of the most popular race days in the United Kingdom is hosted at Warwick, with the Pug Derby being the standout event, getting fans in the mood for the Cheltenham Festival, which gets underway just two days later.

Food Options

Many racetracks around the world will allow visitors to take in picnics to enjoy to save the cost of buying food at the track. The only exception to this is the fact that it isn’t widely accepted that alcohol can be brought through the gates, but some tracks do allow it.

Picnic tables are located around the courses, meaning that families can set up a base for the afternoon near the track, and there isn’t the need to move throughout the day, with most tables located on the barriers making for great viewing for the racing on track. If a picnic isn’t for you, then there are always a wide selection of refreshment and food options at tracks, ranging from pricey gourmet options to take-away burgers and chips.

Hospitality options are also widely available, but these are typically the most expensive ticket options at the racing. Toddlers are also welcome at the racing, with nappy changing areas located around the courses near the disabled toilets. Furthermore, the vast majority of racecourses offer the opportunity to refill water bottles on course, meaning that you will be able to save money if you need hydration for you and the family throughout the day.


One of the most important reasons why racecourses welcome families to the track is due to the opportunity to educate younger and older visitors about the sport. Tame arguments have always been made surrounding horse welfare from those outside of the sport, but actually going to the track will enable visitors to make their own minds up.

Visitors can see the love and care that is given to every horse within the sport, while also learn more about the post-race care that is given to all runners, ranging from being hosed down to ensuring that they have taken on adequate water following competition.

As well as this, there are also stations for aspiring jockeys to learn more about the sport, with a growing number of tracks putting on master classes involving jockeys that are included on the card. Younger visitors can also have their own go at trying to ride, albeit aboard a mechanical machine, and not a real thoroughbred.

Related reading: What Age Can Kids Learn Horseback Riding?


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