One of our favorite spots during our road trip to Louisville, was the Kentucky Derby Museum. We were extremely impressed with the set up of the museum, the quantity of kid friendly exhibits and hands on activities, and the guided tour of Churchill Downs.
We highly recommend visiting the museum and taking the tour when visiting Louisville.
Visiting the Kentucky Derby Museum with Kids
Upon entering the museum, we were greeted by the friendly staff who assisted us in getting our tickets and let us know the schedule for the guided tours and “The Greatest Race” movie which are both included in the general admission price.
We decided to watch the video first and we were really impressed. The movie is shown on a 360 degree screen and the picture quality was outstanding. It really gave you a feel for what it would be like on Derby Day.
Fun Fact: On Derby Day, the infield has a population larger than the 3rd largest city in Kentucky. That is a LOT of people!
After viewing the movie we visited all the museum exhibits. There were so many geared toward children, some of our favorites included:
- An area where kids could try on jockey uniforms.
- A replica announcers box where you could attempt to call a race. You could even play it back to see how well you did.
- A section where kids could sit on a horse inside the starting gate. This is a great photo opp.
We also watched videos of previous Derby races, and the kids loved the interactive derby racing game. During the 2 minute game, they got to select their horses and attempt to win the derby. They played the game multiple times.
Guided Tour of Churchill Downs
After the fun of the museum, we decided to go on the walking tour of Churchill Downs.
During the tour, our guide showed us around various parts of Churchill Downs and pointed out interesting aspects as we walked.
One of the places we stopped was the paddock. This is where the horses are kept prior to the race.
Fun fact: Each race horse has a small tattoo on the inside of their lip. When the horses are brought to the paddock, someone is assigned to check the tattoos for each horse.
The tour also stopped beside the track. We got a special treat as one of the horses was training and went by us.
Overall, we had a fantastic time at the museum. We had five kids with us between the ages of 4 through 10, and they all enjoyed it. It was definitely the highlight of our trip to Louisville.
Tips for Visiting the Kentucky Derby Museum
- Parking is available in front of the Museum. It is free except for on race days.
- If you have a large group visiting, call to ask about their group discounts.
- General Admission includes both the exhibits, the movie and a guided walking tour. There are other speciality tours available for an additional charge. Some of the extra tours have age limitations.
- Remember to bring your camera as there are plenty of fun photo ops throughout the museum and tour.
Kentucky Derby Museum
704 Central Ave, Louisville, KY 40208