Taking on the Indy 500 with kids was always a scary thought for me. It’s usually HOT and this event even tests MY patience. Cooper has traveled to the race with us 3 years in a row now, and I’d say we’ve almost mastered this skill!
We’ve been blessed with some really great opportunities because of Jeremiah’s job and spending the day at the Indy 5oo, living the life of luxury is one of my most favorite perks! We’ve tried our very best to help Cooper understand how lucky we are to be able to have a suite and indoor seating in the pagoda, but so far he just complains because it’s “too cold” inside. Ha! I think if anyone outside this past Indy 500 in the 103+ heat heard him, they’d flip. Oh, to be young again…
But no worries, for those of you who are attending without the magic passes, or the perks, don’t worry – we’ve been there, with a kid and we made it through (and so can you)!
The green flag won’t be waved until 12:15 pm but I recommend getting to the track at least by 10 am to get the full experience.
Children under 12 get into the track for free when accompanied by an adult with a general admission ticket.
Park as close to the main road you would take to get home. You can afford the walk to-and-from the track, but getting out of the parking lot after the race is the hardest part.
A great option for parents traveling with children: IMS offers a shuttle service in four different pick-up points around Indy to the track. Make sure to dress your kiddos in comfortable clothes and shoes. Strollers are allowed, but wagons are not permitted on Race Day.
There is a free IMS Kids Zone, with music, dancing, games and prizes, that opens Sunday at 6 am. This past year they had music, face painting, caricaturist artists, a blow-up slide and bike racing!
The bathrooms are located underneath the grandstands or infield near the Hall of Fame Museum and the Pagoda Plaza.
Consider packing snacks and sandwiches in your (no bigger than) 18” x 14” x 14” cooler. Remember, no glass containers allowed. There is a selection of hot dogs, hamburgers, fries and tenderloins as big as your head, but keep in mind, eating at the track can quickly become expensive.
- Ear protection, the cars are really loud for most of the day
- Chairs or blankets
- Yard games – Frisbee, corn hole, etc
- Toys, Coloring Books, Markers – anything to help keep the kiddos busy
- Cooler with Lots of food/snacks, water, drinks. No glass containers!
- Sun hat, sunscreen, comfortable shoes and Maybe a poncho or a sweatshirt. Be prepared and watch the weather.
- If you’re in the stands – seat cushion
Click here for the printable quick pack list – AtkinsonAvenue-Indy500-PackingList
Here’s a quick little freebie for you to print and take to the race to keep your little ones busy for a little while, click on the link below to open and print the Indy Car Coloring Page PDF: