Month of May in Indy: Indy 500 Race-Related Activities for Kids

It’s May in Indy! Aside from thawing out from a long winter, everyone in Indy loves the fun race-related activities that last the entire month of May. Racing is just part of the festivities, and all are family-friendly. Grab your race fans of all ages and buckle up for a fantastic Month of May!

Indy 500 Kids Activities

The official kickoff to the month of May begins on May 4 on Monument circle from 11 am-1 pm. The 500 Festival and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway hosts Indy’s most-loved mascots and other local celebrities, as well as the official Indianapolis 500 Pace Car, and all the Chevy Festival Cars.

On Saturday, May 15 there are several can’t-miss event race events. A family favorite in our house is the The 500 Festival Sales Force and JP Morgan Chase Kids’ Day and the Rookie Run on Monument circle. Kids’ Day is from noon-4 and includes free activities such as mini car racing, an obstacle course, circus act workshops, performances and entertainment, appearances by celebrity mascots, and more! Food is also available for purchase.

The Rookie Run is for ages 3-10 and run from 12:30-3 pm on Ohio and Meridian Streets. You can register in advance for $8, which includes a t-shirt, or register the day of the run for $5 (t-shirts are extra while supplies last).

Taking Kids to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Saturday, May 14 the cars will tack the track at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the IndyCar Grand Prix . If you’re unsure your child is ready to sit through the Indianapolis 500, the IndyCar Grand Prix is the perfect opportunity for a practice run. Gates open at 7:30 am and there are races throughout the day. The Grand Prix begins at 3:50 pm and is 85 laps. General admission tickets are $35 and children 15 and under are free with the purchase of an adult general admission ticket (all reserved seats require tickets).

Taking Kids to Indy 500 Practices and Qualifications

Practice days and qualifications provide another good opportunity for “practice” with your kids at the track. Formerly Bump Day and Pole day, Qualifications is the weekend the field of 33 is set and the pole position is determined. Qualifications are Saturday, May 21 and Sunday, May 22 and the Pole Position is decided on Sunday.

Entry to the track is $20 and children 15 and under are free with the purchase of an adult general admission ticket. Most practice days and races include free admission to the IMS Midway (Kids Zone), open May 17-20 and May 24-26. Other practice days include May 17-20 and May 23 and are $15—some days and concerts require additional admission so visit for more information.

Things to Bring for Kids to the Track

  • Cooler with water and snacks
  • sunscreen, hat, sunglasses
  • blankets or chairs
  • ear protection
  • rain gear, jacket
  • wear comfortable clothing and shoes

Indianapolis 500 Festival Parade

On May 28 the Indianapolis 500 Festival Parade comes back to downtown Indianapolis. It starts at North and Pennsylvania Streets and heads south, then west on Washington Street and north on Meridian Street to 10th Street. A family-favorite, you’ll see local celebrities, Indy 500 princesses, and more! Bleacher seating is available. Also on May 28 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is Legends Day Presented By Firestone, a memorabilia show and autograph session and admission is $10. There is also a Legends Day concert for an additional fee, learn more at

The Greatest Spectacle in Racing

The grand finale of May in Indy is May 29. The Indianapolis 500. Although kids 15 and under are free with the purchase of an adult general admission ticket, many kids might not be ready for the crowds or the long day involved with going to the race. Make sure you review our article about taking your kids to the Indy 500 and be sure to check out a few of the “practice” opportunities mentioned in this article before you bring the whole family!

Find all of these events and more, the Indy with Kids app or on

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