Month of May: Indy 500 Events for Kids and Families

indy 500 events for kids

It’s May in Indy! This means it’s time for the Indianapolis 500 and all of the Indy 500 events. This is an annual automobile race that takes place at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana. It is one of the most prestigious and well-known races in the world, and has been dubbed many things, from the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” to the “largest single-day sporting event in the world.”

The race consists of 200 laps around a 2.5-mile oval track, totaling 500 miles. The winner of the race receives the Borg-Warner Trophy, which is one of the most coveted prizes in motorsports. While the trophy is the main prize to be won, there are several other days of qualifying and trying to get the best spot for the start of the race. This means even more days of fun in Indianapolis.

Everyone in Indy loves the fun Indy 500 events that last the entire month of May, and most are family-friendly. Grab your race fans of all ages and buckle up for a fantastic Month of May!

Indy 500 Events

Kickoff to May

indy 500 events : 500 festival kick off to may

The official kickoff to the month of May begins on Wednesday, May 1st on Monument Circle from 11 am-1 pm. This is the date that all of the top Indy 500 events begin.

The 500 Festival and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway host Indy’s most-loved mascots and other local celebrities, as well as the official Indianapolis 500 Pace Car, and all the Chevy Festival Cars.

Children ages 12 and under are invited to enter a Kickoff to May Coloring Contest for a chance to win one of two $500 scholarships from Star Bank and a free 1-year membership to the INDYCAR Nation Rookie Program.

500 Festival Kids' Day & Rookie Run

indy 500 events : 500 festival rookie run

On Saturday, May 11, 2024 there are a couple can’t-miss event race events. A family favorite in our house is 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, entertainment, appearances by celebrity mascots, and more! Food is also available for purchase.

The Rookie Run is an annual non-competitive fun run for children ages 3-10 and runs within the 500 Festival Kids’ Day.

Taking Kids to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Saturday, May 11, 2024, the cars will take the track at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the IndyCar Grand Prix. If you’re thinking about going to the Indy 500 with kids, 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 3:30 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

Indy 500 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 18, 2024 and Sunday, May 19, 2024, and the Pole Position is decided on Sunday.

Entry to the track is $30 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 14-17 and May 18-20. 

Other practice days include May 14-17 and May 20 and are $20—some days and concerts require additional admission so visit the Speedway website for more information.

500 Festival Parade: pace car with Indiana Pacers mascot

Indianapolis 500 Festival Parade

On May 25, 2024, the Indianapolis 500 Festival Parade comes back to downtown Indianapolis. This is the premier family-friendly Indy 500 event. You’ll see local celebrities, Indy 500 princesses, and more! 

Legends Day

Also on May 25 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is Legends Day. This is a memorabilia showcase and autograph session. Admission is $20. There is also a Legends Day concert for an additional fee.

The Indy 500 with Kids

The grand finale of May in Indy is Sunday, May 26, 2024. 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 on

Tori Kincaid & Katy Mann contributed to this article.

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