In case you didn’t know…ha! ha!…Indianapolis is home to the largest single day sporting event in the world, the Indy500. People travel from all over the world to be a part of the action, the race, the parties and the 500 Festival Parade.
While residents of Indianapolis know that there is always something BIG going on, many people feel that the Month of May is the best time of year in Indianapolis. If you’re not up for the whole big event, there’s a huge, free festival on Monument Circle just for kids — the 500 Festival Kids Day, there’s a huge running race for kids, the Rookie Run.
Don’t Forget to Include Your Kids
Our family is what I would call, “Casual Fans” or perhaps even just the type of family that likes to go where the action is, so we don’t really need fantastic seats and we aren’t willing to take the financial hit. If you are like us, then you need to be aware of several things:
Businesses will often offer FREE tickets with purchase, just keep your eyes peeled in March and April.
Kids 12 and under are free with a paid adult admission. These general admission tickets will not get you a seat in the stands but they will give you a nice little seat on the lawn (the viewing mounds).
What You Take With You to the Indy 500 Will Influence Your Experience
Chairs, umbrellas and strollers are allowed but if you take them, they cannot block the view of anyone around you. We take a blanket to sit on and maybe even a tarp to go under the blanket it it’s been a rainy week. The stroller is nice to help cart kids and stuff around. Keep in mind that wagons are not permitted on race day.
Protect your family from the elements and the environment. SUNBLOCK, Sunblock, Sunblock! Bring it and USE it! Bring a hat and sunglasses for each member of the family, dress appropriately (don’t want those shoulders burning) and wear comfortable walking shoes! Ear protections is OH so important! Stop into a sporting goods store and grab some over the head ear protection that is designed in kids sizes. This will encourage them to keep it on because it actually fits well.
Keeping the Kids Engaged and Interested Will Keep Everyone Happy
Consider renting a scanner so that you and your kids can listen in to the race car drivers chatter. We use Track Scan. These can be rented at the track. One per family is probably plenty because you can plug up to three headsets into it.
Bring a notepad and pen for your kids and encourage them to keep track of certain cars, what lap # they are on, how many pit stops they take or how many crashes take place during the race. Teach them the names of the drivers in certain cars.
Plan on walking around and pointing out different racing elements around the track.
Visit the free KidZone and let them work out the squirrley syndrome — dance, sing, participate in games, win prizes, have a lot of fun!
Save Money and Time With Packed Snacks and Drinks
The best part about bringing your own snacks and beverages is that you’ll save money, the second best part is that you won’t have to wait in line! Coolers and outside food are permitted. Please familiarize yourself with the official rules and details about what you may bring. It’s pretty lenient.