Updated for 2020!
If you live in or around Louisville, Kentucky then chances are you are aware of all things Kentucky Derby.
We take 2 weeks off (not really, but kind of) to celebrate a 2-minute horse race. Have you ever wondered about the best events to bring the kiddos to?
Below you can find our list of the Most Kid-Friendly Derby Events!
Great Balloon Glow
Kentucky Exposition Center
Friday, April 24, 2020
Glow begins at 9:00 PM
The great balloon glow is really fun and is especially fun if you like to take pictures. The balloons look especially colorful under the dark night sky.
Children’s Tea with the Kentucky Derby Festival® Princesses
The Crowne Plaza Hotel
Sunday, April 26th, 2020
The tea begins at 1 pm
Dress your little princess up for an elegant afternoon of tea with the Derby Festival’s 2018 Royal Court.
Louisville Youth Orchestra Concert
Sunday, April 26th, 2020
This concert features nine Louisville Youth Orchestra ensembles performing in the park. It’s a great way to spend on a gorgeous Kentucky afternoon.
Republic Pegasus® Parade Preview Party
Kentucky Exposition Center in South Wing C
Tuesday, April 28th, 2020
5:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Come out and see all the floats and giant inflatables before the parade. Kids can get up close to it all including the Derby Festival Queen and Royal Court, horses, clowns, music and more.
Republic Bank Pegasus® Parade
Downtown Louisville (Broadway)
Thursday, April 30, 2020
Come line up Broadway and get ready for the fun of the Pegasus® Parade. Grab your spot early, or if you are lazy like me, reserve a seat online and you won’t have to worry about where to sit. Marching bands, clowns, and floats-oh my!
Thunder Over Louisville
Saturday, April 18, 2020
Thunder is so much more than just an amazing fireworks display. It’s the official kick-off to all the Derby festivities. The day begins with an amazing air show featuring a wide variety of U.S. military planes, many times including the Blue Angels. There are many different ways you can enjoy Thunder with your family. You can just head downtown and find a place on the great lawn, which is the most affordable way to do Thunder. If you are going to go, pack a roll of TP, sunscreen, and hand sanitizer! If you are looking for a kid-friendly way to see Thunder that offers more than a patch of grass and a port-a-pot we suggest Louisville Slugger Field, which is what my family and I are doing this year. We will have entertainment the whole day including a baseball game, a concert, and excellent seats for the air show and fireworks, not to mention flushing bathrooms.
Tell us, have you been to any of these Derby events before? Do you think we missed any of the most popular ones? Headed to Derby and not sure what you can and cannot bring? Take a look at our list of what to leave at home and what you can bring with you here.