So you have heard about Indy 500 even though you are not a race fan but have you ever thought about attending the world’s single-day spectator sporting event?
You might think that you are not a race fan for why bother. We have the same thought. But we can say that you won’t be disappointed and heck you might even be addicted to this world’s famous auto race event.
The roaring of the engine was deafening as well as charging all your sense in your body that you can feel the adrenaline pumping through your body as the drivers start their engine and ready to zoom out for the 250 laps race in this Indy 500.
We didn’t think it will be so accelerating and exciting. So now we knew why there are so many people making the trip to Indy 500 or even other race events every year. It was so addictive to be there in person.
As a first-timer to the Indianapolis 500, we did have a lot of questions and made a few mistakes as a newbie. So we want to share our own experience and some lessons learned so you can truly enjoy this spectacle experience.
Guide to Attend Indy 500 with Kids
Get There Early
When they said, get there early, they really meant it. The race typically starts at noon. But the gate opens at 6 AM. 6 AM?? Why do you need to wake up in this ghastly early hour, you ask. Well, if you hate waiting in line for the next 2 hours with kids, we suggest you do that. You might not have to be there exactly at 6AM. But plan to at least arrive there at 7AM to avoid traffic getting to the race track as well as through the gate.
We didn’t heed the advice and arrived at 9 AM. Even with more than 3 hours before the race started, we spent almost TWO hours waiting in line to go through security and barely made it for the start of the race. The plan to walk around and enjoy the pre-game was all gone.
Yes, You Really Can Park on The Lawn
One of the most popular advice about parking is to just look for houses that have the parking sign up and park on their front lawns. As an out of towner and first-timer, we didn’t know what to expect and didn’t really believe that we can do so.
We drove past several hand-made card board for parking until we were too late to turn for parking and ended up in the line to go through race track parking. But without pre-paid parking ticket, we were turned down and were advice that we looked for the next lawn we could.
So we ended up on the other side of the track, which in turn was a good thing because it was closer to walk and in a bit of a better neighborhood. And yes, we did park on someone’s front lawn. Literally on their lawn!
Bring Your Cooler
Even if you are traveling to Indy 500, it’s easy to pack a few snack and drinks with you. It will be cheaper and less hassle to munch on something while watching the race.
Buy the newspaper
You can purchase that day newspaper special edition with all the scoop and detail of the racers for Indy 500. It’s a fun way to cheer on the driver or team even though you don’t really know them. Kids had fun trying to figure out which place their team was during the race.
Explore the race track
This might seem like counter intuitive to advice you to not watch the whole race. But there are more to explore in the race track during race day or even a day before. We walked under the tunnel to go into the inside of the track where there are lot of activities going on. Certain section might be best left for when they are much much older. The lawn in the middle is a great place to also view the race as well as let the kids run wild.
For more information on things to do in Indy with kids, check out local resource at Indy with Kids.