Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Kentucky Derby Museum

The first trip this summer was to the Kentucky Derby Museum at Churchill Downs in Louisville. One would think that since I live in Kentucky, love horses, and even worked on a thoroughbred farm that I would have been here before. Not so.

I bought tickets for two at a fund-raiser auction at a local school last fall, excited to finally get to go...then Louisville was flooded and the museum went under water. It re-opened just before Derby, so I waited until school was out instead of fighting the crowds.

DS and I arrived well before noon, and took pictures in front of the Barbaro statue and the building itself. A nice older lady offered to take a picture of both of us, so I handed her my iPhone and explained how to use it. She took a couple of pictures, both with her finger prominently featured. :)

We checked in and got our hands stamped, then I explained everything we saw to DS. At first he wasn't really that interested, but he did enjoy the starting gates and the fake horse he got to ride on. I read as much as I could as quickly as I could, doing a decent job of entertaining a 5 year old along the way. Then, the maintenance man finished fixing a couple of the virtual racehorses. It was like Mario Kart Wii with horses - you actually sat in the saddle, held the reins and shifted your weight in the saddle to win the race. I enjoyed a couple of races as well!

After spending time inside, they called for a Backside Tour, which is included in the standard ticket. Unfortunately, the weather was warm and DS was whining about not being able to walk, but after a brief time out on a bench in front of the 20 other people, he straightened up and enjoyed the tour. I was very interested to see the track, the paddock and everything else they could show us.

As for a brief review - I think the museum is better suited to slightly older children, maybe 8 and up, or younger if they have a definite interest in horses or racing. We had a great time, though, and I would do it again!

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