Kids Go Free at British Racecourses

publication date: Jul 21, 2016

Kids go free at the races

With the pressures of modern life making it harder for parents to spend quality time with their children, a day at the races is a great way to get active as a family, ditch the gadgets and enjoy a fun day out all together, without being tied to the TV. 

And, if you have never been racing before help is at hand to ensure you make the most of your day at the racecourse with a special activity pack, created by Great British Racing – the sport’s marketing and promotional body – including jockeys’ autograph sheet, racecourse i-spy and the chance to design your own jockeys’ silks. These can be downloaded by visiting the Great British Racing Website where you can also locate your nearest track.

Children can go racing for free throughout the year at Britain's 59 racecourses but there is even more of a reason to head to your local track during the summer holidays when there are over 200 fixtures to choose from. What’s more, many courses stage popular free family days with thrilling action on track and loads of activities off it such as face painters, bouncy castles and the chance to meet a real live racehorse. 

Top tips for a great day at the races   

  1. Go to the pre-parade ring – often a little quieter than the main parade ring, it allows you to have a really good look at the horses up close without their saddle on.
  2. Pick your favourite horse – before a race, pick your favourite horse and then follow it throughout the race.
  3. Watch a race on the rail – this is the closest you can get to see these beautiful animals at full speed. Listen out for the thud of the hooves, especially when there are a lot of runners.
  4. Visit the Winning Post – the winning post is the most important part of the racetrack and it’s here you can cheer the winning horse. If it’s a close finish, you can also have a go at trying to decide which horse has won.
  5. Go to the Winners’ Enclosure after a race – here you can cheer the winning team and see the lucky owner, trainer and jockey receive their prizes.
  6. Watch a race next to a jump – many racecourses allow you to watch a race near a jump where you can see the horses almost flying through the air and just how amazing they are.
  7. Go to the start for the race – some racecourses will run shuttle buses down to the start so you can experience the other end of the race. See how fast the horses go from zero to full speed. Listen to the jockeys and the horse handlers to see how they calm the horses down before the start of the race.
  8. Get a jockey’s autograph – try and get some of your favourite jockeys’ autographs as a memento of the day. You can try and catch them as they make their way from the Weighing Room to the Parade Ring before their race. 

Research by Deloitte on behalf of the Racecourse Association shows that going racing is one of the best value days out for a family of four and is less expensive than the equivalent trip to a theme park, 20:20 cricket match or football league game.