Indy with Kids Katy Mann

INDIANAPOLIS — Maybe you’re not ready to bring the little ones to race day, but there are plenty of kid-friendly activities leading up to the Indy 500.

Lifestyle and family expert Katy Mann of Indy with Kids gave us the low-down on upcoming events to get the whole family in the spirit of race season.

  • 500 Festival Kids’ Day and Rookie Run — Monument Circle and the surrounding streets will be closed off this Sunday, May 15 with all types of activities for kids, including games, mini car racing, bounce houses, crafts and balloon sculptures. The event is free, but there’s a small fee if your kids would like to participate in the Rookie Run, where the run an age-appropriate race and get a medal and swag at the end.
  • 500 Festival Parade — The parade takes place the day before the race downtown. Ticketed seating went on sale Wednesday, but there are also free areas to sit and watch. Mann recommends going early to get a good spot and bringing things along to keep your kids busy until the parade starts at noon.
  • Zoopolis 500 — The annual “Greatest Spectacle in Tortoise Racing” takes place Wednesday, May 25 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Indianapolis Zoo. The event is free for members or included with admission to the zoo. Mann says the event is a blast.
  • Riley Children’s Health Sports Legends Experience — This outdoor, interactive sports experience is open all month at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. It includes pedal car racing, kid-size sports and activities, accessible equipment and more.

You can also take your kids to a practice at Indianapolis Motor Speedway to test out the track experience without the massive crowds, Mann said, which will help you decide whether they’re ready to attend the race.