Kentucky Derby Museum FAQ – Everything you need to know

The Kentucky Derby Museum is a Thoroughbred horse racing museum in America located in Churchill Downs, Louisville, Kentucky. It is opened to the public since 1985 to celebrate and remember events related to the Kentucky Derby. The famous Kentucky Derby was first held in 1875 and it has become one of the most popular horse racing events nationwide. Due to the current situation with COVID-19, the museum is closed to the public and field trips, though the gift shop is open for online orders. Until the museum opens again people can experience a virtual tour of the museum, which is showing previously unseen exhibits and photographs. The staff is trying to live up to the motto “Where every day is derby day.”

When is it open?

  • The Kentucky Derby Museum opens every day, but you have to maintain physical distancing when you visit the museum.
  • Sun – Sun 11:00 AM ET – 5:00 PM ET
  • Mon – Sat 9:00 AM ET – 5:00 PM ET

How do I get to the Museum?

It is approximately 5 miles from downtown and 3 miles from Louisville Airport.

How much are tickets to the Kentucky Derby Museum?

The Museum admission ticket is $15/adult and $8/children but those under 5 are free of charge.

How to cancel Museum tickets?

If you have already purchased museum tickets and now you want to cancel them, please give officials a call at (502) 637-1111 at least 24 hours before the Kentucky Derby start date.

Since it was opened the museum has been committed to educating children about the derby in particular and animals in general. It celebrates all aspects of the derby held in the first week of May every year and it makes a great place for families and school parties to visit. The museum has been open to the public since 1985 after receiving a substantial legacy left by James Graham Brown.

Visitors to the museum can visit the Time Machine of Warner L James to find out about all of the winners of the derby. All of the winners from 1918 can be seen on film and video clips. There are exhibits from horses, jockeys, and trainers involved in the race, there is a display dedicated to the role that African American jockeys and trainers have played in the history of the Kentucky Derby.

It consists of two floors and features a 360-degree theater that plays the video “The Greatest Race.” The museum features exhibits and displays spread over two stories. The layout and exhibits have altered greatly since 1985, partly through design and partly as a consequence of an unexpected event. There were already plans to renovate the venue yet the extensive flooding suffered in 2009 brought those plans forward. The flood caused extensive damage, and those exhibits that could not be cleaned up or repaired had to be thrown away. The way in, which the renovation was handled allowed the museum to come back bigger, better, and brighter in 2010.

The museum has a focus on attracting children to visit it, either with their families or through school field trips. Field trips are popular and many children learn a great deal about horses and racing on their trips. The exhibits and video presentations are well designed to grab the attention of children and to educate them about this seminal race and its long history. Field trips include a walk around the racetrack itself, the presentation of “The Greatest Race” and a tour of all the exhibits.

There is usually no charge for field trips and school trips to the museum between December and Mid March. The charges for admission from Mid March to November depending on the number of children in each party and whether the party is from Louisville, Kentucky, or from other states. To arrange a field trip complete the online forms.

Overall the Kentucky Derby Museum is a fantastic place to take a field trip and it provides an immersive experience for all children that go there. If you have any questions please give officials a call at (502) 637-1111.

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