Hosting a family friendly Derby Party at home


Hosting a Derby party at home? The Kentucky Derby is a time for big plans. You are either heading to a gala, to the track, or if you are like me, spending time with your family and friends.

We are always looking for fun things to do to have fun with kids at your Derby party between watching races – all day and making great food to entertain everyone. 

derby party at home

For 2020, there are some virtual Derby events. 

The ‘official’ virtual Kentucky Derby is hosted by the Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby Museum. Details: Virtual Kentucky Derby at Home Party 

Here are some ideas for a fantastic Derby party:


Mock Julep: These are fantastic, I love them! Of course, I prefer to make them with Kentucky Proud Ale-8-one. This is a Derby party recipe that everyone will enjoy. See video below. 

Mini Kentucky Derby Pie: What I do if follow a regular recipe for the entire pit but make them in mini shells by cutting up the pie shells from the refrigerated circle and fitting them into cupcake pans. Then, I just dollop the pie filling into those and bake for less time.

Rice Crispy Horseshoe: You can change this recipe up easily to fit your family’s taste. Just mold the dessert into a horseshoe and you are set. And, you don’t need mad baking skills to do this!

Hot Brown Sliders: These are always a hit and super easy because you can do them in one pan and travel well to parties to bake up quickly. And, they are ready to grab individually.

Hot Brown Casserole: The sliders are more for grabbing and this recipe is more for fork/knife. It’s large enough to serve a bunch of people and had pretty simple ingredients!

Some of the Louisville restaurants offering family-style meals also have special Derby-themed menus. (Like Farm-to-Fork) 



Newspaper hats: Use the newspaper to mold the hat and then have random art supplies for the kids to make it their own style. Parents too……….

Headband fascinators: Purchase inexpensive packs of plastic headbands. Use card stock or plates to fix on the headbands through two holes cut in the paper. Secure in place with a glue gun. Then, have supplies like buttons, sequins, feathers, markers, stickers, ribbon, etc. available for the kids to decorate.

Jockey silks: Using construction paper, cut out the shape of a long sleeved shirt in random colors. Cut out random shapes like triangles, long rectangles, circles etc. The kids can use close to lay out patterns to design their own jockey silks.

Make a jockey: These people cutouts are fun! With construction paper, glue, and markers, the kids can make their own jockeys by designing their silks, pants, hats.

The Kentucky Derby Festival has printable coloring pages


Stick horse race: Make stick horses out of pool noodles! Here’s an example. Kids can race around a track in the back yard.

Giant dice horse race yard game: Head outside and take turns racing. I couldn’t find a good link for this so let me do my best to describe it. You use dice (regular or giant). Set up a start and a finish on the driveway with sidewalk chalk far apart, at least 30 feet long, 8 feet across. Use the chalk to draw a grid of one foot squares across and long for 4-6 people. Each person rolls one die and gets to move ahead in the grids toward the finish according to what they roll. The first to the finish wins!

The Kentucky Derby website had some more ideas! Most of all, watch the race and have fun.


Looking for more spring fun in Louisville? Click here. 

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