Photo: Del Mar Thoroughbred Club

We’re betting our bottom dollar that this summer’s Del Mar Races are chock-full of exciting family fun. From the adrenaline-rush of cheering at the horse races to a slew of kid-centric activities for your little jockeys, this season is packed with special events and fun surprises. Read on to see just how to horse around at the track.

Photo: Del Mar Racing on Facebook

They’re at the Starting Gate!
July 19th is Opening Day and there will be plenty to see and do, including the annual Opening Day Hat Contest, so make sure to wear your most stylish toppers! After Opening Day, races run Weds.-Sun. plus Labor Day. Gates open at noon every day except Friday, when they open at 2 p.m. There are some exceptions, so make sure you check the calendar before heading out. Admission runs $6 – $30 depending on the day and those under age 17 are free (but must be accompanied by an adult). Parking is $10 – $15 with a tram service for those who prefer not to hoof it.

Photo: Del Mar Thoroughbred Club

Camp Del Mar & Family Weekends
If your kids don’t think watching mom and dad wager on horses sounds like fun, take them somewhere they’re guaranteed to have a blast: Camp Del Mar. Located onsite, this camp entertains kids with crafts, hippity-hop races on the race track, mini golf and more. Kids ages 5-12 are welcome to come to camp from noon until 30 minutes after the last race. Camp costs $24/child, which includes lunch, a snack and a T-shirt. Parents must remain at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club while kids are living it up at camp.

There are also plenty of special events sprinkled throughout the summer season, which will bring you back to the track time and again. Every weekend through the summer season is Family Weekend at the racetrack. Head to the infield for pony rides, stilt walkers, face painters and more. Racetrack admission is free for children and $6/adult. All infield activities are free.

Photo: Del Mar Thoroughbred Club

Family Fun Days
Family Fun Day is Sun., Aug. 6th from 12:30-6 p.m. Visit the infield for plenty of free activities, including rock climbing, trampolines, pony rides and magic shows. Children under 12 will also get a free Webkinz plush horse.

July 29 and August 12, why not start the weekend off right by heading to the racetrack for Donut Day? From 8-10 a.m. enjoy delish donuts, piping hot coffee and yummy OJ while enjoying Q&A’s with the jockeys and watching the horses during their morning workouts.

Photo: Del Mar Thoroughbred Club

Food Trucks Over Fillies
If your family is more interested in food than fillies, the Gourmet Food Truck Festival is your best bet. On Sat., July 29 from noon-6 p.m., over 40 trucks will line up, serving a wide array of tasty eats, ensuring there will be something for even the pickiest ponies.

Daybreak at Del Mar
If you’ve got an early riser (and what kid isn’t?) make hay while the sun shines and head to Daybreak at Del Mar. Every Sat. & Sun. during the summer season, from 7:30-9:30 a.m., guests can enjoy breakfast in the open air restaurant, watch morning workouts and get in on behind the scenes info from former jockey Jeff Bloom.

Del Mar Racetrack
2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd.
Del Mar, Ca 92014
858-755-1141
Online: dmtc.com

What’s your favorite thing about Del Mar Racing Season? Share in the comments.

ADVERTISEMENT

––Michelle Franklin