My 500

It’s finally race weekend and I am thinking about our experience last year attending the race. Last year was the first year we attended the Indy 500. My son and I went on whim and it was AMAZING! Here’s our story.

We have lived in Indianapolis for many years however our experience with the Indy 500 has revolved around the 500 Festival Parade. We go to the parade with a big group of our friends – typically 4-5 families. And then we all go out for a big family lunch together.

Last year a friend asked whether we wanted to go to the 500. Our conversation went something like this…

Do you want to go to the track tomorrow?

 What do you mean to the track? To the race?

 Yes, to the race. We can bring the kids. What do you think?

 But we don’t even have tickets.

 That’s ok. We can get tickets there.

 But where will we sit?

In the in-field.

 In the in-field? Is it kid friendly? Isn’t the “Snake Pit” in the in-field? That’s not kid-friendly!

Ha! Don’t worry! We are not going to sit in the Snake Pit. Trust me, it’s going to be great.

So we went, and, we had the best time ever.

We left for the race literally one hour before it started. And because we left so late there was no traffic. We literally pulled onto a resident’s lawn, paid to park, hailed a bike rickshaw, and, caught a ride to within walking distance of an entrance gate.

Once we were inside the track, we navigated our way to the in-field and found the spot under a grove of trees in the golf course. We spread out our picnic blankets and lawn chairs and watched the race. It was the perfect spot to stretch out and offered a great view of the cars as they came into the turn two straightaway. The boys cheered on their favorite driver wildly as he raced past. And when things felt a little dull for them, they took advantage of the space to run around and play. For me it felt like another wonderful Sunday at the park with friends.

It was the perfect introduction to the Indy Motor Speedway and to the Indy 500. And I can’t wait to go again on Sunday with my entire family!

Dorothy Hoffman is the creator of the travel blog, Squirts and Seniors. She is a Gen X-er who writes about traveling at home and abroad with her young son and aging parents.