Giddy Up for Arlington’s 2019 Family Days!

Outdoor Places to Go

Editor’s Note: Arlington International Racecourse closed permanently in 2021.

Family Fun Days will begin on Sundays from May 26 through September 1, 2019 at Arlington International Racecourse. We attended one year on Father’s Day and it was a blast! The kids loved watching the horses they picked race and really got into cheering them on. Additionally, there are all kinds of special activities geared towards family fun, including a free petting zoo, pony rides, bounce house, face painters, and more in the Junior Jockey Zone from 1-5 pm (weather permitting).

Your Guide to Summer 2019 Family Days at Arlington International Racecourse

Here are some helpful tips on getting to the park and seating options as well as some inside info to ensure your visit is extra enjoyable for kids and parents alike!

Parking at Arlington

The main parking lots are free. Also offered is preferred parking for $5 and valet parking for $10.

Entering The Park

Admission is $8 for adults online/$10 for adults at the gate. Youth ages 4-17 are $4 and children 3 and under are free. Some families find it easier to pack lunches and eat at the open picnic table area. Please note there is a $5 fee for bringing coolers into the park.

Seating & Dining Options

There are many options for seating at the park and it can seem overwhelming! Table reservations are separate from admission into the park. Check out the dining page of the Arlington website, choose what day you are going and buy the reservations in advance. There are also plenty of walk-up concession type options to choose from.

Million Room Restaurant
Located on the 4th floor, this is a fine dining experience with floor to ceiling windows that provide optimal viewing as well as personal flat screen TVs at most tables. Business professional dress code.

Terrace Café
Located adjacent to the finish line, you’ll find upscale concession fare here. There are tables for 2 or 4 (4 tops have umbrellas) in a fenced-in area. Casual dress code.

Cowboy Grille
These reservations are complimentary – just choose what time you would like to be seated. The restaurant is on the 3rd floor and offers gourmet pub fare. Casual dress code.

Box and Reserved Seats
Choose from reserved seats or box seats which vary in price depending on if you secure standard, luxe or executive seats. The higher-end ones include more comfortable cushioned seating and personal flat screen TVs.

Picnic and Canopy Tables
Reserve a picnic table in the picnic grove so you are guaranteed a table that seats 6-8 guests. Also, there are canopy tables near the Winner’s Circle. Pricing starts at $15 for this area.

*There are also open picnic tables (without umbrellas) near the Junior Jockey Zone where all the kid-friendly activities are located. You can’t reserve these, but they are free on a first come, first served basis. 

Extra Perks on Family Days

See The Horses Up Close
About 20 minutes before the races begin, the horses and jockeys start to gather in an area that looks like a stable. Families can watch the horses before each race, and then the horses walk around a few times. The kids get a kick out of seeing them up close.

Junior Jockey Zone 
Main attractions for children include the petting zoo, pony rides and bounce house. Additionally, there are face painters, carnival games, outdoor Tic Tac Toe and life-sized Connect Four. And, don’t miss the delicious kiddie treats – snow cones, dippin’ dots and cotton candy to name a few!

Design Your Own Silks Contest
For kids 12 and under, kids can color and design what their jockey silks would look like and enter into the contest. Three winners will be chosen and the winners will receive their own silks designed by them. Additional bonus: a jockey will wear them in an actual race!

Jockey Goggle Giveaway 
Every race, the winning jockey gives two lucky kids a pair of signed goggles similar to what they wear to race. After each race, you can walk down by the Winner’s Circle and cheer for the winning jockey. He/she chooses two children at random to give goggles to.

Arlington International Racecourse
2200 W Euclid Avenue
Arlington Heights, IL 60005
(847) 385-7500

You’ll find lots of other outdoor fun for kids here on Kidlist!

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3 Comments. Leave new

  • Many thanks for your comprehensive posts. We’ve been thinking about taking the grandkids to the race track and now I’m sure we’ll include it on our summer fun schedule.

  • Are the extra activities included with admission, such as the junior jockey zone? Or is there a separate fee per activity?

    • Most of the extra perks on family days are free, but some have a fee in the junior jockey zone. You can buy a pass for the pony rides ahead of time on their website if you would like. We’ve never had to pay extra for the bounce house, petting zoo, or the kids activities provided by the rotating providers each week.


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