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How to Host a Kid-Friendly Derby Party

When we host Derby parties in our home we love to invite everyone in the family! If you’d like to host a kid-friendly Derby party, I’m sharing all of my best Derby Party ideas with you today! Living in Louisville, Kentucky one thing is for sure, you celebrate the Kentucky Derby every year like it’s a national holiday 🙂

crowd at churchill downs

Even though I didn’t grow up here, I feel like I’ve embraced Kentucky as my home and find myself every year looking forward to the Derby and all of the great festivities leading up to it.  It’s the most wonderful time of the year… at least here in Louisville.

Each year we celebrate, sometimes we have people over, sometimes we go places.  Last year  I found out that 2 of our dear friends who moved away would be in Louisville on Derby Day, and I knew it meant we were having a Derby Party.

Family Friendly Derby Party Ideas

Our Derby parties are pretty informal.  Usually just good food and good friends and lots of time to chat and let the children run around wild.  Sometimes I imagine my house smiling when it is full of friends.. (even though I know homes can’t smile). Luckily a friend of mine was taking photos last year (as I always forget when people are over), and I “borrowed” them from her blog 🙂

image collage, food, and girl outside

Here are a few photos from our Derby Party- like I said, super informal, along with some Kentucky Derby ideas I’ve shared before on this blog.

lucky tshirt

(Sparkly Lucky T-Shirt Tutorial)

Derby Part Food

cupcakes on plate

Derby Party Games

paper on table cloth and kid holding paper and a bag

To make it fair (especially when dealing with lots of little kids), draw names for horses. Then pass out prize bags to the victors! Put each horse’s name running in the race in a bowl and have each party attendee pick the name out of the bowl.

3 gift bags on table with flowers

Have 3 prizes ready, one for Win, Place & Show.

Decorating Ideas

image collage of derby decorations

Wreath purchased at:  Dees

image collage of derby decorations

The horse was made by:  Yard Birds, a local company

If you decorate a bit for the Derby in the mood, you could make some placemats or a table topper!

Free pattern for a Derby Jockey Silks Table Topper - cute idea for a Kentucky Derby sewing, craft or decorating project!

Derby Placemats

GO Baby GO banner

Last but NOT least, it’s not Derby without a fabulous hat!! I got a new one this year, and let me just say- you’ll see me coming!

Learn how to make kids’ Derby hats with our free tutorial


Win Place Show DIY Kentucky Derby Centerpieces– link to a full tutorial!

Party Ideas

Kentucky Derby Party Ideas and printables on polkadotchair.com

Derby Party Ideas with Free Printables Including FREE PRINTABLES of the Derby Sign, Derby Banner, and the Win Place Show Ribbons!!

Kentucky Derby Party Ideas and FREE Printable Derby Party Items & Games

Run for the Roses Kentucky Derby Party: Includes links to Derby Trivia Sheets & MORE!

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DIY Kentucky Derby Wreath – tutorial

DIY Gold Foil Artwork Tutorial (and free printable) on polkadotchair.com

My Old Kentucky Home DIY Foil Artwork Tutorial 

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  1. those mini hot browns are calling my name…

    my BIL and SIL always have my niece’s birthday party on derby day- so we’re always in louisville on derby day, but never for derby. grr!

  2. Can I come to your Party it looks like so much fun? We were in Louisville a few years ago for a couple of days and really loved it there but we couldn’t stay for derby. Have fun I will watch it on TV.

  3. I live in Bardstown so not far from the festivities. I love Louisville during Derby.

    Love the cupcake ideas.

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