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“Spent more time here than we planned”

Kentucky Derby Museum
Book In Advance
More Info
USD 15.00*
and up
Kentucky Derby Museum General Admission
More Info
USD 22.00*
and up
Derby City's Distillery and Museum Combo Pass
Ranked #4 of 178 things to do in Louisville
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Kentucky Derby Museum, where every day is Derby day! Kentucky Derby Museum, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in Louisville, Kentucky has a commitment to engage, educate, and excite everyone about the extraordinary experience that is the Kentucky Derby. When you visit the Museum, you will find yourself immersed in the next best thing to actually being at the Derby! Our exhibits will take you through the journey from the birth of the foal to the winner's circle. Find yourself in the middle of Kentucky Derby week activities and Derby traditions. Or you can take in the view of the track on Derby Day from the middle of the Infield. We are the exclusive tour provider for Churchill Downs Racetrack offering tours 7 days a week. General admission includes two levels of family-friendly interactive permanent & temporary exhibits, "The Greatest Race," a 360-degree immersive sound and visual experience that'll get your heart racing and emotions soaring, Historic Walking Tour of Churchill Downs Racetrack, a chance to meet our resident Thoroughbred and miniature horse, access to the Finish Line Gift Shop, Kentucky fare in the Derby Cafè and much more!
Useful Information: Stairs / lift, Activities for young children, Activities for older children, Bathroom facilities, Wheelchair access, Baby buggy parking
Columbus, Ohio
Level 6 Contributor
159 reviews
53 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
“Spent more time here than we planned”
Reviewed 8 January 2012

Very modern and interactive exhibits. Took the basic included tour but would describe it as pretty "basic" so if you really wanted to see the behind the scenes things you would have to shell out more money. Kids loved riding the "video" horses and the "play" betting windows. Ate at the cafe adn food was decent.

Visited December 2011
Thank ttoo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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2,309 reviews from our community

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English first
Level 6 Contributor
101 reviews
42 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Must-see for horse racing fans, even if you only like the Derby!”
Reviewed 7 January 2012

The Kentucky Museum is a wonderful mulltimedia experience which allows visitors to see, hear, touch, and even smell Churchill Downs and learn everything you could possibly care to know about Derby history since 1875, when the first Kentucky Derby was run.

The museum starts with am impressive nearly life-size movie of horses coming straight at you from a distant starting gate until it looks like they are just about to run over you. You can see the dirt flying and every muscle rippling. You can watch a presentation about the life of a racehorse from birth to racing in a 360 degree theater with round stools so you can turn to watch different parts of the screen with ease. You can watch every Derby that is available on videotape by just pressing a button. There is a simulated wagering station where you can place simulated wagers on a real race, then watch it, and see how much money you "won." Every race is different, so the small group ahead of you will be watching a different race than you will. You can also sit astride your very own "horse" and control its movements by push buttons to challenge a couple of other jockeys and their mounts. I could have sat there and played that game for a long time. Besides numerous visual displays of all things Derby, from equipment used by grooms, farriers, veterinarians, etc., to trophies, and of course the famous Derby hat collection, there are audio and visual presentations for each Triple Crown winner. It is fascinating to listen to some of the taped real-time commentary as well as recollections of journalists, jockeys, owners, and trainers still living.

My only regret is that the weather was too bad (very cold and windy) for us to enjoy the free guided tour of the back side/barn area of Churchill Downs. I'm sure it would have been equally fascinating.

On a final note, the gift shop was excellent. There was an enormous array of items relating to horses, racing, and the Derby for people of all ages and interests. I even purchased an image of the riding silks I designed at a kiosk in the museum for just under $10. Maybe someday, I'll get a few dozen friends to form a syndicate so we can buy a possible Derby-worthy yearling at the Lexington sale. The Kentucky Derby is all about dreams--those that come true, and those that ended in tragedy as well. The Kentucky Derby Museum does justice to these dreams, and all of the horses and people involved. It's well worth a few hours of your time.

Visited January 2012
Thank MaryDee1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 5 Contributor
57 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“123 go”
Reviewed 16 December 2011

We loved the Derby, take the walking tour... the guide was very informative. The museum was great, had tons of famous hats.....

Visited December 2011
Thank cypress101
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Jose, California
Level 6 Contributor
290 reviews
59 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 143 helpful votes
“Get the flavor of the Kentucky Derby all year 'round”
Reviewed 29 November 2011

Derby Day comes once a year. What to do for the other 364 days? Go see the Kentucky Derby Museum at Churchill Downs. You'll get the flavor of the Derby, you'll get a sense of the history of the race, and a 360-degree multimedia show will give you a sense of what it's like to raise a Derby winner.

Visited May 2011
1 Thank Steven L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Windsor, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
221 reviews
78 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 129 helpful votes
“Enjoyable and Lots of FUN!!”
Reviewed 28 November 2011

My boyfriend and I had went here not knowing what to except. It turned out to be a great experience. We toured the museum, saw some funny hats, clothing & read about all the famous people that attend the Derby. We got to watch a race which neither of us have saw before. Got to see where they bring the horses to check there gums for the right numbers, very interesting. I was mostly looking at these guys walking the horses around to show them off I guess. We really enjoyed hearing that the Derby has run every year through wars, depression, etc...never missed one yet! Going in November was probably the best idea we had, our tour maybe had 20 people on it and wasn't at all busy in the musuem or gift shop.

Visited November 2011
Thank Picture_Perch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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