The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is definitely the most famous race circuit in the world, hosting a series of races including the Grand Prix of Indy, Indy 500, Brickyard 400, and Red Bull Indianapolis GP. We used to drive 4 hours to go to these races, now having them “in our backyard” is absolute heaven.
I can’t believe how many Indy locals I’ve met and had the chance to talk to who have never gone. Insane! This city is so rich with racing history. Actually, this racetrack has laid the foundation for most forms of modern racing. Most people seem to say that it’s just too expensive and why bother going when they can watch it on T.V… for free. While the “watching for FREE” part might be true, it’s just not even comparable. You always hear race fans talk about the smell of the rubber on the track and scent of racing fuel, but its all true! Its all part of the sights and sounds of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway that just adds to the exciting roar of the engines. And honestly, there is so much that goes on around the track that you don’t get to see watching it from the television. Message to the people of the world: GO to IMS! Last weekend we were stoked to attend the Brickyard 400, and let me tell you, it was 3 full days of fun and activities. And the best part? I hardly spent anything. Let me show you how you can have the best time at the races without spending a small fortune.
General admission tickets cost $30 for the Kroger Super Weekend/Brickyard 400. Children ages 12 and under are admitted FREE when accompanied by an adult with a general admission ticket. SCORE! That means that when my husband and I pay for our GA tickets, we get to take both kids FREE. Now that’s a fun and cheap family outing. We usually go a little bit early and claim a good spot.
If you think $30 is a lot, please don’t judge a book by it’s cover; you are getting a huge bang for your buck. You can’t even go to a movie theater without spending at least that just on popcorn and drinks. A movie lasts 2 hours tops, compare that to a weekend event. It’s totally insane!
If you aren’t local you still have a ton of options and places to stay. For the Brickyard 400 they have put together some pretty awesome package deals. You can check them out here.
If you love camping you can do that also. Camping at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is an event within itself. You can get more camping details here!
Next to admission, food is the next biggest expense. At least for us. Buying food at the track can get costly; so we bring our own. I usually make a few hotdogs the morning of, throw some chips, snacks and water in a cooler and we are on our way. Yes you may have to carry it around or set up camp, but totally worth saving some cash. Remember that most tracks of this caliber don’t even allow that now days, they make you get rid of all outside food and drinks at the gate, so it definitely works in our favor to have that privilege. I went to the Kroger down the street from the house and I found these great deals especially for the race. How can you beat these prices?
If you want to eat at the track, go for it. On Saturday the girls and I shared a chicken tender basket for $9 and it was more than enough food. If you break it down that’s $3 each. Not too shabby.
I’m not a drinker myself, but there are times my husband wants to and he has brought his own beer. Most people will do this to save some cash. If you don’t want to carry it along, the track offers a variety of adult drinks though it may cost you a little more. But this to be expected regardless of what type of event you attend.
For some reason people think you shouldn’t bring the kids to the races. Wrong! Along with my husband, my kids have racing in their blood. There is something truly special about seeing a little one gaze in amazement at the fast cars driving by… it really gets their imagination going. Plus we already discussed how its free to bring them along. Also, kids can get FREE headphones at the events to listen to the pit crews and drivers. They LOVE that!
At each race there is a super cool IMS Kids Club Zone full of activities just for them.
At the Brickyard 400 they had bouncy slides, wall climbing, Radio Disney, face painting and tons more. And yes, it’s FREE. IMS also offers a Kids Club. This is the second year my kids have been members of IMS Kids Club. Super low price for a year full of fun. You can read more about everything the IMS Kids Cub has to offer here.
There are so many booths to walk around and see at the Brickyard. This year at the 400 everyone from Sprint, Coke and Crown Royal were handing out FREE stuff. We got FREE T-shirts, hats, personalized Coke cans and so much more. I think we ended up with almost 2 bags full of swag. I scored a personalized poster signed by NASCAR Artist Sam Bass, and not to mention, plenty of meet and greets and autograph sessions with drivers.
Though the most important, racing isn’t the only event taking place at the Brickyard. There were huge slides, bungee jumping, mechanical pig ride and tons of live music, I think I even saw a ZIP line! There are major headlining artists that you can buy optional concert tickets for, or you can enjoy free multiple live concerts throughout the grounds. The girls and I got up early and watched a live band play while eating fresh homegrown watermelon. Both FREE courtesy of different vendors.
The best part of the race weekend is the race! The Kroger Super Weekend at the Brickyard is full of speed and adrenaline. You can sit and watch many races during this time; and the upside of getting our $30 GA tickets, is that you can watch the races from different vantage points. No such thing as being stuck on the same grandstand or seat all weekend long. Next thing you know it’s time! The national anthem, the flyover, and “Ladies and Gentlemen start your engines”!
So to sum things up, my family of 4 was able to attend the Kroger Super Weekend/Brickyard 400 for right around $70! That’s a full weekend jammed packed with cars, celebrities, music & free stuff. Plus the most important- quality family time.