Summer Saturdays at Newmarket racecourse are a winning day out in so many ways! I had no idea until recently that they provided such family entertainment throughout the summer but now that we’ve been and seen for ourselves, it’s very definitely something we want to do again before the summer is out!
From June through to August on selected Saturdays the Garden Enclosure (which costs just £11 for adults and is free for children under the age of 18) is transformed with the theme of the week and to kick off family season at the Adnams July Racecourse (Newmarket is the only town in the UK with two racecourses and this is the one to be at this summer) we attended the launch theme ‘Doscovery’! Once inside everything from face painting to the bouncy castle is free and you can enjoy a picnic on the lawn while the kids play safely within eye shot. For ”Discovery Day’ we were lucky enough to have the travelling Natural History Museum and Zoo Lab meaning the kids got to meet dinosaurs and create their own fossils as well as dig for them like a real archeologist! And they loved it! They also enjoyed the kids club hut and the playground which is pretty extensive!
We also loved having our picnic lunch on the lawn and noted how to do it for next time as others had brought gazebos and proper seats which made our cool box and picnic mat look very primative – seasoned race goers clearly know the score!
And when it came to the races we loved every second of that too! It was SO much fun betting on the horses and because most of the races only had a few horses the odds of one of us winning were high so we also got to experience the thrill of the win a few times too! We don’t know what we are doing and this was luck on a shoe string (£2 bets aren’t exactly hard core) but we thought it was brilliant fun and so did the kids!
In the Premier Enclosure (which costs more) we found a brilliant spot at the end of the track to see the winning moments and the kids thought is was super fun to see the horses parade pre and post races so even though it’s a bit costly I do think it’s worth the ticket price (only adults have to pay remember)!
By the time evening came and we’d seen all the races, we had just enough time for some street food from one of the many vendors offering delicious smelling fodder. We chose sour dough pizzas and nachos which WERE absolutely divine BUT very hard on the pocket – if you’ve won big a great treat otherwise I don’t think (for our family at least) it’s within our usual budget! Saying that, everything else is such good value that perhaps it’s worth the treat!
I loved Family Day at the races and have my eye on going back for the 21st of July as that’s ‘Great British Summer Day’ and sounds awesome! It’s only recently while visiting Palace House Museum that we thought about horse racing being a family activity. I’m very glad we did though, what a treat to kick off summer fun!
Top tips for summer Saturdays at Newmarket Racecourse:
- Take a gazebo to shelter from the sun and make a glamorous picnic yourself to save money
- Set aside a few pennies to play with but don’t go over that sum or it’s not fun anymore
- Only bet on the races with around 8 running so that if each member of the family has a horse the chances of someone winning are high
- Take a break from betting in the middle of the day to enjoy the fun in the garden enclosure
- Take plenty of water
Honestly, honestly, honestly, it’s such a fun day and though it might surprise you the kids will have just as much fun as you! It’s worth noting that Palace House Museum is also really great for families – horse racing isn’t just for stag parties and stuffy old men these days!
We were invited to enjoy the first summer Saturday of the season as guests of Newmarket Racecourse.