Family Vacations: Indianapolis 500 and the Finish Line 500 Festival

The Finish Line 500 Festival lets fans become part of the famed Indy 500.

Mom and Dad can start their engines and take the family minivan -- and the kids -- for a lap around the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway four days before the superstars of the raceway hit the track. Kids can pedal tiny racecars around a section of the official track, and the entire family can watch the actual crews practice their pit stops or get autographs from current Indy car drivers and past champions. It's all part of Community Day, one of the many Finish Line 500 Festival events that precede the big race.

The festival also hosts a Kids' Day of free activities in downtown Indianapolis. The event features performances by costumed characters, inflatable rides, arts and crafts, and other kid-pleasing classics such as face painting, clowns, and games. A parade with race drivers, marching bands, floats, and inflatable characters winds its way through the streets of Indianapolis the day before the race.


Indianapolis 500 and the Finish Line 500 Festival Information

Address: Downtown Indianapolis at Meridian and Washington Streets, Indianapolis, IN

Telephone: 317/927-3378


Hours of Operation: First week in May

Admission: Cost varies by event


To learn more about family vacation destinations, see:

  • Family Vacations: Learn about hundreds of family vacations in destinations all over North America.



Laura Sutherland is a widely acknowledged authority on family travel and has published several books on the topic, including Best Family Ski Vacations In North America and Tropical Family Vacations.