5 Tips for Experiencing the Daytona 500 with Kids
A few years ago I would have never dreamed of taking my kids to see a NASCAR race, let alone the massive event that is the Daytona 500. I could just hear the whining in my head. “Is it over yet?” “Why is it so loud?” “I’m bored!” It sounded like a living nightmare.
Fast forward to last January and all of my misconceptions of this event vanished. I realized that taking my kids to the Daytona 500 would actually be pretty awesome! You see, I was invited to the Super Bowl of racing, and even though I come from a long line of racing fans, I was hesitant. I wasn’t sure I would enjoy it. I was afraid I would be the one spending the whole time whining and complaining. However, I’m always up for an adventure so I agreed to go. Turns out it was the best decision of the year!
My experience there showed me what a family-friendly affair the Daytona 500 is. The stadium was recently remodeled as part of the Daytona Rising Project, and plenty of money has been invested in making this upgraded speedway fun and entertaining from end to end!
For families that are considering taking on this incredibly popular, albeit misunderstood, event, I have some tips and tricks that will make race day an awesome experience for the entire family!
Daytona 500 Guide for Families
1. Sun Protection
Please, please don’t forget the sun protection. The Daytona 500 is an outdoor event and even a few minutes unprotected in the Florida sun can lead to sunburns. Nothing can ruin a day at the races faster than an uncomfortable sun burn. Hats, sunglasses and sunscreen are a must, even if it’s cloudy outside.
2. Ear protection
Cars screaming by at 200 mph will wreak havoc on your ear drums. Make sure you bring or buy ear plugs or noise canceling headphones. You will thank me, I promise!
3. Get there early
There are so many fun activities leading up to the race on race day. Get to the track early so you can ride the mini Ferris wheel, take a spin through the Toyota test track, wander inside the pit, and even sign the finish line!
4. Sit higher
While the new stadium remodel has made it so there really isn’t a bad seat in the house, there are definitely some seats that are better than others. When it comes to racing, higher is better. The higher you are the more of the track you can see. In my opinion the best seats are either Start/Finish upper or Turn 4 upper. (Turn 4 is statistically where the most action happens as drivers jockey for position to cross the finish line.)
5. Take breaks
The race is long and can last 4 to 5 hours. Even the best behaved kids might not want to sit still for that long. Get up and get some snacks. There are concession stands peppered throughout the speedway that go way beyond your typical hot dogs and hamburgers. Explore the five injectors or just go for a short walk. Don’t worry, you won’t miss anything. Large flat screen TVs are everywhere and keep you immersed in the action even when you aren’t in your seats.
Daytona 500 Hotel
Hilton Daytona Beach Oceanfront Resort is your best bet for lodging on your Daytona 500 adventure. Gorgeous ocean view rooms, multiple dining options and close proximity to the boardwalk make this a perfect choice for families in town for the big race.
If you have a car or racing fan in your family, or are just looking for a new and unique experience, the Daytona 500 is a great event that the whole family can enjoy!
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Jordyn was provided accommodations and complimentary admission to the Daytona 500 to give you the inside scoop. All opinions are hers alone.