I always love a day at the races, especially when the weather is warm and the sun is shining... It's a great reason to dress up, have a couple of drinks and admire the beautiful horses. Now that Elodie is a bit older, it's a really fun day out for her too and in the Summer holidays we took her along to one of Thirsk Racecourse's family race days, tailored to suit families and keep the young ones entertained between races.
thirsk races family day under 18s horse racing
thirsk races family day under 18s horse racing

Previously we have always gone to the races as a couple as we thought of it as a more adult day out, however, on certain race days, under 18s are given free admission to the course and everything is done to provide entertainment for them, to make it a fun packed family occasion too. Its a win-win situation really as everyone can enjoy the day and have a really good time, there's no need to find a babysitter, just take all the family with you!

Some of these days are themed, so the children can attend in fancy dress if they prefer and the parents can get involved as much as they want to, too! The race day we went to was pirate themed, complete with a pirate ship bouncy castle, a treasure hunt (which Elodie loved!) and a real life Jack Sparrow mingling with the crowds. Although Elodie didn't want to dress up as a pirate, she made sure to get fully involved in all of the other activities that were going on.
thirsk races family day under 18s horse racing minster fm radio floss off
thirsk races family day under 18s horse racing ice cream
Thirsk Racecourse has a lovely play area with swings, a slide and a climbing frame which kept Elodie busy for ages, she even made friends with a few others who were playing there which was so nice to see. Thankfully there are plenty of picnic tables around the playground for the adults to sit and enjoy some food at while the kids play! We opted for some delicious fish & chips to share from the selection of food vendors and bars and Elodie got an ice cream. After the fourth race, the local radio station held a floss-off competition which saw a huge crowd gather and floss for their lives! Elodie had been practicing lots (have you ever tried to floss, I really can't do it!) but unfortunately wasn't picked as a winner. It was so funny watching them all though, they couldn't stop laughing!


thirsk racecourse family day under 18s horse racing
thirsk races family day under 18s horse racing
If you've never been to the races before, I can highly recommend it. You don't have to know all the ins and outs of the sport to have a good time. Elodie & I were picking the horses who's names we liked the best, the jockeys with the nicest silks or the ones we thought looked the best in the parade ring, while Robbie knows a lot more about the different trainers and horses themselves, so had slightly better judgement!

We did our best to pick a winner and Elodie loved reading through the horses on the race card and putting her pennies on, but unfortunately we didn't have any luck on the day. Nevertheless, we loved cheering on our horses and watching them run... Elodie got really involved too and the atmosphere was brilliant.
thirsk races family day under 18s horse racing
thirsk races family day under 18s horse racing


Our tickets were for the premier enclosure which is an upgrade from the standard tickets, although Elodie could still go for free, which is amazing! By upgrading you are given entry into exclusive bars and fine dining restaurants which cater for those who want anything from a gourmet burger to champagne and oysters, a beautiful lawn area to sit and watch the races on a big screen while you enjoy a drink or a picnic, a grandstand with perfect views of the winning post, it's own carpark and entrance and you are situated right next to the parade ring where the horses walk before each race and where the winners come back to.

thirsk races family day under 18s horse racing
If you fancy a day at the races, go to under18sracefree.com to watch the Horsing Around videos and find your local family race day. Our tickets were complimentary in return for this feature. 
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