DISCLAIMER: We are Great British Racing Family Ambassadors for 2019
With school out for Summer, families across the UK are trying to find fun activities to keep the children entertained whilst spending time together as a family. During the Summer holidays, families travel far and wide to visit Grans and Grandads, Aunts and Uncles, grandchildren, siblings and cousins. A trip to the local park is all well and good but families want more and I think I’ve found the answer . . . #U18sRaceFree
Great British Racing’s U18s Race Free Initiative
Throughout the Summer, there are 60 racecourses throughout Great Britain offering free admission to U18s to more than 200 fixtures when accompanied by a paying adult. This includes more than 50 special family days where they put on additional activities for families and young people.
Family Fun Day at Newmarket July Racecourse
Today we hopped into the family van and drove over to Newmarket for a day of fun at the July Course. Sadly the weather had dropped off somewhat in comparison to the week of sunshine we have just had but we were not deterred. We packed the gazebo, chairs and a picnic hamper as well as our trusty walking boots and rain jackets (just in case).
The Garden Enclosure
As Great British Racing Family Ambassadors, we were given complimentary access to the Garden Enclosure which is where all the family fun happens. The Garden Enclosure is a large grass area with a fantastic adventure playground which was new to Newmarket last year. There are ample toilet facilities, a small bar and a few refreshment concessions although it is understood that the majority of visitors take their own picnics.
On Family Fun days there are activities such as learning Circus Skills, Horseplay Jumps (so you can pretend you are a racehorse for a day), bouncy castle, face painting (this is a VERY popular activity so be prepared to queue) and for those Paw Patrol fans, a chance to meet Chase & Marshall with the Nickelodeon crew as well as dance sessions with Pup Pup Boogie.
You can’t expect to spend a day at the races without the chance to watch the horses. The Garden Enclosure sits alongside The July Course and whilst you can’t see the finish line you can watch a stretch of the course and a large screen to see when your horse wins! There are a number of Betting Stations in the Garden Enclosure for you to place your bets and collect your winnings.
Catching up with friends
The one thing that Simon and I love about a family fun day at the races is that you see so many large groups of people together. It’s the perfect venue for a full family get-together with all the extended family or groups of friends because there’s something for everyone. We all know those happy children equals happy parents and with so much to keep them entertained, how could they be anything else? Well, perhaps when you tell them it’s time to say goodbye and go home [Albie]?
Our day today was made even better because we met up with one of my blogging besties, Ruth and her family from Rock’n’Roller Baby. Newmarket has been one of our favourite meet-up venues over the past few years at Palace House and The National Stud, it just wouldn’t feel right without Ruth and the gang.
The adults can have a little flutter on the gee-gees and you can even set up a little competition with the children like we did today. Lillie drew up a table of the races and we all chose our horses to see who picked the winners. It’s all innocent fun and it makes the races that little bit more exciting as you cheer your horse on when it gallops past.
Further Family Face days at Newmarket
There are two further family race days at Newmarket this Summer if you want to plan a day out with your friends and family;
Family Fun Day on 23rd August – the penultimate race day of the summer is full of fun and will feature an appearance from everyone’s favourite bear: Paddington! As well as a thrilling afternoon of racing, Newmarket will be hosting family sports day races. The Horseplay Roadshow will be on-site throughout the day, which gives children the chance to learn through role-play and interactive games.
Summer Saturday on 24th August – inspired by the popularity of musicals such as The Greatest Showman, the summer Saturday raceday will include ‘The Greatest Shows features the popular Massaoke’. The performers will play beloved hits from the stage and screen for racegoers to sing along with after racing on Saturday, 24th August, not only the final Summer Saturday the last meeting of the year at the July Course.
To find out more about ‘Under 18s Race Free’ and find a family race day near you, go to www.under18sracefree.com