Today was a a day that started with no plans. The kids didn’t need to be anywhere, there were no drop-offs or pickups, no errands to run. Admittedly, there was some housework I was putting off, but there’s always housework.
The forecast for today was absolutely perfect, in the 70’s and sunny. It was one of those days where the sky was as clear and blue as the day Ferris Bueller skipped school. What were we going to do on this beautiful day? I checked the Indy’s Child calendar and the local parks department, but there was nothing listed that really jumped out at me.
As we were about to head to our local park, I checked one last place, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s website. Today was a practice day for Indy Lights race cars. I’d never heard of Indy Lights before, but it sounded intriguing enough, and it was free, so I figured we should go for it. Cars that go 180 mph will be just as cool to us as the cars that go 230 mph.
We packed a bag with food, water, and sunscreen and out the door we went.
Even though the event was free, it wasn’t too busy. The Speedway is so big that it still felt empty even with thousands of people there. Once inside the track, our first stop was a shuttle to take us to the track. The kids loved it, they thought it was part of the whole racing experience.
It had been a while since I’d been to the track and man did I forget how loud the cars were. Luckily, as we got closer to the track we found a vendor selling earplugs. I bought three pair, it was the best six bucks I’d ever spent.
We walked around for a bit, then took a tunnel under the racetrack, found a nice shady spot in the bleachers and watched the cars race. Since it was just practice, only four or five cars would go at a time, which meant there were long stretches of silence before the cars would go roooooaring past. We had fun guessing which cars would lead each lap and my son loved trying to take pictures of the cars as they drove by.
After their practice session, we wandered around the promotional area and had a great time there too. There were new Corvettes the kids could climb in, there was an Indy car simulator that my son played where he drove the Go Daddy car a few laps around the track. They even had cars (including his favorite, Bumble Bee) that were in the new Transformers movie.
After about two great hours of hanging out at the track we hopped back on the shuttle to head home. On the return shuttle trip, my kids had some interesting conversations with two guys that spoke French and very little English. Those guys also seemed to think it was pretty funny that my two-year-old was chewing gum she found on the bottom of her seat. Other than the gum incident, it was a great experience. We will put this one on the calendar to do again next year for sure.