Start Your Engines for the Indy 500

Celebrate this racing tradition with your family all month long.

This year marks the 106th running of the Indianapolis 500, a racing spectacle that is near and dear to many Hoosiers. But it’s not just the race that gets people’s motors going: The whole month of May also signals a host of exciting events surrounding the Indianapolis 500, many of which the whole family can enjoy. Here are some fun, family-friendly things to do in Indy to get race-ready.

Upcoming Indy 500 Events:

500 Festival Kickoff to May

May 4 | Monument Circle |

The celebration traditionally starts with the arrival of the Chevy Festival Cars, led by the Indianapolis 500 Pace Car. At the Kickoff to May, you can also enjoy food from some of Indy’s favorite food trucks, pick up prizes from exhibitors, get photos with the #FestivalCars, and more!

500 Festival Kickoff to May

500 Festival Mini-Marathon Expo

May 5-6, 4-9 p.m. | Indiana Convention Center 

An exciting start to Mini-Marathon weekend in Indianapolis! The Mini-Marathon Expo features interactive activities and exhibitors for all ages. The Expo is free and open to the public and a great opportunity for everyone to enjoy the excitement of the Mini-Marathon.

500 Festival Mini-Marathon

May 7 | West Street near JW Marriott 

30,000+ runners, joggers, walkers, and wheelchair participants will take over the streets of downtown Indianapolis for The Greatest Spectacle in Running – the Indy Mini.

500 Festival Kids Day

May 15 | Downtown Indy 

Indiana’s largest free outdoor festival just for kids, featuring interactive, educational displays in a carnival-like atmosphere. Enjoy drumming workshops, learn Bollywood-style dancing, paint and take home your very own masterpiece, race mini cars, make sashes with the 500 Festival Princesses, and so much more!

500 Festival Kids Day

500 Festival Rookie Run

May 15, Noon-4 p.m. | Downtown Indy 

Kids ages 3-10 are invited to join in a non-competitive fun run where everyone goes away a winner! The Rookie Run is a great way to introduce kids to the basics of running and enjoy the excitement of a race, including the start and finish line production, a massive cheering section, a trip through runner’s service and the occasional celebrity sighting!

500 Festival Rookie Run.

Indy 500 Practice

May 17-20, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. | Indianapolis Motor Speedway 

The roar of engines returns to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway as athletes of the NTT Indycar Series prepare for the 106th Running of the Indianapolis 500 presented by Gainbridge. Enjoy the sights and sounds of May at the Brickyard while seeing your favorite drivers push their cars to the limit at speeds over 220 mph.

Zoopolis 500

May 25, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. | Indianapolis Zoo 

Tortoises, start your engines! This unique annual event and race-fan favorite includes a morning of family-friendly festivities leading up to the “Greatest Spectacle in Tortoise Racing.”

Zoopolis 500
AES 500 Festival Parade

May 28, 11:45 a.m.-2 p.m. | Downtown Indy

One of the original 500 Festival events, the AES 500 Festival Parade is one of the nation’s largest, most-respected parades. More than 300,000 people will line the streets of downtown Indianapolis to experience the larger-than-life floats, giant helium balloons, celebrities and dignitaries, award-winning bands, and all 33 drivers competing in the Indy 500.



Nicole Sipe
Nicole Sipe
Nicole Sipe is the editor of Indy's Child and Southwest Ohio Parent magazines. She has a BA in Journalism from California State University Northridge, and has been involved in the print and digital publishing world for most of her life. Born and raised in Southern California, Nicole traded the city and sun for corn and creeks, and now lives in central Indiana with her husband, two sons and Collie. Her latest book for children, “All About Me! Art Journal” was published in 2022 by Walter Foster Jr. In her spare time, she likes traveling with her family, enjoying good food and drink, volunteering at her children’s schools and around her community, and practicing yoga.

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