Kentucky Derby Party
Kid's Kentucky Derby party menu, activities and  favors

If the traditional pony party isn't your little equestrienne's cup of tea, then  try a
Kentucky Derby Birthday Party. A Kentucky Derby party mixes Mardis Gras madness
with Southern hospitality and grace. It's oh so appropriate to hold your party the first
Saturday of May (though any date will do).

The traditional Derby Party scene has a sophisticated table set with silver tea service,
crystal, linens, china and large bouquets of red roses. For kids, this party is a fun way
to show some style with decorated derby hats, fancy gloves, funny glasses, and a tea
party. Consider the pint-sized elegance of a mini silver tea service with trolly, lower
right. So go ahead and make your own kentucky derby party just for the kiddies.

Kentucky Derby Menu ideas
Some kids will eat like a horse, so you'll have to have plenty of snacks and party
foods on hand to satisfy their appetite. If you want to stick to the Kentucky Derby
theme, then here are some ideas:

  • Feast on KFC: For a kid-casual Kentucky Derby Party, an obvious choice is from
    the Kentucky Colonel himself: Kentucky Fried Chicken. Ask for extra buckets to
    serve other party snacks. Cucumber sandwiches are the traditional fare for a
    Kentucky Derby Party, any tea sandwiches will do when you cut them using
    cookie cutters in the shapes of horses and horse-shoes. Make Mint Julep
    milkshakes with mint chip ice-cream or non-alcoholic mint lemonade Juleps.

  • Taste a bit of Kentucky: If your party goers have a more sophisticate palette, try
    The Kentucky Derby Museum Cookbook. Look also on eBay or Amazon for The
    Taste of Home magazine, April / May 2007 issue, which has a section on
    Kentucky Derby treats. See also A Taste of Kentucky.

  • Let them eat cake! Not every kid loves Kentucky Derby Pie,  or bake them a
    traditional birthday cake, and create a Kentucky Derby scene.

  • Mint juleps. Try making mint "julep" milkshakes with mint ice cream. Another
    option for kid friendly mint juleps is to simply make mint lemonade. The
    traditional recipe for a mint julep calls for mint sprigs. Though not many kids like
    mint in their lemonade.

  • Mint Julep candy. Originally called "Southies" when they were first produced, this
    delicious soft mint taffy is an old fashioned favorite in the Southland. Get a tub
    of this hard-to-find candy for all your guests to taste, left. Kids will love
    Kentucky mints too, so be sure to have plenty on hand or include them as party

Kentucky Derby Decor
With red roses, silver trophies, derby hat finery, and tea service your Kentucky Derby
party for kids is sure to be a day to remember. Here are some ways to enhance your
party with decorations:

  • Make it a "day at the races." Carry the Kentucky Derby theme throughout your
    party with banners for the finishing line, funny money for placing bets. Visit our
    store for Kentucky Derby Party Supplies store for the "Day at the Races" plates,
    pictured, left.

  • Give them Kentucky Derby Party Beads: Derby beads make excellent party favors
    for a Kentucky Derby party and the kids especially love them. You'll find lots of
    Mardi Gras beads that have jockeys, Horse shoes, horses, and trophies on
    eBay. Hint: make sure all to get cash back at eBay. The Kentucky Derby beads,
    pictured left, were $3.99 on Amazon, sold by Party Time.

  • Dress the table in a Kentucky Derby Jersey napkin. Create excitement about the
    Kentucky Derby with Jersey napkins at your table setting. The Kentucky Derby
    Jersey Napkins, pictured left, are high quality napkins that fold into a patented
    shape of a sports jersey. They stand up at around 6.5" tall, and unfold to a
    regular napkin, revealing lots more fun stuff to see inside. It becomes a clever
    hamburger holder or an awesome coaster.

  • Have a Kentucky Derby Tea Party. Klutz created extra supplies For its popular
    Utterly Elegant Tea Parties book. For $9.95 you get six cups, six saucers, six
    plates, six bowls, six sets of silverware and three real, pouring teapots, enough
    For three girls as pictured directly above. (If you buy the book, you get just one
    set, so it's really a deal.) The mini tea set comes neatly encased in plastic,but
    as a favor idea, you can take the pieces out and add a mini doll Horse trophy
    and Horse figurine to complete the Kentucky Derby theme. Use a small
    drawstring organza pouch.

  • Decorate with Kentucky Derby toys for the birthday child. For the collector the
    Kentucky Derby Barbie doll sports a fancy hat. Try a bean bag toss game (like
    hot potatoes) using Kentucky Derby Beanie Babies, available on Amazon.

  • Sprinkle the entryway of your party with metallic horse-shaped confetti, and
    accent with green glitter to set the party scene.

  • And they're off... in a race for party supplies. "The "Day at the Races" party
    supplies is ideal for a Kentucky Derby Party you throw in May or any other day.
    It appeals to kids and adults alike.

  • Kentucky Derby Party Balloons. While you can buy 137th Kentucky Derby
    balloons, pictured upper right, you'll want to steer clear of stretchy balloons if
    you have children at your party as they are a choking hazard.  Instead, choose
    Mylar balloons or inflatable horse favors, which are easier to monitor with
    young kids around and pose less of a threat.

Kentucky Derby Party Activities for Kids
A Kentucky Derby party for kids is an extraordinary theme idea as pony parties go.
While the adults may want to party up at the Downs by sipping mint juleps and
wagering on the ponies and a good time, a kids Kentucky Derby party is all about the
food, favors, fun and games. So let the kids have fun with these ideas:

  • Derby Day DVD Game: Spend a day at the races with Derby Day, the animated
    horse racing DVD game. Pick your horses, cross your fingers, and sit back to
    watch the winnings roll in. Experience the thrill of the horses' parade around
    the paddock before the race, follow your lucky horse from the gate to the finish
    line. With an eight-race program that's different every time you play, Derby
    Day's is a sure bet for kids 13 and up.

  • Host a Kentucky Derby Tea party: Consider the pint-sized tea trolley, right.  This
    children's set includes everything you need for an elegant tea party or a day of
    fine dining. With a white wooden tea cart and its own silver tea service and
    porcelain tea set, you get 34 pieces. See our children's tea party ideas.

  • Have them run for the roses! Have a stick horse relay race with an artificial rose
    hand off and have a rose lollipop or horse figurine prize.

  • Get the sounds of old Kentucky: Sound off a trumpet or bugle to announce lunch,
    cake and activities for your Kentucky Derby party.

  • Place your bets on this idea: Set your DVD to a pre-recorded Horse race and
    have guests place "bets" with Monopoly money and award prizes. Alternatively,
    have guests pick their horses from a derby hat. Award the winning jockey with
    funny money. You'll find funny money with horses, pictured right, For your party
    on eBay or Amazon.

  • Hold a Pony Grooming Contest: Have party goers "Groom a pony" in preparation
    For their own mini Kentucky Derby. Then award trophies to the top groomers.
    Print coloring pages on your computer then supply guests with a table full of
    glitter, glue, gems, stickers, crayons, felt tip markers. Get free coloring pages
    from Birthday in a box and Dover Horses of the World.  

  • Create a horseshoe Garland of Roses. A Kentucky Derby Garland of Roses is easy
    to create by cutting a large Horse shoe shape (12"-16") and affixing red roses
    from a craft store (or creating rosettes from confetti paper). For inspiration or to
    buy one ready made, visit

  • Make a Kentucky Derby Hat or Kentucky Derby Sunglass. Start with inexpensive
    party sunglasses or derby hats found at the party supply. If your party is near
    St. Patrick's Day this should be an easy find. Otherwise you can plan in advance
    and shop online. At you'll find 2009 sunglasses For just .99-
    cents because its after New Year's. You may also find other straw hats, or cone
    shaped hats to adorn. It doesn't matter if you choose a derby style hat, a
    straw hat or felt hat. In fact, a variety of hats adds to the fun and creativity.

    Next gather some fabric, beads, sequins, buttons, feathers, paint, ribbons, pom-
    poms, glitter and glue. Find fun toys to affix to the hats. You can find plastic
    horses, rings with gems, small plastic toys and colorful pinata or party favors to
    affix to the hats or sunglasses. When you're done, have guests select their top
    two or three favorites and award prizes. Be sure to take pictures of each guest,
    which you can include in the thank you notes.

  • Roll the die! Older kids will enjoy horse-shoe dice as favors, available in singles
    For about $1.00 or in sets of five in a pouch (to play Liar's Dice). You'll find
    these novelty dice on eBay or Amazon.

  • Play a word mix up game to see if kids can decipher Horse Racing words. For
    example: "keocjy" (Jockey), "byrde" (derby), "yuckkten"  (Kentucky), and so
    fourth. See our other horse-theme party games and activities.

  • See a funny movie, Racing Stripes is a good one for kids.

Budget saving tips For your Kentucky Derby Party:

  • Music on a budget: Download inexpensive music (MP3) online My Old Kentucky
    Home. Or skip the specialized music and print the lyrics to: "My Old Kentucky
    Home" which you may like to share with party goers. Search Amazon For the
    "official Kentucky Derby Play list." We found Party Up at The Downs For.99-cents.

  • Double up on confetti idea: Recycle the confetti you use for the tables. After the
    party gather up the sprinkles in an envelope, then use for the thank you cards.

  • Plan ahead and save: Get derby hats after the season sales of St. Patrick's Day;
    and derby beads after Mardis Gras.

  • Favor saver idea: Instead of giving your little party goers a favor bag filled with
    tons of tiny trinkets, select just one nice favor that ties into the fun and fanfare.
    For the adults, choose a horse-shaped soap, a tiny bottle of Kentucky Bourbon,
    a Horse head bottle opener, or small mint Julep cup. For the kids, a deck of
    Horse playing cards, dice or a pair of novelty sunglasses.

  • Cheaper by the dozen: Julep cups are on the expensive side, but cheaper by the
    dozen. If you have extras choose a few well placed mint julep cups at your
    party. Use one For a small display of flowers on the tables or in the bathrooms.
    Or use mint julep cups to hold utensils if you're serving a buffet style casual

TIP: If using a mint julep cup for utensils as with a buffet, always place handles up,
prongs, spoons and knife edges down, which is more sanitary. You can bundle sets
together with ribbon to make it easier for party goers to find a set.

Real Kentucky Derby Parties for kids

We're glad to be your guide to Kentucky Derby style pony parties for kids, including
birthday cake, food, games, and favor ideas. See also: Kentucky Derby Party Hats
pony party rides
(C) Copyright 2009-2014. All rights reserved. Updated 4/26/14.

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