The Kentucky Derby Museum is an American Thoroughbred horse racing museum located on the grounds of Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. Dedicated to preserving the history of the Kentucky Derby, it first opened its doors to the public in the spring of 1985. Much of its early funding came from a donation from the estate of James Graham Brown.
The museum consists of two floors of exhibit space, including a 360-degree theater that shows the HD video The Greatest Race. Through the film and exhibits, visitors can learn what goes into the breeding and training of a young foal and the path it takes to the Kentucky Derby's winner circle. Every Kentucky Derby win is honored in the Warner L. Jones Time Machine, where visitors can watch any Kentucky Derby from 1918 to the present day. Exhibits highlight the stories of owners, trainers and jockeys as well as the importance of African American jockeys and trainers to the race and the Thoroughbred industry. Guided tours of Churchill Downs' barn and infield areas, jockeys' quarters, "millionaires row" and press box are also offered. Exhibits were designed by Bruce Burdick's San Francisco design firm The Burdick Group.
|Monday||8:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Tuesday||8:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Wednesday||8:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Thursday||8:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Friday||8:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Saturday||8:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Sunday||11:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
charlotte Cashell-Varga | Nov 8, 2017
Super interesting! I recommend going to a race, and stopping by the museum. The tour was okay, but you may as well just go to the race on your own. The museum was cool, id give yourself at least 3 hours to take your time through the museum and catch a race or two.
Katie M | Jun 20, 2017
The museum is a very fun place to visit, even if you aren't in to horse racing. The tour takes you down into the stands right next to the track. If you come during race season there will most likely be horses training on the track which was fun to see. The tour provides a lot of information, but bring your questions, our guide had gave some info, then answered questions the rest of the time. There a couple of resident horses you get to see at the end of the tour. The museum has a lot of history, fun hats and outfits from the Derby. There is an exhibit simulates the horse racing for up to 3 people, I found quite fun. They have a 360 4K movie that is very cool to watch, sit in the center. It doesn't have a lot to offer young children (7 & under), they may get bored.
Terri Rocole | Oct 14, 2017
Great behind the scenes tour of Churchill Downs and visit to the Kentucky Derby Museum. Definitely catch The Greatest Race show at the museum. Really well done!
carol White | Nov 6, 2017
If you love The Derby you'll love the museum! A must see while visiting Louisville. I've seen it many times and see something new each time I go.
Brayan Aviles | Oct 23, 2017
I had an awesome time at the museum. The exhibits are great for people of all ages. The museum has a lot of historical artifacts related to the Kentucky Derby.
Frank Guidry | Mar 7, 2018
A truly amazing museum with incredible memories highlighted around every corner. Very interactive, kid friendly, field trip friendly. The staff were beyond accommodating and proud of Churchill Downs and history it has produced and continues to produce every single day.
Michael Tucker | Mar 12, 2018
The movie was really cool. Good exhibits. Walking tour of race track was okay. There is a lot of construction. If you like thoroughbred racing, you should go.
Christina Hubbuch | Mar 31, 2018
Absolutely wonderful time. The entire experience was very informative. We had a group with us of all ages and everyone thoroughly enjoyed it.
Laurie Butler | May 8, 2018
Loved touring the grounds... but it was raining and we were all crowded in a van. Most of us could see nothing. Myseum should own an open-air vehicle with a top. The displays were great... but more could gave been done. The 360 movie was fantastic. We actually had a very nice time.
Chris Ashcraft | Apr 28, 2018
Personal favorite, having once worked the circuit for 12 years. The movie on the gigantic circular movie screen is a must. You can do a grandstand tour to see the track, infield and horse's in the morning. Plus do a backside van tour to get a feel of life on the track, plus you will be able to stand on a platform on the rail, and watch the horses train in the morning.
John Wazlawik | May 3, 2018
Wonderful museum sharing the fabulous history of the Kentucky derby and famous Churchill Downs race track. The also offer great tours of the grounds, track areas and stable area. Well worth it whether you love horses or not.
Tom Chan | May 2, 2018
A magnificent place with a lot of history and the guided tour was very informative. There were some construction going but didn't impact our tour. The museum has a lot of stuff and video and it's definitely worth couple hours overall.
Julie Nightingale | May 4, 2018
Great tour, great tour guide. Loves the history. Be nice to meet the jockeys and the horses. Museum has incredible pieces. My fav was Secretariat!❤❤
David Smith | Jun 14, 2018
Great place to visit. The included tour was great and you got to see the track and receive information about the derby. It was 30 minutes long. The video was really well done as well and the museum had some cool things in it. My family really enjoyed the visit and spent about 2 hours there.
Amber Skidmore | May 22, 2018
Do one of the tours. I did the $15 walking tour and it was incredibly thorough. We spent an hour and a half walking all over the Churchill Downs with our very informative guide. Definitely worth the cost. Impressive little museum. You can do the entire museum portion in an hour if you don't like to read a lot. If you do prefer to read the details then this could easily eat up a couple of hours.
Claudi Winters | May 22, 2018
Amazing gift shop with a huge variety of products. The entrance is flanked by tons of gorgeous Derby hats. Very nice assortment of t-shirts, collectibles, bourbon chocolates, mugs, insulated drink vessels, pens.. really anything you can think of thar's associated with the Derby. Great help as well. Easy parking.
Marissa Loge | May 10, 2018
A must see if you are visiting. We were there right before the derby and it was an amazing experience. If you have time do the early morning barn and backside tour with Chandra. She is so knowledgeable and fun! Will definitely visit again.
Kevin Loo | Jul 11, 2018
Interesting museum to learn about horse racing. The regular tour is alright but you should try to book the Barn and Backside Van Tour during a race day during the race which is what we did, by coincident. You'll get to see lots of action as many people getting the horses ready. you'll also get to see the horses going to the starting gate at a closeup which you cannot see as well from the grandstand.
Michelle Denney | Jun 26, 2018
I really liked this museum, the 30 minute tour that comes with admission is ok. Very informative but you don't see much. The museum is small but well done. The film is great. The gift shop is also nice. I paid extra for the barn and backside van tour, which was awesome. Our guide was very knowledgeable and we saw a race from the back of the track.
Melissa Huguet | Jul 12, 2018
Visited the museum, and if you are a fan of the Kentucky Derby, you will appreciate the museum! My daughter became a fan by the time we left. Staff was friendly, tour was enjoyable. Prices for museum and food was reasonable, gift shop was a bit higher, but that is expected. Highly recommend!
Shilaa Kusalan | Jun 27, 2018
We were pleasantly suprised by this local museum. The exhibits, videos and photos were interesting. There is a video that is played on a 360° screen of the story of Kentucky Derby and the Derby horses which was impressive. We also went on a 30min tour of the grounds and got to see a horse race as it was live race day. Tour guide was informative and fun, if visiting the museum this would be one that you should make time on.
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