Derby Season Tours

Temporarily suspended due to Covid-19 restrictions

These experiences have been temporarily suspended due to Covid-19 restrictions. We apologize for this and hope you check back soon for updates.

Kentucky Derby Museum offers the following specialty tours of Churchill Downs daily from August 22 - September 2, ranging in price from $50 to $225 per person.


Share your visit with Kentucky Derby Museum.

1. Barn and Backside Tour during Derby Season

Join us for some Derby contender spotting! There's not a more exciting time to visit the Backside of the racetrack than the week leading up to Derby. Experience the hustle and bustle firsthand in this exclusive van & walking tour. Visitors will take a ride to the other side of the track into the barn area.

Whether you are a racing novice or a frequent fan, this tour through the barn areas will be a hit.

This is a great tour for horse lovers, but please note: guests will not be able to touch the animals or enter the shed rows. Tour guides, when possible, will point out the barns where the Derby contenders are housed in preparation for the big race. Seats are limited since the group is transported to the Backside in a van. Purchasing tickets in advance is highly recommended. Tours will depart from out front of the Kentucky Derby Museum by the Barbaro statue.

A. Barn and Backside Workout Tour:

Tour Temporarily Suspended

B. Barn and Backside Tour:

Tour Temporarily Suspended

Age and Height Restrictions: All children eight years and older or over 57 inches tall can go on this tour, in compliance with Kentucky state law.

Limited to 12 people.


2. Around the Track Golf Cart & Walking Tour during Derby Season

Get ready to embark on the most exclusive tour Kentucky Derby Museum has to offer!

A. Around the Track Golf Cart & Walking Tour (Derby Season):

The Around the Track Golf Cart Tour takes you through the history, pageantry and legacy of the Churchill Downs Racetrack and the Kentucky Derby. You will have a totally unique experience at the home of the "Greatest Two Minutes in Sports," from the grandstand to the backside and everywhere in between. You’ll begin from the outside grounds, travel through the Paddock, then relish a morning rail side workout session. Next you’ll travel through the famous infield tunnels to the backside to enjoy an up close and personal view of the horses, jockeys and trainers and see the barns that once were home to Thoroughbred legends like Secretariat, Barbaro and American Pharoah. The tour wraps up with lunch in the private Post Time Kitchen, with an unparalleled view of the track and famed Twin Spires. After lunch you will return to the Kentucky Derby Museum, where you will enjoy two floors of interactive exhibits that bring the extraordinary experience that is the Kentucky Derby right to you!

Tour Temporarily Suspended

B. Derby Contenders Golf Cart & Walking Tour:

Kentucky Derby Museum is providing an exclusive opportunity for you to see Kentucky Derby contenders! This two-hour tour will take you to some of the best spots around the track, where you will see the horses go through their morning routines as they prepare for the Kentucky Derby. Guests will be taken around Churchill Downs in a golf cart and will stop at several locations to watch the Thoroughbreds train, take pictures and enjoy being along the rail for this annual racing extravaganza.

Tour Temporarily Suspended

Age and Height Restrictions: For guests 10 years of age and older.

Limited to 6 people.


3. Bourbon, Bridles and Jock Talk Experience

Combine two of Kentucky’s most treasured icons: bourbon and Thoroughbreds. You’ll begin with an exciting tour at Churchill Downs, intertwining the history of bourbon and horse racing in Kentucky and learn fun facts about why horse racing and bourbon go together, including what makes a Thoroughbred a Thoroughbred and a bourbon a bourbon. Pick up facts about distillery owners who have won the Derby, and how some guests imbibed on Derby day during Prohibition.

The tour then moves inside the Museum’s Derby Cafe Express, an official stop on Louisville’s Urban Bourbon Trail, to enjoy a bourbon tasting along with an interactive lesson on how to make the famous Mint Julep.

Kentucky Derby winning jockey Mike Manganello joins us to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Dust Commander’s 1970 Kentucky Derby win. We will take our Julep to the Terrace, near Dust Commander’s burial site, replay the race and hear Mike retell his experience riding this amazing Thoroughbred and what it meant to him, the trainer and owner.

Tour Temporarily Suspended

Age Restriction: Must be 21+ years of age.

Limited to 10 people.


All times shown are in Eastern Time. Tours subject to change. All regular Historic Walking Tours will be suspended Derby week due to race preparations. Please call to check the schedule.

Tours are available rain or shine. Umbrellas are not allowed due to safety restrictions for Thoroughbreds on the track. In the event it does rain we suggest bringing ponchos and rain boots. The Derby Museum Gift Shop also sells souvenir ponchos.