The Kentucky Derby Museum is one of the premiere attractions in the Louisville region, celebrating the tradition, history, hospitality and pride of the world-renown event that is the Kentucky Derby.
The Kentucky Derby Museum first opened its doors in April 1985. Although the Museum sits next to historic Churchill Downs Racetrack, it operates as a separate 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization, generating its own revenue. The Museum’s property was donated by Churchill Downs Racetrack and the construction of the facility and seed money for its endowment fund was provided by the J. Graham Brown Foundation and five banks in the community.
More than 220,000 visitors from around the world visit the Kentucky Derby Museum each year. With two floors of interactive exhibits, historic walking tours of Churchill Downs Racetrack and special events, the Museum gives guests plenty of ways to celebrate Derby Every Day!
You’ll be transported straight into the heart of Kentucky Derby Day with the Museum’s signature exhibit, The Greatest Race, a unique 360° immersive media experience, shown hourly in the Museum’s theater in the round, The Great Hall.
The Museum also offers a variety of specialty tours including Barn and Backside tours, Around the Track Golf Cart tours, Garden and Greenhouse tours and more!
In addition to preserving the history of the Kentucky Derby, the Museum offers so much more to the community. The Museum’s Education Department provides free educational programs to all public and parochial schools within the states of Kentucky and Indiana that focus on Core Academic standards using the Kentucky Derby and the equine industry as a fun hook.
Find your perfect Kentucky Derby hat or perfect souvenir in the Museum’s gift shop or sip on a traditional Mint Julep in the Derby Café! Year-round you’ll find that Derby feeling at the Kentucky Derby Museum!