Kentucky Derby Museum launches kid-friendly experience
The Kentucky Derby Museum unveiled Ari’s Horseshoe Adventure Friday, a new kid-friendly, interactive experience to teach kids more about horse racing.
The permanent addition is a scavenger hunt experience for the museum’s youngest visitors.
Twelve cards are placed throughout the first and second floor of the museum. Kids must collect the cards to help Ari, the miniature horse, find his missing horseshoes as they search for answers to trivia questions about the Kentucky Derby. The cards have spots for younger visitors to color in symbols associated with the Derby like jockey uniforms and the Triple Crown.
Along the way, children will read about historical figures who were important in the Kentucky Derby’s history like founder Meriwether Lewis Clark Jr.
Education Curator Emily Dippie said the cards are meant to make the museum a more inclusive space for its younger visitors who aren’t old enough to read through image-based learning.
“It encourages students to independently pursue their own learning. So for them to have an avenue … to be able to interpret these exhibits, to learn from these historic objects, because as museums, we are keepers of history,” she said. “And if we want our youngest visitors to grow up appreciating our culture and appreciating our history, we have to give them a path that they can walk.”
Carson Murphy, 3, walked through the museum Friday with wide eyes as she pointed to all the photos of former Derby horses. She sat on the floor in front of the exhibits coloring each card she found. Her mother, Ariel, said this was Carson’s first time seeing real photos of race horses.
“She loves horses … and she loves coloring,” Ariel said. “I would have to pry her off the floor to finish. … I know when she grows up, she'll visit here for her school. So I'm very excited. And this brings it down to their level to be able to help me explain for her instead of just for adults.”
Ari’s Horseshoe Adventure is named after Mighty “Ari” Aristides, a miniature horse that lives at the museum. Dippie said Ari plays an important role in the museum’s education programming, and he’s a companion to off-the-track thoroughbreds that live with him.
Support for this story was provided in part by the Jewish Heritage Fund.