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Kentucky Derby Traditions

Updated: Apr 5

It's A Southern Thing...

That We Can All Appreciate.

Watching the power and speed of such tremendous animals is quite an experience to behold. It's no wonder why 16 million viewers along with close to 150,000 in the grandstands show up to witness the event. Beyond the race though, there are experiences and long time traditions tied to the Kentucky Derby that you don't want to miss!


Whether you're planning a homeschool unit study on the Kentucky Derby, like I was, or just getting to know more about the event,

here are some of the infamous traditions taking the reins on the Kentucky Derby.


Sip a Mint Julep

The Mint Julep is the official drink of the Kentucky Derby.

Sip on the refreshing kid friendly version by using sugar syrup

in place of the alcohol, as we did.

Eat Derby Pie

A sweet and gooey pie with the main ingredients being chocolate chips and walnuts.

Wear Your Hat

For Derby goers, wearing a hat is a must.

Not just any hat though, the bigger and wilder the better.

At the Derby, hats are in a race of their own.

Admire the Roses

Watch more than 400 red roses be sewn together at a local Kroger store the night before the Derby. This 40 pound garland will be awarded to the winning Derby horse.



Maybe it was because of my Kentucky roots, but this home school unit will go down as one of my all-time favorites! There are so many traditions to learn about when covering The Kentucky Derby, and we tasted them all... literally! From the kid friendly Derby Pie and Mint Juleps, we tried our best to immerse ourselves into this long time southern tradition, and I'd say we won the roses!

We were chomping at the bit to start our Kentucky Derby Unit!

Race over to the lesson plan shop, here, to get the complete Kentucky Derby Unit, and all the great learning activities that tied into core learning topics for the week.

Kentucky Derby Unit: Derby Race Learning Activity
Our very own race for the roses!

You can place your bet on this unit, the kids are sure to have a great week of learning!

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