The Preakness is a 145-year old tradition in Maryland. The big race is set for Saturday, May 19 and Black Eyed Susan is on Friday, May 18 at Pimlico Race Course. It can be a bit pricey to see the races live and some of the pre- and post- party events can set you back a bit too.
Here are 6 places (3 are family-friendly) you can go to be a part of the tradition without putting a huge hurting on your wallet – plus you’ll get the side benefits of avoiding the big crowds and staying dry with all the rain that’s in the forecast.
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Sunrise Tours at Old Hilltop
- Where: Maryland Jockey Club (Pimlico) — 5201 Park Heights Ave., Baltimore
- When: May 15 – 18 6-9 a.m., Free, 410-542-9400
- Time: 6am – 9am (tours run continuously and are 20 minutes long)
- Cost: Free
This is a popular tradition during Preakness week. Fans of all ages can watch the sunrise from the Pimlico Grandstand, enjoy an early-morning tour of the racetrack, watch horses train and possibly meet trainers, owners and jockeys. Tours are available on a first come, first serve basis and last tour registration is at 8:45am. Parking is available in the Rogers Avenue lot at the intersection of Northern Pkwy. And Woodcrest Avenue. For more information, call 410-542-9400.
- Where: Mt. Washington Tavern – 5700 Newbury St., Baltimore
- When: May 16
- Time: 7pm – 10pm
- Cost: $15 – you can get tickets here
This is the 5th Annual Pre-Preakness Stakes party at Mt. Washington Tavern. The event is sponsored by Sagamore Racing and funds will benefit the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance. Ticket includes one drink, snacks, bidding on silent-auction items, and prize entry for tickets to the Preakness Stakes.
- Where: The Nickel Taphouse — 1604 Kelly Ave., Baltimore
- When: May 16 – 19
- Cost: Cost of food & drink
Stop into the Mt. Washington hotspot on the days leading up to the big race to enjoy Preakness-themed drink and food specials. If you happen to be there between 4pm and 7pm, enjoy Happy Hour Specials, such as fresh Chesapeake oysters for only $1 each.
- Where: Lexington Market – 400 W. Lexington St., Baltimore
- When: May 17
- Time: 4pm – 8pm
- Cost: $8 – $49 (Kids 16 and under are Free with a paying adult)
Join Lexington Market for the Annual Lexington Market Crab Derby. The event will feature food from some of Lexington Market’s most iconic vendors, live music by Stryker’s Posse, games, a VIP area, family zone, and of course the world-famous Lexington Market Crab Derby.
- Where: Power Plant Live — 34 Market Place, Baltimore
- When: May 19
- Time: 12pm – 4pm
- Cost: Free (general admission) / $5 – $15 for activity wristbands
If you can’t make it to the Preakness or the after-party this year, head over to the first Family Fun Day. This Preakness-themed day features pony rides, inflatables, face painting, and crafts for the kids to create their own fancy hats and bow-ties.
- Where: Ryleigh’s Oyster Hunt Valley – 22 W. Padonia Rd., Timonium
- When: May 19
- Time: 4:30pm – 7pm
- Cost: Free (no cover)
Enjoy the pride of Maryland racing from the heart of traditional Horse Country, Hunt Valley. Sip on classic Black-Eyed Susan or Sagamore Rye Crushes while dining on Maryland-themed bar snacks and small plates. Don’t forget your hat! There will be voting for best dressed. There will be a live performance by The East Coast Flyers following the race.
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