Gambling, alcohol, cigars, sports- the perfect ingredients for a typical Mother’s Day, right? Or you could look at it this way- an easy way to turn your children onto one of life’s many vices. If that reasoning still doesn’t appeal to you, how about thinking of it this way- you’re teaching your child the finer arts of statistics in a slightly unorthodox way- through horse betting.
All kidding aside, the horses were racing on Mother’s Day at Belmont Park and it was a great, albeit different (for me at least), way to spend Mother’s Day. The typical Mother’s Day brunch at a restaurant didn’t appeal to me this year but Belmont sounded exciting. Families came with packed coolers and picnic baskets. They staked out spots on the grassy grounds, whether at a table or right on the grass with blankets. The picnic grounds were totally alive with a petting zoo, pony rides, bubble stations, face painting, karaoke, a train ride around the park and more. All of this was free with admission btw. There were also concession stands selling hot dogs, burgers, fries, ice cream, snacks, beer & soda.
The races can be viewed from the picnic grounds on large screen tvs placed all around the park (you might think that tvs placed up around the trees sounds a bit strange but surprisingly it works), or you could walk to the track and view them (actual betting makes the race viewing a little more fun in my opinion). Betting can be done inside or at betting windows outside.
There was also Breakfast at Belmont on Mother’s Day from 7-10am. Participants enjoyed breakfast, a tour of Belmont and got to watch Thoroughbreds train prior to the races. Breakfast at Belmont happens most weekends in the spring and summer. Call Belmont or check their website for dates before you go. But this was too early for someone like me who enjoys sleeping in a bit on Mother’s Day. I will be sure to check it out on another weekend though. You can also attend any Sunday “Family Fun Days” at Belmont and don’t forget Father’s Day where the will be activities similar to what went down on Mother’s Day.
Belmont’s summer events page lists other upcoming festivities, like the Wing Festival on May 24th where you’ll get to sample wings from all over Long Island and vote for the best. And of course, the Belmont Stakes on June 7th – which could end up being very exciting this year if California Chrome is able to win the Preakness this weekend.
Stay tuned to find out if we’ll have a shot to see the first Triple Crown winner in 36 years at Belmont!