Evangeline Downs Horse Races, Bring The Kids!

We experienced our first night at the horse races the other weekend. It turned out to be a GREAT spur-of-the-moment family outing!

Let me preface by stating I’m not a gambler by any means! I hate the idea of possibly losing the money I worked so hard to hold onto. I can count on one hand how many times I’ve been to a casino and I have always ended up at the penny slots playing with $20. Once I lose it, I’m done.

At my nephew’s graduation dinner, my brother-in-law asked if we would like to go check out the horse races at Evangeline Downs that evening. We had no plans and we’ve talked about bringing the kids before. So a couple of hours later we headed to Opelousas.

When we walked into the casino the first words out of our 7-year-old’s mouth were “Ohhhh, games!” Slow your roll there, sister! We walked past the slots and made our way to the track.

I was really surprised at how many kids were there running around. I had no idea this really was a family event.

We got our race brochure that listed every race that night, the horse’s names, jockeys, etc. The next race was in about 20 minutes. We walked to the side of the track near the stables and we were able to see the horses.

A few minutes before the race we let the kids pick the horse they liked… choosing by the names they liked the most. My husband would bet a dollar or two on each. Then, we watched as the horses sprinted to the finish line! We were screaming all the names we wanted to win! It was a blast.

horse racing at evangeline downs

Our youngest was the big winner that night, winning a whopping $2 on the last race we watched! You would have thought she had won the lottery! It definitely became a core memory.

There is a clubhouse you are able to sit in (hello A/C!) if you choose the eat at the buffet. We have plans to do this with our family later this summer.

It turned out to be such a fun evening. And we spent a total of maybe $40 between drinks, snacks, and the races!

The races begin at 5:30 pm, Wednesday through Saturday, until August 27, 2022. If you’re looking for something completely different I would absolutely suggest making the drive to watch the ponies.

evangeline downs horse racing

Patrice LaBauve
Patrice is a Baton Rouge native that moved to the area to attend UL Lafayette in 2002 and never looked back. Since graduating with a degree in Public Relations she has worked in the insurance business on both personal and commercial sides. Her love of her Cajun heritage made it an easy decision to marry her New Iberia born and raised husband, Matt. They now resides in Youngsville and have two daughters Jolie (9) and Amelie (5) and her bonus son, Eli (14). On most weekdays you will find her running the roads to the dance studio, soccer field or her favorite place, 220 Fitness. The weekends are her favorite family time and are usually spent cooking with her family, watching her daughter show off her goalie skills, checking out any festival around the area, and catching all Saints and Cajuns game. She and her husband are craft beer drinkers, but she also won’t turn down a good Pinot Noir or fancy cocktail. She loves a good philanthropic event, to-do lists, singing in front of people whenever she gets the chance, her gym family and live music. Lafayette has been the perfect place to raise her children and immerse them in the culture she loves.


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