For most of us, Melbourne Cup Day is an unofficial public holiday — but if you’re at home with the kids, you can’t really shuffle off to the nearest bar to sip champagne and bet on the horses.
That doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate, though… and by throwing a fabulous party at home, your little ones can get in on the action, too!
Step 1: Plan the menu
A successful Melbourne Cup Day function lies all in the planning, particularly the food! If you’re inviting a few friends and their kids over to celebrate with you, then perhaps plan a menu in consultation with them. If everyone brings their own plate, you can cut down your preparation time and enjoy a tasty buffet of varied snacks. A few delicious but low-fuss options include:
Step 2: Prepare some decorations
Have a craft afternoon with the kids where you create some fun horse-related drawings and paintings to add some festive spirit on Cup Day. Consider creating a special cardboard or decoupage bucket to hold names of all the competing horses in for your sweep!
Step 3: Get into racing spirit
On the day of the race — that’s Tuesday 6 November — be sure to pop into the newsagent to get the newspaper with the racing guide. Or, visit the official 152nd Melbourne Cup Day website for the latest horse scratchings from the race. For those who are serious about the races, you could also visit your local TAB to place a small cash wager on the Melbourne Cup.
Step 4: Shop for reinforcements
You’ll not only need to stock up on ingredients for whatever dish or snack you’re preparing, but you’ll also need to shop for party favours like napkins, paper plates, soft drink, juice and, of course, some sparkling champagne!
Step 5: Set up for the big event
Depending on the age of your little ones, consider getting them involved in the party set-up. Have them help you arrange the paper plates and napkins on the designated food area, and get their help in arranging your homemade horse decorations (and perhaps a couple of balloons) near your TV, where you’ll settle in to watch the race.
Step 6: Enjoy Melbourne Cup Day!
The big race takes place at 3 p.m. Melbourne time; that’s 2 p.m. above the Queensland border, 2.30 p.m. in South Australia and 12 p.m. in Perth. If you’ve got enough people coming to your shindig, be sure to run a traditional Cup Day “sweep” — just swap out cash prizes for chocolate treats to award those who pick the winning horses.