Everything you need to know about Kennedy Oaks Day 2019
If the Melbourne Cup is “the race that stops the nation”, then Kennedy Oaks Day is the most fashionable day of the year. Fondly known as “Ladies Day”, Kennedy Oaks Day is held the Thursday after Cup Day each year – this year it will be 14 November – and the competition is fierce both on and off the field. Three-year-old fillies rule the track in the race of the day, barreling more than 2500 metres for AU$1 million in prize money, while off the track the competition is just as fierce with Myer Fashions on the Field, Australia’s largest and most prestigious outdoor fashion event, shining a light on the exploratory showcase of femininity, florals and fabulous fashion from makers and models alike.
Ladies and gentlemen, prepare your outfit in advance
Kennedy Oaks Day is, without a doubt, the fashion-forward day of the year. Sure, if you’re heading to the general admission area then neat casual attire is fine, but there’s a definite buzz to dressing up in your Spring finest and revelling in the day’s magnificent display of style. So, ladies, plan ahead. Think, bright patterns, bold colours, funky hats and fascinators. Embrace the fun and flirty mood of the day with ruffles, puffs and bright, bold pastels. Both dresses and pantsuits are on the table, and be sure to add those extra glamorous touches by considering the kind of jewellery, shoes and, of course, gush-worthy hat or headpiece you’ll select to compliment your overall look. Gentlemen, this goes for you too. Leave the generic black and grey suits at home, swapping them out for soft dapper blues or light beiges, shirts in warm, tropical colours and creative accessories to match like pocket scarves and slick shoes. If you’re unsure where to start, a solid research session via Google before will help. Want to go all out and storm the catwalk for the Myer Fashions on the Field event? Our tips are: dress for the season, check out the latest trends, don’t skimp on your hat/headpiece (that includes your hair) and Own. That. Stage. Planning your outfit ahead of time simply saves you drama on the day.
Where you choose to sit will determine how you enjoy your day
You’ve got your outfit planned, prepped and ready to go – now you need to decide what area you’re going to position yourself in for the day. Hardcore racing goers will want to be as close to the action as possible and will revel in the Saintly Place Reserved Seating and Parade Lounge, while those looking for a more relaxed vibe while still enjoying the perks this event has to offer will love the brand new Hop Garden situated in The Precinct where the craft beers are flowing, Melbourne’s hottest foodie favourites are being dished up and both are within view of the day’s races. For the ultimate in glamour and racing, snap up your spot in the Stayers Lounge which is positioned trackside with epic views of Flemington’s famous home straight and includes a gorge-worthy gourmet food spread, beverage package, live entertainment and a souvenir pen for each guest. And for a wonderfully chill day, pack a picnic and plonk yourself down in the grass among the general admission area.
Play in the Park is like a playground for grown ups and you should go
In between Kennedy Oaks Day’s big moments, Play in the Park is the perfect place to revel in some old-school fun between races. Hit up the Bumble Arcade for classic games like claw machine, basketball and air hockey. For those looking to touch up their look, make for the Myer Glam Bar, where express hair-styling sessions, a brow beauty bar and on-site barber (dudes enjoy a good pampering sesh, too!) are on hand to up your glam level. Or simply chill out at the Rotunda where the day’s races are broadcast on a super screen and an abundance of snacks and beverages are at your fingertips, all set to the soundtrack of sweet acoustic sets. There’ll also be effervescent stilt walkers parading throughout the park, an elegant floral photo opportunity by Lexus and a Network 10 carousel to ride, with gorgeous views overlooking the grounds.
Melbourne’s hottest foodie favourites will be there (yum)
Food, glorious food! This year’s Kennedy Oaks Day does not disappoint in this area, with the foodie spread as trendy (and delicious) as the day itself (thankfully you don’t have to stop at just one!) Flavours of the world abound, with American-inspired sliders and burgers made from ground-fresh daily free-range Victorian beef will be served up at Slider Diner, while Duke Pizza cooks up American-style pizza slices crafted from handmade dough and topped with fresh ingredients (the piece de resistance is the locally crafted Italian cheese, drool). When it comes to sustainable seafood the fat Maine-style lobster rolls from Pinchy’s are sure to make your mouth water, and the traditional Thai dishes with a modern twist at Son In Law will invigorate your tastebuds. Finally, be sure to make a stop at Agathe Patisserie. Borne out of the South Melbourne Market, these French pastries, cakes and savouries have a cult-like following for a reason (spoiler: they’re incredible) and are sure to satiate your sweet tooth.
The drinks are also pretty awesome
Often a great meal is made even greater when paired with the right beverage, and there’ll be plenty to choose from on the day. You’ll find ice-cold Furphies and Heinekens being poured from a converted truck and container bar respectively, while Jim Beam cocktails and Prosecco Spritzes will be gracing their destination bar counters. If those drinks don’t tickle your fancy The Pony Bar promises bright pastels and pretty drinks in its retro diner-style venue, or for something altogether different, grab a beautiful bevvy at the Lillet Spritz Bar and have the roaming sketch artist capture likeness – and Ladies Day fashion debut. And, of course, it wouldn’t be a Melbourne event without at least one coffee vendor. Look for premium Grinders Coffee being brewed and served from a funky retro caravan.
Ditch the crowds, abandon the queues, and attend a glamorous luncheon instead
Want the fun, frivolity and fashion that comes with Kennedy Oaks Day without the crowds or queues? Snap up your tickets to the annual Ladies Oaks Day Luncheon at Mornington Race Club. A 45-minute drive from bustling Melbourne to the sunny seaside of the Mornington Peninsula, this stunning Melbourne Cup event includes a decadent three-course lunch and brings the day’s racing action to you live on the screen from Flemington. Plus, there’s The Bentons Square Best Dressed competition for all the fashionistas who have glamoured up and are ready to strut their stuff. Hailed as one of Mornington’s most exciting days of the year, this Ladies Day Melbourne Cup is one you won’t want to miss. The event is on from 12-4pm, tickets are $120 per person and are available from the Melbourne Racing Club website: mrc.racing.com
Download the Flemington Raceday Guide app to get you from A to B and back
The Flemington Raceday Guide app is available from both the App Store and Google Play, and will help you discover and explore what’s on offer at Flemington on Kennedy Oaks Day and other Melbourne Cup events prior to and on the days you attend. The app features a day planner where you can select various events from the What’s On tab to plan out your day; an interactive map of Flemington to navigate your way to the various bars, dining options, entertainment, betting facilities and amenities; a list of the on-course experiences like race times and betting odds; and live transport times to make getting to and from the event a breeze.