For today's side deal, $13 gets you trackside seats, an official program, all-you-can-eat dinner, and heart-racing harness-racing with real live horses at Maywood Park Racetrack in Melrose Park, a $30 value. Post time is 7:10 p.m. on Thursday and Friday nights, but the delicious eats and premature boasts get started at 6:30 p.m. Your Groupon includes admission ($3), free valet parking ($4), an official live race program ($3), and your own table overlooking the track in the enclosed and heated Winner's Circle Dining Room, complete with a dinner buffet ($20). From your second-level perch, you'll receive front-row seats in the comforts of the elegant dining room.
While the horses gallop, you needn't worry about pacing yourself at the all-you-can-eat buffet. Take endless laps around the Winner’s Circle Buffet on Thursdays (6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.) or Grand Gourmet Buffet on Fridays (6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.), then head to the dessert table (open until 10:00 p.m. on Fridays). The buffet offers a variety of succulent offerings, including ornate carving stations where you can get a hunk of meat with a lovely etching of your head on a horse's body, as well as unlimited shrimp, so when the race comes down to a photo finish, you can temper your adrenaline by slipping into a deep, shrimp-induced coma.
Call ahead for parties of five or more.
Three Metromixers give Maywood Park 3.7 stars:
- Maywood is the most centrally located of all the Chicago-area tracks, and offers a full range of dining and party options as well as a fully enclosed seating area for all-weather racing. – Metromix Editorial Review
- I went on a Wednesday with a few buddies. We were in the winners circle dining room. The Prime Rib special was good. The salads, vegetables, pasta and garlic mashed potatoes were nicely done for being in a hot tray. Of course dessert. I didn't do well on the horses, but it was close. I just need more practice. We had a good time and will return. – Mike Swan, Metromix