Kate Upton on How She's Marking Daughter Genevieve's Second Birthday: 'Gonna Be a Fun Celebration'

Kate Upton is keeping it low-key for her baby girl's second birthday this year.

While speaking to PEOPLE ahead of her role as an ambassador for the 2020 Breeders' Cup World Championships, the 28-year-old model and actress reveals that she and her husband Justin Verlander are staying home to celebrate their daughter Genevieve's special day on Saturday.

Detailing that her sister and her two nieces have been spending time with her family amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Upton says, "We're gonna celebrate together and the families are all gonna get together."

"It's gonna be a fun celebration," she adds.

Genevieve — whom Upton and Verlander, 37, nicknamed Vivi — shares her birthday on Saturday with the horse-racing event that The Other Woman star is taking part in this year. 

The Breeders' Cup is an annual event generally regarded as the end of the horseracing season in North America. This year, it is scheduled to take place on Friday and Saturday at Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky.

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Upton, who currently owns her own horse after growing up riding them, says that horseracing has been celebrated in her family for years.

"My grandmother started it. She always throws horserace parties, so that's where I grew my love of horseracing," she reveals. "So we're gonna keep the tradition alive and celebrate the Breeders' Cup at home."

Though Upton wishes she could attend the 37th iteration of the sporting event in person this year, she is looking forward to how it will adapt to the current health crisis.

"I wish we were able to go [in person], 'cause the Breeders' Cup is in Keeneland and it's one of my favorite races," she shares. "But the Breeders' Cup did some really cool things, like added jockey cams on their website and more interactive experiences. So it'll be cool to check those out."

And celebrating the event from home won't stop Upton and Genevieve from taking part in one of the racing event's most exciting traditions: wearing a fun (and sometimes eccentric) hat.

"We have matching hats," Upton reveals. "Christine Moore made us matching hats which is going to be so much fun. Hopefully I can get her to wear it. She's 2 — you know, they become very opinionated."

Though celebrating the two events during the COVID-19 pandemic isn't ideal for the family, they're going to make the best of their time together.

Detailing her COVID-19 experience, Upton says, "There's a lot of highs and lows."

"The great side is that Justin and I are home more and get to spend so much quality time with Vivi," she says of the good. "And then it just becomes a lot for everyone, including Vivi, just being stuck at home," she notes of the bad.

"Luckily, the location that we're in is great so we try to get outside as much as possible and go on bike rides and [find] different ways to mix it up," Upton adds. "Going to the barn and having the horses around adds a lot of activities. So that's made things easier [while] trying to stay busy."

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Another way the family keeps busy? Upton says that she is thankful for Disney+, which has been her saving grace throughout the pandemic. "We're deep in Disney+," she says. "Vivi loves anything with animals in it."

Sharing that her daughter loves "The Lion King and Bolt," Upton tells PEOPLE that Genevieve also has a fascination with one other Pixar film.

"She also has picked up a love of the movie Cars. We have, at least, some different movie options," she says, before adding with a laugh, "It's not Frozen every time."

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Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Upton and her Houston Astros pitcher beau have also kept themselves occupied by using their time to give back.

Over the past few months, donations from the couple have helped those affected by COVID-19 through numerous charitable ventures, including but not limited to offering financial assistance to military and veteran families affected by the respiratory illness through American Gold Star Mothers, as well as support for racial justice and promoting awareness of systemic racial inequities through the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.

"Giving back has always been really important to Justin and me," Upton shares. "And during this time, it became even more important to help people struggling."

She adds, "A lot of different charities have these fantastic programs that we were reading about [to try and] help in any way that was possible."






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